[squeak-dev] On the swazoo list

Jimmie Houchin j.squeak at cyberhaus.us
Tue Mar 25 15:15:13 UTC 2008

Bruce Badger wrote:
> On 25/03/2008, Jimmie Houchin <j.squeak at cyberhaus.us> wrote:
>>  But that does not limit the rights of all the other
>>  contributors should they choose to relicense their code under MIT.
> Indeed not, but they were never given that chance were they?  Janko
> decided that the license was now MIT for all contributors code without
> bothering to discuss it with any of them.  Now, in retrospect, he is
> trying to pursuade those copyright holders to accept the MIT license.
> But perhaps, like me, they won't like being told that that is how it
> must be after the fact.

Yes, Janko made a mistake. Been acknowledged and hopefully corrected by
now. None of this is in retrospect. It is correcting a mistake and
moving forward. Why don't we quit speaking on behalf of those copyright
holders and let them speak for themselves. Time will tell where they
stand on this.

>> Yes, the current distribution of Swazoo 2.x will remain LGPL.
> Thank you for acknowledging that.
>> But you don't have the right to hold hostage future versions simply 
>> because you prefer the LGPL and not MIT.
> Nor did I say I would, and nor would I wish to.  Let's not forget who
> is doing the actual infringing of whose copyright at the moment, hm?

Is it at the moment. Or is it a mistake which was made and has been
corrected. In which case, it is you living in the past and refusing to
come to the present in this discussion.

You seem to wish to make his mistake the sole pivotal issue in this. It
is not. This issue is the license under which Swazoo will be made
available to Squeak or anyone else. If Janko is willing and able to do
the work for Swazoo 3.0 to be MIT then I and probably others will be
grateful and appreciative of this.

> What I asked for that the documentation in the Squeak source
> repository be corrected to show that Swazoo is under the LGPL.  You
> acknowledge above that Swazoo is indeed under the LGPL so, as you seem
> to speak for the MIT-Swazoo camp, may I ask that you correct the
> Squeak and SourceForge entries?

I speak for myself. It happens that many others agree. Just as there are
some who may agree with you. It is the nature of argument. And
regardless of my position, I am not in any position of authority to do
what you want. Regardless, can you point to me a place where the offense
still exists? Lets move on. You made your point. Janko corrected the
mistakes. (As far as I can see) And Janko has moved on and is trying to
make positive progress. Not living in the past.

>>  > You may remove my code if you wish of course, but while you are using
>>  > it you are doing so under the LGPL.  And the same applies to the rest
>>  > of Swazoo until you get the copyright holders to agree.
>> He never said otherwise
> But he did.  He announced that the existing Swazoo work (as in Squeak)
> was either under no particular license or the MIT license depending
> upon his mood.  He has only just started trying to contact the
> copyright holders to ask, in retrospect, if this is OK.

Au contraire, both your statement and mine are after acknowledgment and
correction (IMO) of mistake. So in the context of my statement being
after the  acknowledgment/correction, I am speaking of current actions
and not past mistakes. Which is also what you were addressing in your
comments to Janko.

>>  And above he says he is going to contact the authors.
> After the fact.

Yes, after the mistake. Big Whoop! Have you never made a mistake and
tried to move on afterward? He doesn't have a time machine in order to
do this before the mistake or to go back and not make the mistake.

>> So he will have permission from the authors who grant such, and authors who do
>>  not, apparently he will remove the code. Then the codebase will then be
>>  clean of LGPL code.
> Assuming all that, then yes, of course,
>>  > What a mess you have made, Janko.  Why didn't you just leave Swazoo
>>  > under the LGPL?
>> Because he is trying to appeal to a broader audience than appeals to
>>  LGPL within the Squeak community.
> No, because he tried to do it by stealth and by infringing upon the
> copyrights of others.  Janko never posted a "Should we move Swazoo to
> MIT?" message to the Swazoo list, or anywhere else as far as I know.

You are still attributing malice, where I don't believe it belongs. A
mistake yes, malice aforethought, I think not. He questioned the
validity of the LGPL designation and made a mistake. OK. That does not
imply malice. Its hard to anything stealthy about something so open and
widely seen as this.

> Anyway, lets sort out the copyright infringement mess before we talk
> about potential alternative licenses.
>>  Personally, since AIDA/Web uses Swazoo, if this didn't get cleaned up, I
>>  was going to not use AIDA/Web for projects. So this does have practical
>>  impacts on the use of software within Squeak.
> I am very sorry to hear that.  It is not my intention to harm other
> projects but rather to protect my own.  I have a large code base now
> that relies on Hyper and Hyper derives from early versions of Swazoo,
> so just like you I do have "practical impacts" to worry about.  This
> is not just a game.

Absolutely not a game. But I do not believe that an MITed Swazoo affects
you negatively at all. However, a LGPLed Swazoo can affect/infect much.
Even innocent use of such.

You have copyrights to your contributions regardless of the license.
Nobody (even Janko) wants to mess with that.

The very simple facts are:

The Squeak community is an MIT community. It is the favored and
preferred license of this community.

The LGPL is unclear in the context of Squeak and image based
environments. And nobody here wants to be in a position to have to
defend their compliance with such licenses. The defense of such is too
great a burden even if the user of LGPL code is innocent of violation.

It is far easier and far better to just avoid an area of legal
contention. Nobody here wants precedent setting cases for the uses of
their code.

The MIT places no such burdens. MIT code can be used without problem in
LGPL software. And does not increase its burden. Such cannot be said
about LGPL software inside of MIT software. It isn't so clear.

And as Andreas so excellent expressed, the point of view of people who
choose LGPL (or crafted or enforce the license) is the broadest possible
application of the modification clauses. And that causes undue burden on
users. Because then the user has learn to legally draw defensible lines
in what is theirs and how theirs uses the others code. A situation which
does not occur with MIT code.

I choose to avoid the excessive burdens of LGPL code within Squeak.


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