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Re: ocaml, QPL and the DFSG: New ocaml licence proposal.

On Tue, Aug 03, 2004 at 09:24:23PM +1000, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 03, 2004 at 09:05:56AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Mon, Aug 02, 2004 at 11:38:58PM +0200, Francesco Poli wrote:
> > > But I'm not allowed to, because the QPL forces me to grant additional
> > > permissions to the initial developer.
> > 
> > But by integrating the patch, he gives you the same kind of rights, so ...
> So there is now an ever-widening set of people who can create proprietary
> works.  Cool.  You've also effectively argued that the patch clause in the
> QPL is totally non-effectual as soon as I get upstream to include a patch of
> mine, because I have an all-permissive grant to the changes to my patch
> (which you appear to indicate is the entireity of the original software,
> once my change has been integrated) thus I can distribute however I like,
> with whatever other patches I like.
> Methinks you might not want to be pushing that argument.

Why not, if this is indeed a correct interpretation, it may be a real good
argument to bring upstream to change the licencing.

> As to the loophole: 3b says "When modifications to the Software *are
> released under this license*, a non-exclusive royalty-free right is granted
> to the initial developer" (emphasis mine).  So if the changes are released
> under a different licence, upstream is screwed -- especially if it's a
> QPL-incompatible licence (such as the GPL).  The only circumstance I can
> find where a change must be released under the QPL is when binary
> distribution takes place.  If I only distribute my patch, upstream has no
> special right to my code.

Sure, but only the QPL allows for binary distribution as in QPL 4, so ...

> Considering that you have said that upstream really, really wants to be able
> to sell my changes, I think this clause might want to be reviewed to see if

Well, they really don't want to maintain more than one source code tree.

> it really does what upstream wants it to do, because as it stands, unless I
> distribute my changes in binary form or explicitly under the QPL, OCaml has
> no right to it.

Sure, that is what the QPL says.

> Again, a straight permission grant or copyright assignment would cause this
> problem to go away, because unless I'm doing binary distribution, OCaml
> needs it before it can sell my changes even with OCaml under the QPL as it
> currenly is.  And licence incompatibility is going to totally screw with
> cherry-picking changes as it stands.

Sure, but that would be the upstream author's responsability to handle it.


Sven Luther

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