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Old 03-24-2010, 05:38 PM   #16
Hangdog42
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Quote:
This is then a problem! The Kernel already has millions of lines of code! It must not be that easy to figure out where any proprietary work is hiding in a distribution (which much more code). I refuse to believe that there are that many skilled people to consider this step so irrelevant.
At least the kernel code is reviewed before it is incorporated into the kernel so the odds of their being proprietary work is almost nil. In fact when SCO accused Linux of having SCO proprietary code in it, they were wrong and the kernel team could prove it.

Quote:
still don't know what does this mean though. To my understanding, this indeed means I can, if I want and already have their code, distribute it freely.
Yeah, you can take their code and distribute it freely. What you can't distribute freely are the Red Hat trademarks. You would have to do what CentOS does, which is remove the trademarks. Then there are no encumbrances on the code.

Quote:
I think the copyright is the author right to license or do whatever she pleases to. Now If you license your product as a GNU GPL you are imposing a restriction on any sub-product of it. Any party modifying the sub-product must obey this license or else they can not use the original program. If you are right, by introducing a copyrighted material in the code the new "offspring" program will no longer have the same GNU GPL (the copyrighted material will be protected!) . This is not possible by definition of the GPL.
Once again, your confusing and mixing copyright and license. Until you get these straight you're going to keep tripping over the same problem. The GPL applies to the code only, not any trademarks that are protected by copyright.

Quote:
Well, if he wrote the first code he could potentially claim property to his first contribution and change the licensing. Since it the base for all linux code then it can affect licensing in all linux branches. I'm not talking about intentions but about possibilities.
Once again, your confusing copyright and licensing. Yes, Linus wrote the first kernel and retains copyright to that work. Subsequent authors wrote other pieces and retain their copyrights to those. Linus's original copyrights don't extend to the new contributions, sof if he wanted to change the licensing of the kernel, he could only do so for the parts he retains copyrights on. He gets to use other peoples code in the kernel because they license it under the GPL, but he doesn't get to claim their copyright on that code.
 
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:39 PM   #17
Cien
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I think I was not clear enough.

If a program developer based on GNU GPL, like Red Hat, has proprietary trademarks included in the program they can, potentially, sue anyone who decide to resell this product as it comes (because of their protected material). This is somewhat the point made by some in this post (like Hangdog42).

Their product is a program and in their code there are three components: 1-previous code under GNU GPL, 2- logo and artwork, 3- new stuff.

When using a GNU GPL code as integral part of a new software you inherit the GNU GPL. This is the essence of the Copyleft!! You must honor this license. The GNU license grants the person who acquire the program the right to use it, reproduce it, or even resell it (either as it comes or modified as long as the license is respected). You can check the license http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html
By accepting using GNU software you are accepting those terms. The consequence is that your output product (including 1- 2- and 3-) must inherit the same license (unless you get permission from the copyright holders of the original code!).

In principle you should not be able to prevent redistribution just because you put your logo. Why? You must surrender the use of this new product to the rules of the GNU GPL (including your logo). Otherwise your protected "logo" prevents the effect of the GNU GPL. The logo and the code are merged in a new code/program/application. And this application has to be distributed under the same GNU GPL that was used in the ``borrowed'' code.

Last edited by Cien; 03-24-2010 at 07:47 PM.
 
Old 03-24-2010, 07:46 PM   #18
Quakeboy02
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I believe that your mistake is in thinking that the protected material is being put into GPL'ed code. There is no particular reason that a Logo would be in a program's source code, and plenty of reasons that it shouldn't be. A Logo file is, of course, not ruled by the GPL'ed code that displays it.
 
Old 03-25-2010, 07:15 AM   #19
Hangdog42
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In principle you should not be able to prevent redistribution just because you put your logo.
The code is GPL licensed, not the logo so you can remove the logo and redistribute the code. To be honest, we've said this so many times I'm not sure why you're not getting the point.

Quote:
You must surrender the use of this new product to the rules of the GNU GPL (including your logo). Otherwise your protected "logo" prevents the effect of the GNU GPL.
No, the logo doesn't impact the GPL at all because it is not part of what the GPL license covers.

Quote:
The logo and the code are merged in a new code/program/application. And this application has to be distributed under the same GNU GPL that was used in the ``borrowed'' code.
No, the old logo is removed from the new program and the new program is distributed under the GPL.
 
Old 03-25-2010, 11:29 AM   #20
Cien
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
...To be honest, we've said this so many times I'm not sure why you're not getting the point...
I'm glad you are willing to help but no one force you to do so. Beside, I believe that is you who is not getting my point (which is valid given the short space for discussing something a bit complicated).

Without any bad animosity I don't think you carefully read the GNU GPL (you mentioned that anyway and also that you are not a lawyer).

Humility would be more appropriate for a discussion among non experts (in which group you included yourself)...

You are more than welcome not to ever answer me back again. You don't need that and I don't need that either.

My answer to your answer is in my previous comment. You would just need to read it more carefully. (I was careful to write logo instead of trademark. Logo is just a drawing. Trademark suggest a logo that has been made proprietary.)
 
Old 03-25-2010, 01:07 PM   #21
Cien
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Let me also get back to this part of the discussion too:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
Linus's original copyrights don't extend to the new contributions.
Of course. Nobody said differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
..., sof if he wanted to change the licensing of the kernel, he could only do so for the parts he retains copyrights on.
Are people actually sure he can change the licensing on his part of the code only? What happen then to the rest of the code? Well, it makes sense that nothing should happen to the rest but as it turns out if you change the license on the original code you can potentially shake the ground in which the remaining code is sitting.

For illustration suppose we have original Kernel + a few more lines by other people. Then, if there is a change in the kernel license (suppose its made proprietary and royalties are asked for it), there won't be use for these extra few lines.

If the actual Linux versions are sitting heavily on this original kernel the same idea holds. I really don't understand what would be the standing of all the new products that uses the original kernel as an integral part. Unless really there's nothing left of it.

It seem difficult to conceive that one could potentially change the licensing after the product was released under GNU GPL. Things would get legally ugly.
 
Old 03-25-2010, 01:29 PM   #22
Hangdog42
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Are people actually sure he can change the licensing on his part of the code only? What happen then to the rest of the code? Well, it makes sense that nothing should happen to the rest but as it turns out if you change the license on the original code you can potentially shake the ground in which the remaining code is sitting.
I probably stated that badly, so let me try with an example. I write a 100 line program and release it under the GPLv2. You come along and add another 100 lines of code and all 200 lines are now covered by the GPLv2. In the meantime, I've decided that I really don't like the GPLv2 and I want to license it under the GPLv3. I then release my 100 lines of code under the GPLv3. However I cannot change the licensing on the 200 line program because you have copyright on your 100 lines. Anyone who takes the 200 line program still gets my 100 lines under the GPLv2 (and could distribute it as well under the GPLv2) but anyone who uses my re-licensed 100 line program has to abide by the GPLv3.
 
Old 03-25-2010, 08:40 PM   #23
Cien
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
Anyone who takes the 200 line program still gets my 100 lines under the GPLv2 (and could distribute it as well under the GPLv2) but anyone who uses my re-licensed 100 line program has to abide by the GPLv3.
Let me now present another flavor of Hangdog42 example. Person A writes a code (100 lines) and licenses it under GNU. Person B takes this code and modifies 50 lines.

However, If B release the code (or sell it) then he must keep the same license for the new program (still containing 100 lines but 50 of them different from the original). He can not choose any license he wants for his 50 lines unless he were not to use the code from A. This is the copyleft condition. And there is no alternative for B. I don't know what happen with his copyright (it's not even relevant) but the new product will have the very same GNU GPL. (remember this is not about general licenses just this particular one)

In the case person A has the right to change the license on her product, it should be evident that person A might have some bargaining power, right? She holds the original code. B's program crucially depends on it (I'm assuming this). If person A can change the licensing on her code to proprietary (and she charges for it) then person B either pays A or gets nothing.

Well now consider person A= Mr. Torvald. Instead of person B consider a whole chain of persons B contributing on top of each other. This must make a mess in the licensing of linux, right (I mean of course, the GNU GPL)?

I don't think it is as simple as Hangdog42 pictures it. First, the mess it would create and second, the copyleft condition in the GNU GPL, which is the essence to preserve the program open and available to anyone.
 
Old 03-25-2010, 09:04 PM   #24
Quakeboy02
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There is no such thing as a copyleft. That is an imaginary term invented by Richard Stallman. The GPL is a copyright, and I *believe* that it grants you, the user, a license to use an item protected by the GPL copyright statement.

Here is a long argument between two people. I can't tell if either of them is a lawyer. The penultimate post is telling:

From: http://lawgon.livejournal.com/24616.html
Quote:
GPL:

4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program
except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt
otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is
void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.
However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under
this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
parties remain in full compliance.
Notice the final sentence.

Also, the final post to that thread references the GNU GPL FAQ, and links to this FAQ item:
Quote:
Can the developer of a program who distributed it under the GPL later license it to another party for exclusive use?

No, because the public already has the right to use the program under the GPL, and this right cannot be withdrawn.
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq....operThirdParty


N.B.: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.
 
Old 03-25-2010, 09:44 PM   #25
Cien
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02 View Post
There is no such thing as a copyleft. That is an imaginary term invented by Richard Stallman. The GPL is a copyright, and I *believe* that it grants you, the user, a license to use an item protected by the GPL copyright statement.
The GNU license grants the user the right to use the product but also the right to redistribute it (as it is or modified). But, and this is key, it also imposes that the new program (based on a code, protected under this license) must have the same license. You can redistribute a program but you also need to include this same license in the program. (this notion is what they call copyleft... it is not imaginary though... just invented, but it means something).

Thus, any program based on a GNU GPL will also be GNU GPL, then it will need to be also free to distribute as it is or modified.

Quakeboy02, the second quote from the FAQ is more close to what I suspect makes sense to me (at least compared to Hangdog42 argument). But it doesn't matter what I think but what really is I suppose.
 
Old 03-25-2010, 11:20 PM   #26
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But, the licensor, by owning the copyright to the code, can close the code and create a new product with it. In this case, the vendor generally drops support for the OSS version with the intent of making money off of the new closed version and letting the old one die by attrition and disuse. How many of those who try this actually manage to make a thriving business out of it, I dunno. Think Cedega, and others like that. I can't imagine this happening to GNU or the Linux Kernel, though.

Last edited by Quakeboy02; 03-25-2010 at 11:22 PM.
 
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:41 AM   #27
Hangdog42
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And there is no alternative for B. I don't know what happen with his copyright (it's not even relevant) but the new product will have the very same GNU GPL. (remember this is not about general licenses just this particular one)

Actually, as I will explain next, Person B's copyright is very, very relevant.



Quote:
In the case person A has the right to change the license on her product, it should be evident that person A might have some bargaining power, right? She holds the original code. B's program crucially depends on it (I'm assuming this). If person A can change the licensing on her code to proprietary (and she charges for it) then person B either pays A or gets nothing.
This statement is flat out wrong. In your example, Person A cannot unilaterally change the license on the modified program because they do not hold the copyright on the changed 50 lines. Those changed 50 lines are now copyrighted by Person B. In order to change the license on the modified program, Person A and Person B would have to agree to change it.

Last edited by Hangdog42; 03-26-2010 at 06:43 AM.
 
Old 03-30-2010, 07:14 PM   #28
Cien
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
This statement is flat out wrong. In your example, Person A cannot unilaterally change the license on the modified program because they do not hold the copyright on the changed 50 lines. Those changed 50 lines are now copyrighted by Person B. In order to change the license on the modified program, Person A and Person B would have to agree to change it.
You are not reading what I write...

I don't think it matters at this point but I didn't talk about unilaterally changing the license on the modified program. I was talking about changing the license on the original program.
 
Old 03-30-2010, 08:49 PM   #29
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1. once orig prog (v1) is issued by A under GPL; that version/code is always under that license
2. if B adds 50 lines, new combined prog (v2) remains under GPL
3. A can now issue a new version v1.1 under a new license. This has NO effect on v1 or v2. Licenses cannot(!) be changed retroactively.
This has been done once or twice (nessus, original ssh ?)

In addition, you can issue a GPL prog plus some separate logos under eg a trademark (RHEL). NB: SW ie the src code remains GPL nonetheless.
Next guy cannot re-distribute same complete set without permission, unless remove trademarked logo (Centos).
 
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:51 PM   #30
Cien
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Originally Posted by chrism01 View Post
1. once orig prog (v1) is issued by A under GPL; that version/code is always under that license
2. if B adds 50 lines, new combined prog (v2) remains under GPL
3. A can now issue a new version v1.1 under a new license. This has NO effect on v1 or v2. Licenses cannot(!) be changed retroactively.
This has been done once or twice (nessus, original ssh ?)

In addition, you can issue a GPL prog plus some separate logos under eg a trademark (RHEL). NB: SW ie the src code remains GPL nonetheless.
Next guy cannot re-distribute same complete set without permission, unless remove trademarked logo (Centos).
Thanks. I think I'm finally getting the idea reasonably well. I found some information here: http://onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2005/...interview.html.

I don't think is fair though. Those kind of tricks end up blocking the original intentions of the GNU GPL license. My final take on this is that this is indeed a sort of glitch in the license itself. RHEL end up being able to charge monies for a product that is in essence the contribution of many souls and, by adding some more work and a few tricks they get shielded from people using it freely.
 
  


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