Re: Github TOS effecting change to copylefts?
El 08/03/17 a les 08:24, Mike Hommey ha escrit:
> On Wed, Mar 08, 2017 at 07:46:29AM +0100, Ulrich Mueller wrote:
>>>>>>> On Tue, 7 Mar 2017, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
>>> The best analysis of this situation I have read so far is the one in
>>> Noodles' blog:
>> IMHO that analysis misses one point. Namely, in section D.4 "License
>> Grant to Us" the Github ToS have:
>> "That means you're giving us the right to do things like reproduce
>> your content [...]; modify it [...]"
>> Which requires that any file uploaded to Github must come with the
>> permission to modify it. Not a problem for free software, one would
>> think. However, if your package is GPL licensed then you cannot
>> include the COPYING file itself, because it would be in conflict with
>> above terms.
>> "Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
>> license document, but changing it is not allowed."
> You're subtly omitting what the "modify it" applies to, though... the
> text reads: "modify it (so our server can do things like parse it into a
> search index)".
As I see it, that annotation between parenthesis is not a restriction on
the scope of modifications allowed by Github but just an example of what
such modifications might be. There is a paragraph about limiting the
scope of such modification rights which forbids them selling and
distribution outside of Github's own service, but that says nothing
> Now, let's go back in time a few weeks, before that ToS existed. What do
> you think github was doing with all the files there are in github
> repositories, to have the search function working? Has anything changed
> about that in the past 2 weeks? No.
> Now, the question is: 2 weeks ago, was github legally allowed to do it?
> Whoever wrote that ToS thinks that was a rather gray area that needed
If we're questioning Github's search engine on these grounds, we'd
rather question all search engines in all scenarios, most of them
dealing with non-free content. If that's the case, all of them are
violating copyrights of thousands, if not millions, of individuals.
Let me put a real life example: in Spain several years ago there was a
legislative change requiring all websites citing or indexing content
from media registered in a Spanish association (AEDE) to pay a tax. This
was made similar to the infamous SGAE (RIAA's spanish brother) tax
payable on any device capable of playing music and/or video, including
all digital media like hard disks or smartphones (not joking). This law
was commonly called the "Google tax" as it clearly targeted them but
affected hundreds of other services, from other search engines to
personal blogs citing news articles. What did Google do? They chose not
to pay this tax and simply closed Google News in Spain.
Remember, this was in response for a specifically legal change. However,
if merely indexing would rather infringe copyright law, Google would be
actually drowned in legal actions. Okay, Google might not be a good
example of "good guys", but they surely have an army of lawyers who know
what can and can't do, or how near the lie they can get without crossing
it. And they obviously thought that Google News Spain crossed the
Here we're also talking about a redrawn line, even if it was only moved
a mere inch.