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From Dalibor Topic <robi...@kaffe.org>
Subject Re: ASF has been shipping GPL exception stuff for years and still is ;)
Date Tue, 06 Dec 2005 04:22:59 GMT
On Mon, Dec 05, 2005 at 08:41:10AM -0500, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
> 
> On Dec 4, 2005, at 11:59 PM, Dalibor Topic wrote:
> 
> [SNIP]
> 
> >On Sun, Dec 04, 2005 at 02:13:30PM -0500, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
> >>
> >>On Dec 4, 2005, at 12:38 PM, Anthony Green wrote:
> >>
> >>>
> >>>Whether or not you make a distinction between this kind of GPL
> >>>+exception
> >>>usage and libstdc++ or GNU Classpath usage hardly matters, since the
> >>>licenses themselves don't make a distinction.
> >>
> >>That would only be true if there is a standard interface / component
> >>model for the classlibrary so that there can be competing
> >>implementations and users have the ability to switch from one
> >>implementation to another without significant burden in the event
> >>they wish to make changes, additions or enhancements, and have the
> >>freedom to choose what they do with their work.
> >>
> >>That's why I think that the our componentization efforts are so
> >>important.
> >
> >You seem to have narrowly missed what Anthony said, and went on
> >a defensive tangent instead ;)
> >
> >You don't have to defend the usage of GPL+linking
> >exception licensed code by the Apache Software Foundation, all of us
> >non-Luddites here agree that the GPL+linking exception works as it
> >should and the binaries shipped by the ASF are fine.
> >
> >This stuff is easy, and pretty obvious to anyone with a dissasembler,
> >and/or insight about C compilers, so let's have the same rules that
> >allow httpd to ship their binaries using/incorporating
> >GPL+linking exception licensed code, ASF's flagship product, after
> >all, be officially ratified, as they'd allow us to do the same.
> >
> >Is there something left that would speak against using GNU Classpath
> >in Harmony, after we have established as a fact that the ASF is indeed
> >happily distributing code using code under the same sort of licenses
> >and has been doing so for years?
> 
> You are missing my point completely.  This isn't about illegality as  
> in "We are going to get sued" or "the police are going to come" but  
> about the rights, freedoms and expectations of our end users.
> 

Agreed ;)

> When you get the httpd binary, you just use it.  You run it.  The  
> fact that there's GPL-ed code in there is *utterly irrelevant*  
> because there is no hard source dependency to which you as the user  
> are somehow bound.  By "bound", I mean have to have it's license  
> effect you if you make some modification to httpd.    So in this  
> sense, yes, it's like the OS.
> 

Yup.

> When you work with the source of httpd, the creative work we are  
> licensing to to the user for them to do with as they may, then  
> *poof*! the GPL+Exception code simply disappears - it's not an issue  
> for the user to deal with because it was only added as a harmless  
> side effect of using one specific tool.  It's not much different than  
> having proprietary code from a commercial installer being part of an  
> Apache Licensed distro - not illegal, and nothing the user has to  
> deal with when considering a modified or derivative work.
> 

Spot on.

> This is much different than having an explicit hard dependency on a  
> GPL+Exception codebase here, if our VMs would have
> 
> import org.gnu.classpath.Foo
> 
> or whatever.

I believe I see your point. I don't think it would be necessary for the
VMs to do that, per se, if we had an interface, which we could all
share/reimplement under a license of their choice. And here we are
back at real, technical issues. ;)

Maybe we had some miscommunication why you were so motivated on getting
an interface for class libraries hammered out. My plan was to go ahead
and just merge everything out there into a big coherent whole, while
letting people mix and match what they want on their own branches/forks,
so I was pretty puzzled by the insistance to have an interface for the
class library first. That's in general, the most boring area of the
whole runtime, so I don't think I was alone wondering what that was
good for, if we were going to merge everything together anyway in the 
end ;)

Now I see how yet another VM interface would help make people who have 
trouble with some licenses feel more comfortable, and isolated from them. 
That makes a lot more sense. If the motivation has been presented that 
way, I must have missed it, unfortunately, so I am sorry for that. ;(

In a way, it's pretty funny how this list gets regularly outbursts of
miscommunication, all around. As I told people last time around this
happened, maybe the project members need to talk more to each other off 
list, as my impression is that the little interruptions would not
happen if people used the "unofficial" communication channels more, to
evaluate and elaborate on what they are doing and planning to do. That
would help cut down on the amount of "WTF???" posts.

Guilty as charged, though. ;(

> 
> I admire (or would if I had some sleep) your zeal in trying to use  
> this as an example to solve the problem, but I think you're tilting  
> at the wrong windmill here.

OK. Have some rest. I don't really think it is an actual problem any
more. Things are going OK as they are, afaict.

> 
> Either way, can we agree that we've made the Harmony community aware  
> of this, and bring over to the ASF legal discussion lists rather than  
> here?

No longer necessary. Neither would it be relevant to this project, nor
would it be really interesting, as at the core, the licensing stuff is
only useful for obviously trivial setups, and it won't get us what we 
need.

cheers,
dalibor topic

> geir
> 
> -- 
> Geir Magnusson Jr                                  +1-203-665-6437
> geirm@apache.org
> 
> 
> 

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