[aur-general] Notification of GPL violation

ente ente at ck76.de
Fri May 21 17:10:57 UTC 2021

On Fri, 2021-05-21 at 18:27 +0200, Ralf Mardorf via aur-general wrote:
> Hi Manhong,
> it's squishy to form an opinion related to violation of a
> license and toleration of sensible modifications and sometimes even to
> distinguish between theft and fortuitousness.
> If you wrote a song named "love song" composed of holding the note c
> for
> 1000 beats and after that holding the note c# for another 1000 beats at
> 120 beats per minute and a year later I write two songs and name both
> "love song", too, one composed of holding the note c for 1000 beats at
> 120 beats per minute and the other one holding the note c# for 1000
> beats at 120 beats per minute. Would it make sense to argue related
> author's rights?
> Sometimes disputes make no sense. Several factors must be taken into
> account and often common sense can be used to rate, if it's worth to
> argue.
> Regards,
> Ralf

Hi Ralf,

You example is clearly missing the point. Let's unwrap. 

Scenario 1: You did not know of the other song. You coincidently create
the same song as someone else, no copyright will be applied. You simply
did not copy anything. This example is not related to GPL at all.

Scenario 2: You did know about the song. You heard it in the radio. You
liked the song, but you never actually did focus on the song trying to
count how often each tone occured, you did not exactly measure the
beats per minute, you did not search the internet for the exact details
of the song. You rather got inspired by the song. You set down, you got
creative and wrote down a brand new song which coincidently is the same
song as published a year ago. You simply did not copy anything, GPL is
not related at all.

In - broadly speaking - any other situation, you are copying. Copying
is protected by the copyright. GPL grants you rights under certain
conditions. If you don't fully comply with the restriction, you loose
the rights.

There may be a fair use policy applying in certain situations. I am not
aware, GPL grants any. As such: a patch file only containing 3 lines of
the original is already copying. Writing those 3 lines "coincidently"
is bullshit. Your purpose was never to be creative, your purpose was to
write exactly those three lines. If I could "coincidently" write the
same 3 lines in a patch file, then I could also "coincidently" type all
the bits and bytes of the latest Star Wars movie in mp4 format by
coincident and all copyright laws are dead the same second. So no, you
did not write coincidently the same lines. You did copy.

Me personally I don't like the fact that big companies (unfortunately
mine included) are earning a big pile of money using software they
download for free from the internet without ever giving anything back
to the community.

Now in this thread I got the feeling, many feel like "We are open
source. We should not be monitored too close.". Arguments came up like
"We do not distribute the software. We only distribute an installation
script.". The latter one sounds very much like PirateBay, doesn't it?

Well, if we don't obey the GPL very strictly, why should those big
companies do? Should we as members of the open source community not be
the first to actually obey the GPL?

I am not blaming Arch Linux or any TU for wrong doing. I am not blaming
anyone for anything because I am not a GPL / copyright expert. And I
know it has been fixed already.

I just feel like supporting the opinion of Manhong and clearly opposing
the mail of Ralf.

Oh, sorry to say Ralf: in any scenario you should never again consider
to write a song! That song is horrible!


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