[packagekit] Compilation error

Richard Hughes hughsient at gmail.com
Thu Oct 11 10:52:54 PDT 2007

On Thu, 2007-10-11 at 12:35 +0200, Tom Parker wrote:
> Somewhat. I'm not fond of dual-licensing, because of the inherent
> problem that a later user will decide that they only want to license
> under one of the licenses and any changes they make can't then be
> easily folded back into the earlier dual-licensed upstream code. I
> like the GPL because it effectively says "you get all this stuff for
> free, but if you fix stuff we want the changes back", and as I see it
> dual-licensing can potentially get in the way of that.
> I'm presuming there's probably various other people on here with
> strong opinions on this, and although there's part of me that wants to
> avoid licensing discussions, I figure we need to decide on a licensing
> policy for PackageKit in general. As I see it, the GPLv2+ licensing
> boilerplate tends to be a kinda default choice (assuming the original
> coder likes the GPL licenses), and we need to talk about whether
> that's what we want.

Right. To be clear from the start, I'm a programmer who wants to write
code and don't think licencing should get in the way. I'm also not a
lawyer or have any sort of legal training, so bear that in mind when you
read this email.

We need to choose one licence and stick to it. I chose GPLv2+ as it's
what I used in gnome-power-manager and am most familiar with, I also
think it lets us do more with the code. I don't want to even think about
BSD, only GPL is good for me.

If we want to go GPLv2, I think we have to get all contributors to
relicence (not that much of a pain at this early stage) and change ALL
source files to this new licence. If we want to go GPLv2+ then Tom has
to change the backend (at his choice) to the same thing as the other
code. I'll repeat, the whole project tree has to have one licence.

So we have two choices:

1. Tom could relicence the apt backend as GPLv2+ and we stick with
GPLv2+ as a project.
2. We could get all contributors to relicence to GPLv2 (only) and change
all the source files.

Now, I don't pretend to know the nuances of the different clauses, but
I'm guessing GPLv2+ allows people to distribute under a GPLv3 licence
and allow linking to from a GPLv3 only program. We also have to be clear
as libpackagekit has to be able to be linked with GPL2/GPL3/MIT code
without any licence violation. We could use LGPLvX(+) for the library
for this case, although I'm not sure we want proprietary software
installing stuff automatically using PackageKit.

This is very much a release blocker for 0.1.0.


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