[aur-general] Notification of GPL violation
brett at i--b.com
Fri May 21 16:50:15 UTC 2021
On 2021-05-21 11:54, Manhong Dai via aur-general wrote:
>I know I will be the minority in this list. However, this statement
>doesn't sound right to me if the patch file is applied to the original
>Unlike the file PKGBUILD, a patch file constitutes a modified source
>code because it does include some original code. No matter whether the
>modification is for use, or operation, or just even a typo fix, GPLV3
>section 5 "Conveying Modified Source Versions"  doesn't distinguish
>I had a similar experience in terms of the AUR package SGE. I put my
>source code modification into a single patch file and put it to AUR
>git. Without my modification, SGE won't work with latest Linux anymore.
>However, due to an AUR website bug confirmed by a TU, the package was
>taken over without any emails sent to me.
>After a lot of back and force with the second maintainer, I finally
>gave up re-owning the package or making the software better within AUR.
>Instead I asked the second maintainer to add my name to the single
>patch file so I get the credit I deserve. However, the second
>maintainer denied that. He split the patch into many small patch files
>without my name in any of them, and insists that it is enough to have
>my name as the first AUR package maintainer. Then I asked him to remove
>my code modification, also was denied.
>Then I tried to ask TU to remove the package many times, all TUs denied
>my request, except the last TU deleted all those small patch files
>after he understood this is a serious copyright violation issue.
>Here is my understanding about those copyright conflicts. If you
>modified any source code, then GPL license will be applied, you have to
>copy the original copyright without any modification and then add
>yours, just as section 4 in GPL v3 says "You may convey verbatim copies
>of the Program's source code as you receive it"
>It is understandable that many AUR maintainers, or programmers like
>myself, don't know the details and often violates some copyright law
>more or less. We are lucky that most upstream programmers don't mind
>it. But, should such issue arise, I would do my best to make the
>upstream programmer happy or just find another alternative software.
>I know I am the minority in this list because the AUR SGE got two up-
>votes ironically after it didn't work anymore, and the second
>maintainer is even promoting the binary version based on my
>modification on some other repos. But, life is too short, I can live
>with it. I am writing this email because I just hope my painful
>experience can help this list know copyright better.
I think that's a valid angle to bring up!
FWIW, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROM_hacking#Distribution and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unofficial_patch#Law may be of interest.
If a litigious company like Nintendo hasn't gotten courts to stamp out
romhack patches I'm not sure this little software project poses any
The upstream developer merely has an axe to grind against those that
don't take openly-available code and use it in ways they intend. To that
end, beating their chest with vague legal threats is an attempt at
dominance rather than any pursuance of legal justice.
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