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Re: Copyright/licensing action plan + a sample [PATCH]

From: Reinhold Kainhofer
Subject: Re: Copyright/licensing action plan + a sample [PATCH]
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 00:59:32 +0200
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Am Montag, 14. September 2009 00:00:28 schrieb Anthony W. Youngman:
> DON'T track "whether they support switching the licence". Because if
> they do, they will (presumably already) have switched the licence on
> their contributions.

I don't think so. Many contributors simply don't mind a bit about the license 
and the formalities. Coding and the results are more important than dealing 
with stupid license headers, etc.

> For each contributor you want to track the licence THEY have used.
> Obviously, it's v2-compatible - it must be. So I would suggest the
> spreadsheet contain the following columns ...
> Contributor, licence, v3 compatible?, date, comment

> You are exhibiting a touching, blind, blinkered faith in the FSF. If I
> may speak for Han-Wen, I don't think he shares that faith. There may
> well be lilypond contributors who don't believe in the GPL, surprising
> as that may sound! But there's nothing stopping BSD believers (who may
> find the GPL offensive!) from contributing to lilypond.

My understanding has always been that contributions should be GPL v2... 

> DO NOT try to switch the licence to v2+. You will probably run into a
> brick wall! And if the eventual plan is to be v3-compatible you're
> setting yourself up for failure!

I think the eventual plan should be to be GPL-compatible in the long run, so 
v2+ would really be best. Otherwise we'll have much bigger headaches one GPL 
v4 comes out and libraries start switching to it.

> Use your spreadsheet to *track* *all* the licences to lilypond, 

Please, do we really need a law firm to keep up lilypond development?

> not
> restrict the licences you can handle to an arbitrary subset of the
> licences you think other people should use (that attitude is offensive).

Huh? We are a GNU project, and the guidelines of GNU are GPL.... (Which 
doesn't mean that everyone is forced to use GPL, but that the standard license 
SHOULD be the GPL). so I don't see the v2+ discussion as offensive, but as the 
only sane choice that ensures that in 5 years down the road lilypond will 
still be able to use up-to-date tools.

for example, what would we do if freetype changed its license to GPL v4 (their 
freetype license is GPL-incompatible, so we rely on their GPL, which is v2, 
btw)? We'd be doomed, because we couldn't link to freetype any more. And 
tracking down early contributors becames harder each day.

> As it is, I find your emphasis on v2+ offensive, and I doubt I'm alone.
> Given the choice of "v2 or v2+", I'd go for "v2 only". But if you ask me
> "what licence would *I* choose?", my reply would be "v2/v3". See what I
> mean about your approach being counter-productive?
> I repeat. Sod *your* choice of favourite licences. Just *track* the
> licences contributors have chosen, and then you can also track whether
> the licences are v3-compatible.

So your idea is basically postponing the problem to a time, where we might not 
be able to solve it properly any more?


- -- 
- ------------------------------------------------------------------
Reinhold Kainhofer, address@hidden,
 * Financial & Actuarial Math., Vienna Univ. of Technology, Austria
 *, DVR: 0005886
 * LilyPond, Music typesetting,
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