[Box Backup] Box Backup licensing

Chris Wilson chris at qwirx.com
Sat Jan 16 12:22:18 GMT 2010

Hi Martin,

On Sat, 16 Jan 2010, Martin Ebourne wrote:
> On Fri, 2010-01-15 at 14:02 +0100, Chris Wilson wrote:
>> 1. open source their code as well, under similar terms
>> 2. credit us (Ben Summers and contributors) in the documentation
>> 3. negotiate terms for a commercial license with the copyright holders
>> The current license forces them to do either 2 or 3. If the license was
>> changed to 2-clause BSD, they would not have to do any of the above. If it
>> was changed to 3-clause BSD they would still have to do either 2 or 3. If
>> a significant part of the code (the backup engine) was GPL, they would
>> have to do either 1 and 2, or 3.
> I think there might be some confusion here. The 3 clause BSD licence
> doesn't require attribution so doesn't achieve (2):

My reading of it is different. Specifically the third clause states:

     * 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.

Since they must reproduce the copyright notice, which says "Ben Summers 
and contributors", that counts as attributions as far as I'm concerned. Of 
course you're free to ask for more or less attribution than that :)

>> My only reason for considering this change at all is Fedora's issue 
>> with the license. I would rather not have to waste cycles on this 
>> issue. I must say I'm skeptical about and unhappy with their conclusion 
>> that the advertising clause makes the software non-free and therefore 
>> it cannot be included in Fedora. We could still push back on it.
> Fedora's actually quite lenient here, spot is saying (in the bug) that
> the current advertising clause is badly worded and a rewording of it to
> match the normal 4 clause BSD licence would be sufficient.

Who is to say it's badly worded except Ben? I assume that he changed it 
for a reason. I'm glad he's given us permission to change it to something 
more standard, and especially to change parts of the code to GPL. I have 
no issue with removing the advertising clause. I would like to change 
parts of the code to GPL, as discussed, if we can agree that it's a good 
thing without too much effort. Otherwise let's just remove the advertising 
clause and be done with it.

Cheers, Chris.
_ ___ __     _
  / __/ / ,__(_)_  | Chris Wilson <0000 at qwirx.com> - Cambs UK |
/ (_/ ,\/ _/ /_ \ | Security/C/C++/Java/Perl/SQL/HTML Developer |
\ _/_/_/_//_/___/ | We are GNU-free your mind-and your software |

More information about the Boxbackup mailing list