Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 5th Aug 2006 20:19 UTC, submitted by deanlinkous
GNU, GPL, Open Source Linus Torvalds had harsh comments about the committees organized by the Free Software Foundation to help it draft version 3 of the GNU Public License. However, so far as NewsForge can determine, none of those actually involved in the process agree with Torvalds' assessment that the FSF isn't listening to feedback.
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Not to nitpick semantics but...
by ThawkTH on Sat 5th Aug 2006 20:31 UTC
ThawkTH
Member since:
2005-07-06

Luis Villa, former director of the GNOME Foundation says, "In general, the process has felt very responsive, within the limits of this being the FSF's license and not ours. They have every right to ignore the feedback, but they've given every impression of listening carefully and thoughtfully, and I think the updated draft reflects that."

Isn't the spirit of the GPL really supposed to say "This license IS OURS" - not the FSF, not any company, organization, or corporation - the community.

I know, I know, the GPL tends to deal with code and sharing etc etc etc - Freedom for software.

I guess I just disagree that the license should be viewed as the FSF's exclusively - perhaps I view them as more of a caretaker/guardian, rather than an owner.

After all, without the community, the GPL is a bit worthless...

Maybe I'm just nitpicking at semantics though, I do generally respect the FSF and some of the work it does.

Reply Score: 4

Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Sure it is the FSF's licence, as the FSF puts all the efforts and work behind this license.

If "the community" really doesn't like the outcome, others could take GPLv2 and do their own work on it to get a better fitting license for them (or "the community").

Edited 2006-08-05 23:24

Reply Score: 2

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

If "the community" really doesn't like the outcome, others could take GPLv2 and do their own work on it to get a better fitting license for them (or "the community").

They have. There are dozens of open source licenses.

See http://www.opensource.org/licenses/ for one list

Reply Score: 3

Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Sure. So why do you tell this to me? ;)

Reply Score: 0

Axord Member since:
2005-06-30

Exactly. The FSF, being the maintainer of the license, is the entity that releases new versions. Anyone is free to fork the law base.

I wonder if a license monoculture is healthier than something more diverse.

Reply Score: 1

MightyPenguin Member since:
2005-11-18

Actually, the GPL is copyrighted by the FSF, so you'd have to be careful about taking a v2 and modifying it and then calling it something else. The license itself isn't licensed under the creative commons or anything like that. It's meant to be controlled by the FSF for just this reason.

Reply Score: 1

deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Actually, as long as you call it something else then you are welcome to modify it to create your own license. Of course you must remove enough to truly make it different and references to GNU and so forth...

Reply Score: 1

Ugh
by AndrewZ on Sat 5th Aug 2006 20:49 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

Not sure that those quoted in the article as committee members are representative of the OSS community as a whole. And I don't think this article necessarily refutes Linus' claim that Industry as a Whole as not represented.

The FSF does have a history of ideology.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ugh
by GreatBunzinni on Sun 6th Aug 2006 07:52 UTC in reply to "Ugh"
GreatBunzinni Member since:
2005-10-31

Have you read the article? It doesn't seem like it. After all, what Linus claimed was that the FSF wasn't listening to the feedback from the community, to which a whole lot of prominent F/OSS community members replied by debunked Mr Torvalds' accusations and demonstrating the exact opposite.

And of course the FSF has a history of ideology. The very purpose of the FSF's existence is to defend and perpetuate ideology. The GPLv3 drafts is being done with the exact purpose of defending the FSF's ideals. Yet, that is irrelevant to Mr Torvalds' and also your claims.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ugh
by usman on Sun 6th Aug 2006 11:56 UTC in reply to "Ugh"
usman Member since:
2006-07-01

So you mean to say that linus himself ONLY can CLAIM for the WHOLE community that FSF is not listening to feedback, without 'giving any proof' for his assertion, and his OPINION is considered to be 'TRUE in its own right', ..

and if the article says that ...

Luis Villa, former director of the GNOME Foundation
Louis Suárez-Potts, chair of OpenOffice.org's community council
Zak Greant of ezPublish and Mozilla
Benjamin Mako Hill, a leading Debian maintainer with a broad experience of free licenses
Don Armstrong of Debian ..

( only the representatives of the FEW other free software projects, which were CONTACTED )

say that they think that FSF is listening to feedback

the article does not prove anything ...

Can you can please explain your reasoning a bit more ...?

Edited 2006-08-06 11:57

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ugh
by spikeb on Sun 6th Aug 2006 21:26 UTC in reply to "Ugh"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

that ideology has given us the first two GPL licenses, and the masses of software under said licenses. Don't knock it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ugh
by Cloudy on Mon 7th Aug 2006 02:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Ugh"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

that ideology has given us the first two GPL licenses, and the masses of software under said licenses. Don't knock it.

It gave us the license. It didn't give us the software. People like Linus, who clearly say they use the license for its quid pro quo nature, and not the FSF ideology, are the ones who gave us software.

The FSF itself, has given us precious little software and most of that only because someone else picked it up and ran with it.

Reply Score: 1

Lambda
Member since:
2006-07-28

Of course this is all semantics, but RMS and Eben Moglen can listen but still have their minds made up for the end game.

As AndrewZ pointed out, these quotes aren't necessarily representative of the OSS community, despite Newsforge spin.

And Torvalds takes issue with FSF ideology and how it's woven into the license.

http://news.com.com/2061-10795_3-6099985.html

Reply Score: 5

And furthermore
by AndrewZ on Sat 5th Aug 2006 21:30 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

And after thinking about the NewsForge article and reflecting on it, I am now of the opinion that NewsForge is not reporting this as news but this is in fact a attempt to spin the GPL V3 draft.

I am not impressed with Bruce Byfield's rather biased "article" here.

Reply Score: 3

er wait
by Cloudy on Sat 5th Aug 2006 22:30 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

Linus says "this process isn't working", and the "refutation" is the people who are responsible for the process, who won't even go formally on record, saying "of course it is"?

You were expecting, what, the chairs of the committees to all stand up and say "we suck"?

As someone who has followed the evolution of the draft and commented on the document, I think that Linus' observation that the only comments that FSF are entertaining are those meant to clarify the language and not those aimed at the intent of the language is pretty accurate.

Reply Score: 5

RE: er wait
by pinky on Sat 5th Aug 2006 22:50 UTC in reply to "er wait"
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>As someone who has followed the evolution of the draft and commented on the document, I think that Linus' observation that the only comments that FSF are entertaining are those meant to clarify the language and not those aimed at the intent of the language is pretty accurate.

Yes that's right. The GPL is a license which gives users freedom and protects users freedom. So if someone comes along and says: "I have a great idea, remove the whole DRM part to create a hole through which someone can deny other users freedom" he shouldn't be surprise if the FSF will not follow him. But if someone comes along and have the same values and the same aim and find some scenario were the license doesn't do what the license should do than his comments are highly appreciated. And their were a lot of such comments and draft two has a lot of changes in respect to this comments.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: er wait
by Lambda on Sat 5th Aug 2006 23:30 UTC in reply to "RE: er wait"
Lambda Member since:
2006-07-28

Yes that's right. The GPL is a license which gives users freedom and protects users freedom. So if someone comes along and says: "I have a great idea, remove the whole DRM part to create a hole through which someone can deny other users freedom" he shouldn't be surprise if the FSF will not follow him.

And the GPL denies my freedom to distribute my code as I see fit. And the GPL v3 is attempting to deny my freedom even further with its DRM provisions.

Bringing up FSF's definition of "freedom" is pointless. We already know their ideology.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: er wait
by schiesbn on Sat 5th Aug 2006 23:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: er wait"
schiesbn Member since:
2006-03-30

>And the GPL denies my freedom to distribute my code as I see fit.

No, because nobody forces you to license your code under the terms of the GPL.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: er wait
by Lambda on Sat 5th Aug 2006 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: er wait"
Lambda Member since:
2006-07-28

No, because nobody forces you to license your code under the terms of the GPL.

So then we can say that the GPL is less free than almost all other open source licenses, because most other open source licenses don't deny my freedom to distribute my "linked" code in any way that I choose. We can say that the GPL is less free than proprietary, closed-source libraries that don't have restrictions on how I distribute my linked code.

The FSF has their own ideological definition of freedom. Trying to explain the GPL in terms of "freedom" is pointless because most people don't buy their definition.

Here's torvalds quote about freedom in http://news.com.com/2061-10795_3-6099985.html article

"GPLv2 is about a "quid pro quo": If I give you my open-source software, you're free to use it but must give the world back any changes you make, Torvalds said. "The reason for the GPL as far as the FSF is concerned was never 'fairness.' It was all about a higher calling, and about something that the FSF thinks is much bigger--'freedom,'" Torvalds said in one posting. "I disagree. I think that 'freedom' is fine, but we're not exactly talking about slavery here. Trying to make it look like we're the Abraham Lincoln of our generation just makes us look stupid and stuck up. I'd much rather talk about 'fairness' and about issues like just being a much better process for generating better code, and having fun while doing so."

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: er wait
by GreatBunzinni on Sun 6th Aug 2006 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: er wait"
GreatBunzinni Member since:
2005-10-31

<blockquote>So then we can say that the GPL is less free than almost all other open source licenses, because most other open source licenses don't deny my freedom to distribute my "linked" code in any way that I choose. We can say that the GPL is less free than proprietary, closed-source libraries that don't have restrictions on how I distribute my linked code. </blockquote>

The GPL does indeed preserve freedom but it seems that you simply don't get what that freedom is.

According to your comment, your definition of "freedom" is "being able to do what I see fit with the software written by others". Although that's a very greedy and egocentric definition of freedom, the FSF's definition of "freedom" consists in defending the right do freely access and freely distribute the code.

To put it shortly, your definition consists of "I want do whatever I want to do with other people's work" whether the FSF's definition is "you should be able to have unrestricted access to other's people work but if you wish to distribute your tweaked version, you must offer unrestricted access to your contribution to other's people work, just like you accessed yours."

That's what your definition fails. You are thinking only in terms of "me me me" whether the FSF is, in fact, looking out for the best interests of the community. Unlike you and your definition.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: er wait
by Lambda on Sun 6th Aug 2006 10:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: er wait"
Lambda Member since:
2006-07-28

The GPL does indeed preserve freedom but it seems that you simply don't get what that freedom is.

What you fail to understand is that the FSF's ideological re-definition of freedom is irrelevant to the vast majority that are not buying into their ideology. The FSF is incapable of re-defining freedom for the rest of us. It is rejected.

Until you accept that fact, then you are incapable of dealing with the reality - which is the potential legal obligations stipulated by the text of the license.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: er wait
by deanlinkous on Sun 6th Aug 2006 12:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: er wait"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

They aren't redefining the word freedom. The word freedom can be used in numerous ways and has specific definitons as well as general usage. FSF uses the term freedom to refer to the freedoms it provides and protects which are:

* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

They could also use other terms to specify what you can or cannot do but freedom is a good one to use because it also implies liberation from the evil enterprises. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: er wait
by silicon on Sun 6th Aug 2006 07:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: er wait"
silicon Member since:
2005-07-30

"And the GPL denies my freedom to distribute my code as I see fit."

Your code? When was it yours? When you link against a GPLed library, all your code are now belong to us.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: er wait
by usman on Sun 6th Aug 2006 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: er wait"
usman Member since:
2006-07-01

lolz .... so you mean to say that DRMed media, YOU OWN, which you can only run under severest restrictions is ok, and GPL should not do anything against it .. whereas in the previous line you are declaring GPLv3 does not allow you the right to distribute modified versions of code which 'originally BELONGS TO SOMEONE ELSE' ..?

i am impressed by your reasoning skills.
and then everyone calls RMS mad ... !

However, i personally would rather have the right to use the media that i BOUGHT 'in any way i SEE FIT' .. and have the responsibility to make any modified copies of code that 'originally does not belong to me' .. avaiable to others under the SAME RIGHTS, that i excercised in modifying and distribtuting it.

Reply Score: 1

Freedom's
by Cloudy on Sat 5th Aug 2006 23:30 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

just another word for nothing left to lose -- Kris Kristofferson

The GPL is a license which gives users freedom and protects users freedom.

It would be useful for fans of the FSF to stop describing the GPL in terms of this fantasy rhetoric about 'freedom'.

The GPL doesn't give anyone any freedoms at all.

The GPL is a license not the magna carta. It is a legal document that sits in the framework of copyright law. It grants exactly one thing the right to redistribute software licensed under it. That's it. That's all the GPL grants.

It comes with exactly one catch: It requires anyone redistributing software to make the source for that software available. That's it. That's all the GPL requires.

The FSF is sufficiently confused that on their "four freedoms" web page http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html they actually enumerate six "freedoms" that the user of software is supposed to have, and they miss at least two that their model relies on.

None of what they describe is "freedom", anyway, it's intellectual property rights and restrictions.

The irony of the FSF, one of the most restrictive organizations I've dealt with being upset about other people's restrictions is truely droll.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Freedom's
by Nathan on Sat 5th Aug 2006 23:45 UTC in reply to "Freedom's"
Nathan Member since:
2006-01-10

The GPL doesn't give anyone any freedoms at all.

The GPL is a license not the magna carta.

For some reason, you fail to point out that the GPL and other free software licences give the user additional rights above and beyond those granted by copyright law.

When you consider that so much software is distributed under licenses that do nothing but apply further restrictions on top of copyright law, characterizing the GPL as just a license is to trivialize the entire point of Free Software.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Freedom's
by Lambda on Sat 5th Aug 2006 23:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Freedom's"
Lambda Member since:
2006-07-28

When you consider that so much software is distributed under licenses that do nothing but apply further restrictions on top of copyright law, characterizing the GPL as just a license is to trivialize the entire point of Free Software.

It's up the individual to decide what "the entire point of free software" is. Characterizing the GPL as just a license is fair because it is just a license.

But your point just goes to explain the differences between "free software" advocates and open source advocates. RMS actually does understand the difference. Torvalds does too.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Freedom's
by Cloudy on Sun 6th Aug 2006 01:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Freedom's"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

For some reason, you fail to point out that the GPL and other free software licences give the user additional rights above and beyond those granted by copyright law.

You mean that you failed to quote the following from my statement: It grants exactly one thing the right to redistribute software licensed under it. That's it. That's all the GPL grants.

which part of "right to redistribute" do you not understand to be a right granted by the license?

But no, it does not grant a right above those granted by copyright law. It grants a license in the context of copyright law.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Freedom's
by skynexus on Sun 6th Aug 2006 03:42 UTC in reply to "Freedom's"
skynexus Member since:
2005-08-10

Though the GPL is a license whose legal ramifications do not extend beyond the framework of copyright law, it would be ignorant to trivialize its intended purpose by solely regarding it as the right to redistribution with a "catch".

The intended purpose of the the GPL is to allow anyone the freedom to use, adapt, improve and redistribute software for the benefit of society (of which you are a member). The "fantasy rhetoric" about freedom is the whole reason why the FSF and GNU project was created, and thereby the underlying motivation behind creation of the GNU system.

So although the GPL is in itself not a statement of freedom, its effects do propagate the values defended by FSF. Nevertheless, I agree that it is important to distinguish objectives ("software freedom") from the means toward them (GPL).

Also, when speaking about software freedom, remember that it does not mean the author's freedom to maximize his or her self-interest without prejudice to any other beliefs. For that, copyright law is sufficient.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Freedom's
by Cloudy on Sun 6th Aug 2006 05:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Freedom's"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

it would be ignorant to trivialize its intended purpose by solely regarding it as the right to redistribution with a "catch".

Intended by who? The FSF isn't the only user of the GPL. You can't infer from other uses that they share the FSF's intent, rather than just liking the GPL for what it is, rather than what its authors claim it to be about.

The intended purpose of the the GPL is to allow anyone the freedom to use, adapt, improve and redistribute software for the benefit of society (of which you are a member).

Again, that's the intent of the original author. It is not necessarily the intent of most of the users of the license, and it's clearly not the intent of Linus Torvalds, one of the most visible users.

The "fantasy rhetoric" about freedom is the whole reason why the FSF and GNU project was created, and thereby the underlying motivation behind creation of the GNU system.

The GNU project was created because RMS thought he could a better job of implementing Unix than Bell Labs could. I can still recall the discussions on various mailing lists when it was started.

Fresh from the emacs "wars", and having been burned (at least in his own mind) by the way his earlier software was treated by the lisp community, and not without an eye towards his own fifteen minutes, over the course of a decade, Richard evolved a philosophy to rationalize his feelings about his past experiences.

The irony, of course, was that at the same time, he was treating contributors to his own software as poorly as he had felt he had been treated by others; demanding that they sign over copyright of their code to him as a stipulation for including it in first emacs and later GNU code base. (I believe the FSF still has that stipulation on at least some of its projects.)

So yeah, the people who demand you sign over copyright to them while proclaiming that they're all about "freedom" are pretty much living in a rhetorical fantasy.

So although the GPL is in itself not a statement of freedom, its effects do propagate the values defended by FSF. Nevertheless, I agree that it is important to distinguish objectives ("software freedom") from the means toward them (GPL).

Nah. The effects of the GPL are mixed, but they mostly have to do with how much ego return authors want from their sofware and how they want that ego return expressed. With the exception of the FSF itself, there are very few people who are even aware of, let alone affected by, the philosphy of the FSF.

The GPL may be a statement about "freedom" when FSF puts it on a GNU project. It was a statement about quid pro quo when Linus Torvalds put it on the Linux kernel.

Don't confuse the passioned rhetoric of FSF fans on the intarwebs with the actual effect of the GPL on the real world.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Freedom's
by raboof on Sun 6th Aug 2006 08:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Freedom's"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

[quote]So yeah, the people who demand you sign over copyright to them while proclaiming that they're all about "freedom" are pretty much living in a rhetorical fantasy.[/quote]

You're free to use, modify, redistribute, fork the code without signing over copyright. You only need to sign over copyright if you want them to include your code.

[quote]The GPL may be a statement about "freedom" when FSF puts it on a GNU project. It was a statement about quid pro quo when Linus Torvalds put it on the Linux kernel.[/quote]

Hear, hear. It is useful to make this distinction.

However, I don't think it's fair to hate the FSF for making a license that fits their ideology better. Ideology is what the FSF has all been about for the beginning, and they have always presented it like that themselves. Just because we happened to like their GPLv2 license (even though it was for quid pro quo reasons rather than ideology reasons) doesn't mean that gives us a right to dictate what GPLv3 should look like. It's our freedom not to use it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Freedom's
by Cloudy on Mon 7th Aug 2006 05:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Freedom's"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

You're free to use, modify, redistribute, fork the code without signing over copyright. You only need to sign over copyright if you want them to include your code.

Unlike, say, the Linux kernel, where your code is included based on its merit, and you don't have to sign away your copyright.

The irony is that the ideology has driven developers away from the FSF, which is why so many of their projects have stagnated until or unless picked up by outsiders.

However, I don't think it's fair to hate the FSF for making a license that fits their ideology better.

Eh, I don't hate the FSF. I just like trying to counter their propaganda.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Freedom's
by raboof on Mon 7th Aug 2006 07:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Freedom's"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

Unlike, say, the Linux kernel, where your code is included based on its merit, and you don't have to sign away your copyright.

The fact that GNU has stricter requirements for including code in their releases has little to do with freedom imho. You're still free to do whatever you want without signing away your copyright, they just won't use your code.

I think this has to do with being able to protect the copyrights in court more than with ideology.

It's obvious that this hampers contributing to GNU projects, but I just don't agree this means the FSF is "not about freedom". The FSF never claimed (afaik) their approach is efficient. Just that it provides freedom.

I don't hate the FSF

Sorry, that wasn't directed to you personally.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Freedom's
by deanlinkous on Mon 7th Aug 2006 09:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Freedom's"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#AssignCopyright

Nothing says you have to sign over your code. But since any violation will likely be reported to the FSF it would make sense they could take action, especially if it involves numerous packages that are covered under the GPL.

Doesn't seem that stagnate to me...but you usually have some good points to prove me wrong so go ahead. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Freedom's
by deanlinkous on Mon 7th Aug 2006 09:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Freedom's"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

http://directory.fsf.org/GNU/

forgot the non-stagnant linky ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Freedom's
by Cloudy on Mon 7th Aug 2006 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Freedom's"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Doesn't seem that stagnate to me...but you usually have some good points to prove me wrong so go ahead. ;)

Well, let's take the three most notable FSF projects:

GNU Emacs. The last real release was 21.3 (21.4 is a security-patch and not a feature release) in early '03, which is over three years ago.

GCC. Has been developed by maintainers outside the FSF since the egcs fork, and is now managed by a steering committee that FSF only blessed because they'd already lost control for all intents and purposes. Mostly maintained by RedHat and now CodeSourcery.

GNU Hurd. After 20 years of development, still has no viable implementation.

Reply Score: 1

Refuting
by Vorlath on Sat 5th Aug 2006 23:56 UTC
Vorlath
Member since:
2005-12-03

Last I checked, you can't refute something by looking at the opposite view. That's why it's called an 'opposite' view. They're going to have a differing opinion. Next, we'll have headlines like MacOS refuted as being a better OS by Win users, or vice versa.

Reply Score: 2

Kindergarten Logic
by Mystilleef on Sun 6th Aug 2006 00:06 UTC
Mystilleef
Member since:
2005-06-29

I am going to enter a comment to the FSF to adopt Microsoft's EULA for
version 3 of the GPL. And if my comment gets rejected, then I'll know
the whole process is a sham.

Reply Score: 0

Urghhh..........
by silicon on Sun 6th Aug 2006 02:22 UTC
silicon
Member since:
2005-07-30

"Say I'm a hardware manufacturer. I decide I love some particular piece of open-source software, but when I sell my hardware, I want to make sure it runs only one particular version of that software, because that's what I've validated. So I make my hardware check the cryptographic signature of the binary before I run it," Torvalds said. "The GPLv3 doesn't seem to allow that, and in fact, most of the GPLv3 changes seem to be explicitly designed exactly to not allow the above kind of use, which I don't think it has any business doing."

Quoted above is one of Linus' statements. So he wants people to Tivionize new devices. Is this in the spirit of free software? I see the GPLv3 is a great piece of work in this respect. If it were to Torvalds alone, then all future devices (including posssibly PCs) would
be running only software they are 'validated' to run.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Urghhh..........
by butters on Sun 6th Aug 2006 04:49 UTC in reply to "Urghhh.........."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Linus' point is that the market should decide to reject uber-restrictive devices, not a software license. The GPLv2 doesn't place any restriction on what kinds of features can be implemented in covered software. It merely places restrictions on distribution.

If I don't feel that a vendor should restrict what kinds of code or media I can run/play on their device, then I won't buy it. Furthermore, the GPLv2 makes sure that the vendor's "evil" features don't affect my ability to access and modify the code to work as I please.

For me, the idea that makes free software exciting is that I can modify the source to do whatever I please. That is the permission granted by the GPLv2 that more than makes up for the distribution requirements. In other words, the GPLv2 is a license that offers unparalleled rights to users while only placing modest restrictions on distributors.

The GPLv3 places restrictions in this core permission while at the same time enhancing the distribution requirements. In this sense, it is easy to see why Linus thinks the GPLv3 is inferior to the GPLv2. It strips permissions and add requirements for both parties.

I disagree with Linus on the merits of the discussion process, however. For me, it has been very fulfilling. When it started, I was all for a much-needed update to the GPL. However, as the process has forced the community to really examine and discuss the new license in detail, I have finally come to the conclusion that the GPLv2 is significantly better for the community than anything they've proposed for the GPLv3.

In fact, I think the CDDL might even be better...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Urghhh..........
by pepa on Mon 7th Aug 2006 02:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Urghhh.........."
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Linus' point is that the market should decide to reject uber-restrictive devices, not a software license.

But those devices run GPLed software, where you can examine the source, but you can never run a modified version on that device. The code that is 'contributed back' might be useless anyway on another device. So it is a loophole that will take away some of your freedoms that the GPL is hoping to protect.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Urghhh..........
by Brad on Sun 6th Aug 2006 08:23 UTC in reply to "Urghhh.........."
Brad Member since:
2005-07-06

Linus wants to ensure linux is something that people will want to use. For it to grow it has to be accepted by companies and be something they can sell in their products. If it's restricted as the GPLv3 wants to do, this is gone.

Pull to many of this things, and the GPL license won't get used by anything. Since linux and other projects won't use it. The posterchild of GPL projects is linux, it won't say much for it if Linux stays GPLv2, or even if new versions of linux go off to some other license.

The FSF, GPL and OSS community are hitting a real cross roads. On one hand they have a chance for Open Source Stuff to actually get some place. But there are the extreme-Os who are on more of a religious crusade (FSF, RMS) who will take things to far and destroy the whole movement.

Calling something a Freedom isn't a Freedom if it also is taking away rights. You have to find balance in what you stop. The GPLv2 was bordering on going to far and thus making people not want to use is. v3 could be the tipping point where the GPL becomes a legacy license that people just talk about.

On the flip side, if it goes through, you will probably just see usage of the MIT/BSD licenses increase.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Urghhh..........
by raboof on Sun 6th Aug 2006 08:25 UTC in reply to "Urghhh.........."
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

[quote]he wants people to Tivionize new devices. Is this in the spirit of free software?[/quote]

As long as the 'tivoesque' company contributes back the code to me, I have not problems with it. I guess the GPLv2 suits my needs better.

Reply Score: 2

man
by deanlinkous on Sun 6th Aug 2006 03:26 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

I thought this would be a hot topic. I guess eugenia already scooped me with the GPLv3 DOA story and everyone is tired of discussing this issue.

Reply Score: 1

Froms of Licenses
by aGNUstic on Sun 6th Aug 2006 04:58 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

Let's see there ASL, AL, BSD, GNU GPL, IBM PL, MPL, MIT, PL, QPL, SISSL, and a host of others you can choose from.

Like schiesbn mentioned. No one forces you to chose the the license you are using - except maybe MicroSilly and other proprietary junkware you may chose to buy into.

I understand Stallman point as-well-as Torvalds. Either way Linux World Domination is well underway. Muahahaha.

Reply Score: 0

Up to the author
by ishmal on Sun 6th Aug 2006 09:51 UTC
ishmal
Member since:
2005-11-11

It's up to the author of the code which license to use, if any. If I want to use GPL2, LGPL, or GPL3, then fine. If I want to use BSD or Apache, then fine. If I want to use the Third World Aborigine Land Reform License, then fine, too. I really don't care about what the guy from MIT or the guy from Portland thinks. It's not their code; it is mine.

What people are missing is the whole point of Open Source: give something back to Humanity. Find whatever mechanism you can, but do something to fight objectivism and selfishness. Contribute to the world, promote altruism and community.

Reply Score: 1

Not Freedom
by AndrewZ on Sun 6th Aug 2006 16:20 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

FSF uses the term freedom to refer to the freedoms it provides and protects which are:
<p>

So The FSF takes away one freedom so they can give us Stallman's idea of freedom? That's not freedom, that's coercion.

Reply Score: 1

no
by deanlinkous on Sun 6th Aug 2006 16:51 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

Not stallmans idea of freedom. Stallman has defined some freedoms he wants to ensure. He could just as well use the term 'ability' or 'permission' or 'choice' and it would be the same statement. He has chosen to use the word freedoms especially since it relates to software being free and never restricted.

Freedom can be a generic term in which you define it in context of what you are discussing. I have the freedom to pick my nose. As part of our housing project you ahve the freedom to walk down the street.

I know of no 'freedom' that the FSF takes away? What freedom would that be?

Reply Score: 2

RE: no
by Soulbender on Mon 7th Aug 2006 03:46 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"I know of no 'freedom' that the FSF takes away? What freedom would that be?"

The freedom to NOT share my modifications?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: no
by deanlinkous on Mon 7th Aug 2006 09:43 UTC in reply to "RE: no"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

In that case you would want to choose a different license. It doesn't take that away - it just does not provide that. Just like it doesn't take away your freedom to walk down the street with a baboon on your head - but it doesn't provide that freedom either.

Actually, now that I think about it more. If you do not want to share your modifications, that likely means you do not want to distribute them. So the current GPL does provide that. You can modify it, use it internally, and never release/share any of it. Even a company can do this. Microsoft could even do this.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: no
by Soulbender on Mon 7th Aug 2006 10:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: no"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"It doesn't take that away - it just does not provide that."

Hair splitting, the end result is the same. It's a "freedom" that's not available with the GPL.
Now, wether the removal of this freedom is a worthwhile sacrifice is a different thing and something you are supposed to agree with when using the GPL. This does not change the fact that "not sharing and still distributing" is a freedom the GPL prevents.

"Just like it doesn't take away your freedom to walk down the street with a baboon on your head - but it doesn't provide that freedom either."

Except my example deals with code and this doesnt.

"If you do not want to share your modifications, that likely means you do not want to distribute them."

On the contrary, its quite likely that one would want to redistribute binaries built from modified code without wanting to actually share that code.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: no
by deanlinkous on Mon 7th Aug 2006 15:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: no"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

It isn't hairsplitting dude. If that is your purpose then you need to choose soemthing else because what you want to do and what the license provides are in direct conflict. The GPL isn't a omni-freedom license, no license is or else we would never need more than one since everything would be covered. Every license provides certain abilities and has certain requirements. The GPL is no different in this regard to any other license.

Does BSD removes your freedom to get changes others make back? Nope, it just doesn't provide this ability or freedom if you will. I could make examples out of every license out there - but it is simply what they dont provide not what they are taking away.

Why does it bother you so much that the word freedom is used. Would you feel better if that word was replaced with simething else like 'allows' or 'ability' or similar? RMS uses that word for a reason and yes it is about the ideology and the philosophy of code never being locked up. You would agree that not being locked up would imply free as in freedom wouldn't you.

Actually, the more I think about it. Go ahead and say it takes a ability or freedom away. I guess you could look at it like that. But then you have to look at every license like that and say they all take away freedoms or abilities. Because as stated, that is the purpose of a license is to define what you can and cannot do. That is the purpose of having more than one license. You choose the one that provides freedoms you consider important and does not provide the freedoms you do not want provided. Please subsitute the word 'ability' for 'freedoms' if you wish. ;)

You are right it does not provide the 'freedom' you speak of simply because that would be in direct contridiction of the purpose of the license as well as the other freedoms that it does provide. If it provided that ability to you it would go against everything it tries to do. The whole point of the GPL is to make sure source is always available because the person that wrote the GPL feels like that is very important and those who choose it should feel the same or else use a different license.

So if that is what you want to do. Then do it. You have a different license you can pick that lets you do exactly that. If you want to look at the GPL as taking away that ability then I guess you are right, but the same would apply to every license making them just as horrible and freedom robbing. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: no
by msundman on Mon 7th Aug 2006 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: no"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> "not sharing and still distributing" is a freedom the
> GPL prevents

Yes, just as "enslaving other people" is a freedom that the law ensuring freedom from slavery prevents.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: no
by pinky on Mon 7th Aug 2006 10:33 UTC in reply to "RE: no"
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>>I know of no 'freedom' that the FSF takes away? What freedom would that be?
>The freedom to NOT share my modifications?


Nobody forces you to share your modifications. There is no pressure to release modified versions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: no
by Soulbender on Mon 7th Aug 2006 10:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: no"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Nobody forces you to share your modifications. There is no pressure to release modified versions."

Thanks for avoiding the issue.
If you want to redistribute you must share your modifications. While this is intentional and possibly (depending on your personal opnion) a worthwhile cause it does not change the fact that the GPL "removes" my freedom to distribute binaries without sharing the source.
I'm not saying this is either bad or good, just that it's a freedom that the GPL prevents you from exercising.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: no
by pinky on Mon 7th Aug 2006 10:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: no"
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>If you want to redistribute you must share your modifications.

You must give the recipients the same freedom you had.

>it does not change the fact that the GPL "removes" my freedom to distribute binaries without sharing the source.

You talk about your "freedom" to deny other users freedom. I think this is more a kind of power than a kind of freedom because this is a activity which affect others more than you. For me freedom is the possibility to make decisions that affects mainly myself.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: no
by Cloudy on Mon 7th Aug 2006 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: no"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

You talk about your "freedom" to deny other users freedom. I think this is more a kind of power than a kind of freedom because this is a activity which affect others more than you. For me freedom is the possibility to make decisions that affects mainly myself.

This is a good example of why the FSF definition of "freedom" is nothing more than self-serving propaganda. If a property suits the FSF's philosophy then the property is a "freedom" but if it doesn't suit the philosophy it is a "power"

There is no consistency in the the FSF model.

Reply Score: 1

FSF would be useless...
by mkone on Mon 7th Aug 2006 08:52 UTC
mkone
Member since:
2006-03-14

...if they decided they were going to fight against everyone. I think it is well and good to 'fight' against the software guys, but if you fight against the hardware guys, you are going to quickly become irrelevant.

The GPL is good enough. It is very good for its intended purpose. The FSF makes the mistake of assuming that they can force big companies to 'open up everything'. If I am running a web service, I am in no way restricting the rights of users if I ask them to run the software I provided unmodified, and decide to ensure this by signing the software. The code is still out there, and they can use it with their own keys. But they can't interface with my service anymore. I am restricting their freedom in any way, since I do have the freedom to not interact with software I do not authorise.

Reply Score: 1

quid pro quo
by JeffS on Mon 7th Aug 2006 13:55 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

Torvalds says the GPL is about quid pro quo, and the reason he chose the GPL was the quid pro quo of the GPL ensures the sharing of code, and modifications are put back into the original. For Torvalds, it was a technical choice - it ensured the constant growth and improvement of his kernel.

What it seems to me that the FSF is trying to do with GPLv3 is to continue ensuring quid pro quo - the sharing of code and improvements put back into the system. DRM is most definitely a potential barrier to quid pro quo. DRM can be used to prevent the sharing of code.

It does not appear to me that the FSF is trying to be political, or is trying to use the license for activism. It is trying to prevent a threat to the original intent of the license.

Thus, Linus Torvalds, quite frankly, should be very pro GPLv3, for pure technical reasons.

Also, something that has become abundantly clear on this thread is that the Microsoft astroturfers are in full force demonizing the GPL.

MS is the only entity out there that is threatened by the GPL. Their business strategy is purely proprietary (not bad in of itself), and maintaining their monopoly and lock in. GPL, with it's quid pro quo stance, and rapid adoption and huge succcess, is a threat to monopoly control and lock in as a business strategy.

Therefore, Microsoft and it's paid astroturfers have massive incentive to completely trash the GPL on discussion forums such as this one.

Not that the GPL isn't perfect, or that it is the best license. It has it's strengths and weaknesses. It's one open source license among many, and is good in some situations and not so good for others.

But just be wary of those completely flamming the GPL.

Reply Score: 0

RE: quid pro quo
by Cloudy on Mon 7th Aug 2006 17:04 UTC in reply to "quid pro quo"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Also, something that has become abundantly clear on this thread is that the Microsoft astroturfers are in full force demonizing the GPL.

Senator McCarthy, do you have any evidence at all that these people are communist agents?

Reply Score: 1

All licenses have restrictions
by JeffS on Mon 7th Aug 2006 16:24 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

That's right. That's the whole purpose of a license - to restrict and/or grant what can be done with the entity in question.

All licenses rescrict freedom in one form or another. It's just a question of what the license is rescricting, to what degree, and who it effects.

The GPL, for instance, is mostly restrictive on those who want to build purely proprietary solutions. But in so doing it ensures more freedom for end users, and more freedom to redistribute and use the code.

The MS EULA, for instance, is extremely restrictive on everyone except Microsoft.

The BSD license is restrictive on the original developers, in terms of receiving quid pro quo. The BSD license's only restriction is to give credit and to provide no warranty.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: no
by Soulbender on Tue 8th Aug 2006 03:09 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Exactly, and while that's definitely for the better it is STILL a freedom that is prevented.
Of course, the GPL is dealing with code, something not nearly as important as not being enslaved but the principle is the same.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: no
by msundman on Tue 8th Aug 2006 08:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: no"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> it is STILL a freedom that is prevented

I'm not sure you understood my point, which was that one cannot logically have both freedom and the "freedom" to prevent freedom (unless the latter is never used, of course, but in our case it is).

Reply Score: 1