User: Password:
|
|
Subscribe / Log in / New account

Red Hat and the GPL

Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 9, 2011 21:03 UTC (Wed) by sepreece (guest, #19270)
In reply to: Red Hat and the GPL by RogerOdle
Parent article: Red Hat and the GPL

"3. The GPL requires RedHat to share the source of the final product that is distributed with those it distributes to. Those receiving that source can use common GNU tools for building patches themselves, though this will not help them understand much about why the differences are there."

Minor caveat: This is true IFF the files have diligently been marked up, as required by the license, with the nature of the changes made to them in each successive change and all of those markings (if there are multiple changes in a file) have been preserved. If, as is often the case, that information is only in the changelog, then you can't reconstruct the successive patches, but only a single patch that applies the net result of the whole sequence of changes to a particular file.


(Log in to post comments)

Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 9, 2011 22:05 UTC (Wed) by RogerOdle (subscriber, #60791) [Link]

In regards to the GPL, the only requirement I can see to report changes to the source is

"5. Conveying Modified Source Versions.
a) The work must carry prominent notices stating that you modified it, and giving a relevant date."

and optional requirement

"7. Additional Terms.
c) Prohibiting misrepresentation of the origin of that material, or requiring that modified versions of such material be marked in reasonable ways as different from the original version;"

Neither of these imposes an obligation to provide detailed accounting of changes or to produce patches.

The only GPL requirement that I can see is to produce the source code that is necessary to build the binary product.

If there is a patch requirement then it is by agreement outside of the GPL. This does not mean that a source distribution requirement can not be satisfied by distributing a patch. It is probably more efficient to do so. But I do not see that as a legal requirement.

If you can find a legal requirement in the GPL to produce patches then please show us. Let us try to avoid creating opportunities for FUD by declaring obligations that aren't there.

I am uncomfortable with implied obligations in contracts. If you think patch reporting is an important enough of a burden to impose on developers then ask the community to add it to the next version of the GPL in an unambiguous manner. I think this is just opening a can of worms.

Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 9, 2011 22:14 UTC (Wed) by corbet (editor, #1) [Link]

You are looking at GPLv3! Given that the context here is the kernel, you really need to be looking at GPLv2.

Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 9, 2011 22:59 UTC (Wed) by pebolle (subscriber, #35204) [Link]

> Given that the context here is the kernel, you really need to be looking at GPLv2.

Though, if one is discussing a problem with GPLv2 one might look at the GPLv3 to see if, and how, the author of the GPLv2 (the FSF) tried to solve that specific problem in the GPLv3. So it could provide reasons for a certain interpretation of the GPLv2.

Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 10, 2011 1:34 UTC (Thu) by branden (guest, #7029) [Link]

Mr. Corbet is spot-on here.

Linus Torvalds quite deliberately chose to go with version 2 of the GNU GPL, and not any other version. Certainly not "any later version, as published by the Free Software Foundation".

It'd be a funny old world if this matter ended up in court and the judge accepted RMS as an expert witness to expound upon the rationale behind the GNU GPL, while refusing to hear from Linus Torvalds, the leading copyright holder in the work in question.

(N.B., for all I know, Linus is 100% cool with Red Hat's move. If the TiVo lockdown didn't bother him, I don't know what would.)

Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 11, 2011 17:31 UTC (Fri) by dwmw2 (subscriber, #2063) [Link]

GPLv2 actually requires more here than GPLv3. Although GPLv3 only requires the work as a whole to carry a prominent notice that you modified it, GPLv2 requires it of individual modified files:
    a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices
    stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.
Distributing the original source plus the patches would meet this requirement, at least in spirit — although perhaps one could argue that for the modified files to carry prominent notices you'd actually have to insert obnoxious comments into the files themselves, rather than providing that information "out-of-band" in the patch set.

Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 18, 2011 19:06 UTC (Fri) by mishad (guest, #69757) [Link]

> Although GPLv3 only requires the work as a whole to carry a prominent notice that you modified it, GPLv2 requires it of individual modified files:

Does that mean that GPLv2 is incompatible with GPLv3.?

That is, that GPLv2 code cannot be incorporated into a GPLv3 derived work, because of the "no additional restrictions" clause?

Surely not?

Red Hat and the GPL

Posted Mar 18, 2011 19:24 UTC (Fri) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

Yes, it does mean precisely that. Unless a codebase is licensed under GPLv2 or later, it typically cannot be incorporated with GPLv3 code.

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:Main#GPL_Compatib...


Copyright © 2017, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds