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Old 05-31-2014, 01:20 PM   #31
Soderlund
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn View Post
Fun fact: The FSF itself doesn't accept submissions under GPL. They require a complete copyright transfer. So in theory they could proprietarize GNU and sell it to Apple/Google/Microsoft. ;-)
There is also the "or any later version" clause. Who knows what the GPLv4 will contain?

Quote:
QUESTION: I see. So you're still imagining a world in which there is copyright?

STALLMAN: Yes. As I've said, for those kinds of works. I'm not saying that everything should be permitted. I'm proposing to reduce copyright powers, not abolish them.
Source

I would prefer a world without copyright (and software patents). The GPL depends on copyright and the BSD license is closer to CC0/public domain. On the other hand, the GPL is better for getting code back, but only in the Soviet "if you don't share, we'll sue you" sense. Always threats if you don't do what they want. That's not really freedom.
 
Old 05-31-2014, 08:42 PM   #32
jpollard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soderlund View Post
There is also the "or any later version" clause. Who knows what the GPLv4 will contain?


Source

I would prefer a world without copyright (and software patents). The GPL depends on copyright and the BSD license is closer to CC0/public domain. On the other hand, the GPL is better for getting code back, but only in the Soviet "if you don't share, we'll sue you" sense. Always threats if you don't do what they want. That's not really freedom.
It also requires you to give out your changes. That gives freedom to the person receiving the software.

Freedom is not just for the author - it is also for the recipient. If you remove the GPL, then the recipient may not have the same freedom that the supplier had - and that isn't freedom.
 
Old 06-01-2014, 02:01 AM   #33
ReaperX7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpollard View Post
It also requires you to give out your changes. That gives freedom to the person receiving the software.

Freedom is not just for the author - it is also for the recipient. If you remove the GPL, then the recipient may not have the same freedom that the supplier had - and that isn't freedom.
Yes, but freedom does not and should not require that you're forced to do something. In terms of free software and the levels of freedom you have, the GPL is actually very restrictive. Being forced to do something is not freedom, that's authoritarian in the simplest terms.

The BSDL and licenses similar are more attune to true freedom. It's more or less, "here's the code, do what you wish, and if you wish to contribute back... the choice is yours, otherwise have fun, good day, and don't become wolf bait."

GPL says, "Here's the code, if you change it, you have to share the code, and you have no choice in that. Submit it back or we'll crush you!"

I wouldn't doubt it if MIT, BSDL, and CDDL projects actually have just as much, if not equal or more, code contributions per capita as GPL projects go because the developers aren't under threat to contribute back or suffer the consequences. It may or may not completely right, but if I was a developer, I would appreciate that if I wanted to contribute to a project I had worked with, it would be at least my freedom of choice to do so rather than be forced into a compulsory agreement to do so, and due to that, I probably would contribute back and often as well.
 
Old 06-01-2014, 04:29 AM   #34
saulgoode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
Yes, but freedom does not and should not require that you're forced to do something. In terms of free software and the levels of freedom you have, the GPL is actually very restrictive. Being forced to do something is not freedom, that's authoritarian in the simplest terms.
Freedom does not and should not require that one is free to restrict the freedom of somebody else. As stated in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen:
Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.

Last edited by saulgoode; 06-01-2014 at 04:36 AM.
 
Old 06-01-2014, 04:43 AM   #35
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I think there is some confusion here about the difference between the freedom of the developer and the freedom of the code:
As a developer you may, or may not, feel that the GPL (or other license) in some way restricts your freedom but the point of the GPL is not to protect the developer but to protect the code. The aim is to protect the code from ever being merged into a commercial product without any benefit to the code base (I'm paraphrasing so please don't quibble unless you know I'm completely off track).
Then there is the issue of which license you feel most comfortable with. With perhaps the odd exception I think even the most committed proponents of the GPL and BSD licenses would admit that not everyone ought to be forced to accept the same compromises as they did.
Furthermore a discussion about which license is the best without stating precisely for whom is doomed to go around in circles forever in the same way a discussion about which job is best or which flavour of ice cream for that matter.
 
Old 06-01-2014, 05:23 AM   #36
jpollard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
Yes, but freedom does not and should not require that you're forced to do something. In terms of free software and the levels of freedom you have, the GPL is actually very restrictive. Being forced to do something is not freedom, that's authoritarian in the simplest terms.

The BSDL and licenses similar are more attune to true freedom. It's more or less, "here's the code, do what you wish, and if you wish to contribute back... the choice is yours, otherwise have fun, good day, and don't become wolf bait."

GPL says, "Here's the code, if you change it, you have to share the code, and you have no choice in that. Submit it back or we'll crush you!"
That ensures that the person that gets the code has the same freedom.

You don't get the "freedom" to restrict someone elses freedom.

Quote:

I wouldn't doubt it if MIT, BSDL, and CDDL projects actually have just as much, if not equal or more, code contributions per capita as GPL projects go because the developers aren't under threat to contribute back or suffer the consequences. It may or may not completely right, but if I was a developer, I would appreciate that if I wanted to contribute to a project I had worked with, it would be at least my freedom of choice to do so rather than be forced into a compulsory agreement to do so, and due to that, I probably would contribute back and often as well.
It is also why people LOOSE freedom.

If you have the freedom, then others should ALSO have the same freedom. But you are greedy and don't want others to have that freedom.

IF you use my GPL code (and you have the FREEDOM to do so), then you must also give others the FREEDOM to continue to do so.
 
Old 06-01-2014, 01:01 PM   #37
jtsn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soderlund View Post
I would prefer a world without copyright (and software patents). The GPL depends on copyright and the BSD license is closer to CC0/public domain. On the other hand, the GPL is better for getting code back, but only in the Soviet "if you don't share, we'll sue you" sense. Always threats if you don't do what they want. That's not really freedom.
But that was not my point and that is not the issue with the GNU projects. They don't accept GPLed submissions like the Linux project does, they require contributors to give up all rights and transfer them to the FSF, just like any major publisher does with authors or musicians, but without (financial) compensation. It's preaching one thing and practicing the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpollard View Post
IF you use my GPL code (and you have the FREEDOM to do so), then you must also give others the FREEDOM to continue to do so.
Not if someone lets you sign a contract to transfer all rights to him, and if you don't, he discards your submission.

Last edited by jtsn; 06-01-2014 at 01:04 PM.
 
Old 06-01-2014, 01:12 PM   #38
Alien Bob
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I have watched with wonder and horror how much FUD is being spread in this thread. Please read the appropriate documentation before making bold statements.

Let me give one example and I invite you to search for the rest of the facts:

These first two paragraphs of http://www.gnu.org/prep/maintain/htm...ht-Papers.html explain why it is important for the FSF to own copyright, but at the same time it clearly states that a GNU project does not have to transfer copyright to the FSF:
Quote:
6.1 Copyright Papers

If you maintain an FSF-copyrighted package, certain legal procedures are required when incorporating legally significant changes written by other people. This ensures that the FSF has the legal right to distribute the package, and the standing to defend its GPL-covered status in court if necessary.

GNU packages need not be FSF-copyrighted; this is up to the author(s), generally at the time the package is dubbed GNU. When copyright is assigned to the FSF, the FSF can act to stop GPL violations about the package. Otherwise, legal actions are up to the author(s). The rest of this section is about the case when a package is FSF-copyrighted.
Eric
 
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:37 PM   #39
jtsn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alien Bob View Post
why it is important for the FSF to own copyright
It is not required to own copyright to be able to redistribute software legally. All you have to do is to comply with the license (GPL).

It is not required to own copyright to sue GPL infringements. A simple letter of attorney by the copyright holder is sufficient for that. You could even include that into code itself. The FSF wants to acquire copyrights to be able to change licensing and add further restrictions. Which already happened in the GPLv3 case.

Why are they not honest about that?
 
Old 06-01-2014, 05:31 PM   #40
saulgoode
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Originally Posted by jtsn View Post
It is not required to own copyright to sue GPL infringements. A simple letter of attorney by the copyright holder is sufficient for that.
In Righthaven v Democratic Underground (as just one example), the court found that it was not sufficient to transfer merely the "right to sue".

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn View Post
The FSF wants to acquire copyrights to be able to change licensing and add further restrictions. Which already happened in the GPLv3 case.
And yet the GPLv3 was the result of an 18-month public consultation with four interim drafts produced soliciting comments and concerns. The only additional requirement* in GPLv3 was to provide any cryptographic information that might be used to prevent GPLed software from running on a particular device. All other changes were either clarifications of GPLv2 terminology (e.g., making its language less vague or US-centric) or a relaxation of requirements (e.g., XFree and Apache license compatibility, online provision of source code, a more liberal definition of "system software").

The FSF specifically declined to incorporate conditions that would close the ASP loophole (it was removed after being included in earlier drafts) -- instead, a separate license, the Affero GPL, was created to offer projects the choice of whether include such further conditions on their code. Notably, of all the projects whose copyrights have been assigned to FSF, none have had their licensing changed to the Affero GPL.

So while it may be accurate to say that FSF accepts (not requires) copyright assignment in order to be able to change the licensing, history does not provide much support for the claim that their goal is add further restrictions.


* It is arguable even whether such "tivoization" schemes were compliant with GPLv2.
 
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:38 PM   #41
jpollard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn View Post

Not if someone lets you sign a contract to transfer all rights to him, and if you don't, he discards your submission.
If I have received the source code under the GPL, then that doesn't change my freedom to distribute... WITH my changes (this is called a "fork" of the project). After all, there can be lots of reasons to reject my submission - poorly implemented, introduces a security issue, not well integrated with other functions... Lots of patches to the Linux kernel get rejected. Sometimes they get reworked and are accepted, sometimes not. Especially stupid changes...

This is one of the reasons I don't use the BSD license, and do not bother to contribute to BSD.
 
Old 06-02-2014, 12:54 AM   #42
jtsn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpollard View Post
Lots of patches to the Linux kernel get rejected.
But the Linux kernel is not affected here, because Linux contributors keep their copyright.
 
Old 06-02-2014, 03:10 AM   #43
Arkerless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn View Post
It is not required to own copyright to be able to redistribute software legally. All you have to do is to comply with the license (GPL).

It is not required to own copyright to sue GPL infringements. A simple letter of attorney by the copyright holder is sufficient for that. You could even include that into code itself. The FSF wants to acquire copyrights to be able to change licensing and add further restrictions. Which already happened in the GPLv3 case.

Why are they not honest about that?
They are honest about it, you are at best very misinformed.

It IS required to own the copyright to sue for infringement, in many if not all jurisdictions.

The FSF Charter itself prevents them from closing code. You have a warped definition of the word 'restriction' here. I suppose technically the law prohibiting slavery is a 'restriction' and it is precisely analogous. The 'restrictions' of the GPL are simply conditional permissions - the license extends liberties not normally permitted by copyright law, and in return demands that you pass the same liberties you received on to those who receive from you. It's not so complicated to understand and it's only a 'restriction' in a practical sense *if your intention is to deprive your downstream of liberty* - in which case, really, screw you.
 
Old 06-02-2014, 07:20 AM   #44
jpollard
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Originally Posted by jtsn View Post
But the Linux kernel is not affected here, because Linux contributors keep their copyright.
And the projects that are don't get anywhere near the same support either...
 
Old 06-02-2014, 02:15 PM   #45
moisespedro
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Oh, there is a new brazilian app called "ZapZap" (reference to Whatsapp). It uses the Telegram (a GPL messaging app) network and the developer is refusing to release the source.
http://br-linux.org/2014/01/zapzap-a...us-fontes.html
 
  


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