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Re: Nuitka - GPLv3 plus contribution copyright assignment

Hello Ben,

thanks for your reply, you wrote:

By “ASF 2.0” I assume you mean “the Apache license version 2.0”. I will
use “Apache 2.0” which I gather is the more widely used name for that

I will do so too then.

Kay Hayen<kayhayen@gmx.de>  writes:

It is supposed to work like this: Everybody receives Nuitka from me
under GPLv3. And "ASF2.0" for nothing. Then everything created on top
of my work becomes GPLv3+ASF2.0 dual license.

You've been describing more complexities. Is it really just that you
want *every* receipient to receive license under the terms of “GPL 3.0
or Apache license 2.0, recipient's choice”?

No, that I don't want to do that now at all.

I want everybody to receive under "GPLv3" and then to contribute back by default under "GPLv3 and Apache license 2.0", or optionally under "GPLv3" only.

Then one day, I drop the GPLv3 and it's suddenly "ASF2.0" only.

Do you intend only some new version of the work to be under Apache 2.0
terms? That's the right of any copyright holder, though I think it's
rather odd and don't see what it gains you. The Apache license 2.0 is
not a copyleft, so any recipient can still bundle such a work with a
trivial work under the GPL 3.0 (or any other compatible license), and
they are then distributing your work under the GPL 3.0 again.

As Nuitka is a compiler that creates C++ code, the GPLv3 parts of mine in the generated code would need an exception or else the created code is a derived work.

I am, at this time not giving an exception yet. I want to do so only later. I am willing to make Nuitka as a whole and the included parts ASF 2.0 at that time. I would like outside contributions, even of significant form, to not preclude that step.

Do you intend to deny recipients the freedom to re-license under the
GPL? The Apache license 2.0 has been explicitly designed to *allow*
combination into GPL 3.0 works, so you appear to have chosen licenses
poorly if that's your intention.

That is not the intention at all. I love "GPLv3". I named one of my kids after Stallman, even if only the second.

I don't think it's good for a compiler that is intended for every application that CPython allows. The generated code e.g. won't be compatible with a lot of Free Software, so there will be a need to do something about it.

So I believe, at one point in the future, the Nuitka compiler must move to something that is compatible with about everything. The "Apache License 2.0" is that, because it allows to drop all restrictions.

Currently I have a clause that automatically requires copyright assignment if you contribute back to me. I have been enlightened here that I can achieve the relicense with less effort.

Do you intend existing recipients who received a work under GPL 3.0 to
retroactively lose that license in the work? That's both underhanded and
ineffective, AFAIK. I don't think that's your intention, but I include
it for completeness.

Not at all the intention.

I just would like to be able to drop the GPLv3 texts, headers, and so on, from the source distribution as nobody needs it then anymore.

A hypothetic "GPLv3-only" fork could integrate my code, and I then couldn' take its code, but I don't believe it in to happen. Like I said in the original mail, I am starting with "GPLv3", exactly because it discourages the fork for a compiler heavily.

As far as what this forum should be interested in:

If the work enters Debian licensed under GPL 3.0, that doesn't cause any
legal problems for Debian recipients (and that license can't be revoked
once granted unless the recipient violates the license).


If the work enters Debian licensed under Apache license 2.0, that
doesn't cause any legal problems for Debian recipients (and that
license, too, can't be revoked once granted unless the recipient
violates the license).

That's true of course as well.

If you want to make some future version of the work and distribute under
a different grant of license, you're free to do so in works to which you
hold copyright, but must do so in compliance with the licenses you have
received in any contributions from other copyright holders. That's
getting outside the scope of this forum, and you should seek trained
legal advice if you need to be more sure about that.

Let me focus the question. If I put that statement in my files:

# If you submit patches or make the software available to licensors
# of this software in either form, you automatically them grant
# them a license for your part of the code under Apache License 2.0
# unless you choose to remove this notice.

1. This won't make the "GPLv3" license grant also in the file invalid.
2. It is DSFG compliant.
3. It doesn't preclude entry to Debian for debian-legal reasons.
4. It doesn't preclude entry to Debian for other reasons.

Can you confirm or deny these 4 statements, please? I kind of read what you said like this.

The only legal advice I can afford for this matter, is the one here, and I know of its limited value in terms of certainty.

My goal here on this forum is not absolute legal certainty. My goal here on this forum is that I want Debian to carry my "DFSG-Free GPLv3 + above contributor agreement" Nuitka package and have no trouble to re-license it later under another "DFSG-Free Apache License 2.0" license.

In order for that to happen, me and what I hope is going to be the sponsor of the package, believe there should an opinion from "debian-legal" about it that says it's OK.

My original notice (and the one still in the current sources) asked for an optional copyright assignment when interacting with me. From the discussion here, I first modified it to become a right to relicense, but now I believe it would be best to make the contributor license directly the moment he contributes back.

I am happy with it now, seems easy and non-invasive.

Thanks in advance,
Kay Hayen

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