#128898 Clarification on Section 6 of Sourceforge terms of use

First Level Support
closed
5
2008-09-25
2008-08-26
No

I would like to have some clarifications on the following paragraph of Section 6 of the Sourceforge terms of use ("Your Rights" subsection, third par)

http://alexandria.wiki.sourceforge.net/Terms+of+Use

"
...
By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through SourceForge.net, you grant COMPANY a worldwide, non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, fully sublicensable, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, create derivative works from, publish, perform, display, rent, resell and distribute such Content (in whole or part) on SourceForge.net and incorporate Content in other works, in any form, media, or technology developed by COMPANY, though COMPANY is not required to incorporate Feedback into any COMPANY products or services.
...
"

I could be wrong, but from what I can understand, it seems that for everything published on sourceforge, the COMPANY wants to retain the right of violating the basic GPL principle of sharing alike.

In other words, if I have correctly read the TOS, the following scenario could be true: Someone distributes a GPL open source system through SourceForge.net, the COMPANY, invoking the above paragraph of the TOS, can create a derivative closed source system and sell it bypassing the GPL.

I sincerely think that I have misunderstood the TOS, but I would like to have a clear simple answer that, if I distribute my GPL protected software through SourceForge.net, the COMPANY cannot create derivative works from my sources and redistribute/sell it as closed source.

Thanks in advance
Yours

Paolo Cignoni

Discussion

  • Anonymous - 2008-08-26
    • milestone: --> First Level Support
    • assigned_to: nobody --> hinojosa
     
  • Anonymous - 2008-08-26

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    Greetings,

    This is an initial response the SourceForge.net team uses to let you know how this Support Request will be handled. Please read the entirety of this comment before taking any further action; information enclosed in this comment will help you to ensure that you have an excellent support experience.

    The SourceForge.net team takes all reported issues seriously; we will work to provide you a complete, accurate, and timely response to your inquiry. Information about our support policies and procedures may be found here:
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    ABOUT THIS ISSUE: Based on the initial review of this request, we have determined that this issue will be considered to have Moderate Priority. Issues within this category typically include service questions, usage problems, system issues, statistics, and specialized requests (such as those requiring significant administrative overview, or which require the development of a custom solution). A description of our issue priorities may be found here:
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  • Anonymous - 2008-08-27

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    Greetings,

    I'm not a lawyer, but I do know that this is the grant of license, and I also know that SourceForge respects copyrights.

    Need anything else? Drop a comment into this support request. We'll get back on it!

    Cheers!,

    Daniel Hinojosa - the SourceForge.net support gnome

    P.S. - We have a new Site Status page: https://sourceforge.net/sitestatus . Keep up with the latest site and service issues there! Also, get outage notices by email, find out how here: https://sourceforge.net/community/forum/topic.php?id=2728&page&replies=1

     
  • Anonymous - 2008-08-27
    • status: open --> pending
     
  • Paolo Cignoni

    Paolo Cignoni - 2008-08-27

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    Thanks for the prompt reply,
    I know and I firmly believe that SourceForge respects copyrights and fosters Open Source philosophy (section 8 of the TOS) but I still have some doubts.

    Forgive my sincere naiveness, but what do you exactly mean with "this is the grant of license"?
    What license are you referring to? If we refer to the Licensing scheme chosen by the user, the reported paragraph seems to go in the opposite direction of the share-alike spirit of many opensource osi approved licensing schemes.

    Specifically I refer to the part of the TOS when you say the user automatically grants to Sourceforge the right of doing anything with the Content that a user submits the SourceForge service. With GPL licensed software you cannot do anything, but you have to respect the GPL licensing terms (e.g. you cannot create derivative closed source products). Perhaps if you add in that section of the TOS the following sentence "under the chosen OSI approved licensing scheme"
    most of the doubts will disappear.

    So, could you answer with a simple yes/no about the possibility that the scenario that i have described in the initial text could happen?

    I would be really happy if you could simply and clearly state that the described scenario cannot absolutely happen;
    Otherwise all the GPL projects should immediately depart from sourceforge because the TOS in the current form seems plainly against the share-alike spirit of the GPL.

    Thanks again for your support and help
    Yours
    Paolo Cignoni

     
  • Paolo Cignoni

    Paolo Cignoni - 2008-08-27
    • status: pending --> open
     
  • Anonymous - 2008-08-29

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    Greetings,

    I am escalating this internally for attention.

    Need anything else? Drop a comment into this support request. We'll get back on it!

    Cheers!,

    Daniel Hinojosa - the SourceForge.net support gnome

    P.S. - We have a new Site Status page: https://sourceforge.net/sitestatus . Keep up with the latest site and service issues there! Also, get outage notices by email, find out how here: https://sourceforge.net/community/forum/topic.php?id=2728&page&replies=1

     
  • Paolo Cignoni

    Paolo Cignoni - 2008-08-29

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    Ok, thanks for your involvement.
    I will wait for your news.

    Cheers
    p.

     
  • Paolo Cignoni

    Paolo Cignoni - 2008-08-30

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    I have unchecked the private flag for this issue, simply because this TOS issue raised during a discussion for the choice of using SF as a basis for an international, public founded research project, and I need that the other partners of the project can follow the discussion.

    Cheers
    P.

     
  • Anonymous - 2008-09-02
    • status: open --> pending
     
  • Anonymous - 2008-09-02

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    Greetings,

    We appreciate your comments and input and will look into ways to make it more clear in our Terms of Service that our intentions are 100% are aligned with those of the open source community.

    Need anything else? Drop a comment into this support request. We'll get back on it!

    Cheers!,

    Daniel Hinojosa - the SourceForge.net support gnome

    P.S. - We have a new Site Status page: https://sourceforge.net/sitestatus . Keep up with the latest site and service issues there! Also, get outage notices by email, find out how here: https://sourceforge.net/community/forum/topic.php?id=2728&page&replies=1

     
  • Paolo Cignoni

    Paolo Cignoni - 2008-09-08
    • status: pending --> open
     
  • Paolo Cignoni

    Paolo Cignoni - 2008-09-08

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    Thanks, I appreciate your commitment to the compliance of the open source community,
    I hope that I clear reformulation of the SF TOS will appear as soon as possible.

    Eventually this issue could be solved by simply adding a line that says the user grant to the COMPANY a license that "respects the OSI approved licensing scheme chosen by the user for the submitted CONTENT"

    Until such (or similar) a change I still think that the current TOS is not fully compliant to the GPL spirit and it does not fit very well with your well proved fostering of Open Source philosophy.

    Hoping in a fast TOS modification that could definitely close this issue,

    Cheers,

    Paolo Cignoni

     
  • Anonymous - 2008-09-08

    Paolo,

    I'll forward your suggestion along to the legal team for consideration. They will of course, proceed as they see fit on this issue.

    Again, we appreciate your input!

    Cheers!,

    Daniel Hinojosa - the SourceForge.net support gnome

    P.S. - Want to avoid spam? Make sure you mark support requests Private when you need to send us your email address or other private information, so that spammers and other nefarians don't nab it. Then, bookmark the requests so that you can find the issue later if you are not logged in when you submit your request.

     
  • Anonymous - 2008-09-08
    • status: open --> closed
     
  • Paolo Cignoni

    Paolo Cignoni - 2008-09-09

    Ok, I will wait for a TOS update.

    Just a minor note, I would have closed this issue after the TOS change, not before.
    Usually people closes bug trackers *after* the commit of a patch, not before.

    Thanks again for your commitment on this issue.

    Cheers

    Paolo Cignoni

     
  • Paolo Cignoni

    Paolo Cignoni - 2008-09-09
    • status: closed --> open
     
  • Anonymous - 2008-09-10

    Paolo,

    I understand your perspective on this. As the legal issues are out of my control, I have no other way to influence this. If this were an engineering issue, I could assign it there and trust that it would be addressed.

    So, not meaning to say this issue is resolved here at all. Just noting that we have taken these comments deeply to heart and are working to address this. I hope you can live with the closure on this. I'll set this to Pending and it will close automatically in 14 days unless there are additional comments here.

    Kind regards,

    Daniel.

     
  • Anonymous - 2008-09-10
    • status: open --> pending
     
  • SourceForge Robot

    This Tracker item was closed automatically by the system. It was
    previously set to a Pending status, and the original submitter
    did not respond within 14 days (the time period specified by
    the administrator of this Tracker).

     
  • SourceForge Robot

    • status: pending --> closed
     

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