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schatoor 06-19-2003 07:59 AM

The GPL, a good or bad thing?
 
Hi there. I was brouwsing on the net when I came across this article:

article

I feel that he as something good to say. I'm not anti-GPL like this guy, but don't you think the LGPL licence is better?
I would really like some more insight in this. What is your opinion?

mattman 06-19-2003 08:40 AM

he does have a point, but i disagree. he says that GPL only works when all software is free, well, the existance of the opensource community provides us with a pool of free software (as in speach and beer ;) ) just imagine something like Lindows if there were no GPL. they would do some BS like bundle MS Office with a linux distro.

now, i agree that in some cases GPL makes it hard on redistrobution, but look at SuSE. the NVidia drivers and MS core web fonts arnt under GPL, so cant be distributed. but run an automatic update after an install, and you get them. sure, they arnt packaged with suse, but if you follow the default choices in the install, you get em all anyways.

I think both GPL and LGPL (and other free liscences) serve their purposes. as a desktop or OS, GPL is more then fine, simply to keep scummy people like the lindows group from undercutting the free software movement by makeing deals with those who would like to see it fail. LGPL allows for programmers to use libraries that arnt 100% free, and still enforce freedom in deviations of their applications.

To say that one copyright agreement is good for everything is shortsighted at best, different liscences for different situations makes alot more sense.

schatoor 06-19-2003 09:50 AM

I have a question: suppose I make a library and release it under GPL. Is an application allowed to use that library if it itself is not released under GPL? And the makers of that application do not modify the library.
On the other hand, as far as I can tell it is not allowed for an true GPL project to make use of a non-GPL library. I put my question marks at that.
And something else, I get the feeling that some of the guy's from the BSD project don't like the linux project very much. Is that true? I got to the article by browsing on the www.bsd.org website. So hence my question.

moses 06-19-2003 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by schatoor
I have a question: suppose I make a library and release it under GPL. Is an application allowed to use that library if it itself is not released under GPL? And the makers of that application do not modify the library.
This is one of the major issues of ambiguity that comes with the GPL. It isn't always clear what a derived work is.

Quote:

On the other hand, as far as I can tell it is not allowed for an true GPL project to make use of a non-GPL library. I put my question marks at that.
And something else, I get the feeling that some of the guy's from the BSD project don't like the linux project very much. Is that true? I got to the article by browsing on the www.bsd.org website. So hence my question.
A simple (and not always true) rule of thumb is that a GPL project MUST allow anyone to modify any part of the project. If you link to a library that isn't GPLed, I cannot modify that library (unless it has an equivalent/similar license). You cannot link to binary only libs because I cannot modify those libs.

I personally think the GPL is great. If I write a program and release it under the GPL, that means that, at some level, I'm basically giving away MY intellectual property for free (speech) use, and I should be allowed to dictate, in some sense, how that IP is used (i.e. the GPL). If you want to release your IP under a different license, you are free to do so, as long as you respect all other requests from the owners of IP you've used to create your work. So, you cannot use my IP that was released under the GPL unless you, too, are willing to release it under the GPL. That's because I decided to allow you to use my "invention" under very specific terms, and you decided to accept those terms.

There are two complaints that I've heard from the BSD groups (Free, in particular). The first is that they don't like the GPL. That's fine, they don't have to use the GPL. The second is that Linux is "over hyped". That's only because Linux is used more (and is more useful, in my (not so) humble opinon--not meant for a flame war).
The silly thing about the complaints is that they're really mostly complaining about GNU (and not Linux the kernel), and that's silly because they use GNU tools too. The other thing that bothers them is that companies like RedHat etc. are making money while they're (*BSD folks) working at something they love but not making money at it. Well, anyone can do what RH did, and charge for pretty boxes and inconsistent support (Hey, that's what MS does!).
The BSD kernel developers and the Linux kernel developers seem to have respect for each other, and only flame each other when a certain thing is done in a way one or the other doesn't think is appropriate for a kernel. That's just normal.

I'm posting a bunch of personal opinions based off of what I've read and heard, so most of this is sure to piss someone off. I normally wouldn't care, but this is a great public forum, so I will apologize right now to whomever I've angered. These are mostly opinions and are probably based on misunderstandings on my part, so if you would like to correct me, please do so.
(maybe the above should be my .signature. . . =-})

2damncommon 06-19-2003 12:52 PM

Quote:

The GPL, a good or bad thing?
Like it or not, we reveal ourselves in our actions.
The GPL is ment to make software freely available and freely changeable to anyone and everyone. A problem confronting the GPL is programmers who want to utilize the work of people who contribute their efforts in the nature of the GPL but then want to charge for their own efforts and not allow even the folks whose work they are using to use their code. Fair? Another problem highlighted by the SCO lawsuit is the ability to make alligations against freely available code while not showing their hidden proprietary code.
I am not sure how one can consider proprietary code less restrictive, since it requires that someone holds a license to use other required software. Isn't this a restriction also? And proprietary code brings with it the rampant software piracy we are always hearing about.
Both licenses are only created to deal with human nature and allow software development.
I consider the BSD license one of the better.

mattman 06-19-2003 02:20 PM

maybe someone could explain this one to me.

SCO has propriatary binaries. these binaries have been distributed in most distros for ages, INCLUDING Caldera/Open Linux. If the owner of a binary distributes it in a GNU/GPL system, wouldnt that implicitly make it GPL?

2damncommon 06-19-2003 03:35 PM

Quote:

SCO has propriatary binaries...
SCO bought some rights to proprietary code.
What the rights are may be decided by a court.
I still like this link.

schatoor 06-19-2003 04:15 PM

Quote:

SCO bought some rights to proprietary code.
But that doesn't change any thing fundemantally. The thing is, SCO released code they claim is there's under the GPL licence, wether they were aware of it or not. So the question is, how can SCO still claim to have a case?

lokee 06-19-2003 04:24 PM

The GPL and LGPL(Library GPL, not Lesser GPL anymore) have different areas of operation.

Read this:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-not-lgpl.html

2damncommon 06-19-2003 04:32 PM

Quote:

how can SCO still claim to have a case?
They're insane?
They're on crack?
They are money and power hungry manipulating bastards?
Take your pick.

Also (VIA Slachdot) a nice little FAQ from when the old SCO released some "Ancient Unix" code.
Check the second question and answer.
This just gets messier and messier.

schatoor 06-19-2003 05:08 PM

Thanks lokee, that awnsers my question.
Those SOB's at SCO are insance aren't they. Stating that the ancient unix code can be used in opensource projects then sue IBM for doing exactally that.

moses 06-20-2003 01:31 AM

Just to be clear, the ancient unix code being referenced here is NOT System V code (it has little to do with the current SCO madness). And it's not Open Sourced, you have to agree to a license that requires that any distributed derivative be binary only (if I remember the license correctly, I didn't read it very carefully as I had no intention of clicking the, "I agree" button). The source code may be readable, but it's just the same as reading a book. You cannot freely take large sections of the book and publish them in your own work, even if you acknowledge the original author. Under Opensource or the GPL, you could do something like that (as long as you followed the license).

2damncommon 06-20-2003 08:10 AM

Quote:

it has little to do with the current SCO madness
Ah, so you know exactly which code SCO is claiming is copied and it's history. :)
I do find it very interesting that there is not a single fact about this tangled SCO mess that can be taken at face value without voluminous footnotes and explanation

moses 06-20-2003 11:45 AM

No, but the ancient code has nothing to do with their law suit. The law suit has to do with System V code being copied to Linux (well, that's what THEY say anyway, sometimes), the ancient code that's readable is not System V code.

2damncommon 06-20-2003 02:03 PM

If their crazy ramblings are their case, then operating system history in general has quite a bit to do with it.
If parts of Linux, BSD, and Windows do contain SCO's code, someone will be checking that it did not get there from another source.
You comments about System V not being part of the Ancient Unix package are completely correct.
I will not second guess if it could apply to the case or not.
When it is done it will just be another chapter in software history.

I think Linus now devoting full time to kernel development is a good sign.


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