[ANNOUNCE] upstart 0.5.2 released

Saravanan Shanmugham (sarvi) sarvi at cisco.com
Thu Jun 18 00:25:19 BST 2009

This is not FUD and did not mean it that way either. This is what I have
heard from some licensing lawyers relating to usage of GPLv3 software
while working on my own startup. And I have heard this same concern from
friends in other companies as well.
The specific concern I have heard as quoted to me is relating to
language in GPLv3 relating to 'intimate data communication' with GPLv3

If you had standalone tools/command or utility programs that don't talk
to each other, I suspect it would have been ok.

Upstart is one of those applications that everyone in the system needs
to communicate via D-Bus messaging where the Message API is defined by a
GPLv3 application in this case Upstart. 
Not sure if it qualifies as 'intimate data communication'
"For example, Corresponding Source includes interface definition files
associated with source files for the work, and the source code for
shared libraries and dynamically linked subprograms that the work is
specifically designed to require, such as by intimate data communication
or control flow between those subprograms and other parts of the work."

What I gave you was my own initial reaction based on what I have heard.
Will need to discuss this further before I can draw a conclusion. But do
think about the GPLv3 quote mentioned above.

BTW, when I said people might go off and do their own
replacement/branch-off it would be still be Open source since its
started from the Upstart pedigree. So I don't see how that would be free
riding, since GPLv2 would still require them to publish their changes as
well. Just because some one does not like GPLv3 does not make them free
riders. :-))  
And since we have committed resources to both development and testing of
Upstart and have been working this community for close to a year now. I
presume you weren't refering to us ;-))

Anyway, lets see what the legal heads think about this issue. Do keep us


-----Original Message-----
From: Scott James Remnant [mailto:scott at netsplit.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 2:33 PM
To: Saravanan Shanmugham (sarvi)
Cc: Bill Nottingham; Upstart Development
Subject: RE: [ANNOUNCE] upstart 0.5.2 released
Importance: High

First off, please stop spreading FUD.

If you have an actual issue with the GPLv3 as a licence, compared to the
GPLv2, then please state what it is verbosely, clearly and without

I can take that to our legal department for consideration, we can look
into whether your concern is genuine, and if so consider whether it's
the best licence for Upstart.

Please don't just wave your hands and claim that the embedded, mobile,
or other similar spaces "don't like the GPLv3".  We work in those
spaces, we have partners in those spaces, and we ship a lot of GPLv3
software.  We know that there is no problem.

On Wed, 2009-06-17 at 12:12 -0700, Saravanan Shanmugham (sarvi) wrote:

> Fedora and Redhat may not have issues with distributing GPLv3. 
> But I can guarantee you customers of Redhat, Monta Vista, etc which 
> include many large companies will have a problem with it. As I 
> understand it many of these companies do have a policy of not using 
> GPLv3.
Then how are they shipping any recent versions of just about any

Large parts of the Linux software stack are already GPLv3, large parts
of the library stack are already LGPLv3.

And here's a little piece of information for you: the GPLv2 and LGPLv3
are not compatible.  If you have a "GPLv2 or later" piece of software,
linked to an LGPLv3 licence, the only way you can legally distribute
that is (as you are permitted to do so) "under the terms of GPLv3".

> So yes it will be a problem. Now Redhat/Monta Vista might package it 
> as part of the distro, but will most likely still leave SysVInit as 
> part of the distro and everyone with a policy of not using GPLv3 will 
> not be using it in their products.
> Also note that these same companies which see benefit in functionality

> similar to Upstart WILL go off and do their own replacement. Which 
> will look a lot like upstart in functionality but be branched for 
> licensing reasons.
Then they're going to have to rewrite a lot of code, starting with the C
compiler and working their way upwards.  Good luck to them.

Meanwhile that effort will show them for what they are, free-riders who
are taking advantage of Linux without contributing back or supporting
its ecosystem.

Have you ever, ever felt like this?
Had strange things happen?  Are you going round the twist?

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