June 24, 2014
On Jun 24, 2014, at 11:11 AM, Daniel Murphy <yebblies@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 12:59 AM, Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals <dmd-internals@puremagic.com> wrote:
> 
>> Does it mean that I can never relicense dcollections without DM's permission?
> 
> You can relicense it to anything boost is compatible with (GPL, BSD, proprietary license) but you can't remove the restrictions that are placed on it by boost.  ie You can't remove the attribution from the source and then redistribute it, whereas you could if you owned the copyright.

This is the point I was thinking about. Would a proprietary company give up this control for their own code? Put it this way: you are asking a potential contributor, who owns said code and willing to grant you boost access to it, to make Digital Mars a roadblock into using it's own code. In other words, you are saying "We're worried that you may be a roadblock if we have to relicense your code, make us a roadblock for your projects instead"

Does that seem like something they would want? It's almost like offering a neighbor to borrow your garden hose, but he says "I need you to assign ownership of the hose to me, and then I'll let you borrow it back when I'm done."

-Steve
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June 24, 2014
> On 24 jun 2014, at 17:11, Daniel Murphy via dmd-internals <dmd-internals@puremagic.com> wrote:
> 
> On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 12:59 AM, Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals <dmd-internals@puremagic.com> wrote:
>> 
>> How does this work if I assign ownership of the code to Digital Mars? Do they now own that part of dcollections?
> 
> I guess, but it doesn't really matter because you can do almost anything with it under boost without owning it.

I would think that Steven owns the copy in dcollections and Digital Mars owns the copy in Phobos.

I think Walter has done something similar to allow GDC to be included in GCC.

--
/Jacob Carlborg
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June 25, 2014
On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 1:36 AM, Jacob Carlborg <doob@me.com> wrote:
>
> I would think that Steven owns the copy in dcollections and Digital Mars owns the copy in Phobos.
>
> I think Walter has done something similar to allow GDC to be included in GCC.
>

I'm not sure.

I did find this: http://producingoss.com/en/copyright-assignment.html
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June 24, 2014
On 24 June 2014 17:14, Daniel Murphy via dmd-internals <dmd-internals@puremagic.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 1:36 AM, Jacob Carlborg <doob@me.com> wrote:
>>
>> I would think that Steven owns the copy in dcollections and Digital Mars owns the copy in Phobos.
>>
>> I think Walter has done something similar to allow GDC to be included in GCC.
>>
>
> I'm not sure.
>
> I did find this: http://producingoss.com/en/copyright-assignment.html


Incidentally Daniel, that is pretty much what I was trying to describe
to you before fleeing away for the taxi out of Aloft. ;)
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June 24, 2014
On Tuesday, June 24, 2014 16:06:29 David Nadlinger via dmd-internals wrote:
> On 24 Jun 2014, at 2:43, Andrei Alexandrescu via dmd-internals wrote:
> > If the contributor holding the copyright has a falling with D, they can do harm by suddenly changing license for their part of Phobos. I don't see any good for anyone out of this - only the right to damage D in the future if they so want.
>
> Wait, what?!
>
> To the best of my knowledge (I am not a lawyer, obviously), this fear is rooted in a misunderstanding of how software licenses work. It is true that somebody could leave D development, take the code they contributed to Phobos and release a new version under a different license. However, while it would obviously be sad to lose a contributor, it wouldn't impact the project in the slightest, because they already granted us permission to use their contributions under the Boost license.
>
> This issue seems to underlie all your arguments. Let's make sure we agree on what can happen or not before continuing the discussion.

Yeah, once the code is out there, it's out there. It can't be taken back. The original author can change the copyright to something else (even making it proprietary) and then any future changes that they make would be under that new license only, but the previous version of the code would still be out there under the old license. It's not possible for us to lose any code that we already have under Boost.

What we potentially risk losing is the ability to change the license, since that requires the permission of the copyright holder, so if we wanted to do something like switch to Boost 2 or LGPL or Grandma's Super License or whatever, we'd need to get permission. But the code itself is not at risk.

Now, given that _all_ that Boost requires is that it retain the copyright notice, I _very_ much doubt that we'll ever need to change the license. This is the entire license:

------

Boost Software License - Version 1.0 - August 17th, 2003

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person or organization obtaining a copy of the software and accompanying documentation covered by this license (the "Software") to use, reproduce, display, distribute, execute, and transmit the Software, and to prepare derivative works of the Software, and to permit third-parties to whom the Software is furnished to do so, all subject to the following:

The copyright notices in the Software and this entire statement, including the above license grant, this restriction and the following disclaimer, must be included in all copies of the Software, in whole or in part, and all derivative works of the Software, unless such copies or derivative works are solely in the form of machine-executable object code generated by a source language processor.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS OR ANYONE DISTRIBUTING THE SOFTWARE BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

------

It basically has no restrictions. So, unless we're worried about needing to add more restrictions later, there's probably not much point in worrying about needing to change the license. The one exception that I can think of is that IIRC, we had to assign the FSF copyright over the copy of the front-end for gdc in order to get it into gcc. And if we want to give someone else copyright over the code for some reason, we'd need to have copyright assignment to digital mars or some other entity that we control. So, dmd may need to continue to have copyright assigment for that reason. I don't know. But I very much doubt that we'll ever be looking to change licenses for druntime or Phobos unless they need to be given to the FSF for gcc for som reason, since Boost has no restrictions beyond requiring that the copyright be maintained. There literally isn't much in it that could be tweaked for a second version of the license, at least not without it being a very different license.

- Jonathan M Davis

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June 24, 2014
I like the CLA option, this seems like what I was describing.

As far as copyright assignment, this happens all the time in for-hire situations. Any code I develop for hire (or for instance, any music someone writes or books under contract) are assigned to the employer. I don't think the actual content creator retains any say in what can happen with that material. If a company were to purchase the copyrights to a piece of software or content, I would expect the original owner to have to relinquish all rights.

But maybe this is a different situation, and this doesn't apply. Can two people who have the exact same code hold separate and equally powerful copyrights on said code?

Either way, that situation seems more hairy to me than CLA option.

-Steve

On Jun 24, 2014, at 12:14 PM, Daniel Murphy via dmd-internals <dmd-internals@puremagic.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 1:36 AM, Jacob Carlborg <doob@me.com> wrote:
>> 
>> I would think that Steven owns the copy in dcollections and Digital Mars owns the copy in Phobos.
>> 
>> I think Walter has done something similar to allow GDC to be included in GCC.
>> 
> 
> I'm not sure.
> 
> I did find this: http://producingoss.com/en/copyright-assignment.html
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June 24, 2014
On 6/24/14, 7:59 AM, Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals wrote:
>> What if converting/relicensing it later to Boost 2.0 or some other
>> license is in the best interest of D, and due to some technicality
>> we'd need approval of all copyright holders? I don't know much
>> about copyright law, but I think we can all agree it's complicated
>> and prone to all sorts of loopholes. We can trust Walter to act in
>> the best interest of D now and in the future; the alternative on
>> the table is to trust instead an open union of persons.
>
> Much of these arguments seem to stem from ignorance and fear of the
> future. At some point, I think we need to analyze what actually can
> happen rather than assuming what can.
>
> I am not a lawyer, maybe we should involve one.

This is exactly the kind of overhead we're trying to avoid in the first place. Looks like you want to transform a triviality into an interesting legal endeavor, and on someone else's money. -- Andrei

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June 24, 2014
On Jun 24, 2014, at 2:16 PM, Andrei Alexandrescu <andrei@erdani.com> wrote:

> On 6/24/14, 7:59 AM, Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals wrote:
>>> What if converting/relicensing it later to Boost 2.0 or some other license is in the best interest of D, and due to some technicality we'd need approval of all copyright holders? I don't know much about copyright law, but I think we can all agree it's complicated and prone to all sorts of loopholes. We can trust Walter to act in the best interest of D now and in the future; the alternative on the table is to trust instead an open union of persons.
>> 
>> Much of these arguments seem to stem from ignorance and fear of the future. At some point, I think we need to analyze what actually can happen rather than assuming what can.
>> 
>> I am not a lawyer, maybe we should involve one.
> 
> This is exactly the kind of overhead we're trying to avoid in the first place. Looks like you want to transform a triviality into an interesting legal endeavor, and on someone else's money. -- Andrei
> 


I'm not the one complaining that we could be in legal trouble for doing what almost every OSS project on the planet does. Really this is kind of silly to have this debate, everything is boost, there doesn't seem to be any outstanding license issues that require movement of rights.

But things are what they are now, with DMD contributions requiring assignment, and phobos/druntime not requiring them, whether we move on in ignorance or with counsel, I'm OK with things the way they are. Please don't think I was suggesting you hire lawyers on my behalf. But I will not be assigning copyright of my phobos and druntime work to DM based on your fear I might disappear, I think the boost license is enough, and I haven't seen enough information here to say that I would be able to retain rights to such work on other projects. I've already relinquished any contributions to DMD (I think maybe once I submitted a PR to fix a typo in an error message).

Giving away all rights to hundreds of hours of work done on free time, or even at the core of someone's business may seem trivial to you, I'm not sure everyone feels that way.

-Steve
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June 24, 2014
On 6/24/2014 8:10 AM, Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals wrote:
>
> We don't really care about tango's XML library's license. It's license is incompatible (note that libmysql's license IS currently incompatible), it won't destroy D. We can survive by using a compatible XML library, or writing our own. Really the arguments are exactly the same.

I've stated numerous times that one module going awry in Phobos will not destroy D, as it can be replaced. That's a lot harder with dmd. How, for example, would Kenji's pervasive and intricate contributions be unwound?

>
> I think instead of playing a guessing game as to what some future event might do to DMD, let's first actually show what event can happen besides some nebulous unproven concerns. Living in constant fear of the unknown is not a way to plan for the future. So far, the example problems we've been given would not be solved by having sole ownership of the copyright of DMD or Phobos.
>

If Digital Mars owned the Tango XML copyright, we wouldn't be faced with rewriting it from scratch, which is the problem we have right now. We also wouldn't have had to abandon ddbg.
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June 24, 2014
On 6/24/2014 11:16 AM, Andrei Alexandrescu via dmd-internals wrote:
>
> This is exactly the kind of overhead we're trying to avoid in the first place. Looks like you want to transform a triviality into an interesting legal endeavor, and on someone else's money. -- Andrei


I've dealt with lawyers many times. None of them will give you an actual answer. They hem, haw, and refuse to commit to anything substantial, then send you a whopping bill. If they do draw up a contract, and there's a legal dispute over the contract, the lawyer won't stand behind it.

The only actual answers you can get are from a judge.

No thanks.
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