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Re: localedata (non-)copyright policy from FSF
- From: Keld Simonsen <keld at keldix dot com>
- To: Roland McGrath <roland at hack dot frob dot com>
- Cc: "GNU C. Library" <libc-alpha at sourceware dot org>,libc-locales at sourceware dot org, license-internal at fsf dot org
- Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2013 01:39:14 +0200
- Subject: Re: localedata (non-)copyright policy from FSF
- References: <20130220215701.B263F2C0A7@topped-with-meat.com><20130220223814.GA1936@rap.rap.dk>
I am afraid that this policy will backfire on FSF and
our locale activities. If FSF would remove the GNU v2
copyrights on these locales, other organisation with more lawyers
and deeper pockets may take over the copyrights, and bar
the locales to be used in glibc. It is quite questionable
that the proposed FSF position will hold in court.
Why risk this? It is a much better and proven way forward to
apply the right licenses to the material.
On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 12:38:14AM +0200, Keld Simonsen wrote:
> I have copyrights on many of these locales, and I will contact a lawyer
> to see that my copyrights are respected.
> I think your way of trying to resolve this issue is not adequate.
> I have relesed my locales under GPL v2.
> I am willing to proceed with updating the texts with a revised
> copyright clause.
> I am aware of a number of other contributers, whuch would not see mildly
> on the infringement of ther copyrights.
> Best regards
> Keld Simonsen
> On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 01:57:01PM -0800, Roland McGrath wrote:
> > I got this from <email@example.com> under
> > Subject: [gnu.org #804286] GLIBC Locales Files
> > I've refilled the paragraphs to be readable.
> > My response is below the next divider line.
> > =====
> > Several free software projects have written to us recently about licensing
> > issues regarding locales files in GLIBC. Currently, many of these files
> > contain brief, contradictory, confusing and occasionally non-free licensing
> > statements.
> > While the Free Software Foundation requires assignment on copyrightable
> > contributions to GLIBC, we have never sought or received assignment from
> > contributors on GLIBC locales files. This is because we had previously
> > determined that such files were not subject to copyright protection.
> > Our counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center has also reviewed the
> > situation, and determined that these files are not the sort of work that
> > falls under copyright protection.
> > Given the problems involved in leaving these licensing statements in the
> > files, as well as our longtime understanding that such files are not
> > copyrightable, we want to undertake a project to remove these licensing
> > statements from all GLIBC locales files. Given the time and effort put into
> > creating these files, we wanted to give locales file creators a chance to
> > give feedback before implementing this change. Debian has already
> > undertaken a project to contact these creators to get them to update the
> > licensing, and has had some success
> > <http://www.helgefjell.de/debianitem.php?name=bug555168&language=en>. This
> > bug explains a bit more background on the situation
> > <http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=555168> as well. Any help
> > you could provide in tracking down current contact info for the
> > contributors on those files would be greatly appreciated.
> > Once we have the contact info, we are going to set about contacting the
> > contributors to let them know that we want to update the licensing of these
> > files to the following:
> > "This file is a part of GLIBC and contains locale data.The Free
> > Software Foundation does not claim any copyright interest in the locale
> > data contained in this file. The foregoing does not affect the license of
> > GLIBC as a whole. It does not exempt you from the conditions of the license
> > if your use would otherwise be governed by that license."
> > While we work on that process, if any new locales files are created, please
> > make sure to use this updated permission. Thank you so much for all the
> > work you do, and please let me know if you have any questions, or if you
> > have information that would be helpful in this process.
> > --
> > Sincerely,
> > Donald R. Robertson, III, J.D.
> > Copyright & Licensing Associate
> > Free Software Foundation
> > 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor
> > Boston, MA 02110, USA
> > Phone +1-617-542-5942
> > Fax +1-617-542-2652
> > =====
> > In the current source tree, only four of the 300ish localedata files
> > contain any formal copyright notice (i.e. contain the word
> > "copyright" at all). Three of those four all use the same license
> > text (a simple X/BSD sort), and the fourth says only, "Distribution
> > and use is free, also for commercial purposes." Two other files
> > say, "This file is under the GNU General Public License." but those
> > have no actual copyright notices. Many others say something short
> > like: "Distribution and use is free, also for commercial purposes."
> > I don't know where your information "many of these files contain
> > brief, contradictory, confusing and occasionally non-free licensing
> > statements" came from. It does not comport with the reality I see
> > today.
> > > "This file is a part of GLIBC and contains locale data.The Free
> > > Software Foundation does not claim any copyright interest in the locale
> > > data contained in this file. The foregoing does not affect the license
> > > of GLIBC as a whole. It does not exempt you from the conditions of the
> > > license if your use would otherwise be governed by that license."
> > No formal text we use says "GLIBC". It all says, "the GNU C Library".
> > If we were to add boilerplate text to the files, it would be in keeping
> > with the standards for such text elsewhere in our sources, and look like:
> > % This file is part of the GNU C Library and contains locale data.
> > % The Free Software Foundation does not claim any copyright interest
> > % in the locale data contained in this file. The foregoing does not
> > % affect the license of the GNU C Library as a whole. It does not
> > % exempt you from the conditions of the license if your use would
> > % otherwise be governed by that license.
> > (The % is the comment character in that source file format.)
> > You can peruse the current localedata source files at:
> > http://sourceware.org/git/?p=glibc.git;a=tree;f=localedata/locales;hb=HEAD
> > Thanks,
> > Roland