John C. Peterson | 3 Jan 22:35 2012

[Fedora-legal-list] Legal opinion on license for EQP


Hello,

I am in the process of packaging an application known as EQP. There
are a couple of quirks related to the license and it was suggested that
I query the fedora-legal-list here for opinions.

The website where the software is distributed makes the following
statement:

"But it has obtained several interesting results, and we have decided
to make it available (including the source code) to everyone, with no
restrictions (and of course no warranty)."

The page itself is here: http://www.cs.unm.edu/~mccune/eqp/

Unfortunately, the source code tarball itself contains nothing to
clarify further the copyright, license terms. Obviously, the path of
least resistance would be to contact the author for clarification.

The other problem is that the author passed away back in May 2011,
so contacting him is not an option. I don't know for certain, but I
would suspect that whoever funded the author's research is possibly
the ultimate owner of the copyright, so further clarification is not
an automatic dead end.

Maybe rpmfusion is a better home for this?

Regards, John

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Karsten 'quaid' Wade | 4 Jan 00:35 2012
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Re: [Fedora-legal-list] Legal opinion on license for EQP


On 01/03/2012 01:35 PM, John C. Peterson wrote:
> 
> The other problem is that the author passed away back in May 2011, 
> so contacting him is not an option. I don't know for certain, but
> I would suspect that whoever funded the author's research is
> possibly the ultimate owner of the copyright, so further
> clarification is not an automatic dead end.
> 
> Maybe rpmfusion is a better home for this?

Just because I'm curious, I looked at the project's home, and the
README file, which points to here as a mirror:

http://www.mcs.anl.gov/research/projects/AR/eqp/

That page notes it is a deprecated page, but it does have an
enlightening bit of information at the bottom:

"These activities are projects of the Mathematics and Computer Science
Division of Argonne National Laboratory."

http://www.mcs.anl.gov/index.php

So I agree it's not likely a deadend, and further, it's likely that
you can get an actual license on the work if ANL is the agency that
funded the research.

Another problem that you don't bring up is, with the upstream project
permanently in limbo, where do you take bugs for fixing, etc.? Are you
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Tom Callaway | 4 Jan 16:42 2012
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Re: [Fedora-legal-list] Legal opinion on license for EQP

On 01/03/2012 04:35 PM, John C. Peterson wrote:
> "But it has obtained several interesting results, and we have decided
> to make it available (including the source code) to everyone, with no
> restrictions (and of course no warranty)."
> 
> The page itself is here: http://www.cs.unm.edu/~mccune/eqp/
> 
> Unfortunately, the source code tarball itself contains nothing to
> clarify further the copyright, license terms. Obviously, the path of
> least resistance would be to contact the author for clarification.

IMHO, this is not sufficient to constitute a Free Software License,
notably, because there is no clear permission to modify in the above
statement. (Although it says "with no restrictions", the way that
copyright law works in the US is that the copyright holder must
explicitly grant rights which are not offered by default, so in saying
that there are no restrictions, they are merely stating that the
copyright holder is not applying any restrictions above and beyond what
is automatically granted by 17 U.S.C.)

I think contacting ANL would be the next step if you wished to pursue
resolving this licensing issue.

~tom

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John C. Peterson | 6 Jan 19:58 2012

Re: [Fedora-legal-list] Legal opinion on license for EQP

On Wed, Jan 04, 2012 at 10:42:35AM -0500, Tom Callaway wrote:
> On 01/03/2012 04:35 PM, John C. Peterson wrote:
> > "... and we have decided
> > to make it available (including the source code) to everyone, with no
> > restrictions (and of course no warranty)."
> 
> IMHO, this is not sufficient to constitute a Free Software License,
> notably, because there is no clear permission to modify in the above
> statement. (Although it says "with no restrictions", the way that
> copyright law works in the US is that the copyright holder must
> explicitly grant rights which are not offered by default, ...
> 
> I think contacting ANL would be the next step if you wished to pursue
> resolving this licensing issue.

Thanks for the opinions. Bill (the author) had an appointment as a
research professor at Univ of New Mexico for the last few years, which
is where the project is currently hosted. Karsten is correct that the
bulk of his work on EQP was while he was at Argonne National Labs, so
they are probably the rightful owner of the copyright. Bill worked for
Larry Wos while at ANL, and he is still there, so getting in contact with
the relevant people is not a big problem. I am certainly willing to do
that yeoman's work.

On Tue, Jan 03, 2012 at 03:35:12PM -0800, Karsten 'quaid' Wade wrote:
> Another problem that you don't bring up is, with the upstream project
> permanently in limbo, where do you take bugs for fixing, etc.? Are you
> thinking of starting a new project page somewhere for that?

That is something that I was not planning on doing. I'm still new to
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Cvetomir Georg | 8 Jan 12:56 2012
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[Fedora-legal-list] (no subject)


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Tom Callaway | 10 Jan 19:08 2012
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Re: [Fedora-legal-list] (no subject)

On 01/08/2012 06:56 AM, Cvetomir Georg wrote:
> 

We've given this a lot of thought, and the answer is 42.

~tom

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Orcan Ogetbil | 13 Jan 06:01 2012
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Re: [Fedora-legal-list] IDEA patent expiration?

On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM, Tom Callaway wrote:
> On 10/19/2011 07:52 PM, Orcan Ogetbil wrote:
>> On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 12:44 AM, Orcan Ogetbil wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> We explicitly exclude the "International Data Encryption Algorithm"
>>> (IDEA) in a few Fedora packages (bouncycastle, opengpg, ?) due to its
>>> patent issues. Recently it occurred to me that this patent  [1] may
>>> actually have been expired by now. There is some debate in the
>>> wikipedia's discussion page about this topic [2]. From what I
>>> understand, the general perception is that the US patent expired in
>>> May 2011.
>>>
>>> Could you please check this?
>>> When is it possible to have the IDEA in Fedora?
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>
>> Hi,
>> I was wondering if somebody had a chance to investigate this problem
>> but then forgot to reply to the thread due to the time spent on
>> celebrations of finding the solution.
>
> This issue is under review.
>

Hi, is there any update? We now passed the most conservative possible
expiration date listed in wikipedia (2012-01-07). Can we consider this
safe now?

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Tom Callaway | 13 Jan 14:33 2012
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Re: [Fedora-legal-list] IDEA patent expiration?

On 01/13/2012 12:01 AM, Orcan Ogetbil wrote:
> Hi, is there any update? We now passed the most conservative possible
> expiration date listed in wikipedia (2012-01-07). Can we consider this
> safe now?

Nope. This issue is still under review.

~tom

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Alan Pevec | 14 Jan 01:17 2012
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[Fedora-legal-list] Reusing upstart scripts from Ubuntu for EPEL6 Openstack packages

Hi,

for openstack-* packages in EPEL6 I'd like to reuse upstart jobs from
Ubuntu packages
e.g. for Swift http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~openstack-ubuntu-packagers/swift/ubuntu/files/head:/debian/
AFAICT those are licensed under ASL2.0 as the whole Swift, right?
http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~openstack-ubuntu-packagers/swift/ubuntu/view/head:/debian/copyright

Is this license compatible with Fedora FPCA, which applies to
Fedora/EPEL .spec files and, I assume, other files included directly
in SRPM ? http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:Main#License_of_Fedora_SPEC_Files

Thanks,
Alan
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Richard Fontana | 14 Jan 03:15 2012
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Re: [Fedora-legal-list] Reusing upstart scripts from Ubuntu for EPEL6 Openstack packages

On Sat, Jan 14, 2012 at 01:17:00AM +0100, Alan Pevec wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> for openstack-* packages in EPEL6 I'd like to reuse upstart jobs from
> Ubuntu packages
> e.g. for Swift http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~openstack-ubuntu-packagers/swift/ubuntu/files/head:/debian/
> AFAICT those are licensed under ASL2.0 as the whole Swift, right?

Presumably.

> http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~openstack-ubuntu-packagers/swift/ubuntu/view/head:/debian/copyright
> 
> Is this license compatible with Fedora FPCA, which applies to
> Fedora/EPEL .spec files and, I assume, other files included directly
> in SRPM ? http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:Main#License_of_Fedora_SPEC_Files

The information at
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:Main#License_of_Fedora_SPEC_Files
is out of date with respect to the FPCA (it was written with the old
Fedora CLA in mind). 

But anyway, you're describing reusing existing, presumably copyrighted
material in an EPEL spec file? That is outside the scope of the FPCA,
and so there is no intrinsic problem. See, e.g., the "Non-Goals"
paragraph near the beginning of the FPCA.

- Richard

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