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[Savannah-register-public] [task #12728] Submission of Whonix

From: adrelanos
Subject: [Savannah-register-public] [task #12728] Submission of Whonix
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 16:05:06 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:17.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/17.0

Follow-up Comment #14, task #12728 (project administration):

> Regarding the image: as long as you aren't including the nonfree kernel
blobs/drivers (I assume you're aware of this issue, if not, see, it seems ok to me. I don't know if Debian is still
including those by default. [it is still the default, but no worries.]

Ok. The last tarball I've uploaded specifically ensures that no packages from
non-free get pulled and at the end of the build process is a script which uses
vrms to verify that.

> 1) the icons labeled "Free for commercial use". That is good, but it's not
sufficient. It also has to permit modification, and redistribution of modified
versions. Otherwise it's not free.

I will try to contact the authors or replace them.

> 2) The stuff at the top. First, "Any changes you pull into this source will
be also licensed under GPL v3 or any later." What does that even mean? Someone
has a git checkout and commits a modification to their branch? You don't get
to decide the license of their work -- for example, they might want it to be
public domain. Or they might want to keep it completely private, and that is
an important freedom in itself. The GPL already guarantees that they cannot
redistribute the result except under the GPL and GPL-compatible licenses, so
you don't need to impose an extra condition, and in fact, doing so makes the
whole thing nonfree.

> Second, "Additionally you grant adrelanos the right to
re-license your work under a different license". This condition also you
cannot impose without rendering the whole thing nonfree, for basically the
same reasons.

Ok, this text needs an update to make it Free. It's not communicating what I
want to say. I'll explain goals with more words.

Do you know the signed-off-by thing? This is similar. I think the following
conditions should be acceptable, since it only restricts people who want
contributions merged into the original Whonix code at the original Whonix
repository. (What they do elsewhere in their own private or public
repositories is up to them under GPLv3.)

1.) Anyone is free to use the source under GPLv3 exactly as GPLv3 grants.
(They can keep it private or have to get their own repository, etc.)
2.) BUT, anyone who sends patches, git pull requests or has commit access to
    2.1) must also license their changes under GPLv3
    2.2) they can still dual license it
    2.3) can keep it's copyright of the changes (of course)
    2.4) and grant me the right relicense the whole thing.

The 2.) goes only for things which are send to me or the Whonix repository. If
they fork it and make changes under GPLv3, and if they publish them, I can
decide to use them (without the right to relicense them).

2.1) Is just a reminder, that we can't merge proprietary patches.
2.2) Is just reinstating their right, which they have rightly so.
2.3) Is just reinstating their right, which they have rightly so.
2.4) Is a paranoia thing. [You know, that Linux kernel can realistically never
switch from GPLv2 to GPLv3, because they couldn't reach everyone and ask if
they are fine with relicensing their patch under GPLv3. But if everyone
assigned their copyright to Linus Torwalds, then he could upgrade from GPLv2
to GPLv3 (without being able to revoke any rights from anyone who received the
code under GPLv2).] What in case there is giant legal loophole to be found in
GPL in a few years? In that case, I'd preferred if I could easily switch the
license for things I wrote and for things contributors wrote to "GPLnext"
without having to contact all individual contributors [and of course without
revoking any rights of anyone who already got the source code under the old

This text is supposed to be a "rules contributions to Whonix" and shouldn't
restrict any rights if they take the source code and go somewhere else.

The GPL includes:

> If the Program specifies that a proxy can decide which future versions of
the GNU General Public License can be used, that proxy's public statement of
acceptance of a version permanently authorizes you to choose that version for
the Program.

And I just wanted to make clear, that I am that proxy. Is there a better way
to say that?

> The third sentence, "If that is not acceptable, you can either fork this
source under GPL v3 or any later or contact
adrelanos." Well, that is just reiterating the right they have under the GPL.
So it's ok, but redundant.

I just wanted to tell them, that they can take the code, make private changes
and keep them for themselves or start their own project and use the code under
GPLv3 without contributing to Whonix or be able to contact me to tune that
text, in case it seems inappropriate, what I hope it really is not.

> By the way, without real names instead of handles, I doubt any copyright
enforcement is possible.

I think you're right. (I want to sort out licensing things, so we're not
violating rights of anyone else.)


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