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From: Peter Simons
Subject: ac-archive-macros-2006.0927.tar.bz2
Date: 16 Oct 2006 02:01:14 +0200


At the end of 2004, I received various flames and derogatory comments about
the Autoconf Macro Archive from a handful of very vocal people, first and
foremost Guido Draheim. The gist was that I was some sort of criminal because
I distributed the macros without giving each and every single file a proper
license attribution. With over 300 macros written by a hundred different
authors, compiling that information was a massive task. The wonderful Tom
Howard went through the effort of contacting every single author because of
this problem; and based on the feedback we received, I edited the entire macro
repository to carry proper license information. While I was at it, I also
edited the contents of the site quite a bit for consistency. The process took
several weeks.

The only person who -- curiously enough -- had no time whatsoever to help in
that process was the most vocal critic of the Autoconf Macro Archive -- said
Guido Draheim. He complained quite loudly, but he contributed zilch.

Eventually, however, the task was accomplished, and the Archive was in much
better shape than it ever was before. Since I have always been a little
frustrated with Guido's practice of releasing my work under his name, I posted
the following article to the maintainers mailing list:

I encouraged Guido to copy my entire repository over to,
just like he had done for the last couple of years. He didn't dare to. He sort
of announced that macro archives sucked and that he had better things to do
with his life. Apparently that changed around September 27, 2006, because by
then he had copied the entire contents of my site. Since he kind of neglected
to mentioned this little fact anywhere in his release archive, I sent him an
e-mail, but all I got back was a patronizing response that told me "to relax".
In addition, he also threatened to complain to this public mailing list about
my behavior. This lead me to respond to his e-mail in an open letter because I
hope that a few impartial voices can help to disambiguate the situation for
both of us.

The release archive

contains the entire distribution from <> in
verbatim, but what it does not contain is a license disclaimer saying that I
own the compilation copyright of this material and distribute it under the
GPL. My license disclaimer has been removed.

Lieber Guido,

                                        Dear Guido,

die GPL erlaubt es Dir, meine Arbeit
weiterzuverbreiten. Sie erlaubt es Dir
aber nicht, das ohne Hinweis auf meine
Urheberschaft zu tun. Deine
unbearbeitete Weiterverbreitung meiner
Distribution enthält weder mein README
noch meine HTML-Start-Seite, noch
irgendeinen anderen Hinweis darauf,
woher Du geschätzte 95% des Materials
beziehst, das Du unter Deinem Namen

                                        the GPL gives you the right to
                                        re-distribute my work; but it
                                        explicitly prohibits re-distribution
                                        without identifying the original
                                        copyright owner. Your release archive
                                        contains my entire macro collection in
                                        verbatim, but neither does it contain
                                        my README nor my HTML index page nor
                                        any other hint at the source of
                                        approximately 95% of the material you
                                        distribute under your own name.

Es mag sein, daß Du das als
"grundlegendes Wesen des Copylefts"
empfindest. Ich empfinde die
ungekennzeichnete Weiterverbreitung
anderer Leute Arbeit unter eigenem
Namen als Urheberrechtsverletzung.

                                        In an earlier e-mail you referred to
                                        this curious behavior as "the nature
                                        of copyleft". I refer to the act of
                                        re-distributing other people's efforts
                                        under your own name without mentioning
                                        them as a copyright infringement.

Du schriebst:

                                        You wrote:

> [Hey,] untersage mir einfach die Weiterverwendung der Makros, und ich nehme
> die Quelle einzweifix ganz heraus. Wenn es dich ruhiger schlafen
> lässt, bitteschön.

Die Weiterverwendung der Makros kann
ich Dir nicht untersagen, da ich nicht
Inhaber der Urheberrechte der Makros
bin. Die Weiterverwendung meiner
Distribution kann ich Dir nicht
untersagen, weil ich sie unter
GPL-Lizenz verbreite. Die
Weiterverwendung meiner Distribution
ohne Nennung des Urhebers untersage
nicht ich Dir, die GPL tut das.

                                        I simply cannot forbid you to re-use
                                        the macros distributed by the Autoconf
                                        Macro Archive, as you suggest, because
                                        I don't own the copyright to these
                                        macros. I cannot forbid you to re-use
                                        my distribution either, because I
                                        publish that distribution under GPL.
                                        Re-distributing my efforts without
                                        identifying me as the original
                                        copyright owner is not something I
                                        forbid -- the GPL does.

Unabhängig davon bitte ich Dich, meine
Distribution NICHT weiterzuverbreiten.
Bitte kehre in Deinem Repository auf
den Stand zurück, auf dem Du warst,
bevor Du meinen gesamten Inhalt
kopiert hast. Ich beziehe mich dabei
auf den Commit mit der Log-Meldung
"start over":

                                        Regardless of this, I wish to take you
                                        up on your offer. Please do NOT
                                        re-distribute the macros found on my
                                        site. Please revert your repository
                                        back to the state in which it is was
                                        before you copied all my contents. I
                                        refer to the commit which says "start

Bitte nimm
als Quelle einzweifix heraus.

                                        Please do so at one fell swoop.
                                        [Shakespeare, Macbeth IV, 3, 219]

> Natürlich mache ich den Umstand dann auf der Autoconf Mailing Liste
> bekannt, nur damit sich niemand dort wundert.

Ist nicht mehr notwendig.

                                        There is no more need to do that.

Mit freundlichem Gruß

                                        With kind regards,


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