Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Brian Harring <ferringb@g.o>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-dev] mac/xmms-mac licence issue
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 2005 02:54:53
In Reply to: [gentoo-dev] mac/xmms-mac licence issue by Bret Towe
1 License in question...
5 On Sat, Dec 24, 2005 at 06:11:53PM -0800, Bret Towe wrote:
6 > earily today i updated the ebuilds for mac and xmms-mac,
7 > for those that dont know their applications for monkey's audio (.ape files),
8 > and got them submited to bug 94477[1] which was closed
9 > due to the way the licence was done
11 Original license really sucks... doesn't matter if someone has grabbed
12 the code and labeled it lgpl2, it still is under the monkey license.
15 > my issue is i think the ebuilds should be commited to portage
16 > as i dont see how the licence or issues that app has anything todo
17 > with a gentoo ebuild as all the ebuild does is fetch and install
18 > and its only told todo so upon the user requesting it to be so
19 > hence its the users choice to deal with the licence rather than
20 > the developers desiding for that user
22 We're not deciding what licenses users should use (despite pushes from
23 both extremes looking to enforce their license view on others).
25 That said, it's not actually the issue at hand. Issue at hand is
26 violating someone else's license (clarified below).
28 > i can understand putting proper warning in the ebuild if the dev
29 > thinks that its worth the user really noting the issues surrounding
30 > it, not forcing their ideals onto the user
31 > if i wanted that i would run debian
33 See above, and drop the rhetoric please.
35 >
36 > for those that havent figured it out yet from reading the above
37 > i dont care the politics of the issue with the licence all i want
38 > is the functionality of the ebuild concerned
40 Politics do suck.
42 That said, lawyers crawling up your ass sucks worse.
44 Bluntly, you're asking a collection of devs, who have their own
45 contributions protected by licenses, to ignore a source base's
46 license. That's going to be one hard sell. ;)
49 > if it is the case that the devs believe the user is totally incapable
50 > of making choices for themselfs then i suggest putting up
51 > somewhere noting it as such
53 Again, ixnay rhetoric; if we violate the license (which we would be
54 doing), we're responsible (along with user who uses it).
56 It doesn't matter if someone else has picked up the source and labeled
57 it as lgpl, unless the new project has *express* permission from the
58 original author, they're not even allowed to screw with the source-
59 the new project could be viewed as a new program.
61 Barring the new program angle, there still is the requirement all
62 fixes/changes be contributed back to the original upstream.
64 Original upsream being dead means it's effectively impossible to
65 improve the source.
67 This is why the original license is a major issue. Effectively,
68 the codebase cannot be improved/fixed without the original author, due
69 to restrictions keeping the code bound to him/her. If he/she goes
70 mia, the project is dead developmentally due to the restrictions,
71 which makes putting the package into portage an even harder sell.
73 Jakub responded in this thread about shipping a crap license... imo,
74 that's not the issue.
76 The issue is that we would be knowingly violating a license (however
77 horrid the license is).
79 Two routes out of this- clean room reimplementation of the codec, or
80 someone manages to track down the original author and gets the code
81 converted to a different license. Latter still is tricky, since any
82 contributions to the project, you would need all authors to sign off
83 on the new license- this is assuming the project doesn't do
84 centralized copyright, and assuming people have actually contributed
85 to it beyond original author.
86 ~harring


Subject Author
Re[2]: [gentoo-dev] mac/xmms-mac licence issue Jakub Moc <jakub@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-dev] mac/xmms-mac licence issue Bret Towe <magnade@×××××.com>