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

Radosław Piliszek radoslaw.piliszek at gmail.com
Sat Mar 13 17:03:49 UTC 2021

Thanks Dmitry and Jeremy for your quick response.
Also thanks Jeremy for replying in Launchpad as well.
My answers inline.

On Sat, Mar 13, 2021 at 12:07 PM Dmitry Tantsur <dtantsur at redhat.com> wrote:
>> Not only the projects that have "Ansible" in name might be affected,
>> e.g. Ironic also imports Ansible parts.
> Only in our ansible modules and only the BSD parts, namely https://github.com/ansible/ansible/blob/devel/lib/ansible/module_utils/basic.py

Yes, that's something I have missed. The main README suggests
everything is GPL in there so I was confused.
Perhaps this is what also confused the OP from Launchpad.

On Sat, Mar 13, 2021 at 2:07 PM Jeremy Stanley <fungi at yuggoth.org> wrote:
> On 2021-03-13 10:28:37 +0100 (+0100), Radosław Piliszek wrote:
> [...]
> > 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.
> [...]
> The reason parts of Zuul are GPL is that they actually include forks
> of some components of Ansible itself (for example, to be able to
> thoroughly redirect command outputs to a console stream). Zuul
> isolates the execution of those parts of its source in order to
> avoid causing the entire service to be GPL.

That's good to know and good that Zuul does it this way.
Zuul was given as *the good* example. (if it was not clear from my message)

> Are you suggesting that files shipped in Ironic's deliverable repos
> directly import (in a Python sense) these GPL files? Nothing in the
> https://opendev.org/zuul/zuul-jobs repository is GPL. I've never
> seen any credible argument that merely executing a GPL program makes
> the calling program a derivative work. Also, if the Zuul jobs in
> project repositories really were GPL, that should still be fine
> according to our governance:

I'm not suggesting anything. Dmitry gave a good example that parts of
Ansible are actually BSD-licensed (even though it's only obvious after
inspecting each file) so it has to be analysed file-per-file then.
Also, a purist may say that Ansible still "curses" such usage by GPL
because, when you import in Python, you are actually executing the
__init__s in the context of your software and those are licensed under
GPL, especially the root one.

> Anyway, we have a separate mailing list for such topics:
>     http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/legal-discuss

I have missed it. Should we post there? It looks pretty abandoned
(perhaps for a good reason ;-) ).

> Let's please not jump to conclusions when it comes to software
> licenses. It's not as cut and dried as you might expect.

I know, and thus expect, it to be a complex topic and that's the role
of the word "possible" in the very subject.
I am seeking advice.

Also, for clarity, I am just propagating the original report with my
extra findings. I was not aware that there could be any issue
whatsoever with the licenses we have.


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