helpdmidecode - Support: sr #110184, Question: adding dual-licensing...

 
 

sr #110184: Question: adding dual-licensing support to the project (i.e. adding permissive license)

Submitter:  Matthew Giassa <mgiassa>
Submitted:  Sat 25 Jan 2020 03:13:26 PM UTC
 
Category:  None Priority:  5 - Normal
Severity:  1 - Wish Status:  Wont Do
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  khali
Open/Closed:  Closed Operating System:  None
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Mon 27 Jan 2020 03:34:58 PM UTC, comment #5: 

Ticket can be closed.

Matthew Giassa <mgiassa>
Mon 27 Jan 2020 03:34:20 PM UTC, comment #4: 

>> The GPL is about the source code, not the use of the tool. So I simply do not
>> understand your point about the risk, liability or propagating nature when it
>> just comes to including the dmidecode tool anywhere. You can build        
>> dmidecode and use it in any project regardless of the overall license of said
>> project.  All you need to do to comply with the GPL is provide the source   
>> code of dmidecode to your users upon request...                             

Under other circumstances, I would agree 100%. However, a couple of my clients 
have strict legal requirements that any GPLv2 based projects that are bundled  
into their products cannot be modified by a employee/contractor while that     
employee is working on their products, regardless of whether or not it's a     
standalone application, a library that is linked dynamically versus statically,
etc.                                                                           

It boils down to a "specific interpretation of the language of the GPL" (legal 
team spent a long time arriving at this conclusion), and any software that     
doesn't comply with these requirements is considered "tainted". If the project 
is solely licensed under GPLv2, LGPLv2; it's disqualified if it has changes    
present. Employee-modified software under the GPLv3/LGPLv3 is disqualified     
outright (i.e. even if dual-licensed), and Apache 2.0 and MIT are the only     
permissive licenses (so far) that get special treatment.                       

>> If you are talking about forking the code to include it in another tool, then
>> yes the GPL propagates. But forking is bad so I'm not going to do anything to
>> make it easier. If there's any improvement you would like to contribute to  
>> dmidecode, then please send patches to the list and they will be reviewed and
>> discussed there.                                                            

That's fair. I view forking as a last-ditch approach (i.e. if I want to add a  
major feature and the maintainers don't want it in mainline; only comes up when
there are differences in ideologies/priorities).                               

>> The only licensing change I will ever consider for dmidecode is if we ever
>> split the DMI table parser to a shared library, then that library would be 
>> licensed under the LGPL. Dmidecode itself is and will remain licensed under
>> the GPL.                                                                   

If the intent is to keep the project solely licensed under the GPLv2, 
there's nothing more to say. That being said, thank you for your time and      
feedback.                                                                      

Matthew Giassa <mgiassa>
Mon 27 Jan 2020 08:35:46 AM UTC, comment #3: 

The GPL is about the source code, not the use of the tool. So I simply do not understand your point about the risk, liability or propagating nature when it just comes to including the dmidecode tool anywhere. You can build dmidecode and use it in any project regardless of the overall license of said project. All you need to do to comply with the GPL is provide the source code of dmidecode to your users upon request.

If you are talking about forking the code to include it in another tool, then yes the GPL propagates. But forking is bad so I'm not going to do anything to make it easier. If there's any improvement you would like to contribute to dmidecode, then please send patches to the list and they will be reviewed and discussed there.

The only licensing change I will ever consider for dmidecode is if we ever split the DMI table parser to a shared library, then that library would be licensed under the LGPL. Dmidecode itself is and will remain licensed under the GPL.

Jean Delvare <khali>
Project Administrator
Sun 26 Jan 2020 09:01:08 PM UTC, comment #2: 

comment #1:

> I can't think of any reason why I would want to do that. What's the point?


It would permit additional use cases for "dmidecode" where the GPL is too much of a risk/liability (i.e. due to its propagating nature) to permit for the inclusion of said tool.

Also, if certain features (e.g. my other ticket on adding YAML support) aren't approved/desired by the maintainers, forking the project (so I can add said features) with a dual-licensing option is far preferable to doing so solely with the GPL alone in place (more flexibility with how the project is re-used).

Matthew Giassa <mgiassa>
Sun 26 Jan 2020 08:52:12 PM UTC, comment #1: 

I can't think of any reason why I would want to do that. What's the point?

Jean Delvare <khali>
Project Administrator
Sat 25 Jan 2020 03:13:26 PM UTC, original submission:  

Good day,

Would the project owners/maintainers consider the addition of a second license to the project, so that it can be dual-licensed (i.e. end-user elects to go with either the existing copy-left GPLv2, or could potentially instead opt to go with a permissive license, like Apache 2.0 or MIT).

Matthew Giassa <mgiassa>

 

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    Follow 5 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2020-01-27 khali StatusNeed Info Wont Do
        Open/ClosedOpen Closed
    2020-01-26 khali Severity3 - Normal 1 - Wish
        StatusNone Need Info
        Assigned toNone khali

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