[Sugar-devel] licensing question

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Wed May 23 20:54:28 EDT 2018

Copyright on the source code of these activities is held by their
original authors, and not by Sugar Labs.

The ASLO process is a distribution of software by Sugar Labs, and the
licenses are in the source code bundles.  It makes no real difference
what was entered into ASLO as metadata, what matters is the copyright
and license declaration in the source code.

Up until last year, ASLO did not require a license.  A pending change
to ASLO had not been put into production.  Since that change, each new
upload to ASLO has had to have a license field added if there wasn't
one.  But again, this license field is only a summary, and has little
bearing.  What matters is the copyright and license in the source.

Whether Sugar Labs has received a letter or not is immaterial; but as
a distributor Sugar Labs need only check that the license is
acceptable before distributing.

One of the issues at hand is bundling of TurtleBlocksJS inside
Sugarizer.  Sugarizer does not use ASLO, so what ASLO did or does is

TurtleBlocksJS is AGPLv3+ in js/activity.js, has bundled source of
various other licenses, and has no license metadata in activity.info.

I agree that one solution is for the authors of TurtleBlocksJS to
relicense their work to one more compatible with Sugarizer's Apache
2.0 license.  Another is for Sugarizer to relicense.  Best would be a
path from AGPLv3+ to Apache 2.0; I've not found one yet.

Perhaps the new availability of Scratch on Sugarizer reduces the demand
for TurtleBlocksJS.

I certainly don't agree with Tony's suggestion there has been
arbitrary choice of license in GitHub repositories, and have acted and
will act to change any incorrect choice.

The other issue of porting from Python to JavaScript is creating a
derivative work, so the original license does apply.

If the source license is GPLv2 then ask the original copyright owner
to relicense as GPLv2+ or GPLv3+.  If they cannot be contacted, stop.

If the source license is GPLv2+, then anyone can relicense as GPLv3+,
though it is convenient to ask the original copyright owners to

If the source license is GPLv3+, then anyone can relicense as Apache

For the keeping of good records, these relicensing actions should be
commits with the intent clearly stated in commit messages.

Tony's insistence on ASLO continues to amuse me.  Most distribution of
activities now happens through bundles, tarballs, and GitHub.  ASLO is
rarely used by distributors or indeed useful for anything except
personal searches for broken activities.  Tony's numbers make it
plain.  My own plan is to remove the link to "activities" in Browse
default page; plenty of disk space these days to include all working
activities in a build.

On Thu, May 24, 2018 at 08:02:30AM +0800, Tony Anderson wrote:
> The bulk of the Sugar Activities were contributed through the ASLO process.
> This process assumes that the contributor is the copyright-holder. The
> contributor was asked to specify a license. Unfortunately that selection is not
> displayed on ASLO. Therefore, it is likely that the license clause in the
> activities in Github were arbitrarily chosen.
> If SugarLabs has not received a letter from a lawyer in 10 years probably means
> that there is no objection or that the copyright holder sees our use as fair
> use.
> If gplv3 is ok, it would seem that turtleblocks.js needs to change license to
> gpl3 - something that Walter is fully authorized to do.
> Tony
> On Thursday, 24 May, 2018 07:46 AM, Walter Bender wrote:
>     Thank you! 
>     On Wed, May 23, 2018, 7:03 PM Adam Holt <[1]holt at laptop.org> wrote:
>         On Wed, May 23, 2018 at 6:41 PM, Walter Bender <[2]
>         walter.bender at gmail.com> wrote:
>             We are struggling with a licensing question [1] and were hoping
>             that the SFC might be able to advise us. Can you please reach out
>             to them in your role as liaison?
>         I've emailed Karen Sandler (SFConservancy) asking how/who we should
>         approach -
>         Adam
>             thx
>             -walter
>             [1] [3]https://github.com/llaske/sugarizer/issues/48
>             --
>             Walter Bender
>             Sugar Labs
>             [4]http://www.sugarlabs.org
>             --
>             [5]Unsung Heroes of OLPC, interviewed live @ [6]http://
>             unleashkids.org !
>     _______________________________________________
>     Sugar-devel mailing list
>     [7]Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>     [8]http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
> References:
> [1] mailto:holt at laptop.org
> [2] mailto:walter.bender at gmail.com
> [3] https://github.com/llaske/sugarizer/issues/48
> [4] http://www.sugarlabs.org/
> [5] http://www.sugarlabs.org/
> [6] http://unleashkids.org/
> [7] mailto:Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
> [8] http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel

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James Cameron

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