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From Sam Ruby <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Re: Clarification on GPL in SVN
Date Wed, 09 Nov 2011 13:36:42 GMT
On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 5:09 AM, Ross Gardler <rgardler@opendirective.com> wrote:
> Sent from my mobile device, please forgive errors and brevity.
> On Nov 8, 2011 7:42 PM, "Sam Ruby" <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 4:36 PM, Ross Gardler <rgardler@opendirective.com>
>> wrote:
>> > On 8 November 2011 09:03, William A. Rowe Jr. <wrowe@rowe-clan.net>
>> > wrote:
>> >> On 11/8/2011 1:50 AM, Ted Dunning wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> I thought that the question was whether it was OK to install GPL tools
>> >>> into build
>> >>> platforms.  The only issue is that the install is more than [apt-get
>> >>> install foo].  How is
>> >>> this forking a GPL product?
>> >>
>> >> Ross asked if we could check in 'gpl sources'; e.g. maintain a source
>> >> branch of a gpl project.
>> >
>> > That is correct. To reiterate the community is getting conflicting
>> > advice from ASF Members and I want to give an authoritative answer
>> > about ASF policy in this matter.
>> >
>> > As Bill points out there are different issues relating to community,
>> > upstream collaboration etc. However, I'm not seeking guidance on that
>> > here. The podlings mentors will address these issues during the
>> > incubation process. At this point we are trying to allow the project
>> > to identify a plan to get from "here" to "there". To do that they need
>> > clarity on what "there" should be and which routes are available.
>> Sorry for the delay (been traveling, yada, yada, yada).
>> Just to make sure that I understand the situation, us maintaining a
>> diff means that developers must obtain those sources from us, which
>> means ASF distributing GPL code.  Do I have that correct?
> As I understand it the GPL code is only needed to build OOo. It need not be
> distributed with binaries but any source release would either have to
> include the GPL code or people would have to check it out from SVN in order
> to build it.
>> One of the purposes of incubation is IP clearance.  What that means is
>> that in order to exit incubation the distribution must conform to our
>> policies, which includes not distributing code under the GPL license.
>> Is it the intent to resolve this prior to exiting incubation?
> This is ultimately the question. One view is that the GPL build tool
> dependency would need to be removed in order to graduate (or would be a
> separate download from non-ASF hardware). However other advice is that as
> long as it is not distributed in a release (source or binary) it is OK to
> have a build dependency on GPL code that is stored on ASF hardware.

My expectations are that this podling would not successfully graduate
with a dependency as you described it.

I don't have the full picture yet, but my understanding is that this
code is GPL because it is modified version of an existing GPL
codebase.  Keeping such on ASF hardware as a workis not a viable long
term solution.  Moving such to non-ASF hardware as a policy workaround
does not resolve the problem.  Getting the maintainers of the original
codebase to accept, release, and maintain this code likely does.

If there is a credible plan to resolve this issue put in place, I have
no problem recognizing the need to support the transition.

> Ross

- Sam Ruby

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