[aur-general] ...

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Mon May 24 11:43:56 UTC 2021

On 5/22/21 4:35 PM, Manhong Dai via aur-general wrote:
> I fully agree with that the copyright holder doesn't have any ground if 
> 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
> https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#IWantCredit
> Unfortunately, I don't know if there is any cases about the patch files.
> This will be interesting!

Who is this about? The noisetorch software, or the sge software? And
what even is this???

> 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.
In the former case the noisetorch copyright owner didn't state "I want
credit" for the patch hunk containing copyrighted lines. So there is no
point in arguing about whether or not distributing a patch file is fair
use of the copyrighted code, or counts as obviously crediting the owner
"because anyone capable of reading a patch also realizes that the
copyright can be referenced by looking at the source code it is
downloaded alongside".

Because... the author didn't demand credit.

If this is about sge, then first off I don't understand why you're
replying to the noisetorch thread.

Second, my understanding is you, the purported copyright holder, do not
in fact own the *original source code* for sge copyright, it is
dave.love's modifications to Sun's original IP.

The question of whether you can claim copyright violation over a copy of
3 lines of the *original* source code in the diff hunk not having a
copyright header, is irrelevant again, because dave.love didn't complain
about the sge copyright.

So... we're back to the question I mentioned in my first response, "do
the changes, not the *original* source code, constitute a creative work
eligible for copyright"?

I humbly submit to the court of public opinion that, though I did not
actually look at your patches to find out, I'm of the opinion that they
must not be a creative work eligible for copyright.

Because. If you *thought* it was a creative work eligible for copyright?

You would not be WASTING EVERYONE'S TIME discussing inanities like
whether or not someone's copyright is being violated if as a side effect
of the "patch" technology some fragments of source code you don't own
are being distributed!

I completely, utterly, 100% do not care in any way shape or form what
you think about the general idea of patch files not containing copyright
headers for the original source code which they are modifying (larger
than the rest of the file, even). It's probably covered by fair use. To
be certain, I don't think I've ever once seen anyone put copyright
headers on patch files in order to advertise the license of half-baked
fragments of context diffs worth of the original project's
pre-modification source code. You do NOT have the right to declare for
other people whether other people believe their copyright is being violated.

If, for software which you own the copyright to, you demand people
include your copyright text any time they reuse your code by including
it in the surrounding context of a patch file, then it's not worth my
time to litigate with you, whether it is fair use or whatnot. I'll
include an insultingly rude preamble e.g.

"The author of the original source code which this patch modifies, is a
butthead that insisted I include full copyright notices for 3 lines of
diff context used under fair use to tell the patch program how to apply
my changes. This is patently nonsense and the author is clearly just
trying to stir up trouble. The software is of course licensed under the
license in the linked archive of, you know, actual code -- to which this
patch of mine must be applied in order to be used. Since I cannot be
bothered to argue this drivel, here are 674 lines worth of your free
copy of the GPL, after which you can find 6 lines of above-licensed
code, surrounding one line which is copyrighted by me and licensed under
the terms of the
I hope you enjoy reading through all that GPL before finding this tiny
patch. Don't worry! You can read it again once you download the original
project code too.

P.S. This is why we can't have nice things."

Because the GPL only tells me how I may use the code, it doesn't forbid
me from calling you a butthead on the side.

All this is, of course, if we are actually talking about a project you
produce (not a patch to someone else's project), and assumes I care
enough about your project to actually persist in trying to use it rather
than simply abandoning your project by the wayside and finding some
other project to suit my needs -- one written by someone who is
satisfied with producing code and demanding I distribute notice of the
overall license, but doesn't care how I "license" bits and scraps of his
code distributed in the accompanying patch file.

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

This email is original creative work © 2021 Eli Schwartz, and licensed
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, and may not be
reproduced in whole or in part, not even one word of it, unless you
mention this copyright notice and, per the terms of the license,
reproduce a copy of the license. Or unless fair use exists, lol.

Since I'm a lazy tush and also the IP holder, I don't care about
following the license myself, and shall merely point you to

Furthermore, people not named Manhong Dai are hereby exempted from the
GU FDL, and may do whatever they darn well please.

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