Re: [firstname.lastname@example.org: Veracrypt license - how to change it]
On Wed, Aug 07, 2019 at 01:26:35PM +0200, Mihai Moldovan wrote:
> * On 8/7/19 12:58 PM, Giovanni Mascellani wrote:
> > Agreed. There is no way to obtain tacit permission for anything except
> > what the copyright holder has already declared (except for copyright
> > expiration, but that takes veeery long). In order to relicense, explicit
> > permission must be given by each of the copyright holders. Exceptions
> > can possibly be made for trivial contributions by reasoning that they
> > are so simple that they cannot be considered copyrightable, but that's a
> > very risky way. If some copyright holder (or their heirs) cannot be
> > contacted or do not agree, their contributions must be removed and
> > possibly rewritten, and again this entails a lot of risk, because it's
> > on those who are relicensing to prove that they removed all the
> > contributions by such copyright holder and that what was written to
> > patch the removal is actually independent.
> This said, there is the concept of abandonware, which is a specialization of
> orphan works.
> For such works, while the copyright is still valid and protected, the
> rightholders might not pursue violations.
> One might argue, and this might be what the original poster also intended to
> say, that it's expected that the original authors won't interfere at all. Still,
> that sounds like very thin ice to me.
Yes, this is much closer to the intention the OP posited.
> Additionally, even just *using* orphan works might not be permissible in some
> jurisdictions. That's not relevant for Truecrypt, since the license explicitly
> allows that, but modifying the code's license is an entirely different beast.
Let's not devolve into generalisations.
We wants our precious Veracrypt in Debian proper, we wants.
To the extent that the old authors of Truecrypt are contactable, they
ought of course be contacted. I believe, from memory of the last time
I looked into this, that said authors are no longer (at least easily)
Putting that Truecrypt code into something like an abandonware
Just a little 'nother point on the tacit consent issue - I think it
was Ubuntu that took an arguable leap of faith vis a vis ZFS, got
some legal advice to support their position, and plunged into a
To a real degree, the initial bind of ZFS into a *Linux distribution,
was putting upon Oracle (the ZFS copyright holders) an assertion of
Now it seems Debian has been willing to take the same position.
And now some significant time has passed - 2 years or more?
There are certain time periods which are also significant legally,
such as 7 years for example.
After a couple of years, it can and would be argued that Oracle had
full and fair, and entirely public notice, that Ubuntu (and now
others including Debian) are distributing ZFS in certain ways, and
if they now brought a court case after such substantial period of
time, that could be argued to be bad faith on their part - they
should have spoken up earlier. This is not necessarily binding or
conclusive in the favour of Ubuntu, as final decisions are a matter
for the courts.
BUT, duty of care, and tacit consent over various time durations, are
real, actual legal concepts and significant depending on the specific
circumstances of any particular case.
And of course, and especially in the case of Truecrypt/ Veracrypt, it
is entirely likely, especially after a substantial couple of years of
careful and comprehensive public notice, that no court case would
That's as good an outcome as we can collectively achieve, and IMEHO,
an outcome worth doing.
Timid snowflakes need not apply, and especially those who (prefer
to?) live in fear, please consider carefully the world you wish to
create, going forward, and how your words affect the thinking of
others and ultimately how your words affect our shared common
Good luck, and remember, you -do- in fact help create your world with
every thought, every word, every deed and every emotion.
So let's spend our attention, our thoughts and our deeds wisely,
assuming the highest intentions in our fellow Souls in this shared