[MonoDevelop] Licensing concerns.

Todd Berman tberman@off.net
Fri, 16 Jul 2004 02:20:51 -0400

On Fri, 2004-07-16 at 07:41 +0200, Christoph Wille wrote:
> We intentionally linked only messages that were sent on this mailing list 
> to not misquote you or anybody else, I invite everyone to check the PDF out 
> to see the "misrepresentation" you allege.

I will save them the time.

3rd paragraph, 1st sentence:

"MonoDdvevelop (http://www.monodevelop.com) is a fork of SharpDevelop
branching off release 0.94 of SharpDevelop"

it was 0.98, but this is minor, just informing.

Same paragraph, next sentence:

"MonoDevelop MonoDevelop now wants to change license to the X11 license
which led to some debate between the developers of both teams."

Never once was this suggested, and many times it was explained that
MonoDevelop would continue to be GPL until/unless it was rewritten
completely (which was also noted to be highly unlikely (as in, not gonna
happen unlikely)). All that was mentioned was that *MY* personal
contributions, the IP that I own, would be relicensed to the MIT X11
license, but distributed under the terms of the GPL. There was also some
questions if we should require future contributions to be submitted with
similar constraints, and if we should look at getting past contributions
licensed in the same way. Again, MD would stay GPL, and the #D codebase
is GPL.

2nd page, 1st bullet point:

"...without explicitly choosing a license, code derived from GPL'd code
is 'license free' seems incorrect."

All I stated was that it was not explicitly licensed, which is bad in
general. I would assume everyone agrees.

2nd page, 2nd bullet point:

"A change in licensing of GPL'd software is not possible without the
permission of the copyright holders of all code involved from our

I never even suggested that the software's license would change. Read
above. Just that my contributions would. And last time I checked, I was
the sole copyright holder of my contributions.

> Secondly, a minor mistake - don't take German language for German company. 
> Here in Austria we also speak German as a matter of fact. Oh, and by the 
> way: my company only acts as the copyright holder - all assignments will be 
> tranferred to Mike once he chooses so. This is only legal protection for 
> Mike, because he is a student and with Germany being heavy on not-so-easily 
> defendable injunctions, I decided to offer a legal shield. Which is cheap, 
> because my father IS a lawyer.

I apologize for thinking ASP was a German company, I now understand that
it is an Austrian company.

And I am happy to hear that your father is a lawyer, I hope that
profession is as lucrative in Austria as it is in America and Canada.

> I thought we we were handling this issue (which even might turn out to be a 
> non-issue) above-USENET flamewar level, but your recent blog post has me 
> thinking that I might be wrong on assuming that we deal with this issue 
> professionally.

It already has turned into a non-issue. As I stated in my blog, as far
as MonoDevelop is concerned, it is a moot point. And as far as dealing
with this issue professionally, I don't think that you and your team has
been in the least bit professional over this, and 'MonoDevelop Brother'
thread that happened here a couple weeks ago. Keeping that thread alive
here was just in poor taste.

Had ASP wished to be professional, they would have not reached for the
FSF within 24 hours of this being mentioned, they would have attempted
to contact me off the list, which was not done, as I recall, I attempted
to contact you off the list, and was handled very tersely.

Taking your concerns to the FSF is just in poor taste. Regardless of
what the FSF says, it is just their opinion, and not actually a concern
of mine. The FSF is not, will not, and can not be the judge, jury and
executioner in this discussion. But, I am just a developer, not a
lawyer, so I guess maybe the MonoDevelop team needs more word wranglers,
and less code wranglers to deal with this in the future. And again, as I
said before, you can stop wasting the FSF's time, as it is a moot

And what I said on my blog was just that. What I said on my blog. It is
my space, in which I can say whatever I choose to say. And after just
re-reading it, at no point do I feel I flamed anyone. I merely expressed
my exasperation at the 'professional' decisions reached by the ASP team.
If you feel that any piece of it is inaccurate, please contact me off
this list, and I will listen to your objections, and either edit out the
inaccuracies, or post small footnotes from you that explain exactly why
I am wrong, unprofessional, and just generally a bad guy. This isn't the
first time I have been told that I kill kittens, and if I do things
right, it won't be the last time.

> Final words: we submit to the outcome from FSF analysis, so why doesn't 
> everyone here hold their flame-breath and stick to "we have a disagreement 
> on licensing we want to resolve professionally". To clear up 
> misconceptions: we are not threatening anybody, we don't intend to mess 
> with somebody's IP, it's just that this discussion has come to a point 
> where it should be resolved professionally - so other OS projects don't 
> have to go through this process but can build on the results.

We don't have a disagreement on licensing, at all, we have a
disagreement on if the GPL allows code under a different, but still GPL
compat, license to be bundled with GPL code given that the entire
product is released under the terms of the GPL.

As far as I, and the MonoDevelop team is concerned, this issue is
closed, done, finished, etc. There is no need for anymore discussion on
it, as we have decided how to best move forward, and will concentrate on
code wrangling, not word wrangling. We have software to develop.

Good night,