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Old 09-23-2008, 09:44 PM
Peter Clifton
 
Default Licensing of translations (problem!)

Hi All,

I'm bring this discussion which has this has cropped up within our
project to the launcpad-users list.

We want(ed) to use launchpad as a non-technical way to have people
translate our suite of GPL applications, but we also keep translations
in our upstream git repository. Many of the "old" contributors still
supply their new translations by committing directly into our
repository. This had lead to a need for merging between the launchpad
translations and our upstream ones.

However:

One of our translators pointed out the requirement that all launchpad
translations are under the BSD license. This poses us some problems.
gEDA is GPL, and our existing translations are GPL. It also seems very
problematic to track which strings are exported from launchpad, and thus
covered by a BSD license. (I'm also unsure if the project is happy with
mixed licensing or not).

Even if tracking the licenses of individual strings were possible, the
need to merge / update with upstream presents a headache. The only
workflow I know this to be possible with, is exporting the launchpad
translations, me manually merging changes against the git repository,
then re-importing the translations as an upstream published set in
launchpad. AIUI, this will mark all the strings as GPL (coming from
gEDA), even those which actually originate from Launchpad.

I don't see how we can merge those translations back into our git
repository and still keep track of the licensing for each translation.
Similarly, we can't - without asking ALL our translation contributors,
just say "lets make all gEDA translations BSD licensed".


IMO, having launchpad contributers submit translations under the BSD
license is a mistake, and launchpad should have gone down the "public
domain" route with their translations. Even then, it isn't clear
if we could take public domain translations (no restrictions on use),
then declare them part of a GPL set. (Perhaps mean spirited, even if it
were possible).

Would it be possible have translations submitted under a license
allowing us to relicense suggested strings as GPL V2+ (for example?)

Could Canonical consider requesting authors submit their transations
giving Canonical / whoever, free permission to re-license them under ANY
OSI approved license. (Or with the BSD theme... any license?) This extra
permission could be available as an additional option when submitting
strings.

There would perhaps still be the nightmare of trying to keep track of
copyright holders for individual strings when we take them upstream, but
perhaps we don't care - so long as the license is right.


Would it be possible to allow individual projects to have their own
translation licenses? IE. could people translating strings for gEDA
using Launchpad dual-license those provided strings with the GPL (and to
Canonical under the BSD license if required)? This would be useful to
use, EVEN if we couldn't access other BSD licensed string suggestions,
if it would keep the output .po files GPL V2+ licensed.

If not, I guess the only thing we can do to keep things sane (legally),
would be to:

1. Drop all launchpad translated strings from gEDA (I still haven't got
round to handling the merge nightmare, so as yet - no launchpad
translations have made it back upstream.)

2. Contact the translators who submitted strings via launchpad and
request that we be able to license them under GPL V2+ for use in gEDA.
Since there are only a few translators, this ought to be possible.

3. Or.. Contact ALL former translators of gEDA, and request that those
translations can be made available under a BSD license, switching all
our translations to that license. This might be hard / impossible /
unpopular.

Option 1. would be a shame, but is the instintive easy withdrawal from
the problem.

Option 2. ensures we don't loose the work of non-technical contributors
we've specifically asked to use the launchpad interface to contribute
translation work to our project. If I'd realised the licensing problem,
I wouldn't have suggested they work there until it was resolved.

Option 3. may just not be practical to achieve without dropping existing
translations, and it may be unpopular in a suite which takes its very
name from the GPL. (gEDA == GPL'd EDA)

Best wishes,

--
Peter Clifton

Electrical Engineering Division,
Engineering Department,
University of Cambridge,
9, JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge
CB3 0FA

Tel: +44 (0)7729 980173 - (No signal in the lab!)


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Old 09-24-2008, 11:11 AM
Danilo Šegan
 
Default Licensing of translations (problem!)

Hi Peter,

У уто, 23. 09 2008. у 22:44 +0100, Peter Clifton пише:

> We want(ed) to use launchpad as a non-technical way to have people
> translate our suite of GPL applications, but we also keep translations
> in our upstream git repository. Many of the "old" contributors still
> supply their new translations by committing directly into our
> repository. This had lead to a need for merging between the launchpad
> translations and our upstream ones.

That's a problem on it's own: i.e. it's basically impossible to do a
correct merge if someone is working on the same translation in two
places: manual overriding is then a must.

I'd actually wonder why wouldn't your "old" contributors simply use the
PO file upload feature in Launchpad instead? Maybe that's not exactly
as easy for them as doing a commit, but it shouldn't be too hard either.

The problems you may hit with your current approach are too many, and at
least all 'bigger' translation projects that I know of make translation
exclusive to a single team. I.e. you can get into a situation where a
disagreement occurs, and none of the sides wants to back down. You, as
a project maintainer, wouldn't be able to say which translation is
'better', because you are not a native speaker of the language (and even
if you are, it's sometimes tricky). So, you can have people doing it in
one way in Launchpad, and in another way directly in your source code.

So, my suggestion would be to switch all your contributors to Launchpad.

> However:
>
> One of our translators pointed out the requirement that all launchpad
> translations are under the BSD license. This poses us some problems.
> gEDA is GPL, and our existing translations are GPL. It also seems very
> problematic to track which strings are exported from launchpad, and thus
> covered by a BSD license. (I'm also unsure if the project is happy with
> mixed licensing or not).

In general, you can reuse BSD licensed translations in GPL programs, and
that's why we decided to go with BSD license in the first place (you can
reuse them in all other projects as well, be it under LGPL, GPL, BSD or
MPL).

> Even if tracking the licenses of individual strings were possible, the
> need to merge / update with upstream presents a headache.

As explained above, it's a headache for more important reasons than
licensing. IMHO, at least.

There can be no automated system which will support that in a good way,
because there is no 'good way' to do it.

> The only
> workflow I know this to be possible with, is exporting the launchpad
> translations, me manually merging changes against the git repository,
> then re-importing the translations as an upstream published set in
> launchpad. AIUI, this will mark all the strings as GPL (coming from
> gEDA), even those which actually originate from Launchpad.

Indeed. Going back and forth by merging translations is not the right
way to do it. However, it should not pose a problem as far as
translations and their license marking are concerned, since they'll
still be correctly marked as originating in LP (this is not user
visible, but we keep that inside the DB).

> I don't see how we can merge those translations back into our git
> repository and still keep track of the licensing for each translation.
> Similarly, we can't - without asking ALL our translation contributors,
> just say "lets make all gEDA translations BSD licensed".

There's no need to do that.

> IMO, having launchpad contributers submit translations under the BSD
> license is a mistake, and launchpad should have gone down the "public
> domain" route with their translations.

For all practical purposes, BSD is exactly the same as public domain,
and that's another reason why we chose it. And we didn't use 'public
domain' so people would still keep some control of their translations
(they generally call that "moral copyrights", which are non exclusive).

> Even then, it isn't clear
> if we could take public domain translations (no restrictions on use),
> then declare them part of a GPL set. (Perhaps mean spirited, even if it
> were possible).

Yes, you can, and you can do that with BSD as well.

> Would it be possible have translations submitted under a license
> allowing us to relicense suggested strings as GPL V2+ (for example?)

You mention yourself how it's a mess to keep track of translations with
two different licenses. And in Launchpad, we offer suggestions across
the system, so imagine how hard it'd be to do it with 20+ licenses and
millions of translation messages.

Anyway, you should not worry about this, since you can include BSD
licensed translations in GPL project without any problem.

> Could Canonical consider requesting authors submit their transations
> giving Canonical / whoever, free permission to re-license them under ANY
> OSI approved license. (Or with the BSD theme... any license?) This extra
> permission could be available as an additional option when submitting
> strings.

To actually get that permission (and for it to have any legal meaning
whatsoever), one would need a real signed (on-paper) assignment from the
translator, and you can imagine how Canonical doesn't want to do
that.


> Would it be possible to allow individual projects to have their own
> translation licenses? IE. could people translating strings for gEDA
> using Launchpad dual-license those provided strings with the GPL (and to
> Canonical under the BSD license if required)? This would be useful to
> use, EVEN if we couldn't access other BSD licensed string suggestions,
> if it would keep the output .po files GPL V2+ licensed.

See above. We'd have to change our system in a lot of ways, and it
would be hard work. And would make the system much slower (we are
operating with huge amounts of data), and the benefit would be small.

In general, we have discussed the BSD license at length, and it exactly
allows you to do what you want to do.

> If not, I guess the only thing we can do to keep things sane (legally),
> would be to:
>
> 1. Drop all launchpad translated strings from gEDA (I still haven't got
> round to handling the merge nightmare, so as yet - no launchpad
> translations have made it back upstream.)

I expect that to be a problem mostly because of the merging issues
itself, not because of licensing. In general, if you've used LP
exclusively for your translations, you would have neither licensing
neither merging problems (i.e. it'd be easy to find which messages are
done directly in LP, and contain a different license).

Also, there's an easier way for you to do a merge: just upload PO files
from your source code into Launchpad as 'published uploads'. Launchpad
will 'merge' both translations, though it will give preference to those
done in Launchpad (you can easily find and revert to those from uploaded
PO files by using 'changed in LP' filter and 'Packaged:' suggestions).

Then just export them back, and you'll have merged translations.

Cheers,
Danilo



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Old 09-24-2008, 12:02 PM
Peter Clifton
 
Default Licensing of translations (problem!)

On Wed, 2008-09-24 at 13:11 +0200, Danilo *egan wrote:

Hi Danilo, thanks for your reply.

W.r.t translation teams. Conflicts of opinion don't seem to have been a
problem so far. Mostly it has been new translations / completion of old
unmaintained translations which have been provided through launchpad.

[snip]

> Also, there's an easier way for you to do a merge: just upload PO files
> from your source code into Launchpad as 'published uploads'. Launchpad
> will 'merge' both translations, though it will give preference to those
> done in Launchpad (you can easily find and revert to those from uploaded
> PO files by using 'changed in LP' filter and 'Packaged:' suggestions).
>
> Then just export them back, and you'll have merged translations.

Ok, I thought "published uploads" would overwrite existing translations,
hence I thought it was necessary to export the translations and manually
merge before re-uploading.

BTW.. how doesn't this clobber the licensing of strings? Surely upstream
uploads are all marked as GPL? Is there metadata in the .po files
tracking the source of the translations?

Or, does launchpad choose to declare a translation as BSD licensed,
launchpad contributed, if it finds the same string / translation in the
upstream upload and already in Launchpad as BSD? If that were the case,
I guess over time, strings which are accidentally the same in both end
up being migrated to BSD licensed equivelants from launchpad.

Lets say we do the merging. We then export the translations and check
the resulting merged translations back into our repository.

How do we declare the licensing of those files?

Unless I really misunderstood something, saying BSD & GPL are compatible
does not mean I can take BSD licensed software / translations, and then
license it under GPL.

"
* Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
* modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
* * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
* notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
* * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
* notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
* documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
"

--
Peter Clifton

Electrical Engineering Division,
Engineering Department,
University of Cambridge,
9, JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge
CB3 0FA

Tel: +44 (0)7729 980173 - (No signal in the lab!)


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Old 09-24-2008, 01:08 PM
 
Default Licensing of translations (problem!)

Peter Clifton schrieb:
> Unless I really misunderstood something, saying BSD & GPL are compatible
> does not mean I can take BSD licensed software / translations, and then
> license it under GPL.
>
Yes, you really misunderstood that. ;-) That is exactly what it means.

> "
> * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
> * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
> * * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
> * notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
> * * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
> * notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
> * documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
> "
>
The BSD license does not impose any restrictions on the use of the
material, it just imposes the duty to reproduce the copyright notice and
to make derivative works do the same thing (reproduce the copyright
notice). The GPL does the same AND ADDS further conditions. That's why
it's compatible and putting BSD material under the GPL is in harmony
with the BSD license. Klick here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPL#Compatibility_and_multi-licensing

Regards,
Henning


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Old 09-24-2008, 01:14 PM
Danilo Šegan
 
Default Licensing of translations (problem!)

Hi Peter,

У сре, 24. 09 2008. у 13:02 +0100, Peter Clifton пише:

> W.r.t translation teams. Conflicts of opinion don't seem to have been a
> problem so far. Mostly it has been new translations / completion of old
> unmaintained translations which have been provided through launchpad.

You can feel yourself lucky—I wish you it continues being like that for
you

> BTW.. how doesn't this clobber the licensing of strings? Surely upstream
> uploads are all marked as GPL? Is there metadata in the .po files
> tracking the source of the translations?

Well, upstream uploads are marked as upstream, internally in our
database. When it comes to translations, we don't care what exact
license they have (except that it is free software).

> Or, does launchpad choose to declare a translation as BSD licensed,
> launchpad contributed, if it finds the same string / translation in the
> upstream upload and already in Launchpad as BSD? If that were the case,
> I guess over time, strings which are accidentally the same in both end
> up being migrated to BSD licensed equivelants from launchpad.

Exactly. Basically, we get the one with a more relaxed license, so
people can easily reuse it elsewhere.

> Lets say we do the merging. We then export the translations and check
> the resulting merged translations back into our repository.
>
> How do we declare the licensing of those files?
>
> Unless I really misunderstood something, saying BSD & GPL are compatible
> does not mean I can take BSD licensed software / translations, and then
> license it under GPL.

If you want to be more elaborate, I'd say something along the lines of:

- This entire file can be distributed under GPL license. Parts of
this file are available under modified BSD license as well.

IANAL, which you can probably tell from the paragraph above. The fact
that some translations are under BSD license is not a very important bit
since you'll be distributing the entire set under GPL.

If it comes to that, we can also dig out which are the exact licenses
which are available under BSD as well, but I don't expect you to have
any problems with this.

See also:
- http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#WhatDoesCompatMean
- http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses

> "
> * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
> * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
> * * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
> * notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
> * * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
> * notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
> * documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
> "
>

Adding the BSD license text somewhere in your project should be
sufficient, if you really want to be on the safe side. However, I'd not
expect any problems even if you didn't, since the resulting set is going
to end up under GPL anyway.

Again, IANAL.

Cheers,
Danilo



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Old 09-25-2008, 02:33 PM
Jeroen Vermeulen
 
Default Licensing of translations (problem!)

Peter Clifton wrote:

> Or, does launchpad choose to declare a translation as BSD licensed,
> launchpad contributed, if it finds the same string / translation in the
> upstream upload and already in Launchpad as BSD? If that were the case,
> I guess over time, strings which are accidentally the same in both end
> up being migrated to BSD licensed equivelants from launchpad.

Just a small note on this last bit: where strings can be accidentally
the same, as far as I'm aware, copyright simply does not apply. The
first person in the world to say "have you seen Jack's new blog entry?"
did not get any special rights to that sentence. (I don't suppose Jack
did, either). The sentence can be in a GPL'ed program, and it can be
copied from there into a proprietary commercial program and nobody needs
to license it to anyone.

I asked one legal person: what's a reasonable minimum text size to start
talking about copyright? I'm not even telling you which jurisdiction
this was because I don't want people to take this as solid legal advice,
but his answer was "half a side of A4." IANAL, YMMV, etc. AIUI there
are also usually scenes-a-faire clauses that exclude material where you
can't reasonably express something very differently than somebody else
already has. So let's not get too hung up on the licensing of an
individual string, or strings that are identical between programs,
because it's probably meaningless!


Jeroen

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