Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 13:21:21 -0700 From: Christopher Lane <lanechr@...il.com> To: Rich Felker <dalias@...c.org> Cc: musl@...ts.openwall.com Subject: Re: musl licensing On Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 1:03 PM, Rich Felker <dalias@...c.org> wrote: > On Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 10:21:25AM -0700, Christopher Lane wrote: > > >> If this is still bothering them, would it make them happy to put some > > >> "end of legal text" marking above that paragraph? > > > > > > > > Short answer: not really, no. > > > > Long answer: every time I mention this to them, I get the same answer. > If > > the license file includes any ambiguity by including things like > > speculation on the copyrightability of the work, it's safer for us to > just > > avoid it. The potential penalties for copyright infringement are > > astronomical. > > > > I understand (and agree) that the COPYRIGHT file is the most natural > place > > to put comments on whether content should be copyrighted, but these are > not > > merely inert comments. Like code, a license file needs to be correct > > before it can be convenient. Introducing text like "It is our belief and > > intent that these files ... would not be subject to copyright" is > > equivalent to introducing undefined behavior because we just don't know > how > > a court might interpret it. You wouldn't be satisfied with that > ambiguity > > in your code; I'm asking you to treat your license the same way. > > > > Listen, if we're asking you for too much, I get it. This is not our > > project. We didn't pour years into it, you did, and you have to do what > > you think is right. If it's beyond your personal ethics to claim > copyright > > over the trivial files and public headers you wrote, then that's the way > it > > is. I'll be sad, but we'll deal with it. > > > > Or, if you want, I can set up a chat with one of our lawyers for you. > I've > > been so far unable to convince them to bend on this, but maybe you'll > have > > better luck. You're certainly welcome to try, anyway. > > I would like that. I really want to make this work, but I do not want > to be taking arbitrary demands to scrub expression of opinion. > Awesome. I emailed you separately to determine logistics. > > Some specific questions for them, which we could discuss directly or > which you could convey to them first if you like: > I'll forward these on ahead of time so he can have good answers prepared. > > 1. If the problem is file boundaries ("if the license file > contains..."), would this be any different if there were no "license > file", only one big README, and both texts (statement of opinion, and > copyright/license statements) were in the same file but separated by > section headers? I'm not really proposing doing that (although it's > one potential silly solution) but rather trying to draw out the > absurdity (as I see it) of deeming text that specificially says it's > NOT license text as if it were just because it's in the same file. > > 2. Taking that in the other direction, what good does it do burying a > record of our beliefs about the matter? It's not like we can erase > past statements. Taking the text out of the COPYRIGHT file increases > its distance in space and time from the license text, but it doesn't > change the fact that they were published together in the past. If > anything I think it's a disservice to parties who are (IMO wrongly) > concerned about the implications of such beliefs not to disclose them. > Having clarified text in the same place puts emphasis on the intent > that they not conflict and that we actually put effort into clarifying > where there was a perceived conflict. > > 3. I understand lawyers want to minimize risk. I don't understand how > a statement of opinion that, if it were deemed relevant and deemed > true by a court, would imply that we (actually nobody) has standing to > sue creates any risk. To use the UB analogy, when someone reports a > claim of UB, we actually want to see a code path that leads to UB > happening (without UB already having occurred by violating an > interface requirement), not just a claim like "if variables X and Y > have values A and B, UB results". Of course if there's a proposed > change that's simpler and doesn't require tracking down if UB actually > occurs, we'd just consider that outright, but when the current code > has advantages, there should be a real motivation to change it. If > we're going to treat the matter here as a "bug report" against the > COPYRIGHT file, I want to have an understanding of the alleged bug. > > 4. I'd also like to understand what the claim-copyright vs > not-claim-copyright distinction they're making is. As an analogy, > suppose I've written a math textbook containing "1+1=2" in it. The > statement "1+1=2" is most certainly not subject to copyright, and my > saying that (within the text or outside it) does not draw into > question the copyright status of the textbook. I really don't see any > difference between this example and what we're saying here with > regards to these files. We are claiming copyright (and asserting a > right to do so) for the work as a whole. The statement of opinion is > on the matter of these files taken by themselves. If the problem is > just that this isn't clear, maybe there's a trivial way to clarify > that and make everybody happy. > > I know this has been a tedious process of back-and-forth and is using > lots more time (on both of our sides) than we'd probably like. But I > do want to see something good come out of it. Let's arrange a chat > with the lawyers (this probably can/should be done off-list) and see > what comes out of it. > > Rich > Content of type "text/html" skipped
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