[all][tc][legal] Possible GPL violation in several places

Radosław Piliszek radoslaw.piliszek at gmail.com
Sat Mar 13 09:28:37 UTC 2021

Dear fellow OpenStackers,

it has been brought to my attention that having any (Python) imports
against a GPL lib (e.g Ansible) *might be* considered linking with all
the repercussions of that (copyleft anyone?).

Please see the original thread in Launchpad:

Not only the projects that have "Ansible" in name might be affected,
e.g. Ironic also imports Ansible parts.

Do note *I am not a lawyer* so I have no idea whether the Python
importing is analogous to linking in terms of GPL. I am only
forwarding the concerns reported to me in Launchpad. A quick Google
search was inconclusive.

I have done some analysis in the original Launchpad thread mentioned
above. I am copying it here for ease of reference.

Hmm, the reasoning is interesting. OpenStack Ansible and TripleO would
probably also be interested in knowing whether GPL violation is
happening or not. I am not in a position to answer this question. I
will propagate this matter to the mailing list:
FWIW, TripleO is by Red Hat, just like Ansible, so one would assume
they know what they are doing. OTOH, there is always room for a
All in all, end users must use Ansible so they must agree to GPL
anyhow, so the license switch would be mostly cosmetic: +/- the
OpenStack licensing requirements [1].
That said, Ansible Collections for OpenStack are already licensed under GPL [2].
And a related (and very relevant) project using Ansible - Zuul -
includes a note about partial GPL [3].
A quick search [4] reveals a lot of places that could be violating GPL
in OpenStack (e.g. in Ironic, base CI jobs) if we followed this
linking logic.

[1] https://governance.openstack.org/tc/reference/licensing.html
[2] https://opendev.org/openstack/ansible-collections-openstack
[3] https://opendev.org/zuul/zuul
[4] https://codesearch.opendev.org/?q=(from%7Cimport)%5Cs%2B%5Cbansible%5Cb&i=nope&files=&excludeFiles=&repos=


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