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Remove my contributions to Lerna #1622

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seansfkelley opened this Issue Aug 29, 2018 · 17 comments

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seansfkelley commented Aug 29, 2018

Due to #1616. I don't want to get into the politics of ICE of the enforceability of a license change, but as a past contributor I strongly condemn this type of toxic politicizing of the open source community and want no part in it.

Per #1616 (comment), I would like all my contributions removed. I will not be opening my own PR to do so.

@kittens @evocateur @jamiebuilds

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seansfkelley commented Aug 29, 2018

Ping also @hzoo @gigabo @noherczeg @joscha @wtgtybhertgeghgtwtg @jezzay @rygine (those contributors higher on the list than I) in case you aren't aware and would like to do the same.

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androolloyd commented Aug 29, 2018

since his commits occurred under MIT, we can we simply revert and then re issue without him as the author correct?

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orthecreedence commented Aug 29, 2018

From what I've read, this project does not have a CLA. That means that in order to relicense, you either need to remove the contributions of the people who have not given EXPLICIT PERMISSION to relicense, or you need to reprogram the sections of code contributed by them.

This is not just for the contributors who complain, this is for every contribution that has been made to the project by those who have not explicitely agreed to relicense. The people who have contributed own their code have contributed it under the license terms of the MIT license. You cannot relicense their code without their permission.

And you cannot just remove their code and add it back in again without naming them as authors, because they own the code and it is not yours to do with as you please without permission.

It seems that if this license change is a serious endeavor and not just virtue signaling, the Lerna team is going to have to a) ask permission from a lot of people or b) rewrite a lot of code.

Otherwise, you're effectively stealing people's code.

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pluma commented Aug 29, 2018

As there is no CLA, @seansfkelley is the only person who can clarify how "remove my contributions" is supposed to be interpreted.

Since he's explicitly doing it because he disagrees with the relicensing, I would expect it to mean "revert my commits in this repo and don't include the code I committed in any future releases".

IANAL but I'm not sure whether there's a legal requirement for the lerna maintainers to comply. I think it depends on what exactly creating a PR on a GitHub repo implies and I'm not aware of any legal precedent for that. That said, if I were a maintainer I would comply out of courtesy.

EDIT: @orthecreedence for the sake of keeping things organised, I think it makes more sense to discuss the issue of whether the relicensing is legal in the existing issue #1620. I'm not a contributor but derailing every new issue/PR is a quick way to get open source maintainers to lock down issues which helps nobody.

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rubbingalcoholic commented Aug 29, 2018

IANAL but I'm not sure whether there's a legal requirement for the lerna maintainers to comply. I think it depends on what exactly creating a PR on a GitHub repo implies and I'm not aware of any legal precedent for that. That said, if I were a maintainer I would comply out of courtesy.

IANAL but they're using his code without a license. Ironic.

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pluma commented Aug 29, 2018

@rubbingalcoholic I'm not even using lerna, actually.

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seansfkelley commented Aug 29, 2018

IA(also)NAL.

What I had intended was "remove entirely or rewrite from scratch" such that the code was definitely no longer mine. This is under the assumption that a simple history/blame change to remove my name would be insufficient to make it no longer "my code" (as it would certainly feel, from my perspective) and would potentially violate the terms under which I contributed the code.

I am accepting the offer that was presented to me by @kittens as:

your contributions are either removed or rewritten to remove attribution.

"Remove attribution" seems to suggest that changing the name is all that was offered, which is unfortunate.

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Daniel15 commented Aug 29, 2018

That means that in order to relicense, you either need to remove the contributions of the people who have not given EXPLICIT PERMISSION to relicense, or you need to reprogram the sections of code contributed by them.

@orthecreedence - Generally, you only need permission to move to a more permissive license (for example, from GPL to MIT or BSD). The MIT license explicitly allows sublicensing, so redistributing code under a more restrictive license is allowed, without requiring permission from the original authors. In essence, you can consider a relicense as a fork of the original MIT-licensed version. This is also how Linux can use MIT-licensed code, even though Linux itself is GPL licensed (which is a more restrictive license than MIT). You just need to keep the MIT license text for the parts that were originally MIT licensed.

What I'm not sure about is revoking contributions that were made under the MIT license. It's likely possible, I've just never seen it before so I don't have any prior experience with it.

(I am not a laywer, and this is not legal advice)

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jamiebuilds commented Aug 29, 2018

For the record, there are only 69 (nice) lines of code in the repo which are still attributed to you @seansfkelley. Would you like those removed, or would you like your original commits removed from history and have everything rebased on top of it. Both are pretty easy

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Sieabah commented Aug 29, 2018

@seansfkelley Just file a DMCA takedown request.

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pluma commented Aug 29, 2018

@Sieabah Unless you're a lawyer, that's dangerously bad advice. As others and I have explained before, it's not at all clear whether the project maintainers are legally required to comply with the request. Filing DMCA claims without having a valid basis is a federal offense. So if it turns out that I'm right and there's no legal obligation, he'd commit a felony.

That said, the suggestion is silly because you're responding after the maintainers have already started complying with the request out of courtesy. So it would not only be a potential felony but also pointless and needlessly aggressive.

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Sieabah commented Aug 29, 2018

That said, the suggestion is silly because you're responding after the maintainers have already started complying with the request out of courtesy. So it would not only be a potential felony but also pointless and needlessly aggressive.

The irony. I was merely stating a suggestion, if you take everything someone says as legal advice then that's your problem. It would be on the person filing the takedown request to ensure they have the right to do so.

Here you go though:
IANAL, if the MIT license does not explicitly transfer ownership then the legal owner should be able to request anything be done to that code, including removing it from all previous releases of Lerna. If it is not complied with the original author could file a DMCA request to take down the project until it has been rectified.

I assume the people who made the license change don't have much more legal experience than the average person so they probably overlooked a lot of edge cases which can get this project terminated.

Edit:
After being messaged a few things at this point, I don't think anything jamie says can be taken at face value.

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seansfkelley commented Aug 29, 2018

Since you're offering, I'd prefer those commits removed from history entirely, yes, both content and attribution.

You are, of course, free to reimplement the behaviors yourself, which I would recommend so as to avoid breaking regressions.

evocateur added a commit that referenced this issue Aug 30, 2018

chore: Restore unmodified MIT license
This reverts #1616

Closes #1622
Closes #1618
Fixes #1619
Fixes #1626
Fixes #1631
Fixes #1630

evocateur added a commit that referenced this issue Aug 30, 2018

chore: Restore unmodified MIT license (#1633)
This reverts #1616

Closes #1622
Closes #1618
Fixes #1619
Fixes #1626
Fixes #1631
Fixes #1630
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seansfkelley commented Aug 30, 2018

Thank you for restoring some sanity, @evocateur!

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TheLarkInn commented Aug 30, 2018

Thanks for the patience.

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lock bot commented Dec 27, 2018

This thread has been automatically locked because there has not been any recent activity after it was closed. Please open a new issue for related bugs.

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