[Catalog-sig] Troubled by changes to PyPI usage agreement

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Tue Dec 8 23:04:10 CET 2009

Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au> writes:

> The new wording is one that I can't agree to:
> =====
> […]
> +             <li>Content is restricted to Python packages and related information only.</li>
> +             <li>Any content uploaded to PyPI is provided on a non-confidential basis.</li>
> +             <li>The PSF is free to use or disseminate any content that I upload on an 
> +               unrestricted basis for any purpose. In particular, the PSF and all other 
> +               users of the web site are granted an irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, 
> +               nonexclusive license to reproduce, distribute, transmit, display, perform, 
> +               and publish the content, including in digital form.</li>
> +             <li>I represent and warrant that I have complied with all government 
> +               regulations […]
> =====
> The content that I submit to PyPI is licensed under specific license
> terms. That certainly does *not* allow the PSF to “use or disseminate
> any content that I upload on an unrestricted basis for any purpose”,
> etc.; it allows only those acts permitted by the license terms granted
> in the work.

"Martin v. Löwis" <martin at v.loewis.de> writes:

> Specifically what rights are asserted that you are not willing to
> grant?

As I said above, the PSF asserts the right to “use or disseminate any
content that I upload on an unrestricted basis for any purpose”. Apart
from the terribly vague “use”, that's not in line with the deliberately
*restricted* rights granted by the copyright holder.

Doug Hellmann <doug.hellmann at gmail.com> writes:

> There's a distinction between the permission granted to distribute the
> files and meta-data that make up the software cataloged on PyPI and
> the license under which that same source code can be used in a
> project.
> The way I read the agreement, I'm giving the PSF permission to
> distribute my meta-data and code, not to use the code itself. Is that
> right, Van?

I don't see how a sensible distinction can be made there. (Perhaps the
vague term “use” is getting in my way of understanding your point.)

VanL <van at python.org> writes:

> The irrevocability is there to protect the PSF. It is so that no one
> can claim later that they got mad at the PSF and revoked the PSF's
> ability to redistribute something that they previously uploaded.

I think the best way to ensure this is to constrain PyPI users to only
upload free-software works. (Any license terms that can restroactively
revoke the license without violating its specific terms, necessarily
make a non-free work and would thus be excluded from PyPI.)

Attempting to get an *additional*, broader, license from the uploader
strikes me as over-reaching.

> The PSF is not a licensor under the PyPI text, and therefore the text
> does not create a licensing relationship between the PSF and anyone
> else. Besides, your proposed solution would not solve the problem.

I don't see what problem needs solving here. The licenses of free
software works already appear to grant all the freedoms the PyPI needs.

Perhaps I'm still lacking an answer to this question:

Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au> writes:

> Why was this wording chosen? How does the PSF propose to reconcile
> this with copyright holders's chosen license terms for their work?

 \      “Software patents provide one more means of controlling access |
  `\      to information. They are the tool of choice for the internet |
_o__)                                     highwayman.” —Anthony Taylor |
Ben Finney

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