[Pulp-dev] Pulp 3 Licensing

Robin Chan rchan at redhat.com
Wed Mar 27 21:14:19 UTC 2019

Given our conclusion that pulpcore and pulpcore-pluginare "GPL v2 or any
later version", I just found a README where we could clarify our licensing
(adding the "or later version") and wrote up this task:

I also added a few ideas of places we can check, so I know it's a bit
broad. I'm cool if we need to break this up (or make it an issue vs. a
task) please provide some feedback/updates. I wanted to capture this and if
anyone else remembers a place where they were misled to the licensing of
Pulp please add it. I also didn't want us to do any license changes (even
if they are corrections) just through github PRs since I want to be
transparent that these are clarifications and not a slipping in of license

On Fri, Mar 22, 2019 at 5:35 PM Brian Bouterse <bbouters at redhat.com> wrote:

> I've solicited feedback from various Pulp contributors and also from the
> other teams that had expressed concerns about Pulp's GPLv2+ licensing. The
> feedback I received is that the license, as-is, meets everyone's needs.
> Without a clear use-case motivating additional license change discussion,
> or an individual or group requesting a licensing change to be considered,
> the natural outcome is that Pulp's license will remain unadjusted.
> As always, if you have concerns (at any time) please raise them.
> Thank you to everyone who participated in the thoughtful discussions on
> how to best position Pulp to create the most value for its users.
> On Mon, Mar 11, 2019 at 11:12 AM David Davis <daviddavis at redhat.com>
> wrote:
>> Having dealt with some other teams that want to integrate with Pulp, I
>> wonder if we shouldn’t move to a more permissive license for Pulp 3. Reason
>> being is that a more restrictive license such as GPL might turn people away
>> from Pulp—people that might want to write plugins, integrate Pulp into
>> their software, or use Pulp. I know it will be a pain to switch core to a
>> more permissive license but I wonder if it’s worth it given that we want to
>> encourage community development, usage, and integration of Pulp 3.
>> David
>> On Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 4:44 PM Brian Bouterse <bbouters at redhat.com>
>> wrote:
>>> After looking into this some more I believe @Simon's observation that
>>> Pulp is operating under GPLv2+ is correct. I don't believe there is
>>> ambiguity. There was confusion though. Specifically we include the LICENSE
>>> file in Pulp's repo (which is GPLv2), but it's the COPYRIGHT file that
>>> actually names what licenses (GPLv2 or later, i.e. GPLv2+) Pulp is licensed
>>> as. The LICENSE file is included as a convenience, but that doesn't mean
>>> its the only license. I've updated the FAQ clarifying this and linking to
>>> the repos where you can see it:
>>> https://pulp.plan.io/projects/pulp/wiki/Pulp3_Licensing_FAQ#What-license-does-pulpcore-and-pulpcore-plugin-use
>>> This means that Pulp plugins must be licensed as either GPLv2 or GPLv3.
>>> Please raise any concerns if this is unclear or incorrect. This has been
>>> clarified in the FAQ also.
>>> @oleksander here is what I think that means for Apachev2 combinations.
>>> Please tell me what you think. Have your pulp subclassed objects be GPLv3
>>> since that is an option, and then that code is safe to combine with other
>>> licensed code that is compatible with GPLv3. Apache v2 is compatible with
>>> GPLv3. Galaxy is the effective "combination" of these two compatible
>>> licenses into one larger software. Note that this is a combining of two
>>> distinct license types into one software, but the licenses stay distinct
>>> over time. The Apache 2.0 parts stay as Apache and the GPLv3 parts stay as
>>> GPLv3. I wrote up this case on the FAQ also:
>>> https://pulp.plan.io/projects/pulp/wiki/Pulp3_Licensing_FAQ#Can-I-combine-GPLv2-or-GPLv3-licensed-code-with-Apache-20-licensed-code
>>> Feedback on the correctness or this information is welcome.
>>> Please send remaining or additional concerns. We want to make sure we
>>> are incorporating all the info and correct info as we look at this.
>>> Thank you,
>>> Brian
>>> On Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 7:56 AM Robin Chan <rchan at redhat.com> wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> So I have an update.  It appears that our Pulp 3 source code [1], [2]
>>>> is unclear regarding being GPLv2 or GPLv2+. I have learned that Red Hat
>>>> normally uses "GPLv2-or-later" rather than "GPLv2 only" for projects it
>>>> launches/maintains and this was true for the time when Pulp 3 was launched
>>>> as a project.
>>>> I suggest that productive path forward would be:
>>>> 1. Assuming Pulp 3 is GPLv2+, can we discuss Oleksandr's questions?
>>>> 2. I suggest it would be most helpful to assume the project is
>>>> *currently* GPLv2+ - the lines are blurred and it seems best to err on this
>>>> side if we are picking for the purposed of this discussion and how we are
>>>> operating. We recently extended common cure rights in our license. PyPI
>>>> lists us are GPLv2+ (due to some code stating this.)  Simon licensed a
>>>> plugin as GPLv2+ understanding the project was GPLv2+. We are still having
>>>> this conversation and at the very minimum need to do some clarification.
>>>> 3.  I do know several RH employees were under the impression Pulp 3 was
>>>> GPLv2 and I do want to hear any concerns. I would also like to hear if
>>>> there are any community contributors who contributed to Pulp 3 under the
>>>> assumption that it was GPLv2 and hear if there are any concerns with a
>>>> GPLv2+ license.
>>>> Thanks all for your patience in getting some clarification here.
>>>> -Robin
>>>> [1] https://github.com/pulp/pulp/blob/master/LICENSE
>>>> [2] https://github.com/pulp/pulpcore-plugin/blob/master/LICENSE
>>>> On Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 7:29 AM Oleksandr Saprykin <osapryki at redhat.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Hi Dana,
>>>>> I would like to clarify under which license terms pulp plugins \
>>>>> derivative work are eligible to be published.
>>>>> IANAL. As far as I know GPL (any version) requires that all derivative
>>>>> work must be published under the same terms of GPL license.
>>>>> Therefore as a plugin author I cannot release pulp plugin under terms
>>>>> of any other more permissive license than the GPL (e.g. MIT, BSD, Apache
>>>>> licenses).
>>>>> Another example. If Galaxy project released under terms of Apache 2.0
>>>>> license wants to use pulp as a direct dependency, meaning
>>>>> subclassing *pulpcore* or *pulpcore-plugin* classes, it creates GPL
>>>>> license violation due to GPL license requirement to be licensed under GPL
>>>>> for all covered (derivative) work.
>>>>> Red Hat
>>>>> <https://www.redhat.com/>
>>>>> <https://red.ht/sig>
>>>>> On Tue, Feb 5, 2019 at 9:56 PM Dana Walker <dawalker at redhat.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Hello everyone!
>>>>>> Thus far, Pulp 3 has been operating under the GPLv2 license.  Given
>>>>>> the way the GPL defines derivative works, this means that the plugins
>>>>>> should also be licensed as GPLv2.  Take a look at this FAQ to further
>>>>>> clarify the current state of things. [0]
>>>>>> What we’d like to hear is feedback from each of our stakeholders and
>>>>>> community members.  Do you have any concerns with this license, or are you
>>>>>> happy with leaving things as is?
>>>>>> Looking forward, are there any compelling reasons to consider
>>>>>> alternatives at this pivotal time in our community’s growth?  Let us know!
>>>>>> [0] https://pulp.plan.io/projects/pulp/wiki/Pulp3_Licensing_FAQ
>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>> --Dana
>>>>>> Dana Walker
>>>>>> Associate Software Engineer
>>>>>> Red Hat
>>>>>> <https://www.redhat.com>
>>>>>> <https://red.ht/sig>
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