Bacula Status Report (2 of 2)

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Bacula Status Report (2 of 2)

Kern Sibbald
Hello,

This is the second half of the quarterly Bacula Status report.
Unfortunately, certain short term aspects are not very positive for the
project, yet the long term outlook is more promising than ever.  If you
prefer to start with the good news, skip further down to the section 2:

1. Short term not positive news:

You have all certainly heard about the Bacula Systems lawsuit against
Bareos for theft of proprietary software and unfair competition. In
short, the theft of proprietary software is because on two occasions
Bareos via a developer who had access to the proprietary Enterprise git
repository allegedly stole the proprietary code written by Bacula
Systems employees and put it into the Bareos source code.  In the first
case, it involved about 20 lines of code taken before they created
Bareos and before Bacula Systems was aware of Bareos.  The second case
was some 400 lines of code written by myself only for the Enterprise
version that was put into the Bareos source code under the name of a
developer who never had legal access to the Bacula Enterprise
proprietary source code.  This was done *after* the Bareos lawyers had
written to Bacula Systems that Bareos had destroyed all the Enterprise
code. It was in fact this second theft of code despite Bareos' legal
reassurances that directly lead to the lawsuit.

The unfair competition suit is based on the allegation that DassIT
(closely related to Bareos) as a Bacula Systems partner had sold a
Bacula Enterprise contract to a customer, then later Bareos (same
directors as DassIT) convinced that customer to switch to Bareos.

The defense of Bareos in the lawsuit seems to be centered around several
points -- the principle one being that Bacula Systems does not have the
right to release a proprietary version.  This is claimed principally by
Marco van Weiringen who has unilaterally invalidate the Fiduciary
License Agreement (FLA) that he signed with the Free Software Foundation
Europe (FSFE) as well as one that he later signed with myself.

It is my understanding that it is not possible to unilaterally
invalidate FLA agreements (that is declare that they are null and void
from the beginning), but this is what is claimed. The consequences of
invalidating copyright transfer agreements, if successful, would be an
enormous, unprecedented setback to all open source projects -- and it is
my opinion that few are aware of the consequences should the Bareos
challenge succeed.  The open source world has much to lose here
depending on the outcome of the lawsuit.

As a precaution to protect the Bacula project, I have decided to remove
all code written by Marco van Wieringen from the Bacula community code
base.

What does that mean?  Well, normally during Christmas vacation, I
sequester myself and write a lot of new code for Bacula (community) that
is ultimately released around March of the following year.  This year
because of the above I have not been able to develop new code as in the
past -- a real pity, but after 15 years of work on Bacula, any major
threat to its continued viability however small gets my full attention.
 Hopefully in 3 or 4 months this work will be complete, and I can get on
with implementing new features.


2. Longer term good news:

The good news is that development for the Bacula Enterprise version is
not impacted by the above, and many new developments and features have
already come and will continue to come.  As you probably know, the main
reason I created Bacula Systems was to have a viable and reliable means
of continuing and even accelerating advanced development for the
community version, which is accomplished by Bacula Systems back porting
Enterprise code to the community version.  This will continue to be the
case, and we have planned a number of projects that are sponsored by
Bacula Systems.  The will probably begin to appear in the community
version between March and July of 2015.

A few of these new features will be:

1. Free Enterprise Windows binaries with all the latest features for
individual community members.

2. Bacula community binaries built and distributed by the project
(actually a Bacula Systems employee) for supported platforms via
bacula.org  -- this will ensure that for the supported platforms, you
can always have the latest binaries, which sometimes are not always
available in official distributions.  Supported platforms will start
with those supported by Bacula Systems, then over time grow to include
as many platforms as possible.

3. New automatic snapshot management functions for the community version.

4. The Enterprise Aligned Volume plugin (deduplication for zfs, btrfs,
NetApp, ... deduping filesystems) available free for the community.

5. A number of other features that are "automatically" backported,
included all the latest Enterprise bug fixes.

So though Bacula community development for 2015 is starting a bit slow
compared to past years, you should see that there a many really nice
features coming.

Thank to all of you for using Bacula and my best wishes for 2015.

Kern

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