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BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
Hi,

I encountered a open source project that is released under GPL and uses
Boost - that's OK, because GPL and Boost license should be compatible.

But the developers of those project copied code from Boost into their own
library.
The question is, is this new library now GPL or Boost license?

Additionally, because they copied the code from several Boost files into
one, they mixed up copyright statements. As a result, some people get
copyright on code they never wrote.

Seams to me that's not correct.

Oliver

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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
On 04/01/17 07:20, Oliver Kowalke via Boost wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I encountered a open source project that is released under GPL and uses
> Boost - that's OK, because GPL and Boost license should be compatible.
>
> But the developers of those project copied code from Boost into their own
> library.
> The question is, is this new library now GPL or Boost license?

[Standard disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer, and the following is my
understanding.]

Boost license (BSL) requires to "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." So the copied part is still under the Boost license (and the
license must be present in that project in a way that makes it clear
what code it applies to). However, the developers of that project can
distribute their project as a whole under the GPL, including the parts
under the BSL. They cannot distribute the BSL parts alone under another
license, such as GPL.

Here are some related info:

Explains about including public domain code into a GPL-ed program; I
don't see why the same wouldn't apply to BSL-ed code:

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#CombinePublicDomainWithGPL

Describes combining a module with a GPL-ed program:

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#GPLModuleLicense

Describes how GPL applies to combined work:

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#GPLIncompatibleAlone

> Additionally, because they copied the code from several Boost files into
> one, they mixed up copyright statements. As a result, some people get
> copyright on code they never wrote.

Yes, the copyright list is confusing, IMHO. As I understand it, the list
of copyright holders shows the parties that have written/modified
substantal *parts* of the source file. This follows from the normal use
of this list: when you modify a lot of content in a file, you typically
*add* yourself to the existing list of copyright holders; you don't have
to rewrite the file from scratch for that.

The point is that, for example, in case of changing the license on the
code all copyright holders in the list have to be contacted for
approval, even though each copyright holder alone did not write the
whole file. Each copyright holder can give the permission on the part he
wrote. Determining who wrote which part can be difficult, so "all or
none" approach is quite possible in such cases.


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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by Boost - Dev mailing list
"Oliver Kowalke via Boost" wrote:
> I encountered a open source project that is released under GPL and uses
> Boost - that's OK, because GPL and Boost license should be compatible.
...
> Additionally, because they copied the code from several Boost files into
> one, they mixed up copyright statements. As a result, some people get
> copyright on code they never wrote.

I don't believe copyright notices have any bearing on who actually owns the
copyright. Someone else getting the copyright for your work because someone
put their name in the copyright notice would be absurd.

The Berne convention does not require a copyright notice to retain
copyright:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention

This list shows when the convention came into effect in different countries:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parties_to_international_copyright_agreements

But as Andrey notes, copyright notices can be useful in practice.

Regards,

Niklas Angare
 



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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by Boost - Dev mailing list
"Andrey Semashev via Boost" wrote:
> [Standard disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer, and the following is my
> understanding.]

Likewise.

> Boost license (BSL) requires to "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."
> So the copied part is still under the Boost license (and the license must
> be present in that project in a way that makes it clear what code it
> applies to).

Makes sense. Since most Boost files don't include the entire license, it
probably needs to be included somewhere else along with the source code.

> However, the developers of that project can distribute their project as a
> whole under the GPL, including the parts under the BSL.

That's what I'm reading too. The Free Software Foundation believes the Boost
Software License is "compatible" with the GPL:
https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#boost

There is a definition of "compatible" in the gpl-faq you linked. Another is
here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/License_compatibility

But if they distribute the whole thing saying "this is licensed under the
GPL", doesn't that kind of contradict the requirement to include the Boost
Software License and the copyright notices? It would feel better to me if
they said "this is licensed under the GPL and, in part, other compatible
licenses".

Regards,

Niklas Angare
 



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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
2017-04-01 20:22 GMT+02:00 Niklas Angare via Boost <[hidden email]>:

That's what I'm reading too. The Free Software Foundation believes the
> Boost Software License is "compatible" with the GPL:
> https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#boost


I'm refer to
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/204410/how-are-gpl-compatible-licenses-like-mit-usable-in-gpl-programs-without-being-su
:

'*Where it gets tricky*

Let's say we have project Foo licensed under Boost, and project Bar
licensed under GPL and which wants to use Foo.

Bar+Foo is allowed since the licenses are compatible, and the release of
Bar+Foo must be GPL as Bar is GPL. Foo, by itself and without Bar *or*
Bar+Foo, is still available under the Boost license. Said another way,
Bar+Foo has no license impact upon Foo itself.

The resulting license of the project combination is a forward acting event
for the combination only. It is *not* a retroactive event.

So if someone else wants to take Foo and do something else with it, they
are still free to do so without the copyleft provision of the GPL. However,
if they take Bar+Foo, delete Bar and only use +Foo then they are still
bound by the terms of the GPL since Bar+Foo was GPL'd.'


>
> There is a definition of "compatible" in the gpl-faq you linked. Another
> is here:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/License_compatibility
>
> But if they distribute the whole thing saying "this is licensed under the
> GPL", doesn't that kind of contradict the requirement to include the Boost
> Software License and the copyright notices? It would feel better to me if
> they said "this is licensed under the GPL and, in part, other compatible
> licenses".
>

Kicad:
Program License

KiCad is free software. KiCad is made available under the GNU General
Public License(GPL) version 3 or greater.

There is no requirement to assign your copyright to anyone to get code
included into KiCad. The only thing we do require is complying with the
GPLv3+ license both in the code you may write and code you may import from
others.


If I understand it correctly, the copied boost code is now licensed under
GPLv3

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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by Boost - Dev mailing list
On Sat, Apr 1, 2017 at 9:22 PM, Niklas Angare via Boost
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> But if they distribute the whole thing saying "this is licensed under the
> GPL", doesn't that kind of contradict the requirement to include the Boost
> Software License and the copyright notices?

It does, if their distributed source (as a package or a VCS snapshot)
does not contain BSL with a clear indication of what code is under
BSL.

> It would feel better to me if
> they said "this is licensed under the GPL and, in part, other compatible
> licenses".

It doesn't work like that. A product, as a whole, must be distributed
under a single license. (It can be distributed under multiple
licenses, e.g. proprietary and copyleft, but that is another off-topic
case; each such distribution is independent and whole.)

As I understand it, a license, among other things, defines two sets: a
set of rights granted to the user, and a set of restrictions or
obligations imposed on the user. Two licenses are compatible if the
sets defined by the licenses are non-contradictory and can be
fulfilled combined. BSL is less restrictive than GPL, and in order for
the two of the licenses to be fulfilled the code must be distributed
under the GPL. It doesn't make that BSL part on its own licensed under
the GPL (or rather, you cannot enforce GPL on that part because the
original copyright holders did not allow that).

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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by Boost - Dev mailing list
On Sat, Apr 1, 2017 at 9:33 PM, Oliver Kowalke via Boost
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2017-04-01 20:22 GMT+02:00 Niklas Angare via Boost <[hidden email]>:
>
> That's what I'm reading too. The Free Software Foundation believes the
>> Boost Software License is "compatible" with the GPL:
>> https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#boost
>
> I'm refer to
> https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/204410/how-are-gpl-compatible-licenses-like-mit-usable-in-gpl-programs-without-being-su
> :
>
> '*Where it gets tricky*
>
> Let's say we have project Foo licensed under Boost, and project Bar
> licensed under GPL and which wants to use Foo.
>
> Bar+Foo is allowed since the licenses are compatible, and the release of
> Bar+Foo must be GPL as Bar is GPL. Foo, by itself and without Bar *or*
> Bar+Foo, is still available under the Boost license. Said another way,
> Bar+Foo has no license impact upon Foo itself.
>
> The resulting license of the project combination is a forward acting event
> for the combination only. It is *not* a retroactive event.
>
> So if someone else wants to take Foo and do something else with it, they
> are still free to do so without the copyleft provision of the GPL. However,
> if they take Bar+Foo, delete Bar and only use +Foo then they are still
> bound by the terms of the GPL since Bar+Foo was GPL'd.'

The important part here is that you were distributed Foo+Bar, and this
combination is under the GPL. I.e. if you want to use Foo+Bar, even if
you don't directly interface with Bar, you have to comply with the
GPL.

You can remove Bar from this combination and use Foo alone under the
BSL, according to the FAQ entry I linked earlier:

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#CombinePublicDomainWithGPL

Another important part is that the distributor has no right to
distribute Foo alone under the GPL. He must also comply with the BSL
as he deals with Foo.

>> There is a definition of "compatible" in the gpl-faq you linked. Another
>> is here:
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/License_compatibility
>>
>> But if they distribute the whole thing saying "this is licensed under the
>> GPL", doesn't that kind of contradict the requirement to include the Boost
>> Software License and the copyright notices? It would feel better to me if
>> they said "this is licensed under the GPL and, in part, other compatible
>> licenses".
>>
>
> Kicad:
> Program License
>
> KiCad is free software. KiCad is made available under the GNU General
> Public License(GPL) version 3 or greater.
>
> There is no requirement to assign your copyright to anyone to get code
> included into KiCad. The only thing we do require is complying with the
> GPLv3+ license both in the code you may write and code you may import from
> others.
>
> If I understand it correctly, the copied boost code is now licensed under
> GPLv3

Does their code distribution (as a package or VCS) contain BSL text?
Do the BSL-licensed files still contain the copyrights and a link to
the BSL?

If not, they are clearly violating the BSL and should be notified.

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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
2017-04-01 21:27 GMT+02:00 Andrey Semashev <[hidden email]>:

>
> > If I understand it correctly, the copied boost code is now licensed under
> > GPLv3
>
> Does their code distribution (as a package or VCS) contain BSL text?
> Do the BSL-licensed files still contain the copyrights and a link to
> the BSL?
>

The license statement of Kicad is: 'it is licensed under GPLv3' - the BSL
ist not mentioned.
Kicad has copied all files from the boost lib into one file - including all
copyrigth statements + BSL
(all put at the top of the file) - and a new library, which is now
intergral part of kicad, was created.

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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
On Sat, Apr 1, 2017 at 10:34 PM, Oliver Kowalke
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2017-04-01 21:27 GMT+02:00 Andrey Semashev <[hidden email]>:
>>
>> > If I understand it correctly, the copied boost code is now licensed
>> > under
>> > GPLv3
>>
>> Does their code distribution (as a package or VCS) contain BSL text?
>> Do the BSL-licensed files still contain the copyrights and a link to
>> the BSL?
>
> The license statement of Kicad is: 'it is licensed under GPLv3' - the BSL
> ist not mentioned.
> Kicad has copied all files from the boost lib into one file - including all
> copyrigth statements + BSL
> (all put at the top of the file) - and a new library, which is now intergral
> part of kicad, was created.

As long as they don't distribute this new library separately from
Kicad, it sounds like they fulfilled the terms of the BSL.

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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by Boost - Dev mailing list

"Oliver Kowalke via Boost" <[hidden email]>wrote:

> 2017-04-01 21:27 GMT+02:00 Andrey Semashev <[hidden email]>:
>> > If I understand it correctly, the copied boost code is now licensed
>> > under
>> > GPLv3
>>
>> Does their code distribution (as a package or VCS) contain BSL text?
>> Do the BSL-licensed files still contain the copyrights and a link to
>> the BSL?
>
> The license statement of Kicad is: 'it is licensed under GPLv3' - the BSL
> ist not mentioned.
> Kicad has copied all files from the boost lib into one file - including
> all
> copyrigth statements + BSL
> (all put at the top of the file) - and a new library, which is now
> intergral part of kicad, was created.

Where have they included the full text of the BSL? I can't find it.

Regards,

Niklas Angare
 



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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by Boost - Dev mailing list
"Andrey Semashev via Boost" wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 1, 2017 at 9:22 PM, Niklas Angare via Boost
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> But if they distribute the whole thing saying "this is licensed under the
>> GPL", doesn't that kind of contradict the requirement to include the
>> Boost
>> Software License and the copyright notices?
>
> It does, if their distributed source (as a package or a VCS snapshot)
> does not contain BSL with a clear indication of what code is under
> BSL.

I can't find the Boost license in the KiCad source.

>> It would feel better to me if
>> they said "this is licensed under the GPL and, in part, other compatible
>> licenses".
>
> It doesn't work like that. A product, as a whole, must be distributed
> under a single license. (It can be distributed under multiple
> licenses, e.g. proprietary and copyleft, but that is another off-topic
> case; each such distribution is independent and whole.)

Why does the whole source package have to be distributed under a single
license?

> As I understand it, a license, among other things, defines two sets: a
> set of rights granted to the user, and a set of restrictions or
> obligations imposed on the user. Two licenses are compatible if the
> sets defined by the licenses are non-contradictory and can be
> fulfilled combined. BSL is less restrictive than GPL, and in order for
> the two of the licenses to be fulfilled the code must be distributed
> under the GPL. It doesn't make that BSL part on its own licensed under
> the GPL (or rather, you cannot enforce GPL on that part because the
> original copyright holders did not allow that).

The requirement that the entire BSL be included is not a part of the GPL, so
for that particular detail the BSL is more restrictive than the GPL. Maybe
I'm nitpicking.

Regards,

Niklas Angare
 



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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
On Sun, Apr 2, 2017 at 1:13 AM, Niklas Angare via Boost
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> "Andrey Semashev via Boost" wrote:
>> On Sat, Apr 1, 2017 at 9:22 PM, Niklas Angare via Boost
>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> It would feel better to me if
>>> they said "this is licensed under the GPL and, in part, other compatible
>>> licenses".
>>
>> It doesn't work like that. A product, as a whole, must be distributed
>> under a single license. (It can be distributed under multiple
>> licenses, e.g. proprietary and copyleft, but that is another off-topic
>> case; each such distribution is independent and whole.)
>
> Why does the whole source package have to be distributed under a single
> license?

Because the package is distributed as a whole. There is a common set
of rights and restrictions on that package which constitutes the
license.

A package is probably the wrong term here, because we tech people tend
to imagine it as a set of files, which could potentially have
different licenses. I believe, the lawyer language uses the term work,
which is understood as an atomic entity, an item with associated value
and terms of use. At least, that's how I see it.

>> As I understand it, a license, among other things, defines two sets: a
>> set of rights granted to the user, and a set of restrictions or
>> obligations imposed on the user. Two licenses are compatible if the
>> sets defined by the licenses are non-contradictory and can be
>> fulfilled combined. BSL is less restrictive than GPL, and in order for
>> the two of the licenses to be fulfilled the code must be distributed
>> under the GPL. It doesn't make that BSL part on its own licensed under
>> the GPL (or rather, you cannot enforce GPL on that part because the
>> original copyright holders did not allow that).
>
> The requirement that the entire BSL be included is not a part of the GPL, so
> for that particular detail the BSL is more restrictive than the GPL.

GPL also requires to distribute a copy of the license. Similar
requirement of BSL does not contradict the GPL.

My point is if you have Foo under BSL and Bar under GPL and you want
to distribute FooBar then you have to fulfill both BSL and GPL. You
can do this if you include BSL in the source code and distribute
FooBar under the GPL.

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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
In reply to this post by Boost - Dev mailing list
Am 02.04.2017 12:13 vorm. schrieb "Niklas Angare via Boost" <
[hidden email]>:


"Oliver Kowalke via Boost" <[hidden email]>wrote:

> 2017-04-01 21:27 GMT+02:00 Andrey Semashev <[hidden email]>:
>
> > If I understand it correctly, the copied boost code is now licensed >
>> under
>> > GPLv3
>>
>> Does their code distribution (as a package or VCS) contain BSL text?
>> Do the BSL-licensed files still contain the copyrights and a link to
>> the BSL?
>>
>
> The license statement of Kicad is: 'it is licensed under GPLv3' - the BSL
> ist not mentioned.
> Kicad has copied all files from the boost lib into one file - including all
> copyrigth statements + BSL
> (all put at the top of the file) - and a new library, which is now
> intergral part of kicad, was created.
>

Where have they included the full text of the BSL? I can't find it.


http://docs.kicad-pcb.org/doxygen/libcontext_8cpp_source.html

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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
On 04/02/17 07:24, Oliver Kowalke via Boost wrote:

> Am 02.04.2017 12:13 vorm. schrieb "Niklas Angare via Boost" <
> [hidden email]>:
>
> "Oliver Kowalke via Boost" <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> 2017-04-01 21:27 GMT+02:00 Andrey Semashev <[hidden email]>:
>>
>>> If I understand it correctly, the copied boost code is now licensed >
>>> under
>>>> GPLv3
>>>
>>> Does their code distribution (as a package or VCS) contain BSL text?
>>> Do the BSL-licensed files still contain the copyrights and a link to
>>> the BSL?
>>
>> The license statement of Kicad is: 'it is licensed under GPLv3' - the BSL
>> ist not mentioned.
>> Kicad has copied all files from the boost lib into one file - including all
>> copyrigth statements + BSL
>> (all put at the top of the file) - and a new library, which is now
>> intergral part of kicad, was created.
>
> Where have they included the full text of the BSL? I can't find it.
>
> http://docs.kicad-pcb.org/doxygen/libcontext_8cpp_source.html

Then that's a problem. BSL requires a copy of the license to be included.


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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
>>>> If I understand it correctly, the copied boost code is now licensed >
>>>> under
>>>>>
>>>>> GPLv3
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Does their code distribution (as a package or VCS) contain BSL text?
>>>> Do the BSL-licensed files still contain the copyrights and a link to
>>>> the BSL?
>>>
>>>
>>> The license statement of Kicad is: 'it is licensed under GPLv3' - the BSL
>>> ist not mentioned.
>>> Kicad has copied all files from the boost lib into one file - including
>>> all
>>> copyrigth statements + BSL
>>> (all put at the top of the file) - and a new library, which is now
>>> intergral part of kicad, was created.
>>
>>
>> Where have they included the full text of the BSL? I can't find it.
>>
>> http://docs.kicad-pcb.org/doxygen/libcontext_8cpp_source.html
>
>
> Then that's a problem. BSL requires a copy of the license to be included.
>
>

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer...

As regular developer I see the licensing very very clear. There is clear link
pointing to the license so I don't see anybody being stripped of his rights
as the license of the file is very clear and easy to get.

If the author of the project forget to include the text of the license or
embed it into the source code or mistakenly thought that what he
did is more than enough you are welcome to write a patch
and send one to the author or open the ticket mentioning that
the license text should be included explicitly.

Note it was clear from the code that the author
didn't want to hide someones copyrights or claim
his ownership on the code but probably did not all
the bureaucracy 100% correctly.

Bottom line:

1. There are no "brutal" violations but rather probably improper reuse
of the code
    licensed under BSL - because it didn't include full text of license.
2. If you want your name to be mentioned **in front page** as one of
copyright owners
    choose 4 clause BSD license instead of BSL (and... nobody will use
your code)
3. If you distribute your code under BSL... expect that others will
   " prepare derivative works of the Software " as mentioned in the license


Artyom Beilis

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Re: BOOST license & GPL

Boost - Dev mailing list
2017-04-02 13:37 GMT+02:00 Artyom Beilis via Boost <[hidden email]>:

>
> 1. There are no "brutal" violations but rather probably improper reuse
> of the code
>     licensed under BSL - because it didn't include full text of license.
> 2. If you want your name to be mentioned **in front page** as one of
> copyright owners
>     choose 4 clause BSD license instead of BSL (and... nobody will use
> your code)
> 3. If you distribute your code under BSL... expect that others will
>    " prepare derivative works of the Software " as mentioned in the license
>
>
I was wondering if it is correct to copy all files into one and add the
copyright improperly
- for instance Martin H. is mentioned in the copyright statement, but the
file contains no code from Martin.

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