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Re: Bug#523093: undetermined copyright/license violation

Hi Jo,

Nice to see your newly found interest in C++ packages (though, not
completely unexpected) :-)

On Wed, Apr 08, 2009 at 06:26:18PM +0100, Jo Shields wrote:
> Please note that this project in its current form contains swathes of
> major copyright violations and cannot be uploaded to Debian - almost all
> source files contain Tomboy source, with Copyright unilaterally changed.
> Compare, for an example,
> http://gitorious.org/projects/gnote/repos/mainline/blobs/master/src/preferencesdialog.cpp to http://svn.gnome.org/viewvc/tomboy/trunk/Tomboy/PreferencesDialog.cs?revision=2349&view=markup
> This kind of rewrite is completely permitted under Tomboy's license -
> changing the copyright without the author's permission is not.

If there's a problem, we'll get it sorted out, but I need more specific
info on your findings;  the example you pasted shows a file with nor
copyright statement neither license information (from tomboy) and one
with both of them (in gnote).  Please tell me which of these (in your
judgement) apply:

  - The new file seems to be asserting copyright for the code as
    a whole, and it's not implicitly understood that it only applies
    to the originality added to it by rewriting in C++.

    (this is somewhat contentious, since there are examples of other
    programs doing the same, but it can be fixed by adding a clarification
    to each file)

  - The new license (GPL v3) is incompatible with LGPL v2.1

    (it's not; see section 13 of the LGPL v2.1)

  - There are copyright/license statements being replaced, elsewhere in
    the code.

    (if this is so, please give some example)

  - Something else.

    (be my guest)

> Tomboy's upstream have been alerted, and are trying to contact the GNote
> author to resolve the issue

Good to know.  I'll speak with the gnote author too, but first you'll
have to give some more information, or at least point me to it :-)

Is there some description/summary of the problem elsewhere I can check?

> - until then, GNote cannot be considered
> suitable for Debian.

Sure.  Btw, I'm adding debian-legal to CC, perhaps they can provide some
insight (as you know, when there are doubts about legal stuff it is
considered good practice to discuss things in that list).


Robert Millan

  The DRM opt-in fallacy: "Your data belongs to us. We will decide when (and
  how) you may access your data; but nobody's threatening your freedom: we
  still allow you to remove your data and not access it at all."

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