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Re: plagiarism of reiserfs by Debian

On Tue, Apr 22, 2003 at 09:41:34AM +0100, Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS wrote:
> If the copyright holder includes a copy of the GPL but writes that the
> software is licensed under the GPL plus additional restrictions, then
> this is not "illegal" as far as I know (there's nothing in the GPL
> that prevents it from being used in this way). Of course, the
> resulting licence is not compatibile with the GPL, so if the program
> were linked with other GPL software Debian could not distribute it.

Quoting README, in particular the entire LICENSING section:

[509] [scrooge:bam] ~/tmp/woody/reiserfsprogs/reiserfsprogs-3.6.4 >dpkg-parsechangelog | grep '^Version: '
Version: 1:3.6.4-4
[503] [scrooge:bam] ~/tmp/woody/reiserfsprogs/reiserfsprogs-3.6.4 >cat README 

ReiserFS is hereby licensed under the GNU General
Public License version 2.

Source code files that contain the phrase "licensing governed by
reiserfs/README" are "governed files" throughout this file.  Governed
files are licensed under the GPL.  The portions of them owned by Hans
Reiser, or authorized to be licensed by him, have been in the past,
and likely will be in the future, licensed to other parties under
other licenses.  If you add your code to governed files, and don't
want it to be owned by Hans Reiser, put your copyright label on that
code so the poor blight and his customers can keep things straight.
All portions of governed files not labeled otherwise are owned by Hans
Reiser, and by adding your code to it, widely distributing it to
others or sending us a patch, and leaving the sentence in stating that
licensing is governed by the statement in this file, you accept this.
It will be a kindness if you identify whether Hans Reiser is allowed
to license code labeled as owned by you on your behalf other than
under the GPL, because he wants to know if it is okay to do so and put
a check in the mail to you (for non-trivial improvements) when he
makes his next sale.  He makes no guarantees as to the amount if any,
though he feels motivated to motivate contributors, and you can surely
discuss this with him before or after contributing.  You have the
right to decline to allow him to license your code contribution other
than under the GPL.

Further licensing options are available for commercial and/or other
interests directly from Hans Reiser: hans@reiser.to.  If you interpret
the GPL as not allowing those additional licensing options, you read
it wrongly, and Richard Stallman agrees with me, when carefully read
you can see that those restrictions on additional terms do not apply
to the owner of the copyright, and my interpretation of this shall
govern for this license.  

Finally, nothing in this license shall be interpreted to allow you to
fail to fairly credit me, or to remove my credits, without my
permission, unless you are an end user not redistributing to others.
If you have doubts about how to properly do that, or about what is
fair, ask.  (Last I spoke with him Richard was contemplating how best
to address the fair crediting issue in the next GPL version.)

--- cut ---

I am no lawyer, but reading up to here I am a bit confused if it is
GPL+interpretation or GPL+extension.

Personally I don't see any problems with the above text, but the
standard I-am-not-a-lawyer disclaimer applies.

It is also not defined what he is referring to when he talks about
his credits, I would assume he means the rest of the details from the
remainder of the README file. I thought that the existing version of the
GPL already catered for this, but it appears I might be mistaken.
Brian May <bam@debian.org>

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