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From Roman Shaposhnik <ro...@shaposhnik.org>
Subject Re: HAWQ + m4 files (Was: OK to distribute some GPL (with special exclusion) licensed build tools?)
Date Mon, 11 Jan 2016 16:15:21 GMT
On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 11:42 PM, Henri Yandell <bayard@apache.org> wrote:
>
>
> On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 8:37 PM, Roman Shaposhnik <roman@shaposhnik.org>
> wrote:
>>
>> On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 8:18 PM, Justin Mclean <justin@classsoftware.com>
>> wrote:
>> > Hi,
>> >
>> > While reviewing an Singa (incubating) release. I notice it had a couple
>> > of GPL (with special exclusion)
>> > in the source made by autoconf/automake. It seems this has been
>> > discussed before [1][2][3] and it’s
>> > OK to distribute these files in Apache releases.
>> >
>> > However some of our documentation may be out of step with that - does it
>> > need to change?
>> > - This states that special exceptions to the GPL are not allowed [2].
>> > Except for this special exception which is!
>> > - Should the section under the build tools question mention GPL with
>> > this special exception as OK? [4]
>> >
>> > For a release contain files in this manner:
>> > - Do we need to mention this in LICENSE?
>> > - Do we need to distribute GPL text in COPYING as indicated in the GPL
>> > with exception header text?
>> >
>> > JFYI The text of the exclusion is:
>> > # As a special exception to the GNU General Public License, if you
>> > # distribute this file as part of a program that contains a
>> > # configuration script generated by Autoconf, you may include it under
>> > # the same distribution terms that you use for the rest of that program.
>>
>> And to pile on top of Justin's question, I'd like to ask whether it
>> would be permissible
>> for HAWQ to ship the following folder:
>>     https://github.com/apache/incubator-hawq/tree/master/config
>>
>> To make this question even more interesting: this folder has been lifter
>> pretty much verbatim from PostgreSQL release tarball. I guess it means
>> that
>> PostgreSQL community feels it is OK to have it in an otherwise PostgreSQL
>> licensed release. A useful datapoint for us to consider, perhaps.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Roman.
>
>
> Do you mean the autoconf generated files in there, or are you referring to
> the other content?

I talking about all the files that reside in the folder I mentioned above. E.g.:
   https://github.com/apache/incubator-hawq/blob/master/config/ac_func_accept_argtypes.m4
Pretty much all of them came from autconf archive that has the following pretty
cryptic statement about licensing implications:
    http://www.gnu.org/software/autoconf-archive/Introduction.html#Introduction

To complicate matters even further these are the macros that are processed
by m4/autoconfs and contribute to the configure script that also gets shipped:
    https://github.com/apache/incubator-hawq/blob/master/configure
The licensing header for configure script *itself* makes it pretty unambiguous
that it is OK to ship it as part of an ASF release. What I'm asking is whether
it is ok to ship the "source" macro files that get used to produce
said configure
script.

> I don't see any licensing from PostgreSQL there.

Please re-read what I wrote. PG *ships* the same files. E.g.:
    https://github.com/postgres/postgres/tree/master/config
(they are also in PG release tarballs).

What I was saying is that it seems that the PG community
feels OK to ship those files. Hence, perhaps this is a useful
data point for us to consider here at ASF.

Thanks,
Roman.

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