[aur-general] Notification of GPL violation

Manhong Dai daimh at umich.edu
Fri May 21 20:25:49 UTC 2021

On Fri, May 21, 2021, 2:30 PM Daniel Berjón Díez via aur-general <
aur-general at lists.archlinux.org> wrote:

> Hi ente,
> On Fri, 21 May 2021 at 19:11, ente via aur-general <
> aur-general at lists.archlinux.org> wrote:
> > 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.
> >
> As far as I know, GPL governs how you can modify and distribute the
> modifications, it does not place any restrictions on what you may want to
> do to the software for your own use. The AUR does not distribute any
> modified version of the software, it merely provides a recipe for users to
> freely use or not.
> >
> > 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.
> Yes, but the volume of what you copy compared to the whole of the original
> creation does matter in copyright law. Even in Oracle v. Google (
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_LLC_v._Oracle_America,_Inc.#Decision
> )
> that consideration was one of the factors that led SCOTUS to rule that
> copying the whole Java API was fair use, even if Google did it with a
> prospect of profit. Those three lines by themselves serve absolutely no
> meaningful purpose and can hardly be considered a copyright violation.

Google vs Oracle is not a broad decision as its opinion says "In reaching
this result, the Court does not overturn or modify its earlier
cases involving fair use. "

Further, as Daniel already pointed out, this case is just about API. The
opinion says "The copied lines of code are part of a “user interface” that
provides a way for programmers to access prewritten computer code through
the use of simple commands. As a result, this code is different from many
other types of code, ..."

IMHO, as it is very tricky to distribute a patch file without copyright, a
better solution for AUR maintainers is to creat patch files including the
upstream  copyright and then host the files somewhere else. AUR will not be
liable to such legal headache anymore, and the patch file owner enjoys the
deserved credit all by himself while taking the full liability too. After
all, AUR seems to be a public community for now and TU works for free for
now too.


> Daniel

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