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Re: samba license change



On Wed, 2007-10-10 at 18:57 -0500, Chris Adams wrote:
> Once upon a time, Simo Sorce <ssorce redhat com> said:
> > On Wed, 2007-10-10 at 13:21 -0800, Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> > > But Nicolas has stated my murkier concern. If we just drop re-licensed
> > > libsmbclient into place with no enforced technical break like a soname
> > > change or a library renaming, are we acting negligently with regard to
> > > protecting our own users who consume pieces of rawhide to suppliment
> > > F7 or soon to be F8? If the re-licensed code can just drop into place,
> > > are we encouraging users to violate the license at runtime by making
> > > it too easy to use the re-licensing binary in situations where its
> > > inappropriate?
> > 
> > Short answer: no
> 
> So what if KDE used a private copy of libsmclient.so.0 (from 3.0 so
> GPLv2) during build but didn't ship it?  As long as the newer version is
> ABI compatible (even if the license isn't), is there a violation?  I'm
> sure some would say it is a violation of the spirit, but is there a
> technical violation?
> 
> If so, where is the violation?  Where does it physically occur?
> 
> I haven't read GPLv3 closely, but "linking" doesn't appear anywhere in
> GPLv2 except in a single note in the appendix (not in the license terms
> itself).  Everything else in GPLv2 talks about derivative works.
> Arguably, KDE's use of libsmbclient is a derivative work of a GPLv2
> product.  As long as the interface to that product doesn't change (so
> KDE's use of the product doesn't change), KDE could claim to be a
> derivative work of the GPLv2 product.  Samba is NOT changing the ABI, so
> any derivative works (that are derivative by action of using the
> libsmbclient.so.0 interface) can still claim to be derivatives of only
> the GPLv2 library.
> 
> I'm really curious about this (not just trying to still the flames): if
> a GPLv2-only program is linked against a GPLv2 (or 2+) library and the
> library switches to GPLv3 (or 3+), who is violating the license?  Use
> (e.g. an end-user actually loading the KDE binary that dynamically links
> against libsmbclient.so.0) is not covered by the GPLv2, so the end-user
> is not violating it (because they aren't distributing).  A distributor
> could be building against a GPLv2 version of the library but only
> distributing the GPLv3 version; is that a violation (why)?

Far from being a flame.
Your question is perfectly legitimate, but I don't think there is
anybody on this list with enough legal expertise to answer.
We need legal advice to be able to answer this question.

Simo.


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