EA3BIL wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:37 am
So, you feel not enough recognized for you contribution?
Is this the real background reason for your complains?
That's not it at all! I have no problem with not being listed in menuCredits.c or not being "included" in the group of maintainers. I made some small but important contributions, but not enough to get my callsign on your LCD!
The real background reason for my complaint is that I hold a (small but real) part of the copyright
of the firmware source code, and under my copyright I offered a license
(GPL-2.0) to everyone (including you). That license is not
The way open source licenses work is that if you comply with the conditions of the license, you can use and distribute the software. If you don't
comply with the conditions of the license, then you have no license at all
(unless you got another license some other way). The GPL-2.0 license has no conditions on use
(the right to use the software however you like is called "freedom zero"). It does, however, have conditions on distribution
When you distribute a build of GPL-2.0 code, you are required to provide the complete corresponding source code
for the build. If you don't comply with that condition, you don't have a license to the source code. If you distributed a build without complying with the terms of the license, you've done so without a license and thus you may be be infringing copyright.
Roger is not
the sole copyright holder of OpenGD77.
Sometimes companies, foundations, or even projects want to maintain copyright to the full source code of a project, so that they can relicense if they want to. That hasn't happened here. The way that's done is that you require all contributors to assign rights to the project. When a project doesn't do that, it cannot
be relicensed without obtaining permission from every contributor or removing their contributions first.
There's some wiggle room around portions of code that can be said to not be copyrightable. A portion of what I contributed is just data - tables of pre-computed values for Golay encoding for DCS. You can argue that those portions are not copyrightable. The rest is copyrighted and thus protected by law.
If you're wondering how my US copyright effects Roger's Australian copyright law, look to the Bern Convention. It's basically an international treaty that requires all member nations to respect the copyright of other member nations. I'm oversimplifying, but in any case it means that I don't have to worry too much about how Australian law differs in this case.
Now Roger has said that the most recent build of the firmware no longer contains any source code written by me. That's plausible, but unlikely. It would not have been hard to replace it all with newer implementations of the same thing, or to rewrite what I wrote in the normal course of refactoring. That being said, recall that I'm not the only contributor - that's why I posted that full list.
Most of the code in OpenGD77 belongs to Amazon (FreeRTOS), Freescale / NXP, ARM, Kai (who became disinterested in the project and left it to Roger), Jonathan (whose code Kai or Roger copied into OpenGD77 from MMDVMHost), Daniel (who I guess is part of the "some other developers" who Roger says have agreed to not comply with terms of the license), Roger, and Alex (also presumably in the agreed group).
Does Roger, or do Roger and Daniel an Alex together, possibly also Kai, have the right to choose not to comply with the license conditions? No - because part of the code belongs to Jonathan, and part of it belongs to me, and other parts belong to others in this community, including you, EA3BIL
(46 lines in the last source code release).
Amazon, Freescale, and ARM all have permissive licenses that only require proper attribution. Since the rest of the code is GPL-2.0 and requires providing complete corresponding source code, the easy way to comply with the permissive licenses is to comply with the less permissive GPL license. Again, without complying with the terms of the licenses, Roger may be infringing the rights of those "big Co's", though I can assure you none of them is likely to sue or even send a solicitors letter to Roger. I myself have no plans to sue either. I still believe Roger and Daniel and Alex are capable of understanding copyright law well enough to know what they need to do.
Now if you think I've asked for Roger to take down his releases, you're wrong. Not once have I urged him to do that or suggested that it could remedy the infringement. It doesn't help. He has already
distributed builds of the firmware, and I (and you) still have a right, under the license, to receive the complete corresponding source code for every build that includes your copyrighted work.
If that last build of OpenGD77 contains even one expressive line of mine, or yours, or Jonathan's, etc., then the community has a right to receive the complete corresponding source code. And yes, that right is yours even if you don't
own part of the copyright, because the right to receive source code goes to the recipient of the build. Roger gave you that right. Kai gave you that right. Jonathan gave you that right. And I gave you that right.
I don't want the firmware taken down - I want the source put up!
If Roger isn't interested in maintaining an open source project anymore, that's fine. He doesn't have to put the source code on GitHub. But he does have to give it to me (as a recipient of the software) and I will gladly give it to you when I receive it. At that point if someone else wants to take over maintainership of the project I will have no say in that - as long as they too comply with the terms of the license. I don't plan to maintain it myself.
But again, that's not what I want. I think the best thing for everyone is for Roger to post the code and maintain the project in the open.
Now here's the really weird thing: Why did Roger close the source code? He said it's because he doesn't want people to exploit his work by selling firmware installation services on eBay. Go read those threads yourself if you haven't already. How does closing the source code stop that from happening? It doesn't! He was still releasing firmware binary images until this month. And now why is Roger taking down the releases? He says it's because we're complaining about the license. We're not! We're complaining that he hasn't complied with the terms of the license and asking him to comply. How does taking down the releases help? It doesn't!
The only part of this story that makes any sense to me is that Daniel and Roger and Alex invested a ton
of time and effort into maintaining the project that Kai started on the shoulders of Travis and Jonathan and he's unhappy about the license terms because they don't give him what he wants.
If he (or he and Daniel and Alex) were the sole copyright holder he could choose to close the project without breaking any laws. But it was a community project and it was made up of parts of other projects.
EA3BIL wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:37 am
You don't behave as a HamRadio lover but big Co's attorney...
I am not a lawyer, but I do spend several hours every week talking to lawyers about copyright law, intellectual property, open source licenses, and software at one of the largest technology companies in the world. I will confess this experience has reduced my love of Ham Radio somewhat, but this project sits at the intersection of radio, software, and copyright law, and while I do care about the hobby, I also care about open source software. I care about my intellectual property rights, and yours, and Jonathan's, and everyone's who contributed and didn't agree to close the source code.