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quagga license clarification

 

 

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thomas.r.henderson at boeing

May 2, 2012, 12:17 PM

Post #1 of 10 (541 views)
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quagga license clarification

David, first, thanks for restarting the NEWS file in response to my previous post, and for your maintenance activities in general.

In browsing the release, I noticed that there is both a COPYING and COPYING.LIB file. Should COPYING.LIB be deleted? I only see a couple of imported source files (regex.c and regex-gnu.h) licensed under LGPL. Inclusion of COPYING.LIB implies that the overall project is LGPL-licensed.

Also, along these lines, you could further clarify on the web site (http://www.nongnu.org/quagga/devel.html) that quagga is 'GPLv2' licensed, instead of just 'GPL' licensed.

- Tom


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paul at jakma

May 4, 2012, 2:39 AM

Post #2 of 10 (527 views)
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Re: quagga license clarification [In reply to]

On Wed, 2 May 2012, Henderson, Thomas R wrote:

> David, first, thanks for restarting the NEWS file in response to my
> previous post, and for your maintenance activities in general.
>
> In browsing the release, I noticed that there is both a COPYING and
> COPYING.LIB file. Should COPYING.LIB be deleted? I only see a couple
> of imported source files (regex.c and regex-gnu.h) licensed under LGPL.
> Inclusion of COPYING.LIB implies that the overall project is
> LGPL-licensed.

No, these are just copies of licence texts. Their presence should not
imply anything of itself. They are there merely so that other files can
refer to them. E.g. each code file may state what licence applies to it,
and refer to, say, COPYING. COPYING.LIB is there because lib/regex* refers
to it.

But, yes, it's confusing. :)

Perhaps there is no more need for lib/regex* anymore, and we can just get
rid of it and COPYING.LIB, as the simplest option.

> Also, along these lines, you could further clarify on the web site
> (http://www.nongnu.org/quagga/devel.html) that quagga is 'GPLv2'
> licensed, instead of just 'GPL' licensed.

What's the motivation there for that change? GPLv2 seems (potentially
inaccurately) over-determined, compared to GPL.

regards,
--
Paul Jakma paul [at] jakma @pjakma Key ID: 64A2FF6A
Fortune:
You are destined to become the commandant of the fighting men of the
department of transportation.
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nick at inex

May 4, 2012, 3:09 AM

Post #3 of 10 (527 views)
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Re: quagga license clarification [In reply to]

On 04/05/2012 10:39, Paul Jakma wrote:
> What's the motivation there for that change? GPLv2 seems (potentially
> inaccurately) over-determined, compared to GPL.

GPL includes all future versions of the GPL. This is quite a loose
licensing arrangement, given that you don't know what's going to go into
future versions of the license. At last GPLv2 (or v3) gives clarity.

Nick
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shemminger at vyatta

May 4, 2012, 7:57 AM

Post #4 of 10 (525 views)
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Re: quagga license clarification [In reply to]

On Fri, 04 May 2012 11:09:57 +0100
Nick Hilliard <nick [at] inex> wrote:

> On 04/05/2012 10:39, Paul Jakma wrote:
> > What's the motivation there for that change? GPLv2 seems (potentially
> > inaccurately) over-determined, compared to GPL.
>
> GPL includes all future versions of the GPL. This is quite a loose
> licensing arrangement, given that you don't know what's going to go into
> future versions of the license. At last GPLv2 (or v3) gives clarity.
>
> Nick

More precisely. When Quagga was licensed, the only version of GPL
was v2. IANAL but my understanding that unless the license includes
the language "either version 2, or (at your option) any later version"
then it is limited to v2 only. Looking at the source there are only three
places where the GPL is mentioned and the "at your option" clause
is missing: COPYING.LIB bgpd/bgp_route.c and bgpd/bgp_snmp.c
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gdt at ir

May 4, 2012, 8:41 AM

Post #5 of 10 (525 views)
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Re: quagga license clarification [In reply to]

Stephen Hemminger <shemminger [at] vyatta> writes:

> More precisely. When Quagga was licensed, the only version of GPL
> was v2. IANAL but my understanding that unless the license includes
> the language "either version 2, or (at your option) any later version"
> then it is limited to v2 only.

that sounds reasonable to me.

> Looking at the source there are only three
> places where the GPL is mentioned and the "at your option" clause
> is missing: COPYING.LIB bgpd/bgp_route.c and bgpd/bgp_snmp.c

I do not follow this at all. Those two .c files say:

GNU Zebra is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any
later version.

and also lib/if.c says that too. But I think I'm misunderstanding you.


So if someone cares, they can go through all the source files and
publish an analysis.


There's a separate issue, which is only relevant if all files say v2 or
later, which is moving to v3, which is an agreement that new
contributions will be v3 or later only, breaking the ability to
distribute under v2. I am not aware of any discussion about doing that.


shemminger at vyatta

May 4, 2012, 8:44 AM

Post #6 of 10 (530 views)
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Re: quagga license clarification [In reply to]

On Fri, 04 May 2012 11:41:59 -0400
Greg Troxel <gdt [at] ir> wrote:

> > Looking at the source there are only three
> > places where the GPL is mentioned and the "at your option" clause
> > is missing: COPYING.LIB bgpd/bgp_route.c and bgpd/bgp_snmp.c
>
> I do not follow this at all. Those two .c files say:

Your right, the dumb way I checked was to look for all references
for GPL and then all references "any later version" and these older
files had a line break between "any" and "later".
Attachments: signature.asc (0.82 KB)


paul at jakma

May 4, 2012, 8:53 AM

Post #7 of 10 (525 views)
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Re: quagga license clarification [In reply to]

On Fri, 4 May 2012, Nick Hilliard wrote:

> GPL includes all future versions of the GPL. This is quite a loose
> licensing arrangement, given that you don't know what's going to go into
> future versions of the license. At last GPLv2 (or v3) gives clarity.

Personally, I'm happy with "or later". I'd tend to argue it's a huge
mistake to remove the ability to upgrade the licence.

regards,
--
Paul Jakma paul [at] jakma @pjakma Key ID: 64A2FF6A
Fortune:
If at first you do succeed, try to hide your astonishment.
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gdt at ir

May 4, 2012, 8:53 AM

Post #8 of 10 (529 views)
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Re: quagga license clarification [In reply to]

Stephen Hemminger <shemminger [at] vyatta> writes:

> On Fri, 04 May 2012 11:41:59 -0400
> Greg Troxel <gdt [at] ir> wrote:
>
>> > Looking at the source there are only three
>> > places where the GPL is mentioned and the "at your option" clause
>> > is missing: COPYING.LIB bgpd/bgp_route.c and bgpd/bgp_snmp.c
>>
>> I do not follow this at all. Those two .c files say:
>
> Your right, the dumb way I checked was to look for all references
> for GPL and then all references "any later version" and these older
> files had a line break between "any" and "later".

Ah, so then you (plus me doing 2 files :-) have checked that every file
that says GPL is GPL2+, which is good to know.


thomas.r.henderson at boeing

May 4, 2012, 11:47 AM

Post #9 of 10 (537 views)
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Re: quagga license clarification [In reply to]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: quagga-dev-bounces [at] lists [mailto:quagga-dev-
> bounces [at] lists] On Behalf Of Paul Jakma
> Sent: Friday, May 04, 2012 2:40 AM
> To: Quagga development list
> Subject: [quagga-dev 9261] Re: quagga license clarification
>
> On Wed, 2 May 2012, Henderson, Thomas R wrote:
>
> > David, first, thanks for restarting the NEWS file in response to my
> > previous post, and for your maintenance activities in general.
> >
> > In browsing the release, I noticed that there is both a COPYING and
> > COPYING.LIB file. Should COPYING.LIB be deleted? I only see a
> couple
> > of imported source files (regex.c and regex-gnu.h) licensed under
> LGPL.
> > Inclusion of COPYING.LIB implies that the overall project is
> > LGPL-licensed.
>
> No, these are just copies of licence texts. Their presence should not
> imply anything of itself. They are there merely so that other files can
> refer to them. E.g. each code file may state what licence applies to
> it, and refer to, say, COPYING. COPYING.LIB is there because lib/regex*
> refers to it.
>
> But, yes, it's confusing. :)

I had a different interpretation. Please read:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-howto.html

The presence of including COPYING.LIB (what they refer to as COPYING.LESSER) implies that "you are releasing your program under the LPGL".

>
> Perhaps there is no more need for lib/regex* anymore, and we can just
> get rid of it and COPYING.LIB, as the simplest option.
>
> > Also, along these lines, you could further clarify on the web site
> > (http://www.nongnu.org/quagga/devel.html) that quagga is 'GPLv2'
> > licensed, instead of just 'GPL' licensed.
>
> What's the motivation there for that change? GPLv2 seems (potentially
> inaccurately) over-determined, compared to GPL.

GPLv3 is a different license than GPLv2, so I don't think it is over-determined to clarify this point. I'm mainly suggesting the clarification to provide better guidance on what license you are willing to accept from contributors. If not GPLv3, then specify GPLv2. If you do not care whether new files come in with GPLv2 or GPLv3, then it probably doesn't matter, but I believe that you will have to update COPYING once you bring in GPLv3 code. Based on how babeld was merged, it may also be helpful to provide guidance on the web site on submitting code that has other permissive licenses.

- Tom


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nick at inex

May 4, 2012, 2:43 PM

Post #10 of 10 (525 views)
Permalink
Re: quagga license clarification [In reply to]

On 04/05/2012 19:47, Henderson, Thomas R wrote:
> I had a different interpretation. Please read:
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-howto.html
>
> The presence of including COPYING.LIB (what they refer to as
> COPYING.LESSER) implies that "you are releasing your program under the
> LPGL".

It's pretty clear from the headers in most of the src files that quagga is
GPL licensed, v2 or later. There is a small number of files which either
have difference licenses or else don't have explicit licensing
instructions. The presence of COPYING.LIB in the root directory of the
distribution does not suggest that quagga is LGPL licensed.

Nick
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