Author Topic: Do Components of Comodo Dragon Violate License Agreements of Upstream Code?  (Read 10009 times)

Offline Zazzman

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This is to notify Comodo that they have released a web browser named "Dragon," (https://www.Comodo.com/home/browsers-toolbars/browser.php) derived from Google Chromium, which includes copyleft components.  Comodo has also failed to release the source code of said components in Dragon, in violation of these components' licenses.  Whether these components remain untouched or are modified, this requirement persists.

While the "Three Clause" BSD license for Chromium does not require the distribution of the source code of derivative works, Chromium uses components which are listed under other licenses that compel Comodo to release the source code of said components.

All such infringed components are listed under the LGPL 2.1 license https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/lgpl-2.1.html
ffmpeg: http://www.ffmpeg.org/legal.html
Pthreads for win32: http://sourceware.org/pthreads-win32/copying.html

However, additional infringed components have further license restrictions, collectively under the GPL 2.0, (https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html) and the MPL 1.1 (http://opensource.org/licenses/mozilla1.1.php)
npapi, nspr, nss-Linux Only component, Mozilla interface to Java Plugin APIs - all released by the Mozilla foundation as part of the open source browser firefox.
hunspell - the spell-checking component

Failure to release the source code used in these components derived from Chromium constitutes a violation of the license to use said code in developing a derivative product (Dragon), and failure to accept these licenses while releasing derivative works (Dragon) is prohibited by law.  These clauses of these licenses are legally recognized internationally.  These terms specifically apply whether the code used is a direct duplicate of code obtained from Chromium for Derivative works (Dragon) or whether the code in dragon is derived from said code from Chromium.

Failure to comply with the licenses of these software components will result in legal action; results of previous actions favor of the plaintiffs. http://www.fsf.org/news/2009-05-cisco-settlement.html  FFMpeg in particular has a history of vigilance: http://www.ffmpeg.org/shame.html


I would personally rather not bother with this, but this is a matter of principle. In addition, posting in the previous "Source Code" thread yielded no official response: https://forums.Comodo.com/news-announcements-feedback-cd/is-source-code-available-t69225.0.html


Edit: revising which components are included in Google Chromium for Windows, and thus may be included in Comodo Dragon.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2011, 07:35:31 AM by Zazzman »

Offline Sal Amander

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Hello.

Do you work for Google, FSF, EFF? Are you a lawyer or a lawyer for any of the above?

Chromium's terms can be found here: http://code.google.com/chromium/terms.html

Comodo is not required to provide the source code of the other projects, just provide the above license with the software. I can tell you this license file was contained within Dragon previously, but does not appear in the latest version. I have alerted appropriate parties with Comodo in regards to this missing text.

Offline Zazzman

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Hello.

Do you work for Google, FSF, EFF? Are you a lawyer or a lawyer for any of the above?

Chromium's terms can be found here: http://code.google.com/chromium/terms.html

Comodo is not required to provide the source code of the other projects, just provide the above license with the software. I can tell you this license file was contained within Dragon previously, but does not appear in the latest version. I have alerted appropriate parties with Comodo in regards to this missing text.
I can see that you didn't read this license all the way through.  Yes, this is the standard "Three-Clause" BSD License that I was referring to.  This was the exact page that I was using to form my complains.

Look under "Included Software and Licenses", and you will see that some of this was released under the MPL, GPL and LGPL - all of which demand the source code be released, whether you've modified those components or not. Your failure to acknowledge that such code was in Google Chromium constitutes nonacceptance of, and thus a violation of the MPL, GPL, and LGPL licenses.

As a contributor and/or by the urging of said contributor(s) to one or more of these projects, I have the right to ask you to comply with the licenses of these components.

Yes, Chromium was released under the BSD license without any requirement to release the source code.  Our friends over at the Open Source Initiative haven't made things any clearer by endorsing the BSD license as an Open Source license - and those as Google by using such a license to to include software under other licenses - as a result I am sympathetic, and have not yet alerted the communities surrounding this software.  

The fact that Chromium, under the Three Clause BSD license contains components with additional license requirements is somewhat confusing.  However, Google has followed those licenses.  I am asking that you do the same without requiring that I contact additional parties.  Failure to do so may result in legal action on the part of those other parties.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2011, 07:43:54 AM by Zazzman »

Offline Sal Amander

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I can see that you didn't read this license all the way through.  Yes, this is the standard "Three-Clause" BSD License that I was referring to.  This was the exact page that I was using to form my complains.

Look under "Included Software and Licenses", and you will see that some of this was released under the MPL, GPL and LGPL - all of which demand the source code be released, whether you've modified those components or not. Your failure to acknowledge that such code was in Google Chromium constitutes nonacceptance of, and thus a violation of the MPL, GPL, and LGPL licenses.

As a contributor and/or by the urging of said contributor(s) to one or more of these projects, I have the right to ask you to comply with the licenses of these components.

Yes, Chromium was released under the BSD license without any requirement to release the source code.  Our friends over at the Open Source Initiative haven't made things any clearer by endorsing the BSD license as an Open Source license - and those as Google by using such a license to to include software under other licenses - as a result I am sympathetic, and have not yet alerted the communities surrounding this software.  

The fact that Chromium, under the Three Clause BSD license contains components with additional license requirements is somewhat confusing.  However, Google has followed those licenses.  I am asking that you do the same without requiring that I contact additional parties.  Failure to do so may result in legal action on the part of those other parties.

Please ensure that you contact SRWare, the makers of ChromePlus, those on the Flock Project and whomever incorporates Chromium into their products because NONE of them that I have seen make any Source Code available to any of the secondary products such as the one you list. Not even Google, just the SC for its browser.

Offline Zazzman

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http://src.chromium.org/viewvc/chrome/trunk/deps/third_party/

Here you will find the source code for these third-party components for the latest release of Chromium, clearly labelled as such, and using their individual package names.  Not all of these components are required to be distributed as such, but the Chromium Project has elected to open it's code completely.

Unless Comodo elected to develop it's own spellchecker from scratch, (as the most simply-described component with open-code requirements) among other components, I would suggest following through on releasing the required code.  Such a page does not need not be overly fancy. 

If these components are entirely unchanged, simply listing and linking each component to it's corresponding entry on the google code (for that version) would be a start.  However, talk with your developers to discern which of these parts were modified, so that you don't attribute some of your personalized code to others' work. 

Linking specific items to their source in Google's list of Third party code would be just like Linux Mint using an Ubuntu Linux repository.  Mint is derived from Ubuntu, and uses Ubuntu components wholly unmodified.  Why bother hosting those yourself?

I must heartily recommend that you put a notice of this situation on the download page for Dragon.  "Dragon, like Chromium, uses components which require that their code be released.  Click here to view the code," and list hyperlinks, labeled by the component name.

Each version of the Chromium-based Dragon browser should have its own list.  How you organize the versions components is up to you, so long as it is clear which is which, and that you display them for each version of Dragon.  Folders, as Google did, is common, though their webpage interface is somewhat unneccesary.  A single page, with headings labeling a following list as from a particular version of Dragon is also acceptable.  Comodo's own standards can determine the format of this page.

I would suggest talking to your developers to ask not only if they have modified these components, but also if they could see a need to do so in the foreseeable future.  That way, you don't necessarily have to reorganize the page when your developers make such a change in the code for Dragon.

Any of these components which Comodo has modified can be released in whatever format Comodo choses.  Pdf files are generally avoided because they waste space and bandwidth. Htm/html pages are better, for a better browsing experience.  Releasing the original ".c", ".h", etc text files for download is perfectly acceptable, even commendable: no frills are necessary, the user can compile them directly, and this will use less space on Comodo's servers.  The only oddity with releasing the original source files is that you may have to give instructions as to how to open them in notepad.


I certainly will follow through with other chromium-based browsers that I find.  From this forum, I hope to then wander over to see the folks that make Iron Browser.  I'll add ChromePlus from SRWare and the Flock Project to my list. 

I must apologize for my gruff presentation earlier.  Carrying this through doesn't need to be a painful process.

Offline megamanx

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SRWare Iron
MapleStudio ChromePlus
Flock

This really seems to be a kind of topic that you should argue in private with the Comodo staff, PM feature so to say. After an agreement has been reached, then they should start with what you speak of, posting the source code.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2011, 11:02:03 PM by megamanx »

Offline John Buchanan

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browsing through your above link, source code is not posted, only what revisions were done.
Seems you need to re evaluate your claim.

On a lighter side, get a life.
Please follow Comodo Forum Policy

Bah! Ban 'em all! The only good member is a banned member
And a member is just a policy violator who hasn't been caught yet. >:-D

Offline jay2007tech

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Quote
Please ensure that you contact SRWare, the makers of ChromePlus, those on the Flock Project and whomever incorporates Chromium into their products because NONE of them that I have seen make any Source Code available to any of the secondary products such as the one you list. Not even Google, just the SC for its browser.
I don't even know where to start here, That's not Comodo's job

Quote
Seems you need to re evaluate your claim.

On a lighter side, get a life.
I agree

The topic writer is full of verbal diarrhea

This topic is getting locked.

IF THERE IS A ISSUE, DO IT THROUGH OFFICIAL CHANNELS HERE
http://tiny.cc/ewtuu

Edit by Omelet Guy: Fixed it so link would work
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 04:10:32 AM by OmeletGuy »
It's hard being a crooked Admin when the files won't pass an md5checksum test.  But like any other good crooked Admin it can be done, it just takes time(and lots of it) and a few aspirins

 

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