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Re: upstart: please update to latest upstream version

On Fri, 2012-02-24 at 18:18 -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 07:58:21PM +0000, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> > > Also, the only practical way this differs from the situation with
> > > software from either the Free Software Foundation or the Apache
> > > Software Foundation seems to be that, oddly, more people think
> > > Canonical is evil than think the FSF and ASF are evil.
> > It's not so much a question of 'is upstream evil' (if so, why are we
> > packaging this software?) but 'could upstream turn evil'.  I'm far
> > from agreeing with the FSF on many issues, and I don't really believe
> > in the value of copyright assignment.  But I also recognise that the
> > FSF is bound by its non-profit status and broad membership in ways
> > that a for-profit company like Canonical is not.
> I can well understand why some Free Software developers would decide not to
> contribute to a project that requires copyright assignment or a copyright
> license agreement such as this one.  But it would be historical revisionism
> to suggest that having copyright held by a single company makes a project
> unsuitable to be used as the basis for work in Debian.[1]

Well I don't consider it a blocker either.  However, it is something I
and probably others in the project dislike and I don't believe it is
conducive to growing a wider developer community.

> [1] Examples: MySQL as the "default" database for lots of projects;
> Sleepycat/BDB as the backend for plenty of software, sometimes chosen over
> GDBM; Qt; fox of ice and fire; and probably countless others that don't come
> to mind because nobody really seemed to give this a whole lot of thought
> until it was Canonical's name on the copyright statement...

Mozilla is now a non-profit and does not require copyright assignment or

Of the others, I've never got the impression that they're actively
soliciting contributions from outside the company, though I could be
wrong.  I think free software developers rarely quibble over licences if
they're contributing little bug fixes, whereas they're more likely to
feel they deserve some kind of ownership stake if they're adding a big
piece.  A port to kFreeBSD might seem to be the latter, though I've no
idea how large a change it would really require.

So, why do people pick on Canonical?  Partly, I think, as a reaction to
Mark Shuttleworth's repeated arguing for copyright assignment/CLA/
Harmony.  Partly because Canonical often presents Ubuntu and related
software as being community projects while this licencing approach can
be seen to undermine that.


Ben Hutchings
If at first you don't succeed, you're doing about average.

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