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Old 05-02-2008, 01:13 PM   #31
+Alan Hicks+
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Could everyone please quit playing "Who's holier than RMS?" You sound like a bunch of guinea hens cackling at each other to decide who's going to eat the plumpest tick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangdog42 View Post
If I write code and release it under the GPL, it means that I don't want someone to be able to take it and use it for proprietary purposes. Thats all. It doesn't restrict their freedom to use it
I suppose for both of those statements to be true you would have to redefine the word "use".

Here's a few simple facts for you.

1- The GPL does not restrict what you can or cannot do with the code as long as you do not choose to re-distribute it according to the license.
2- Redistribution is a "use" of the code.

From the above two we come to:

3- The GPL does to a limited degree restrict what you can and cannot do with the code.

4- The GPL was created in hopes of achieving a goal of the FSF and RMS. That goal was to see that all software was "free" according to their definition of freedom. (Notice: that goal is not to prevent people from closing the source to any code you write, but to prevent ALL code from being closed. This is the stated goal of RMS and the FSF.)

If we all want to play the "holier than thou" game, I win, because I take the only sane approach that the only truly "free" software is that which is placed into the public domain, allowing anyone and everyone to do anything and everything with it, including changing the licensing terms, editing, redistributing, whatever.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 01:49 PM   #32
digger95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomsel View Post
People, please, you're discussing this in the wrong forum! Everyone™ knows that Slackware's all about religion.
LOL

Do you mean to say that J.R. "Bob" Dobbs would not be happy?

 
Old 05-02-2008, 02:13 PM   #33
chess
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Quote:
Originally Posted by +Alan Hicks+ View Post
If we all want to play the "holier than thou" game, I win, because I take the only sane approach that the only truly "free" software is that which is placed into the public domain, allowing anyone and everyone to do anything and everything with it, including changing the licensing terms, editing, redistributing, whatever.
Or perhaps that released under the WTFPL license? :-)
 
Old 05-02-2008, 02:48 PM   #34
saulgoode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by +Alan Hicks+ View Post
Here's a few simple facts for you.

1- The GPL does not restrict what you can or cannot do with the code as long as you do not choose to re-distribute it according to the license.
2- Redistribution is a "use" of the code.

From the above two we come to:

3- The GPL does to a limited degree restrict what you can and cannot do with the code.
Wrong conclusion. The right of redistribution is granted exclusively to the software author by copyright law. If the author does nothing, nobody can redistribute. It is not the software author who prevents redistribution; that is the default state.

By setting conditions which permit redistribution through a copyright license, it shouldn't be said the license is doing anything to prevent distribution since the license didn't have anything to do with the prohibition in the first place. This is true of all copyright licenses, not just the GPL.

Note that this is where copyright licenses and End-User Licensing Agreements differ: EULAs purport to DENY rights that the user would otherwise have if the EULA did not exist; whereas copyright licenses only grant rights that would otherwise be denied if the license did not exist.

Last edited by saulgoode; 05-02-2008 at 02:49 PM.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 03:05 PM   #35
mcnalu
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Extracted from the JRBDPL - slackware linux is distributed under this licence:

1. You are permitted to modify the source code of the software in any way you wish.
...
6. The text of this licence should never be included with a distribution of the source code.
7. This source code must not be distributed unmodified.
...
42. Once modified, the source is no longer deemed to be relevant to the software and so this licence does not apply.

 
Old 05-02-2008, 03:08 PM   #36
+Alan Hicks+
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Last post in this thread, I swear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saulgoode View Post
Wrong conclusion. The right of redistribution is granted exclusively to the software author by copyright law. If the author does nothing, nobody can redistribute. It is not the software author who prevents redistribution; that is the default state.

By setting conditions which permit redistribution through a copyright license, it shouldn't be said the license is doing anything to prevent distribution since the license didn't have anything to do with the prohibition in the first place. This is true of all copyright licenses, not just the GPL.
Actually it is the right conclusion when we are talking about varying degrees of "freedom". To claim that the GPL is as free as the BSD license or the public domain is wrong precisely because it doesn't grant as much freedom. Just because copyright law defaults to a restriction does not mean that a license which allows those default restrictions is 100% free.

Allow me to misquote "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." In other words, not going all the way to true "freedom" is 100% equivalent to denying that freedom in the first place.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 03:35 PM   #37
Hangdog42
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Quote:
3- The GPL does to a limited degree restrict what you can and cannot do with the code.
No, it doesn't. You can do whatever the hell you want with that code, as long as you keep it private. If you try to benefit from it by distributing it, THEN you have to contribute back. At that point it is no longer about freedom in my opinion.


Quote:
Actually it is the right conclusion when we are talking about varying degrees of "freedom". To claim that the GPL is as free as the BSD license or the public domain is wrong precisely because it doesn't grant as much freedom.
Absolutely not true. I guess I don't view someone taking my code and and closing it without compensating me or contributing back as any sort of freedom that I recognize. Theft maybe, but freedom, no. If someone else wants to let their work go, that is their right but don't claim that I'm not promoting freedom by ensuring that people who benefit from my work have to pay something back.


Quote:
Allow me to misquote "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." In other words, not going all the way to true "freedom" is 100% equivalent to denying that freedom in the first place.
Oh hogwash. People love to talk on and on about freedom without ever mentioning the responsibilities that go with it. The GPL is just a tool to ensure that if you benefit from someone else's work, you live up to your responsibility to that person. The BSD license chooses to ignore that responsibility.

Last edited by Hangdog42; 05-02-2008 at 03:37 PM.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 03:55 PM   #38
-{Jester}-
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Quote:
Originally Posted by +Alan Hicks+ View Post
Last post in this thread, I swear.
Allow me to misquote "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." In other words, not going all the way to true "freedom" is 100% equivalent to denying that freedom in the first place.
You claim that the GPL limits freedom because it does not allow its code to be used in anything else other then GPL programs. I can see why you feel that threatens freedom and I respect your point of view.

I choose to view the situation differently. I claim that those who would seek to use free software in closed source applications are a larger threat to freedom.

I will draw an analogy. The Constitution allows you free speech, but it does not allow you to deny others that freedom. If your "freedom of speech" denies others their rights, it is not protected by the Constitution. From your point of view, the Constitution is restricting your freedom. I agree, it is. The restriction is necessary for freedom to function. The same line of reasoning applies to the "restrictions" in the GPL.

EDIT: And to clarify, I recognize that the BSD license is "freer" then the GPL. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about. I simply believe that the "freedom" offered by the BSD license will limit software's overall freedom in the long run.

Last edited by -{Jester}-; 05-02-2008 at 03:57 PM.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 07:08 PM   #39
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by saulgoode View Post
Wrong conclusion. The right of redistribution is granted exclusively to the software author by copyright law. If the author does nothing, nobody can redistribute. It is not the software author who prevents redistribution; that is the default state.

By setting conditions which permit redistribution through a copyright license, it shouldn't be said the license is doing anything to prevent distribution since the license didn't have anything to do with the prohibition in the first place. This is true of all copyright licenses, not just the GPL.

Note that this is where copyright licenses and End-User Licensing Agreements differ: EULAs purport to DENY rights that the user would otherwise have if the EULA did not exist; whereas copyright licenses only grant rights that would otherwise be denied if the license did not exist.
The GPL depends on a defined 'copyleft';

Quote:
excerpt from Copyleft';

Copyleft is a play on the word copyright and describes the practice of using copyright law to remove restrictions on distributing copies and modified versions of a work for others and requiring that the same freedoms be preserved in modified versions.

Copyleft is a form of licensing and may be used to modify copyrights for works such as computer software, documents, music, and art. In general, copyright law allows an author to prohibit others from reproducing, adapting, or distributing copies of the author's work. In contrast, an author may, through a copyleft licensing scheme, give every person who receives a copy of a work permission to reproduce, adapt or distribute the work as long as any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same copyleft licensing scheme. A widely used and originating copyleft license is the GNU General Public License. Similar licenses are available through Creative Commons — called Share-alike.
I really don't even want to discuss 'EULA'. That's a mess.

Last edited by onebuck; 05-02-2008 at 07:11 PM. Reason: annote and enogh said.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 07:14 PM   #40
onebuck
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Hi,

This debate on words can go on and on. This is not the forum for this type of discussion.
It should be in the 'Linux - General' forum.

Last edited by onebuck; 05-02-2008 at 08:12 PM. Reason: correct line
 
Old 05-02-2008, 09:32 PM   #41
Woodsman
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Quote:
It's arrogant and disingenious in the extreme to call the GPL a free license.
The terms of the license are open and available to read and study. There is no mystery or veil associated with the license. People are free to accept or reject the terms of the license.

People who write code and then release that code under the GPL do so voluntarily. Nobody forces a person to release new code under the GPL.

People who use code licensed under the GPL do so voluntarily. Nobody forces a person to use GPL code.

People who use GPL licensed code are not required to contribute new code. If they modify the code and then redistribute that modified code to other people, because they voluntarily chose to use the original code under the terms of the GPL, then they are required to release those modifications to the public. They agreed to do that when they voluntarily chose to use the code. Nobody forced them to accept those terms of usage.

Other people who use the code might or might not decide to use the modified code. Nobody is forced to use modified code.

The entire relationship is voluntary and reciprocating. People can opt out of the GPL any time simply by not using the code.

BSD is free too. BSD licensed code allows other people to modify the code to their personal needs but does not require people to contribute that code openly for others to examine and study. That relationship also is voluntary. Otherwise, BSD code is much the same as GPL code. That is, people are free to voluntarily use or not use BSD code. People are free to use or not use modified code.

Neither license prevents of forbids people from selling code.

Proprietary code is not free according to the four freedoms, but nonetheless remains voluntary to use or not use.

Quote:
Forcing people to do what you want can never be called freedom.
Arguably, the most fundamental right recognized in any social system is the right to voluntarily surrender or forego existing rights. This is the basis of contracting. Agreeing to the terms of the GPL or a BSD license is done voluntarily. Because the relationship under each license is voluntary, there is no force or coercion involved. Compare that healthy relationship to any modern political system.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 05:54 AM   #42
unSpawn
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in the Linux general forum and has been moved accordingly to help this thread get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 05-05-2008, 06:05 AM   #43
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
BSD is free too. BSD licensed code allows other people to modify the code to their personal needs but does not require people to contribute that code openly for others to examine and study. That relationship also is voluntary. Otherwise, BSD code is much the same as GPL code. That is, people are free to voluntarily use or not use BSD code. People are free to use or not use modified code.
"Does not require" = freedom.

"Requires" = not freedom.

That sounds pretty simple to me.

The GPL is a forcible open source license. It's only political rhetoric to call it a free license. All the word games in the world aren't going to change the facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
Proprietary code is not free according to the four freedoms, but nonetheless remains voluntary to use or not use.
There are no "four freedoms". There's just plain freedom, which means exactly what it sounds like. It means there are no requirements.

Anything else can not be called freedom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
Arguably, the most fundamental right recognized in any social system is the right to voluntarily surrender or forego existing rights.
Yes, very arguably

The fundamental right recognized in any political system is the right for people to do as they choose. In fact, it says "Endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness"

Amonst those it wasn't written "to control the actions of others according to one's personal philosophy" although for many people here it would seem that falls under "Pursuit of Happiness"!
 
Old 05-05-2008, 06:08 AM   #44
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by +Alan Hicks+ View Post
Last post in this thread, I swear.



Actually it is the right conclusion when we are talking about varying degrees of "freedom". To claim that the GPL is as free as the BSD license or the public domain is wrong precisely because it doesn't grant as much freedom. Just because copyright law defaults to a restriction does not mean that a license which allows those default restrictions is 100% free.

Allow me to misquote "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." In other words, not going all the way to true "freedom" is 100% equivalent to denying that freedom in the first place.
Quite right, Alan!

Cheers,

Randux
 
Old 05-05-2008, 06:20 AM   #45
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -{Jester}- View Post
I assume you have this much disdain for copyright laws as well?
Not at all. I'm in my 34th year of being employed to write closed-source, proprietary code, all of which is copyrighted and owned by my employers.

What I object to isn't even the terms of the GPL licence; they are certainly free to set whatever terms of use they find agreeable.

I object only to the perversion of calling it a "free licence" or calling GPL'd software "free software" That's just not true.

The GPL licence is a forcible open source licence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -{Jester}- View Post
Consider this. Without the GPL, a company could take the collective work of the open source community, slap a few graphics and a new name on it, and use the finished product to make a tidy profit. The purpose of the GPL is to ensure that the gratis work of many skilled programmers is not misused. Who would write open programs if all the developers knew their work could be taken and sold by a corporation?
BSD and MIT licences do exactly that. Your fears are not justified, because all those devs work can indeed be taken and sold by others. They just prefer a different model. They are certainly entitled to release their code into the wilds under whatever terms they please, after all, they wrote it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -{Jester}- View Post
You might literally be denied access to versions of your own code.
Yes, that's quite right. Indeed none of the code I've written for my employers is mine. But I was paid for my time. This is similar to many artists and musicians who are not able to retain rights for their work.

Was it stolen from me? No, I got paid. Was it worth more than I was paid? Yes, that's business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -{Jester}- View Post
I did not mean to start an argument about free/open software, but to those who are questioning why it matters, you have plenty of examples in front of you proving it does. The XP/Vista fiasco is a perfect example. It is the general consensus of the Windows community that they want XP to continue to be supported, yet Microsoft still continues to insist on ending support for XP in a few years. This would never happen in the open source community, simply because the userbase would be able to maintain the code. There are plenty of quality programs in the pro-XP group that would be able to maintain and improve XP, if only it was open. Note the dependency on the corporation.
You're mixing quite a few factors together and your conclusion is not supported on your premise...OpenBSD is packaged under the BSD license and continues to be supported by the user community.

Microslop simply choose to put out rubbish and control all the aspects and that's also their choice. Winbloze is not bad because it's closed-source, proprietary code, it's bad because it's rubbish with 80% of the code path designed to spy on the user and protect against piracy (failing miserably, from all reports).

An example of a closed-source proprietary OS which has been around longer than UNIX and runs 80% of the world's financial transactions is IBM's MVS and z/OS operating systems. They are the top performing, most secure and reliable OS ever developed, and they're entirely proprietary and closed source. Yet they continue to evolve and are serviced by a broad community.

I would certainly prefer to run z/OS on my PC more than any UNIX. I can't because I can't pay the licence fees or buy the hardware. But that doesn't mean I can complain against IBM. They have spent billions on developing great products and they are also free to licence them they way they feel is proper.
 
  


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