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Babeld merged with GPL headers against copyright holders' wishes

 

 

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jch at pps

Mar 27, 2012, 7:26 AM

Post #1 of 3 (271 views)
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Babeld merged with GPL headers against copyright holders' wishes

Dear all,

Paul Jakma has added GPL headers to the babeld code that he has merged
into Quagga. This was done against the wishes of Matthieu Boutier and
myself, the main two authors of this code, and without the knowledge of
the other authors. Note that Paul did not simply ask us to add GPL
headers as a condition for inclusion into Quagga; he added the headers
himself, without asking us for permission.

I find that rude.

I therefore intend to do any further work in the quagga-RE repository [1],
and would like to encourage anyone wishing to experiment with Babel to
work either with the standalone Babel daemon [2] or the quagga-RE version.

-- Juliusz Chroboczek

[1] https://github.com/Quagga-RE/quagga-RE
[2] http://www.pps.jussieu.fr/~jch/software/babel/#download
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paul at jakma

Mar 27, 2012, 8:41 AM

Post #2 of 3 (247 views)
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Re: Babeld merged with GPL headers against copyright holders' wishes [In reply to]

On Tue, 27 Mar 2012, Juliusz Chroboczek wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> Paul Jakma has added GPL headers to the babeld code that he has merged
> into Quagga. This was done against the wishes of Matthieu Boutier and
> myself, the main two authors of this code, and without the knowledge of
> the other authors. Note that Paul did not simply ask us to add GPL
> headers as a condition for inclusion into Quagga; he added the headers
> himself, without asking us for permission.

I didn't do this off my own bat. I did this on behalf of the maintainers,
who collectively decided on this after we:

a) were asked to merge babeld by yourself

b) sought legal advice from SFLC

c) extensively discussed what options were open to us (one such option
was to not merge)

We asked SFLC whether we could distribute an MIT/X11 source-base that made
use of a GPL library (which we, the maintainers, do not have exclusive
copyright over - indeed, far from). We did not receive clear advice that
we could. Nor are we aware of advice or clear custom elsewhere that would
allow us.

We are obliged to follow the licensing terms stipulated by **all** the
copyright holders (i.e. not just the babeld authors), if we wish to
distribute the code without fear of legal risks. This means we have to
stick to the the conjunction of all applicable licensing terms, which
appears to include the GPL in this case.

We have however tried to make it clear to any future contributors that we
want them to licence back any relevant changes to you under MIT/X11, so
that you can apply them to the non-GPL-library-calling standalone babeld.

Further, you were consulted in advance about this. I asked you on IRC and
I emailed you about it. You clearly indicated, on several ocassions I
think, that you did not care to be involved in discussions about
licensing. You indicated that you had chosen MIT/X11 for babeld precisely
for that reason.

We have followed the SFLC guidelines on combining code that is a potential
mix of GPL and more permissive licences.

We were left in a very difficult position. We've done the best we can for
the project.

The initial import commit is at:

http://git.savannah.gnu.org/gitweb/?p=quagga.git;a=commit;h=57345

The babeld/LICENCE file we committed is at:

http://git.savannah.gnu.org/gitweb/?p=quagga.git;a=blob;f=babeld/LICENCE

regards,
--
Paul Jakma paul [at] jakma twitter: @pjakma PGP: 64A2FF6A
Fortune:
"The National Association of Theater Concessionaires reported that in
1986, 60% of all candy sold in movie theaters was sold to Roger Ebert."
-- D. Letterman
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chris.hall.list at highwayman

Mar 28, 2012, 6:40 AM

Post #3 of 3 (240 views)
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Re: Babeld merged with GPL headers against copyright holders' wishes [In reply to]

Juliusz Chroboczek wrote (on Tue 28-Mar-2012 at 14:08 +0100):
...
> Please, let's not continue this thread.

Fine by me, but can you please advise...

...I have a git repository for the euro_ix branch. Every now and then
I make sure that is up to date with the Quagga master. In the last
week or so I have, via a "git fetch", come into possession of a bunch
of babeld files. People fetching from my repository can get copies of
those files, which I am, effectively, publishing.

...it is not clear to me whether I am infringing somebody's copyright
in something here. Should I delete the babeld branch and files from
my repository ? Is the same going to happen at the Quagga master
level ? If so, then I guess my repository will automagically update
itself next time I "git fetch" ?

Thanks,

Chris

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