[aur-general] Notification of GPL violation

Manhong Dai daimh at umich.edu
Sat May 22 19:53:40 UTC 2021

On Sat, May 22, 2021, 2:52 PM Yangjun Wang via aur-general <
aur-general at lists.archlinux.org> wrote:

> On 5/21/21 7:48 PM, Manhong Dai via aur-general wrote:
> >
> > On Fri, 2021-05-21 at 19:34 +0200, Ralf Mardorf via aur-general wrote:
> >> On Fri, 21 May 2021 12:37:05 -0400, Manhong Dai wrote:
> >>> I still think even 'sensible modifications' is still a modification,
> >>> especially if the original author has an issue with it.
> >> Yesno ;)!  There are GPL vs BSD license disputes for no good reasons.
> >> How Pooterish can we go? As long as the world revolves around us, we
> >> are
> >> altruistic, but as soon as it isn't like that, nobody should expect
> >> that we continue acting altruistic? IOW should become 'free'
> >> and/or 'altruistic' just (an) empty word(s)? A 'sensible modification'
> >> is a 'sensible modification', it shouldn't be overrated.
> > Good point! We do already have plenty of 'open source/free' licenses to
> > pick from.
> >
> > I also think we can agree that the original programmer/owner must have
> > picked a particular license for a reason. Obviously, the original
> > programmer/owner has a different understanding about 'sensible
> > modification' here.
> Not a lawyer here, but here is my opinion on the matter.
> I do not remember the GPL license stating anything about "sensible
> modifications", and while I do partly understand how some people are not
> happy about the certain clauses in some of these licenses, it is
> important to remember that these licenses have legal effects, while
> individual opinions on what modifications are "sensible" and what are
> not do not have any legal effect in most cases. Personal opinions for or
> against the chosen license do not excuse anyone from disobeying the
> license as long as the license applies (of which the details may vary
> depending on the country), in the same way "I hate person X" is in not
> an (legally) accepted reason for killing the particular person in most
> cases, although this comparison might be a bit extreme.
> Basically, if you have anything against the license of a software, write
> to the author about it or do not use the software. Period.

Thanks a lot for confirming my opinion!

I have been  'spamming' this list since yesterday as I feel some package
maintainers and even TUs have a interesting understanding about copyright.
I learned that their reasons are  'law is also spirit', 'gpl means
freedom', or even 'different culture', etc.....

I understand freedom as the freedom of choice so we can pick one from many
similar open source software, instead of the freedom of using whatever
software I like.

Not to mention that the copyright holder already complained in this
particular case, and the package maintainer did use a patch file, which
always includes the original source code. Upside is it seems the package
maintainer already fixed it.

Are the few lines of original code in a patch file copyrightable? Even in
the recent Oracle v. Google case, which is very narrow decision and only
about '0.4 percent of the entire API', six justices said "We shall assume,
but purely for argument’s sake, that the entire Sun Java API falls within
the definition of that which can be copyrighted." Page 15 the court
opinion. And the two dissenting justices further said "Is declaring code
protected by copyright? I would hold that it is." Page 4 of the dissenting


> > That being said, I always hope AUR can have as little conflicts like
> > this as possible, so I can continuously benefit from Arch Linux.
> >
> > Best,
> > Manhong


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