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Re: [libvirt PATCH 00/20] Use SPDX-License-Identifier

On a Tuesday in 2020, Eric Blake wrote:
On 8/4/20 12:33 PM, Daniel P. Berrangé wrote:
On Tue, Aug 04, 2020 at 07:22:40PM +0200, Ján Tomko wrote:
Replace the license blurb in every single file with:
  SPDX-License-Identifier: <human-readable-string>
Coincidentally, this is also machine readable.

I've requested legal clarification previously on whether doing this
kind of replacement is possible.

Thank you for asking that.
I was assmuing based on https://gitlab.com/libvirt/libvirt-ci/-/merge_requests/39
where you only objected to the copyright change that such change in
the license blurb is okay.

The response I got was that it is
NOT acceptable unless you have the permission of all copyright
holders on the source files. The terms of the GPL require that
license notices are not modified. Replacing this header with the
SPDX tag counts as modification, even though its essentially
just a different way of presenting the same information.

NB, the fact that the kernel did such a conversion is not on its
own, a sufficient ok for doing it in libvirt, as we don't see
the prep work/analysis/discussions that led into the kernel's

I'm sorry, I haven't been following the kernel lists. Given that
the consent of *all* the contributors is needed, should I just
drop the idea or would you be open to acking the changes where
you are one of the contributors (IOW: libvirt)

So NACK to this change.

While wholesale replacement of the text is legally problematic, _adding_ the SPDX tag (in addition to what is already present), should not be an issue, if you want to respin a lighter-weight patch along those lines.

That might be beneficial in the GPL-v3+ cases. Possibly GPL-v2+ cases
(as opposed to LGPL-v2+ cases) to single them out.

I don't see the point in libvirt adding more of cruft while not removing


Eric Blake, Principal Software Engineer
Red Hat, Inc.           +1-919-301-3226
Virtualization:  qemu.org | libvirt.org

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