BSD licence

Danilo Šegan danilo at
Tue Jul 1 16:29:58 BST 2008

Hi Luca,

Yesterday at 12:05, luca innurindi wrote:

> I don't understand, but these strings came from upstream translations?
> If yes, the Ubuntu translators mustn't modify them without asking to the
> upstream translators.

License changes will apply only to work contributed directly through
Launchpad: upstream translations are not treated under the same rules.

>> Our alternative solution would be not to show suggestions from other
>> projects, but that would defeat the purpose of having a large, shared
>> translations database.
>> Also, I wonder how are BSD-licensed translations negatively affecting
>> your upstream project?
> I think they negatively affect also the Ubuntu translations made in Launchpad, because who
> spends some time and energy for providing a quality translation if
> someone can later distribute this one in a closed way and
> under his own license? The BSD licence can encourage the behaviour of
> profiting from the others' work without costs.

So, while we do understand there are some risks, we feel they are very
low.  And we are not alone in that, FSF feels the same way (judging by
their actions):

As you can see there, many GPL projects which otherwise require strict
copyright assignment in paper, require copyright _disclaimers_ when it
comes to translations ("disclaiming a copyright" means that you are
giving your work out into public domain; this is even "worse" than
what BSD license does: BSD license allows you to still keep at least
some rights, and in some countries, you can even revoke it if your
"moral" rights have been violated).

> So I fear a lack of motivation for contributing to the Ubuntu
> translations if we use this license amd my big question is:
> What's the rationale for using this license? I ask because I haven't seen till now any
> discussion in this ml about this change.  

We've had a lot of discussion in the past (some on now extinct
rosetta-users) list, and had more input from Launchpad Beta testers.

I am sorry to hear that you'd lose the motivation to do any
translations for Ubuntu, though.

Rationale is provided on the license question page, and also in the

>> (i.e. GNU applications, including those under GPL with strict
>> copyright assignment in writing, use completely public domain
>> translations)
> If they are under GPL, this isn't possible because the translation
> makes a derived work. Could you make some examples of this behaviour?

Yes, look at the above mentioned TranslationProject page.  FSF asks
all translators to submit their translations into public domain.

This is also mentioned in the FAQ:


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