https://launchpad.net/mir. The development is public. If Canonical decides to change the licence to a proprietary one at 12:00 PM tomorrow, then you are free to fork any code that is available up to 11:59 AM under GPL 3 if you are so inclined. That means any contributions made by any contributor will be available for any one to use it. The proprietary version wouldn't be able to accept further contributions from the community under GPL 3. Therefore, there is no stealing of one's code by Canonical for a proprietary product.
I hope that clears some things up.
The fact that GPL code is being used in a proprietary format is itself a GPL violation. Once it's closed who's to say what changes were made? The GPL requires that modifications be made public. If they continue developing the same code base then that in fact does qualify as a violation. The only way to aviod the violation is to replace all existing code with new code.
EDIT: If the fork continues developing on the same code base then they are making changes, and the GPL requires changes also be GPL. It is the entire premise of the copyleft.
Last edited by duby229; 03-19-2013 at 05:30 PM.
That is why any contributor should read the CLA and understand before they sign it and contribute to any project that is under Canonical's CLA.
If a contributor is okay with Canonical using their code in that way, then they sign and contribute. If they are not okay with that, then they do not sign and do not contribute to the project.
I suggest you read Canonical's CLA to better understand how it works.
Canonical's CLA is not a code licence like GPL or BSD. It is a contract which if you agree to and sign gives Canonical the right to use your contributions in any way they want.
The CLA in no way circumvents the GPL.
Last edited by jayrulez; 03-19-2013 at 06:07 PM.
I've never contributed a line to the Linux kernel, but knowing that dead people hold the copyrights for some pieces (nearly) guarantees me that it will never be closed. (It's unlikely that someone could code around those contributions AND get everyone to sign something.)
A CLA could cause a LibreOffice-like split unless it's owned by a stable foundation like FSF (which is different than a company in that it's not owned/bought/sold except in ways that adhere to strict bylaws).
That being said, an early LibreOffice-like split of Mir:
- before usability, means it dies & more Wayland focus,
- after mass-adoption means the split wins (like LibreOffice did).
So I see little concern in contributing as worst-case is either a quick play-out or LibreOffice-style success.
It's true that I havent read the CLA yet, so maybe I'm just not seeing the whole picture. But the point of the GPL is that it doesnt matter who owns the code. Thats the entire reason for the copyleft. I could own it, you could own it, microsoft could own it and it still wouldnt matter. The GPL does -NOT- protect the author or the owner. It is designed for the purpose of protecting the code. It doesnt matter what the authors or the owners want to do. If a code base is licensed GPL then the terms of the GPL need to be abided by. The owner of the code can't simply decide that the terms of the GPL don't apply to itself. The GPL specifically states that in no uncertain terms.
EDIT: Again that is the whole point for the copyleft. you can't simply decide that it doesnt apply to you. It doesnt protect you, it protects the code. It doesnt matter if you make people sign over the rights to the code to you. The GPL doesnt protect you. It doesnt matter if you are the owner or author or whatever else. You don't matter, only the code does.
And you are right that the CLA does not circumvent the GPL. But if canonical decides to change the license from GPL to something else and then doesnt make changes that they made to the GPL code base public then they are violating the GPL. The only way to avoid that would be to replace all of the existing GPL code.
It doesnt matter who owns the code whether it is you or canonical or god. Once it is licensed GPL then the terms need to be abided by.
Last edited by duby229; 03-19-2013 at 07:37 PM.
Same story about the linux vs nvida saga:
In that case, some devs were ok with the nvidia request others did not, the results was NO.Back in January was when a request was made by NVIDIA to change the DMA-BUF symbols for dealing with the shared buffers to be exported under EXPORT_SYMBOL rather than EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL. At the moment with the EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL usage, DMA-BUF can't be used by non-GPL kernel drivers
With the CLA Canonical can change the license of the project without consult the others contributors at all.