[aur-general] Notification of GPL violation

Manhong Dai daimh at umich.edu
Sat May 22 20:35:02 UTC 2021

On Sat, May 22, 2021, 4:15 PM Miguel Revilla Rodríguez via aur-general <
aur-general at lists.archlinux.org> wrote:

> El sáb, 22 may 2021 a las 21:57, Manhong Dai (<daimh at umich.edu>) escribió:
> >
> > I repectfully disagree. In this case the package maintainer had a patch
> > file which includes some source code.
> >
> > Thus, Arch AUR is distributing modified source code.
> >
> Yep, it is distributing source code published under the GPL-3 license in a
> way that it cannot be confused at all with the original code, not in form,
> not in name, and certainly not in usability (that patch, by itself, is
> pretty much useless if it is not applied to something) so, respectfully too
> (cannot be in a different way), the patch file fully complies with the
> GPL-3, as the patching only happens in a "not public" environment, which is
> very different of, for example, distributing the patched sources without
> notice that it is not what upstream is originally publishing. Anyway, the
> original complaint was about "modifying" (i.e., patching) the software
> while keeping the original name, and not about distributing a few lines of
> the original code in the form of a patch. The former is simply not
> happening (at least not in the AUR/Arch "domains"), the latter wasn't even
> mentioned by the OP/upstream and wouldn't be a violation of the license
> either.

I fully agree with that the copyright holder doesn't have any ground if he
is complaining about that the package maintainer shouldn't modify it.

But if he is complaining about  how the patch file should be distributed, I
think he does have a ground to sue, as a patch file constitutes a modified
source code and then subjects to many limitation of GPL. For example, does
the package maintainer carry an 'appropriate copyright notice' as in


Unfortunately, I don't know if there is any cases about the patch files.
This will be interesting!


> Best

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