Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Jun 2007 22:17 UTC, submitted by prymitive
GNU, GPL, Open Source A lengthy debate that began with a suggestion to dual license the Linux kernel under the GPLv2 and the GPLv3 continues on the Linux Kernel Mailing List. Throughout the ongoing thread Linux creator Linus Torvalds has spoken out on the GPLv2, the upcoming GPLv3, the BSD license, Tivo, the Free Software Foundation, and much more. During the discussion, he was asked we he chose the GPLv2 over the BSD license when he's obviously not a big fan of the FSF.
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Branching vs. Merging
by Chuck Norris on Fri 15th Jun 2007 22:28 UTC
Chuck Norris
Member since:
2007-03-24

Could some one explain the difference between branching and merging before going on please?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Branching vs. Merging
by atezun on Fri 15th Jun 2007 22:50 UTC in reply to "Branching vs. Merging"
atezun Member since:
2005-07-06

Branching means to seperate, ie: forking. You take what you can from the original project and move forward in your own direction.

Merging mean to join, when two projects have similar goals and fairly compatible code bases they can merge and work together on one project instead of two seperate ones.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Branching vs. Merging
by vermaden on Sat 16th Jun 2007 09:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Branching vs. Merging"
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

BSD encourage 'branching' [forking] and GPL2 encourage 'merging' ?

So why there are thousands of Linux Distributions [forks] and only several BSD Distributions?

In what way BSD encourages forking? Because it is more free then GPL2?

GPL2 oriented projects love to fork, all those media players, beryl/compiz, window managers and many many many more.

Is it only me see that that way?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Branching vs. Merging
by whzhao on Sat 16th Jun 2007 09:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Branching vs. Merging"
whzhao Member since:
2007-06-16

In what way BSD encourages forking? Because it is more free then GPL2?


Yes. Because once you have forked and released your modification under a new incompatible license, there is no way to merge your modification back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Branching vs. Merging
by vermaden on Sat 16th Jun 2007 10:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Branching vs. Merging"
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

Yes. Because once you have forked and released your modification under a new incompatible license, there is no way to merge your modification back.

That is only the fault of the person that changes the license, not the BSD licence itself, it allows you to do that which gives you more freedom but its your fault if you changed license and now your code cannot be merged back.

Consequence.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Branching vs. Merging
by acobar on Sat 16th Jun 2007 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Branching vs. Merging"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

There are hundreds of Linux because people differ on what parts should be present by default, what VERSION of the kernel should be in use, how the initialization should be handled, what patches must be applied, how upgrades must be handled and finally what is the best "layout" of the fs. You can think this is a fork but the basic components are all the same: Linux kernel and GNU userland tools (gcc, glibc, and so on).

That is different from *BSD side as there are different kernels playing there.

Note that I'm not counting different kernel versions as different kernels (what have their own counterpart on *BSDs too).

So, if you ask me if GPL tend more to merging than to branching I would say YES, there is just one kernel and mainly one userland on Linux camp if you care to inspect (in the sense I said).

If you really want to compare *BSD to what we call linux, do it the right way and compare it to a particular one, like RedHat, SuSE, Debian or (even) *buntu.

I don't want to start a flame war here but, the way I look at things, there is a fundamental difference between GPL and BSD licenses and they are not related to how it affect final users but, instead, who would want to contribute to the projects. Hardware and service companies where software are addendum or cost tend to choose GPL as any contribution/improvement will come back. But if the software is very important (main differential) in their products they probably will develop their own version or grab parts under BSD license with little chance to come back to the community. That is why you see big companies putting a lot of money on Linux and not that amount on *BSD: every penny allocated on Linux will show up, on BSD we just don't know (even if was more money).

Also, I mostly side with Linus. There are conjectural politics on one side and real politics and real world on the other. I have a high respect to RMS, GNU and FSF but try to be a bit more linked to reality where I think any cooperation is better than total isolation. This way we can change the world a bit every time, instead of try to create a new one. The history had showed that the former approach is the one that works as at any time there are always disagreements.

Last, I have been using FreeBSD since 4.3, Slackware since 8 and RedHat since 5, promoting and loving them all.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Branching vs. Merging
by makc on Tue 19th Jun 2007 08:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Branching vs. Merging"
makc Member since:
2006-01-11

I'd not say it's about licence, and branching/merging can happen under any compatible licence - and is a merely technical operation.
Under this respect GPL is even more restrictive, as it is compatible with GPL only, admitting that you redistribute the program.

The fact that gnu/linux has more variety in distribution depends on it's "frankenstein" nature, compared to BSDs. Linux is a kernel, then you have to choose a userland - no real standards here, and many different choices / preferences. BSDs instead have a longer tradition and are more standardized in this respect - userland included.
Wether you like it or not, it's about taste ;)

But not about the licence itself, imho.

And to be back on-topic, I agree with Mr. Torvalds : I do not like a software licence that prescribes something about hardware.

Edit: rearranged a bit the text

Edited 2007-06-19 09:01

Reply Score: 1

RE: Branching vs. Merging
by kwanbis on Fri 15th Jun 2007 22:52 UTC in reply to "Branching vs. Merging"
kwanbis Member since:
2005-07-06

it's just the oposit. You create two branches of a project, by forking them. Like we have ProjectA and you don't like something, you create ProjectA+ that is a fork of my ProjectA.

Merging, would be when i take the modifications you did to ProjectA+ that i like, and merge them back to ProjectA, or viceversa.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Branching vs. Merging
by difool on Fri 15th Jun 2007 22:52 UTC in reply to "Branching vs. Merging"
difool Member since:
2006-09-05

versions evolve in a tree-like structure. however, unlike tree-ish structures, often one or more branches might blend together into a single branch.

a branch is an active line of development. there might be several of them.

to merge is to bring the contents of another branch into the current branch.

http://www.kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/docs/glossary.html

Reply Score: 2

RE: Branching vs. Merging
by hobgoblin on Sat 16th Jun 2007 01:39 UTC in reply to "Branching vs. Merging"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06
v RE: Branching vs. Merging
by happycamper on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:56 UTC in reply to "Branching vs. Merging"
uh
by deanlinkous on Fri 15th Jun 2007 23:04 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

How will merging occur when something is locked in DRM or in patent-protection....

Reply Score: 5

RE: uh
by zztaz on Sat 16th Jun 2007 00:09 UTC in reply to "uh"
zztaz Member since:
2006-09-16

In order to distribute someone else's code under GPLv2, you must provide a royalty-free license for any of your patents which affect that code.

For example, I release some code under the GPLv2. You use my code and modify it in a way that makes it subject to your patent. You only have my permission to distribute *your* code, which includes *my* code, if you conform to the terms of the GPLv2. Those terms include granting the free use of your patent to anyone who obtains your code under the GPLv2. If you want to charge royalties for your patent, then you can't distribute my code. If you want to charge royalties to people who aren't using the GPLv2 code, go right ahead.

DRM is a broad subject. Using crypto techniques to control what may execute on a computer is a useful technique. The problem is who decides what's allowed. My belief is that DRM is good when controled by the owner of the computer, and bad when it takes control away from the owner and gives it to someone else. The RIAA/MPAA want that control. Once more, control isn't the problem, it's who has control.

Nothing about DRM prevents merging branches back together. It may prevent *running* the merged code on a particular piece of hardware. But the code is available to everyone, and may be used elsewhere. That's what Linus cares about - changes to the code are available to anyone who wants them. If you buy hardware that won't run certain code, that's an issue with the hardware, not the license of the software. If you don't like closed hardware, and I don't, then don't buy closed hardware. But closed hardware does not prevent the software from evolving, which is the most useful feature of the GPLv2.

Reply Score: 5

Share and Share-alike
by npang on Fri 15th Jun 2007 23:35 UTC
npang
Member since:
2006-11-26

Torvalds believes in share and share alike code: Here is my code, if you want to distribute copies of it, you should also contribute your modifications. He believes that the GPLv2 is good enough to ensure this. Why does he need to agree with what the FSF says about software morality? If an entity is offering something that is perfect for your requirements, the only reason to reject the offering is to make some sort of statement to that entity. Torvalds doesn't need to accept the FSF's philosophy to accept the terms of GPLv2.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Share and Share-alike
by pinky on Sat 16th Jun 2007 15:21 UTC in reply to "Share and Share-alike"
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>Torvalds believes in share and share alike code: Here is my code, if you want to distribute copies of it, you should also contribute your modifications.

No problem beside that the GPL doesn't require to give back modifications.

>He believes that the GPLv2 is good enough to ensure this.

That's OK, too.

>Why does he need to agree with what the FSF says about software morality?

He doesn't have to agree.

The problem is, that Linus interpret the spirit of the GPL by reading the GPLv2 legal text and map it to todays situation. And than claim that his interpretation is the spirit of the GPL.

But to understand the spirit of the GPL you have (a) listen to FSF because they are the author of the license (that doesn't mean that you have to agree) (b) read the preamble of the GPL (c) interpret the GPL in the context when it was written and not in todays context because todays world is different.

If you do this you will see that GPLv3 makes perfectly sense. That doesn't mean that you have to like it or to support it. But you have to admit that GPLv3 and their author keep the spirit known from the beginning.

It's basically the same if i would read an essay from Linus Torvalds and than try to convince him that my interpretation of his essay must be his intention to write the essay. The only way to understand his intention to write the essay is to listen to him. I don't have to agree and i can still have my own interpretation but i can't tell Linus what was his intention. But this is exactly was Linus tries to do.

>Torvalds doesn't need to accept the FSF's philosophy to accept the terms of GPLv2.

Right.

Edited 2007-06-16 15:24

Reply Score: 5

BSD vs GPL...
by the_trapper on Fri 15th Jun 2007 23:51 UTC
the_trapper
Member since:
2005-07-07

I find Linus' arguments about the BSD license vs. the GPL to be a little misleading. How many people are running a "vanilla" official Linux kernel without some sort of patching? If you're running *buntu, (open)SuSE, Red Hat, or Fedora, you can put your hands down now. That's just the kernel, I am not counting distributions. I consider this to be "branching".

Now, it is true that on the BSD side of things we have FreeBSD (PC-BSD, DesktopBSD), NetBSD, OpenBSD, Darwin (Mac OS X). However, there is an immense amount of code sharing and cooperation between the members of the BSD family. For example, various wireless network drivers written for OpenBSD (easily the best wireless support in the open source world) have been ported to FreeBSD and NetBSD with relative ease. This would be a great example of "merging".

Frankly, I don't think the differences between GPLv2 and the BSD license really affect the likelihood of branching and merging very much at all in real life.

Reply Score: 5

RE: BSD vs GPL...
by Chreo on Sat 16th Jun 2007 00:14 UTC in reply to "BSD vs GPL..."
Chreo Member since:
2005-07-06

...various wireless network drivers written for OpenBSD (easily the best wireless support in the open source world) have been ported ...

Best?! Well, not if you talk to OpenBSD developers, it isn't. Is WPA even supported? Yes, I know that OpenBSD people does not believe in encrypting Wireless stuff since they think VPN is the way to go. Apparently the rest of the people disagrees by their actions. While that works nicely when you are using you own setup, it gives you immense problems accessing other open access points.

On BSD, I find Linus strange. While he agrees that sharing is the way to go, he feels that he needs to tell people what to do by forcing them (through GPL). Luckily, people that believe in the BSD principle, share without restrictions, does not and the OS-world is a much better place than it would've been without BSD. I see no shortage of code merging into FreeBSD so obviously people act differently from what Linus fears. It is a bit like freedom of speech, it is the right to speak those words you disapprove of that needs to be protected, not the opinions you agree with. I believe in completely free and open software so I will defend your right to freely branch and modify it. I will of course encourage you to share the modifications but I will not force you to do so as it is your code (only the modifications, the original source is as free as before, an incredibly common misunderstanding by some "GPL-only" pundits). I do see a place for GPL software, but for me it is an extremely poor choice for an OS-license. Feel free to disagree

Edited 2007-06-16 00:17

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: BSD vs GPL...
by jgfenix on Sat 16th Jun 2007 00:29 UTC in reply to "RE: BSD vs GPL..."
jgfenix Member since:
2006-05-25

I think that what Linus meant is that with the BSD license you can fork the code, distribute the software and keep the changes to yourself. With the GPL you would have to distribute your changes

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: BSD vs GPL...
by phoenix on Sat 16th Jun 2007 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BSD vs GPL..."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

And what's the problem with that?

Pick the license that suits your needs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: BSD vs GPL...
by twenex on Sun 17th Jun 2007 09:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: BSD vs GPL..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

And what's the problem with that?

The problem is you end up with umpteen different, incompatible versions of something.

Pick the license that suits your needs.

I think most people need to ensure that their work won't be taken advantage of by other people without those other people giving back. Thus, the popularity of GPL and Linux.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: BSD vs GPL...
by sbergman27 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 01:02 UTC in reply to "RE: BSD vs GPL..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
On BSD, I find Linus strange. While he agrees that sharing is the way to go, he feels that he needs to tell people what to do by forcing them (through GPL). Luckily, people that believe in the BSD principle, share without restrictions, does not and the OS-world is a much better place than it would've been without BSD.
"""

Linus is not strange about BSD. He feels that if one makes their hard work available for others to use, he has the right to expect "tit for tat".

I sometimes find Theo a bit strange about BSD because he gives people the freedom not to give back and moans when some choose not to.

But don't take that as a criticism of BSD. Because copyleft licenses have the nasty side effect of sucking up OSS code from other free projects without giving back.

"Compatibility" in the GPL world, means "we can take from them". Usually, they cannot take from us. But few people of the copyleft mentality seem to seem a problem with that.

In the insterest of full disclosure, I should say that I like copyleft. I even like the new extensions that come with the GPLv3. (Though, as always, I'm more concerned with the GPLv3's divisive aspects than I am with the refinements in it.)

But I do respect the BSD philosophy, even if I do sometimes call it the "rape me" license.

In the end, I think that we are stronger for having different classes of licenses available. And note that I say "classes of licenses". I do not think that rampant license fragmentation is good. But BSD and Copyleft represent two substantively different views of freedom. And I believe that we are stronger for having a choice at that level.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: BSD vs GPL...
by sean on Mon 18th Jun 2007 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BSD vs GPL..."
sean Member since:
2005-06-29

But I do respect the BSD philosophy, even if I do sometimes call it the "rape me" license.

A better way to think about it is the giving license. You give to others instead of expecting money or source code in return. You can still hope others will share back. That is not hypocritical. BSD is the soup kitchen of licenses. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: BSD vs GPL...
by butters on Sat 16th Jun 2007 00:58 UTC in reply to "BSD vs GPL..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

I find Linus' arguments about the BSD license vs. the GPL to be a little misleading. How many people are running a "vanilla" official Linux kernel without some sort of patching? [...] I consider this to be "branching".

Linus explicitly states that branching is a prerequisite for merging. He never claims that branching is undesirable. He merely suggests that merging is more interesting and more productive than branching.

Frankly, I don't think the differences between GPLv2 and the BSD license really affect the likelihood of branching and merging very much at all in real life.

The reason why developers and projects use branching is to take existing code in a different direction. With BSD code, the possibilities are almost endless. But with GPL code, there are rules for what you can do with the code. This makes branching less attractive in the GPL world than in the BSD world.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: BSD vs GPL...
by dylansmrjones on Sat 16th Jun 2007 07:39 UTC in reply to "RE: BSD vs GPL..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

But with GPL code, there are rules for what you can do with the code.


That's not true. There is no rules in GPL in regard to what you can do with the code.

You can do anything you want. Even use it in proprietary products. The rules only kick in in regard to distribution, but that is irrelevant in regard to what you can do with the code.

From a philosophical point of view I prefer the BSD- or MIT-license - from a pragmatic view I prefer GPL. The latter one is a requirement as long as fundamental rights are not protected.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: BSD vs GPL...
by sappyvcv on Sun 17th Jun 2007 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BSD vs GPL..."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

There is no rules in GPL in regard to what you can do with the code.

The rules only kick in in regard to distribution, but that is irrelevant in regard to what you can do with the code.

That doesn't make sense. Distributing the code is doing something. Unless you meant that distribution was the exception.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: BSD vs GPL...
by pinky on Sun 17th Jun 2007 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: BSD vs GPL..."
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>That doesn't make sense. Distributing the code is doing something. Unless you meant that distribution was the exception.

Read "what you can do with the code" as "the freedom to run the program for any purpose" which is freedom 0. This is what you do with your copy on your devices. Distributing is something different that's also why we have different words for it in our language. You can do with your copy what you want but you can only distribute copies if you can give your recipients the same freedom you had. If you don't want to give your recipient the same freedom than you can't distribute the software. That's copyleft.

Edited 2007-06-17 21:10

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: BSD vs GPL...
by sappyvcv on Sun 17th Jun 2007 23:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: BSD vs GPL..."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Where does who I responded to talk about the Free Software definition?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: BSD vs GPL...
by dylansmrjones on Sun 17th Jun 2007 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: BSD vs GPL..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Distributing the code is not doing something with the code.

Doing something with the code is using and modifying it. Distributing the code has nothing to do with what you can do with the code.

It is possible to distribute the code without doing anything with the code and it is possible to do something with the code without distributing it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: BSD vs GPL...
by sappyvcv on Sun 17th Jun 2007 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: BSD vs GPL..."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

You have an odd definition of "do"...

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: BSD vs GPL...
by dylansmrjones on Mon 18th Jun 2007 08:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: BSD vs GPL..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Nope.

I don't see we disagree on "do". We disagree on
"doing something with the code". It has however nothing to do with "do", but probably sumthen to do with the parts "with the code" (possibly replaceable with "on the code", "in the code" or sumthen...)

Distributing is doing something, but it's not doing something with the code - at least not in the sense of doing something to the code. But if you're not doin' sumthen to the code, you're not doin' sumthen with the code ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: BSD vs GPL...
by sappyvcv on Mon 18th Jun 2007 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: BSD vs GPL..."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Distributing is "doing something with the code".

By your definition, modifying the code is the only thing that is actually "doing something with the code".

I don't know why you're trying to argue this, or even why I'm bothering arguing with you about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: BSD vs GPL...
by bosco_bearbank on Sat 16th Jun 2007 00:59 UTC in reply to "BSD vs GPL..."
bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

[i]Frankly, I don't think the differences between GPLv2 and the BSD license really affect the likelihood of branching and merging very much at all in real life.[i]

With GPL2 you must make your improvements available if you distribute your code, whereas with the BSD license you need not (although you certainly may)

Reply Score: 2

Wow
by fsckit on Fri 15th Jun 2007 23:52 UTC
fsckit
Member since:
2006-09-24

I don't typically take the RMS/FSF side of things (at least completely), but Linus really comes off as an uninformed (or paid off by Tivo) asshat in that thread. Seriously, how many times did he trot out the "They can do as they like with *their* hardware" shit, before someone had to point out that it became the consumer's hardware the minute they bought and paid for it?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Wow
by spikeb on Fri 15th Jun 2007 23:55 UTC in reply to "Wow"
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

he is an uninformed asshat when it comes to licenses and many other things

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wow
by zztaz on Sat 16th Jun 2007 00:38 UTC in reply to "Wow"
zztaz Member since:
2006-09-16

He clarified that. The *design* of the hardware belongs to TiVo, and is not under the GPL. Some of the software included with the product is under the GPL, some is under other licenses.

The fact that GPL software is included does not put the other software or the design of the hardware under the GPL. RMS may want all software to be under the GPL, but copyright law doesn't work that way. It is perfectly legal to include (aggregate) GPL and non-GPL software on the same system.

If you buy a TiVo, you own it. You can get the source for the kernel. You can modify the kernel. Run that kernel on your own hardware design, or hack your TiVo so that it will run unsigned code. But TiVo is NOT obligated to provide you with the source for the hardware design, or the other code, or anything else.

I don't own a TiVo, because I dislike closed hardware. That's why I use MythTV. But Linus is right when he points out that RMS is trying to extend a software license to cover hardware. That's not right, and it's likely to create problems.

GPLv3 uses a software license to impose conditions on the hardware that the software runs on. Sony used a rootkit to impose conditions on computers that audio CDs were played on. In both cases, the copyright for one element is being abused to control the behavior of systems which are NOT under that copyright. The copyright on the music on a CD should not have ANY effect on the system it is played on, and the copyright on a program should not have ANY effect on hardware it runs on.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Wow
by Luminair on Sat 16th Jun 2007 03:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I think I agree with this post.

PS: Linus > FSF. The FSF is like Greenpeace -- they're fighting for the right cause, but sometimes they do it in the wrong way. ..and then they come off as crazy nutcases.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Wow
by pepa on Sat 16th Jun 2007 10:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Tivo distributes modified GPL software when selling their devices. You cannot modify and run that software on the device. The GPL intends to make sure GPL-ed software can be modified and run. The only way it can be run now is to have a modified Tivo-device without the locking. It cannot be run on the Tivo device as bought. Linus thinks that is OK, the FSF thinks it's not, and they are authoring the license, so they wrote v3. The GPLv3 would protect software better from a user's point of view, so I am all for it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Wow
by PlatformAgnostic on Sat 16th Jun 2007 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Tne author of the GPL intends this ability to modify software in place, but clearly the license does not require this and the author of the GPLed software (well, at least the bulk of it) does not believe in this. Seeing how the copyright holder has more rights over the kernel than the owner of the license, I think Linus has every right to choose a different philosophy for how his code is used.

Frankly, the FSF should just get a new kernel if they're in so much pain of Linus' decision. I, for one, would love to see them choose a GPL3 Solaris... competition of the kernel crown in the FOSS world will probably cure some of the Linux follies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wow
by pepa on Sat 16th Jun 2007 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

GPLv3 Solaris does sound interesting, and it might be a wake-up call for the Linux project too. Reading the whole thread, I admire the sound reasoning on the part of the FSF proponent, and it's sad that they sometimes get detracted a bit by the lower level of discourse of the anti-GPLv3 crowd.

GPL licenses ARE meant to protect the right of users to modify AND RUN the software. But yes, Linus has the right to choose his license.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Wow
by Luminair on Sat 16th Jun 2007 13:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

As long as they follow the GPL for the software they are using, I don't see what the operation of their hardware has to do with it. Using a software license to regulate hardware IS a bit crazy talk.

What happens if someone uses a ROM so it's electronically impossible to change the software? Does the FSF sue? ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Wow
by marafaka on Mon 18th Jun 2007 10:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

For free and open software you first need open platforms. Without that there are no free software developers and the only free software is couple of media players in binary form.

When you bought a computer a decade or two ago, eventhough as a tiny unimportant end-user, you could get _all_ the documentation about it. And I mean everything, every pin and socket and memory location was documented somewhere. Today, not only that the documentation is scarce and development is unnecesarily complicated because of vendor wars, but some vendors started closing the platform for the end users completely. And there is a real danger that this happens on all electronic devices.

Do you expect some gain submitting your life force to hardware companies? Choose as you wish, I chose the FSF.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow
by b3timmons on Sat 16th Jun 2007 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

But Linus is right when he points out that RMS is trying to extend a software license to cover hardware. That's not right, and it's likely to create problems.

Distribution has always been a central concern of the GPL. The Tivo device is a means of distribution. Thus, it is entirely appropriate that if Tivo wants to distribute someone else's GPLv3 software, Tivo must agree to the distribution terms or just not distribute the software. What's not right about that? "Creating problems" does not mean much. Many good things are done that end up creating problems. I may sign up for a tough class that will create problems for myself, but that fact alone does not at all throw my decision into doubt.

GPLv3 uses a software license to impose conditions on the hardware that the software runs on. Sony used a rootkit to impose conditions on computers that audio CDs were played on. In both cases, the copyright for one element is being abused to control the behavior of systems which are NOT under that copyright.

This is too simplistic an attempt at associating the GPLv3 with a notorious event by finding something in common. It's easy to come up with such arguments. E.g., the U.S. used power to defeat the Axis powers. Japan used power to commit genocide in China. In both cases, the laws of one nation are being used to control the behavior of nations which are not under their laws. The laws of one country should not have ANY effect on the behavior of other nations.

Is hardware somehow more sacred than nations?

We also could as easily find all the ways that the rootkit is worse. It relied upon deception, done on a machine having absolutely no pre-planned connection to the rootkit (unlike the means of distribution that a Tivo device is), etc.

We are probably ignoring some other important cases where copyright influences hardware behavior. Perhaps those who are more familiar with proprietary systems than I am can recall some examples. In any case, I don't see how the GPLv3 is anything special in this way, and, again, it is merely a choice that anyone, of course, is entirely free to ignore.

Moreover, there are the four freedoms that any GPL is designed to promote. Why must they be sacrificed in order to placate some manufacturer? The FSF would fail in its mission if it had not responded to Tivoization by banning at least some (but not all, it turns out) forms of it in the GPLv3.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Wow
by zztaz on Sat 16th Jun 2007 05:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
zztaz Member since:
2006-09-16

TiVo has agreed to, and obeys, the terms of the GPL for all of the software they distribute using that license. It is not right to apply those terms to the other software, under different licenses, which they also distribute in the same box. Copyright law distinguishes aggregation from derived works.

TiVo distributes the Linux kernel under the GPL. Because the GPL applies to the kernel, they also license the drivers that they wrote under the GPL. The drivers are linked, making them derived works of the kernel.

Other software is included in the box. That software is not licensed under the GPL. I would like it to be, but there is no legal obligation for TiVo to license separate programs under the GPL because they happen to run under Linux. Those programs are merely aggregated with the kernel, which does not make them derived works.

It would be counter-productive to require all software on a computer running Linux to use the GPL. No current Linux distribution would qualify. My Debian systems may run only freely-licensed software, but the GPL is not the only free license. Such a requirement would also fail in court. Copyright law understands derivation, not contagion.

The ends do not justify the means. Coercion is bad when Sony does it, and when the FSF does it. Version 2 of the GPL does not coerce, because it applies only to the software that the license is attached to. Accept or decline the license, and it only affects the program itself, not system it runs on. Sony's copyright on some music does not give them the right to dictate the operation of the device I play the music on. The FSF's copyright on gcc does not give them the right dictate how I manage keys on my hardware. The copyright on the music applies ONLY to the music, and not the player. The copyright on a program applies ONLY to the program, and not the hardware it runs on.

I agree with the goals of the FSF, but think that they've made a tactical blunder with the DRM portion of GPLv3. The other changes are worthwhile improvements.

Using a license to promote the freedom of the licensed object is great. Using a license to promote freedom of other things which come in contact with the licensed object steps over the line. Version 2 of the GPL stays firmly on the right side of the line, and recognizes that while world peace and ending hunger are worthwhile goals, restricting the USE of software in fact reduces freedom. It covers only distribution, not use. There are better ways to end hunger, and better ways to promote open hardware.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Wow
by lemur2 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 06:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Other software is included in the box. That software is not licensed under the GPL. I would like it to be, but there is no legal obligation for TiVo to license separate programs under the GPL because they happen to run under Linux. Those programs are merely aggregated with the kernel, which does not make them derived works.

It would be counter-productive to require all software on a computer running Linux to use the GPL. No current Linux distribution would qualify. My Debian systems may run only freely-licensed software, but the GPL is not the only free license. Such a requirement would also fail in court. Copyright law understands derivation, not contagion.


You have got the wrong end of the stick here, entirely.

The point of "anti-tivoisation" clauses in GPL3 has nothing to do with non-GPL software on the TiVo. There is no requirement at all to make "all software on a computer running Linux to use the GPL".

The "anti-tivoisation" clauses in GPL3 simply mean that it is not permissible for a vendor such as TiVo to distribute any software which IS GPLv3 software in such a way that the end user may not change it.

The ability of the end user to alter the GPLv3 software is one of the four freedoms. If TiVo want to use some GPLv3 software elements as part of their product, then they are distributing those GPLv3 software elements, and so then TiVo have no right under the GPLv3 license to remove that freedom of the end user (aka as the downstream recipient) which is granted by the license.

Remember, the GPL software in the TiVo is not TiVo's software, it is GPL software. We are talking here only about the bits of software in the TiVo which are GPL software, and we are not talking about any of TiVo's own software.

Please bear in mind that the GPLv3 license applies only to software which is distributed (by the original author) as GPLv3 software. The GPLv3 license is intended to preserve the freedoms of the license for all recipients of that software. The GPLv3 license does not apply to any other software bundled together in a product, it applies only to the GPLv3 software.

I agree with the goals of the FSF, but think that they've made a tactical blunder with the DRM portion of GPLv3.


Why, exactly? What exactly is wrong with the DRM portion of GPLv3?

The DRM portion of GPLv3 says only that one may not apply DRM provisions to software that is GPLv3 software, so that the end user loses rights to the GPLv3 software.

GPLv3 software does not prevent DRM per se, and GPLv3 is entirely silent on what anyone does with software that is not GPLv3 software.

Edited 2007-06-16 06:49

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Wow
by zztaz on Sat 16th Jun 2007 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
zztaz Member since:
2006-09-16

The user of GPLv2 software DOES have the right to change the software and redistribute it. The software can evolve and improve. DRM does not remove that right. What DRM does is make the *hardware* less useful, not make the *software* less useful. The software can be run on other hardware, or the hardware can be modified. But that's a hardware issue, not a software issue.

Linus, as the author of the software, is concerned with the effect of the license on the evolution of the software. The design of the hardware rightly belongs to those who design the hardware, and their decisions can be approved of or denigrated by choosing to purchase or not. The hardware will evolve on its own merits; crippled hardware will be recognized as such.

We all benefit when hardware and software are unbundled and as independent as practical. My object to TiVo is that they've crippled the hardware by imposing limits on which software will run on it. Crippled the hardware, not crippled the software. I don't like that tactic any better when the FSF does it, tying the hardware and software instead of keeping them independent. TiVo limits which software I can run on that hardware, the FSF limits which software can be distributed with that hardware. Both impose artificial limits on which software can be used with that hardware, and the limits suck.

The FSF is making a tactical blunder because they've shifted the focus away from the fact that it is the hardware that's crippled. Now the software is crippled. Instead of blaming the hardware for limiting the software you can run, now it is the license of the *software* that imposes the limits. Bad move.

I understand that the FSF wants to encourage open hardware. But a worthy goal does not excuse an unworthy means. Software licenses should concern the software and only the software. Hardware issues can and should be dealt with separately. The trouble starts when copyright reaches beyond the copyrighted material.

I have no problem with the MPAA using copyright to prevent unauthorized distribution of movies. The trouble begins when they use copyright to make ads unskippable and prevent me from viewing movies purchased in other countries. Copyright has been extended beyond the copyrighted item and into the behavior of other items - the player, in this case.

I have no problem with the RIAA using copyright to prevent unauthorized distribution of music. The trouble begins when they reach beyond the copyrighted music and try to control what I can play it on.

I have no problem with copyright holders of software choosing to prevent or allow me to distribute copies. The trouble starts when they reach beyond the copyrighted software and try to control how I may use it and which hardware I may use it with. I don't think that it's right for Microsoft to say that Windows is tied to specific hardware and may not be moved to any other computer. I don't think that it's right for the FSF to say that software may not be distributed with certain hardware. Don't tie hardware and software. That's bad, no matter who does it.

Edited 2007-06-16 13:34

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Wow
by b3timmons on Sat 16th Jun 2007 16:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wow"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

You oppose Tivoization but apparently not enough to believe that people who want to ensure that their software not contribute to Tivoization deserve a license that respects their wish and protects their software.

Your examples suggest an opposition to the kind of abuse of copyright that the DMCA encourages. Yet you are not so opposed so as to believe there is room for a license for people who want no part in that abuse.

Everyone knows that the GPLv3 is intended to promote four freedoms--these freedoms are the priority. Any argument for a conflicting concern must show why this concern is worth harming software freedom. Your arguments have not addressed this at all.

It seems that you are asserting that consumer choice matters more than software freedom, and so you believe that the GPLv3 is mistaken by not following your priority and going against the very reasons for its existence.

You claim that it is wrong for using copyright of an item in one domain to constrain another domain that interacts with the item. How is it unethical? In particular, you claim that it is unethical to tie hardware and software. What's your argument?

You hold that we benefit from independent hardware and software. In theory, I might agree. However, in practice, things such as economic constraints and user experience sometimes make "integration" more attractive, such as the supposedly fewer glitches of Macs versus PCs. Apple benefits greatly from this impression. (Such integration does not in principle imply that the software needs to be non-free.)

I have no problem with copyright holders of software choosing to prevent or allow me to distribute copies. The trouble starts when they reach beyond the copyrighted software and try to control how I may use it and which hardware I may use it with.

The GPLv3 applies only upon distribution; you can use the software however you want and with whatever hardware you want, but if you distribute it, you will have to agree to its terms. However, according to what you say, you have no problem with terms of distribution.

Edited 2007-06-16 16:52

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wow
by lemur2 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 07:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The ends do not justify the means. Coercion is bad when Sony does it, and when the FSF does it. Version 2 of the GPL does not coerce, because it applies only to the software that the license is attached to. Accept or decline the license, and it only affects the program itself, not system it runs on.


Where does the GPLv3 ever mention anything that is NOT GPLv3 software? There is no coercion involved. If you want to use GPLv3 software, you may not use (harware or software) DRM to apply to that bit of software. That is it, period. There is no coercion involved, if you want to apply DRM to a complete system, then go ahead ... just don't use any GPLv3 software as part of that system. If you want to apply DRM to music on a system that in part uses GPL software, then go ahead, just don't apply the DRM to the GPL software itself.

Sony's copyright on some music does not give them the right to dictate the operation of the device I play the music on. The FSF's copyright on gcc does not give them the right dictate how I manage keys on my hardware.


Of course not. The FSF does have the right, however, to say that you cannot distribute FSF's software with DRM applied so that downstream recipient's cannot change the FSF's software.

I would point out to you that TiVo's right to make hardware and DRM systems does not extend to TiVo applying that DRM to FSF's software.

The copyright on the music applies ONLY to the music, and not the player. The copyright on a program applies ONLY to the program, and not the hardware it runs on.


Correct. The copyright to FSF's software belongs to the FSF. Hence the FSF then get to say what the terms are for distribution of FSF's software. Their terms are that you may not apply DRM to their software, so that downstream receipient's of the FSF's software cannot further change it. The FSF say nothing at all about anything belonging to anyone esle.

Using a license to promote the freedom of the licensed object is great. Using a license to promote freedom of other things which come in contact with the licensed object steps over the line. Version 2 of the GPL stays firmly on the right side of the line, and recognizes that while world peace and ending hunger are worthwhile goals, restricting the USE of software in fact reduces freedom. It covers only distribution, not use. There are better ways to end hunger, and better ways to promote open hardware.


Please point out where there is any coercion at all in the GPLv3 license. There is no such coercion. No-one is forced to do anything. The GPLv3 license gives recipients of GPLv3 software permissions to use the software covered by the license in certain ways (if they want to), and it sets out certain restrictions on that use. One of the restrictions is that you may not distribute the software you receive under the GPLv3 to downstream users in such a way the the downstream user has more restrictions than you have.

Edited 2007-06-16 07:54

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Wow
by marafaka on Mon 18th Jun 2007 10:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

There would be no hunger if only the goods were DISTRIBUTED properly! There would be no need for the FSF if there were no parties who intentionally create scarcity.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wow
by dagw on Sat 16th Jun 2007 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Could we please stop using WW2 and genocide analogies when discussing something as trivial as software? It just makes everybody involved look stupid and out of touch.

Is hardware somehow more sacred than nations?

YES! That should be pretty obvious.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wow
by John Nilsson on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

something as trivial as software

I haven't read what you respond to, but trivial? Software runs almost any infrastructure our civilization builds on. In no way is it trivial. If we don't have a democratic control over our software our civilization will once again lose control to a small owner class.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Wow
by dagw on Sat 16th Jun 2007 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

No I stand by my statement. When compared to the wholesale slaughter of one nations civilians by the armed forces of another nation, then discussing the details of Microsoft's latest EULA or the pros and cons of GPL2 vs GPL3 vs BSD is trivial.

Not that these things are necessarily trivial in and of themselves, but let's try to keep some perspective. Not being able to play your music files on your laptop is not as bad as watching all the women in your town raped.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wow
by AdamW on Sat 16th Jun 2007 00:41 UTC in reply to "Wow"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd say the FSF guy comes off as a doofus. Especially when he tries to push the old 'fair use' chestnut. The doctrine of fair use says that, IF you happen to be able to do the following things, they cannot be considered breach of copyright. It doesn't say _anywhere_ that content providers or hardware manufacturers are obliged to make these things possible, or even that they are obliged not to intentionally attempt to stop you doing them. The FSF guy's argument is clearly specious in this area.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wow
by elsewhere on Sat 16th Jun 2007 00:47 UTC in reply to "Wow"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I don't typically take the RMS/FSF side of things (at least completely), but Linus really comes off as an uninformed (or paid off by Tivo) asshat in that thread. Seriously, how many times did he trot out the "They can do as they like with *their* hardware" shit, before someone had to point out that it became the consumer's hardware the minute they bought and paid for it?


From Linus:

There is *NOTHING* stopping you from doing whatever you want with the code that runs on a TiVO (or any similar device). You (and everyone that thinks like you) are confusing a want to use the *HARDWARE* however you want with your GPL granted "right" to do what you want with the *SOFTWARE*.


and

And that's my opinion. THINK about that for a moment. THINK about the fact that I am the original copyright holder in the main software project they used, and that I state that as neither having ever gotten paid _or_ owning any stock what-so-ever in Tivo.

Dammit, if I cannot say that I think what they did was fine, who can?


This argument should just die. RMS is against Tivoisation, so the FSF is free to do whatever they want with v3. Linus supports Tivoisation, so he's free to choose the license that best represents his objectives.

Anybody that disagrees with Linus and the kernel devs about the Tivoisation issue should start learning to code and start working on Hurd. The sad part is that this thread started with Linus coming as close as ever to a concilliatory attitude towards v3, but then the FSF proponents managed to remind him of why he dislikes them so much.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Wow
by b3timmons on Sat 16th Jun 2007 02:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

Anybody that disagrees with Linus and the kernel devs about the Tivoisation issue should start learning to code and start working on Hurd. The sad part is that this thread started with Linus coming as close as ever to a concilliatory attitude towards v3, but then the FSF proponents managed to remind him of why he dislikes them so much.

That's just disrespectful toward contributors to the kernel who simply do not agree with Linus about v3. Some of these contributors may not particularly like the FSF but still may appreciate seeing their concerns addressed in a way that Linus seems to dismiss.

Linus is full enough of himself so as to regularly insist that he has his own mind while suggesting that his skeptics do not (e.g., "FSF follower people") when their opinion happens to coincide with that of the FSF. His disclaimer is that he is a blunt a**hole, but that cute self-deprecation works only to a point. Frankly, it's just a stupid and tiresome distraction.

Fortunately, Linus does a lot of good when it comes to technical issues. He also seems to be an entertaining writer if you overlook all of his silly abuse. However, there needs to be a counterweight to his abusive and sloppy-to-the-point-of-perhaps-deceitful rhetoric.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Wow
by llanitedave on Sat 16th Jun 2007 03:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
llanitedave Member since:
2005-07-24

Anybody that disagrees with Linus and the kernel devs about the Tivoisation issue should start learning to code and start working on Hurd. The sad part is that this thread started with Linus coming as close as ever to a concilliatory attitude towards v3, but then the FSF proponents managed to remind him of why he dislikes them so much.

That's just disrespectful toward contributors to the kernel who simply do not agree with Linus about v3. Some of these contributors may not particularly like the FSF but still may appreciate seeing their concerns addressed in a way that Linus seems to dismiss.


Not really. It's their choice to contribute to Linux, to Hurd, to BSD, or to any other project. Linus has made it very clear where he stands. You're free to contribute under that understanding, or not.

You can even take a BSD kernel, make you own changes, and release it under a totally different license of your own creation, if you like, to address those concerns you have.

I find myself pretty put off by Linus' lack of social skills, but I also have to agree with his basic argument. He knows what he's doing, he knows what he wants, and he knows what works for him. You can join him, or not.

I also like the idea that his approach is not us vs them. That's what I don't like about rms.

That said, I think GPLv3 is probably the better license, and I am not as blase' about Tivoization as Linus is. It'll be interesting to see how Solaris develops under GPLv3.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wow
by b3timmons on Sat 16th Jun 2007 04:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

Not really. It's their choice to contribute to Linux, to Hurd, to BSD, or to any other project. Linus has made it very clear where he stands. You're free to contribute under that understanding, or not.

True. However, this does not at all rule out the justification for the understandable concerns that are raised on the list. Linus or anyone else, of course, is entirely free to ignore those concerns.

I also like the idea that his approach is not us vs them. That's what I don't like about rms.

That depends on who "us" and "them" are. Moreover, there is nothing inherently virtuous about such accommodation--we need only look at history.

Indeed, the differing approaches are nothing more than logical consequences of two different philosophies with different goals: (1) Linus and open source and (2) RMS and free software. (1) leans more to marketshare, whereas (2) leans more to freedom. Although (1) and (2) are mostly on the same side, there are inevitable conflicts, and we should all realize that siding with one or the other entails a preference for one goal at the expense of the other.

We could replace Linus and RMS and the "us vs them" difference would necessarily remain, regardless of who replaced them. That being said, I am put off by both in their lack of social skills, but there are certainly bigger issues.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Wow
by b3timmons on Sat 16th Jun 2007 05:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

We could replace Linus and RMS and the "us vs them" difference would necessarily remain, regardless of who replaced them.

Oops, I meant that the difference would remain if one replacement believed in open source, the other in free software. Sorry.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wow
by antik on Sat 16th Jun 2007 07:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
antik Member since:
2006-05-19

You can even take a BSD kernel, make you own changes, and release it under a totally different license of your own creation, if you like, to address those concerns you have.

Hold your horses buddy. You can't relicense BSD licensed code!

Copyright (C) 1992-2007 The FreeBSD Project. All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Wow
by Chreo on Sat 16th Jun 2007 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
Chreo Member since:
2005-07-06

You can even take a BSD kernel, make you own changes, and release it under a totally different license of your own creation, if you like, to address those concerns you have.

Just to clarify, only the MODIFICATIONS will have that new license. The code you used that was under BSD-license will still be under the BSD license.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wow
by pepa on Sat 16th Jun 2007 10:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Doesn't it boil down to: the copyright (notice) is preserved, and there is no liability? I think you can add all kinds of restrictions to the whole code. (Of course, the original code is still also available under the BSD license).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wow
by mkone on Sat 16th Jun 2007 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
mkone Member since:
2006-03-14

You can even take a BSD kernel, make you own changes, and release it under a totally different license of your own creation, if you like, to address those concerns you have.


No you may not. You can use it as part of another project as is, and make modifications to it and not have to distribute them, but you must license the original bits as BSD.

Edited 2007-06-16 12:57

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wow
by elsewhere on Sat 16th Jun 2007 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

That's just disrespectful toward contributors to the kernel who simply do not agree with Linus about v3. Some of these contributors may not particularly like the FSF but still may appreciate seeing their concerns addressed in a way that Linus seems to dismiss.


Given the controversy and debate surrounding v3, do you think the FSF will respectfully consider dual-licensing the GNU projects to maintain v2 compatibility when v3 is released?

No? Why not? Oh, I see. The primary maintainers/copyright holder of the projects, that being the FSF, has their own objectives with their code and will select the best license for meeting their objectives, regardless of how the developer community at large feels. Is that wrong? Are they being disrespectful to developers that question RMS? Of course not, the FSF has stated all along that the goals for the GNU projects were to promote their interpretation of Free Software via the four freedoms.

Why should Linus be held to a different standard? He never pretended or inferred that his choice of the GPL was for any reason other than ensuring source code is always available. Anybody that thought otherwise should have considered that before submitting code, just as anybody having submitted code the GNU projects cannot really dictate how the FSF should license their code now.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wow
by b3timmons on Sun 17th Jun 2007 01:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

Given the controversy and debate surrounding v3, do you think the FSF will respectfully consider dual-licensing the GNU projects to maintain v2 compatibility when v3 is released?

Where I differed with you was not with what the responsibility of the copyright holder should be but what is appropriate for the community around the project.

If I recall correctly, you suggested that the GPLv3 proponents should shut up and write code for something else, and I reject this type of advice. It sounds like when someone (not saying you) says shut up about U.S. policies or move to Canada.

Edited 2007-06-17 01:21

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Wow
by elsewhere on Sun 17th Jun 2007 02:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Where I differed with you was not with what the responsibility of the copyright holder should be but what is appropriate for the community around the project.

If I recall correctly, you suggested that the GPLv3 proponents should shut up and write code for something else, and I reject this type of advice. It sounds like when someone (not saying you) says shut up about U.S. policies or move to Canada.


Ok, so what happens if I, as the Canadian that I am, criticizes U.S. policies? Absolutely nothing. I am not a U.S. citizen, I don't have the right to vote, hence I don't have the right to hold U.S. politicians accountable.

So my comment isn't analogous to saying that Americans should move to Canada if they want to bitch about U.S. policies, it's more analogous to saying that Canadians shouldn't waste time bitching about U.S. policies and just take care of their own house.

People contributing code to the kernel have a say in how it is licensed. People not contributing code to the kernel can complain up and down about violations of the four freedoms to every forum that will accept their posts, but it changes nothing.

Linux isn't a happy-feel-good community of developers looking for consensus from their userbase about how they should do things. They're a collective of developers working together for their own objectives, the fact that it benefits the userbase is a side-effect, not the primary objective.

So my point still stands. The linux kernel is not a community driven project. It might be an open community of paid/non-paid developers, but it's not community driven. The community is irrelevant to Linux. The fact that community-driven distros and projects have adopted linux as their kernel doesn't somehow obligate the kernel devs to seek community consensus.

If I went onto Groklaw or the FSF mailing list and started complaining that RMS is being stubborn and arrogant because he's refusing to consider the positions of people in favor of maintaining v2 as opposed to a mass-migration to v3, how far would I get?

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Wow
by b3timmons on Sun 17th Jun 2007 03:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wow"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

So my point still stands. The linux kernel is not a community driven project.

While I agree that the kernel project is not the herd of cats it once was, my notion of community includes the developers, just as I suggested in my original response to you:

"That's just disrespectful toward contributors to the kernel who simply do not agree with Linus about v3. Some of these contributors may not particularly like the FSF but still may appreciate seeing their concerns addressed in a way that Linus seems to dismiss."

Thus, in the the LKML thread, Mr. Oliva was attempting to clarify some issues around GPLv3 and the kernel. My assumption is that this attempt is appreciated by kernel developers who may have certain concerns that Linus may not share and discuss on his own initiative.

Of course, it would be a waste if Mr. Oliva were beating a dead horse, but that is not at all obvious. Indeed, he has specific concerns on understanding attitudes and has, it seems, made progress on these concerns. Anything wrong with that?

Edited 2007-06-17 03:31

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Wow
by elsewhere on Sun 17th Jun 2007 03:40 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wow"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Of course, it would be a waste if Mr. Oliva were beating a dead horse, but that is not at all obvious. Indeed, he has specific concerns on understanding attitudes and has, it seems, made progress on these concerns. Anything wrong with that?


Yes, the fact that Mr. Olivia is not a kernel developer, and the fact that none of the kernel developers were asking for or supporting his opinion. You're acting as if some of the developers were lost sheep looking for guidance from the FSF, that doesn't appear to be the case. As Linus more or less pointed out, Mr. Olivia was entitled to his opinion, but it's not one that the developers are in any way obligated to be accountable to.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Wow
by deanlinkous on Sat 16th Jun 2007 04:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

The sad part is that this thread started with Linus coming as close as ever to a concilliatory attitude towards v3, but then the FSF proponents managed to remind him of why he dislikes them so much.

Yes...he dislikes THEM and that is why he is against v3 as much as anything. That is the part I cant stand. He isn't level-headed IMO.

He had no problems choosing v2 and it was the same people, the same ideals, the same four freedoms, the same hippy then as it is now...

If merging is important, well, I wonder how much code from novell/xandros/linspire will be *merged* now?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Wow
by m_abs on Sat 16th Jun 2007 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
m_abs Member since:
2005-07-06

>>He had no problems choosing v2 and it was the same people, the same ideals, the same four freedoms, the same hippy then as it is now... <<

I really think you should read Torvalds comments (again), because all that was already covered and explained by him.

You do of cause understand the people who wrote the license != the license?

Linus Torvalds choose the GPLv2 because of what's in the license, not because RMS wrote it or because he agrees with RMS's definition of freedom.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Wow
by elsewhere on Sat 16th Jun 2007 23:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

He had no problems choosing v2 and it was the same people, the same ideals, the same four freedoms, the same hippy then as it is now...


And with that response, you're pretty much part of the problem as Linus sees it. GPL != FSF, no matter how badly people would like to think that the "spirit" somehow applies to work that the FSF had absolutely no hand in creating.

From Linus later on in the thread:


>
> I beg to differ. By adopting _his_ license you adopted his view.

I'm sorry, but that's simply bullshit.

The GPLv2 does not state that you have to become a slave of rms and follow him in all things, and agree with him. Really. You must have read some other (perhaps unreleased early draft?) version.

The GPLv2 says what it says. Not what you (or rms) *wished* it says.

You don't enter into contracts and licenses based on wishes and intents.
That's just not how it works.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Wow
by butters on Sat 16th Jun 2007 01:25 UTC in reply to "Wow"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Seriously, how many times did he trot out the "They can do as they like with *their* hardware" shit, before someone had to point out that it became the consumer's hardware the minute they bought and paid for it?

Good point, but a little simplistic. We don't "own" anything in the sense that you imply. I "own" my car, but I'm not allowed to use it as I please. There are thousands of things I might want to do with my car that would get me in trouble with the law. When you buy a TiVo, it comes attached with certain terms of service, FCC restrictions, and warranty conditions. In many nations, there are a variety of circumstances under which the government can seize your TiVo and never return it.

Somewhere between driving your car at 140 mph into a school and watching a TiVo'ed movie with a non-subscribing friend, there is exists a line that separates what I believe you should be able to do with the stuff you "own" and what you should not. But for just about anything you buy, I can name something you cannot do with it--something that most people truly believe should not be legal.

If software vendors can choose in great detail what they allow their customers to do with "their" software, then shouldn't hardware vendors be able to do the same? If TiVo wants to market a DVR that can only record FOX News, then that's their right. They might even sell some in certain demographics. People who buy this product would have no right to record Charlie Rose, even if their taxes pay for his show.

In case you haven't noticed, consumerism isn't about the consumer.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Wow
by sbergman27 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Good point, but a little simplistic. We don't "own" anything in the sense that you imply. I "own" my car, but I'm not allowed to use it as I please. There are thousands of things I might want to do with my car that would get me in trouble with the law.
"""

Even more significantly, the restrictions are part of the hardware. A well informed buyer, one who might want to run third party firmware, should know exactly what it is that he is buying.

Other hardware manufacturers, capitalizing upon the desire of a segment of the population to run modified firmware, are perfectly free to exploit their competitors' artificial limitations by offering their own hardware without such.

I have had an absolute *blast* with my Linksys WRT54GL and WRTSL54GS running OpenWRT, and have had great satisfaction deploying WRT54GL's for my customers.

Nine units so far. And as a small-time consultant, that is a lot of Linux deployments for me for one month.

If Linksys had locked their units down, rather than going out of their way to make an especially hackable unit available, I would have deployed *zero* Linksys devices in the last month.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Wow
by fsckit on Sat 16th Jun 2007 02:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
fsckit Member since:
2006-09-24

That's not even close to a fair analogy. You can't drive 140MPH because it's flat out stupid and you're likely to kill someone. The current Tivo situation is more like you buying a Chevy and not being allowed to switch the brand of spark plugs when you get a tune-up.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Wow
by grat on Sat 16th Jun 2007 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

That's not even close to a fair analogy. You can't drive 140MPH because it's flat out stupid and you're likely to kill someone. The current Tivo situation is more like you buying a Chevy and not being allowed to switch the brand of spark plugs when you get a tune-up.

There's roads near where I live that are 20+ miles long, straight as an arrow, with 50ft shoulders and nothing but scrub pine for as far as you can see. No side roads, and nothing but the occasional deer. The speed limit, however, is still 60.

Since you can swap out the HD (or add one) on a tivo, your analogy largely fails. It's more like buying a Chevy and being annoyed that you can't put a Ford computer in it.

Of course, I can upgrade my ReplayTV with a bigger HD (or a second one) and not get at all bent out of shape that it's a totally proprietary box inside. I can even stream the recorded programs to my desktop (or vice versa).

Of course, I can't tell my ReplayTV to NFS mount my server and stream xvid to the big screen-- that's why I have a MythTV also. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wow
by Luminair on Sat 16th Jun 2007 03:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

haha I don't think that analogy clarification helps you any. Chevy can do whatever they want to the spark plugs in their products, including introducing a proprietary brand of spark plug that you have to get through them. So thus far this analogy is falling-off-the-bone horrible.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Wow
by Flatland_Spider on Sat 16th Jun 2007 04:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Chevy can do whatever they want to the spark plugs in their products, including introducing a proprietary brand of spark plug that you have to get through them.


They can, but they can't stop a third party from producing a spark plug that is compatible. They also can't stop consumers from purchasing and installing the third party spark plugs. It was HP or Lexmark versus a third party cartridge manufacturer that had this proven this in court.

They can say that the warranty is void since the third party spark plugs were used, but if the owner of the car was planning on doing the maintenance himself or using someone besides the car dealer then it doesn't matter. Like the first thing I do with a computer is void the warranty by opening up the case and installing the components that I want.

The better car analogy would be between owning the car and leasing the car. Owning the car I can put headers, an exhaust, performance ship, hotter cams, engine swap, etc. as long as I don't care about the warranty, assuming the car is new. With a leased vehicle, I can't do any of that because the vehicle is not my property, it's on loan from the manufacturer and they expect to get it back in a certain condition.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow
by pepa on Sat 16th Jun 2007 10:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

And in the same vein, Tivo is restricted as to how it would be allowed to use GPLv3 software. And that is exactly why many current copyright holders that now use GPLv2 are going to use a GPLv3 license. But probably not Linus...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow
by Morin on Sat 16th Jun 2007 15:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> I "own" my car, but I'm not allowed to use it as I
> please.

I think this analogy is flawed: The point is not that law restricts how you use your car. It restricts how you use the streets, how you treat the children on the schoolyard, how you treat the school building, etc. Restricting the speed limit on the schoolyard to 5mph (or whatever) does not forbid you to use the *car* as you like. Special laws are made (differing from country to country) that actually restrict how you use the car, but again only as a means to prevent "bad things" from happening because this is the most practical way.

A law in this vein applied to software could for example forbid the use of a program whose sole purpose is copyright infringement. The key point is again that no limits should be imposed on how you use the programs, but only as a means to prevent you from copyright infringement. Although I think a restriction of such programs is far exaggerated, it would at least make sense.

Many of today's EULAs however work different: First, they restrict your freedom not to prevent you from breaking laws or infringing someone's copyright, but for the fortune of the creator of the program. Secondly, they impose such restrictions through a contract written by a company, and not through law. Restricting how I use a TiVo I bought is similar: The restrictions are imposed on me, although modifications to the device can be perfectly legal and without any dangers (except of course the danger that I might break the device for which I paid, or hurt myself). Thus is unlike driving across a schoolyard with 140 mph, putting children as well as the school's property in immediate danger.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow
by Silent_Seer on Sat 16th Jun 2007 02:16 UTC in reply to "Wow"
Silent_Seer Member since:
2007-04-06

I think, for the most part, Linus is right regarding the Tivo issue. The makers of Tivo have every right (let's just forget about the licenses here for a moment) to make their harware difficult to hack. And you, after purchasing a Tivo, have every right to hack it the way you can (and as far as laws allow you). If you want to hack a DVR (or any device for that matter) then buy one that makes it easier to modify. The point here being, it should solely be the manufacturer's choice to let you (i.e. make it easier for you) to hack.

The license should definitely not enforce it on the manufacturer. This clause has the potential to restrict the use of Linux in embedded systems. Well, I hope I am wrong.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wow
by grat on Sat 16th Jun 2007 02:42 UTC in reply to "Wow"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

I bought a car. The speedometer goes to 125mph, the tires are rated for sustained 130 mph (which surprised me), and the engine rev-limiter is set to cut in at 128mph.

The car is fully paid for, the title is in my name (and my safe).

So why can't I drive it at 120 mph on the local highway?

Because it's illegal.

You may in fact, do what you want with a Tivo. The cops are unlikely to bust down your door for putting in that large hard drive. But you still violated the license, and until they get abolished, you're in violation of the EULA that came with the thing.

I suppose what really gripes me about the endless whining about Tivo is that it's OK to ignore their license, but it's not OK to ignore the GPL.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wow
by Flatland_Spider on Sat 16th Jun 2007 05:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

So why can't I drive it at 120 mph on the local highway?


Because of the people driving 40 in a 60. ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Wow
by Morin on Sat 16th Jun 2007 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> You may in fact, do what you want with a Tivo. The
> cops are unlikely to bust down your door for putting
> in that large hard drive. But you still violated the
> license, and until they get abolished, you're in
> violation of the EULA that came with the thing.

Exactly: You violated a license, and more exactly one that you did not sign and do not have to sign or agree to since you bought a device, not a software license.

You did *NOT* (big emphasis) violate law.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wow
by sbergman27 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
You did *NOT* (big emphasis) violate law.
"""

Not even the (US) DMCA? If you had to circumvent the DRM to make it support that larger drive, then you did violite that, didn't you?

I haven't really followed the Tivo thing because I don't see it as being than important in the grand scope of things. But it looks like a classic DMCA vioation to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wow
by Morin on Sat 16th Jun 2007 17:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Not even the (US) DMCA? If you had to circumvent the
> DRM to make it support that larger drive, then you
> did violite that, didn't you?

I don't know the exact implications of the DMCA as I live in Europe, so you may be right.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wow
by cyclops on Sat 16th Jun 2007 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I don't know the exact implications of the DMCA as I live in Europe, so you may be right."

I suspect you start looking at European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD), with possible reference to Alan Cox

Reply Score: 3

IMHO, GPL2 vs GLP3 boils down to..
by wannabe geek on Sat 16th Jun 2007 01:12 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

I think it boils down to where is the dividing line between software and hardware, and what the purpose of requiring to share the source code is.

Let's say a manufacturer sells a linux-powered device, with the corresponding drivers for their specific hardware. Let's say the drivers are GPL'd. They publish the source code of those drivers, but no one can use them with their devices. OK, people can buy another device from other vendors to test the modified drivers. But what if the architecture itself is unknown or patent-encumbered? No one can test the modified versions anywhere!

So, maybe the GPL3 should say something like:

"You can distribute this software in any kind of device, even with physical or legal restrictions to modification of the device itself, but you disclaim any right to sue other people for trying to reverse-engineer the device so that they can run modified versions of this software in equivalent devices. Furthermore you have to provide detailed specifications that make the reverse-engineering unnecessary. This only applies to the part of your device that runs this software, not to other parts running other software or to the device as a whole"

The difference is that it would not require vendors to tell customers how to "hack" the device, but to tell other hardware manufacturers or FPGA aficionados how to imitate it. So, it would be still about IP and not about physical tinkering, much in the spirit of GPL2.

Reply Score: 1

Is there anything new in the LKML thread?
by b3timmons on Sat 16th Jun 2007 02:59 UTC
b3timmons
Member since:
2006-08-26

All I can detect in the thread is that people are just spinning their wheels, except that the abuse makes it worse than boring. A chronic problem is misrepresentation and conflated arguments.

For example, some pro-Tivoization people claim that GPLv3 represents a change in the spirit of the GPL. According to the conventional meaning of the spirit of license (laws, rules, etc.), the spirit lies only with the author of the license. Thus, to show that the GPLv3 marks a change, one needs to show that the FSF has changed their intent.(*)

However, some pro-Tivoization people keep conflating this issue with the intent of the users of the license, e.g., Linus, to the point of claiming that the spirit of the GPL is what Linus intends. That's just a nonsensical hijacking attempt of the GPL! However Linus's intent may matter in the legal context, the spirit of the GPL depends not at all on his intent. Why do they mix these up? Their arguments would deserve more sympathy without such carelessness.

(*):

IMO, the closest expression of the FSF's intent, and thus of the spirit of the GPL, is the preamble of the license. These preambles are clearly not put in for fun but in case a judge needs to split some hairs.

While the preambles differ, the obvious reason is because of technological developments. Moreover, what is widely acknowledged is that the licenses are intended to promote the four freedoms. Even Linus would acknowledge as much even if it does not match his intent. If only others would get a clue on this.

Reply Score: 5

yea
by deanlinkous on Sat 16th Jun 2007 04:03 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

How dare the FSF change direction and promote FREE with the gplv3. How dare they push their agenda of free code, the four freedoms and so forth. Where do they get off...

Just because v2 was wrote years ago doesnt mean it isn't still effective and the shield needed to keep people from playing dirty. Nobody has *cheated* or locked away any gpl covered software or made sneaky deals to create tainted code breaking the sharing requirement...

right.... ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: yea
by John Nilsson on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:54 UTC in reply to "yea"
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

The disagreement isn't about the entire GPLv3. Just the part that says that if you distribute a piece of hardware designed so that it's capable of running a GPLv3 derived software and ship such software with the device then you must provide to the recipient the tools necessary to make the device run other derivatives.

He equates this device with any hardware capable of storing a copy of a GPL software, f.ex. a CD-ROM. And the GPL doesn't require distributors to use CD-RW to ship GPL-code. Nor should it require them to use a specific CPU.

I'm not sure if I agree with him. But he does have a point. The FSF could argue that the problem isn't what hardware is used, but what firmware is used. I think Linus would say that the firmware is just an aggregate. But maybe he could be persuaded on that front.

Reply Score: 2

Linus and gpl3
by ecruz on Sat 16th Jun 2007 05:14 UTC
ecruz
Member since:
2007-06-16

Most of the comments that do not agreed with Linus position are from the fringe, 100% FSF advocates. You know, the ones that always use and try to correct others to say gnu/linux. Get over it, the name is Linux. The kernel is what drives the name bozoz.

And Linus does not like all the political bullshit the Stallman puts into everything he does. He wants third world countries programmers to give away their labor for free. That is easy to do when you are getting pay by MIT for doing nothing. Who will feed this people, Stalman, I dont think so. he is too busy trying to make the world free of labor. Soon we all will pay $0 for programs, $0 for hardware, but no one will have a job to buy the desk to put them on. Stallman is a cynical, misguided little brat. He should read what Picaso said while Picaso was living in Paris. You see, Picaso and all his friends were either communists or sysmpathizer ( ala Stallman). Picaso told them that they weren't really true communists. That it was too very easy to be a communist and live in Paris. Here you had all the freedoms of western society without the political agravation and torture of the real thing in Russia. So Picaso asked his friends to move to Russia to be true communists. None took the challenge. Same would be for Stallman. Always blowing hot smoke but never putting his money where his mouth is. When he talks about giving away other people's labors, first thing he should do is quit his paying job.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linus and gpl3
by CrazyDude0 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 05:37 UTC in reply to "Linus and gpl3"
CrazyDude0 Member since:
2005-07-10

Very well put indeed.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linus and gpl3
by difool on Sat 16th Jun 2007 16:56 UTC in reply to "Linus and gpl3"
difool Member since:
2006-09-05

Cut the BS!

You don't even know how to write Picasso!

Hence, was Picasso a communist or not? I mean, what do you think he was?

Reply Score: 1

Myths about the creator of the GPL
by b3timmons on Sat 16th Jun 2007 20:21 UTC in reply to "Linus and gpl3"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

RMS has faults like any of us, but you have managed to not identify any. How could MIT be paying him now if he quit his job there over two decades ago?

He seems to live extremely frugally on favors from friends, speaker fees, very substantial prize money, and I suppose some investment income earned on it. He has paid his dues and has made unusual sacrifices in order to earn and maintain his "voice." You suggest that he is tricking people into a road of economic ruin, but consider that he plainly advises against materialism in some of his speeches. Although this message will win him no popularity contest to say the least, his life is but one kind of alternative to the corporate-sponsored pap that is inflicted upon the world. (He reminds me strangely enough of an ardent Microsoft user who happens to be my best friend.)

Your attempt to label him a communist is funny, since he has written about such labelling in articles like
http://news.com.com/Bill+Gates+and+other+communists/2010-1071_3-557...

I really don't know what kind of group you could associate him with, but he is definitely in favor of capitalism, just not the kind that plagues us today, infested with mega-corporations as it is.

Reply Score: 5

v RMS is a whacko
by CrazyDude0 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 05:31 UTC
What about this case?
by whzhao on Sat 16th Jun 2007 07:38 UTC
whzhao
Member since:
2007-06-16

If tivo only produces the hardware. Another company distributes different versions of linux, which are free and can be modified. However tivo's chips only support one specific version of linux.

Is there any terms in GPLv3 saying that tivo cannot sell such hardware or this software company cannot distribute free software?

Reply Score: 1

RE: What about this case?
by lemur2 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 08:06 UTC in reply to "What about this case?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

If tivo only produces the hardware. Another company distributes different versions of linux, which are free and can be modified. However tivo's chips only support one specific version of linux.

Is there any terms in GPLv3 saying that tivo cannot sell such hardware


TiVo are at liberty to sell whatever hardware they want. They are not at liberty to sell to downstream users systems that contain GPLv3 software without also giving downstream recipient's the same rights to the GPLv3 software that TiVo got in the first place. TiVo have no right to place on downstream recipients restrictions that were not placed on TiVo. That is, TiVO must be prepared to give to any downstream recipient who asks the source code to the GPLv3 parts of their product, and they must also give downstream recipients the means to use that GPLv3 source code to change if they want to the GPLv3 parts that are included in TiVo's product.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: What about this case?
by whzhao on Sat 16th Jun 2007 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE: What about this case?"
whzhao Member since:
2007-06-16

I mean, when TiVo sell their hardware, they do not install linux. What they sell is just the hardware.

(They might use another non-free OS pre-installed on the system, but their hardware has a feature to run only one version of linux.)

An end user finds this feature and gets the linux distribution from somewhere and installs it on the TiVo system.

Is there anything not liable by GPLv3?

Edited 2007-06-16 09:09

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What about this case?
by pepa on Sat 16th Jun 2007 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What about this case?"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Interesting point: if the only-hardware Tivo would only accept 1 particular to-be-downloaded from another propagator, would they still violate the GPLv3? They wouldn't propagate the software then.

Reply Score: 2

the "debate"
by l3v1 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 11:56 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to say, I don't see this "debate" as being a real debate. All along I had the feeling A. Oliva just doesn't get it. Maybe I'm just as dumb as Linus, but for me, what he wrote, actually made sense. Reading A. Oliva's comments was like reading some politicians' speeches when they say their stuff again and again and again, thinking that repeating is enough to convince people. Thing is, many people just can't bear that Linus has a strong, separate opinion and they take it as a religious goal to try to convince the guy ;) Poor people ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: the "debate"
by m_abs on Sat 16th Jun 2007 13:41 UTC in reply to "the "debate""
m_abs Member since:
2005-07-06

>>Thing is, many people just can't bear that Linus has a strong, separate opinion and they take it as a religious goal to try to convince the guy ;) Poor people ;) <<
Actually that is one of my major problems with many of FSF's supporters.
It seems like if someone doesn't agree with FSF, they either cannot have understood correctly what the FSF meant, they must have some economic interest in it or they don't care for the users freedom.

I don't care much for political BS, repeating the same over and over, not replying to questions, ignoring parts of the opponents comment if it doesn't suit them.

While I don't like Linus Torvald's tone, I can understand if he is feed up with all the BS he is getting.

Reply Score: 1

RE: the "debate"
by pepa on Sat 16th Jun 2007 15:55 UTC in reply to "the "debate""
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

I found A.Oliva's responses to the point and full of substance, while Linus (and some others) only picked one item to respond to. Really, A.Oliva's comments are very meaningful, and definitely NOT hot air and mindless repetition, but utterly reasonable. He wasn't even trying to convince Linus, but trying to make him aware of all the issues of the position he is taking.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: the "debate"
by predictor on Sat 16th Jun 2007 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE: the "debate""
predictor Member since:
2006-11-30

"I found A.Oliva's responses to the point and full of substance"

The substance beeing the fact that FSF tries to define freedom for everybody, which is what makes Linus go ballistic.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: the "debate"
by deanlinkous on Sat 16th Jun 2007 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: the "debate""
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

The substance beeing the fact that FSF tries to define freedom for everybody, which is what makes Linus go ballistic.


Not everyone, only those that choose the GPL license.

Not freedom but the four freedoms.

Same as it ever was.....

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: the "debate"
by b3timmons on Sat 16th Jun 2007 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE: the "debate""
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

I found A.Oliva's responses to the point and full of substance

Indeed, he is a good and friendly debater and email correspondent. Right now he is in the middle of some articles on Tivoization in light of the LKML thread. Perhaps he will announce when the articles will be ready on his blog:

http://www.fsfla.org/svnwiki/blogs/lxo/

Reply Score: 3

cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

@PlatformAgnostic as a heavy Microsoft supporter why is it you are so anti-fsf; anti-gpl.

@CrazyDude0 as a heavy Microsoft supporter why is it you are so anti-fsf; anti-gpl.

Edited 2007-06-16 12:47

Reply Score: 4

Linus is loosing it.
by cyclops on Sat 16th Jun 2007 13:08 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

GPL3 is getting more and more popular; and the patent deals from Microsoft have made it increasingly popular. The FSF must be overjoyed. The simple fact that Microsoft has spoken against the license is a good sign, and you can see on here increasingly the only voices of decent are from those of the Microsoft persuasion.

The FSF was wrong to ignore Linus when putting together GPL3, letting him involve himself now is a backward step they should have taken. As much as he is respected for his work in the kernel this his *not* his skillset, as we have already seen from the Bitkeeper Fiasco.

I don't know where he is going with this, I can't understand his motivations, he is clearly receiving pressure from Solaris, his own kernel elite, and Microsoft patent deals. Linus will *not* back down, unfortunately unlike the Bitkeeper Fiasco when everything goes belly up he cant code around this problem.

I do agree that the "consumer devices", In a poor attempt to fit in with *everyone* they have watered down the license, which is stupid, and the whole thing looks shaky because of it. The FSF cannot compromise with this, it simply does not work, and Linus has taken advantage of this...as will others. Its either *all* devices or none.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Linus is loosing it.
by b3timmons on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:34 UTC in reply to "Linus is loosing it."
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

The FSF was wrong to ignore Linus when putting together GPL3, letting him involve himself now is a backward step they should have taken.

The kernel devs were already shown special treatment by the repeated overtures from Eben Moglen. Any more favoritism from the FSF toward the kernel devs would worsen a sense of unfairness that has no place in a process that has been praised for an unprecedented (for a software license) level of inclusiveness. Would such unfairness have been worth the price?

I don't know where he is going with this, I can't understand his motivations, he is clearly receiving pressure from Solaris, his own kernel elite, and Microsoft patent deals. Linus will *not* back down, unfortunately unlike the Bitkeeper Fiasco when everything goes belly up he cant code around this problem.

Unlike some of his followers, at least he admits that his motivation is technological advancement and not promotion of the four freedoms. The various employers he has had seem to always have large stakes in non-free software, and his opinions do not conflict with them. It will take an awful lot to convince him to vote against his paycheck.

I do agree that the "consumer devices", In a poor attempt to fit in with *everyone* they have watered down the license, which is stupid, and the whole thing looks shaky because of it.

I sympathize but am uncertain on this point. We could also see it as a powerful sign of compromise. In any case, v3 still promotes software freedom more than does v2.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Linus is loosing it.
by cyclops on Sat 16th Jun 2007 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Linus is loosing it."
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"The kernel devs were already shown special treatment by the repeated overtures from Eben Moglen. Any more favoritism from the FSF toward the kernel devs would worsen a sense of unfairness that has no place in a process that has been praised for an unprecedented (for a software license) level of inclusiveness. Would such unfairness have been worth the price?"

Sorry my the quote you read should have read "shouldn't" although I am unsure of your reply. In my mind the sensible strategy should have been to involve Linus at the start...or not at all. The FSF is giving credence to Linus's words when increasing he is looking alone in his decisions, and he in a world where people played fair and "the best technology wins" maybe he is right, but he is clearly out of his depth...and I would be. The FSF could have taken a path to resolve differences early on, but even before this there was bad blood between the two. Its disappointing that the FSF hasn't been able to successfully seduce Linus, but that doesn't look easy.

Linus is currently trying to *influence* through popular opinion through his own fame, and it works against the FSF, because the organization only succeeds though adoption of is License. This has been very effective, unfortunately Linus is powerless to affect deals done behind closed doors; handshakes in corridors, by Companies who truly can do damage to Linux adoption.

"Unlike some of his followers, at least he admits that his motivation is technological advancement and not promotion of the four freedoms. The various employers he has had seem to always have large stakes in non-free software, and his opinions do not conflict with them. It will take an awful lot to convince him to vote against his paycheck. "

His motivation for choosing the GPL2 at least in part was for the development model. The reality is that Linus wants *adoption* of the kernel, and it is *self serving*, and he is right if people can't abuse Linux's License, adoption will be as reduced. I think its a short game view, and he's wrong. There is no value in companies that abuse GPL, they offer *nothing* in technological advancement, this is not desktop Linux we are talking about. The four freedoms, as important as it may be to users, is the drive that makes it a good development model "run, copy, distribute, study, change". In the long term simply because GPL3 reinforces this model it has much better license to support a development model.

"I sympathize but am uncertain on this point. We could also see it as a powerful sign of compromise. In any case, v3 still promotes software freedom more than does v2."

Its definitely a compromise...and that the problem. Compromise *does not work* in real life, everybody is unhappy.

Edited 2007-06-16 15:36

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Linus is loosing it.
by sbergman27 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Linus is loosing it."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Unlike some of his followers, at least he admits that his motivation is technological advancement and not promotion of the four freedoms.
"""

I want to point out this FSF propaganda technique: The implication that if you are not 100% devoted to their "four freedoms" to the exclusion of everything else, then you are totally devoted to these other motivations, and do not care at all about freedom.

This is, of course, a nonsensical view, which reflects the black and white view of the world to which some FSF advocates subscribe.

It appears to me that the FSF encourages its followers to engage in this propaganda technique, which effectively amounts to a smear campaign against those who do not buy their world-view hook, line, and sinker.

Be advised that from now on, when I see common propaganda tactics being employed by FSF advocates, I intend to point them out. And I encourage others to do the same.

Such techiques are wrong. And they should be exposed to the light of day whenever an attempt is made to use them.

The end does not justify the means when promoting their so-called "four freedoms" any more than it does when promoting any other philosophy.

Shame on you.

Edited 2007-06-16 17:23

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Linus is loosing it.
by cyclops on Sat 16th Jun 2007 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linus is loosing it."
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"want to point out this FSF propaganda technique: The implication that if you are not 100% devoted to their "four freedoms" to the exclusion of everything else, then you are totally devoted to these other motivations, and do not care at all about freedom."

I'll skip past the rest as its meaningless terms and phrases with zero justification ie "Such techiques are wrong" and "The end does not justify the means"

To imply propaganda you have to say how I have been misled...which you don't do, could you please otherwise you are spreading your own propaganda.

Lets just be clear the four freedoms are that software should be run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software those are fairly simple, could you highlight the other freedoms you are talking about? I suspect your not talking about freedom at all.

You have produced a post that contains nothing. I'd love to know what your exposing. I'm actually desperate to hear it, use examples if need be.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Linus is loosing it.
by sbergman27 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 18:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linus is loosing it."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
I'd love to know what your exposing. I'm actually desperate to hear it, use examples if need be.
"""

My original post was quite clear, and I suspect that you are only pretending not to understand.

But stay tuned. This technique is used often enough that more examples should be forthcoming. And rest assured that I will be pointing them out.

Edited 2007-06-16 18:05

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Linus is loosing it.
by Rufus on Mon 18th Jun 2007 01:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linus is loosing it."
Rufus Member since:
2007-01-10

To imply propaganda you have to say how I have been misled...


A simple example is available from a transcript of a speech by Richard Stallman, published by the FSF Europe [1].

Stallman says: "If you use a program that does not give you freedom number two, you're in danger of falling at any moment into a moral dilema. When your friend says "that's a nice program, could I have a copy?" At that moment, you will have to choose between two evils. One evil is: give your friend a copy and violate the licence of the program. The other evil is: deny your friend a copy and comply with the licence of the program. Once you are in that situation, you should choose the lesser evil. The lesser evil is to give your friend a copy and violate the licence of the program."

This "moral dilemma" is a false dilemma [2], a usual propaganda technique called informal fallacy.

If you're using so-called "proprietary" software and your friend asks you for a copy, the right thing to do is to go to the next shop and buy another copy for your friend.

See: You are able to help your friend without violating the license.

That is the third choice that Richard Stallman didin't mention. This is how you and other peeple are misled by Richard Stallman.

There's an additional trick included. Just in case you have no money to buy another copy, did you do something wrong by not being able to help?

No, you didn't. Your friend might have as well asked you for a million dollars. You wouldn't be able to help him, too. However, you didn't do something wrong. Otherwise the ethical rule would require that everybody is always prepared to be able to spend a million dollar, just in case a friend asks for it.

Because the ethical says: "Help your neightbor if you can."

There are many other examples of the use of informal fallacies in his other essays.

[1] http://fsfeurope.org/documents/rms-fs-2006-03-09.en.html
[2] http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/general/bldef_falsedilemm...

Edited 2007-06-18 01:54

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Linus is loosing it.
by sappyvcv on Mon 18th Jun 2007 02:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Linus is loosing it."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Holy crap that is some scary stuff.

Freedom two is essential on fundamental ethical grounds, so that you can live an upright, ethical life as a member of your community. If you use a program that does not give you freedom number two, you're in danger of falling at any moment into a moral dilema. When your friend says "that's a nice program, could I have a copy?" At that moment, you will have to choose between two evils. One evil is: give your friend a copy and violate the licence of the program. The other evil is: deny your friend a copy and comply with the licence of the program.

Once you are in that situation, you should choose the lesser evil. The lesser evil is to give your friend a copy and violate the licence of the program.

[laughter]

Now, why is that the lesser evil? The reason is that we can assume that your friend has treated you well and has been a good person and deserves your cooperation. The reason we can assume this is that in the other case, if a nasty person you don't really like asked you for help, of course you can say "Why should I help you?" So that's an easy case. The hard case is the case where that person has been a good person to you and other people and you would want to help him normally.

Whereas, the developer of the program has deliberately attacked the social solidarity of your community. Deliberately tried to separate you from everyone else in the World. So if you can't help doing wrong in some direction or other, better to aim the wrong at somebody who deserves it, who has done something wrong, rather than at somebody who hasn't done anything wrong.

However, to be the lesser evil does not mean it is good. It's never good - not entirely - to make some kind of agreement and then break it. It may be the right thing to do, but it's not entirely good.


He's advocating software piracy because the "developer" did something "wrong" by charging for the software, so it's the "right thing to do" to pirate the software.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Linus is loosing it.
by b3timmons on Mon 18th Jun 2007 02:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Linus is loosing it."
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

This "moral dilemma" is a false dilemma [2], a usual propaganda technique called informal fallacy.

Ah, but not all usage of informal fallacies is intended to be propaganda, which is what your post as a whole implied. Clearly, people accidentally use them. Moreover, they may be a deliberate oversimplification, not in order to appear to prove something but in order to briefly, informally illustrate or suggest something. You in no way have shown that it was propaganda intended to deceive people. Indeed, people discuss scenarios and choices all of the time, and the implication that they should either exhaustively cover the choices or be intentionally deceiving people is itself a false dilemma that your post relies upon in a failed attempt to discredit Stallman. Should we assume that you were engaging in propaganda?

Moreover, we could just as easily criticize your mention of "the third choice" as anything special, as if there could be no others. Indeed, there is (typically) a large number of choices, and this case is no different. Since we have only limited time and attention to discuss them, we draw the line somewhere. Stallman drew his. Now, one could argue that the third choice might be a common choice that was bad for Stallman to exclude. My hunch is that since many of his arguments are intended to apply to anyone anywhere, it is probably foolish to assume much disposable income. Hence, your third choice is no choice at all, except in a land of privilege that is simply unrepresentative of humanity. Indeed, Stallman's dilemma is entirely appropriate for the bulk of humanity.

Edited 2007-06-18 03:04

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Linus is loosing it.
by Rufus on Mon 18th Jun 2007 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Linus is loosing it."
Rufus Member since:
2007-01-10

Ah, but not all usage of informal fallacies is intended to be propaganda, which is what your post as a whole implied. Clearly, people accidentally use them.


It's true; informal fallacies are sometimes used accidently. However, Richard Stallman's essays are full or them. I'm just too lazy to mention them all. Furthermore, these fallacies are often his only arguments.

For example, see the false dilemma of not being able to help your friend when you don't have the right of redistribution. Without this fallacy, there's NO justification to call "proprietary" vendors "immoral" or "unethical" or "bad" or "evil". Yet, Richard Stallman and his gang continues to do so.

Additionally, he's engaged in promoting his personal point of view for nearly 25 years! That's time enought to find the logical mistakes in your own argments if you really make an effort to do so. So, Richard Stallman is either a lazy fool who's not questioning his own premises or he's indeed trying to deceive people. Either way, that's sufficient reason to ignore his position.

It's also true that it might be an deliberate oversimplification. Well, I was able to explain this point in a short commentary. Why should Richard Stallman thus need to oversimplificate?

Additionally, an oversimplification is only justified when it leads to the same conclusion. Clearly, Richard Stallman's removal of the third option is leading his readers and audience and probably himself to the wrong conclusion. This means that Richard Stallman is either a fool who is unable to think clearly or he knows what he's doing, that is: he's intentionally deceiving people.

Also thanks for starting an Argumentum ad Hominem (Argument against the person) by questioning my motivation.

You ask, why should people believe me and conclude that there's only three choices. Good point. Let's have a look:

First, nobody needs to believe this. For any more choices would NOT invalidate my point that Richard Stallman created a false dilemma to decieve people by dropping at least the third option.

Second, if there's indeed a easy to see more options, why didn't you mention any? You say "there is (typically) a large number of choices, and this case is no different". However, you fail to provide at least a fourth one. Since you're unable to do this, the most likely conclusion is: There are no more choices.

Third, it's clear that there are just three option because there are just three people involed: You, your friend, and your software vendor. Thus there are three possible outcomes: You can "deprive" yourself of wealth by buying another copy, you can "deprive" your friend of wealth by not helping him, or you can "deprive" the software vendor of wealth by pirating a copy. The only moral solution is to deprive yourself of wealth.

Next, you say that Richard Stallman' argument need to apply to anyone everywhere. This is a good suggestion.

Unfortunately, by ignoring the third option, Richard Stallman's conclusion does NOT apply to anyone everywhere. For example, his conclusion does NOT apply to western countries where friends ask for a copy of WinZip, for example. Or a copy of any other cheap shareware for that matter.

Thus, he's advocating that people in western countries should pirate software althought they may have the money to act morally. You see, his conlusion obviously does NOT hold under all circumstances.

Additionally, you fail to show that the third option I mentioned does NOT apply to anyone everywhere. For the third choice is still the moral one for anyone everywhere, whether you have money or not.

I also already said that you don't do something wrong when you can help your friend due to the lack of money. It's still immoral to break a promise and a contract is just that: a promise.

In general, lack of money does not justify wrong behaviour, please read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Linus is loosing it.
by b3timmons on Mon 18th Jun 2007 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Linus is loosing it."
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

Thanks for your thoughtful reply, and I am sorry for starting an ad hominem. A challenging aspect of informal fallacies is that they are everywhere and much effort must be used to account for them and get at the truth. What would convince me that Stallman is wrong overall would be a thorough debunking of the main points in his essays, which you have begun to do but have not finished. While I know this seems like an excuse, I do limit it to just those relevant essays (probably fewer than a half dozen short and relatively nonredundant pieces). And just as you note that a quarter century passing is enough time to find logical errors, I find it remarkable that in that time there are not convenient sources that you can just point to instead of having to do this work yourself. E.g., I have yet to find a single document that thoroughly debunks Stallman's main points. Someone could very well write something, but I will not hold my breath on that. What makes this situation really remarkable is that there is great, concentrated economic incentive to dissuade people from believing in free software! All of this time Microsoft could have used a rounding error's worth of its petty cash to lure a team of geniuses to construct a thorough debunking. What explains its absence?

So in spite of this uncertain situation, is it still reasonable to go along with Stallman? What complicates the picture is the economic aspect of software as information. Software is (1) nonrival and (2) both input and output of its own production process. Stallman relies upon these properties, although arguing in less technical terms. This type of utilitarian argument does play into his claims about ethics in one of the most important essays:
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/shouldbefree.html

In short, I appreciate your analysis but am not yet convinced that Stallman is wrong overall, that it is not the case that software should be free.

Reply Score: 3

b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

I want to point out this FSF propaganda technique: The implication that if you are not 100% devoted to their "four freedoms" to the exclusion of everything else, then you are totally devoted to these other motivations, and do not care at all about freedom.

You mean suggestion not implication, which would require logic. Such a suggestion is indeed nonsensical, and hopefully everyone has enough of a brain to see it.

This is, of course, a nonsensical view, which reflects the black and white view of the world to which some FSF advocates subscribe.

Suppose I use non-free software to study how it works in order to write a free replacement. That's a shade of grey, not black and white.

It appears to me that the FSF encourages its followers to engage in this propaganda technique, which effectively amounts to a smear campaign against those who do not buy their world-view hook, line, and sinker.

If the FSF did 1/10th as much as conspiracy theorists assert, it would be bankrupt. I think it was Franklin who said that those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. So does Franklin join the sbergman27 "Smear Artist Hall of Shame"?

Be advised that from now on, when I see common propaganda tactics being employed by FSF advocates, I intend to point them out. And I encourage others to do the same.

[sarcasm] What about the uncommon ones? Maybe I should call them up to schedule a secret seminar in my town on the uncommon ones so that I will not be exposed. [/sarcasm]

Shame on you.
For what, trying in my feeble way to argue a point that everyone is entirely free to ignore? Chill out, dude.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
You mean suggestion not implication, which would require logic. Such a suggestion is indeed nonsensical, and hopefully everyone has enough of a brain to see it.
"""

Thank you for that clarification. (Sincerely)

Encouraged by the FSF or not, it is a commonly used technique. One of the things that bothers me about its use is that it is so divisive. It takes people who might have a great deal in common, and who might work together to accomplish great things, and paints them as enemies of one another.

How wasteful. I mean, look at you and me. We probably agree on 90% of stuff relating to FOSS. And the actual work that we do in our daily lives to promote FOSS is complementary, and not at odds. But it seems that more times than not, we have this adversarial thing going on.

Edited 2007-06-16 18:45

Reply Score: 2

b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

How wasteful. I mean, look at you and me. We probably agree on 90% of stuff relating to FOSS. And the actual work that we do in our daily lives to promote FOSS are complementary, and not at odds. But it seems that more times than not, we have this adversarial thing going on.

The irony, sbergman27, is that my original criticism did not at all apply to you! Like Linus, you are frank about the OS and FS goals. Oh, and I do share your concern about being divisive. Thanks for the reminder; it is indeed an important reason for restraint!

Edited 2007-06-16 18:55

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Like Linus, you are frank about the OS and FS goals.
"""

Hmmm. While I have come to concede that the terms OSS and FS can be useful when it becomes necessary to refer to the differences between them, I don't really like using the terms because they are, themselves, too divisive for my tastes.

I believe that few people are exclusively bound to either camp. Most of us, I believe, have a foot in both. The degree to which we subscribe to each varies, of course.

Anyway, I feel that it is better to focus upon what we have in common than to obsess over the differences.

BTW, I did not take personal offense regarding your statement to which I objected. But, come to think of it, I have, at times, been in the position of being painted as a pragmatist who doesn't give a whit about freedom. And I do resent it when that happens.

Edited 2007-06-16 19:14

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Linus is loosing it.
by Valhalla on Sat 16th Jun 2007 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linus is loosing it."
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

sbergman27 wrote:
Be advised that from now on, when I see common propaganda tactics being employed by FSF advocates, I intend to point them out. And I encourage others to do the same.

Such techiques are wrong. And they should be exposed to the light of day whenever an attempt is made to use them.


really?, like the practice of deliberately quoting someone out of context in order to give a different meaning to their words? perhaps you should refrain from using propaganda tactics yourself before you commence on accusing others. shame on you.

Reply Score: 5

license
by happycamper on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:48 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

branching,merging,whatever. I want a license that would put an end to Microsoft's patent agreement they have been making with linux distros as of lately, if not, soon or later linux will have Microsoft written all over it.

Reply Score: 2

New license
by predictor on Sat 16th Jun 2007 15:50 UTC
predictor
Member since:
2006-11-30

I hereby offer the world the perfect license:

- - - - - - - - cut here - - - - - - - - - -







- - - - - - - - cut here - - - - - - - - - -

Reply Score: 1

funny...Linux branches..*BSD's merge
by rhavenn on Sat 16th Jun 2007 16:51 UTC
rhavenn
Member since:
2006-05-12

It's funny that Linux under the GPL is one of the most splintered and branched systems around. Oh sure, the core kernel is somewhat joined together, but even there you can find different versions that are used as people disagree on idealogies, etc...

The BSDs are one of the tightest and well laid out base systems you will find. Sure, people can take the code and not contribute back. However, the core system remains well ahead of Linux in tightness, neatness and "merging".

Reply Score: 2

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I disagree. BSD has neither significant branching or merging. There are three or four trunks where everything happens. Whether this is good or bad is open for debate.

Linux and Linux distros has lots and lots of branching AND merging. People are both allowed and encouraged to take the code and try all kinds of strange things in any way they please, and then people are allowed and encouraged to take anything they see other people doing and they think looks cool or useful and merge it into their branch. Whether this is good or bad is open for debate.

Reply Score: 2

anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14

I disagree. BSD has neither significant branching or merging. There are three or four trunks where everything happens. Whether this is good or bad is open for debate.


There's a fair amount of technological cross-pollination between the major BSDs. They may not be forking/merging, but they do freely import code from each other where it makes sense to.

Reply Score: 1

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Actually if you see Linus' talk at google about git you would see that this is exactly what he wants. Git is designed so that users can create a lot of branches but his main focus was on merging which is fairly easy to do in git. This is Linus' philosophy on software development. He wants people to branch, but what's more important is the merging when necessary. It should be easy to merge back any changes from all these distros into one main kernel if possible without having to worry about licenses. There is nothing stopping an Uber linux with all the changes that have been made to each distro that has come or ever will be, the choice is there. BSD on the other hand doesn't encourage merging if someone takes a BSD licensed software changes something and DOESN'T want to merge back he doesn't have to. With the GPL you have to. That's the main difference. Linux is about choice, but you also know that if someone else chooses another path from yours you can always choose to head in their direction for a bit. That is what is meant by branching in merging in the linux community. The idea of merging has little to do with the software itself but with the ability to bring others ideas into your project without worrying that their license won't be compatible with your or that someone took you idea and ran with it but you can't use what they added to it.

Edited 2007-06-17 00:30

Reply Score: 1

Could someone explain what it's all about?
by Kishe on Sat 16th Jun 2007 20:56 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

TiVO sells firstly hardware, secondly service...they have highly detailed Terms of Use for their service.

So What I see here is "Terms of Use vs GPL" argument.

TiVO is saying "Here's your box, you can tinker with the kernel as much as you want, but you cant hack it to not include our service" and FSF crusaders all in choir yell "GPL VIOLATION!!!"

GPLv3 doesnt really support when it comes to distributing a service...according to GPLv3 you are not allowed to bind GPLv3 code in to a service when when it comes to software thats purpose is to distribute the service.

This is why cell phone operators will never take linux phones to their "Sign up for 2 years, get a free cell" kind of deals...with GPLv3 you are not allowed to tie software in to service.

Reply Score: 1

freedom
by netpython on Sun 17th Jun 2007 09:09 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Exactly. They don't. What TiVO prevents is using that modified version on
their hardware. And they have that right, because the Hardware *ISN'T*
covered by the GPL.


The moment i buy a tivo the hardware is mine and i can and will do whatever i want with it. The only right tivo has is to withdraw any waranty.

Reply Score: 3

RE: freedom
by mkone on Sun 17th Jun 2007 12:23 UTC in reply to "freedom"
mkone Member since:
2006-03-14

Exactly. They don't. What TiVO prevents is using that modified version on
their hardware. And they have that right, because the Hardware *ISN'T*
covered by the GPL.


The moment i buy a tivo the hardware is mine and i can and will do whatever i want with it. The only right tivo has is to withdraw any waranty.


Tivo makes their hardware difficult to hack, and that is how they designed it. They do not want you to hack it. Yes it is yours, but really, if you buy a Tivo, do not expect it to be hacker friendly. I don't know why people cannot understand that.

The Tivo was never meant to be a general purpose computing device. It was meant to be an appliance running Linux. The fact that they go to such great lengths to make it "unhackable" should prove the point. The only "sin" Tivo has committed is to leave it not completely hack proff. Because if it was completely hack proof, suddenly there would be no prblem. for instance, if they had supplied it on a ROM, with exactly the same software, then RMS would not have a problem with it. Or so the claim goes.

Edited 2007-06-17 12:25

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: freedom
by lemur2 on Sun 17th Jun 2007 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE: freedom"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Tivo makes their hardware difficult to hack, and that is how they designed it. They do not want you to hack it. Yes it is yours, but really, if you buy a Tivo, do not expect it to be hacker friendly. I don't know why people cannot understand that.


If I buy a device that I cannot modify then it is no different to me to a proprietary device.

TiVO, OTOH, are getting their core software for "free", without paying any "price" for it. Why should TiVo profit from the work of FOSS programmers, but get away with not passing FOSS freedoms on to TiVo customers?

That is patently unfair (and what is more it violates the license under which TiVo can legally use the software). I don't know why people cannot understand that.

Edited 2007-06-17 12:33

Reply Score: 5

v RE[3]: freedom
by Kishe on Sun 17th Jun 2007 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
RE[4]: freedom
by cyclops on Sun 17th Jun 2007 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: freedom"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

@Kishe

You have made 16 comments in total since april last year, and every one of them has been anti-fsf or anti-gpl or anti-linux; I particularly like the one comparing GPL to communism.

Why are you posting in a topic regarding a highly regarded member of the GNU community, about his objection to GPL3 addressing problems regarding the Tivo.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: freedom
by Kishe on Sun 17th Jun 2007 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: freedom"
Kishe Member since:
2006-02-16

@cyclops

I am not anti linux nor anti-gpl (read gplv2) but yes, I am anti-FSF who is trying to make GPLv3 enforce a political agenda.

Linus Torvalds is wisely taking distance on those who are trying to turn GNU in to a religion and by doing so, hindering Linux's chance to spread to new areas.

If Linus gets brainwashed in to accepting GPLv3, GPLv3 will effeciently kill off enterprise level linux development by telling companies who they can work with and how they can't benefit with it..first company to die off will be TiVO to whom applying certain terms of use in to hardware is essential...as I pointed out, their main source of income is their service rather than their product.

Linus, while highly regarded GNU member, is luckily a realist, while majority of FSF is not.

Edited 2007-06-17 15:23

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: freedom
by cyclops on Sun 17th Jun 2007 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: freedom"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

@Kishe

Forget this....

"Problems with linux:
By Kishe (1.06) on 2006-04-11 09:00:27 UTC
1) It's bloatware...there are 900000000 distros thats only difference is name...this will only confuse potential consumer and make him run back to safer grounds...also, Linux distros "out of the box" functionality is rediculously limited...consumers want their desktops to "just work" after they install it...much like mac osx or windows. They dont want to spend hours surfing the web to find out what they must do to get their laptops hotkeys work

2) No big companies will support desktop linux because the money to be had on that market is limited because open-source activists refuse to pay anything for anything...Adope and such are companies and for company to be successful, they must be where the profit is at.

3) Opengl is dead...No sight of 100% native, directx compatible SDK anywhere to be seen.

4) Drivers, desktop user doesnt want to spend hours compiling a kernel just when they are switching from ATI card to nvidia card...the amount of drivers for hardware is limited and most of the drivers are pain in the arse to install."

or

"GPL is like communism.
By Kishe (1.06) on 2007-02-03 20:53:31 UTC
GPL looks great on paper and sounds nice as ideology but in use it stinks big time"

It is you trying to enforce a political agenda.

Edited 2007-06-17 15:31

Reply Score: 5

v RE[7]: freedom
by Kishe on Sun 17th Jun 2007 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: freedom"
RE[3]: freedom
by cyclops on Sun 17th Jun 2007 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"That is patently unfair (and what is more it violates the license under which TiVo can legally use the software). I don't know why people cannot understand that."

You should read the thread its a long and painful one Linus is not at his best, and Alan Cox has to rope him in a few times.

A lot of the argument is about the fact that what Tivo does is *legal* at least in GPL2, which everyone excepts. The argument becomes about what the spirit of the original GPL2 always was and whether what Tivo did right by Linux. Linus says it is; Alan Cox says it isn't.

Edited 2007-06-17 15:35

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: freedom
by sappyvcv on Sun 17th Jun 2007 23:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: freedom"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Linus is right though. The FSFs only argument is that "Well we *intended* for this to be against the spirit of the GPL, it just wasn't clearly defined in the GPLv2."

Great. But if it was never defined, then it was not legally nor morally wrong. They did not exploit the GPL. They very strictly stick to the license and they did not even use a loophole. The only thing that can be argued is that what they did is against the intentions of the GPL. But intentions don't mean shit if you don't fully express them beforehand.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: freedom
by cyclops on Mon 18th Jun 2007 00:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: freedom"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Please don't post repeatedly like that againlike that again.

Your referring to an interpretation. I'm absolutely positive that the FSF *never* intended there license to abused in this was. Linus is arguing that he is happier with this hole in the license, because he is happier with the patches; and its widespread adoption. Its not just the FSF foundation that thinks this is wrong Alan Cox in this thread a major player in the kernel actually points out that he never intended his code to be used in this fashion. This is not a FSF vs Kernel developers argument.

*Nobody* is saying its legally wrong. Is it true that its what Linus intended all along. I doubt, but what is clear is there is a gaping hole in GPL2, that not only is Linus happy with...its what he wants.

But saying its not a loophole is not true, the FSF intentions are documented everywhere.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: freedom
by sappyvcv on Mon 18th Jun 2007 00:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: freedom"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't tell me how to post.

the FSF intentions are documented everywhere.

Except in the GPL, where it actually matters.

Please show me somewhere, documented, where the FSF wishes the GPL to extend to hardware and not just software. Because reading the GPL, they repeatedly say "software", even in the preample which is supposedly where the "spirit" and "intentions" are defined.

The fact the there is a GPLv3 now proves that they didn't properly define their supposed intentions.

loophole: A way of escaping a difficulty, especially an omission or ambiguity in the wording of a contract or law that provides a means of evading compliance.

Nothing Tivo did was evading compliance. They provided the source code.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: freedom
by cyclops on Mon 18th Jun 2007 07:53 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: freedom"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

If you think that spamming is the right thing to do go ahead.

Absolutely those intentions in the license have clarified, the loophole has been removed. Everybody says so.

Everyone agrees that what Tivo did was Legal. You argue that becuase it is legal, it is also moral, that is simply is nonsense.

The fact that there is a GPL3, doesn't show that the FSF have changed intentions, they have simply undated the licensees to stop GPL what the perceive as GPL abuse.

Edited 2007-06-18 08:00

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: freedom
by npang on Tue 19th Jun 2007 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: freedom"
npang Member since:
2006-11-26

The FSF's concept of user freedom requires an understanding of user subjugation. So many people do not understand "user subjugation" and therefore, will not understand the FSF's concept of freedom. http://www.fsfeurope.org/projects/gplv3/brussels-rms-transcript.en....

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: freedom
by mkone on Sun 17th Jun 2007 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
mkone Member since:
2006-03-14

TiVO, OTOH, are getting their core software for "free", without paying any "price" for it. Why should TiVo profit from the work of FOSS programmers, but get away with not passing FOSS freedoms on to TiVo customers?

That is patently unfair (and what is more it violates the license under which TiVo can legally use the software). I don't know why people cannot understand that.


Tivo is paying the same price everyone pays to play. They give back the improvements they make to the code they use. Tivo is NOT violating the license. Even RMS would agree with that. Tivo is making it hard to run the software on their hardware, but the GPL did not even try to make such a restriction.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: freedom
by pinky on Sun 17th Jun 2007 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: freedom"
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>Tivo is paying the same price everyone pays to play. They give back the improvements they make to the code they use. Tivo is NOT violating the license. Even RMS would agree with that.

Yes, it doesn't violate the legal text of the GPL but it violates the spirit of the GPL. That's why GPLv3 will clarify this in the legal text.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: freedom
by sappyvcv on Sun 17th Jun 2007 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: freedom"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Therefore, they are doing nothing wrong, legally or morally.

They are only violating the spirit of the GPL if the spirit was already clearly defined as restricting that, which it never was in v2.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: freedom
by Morin on Mon 18th Jun 2007 09:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: freedom"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Yes, it doesn't violate the legal text of the GPL
> but it violates the spirit of the GPL. That's why
> GPLv3 will clarify this in the legal text.

I suspect most of the controversies about GPLv3 to originate from a misunderstanding about the spirit of the GPL. I say misunderstanding here because the spirit of the GPL is defined by its authors, the FSF. Despite the question whether the FSF uses the term "misunderstanding" to discredit their opponents, which I do not want to discuss here, the FSF as the GPL's authors are the only ones who can define its spirit.

Now the controversy seems to be that most people thought the GPL to be a license that gives the user the *right* to use, modify, and distribtue the software as he/she wants (where distribution must, of course, happen under the GPL). Until v3, the GPL was not concerned with giving the user the practical possibility to actually do so - only the legal possibility. The GPL did not demand clean code, support, or availability of hardware, although all three may be necessary in practice for a user to exercise the rights granted under the GPL.

v3 is now attacking the last point - availability of hardware. It demands that if TiVo sells you a device using v3-licensed code, then said device must support you in exercising your freedoms. I think Linus Torvalds is entirely correct in saying that the FSF wants to use a software license to gain control over the hardware. The message that is only slowly getting across, however, is that this is exactly in the spirit of the GPL - which is to enable the "four freedoms" both legally *and* practically. The reason, of course, being that v2 was only concerned with the legal part.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: freedom
by lemur2 on Mon 18th Jun 2007 09:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: freedom"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It demands that if TiVo sells you a device using v3-licensed code, then said device must support you in exercising your freedoms.


I don't think so. I don't believe the GPLv3 syas anything of the sort.

I think rather GPLv3 says that you may not use hardware DRM to prevent the end user from modifying any GPLv3 code which runs on the device.

If you had a device where the software running on it cannot be modified (such as running code from ROM), then this clause doesn't come into play.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tivoization

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: freedom
by Morin on Mon 18th Jun 2007 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: freedom"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> I think rather GPLv3 says that you may not use
> hardware DRM to prevent the end user from modifying
> any GPLv3 code which runs on the device.

But that's exactly my point. TiVo did not restrict (legally) how you run, modify, or distribute the software. You could also run modified versions of the software. What they did *not* do is supply a device on which you could do this, so you had to bring your own.

Now, of course, their device was perfectly capable of running modified versions, but was artificially restricted. Thus RMS saw the chance to increase the end-user's freedom by exercising power through the software license. Which is, of course, fine if your goal is increasing the end-user's freedom.

> If you had a device where the software running on it
> cannot be modified (such as running code from ROM),
> then this clause doesn't come into play.

Given my arguments above, I guess this was a pragmatic decision. Hardware vendors would rather use differently-licensed software than build reprogramming functionality into a device that doesn't need it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: freedom
by sappyvcv on Mon 18th Jun 2007 13:41 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: freedom"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, the GPLv3 talks about providing instructions for how to compile/run/install the software on the device it comes on.

Reply Score: 1

my take:
by karl on Sun 17th Jun 2007 11:19 UTC
karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

What really frustrates me in this ongoing debate is how issues keep getting conflated which obscure much more than they reveal.

The problem with tivoization is neither a software problem nor a hardware problem-it is a problem of content.

The DRM features of the tivio exist solely for the purpose of controlling access to the content provided in a service agreement between Tivo and its customers.

Tivo is only economically viable if media corporations are willing to license to Tivo their content. The media corporations are only willing to do so if they can get assurances from Tivo that none of Tivos customers are capable of getting uncontrolled access to the content. The media corporations view their content as IP and view the DRM of Tivo as technique to protect their IP.

The problem is that in their quest to protect their IP they are depriving users(customers of Tivo) that which has been won in court cases-ie. fair use. Consumers who use Tivo gain access to propietary IP- the content- but are limited in what they can do with this content by the DRM like provisions which Tivo is building into its devices on behalf of the media corporations.

The FSF is stating that they do not want GPL software to be used to deny users of their rights. In conjunction with the DRM provisions built into Tivo the most basic Freedom, Freedom 0, the ability to run the software, is negated. For only if the software has been signed in such a way to work with the DRM built into the Tivo can it run on the Tivo hardware.

Linus is an entrepreneur. Linus sees business opportunities. Linus want Linux to be an enabling force for entrepreneurs. For Linus, Tivo is the user of his software, not the customers who purchase a service agreement with Tivo, which grants them access to protected media. Because Tivo itself designed the DRM provisions of the Tivo, they of course can run the GPL software on their hardware, for they built the system which requires the binary to be signed in such a way as to be executable according to their scheme which controls what can and cannot be executed on said hardware.

One of the most subversive elements of the GPL is the definition of "user". Contrary to what many believe the "user" of GPL software is NOT, in the first instance, developers. The GPL is NOT a *developers* license. The user, is he or she who finds themselves confronted with a black box and who is not capable of changing how said black box functions.

RMS was a user of a Xerox printer which caused him tremendous frustration because of bad programming on the part of Xerox developers- and because he found himself as someone standing before a black box which he could not change-as an impotent developer incapable of modifying the software, because it was encoded in hardware, to work in a way which was not so infuriatingly frustrating. This event, the battle with the Xerox printer, was the birthplace of the GPL.

Now can you see a similarity between the issues presented with the DRM techniques built into the Tivo and the issues that RMS was confronted with when dealing with the damned Xerox printer ? RMS is being more than 100% consistent when he argues against Tivoisation.

Linus would like to see all of these aspects as seperate independent issues and only focus on those aspects which he identifies according to his intepretaton of the "user" of his software. Linus argues that the hardware design has nothing to do with the software and therefor the FSF/RMS have no right telling users(ie.developers) what they can or cannot do with their hardware.

Yet when the consumer is the user of the software, the software, hardware, and the contractual agreement between the media corporations and Tivo, and the service agreement between Tivo and its customers all become one issue. I am sitting in front of black box and I cannot change how this black box functions.

In reality DRM-like provisions have been around for as long as their has been an aftermarket service industry. Companies built their hardware in such a way that only trained technicians with access to certain tools could render the black box into something which could be diagnosed, repaired or replaced. What is *relatively* new is using hardware as a way to provide a service to customers. Tivo is an entrepreneurial enterprise which arose in the relatively new ecosystem provided by media corporations willing to independently provide controlled access of their content to "consumers", coupled with the availability of cheap hardware designs and Free Software.

In so doing Tivo is actively limiting consumers fair use rights. It is not the case that Tivo in so doing is particularly evil- they are simply doing what the media corporation demand-if they refused to do so Tivo would not gain access to the content which consumers hope to gain by purchasing a Tivo- ie. their economic model would fail. Yet they are enabling the media corporations to extend their control over content into the households of consumers and encroaching upon the rights which consumers fought for in court.

Now who is the bad guy in this predicament ? Is it RMS because he wants to protect the rights of consumers ? is it Linus because he wants to help entrepreneurs with technology allowing new markets to arise ? Is it the consumers because they make unrealistic demands on the items which they purchase ? or is it the media corporations who demand exclusive control of "their" content ?

I end up siding with RMS and the FSF on this issue-because they are wholly self-consistent. In the last instance their position takes the whole gamut of aspects into account in their attempt to deal with issues which confront users. Whereas Linus wishes to simply pick and choose who the "users" are and in so doing he invariably ignore consumers. Licenses are ultimately about power and RMS invariably sides with the powerless users, in this case consumers.

RMS says rather bluntly that if you can't be ethical in making software, that you should pursue another career. RMS would likely say to the head of Tivo, well hey you don't really need this business model, because the effects of this business model are unethical, so just go find another business oppurtunity.

Whereas for Linus the powerless users are the entrepreneurs-and relative to the media corporations this is true.

Neither RMS or Linus are "wrong", but RMS has the rights of users at heart.

Reply Score: 5

RE: my take:
by lemur2 on Sun 17th Jun 2007 12:08 UTC in reply to "my take:"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Now who is the bad guy in this predicament ? Is it RMS because he wants to protect the rights of consumers ? is it Linus because he wants to help entrepreneurs with technology allowing new markets to arise ? Is it the consumers because they make unrealistic demands on the items which they purchase ? or is it the media corporations who demand exclusive control of "their" content ?

I end up siding with RMS and the FSF on this issue-because they are wholly self-consistent. In the last instance their position takes the whole gamut of aspects into account in their attempt to deal with issues which confront users. Whereas Linus wishes to simply pick and choose who the "users" are and in so doing he invariably ignore consumers. Licenses are ultimately about power and RMS invariably sides with the powerless users, in this case consumers.


This is a good argument, but the quetions you raise are simply answered.

In the case of a TiVo box, who pays for the box, turns it on, and operates it day to day? That person is undeniably the owner and user of the TiVo box.

It is that person (along with anyone else who runs Linux) to whom the four freedoms of the GPL are guaranteed, and to whom the rights granted by the GPL go.

Despite what Linus may or may not believe, his "users" are anyone who runs Linux, and it is those users to whom he has promised four freedoms, and whom his apparent collaboration with the likes of TiVo he is selling short.

If Linus' view prevails, and end users effectively receive none of the four freedoms that the GPL offers, then there is no advantage for anyone to use FOSS over proprietary software in the first place, and Linus' Linux software would wither on the vine through lack of uptake. So even if Linus' primary aim is the further technical development of his Linux kernel, then even that aim is destroyed in the end if Linus' view on "tivoisation" wins out.

Edited 2007-06-17 12:25

Reply Score: 4

RE: my take:
by difool on Sun 17th Jun 2007 16:12 UTC in reply to "my take:"
difool Member since:
2006-09-05

thanks for taking the time! brilliantly explained... i share your pov. i few days ago those where my conclusions.

thanks again!

Reply Score: 4

RE: my take:
by pepa on Mon 18th Jun 2007 08:01 UTC in reply to "my take:"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Truly excellent post! I will now take time to read all your previous posts..!

Reply Score: 1

RE: my take:
by Obscurus on Mon 18th Jun 2007 09:15 UTC in reply to "my take:"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

In so doing Tivo is actively limiting consumers fair use rights.


You are assuming consumers have such rights. In some jurisdictions, consumers have no such rights (for example, here in Australia, there are no fair use rights for consumers).

So essentially, TiVo type hardware may be legally required to support DRM if the content providers specify it in their licence terms.

There are also various applications of software where only an idiot would allow the end user to tamper with the software contained (anything where security or safety related for example) on the actual hardware.

Reply Score: 1

Holy Santa
by sappyvcv on Sun 17th Jun 2007 15:41 UTC
sappyvcv
Member since:
2005-07-06

Alexandre Oliva is awfully thick-headed.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Holy Santa
by pepa on Mon 18th Jun 2007 07:59 UTC in reply to "Holy Santa"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

I would say he is admirably thick-skinned! I don't want to say in public how Linus comes across here to me...

Reply Score: 3

I'm with the FSF on this one
by HappyGod on Mon 18th Jun 2007 03:03 UTC
HappyGod
Member since:
2005-10-19

It really pi$$es me off that people think it's OK to sell you a device and then tell you that you don't own it. It's like someone selling you a car and then telling you that you can't modify it in any way. You wouldn't accept those conditions from Ford, so why do we accept them from TiVo?

I think that deliberately limiting a device to remove the copyleft right from consumers is against the spirit of the GPL. And even if it isn't, it should be!

I see no difference between limiting hardware and limiting software. Both suck big time.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm with the FSF on this one
by Obscurus on Mon 18th Jun 2007 10:30 UTC in reply to "I'm with the FSF on this one"
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

It really pi$$es me off that people think it's OK to sell you a device and then tell you that you don't own it. It's like someone selling you a car and then telling you that you can't modify it in any way. You wouldn't accept those conditions from Ford, so why do we accept them from TiVo?



But that isn't at all what TiVo are doing. When you buy a Ford, or indeed any model of car, and you modify it, you will most likely invalidate the warranty. That doesn't mean that you can't modify it; it just means that you have no support or recourse from Ford for doing so - it is at your own risk and at your own expense. Ford is under no obligation to make it easy for end users to modify their vehicles, and indeed for safety reasons as well as licensing reasons, there may be aspects of the vehicle they may be required by law to make it as difficult as possible for end users to modify. And that is fair enough, because Ford (or any other company) can't be expected to support consumers who do things with their products that they had not intended or tested for. Many devices are made in a way that is inherently unfriendly to modders and hackers simply because it is easier and more cost effective to do so (mass production techniques tend to produce devices that pack circuitry and mechanics in as densely as possible for example, making it difficult to modify). And most people who buy cars do so without any intention of modifying them, nor any expectation that they should be able to (after all most people are not motor mechanics).

The same for TiVo - they make a hardware device, intended for a very specific purpose, and they also have to protect the interests of their content providers in order to licence the content they sell. you are perfectly entitled to pull your TiVo apart and tinker with the software or hardware, but TiVo is under no obligation to support that activity, and nor should they be.


Personally, I am sick of noisy minorities trying to tell me what is ethical and what is not - ethics and morals are arbitrary and relative, and each individual will have their own angle on what they consider ethical or not. The only practical option is to come to a general consensus that suits the majority, and in the case of the GPL v3, I suspect that the majority of developers and businesses will see it as excessively draconian and restrictive measure that will not be widely adopted or endorsed.

The whole idea that end users should be able to modify the goods they buy is all well and good, but the market for it is infinitesimally small (I highly doubt that more than 0.001% of TiVo owners would code and install their own version of the OS even if they could; just as most car owners are not mechanics, most computer/TiVo owners are not programmers), and I don't see how forcing developers and manufactuers into making their code or products hacker friendly (which is essentially a stated aim of the FSF) to satisfy the demands of a tiny minority is in any way fair or ethical. If you want to hack it modify it or set it on fire, fine, but don't expect the manufactuere to bend over backwards to help you do it.

But that is just me. I'm with Linus on this one - the GPL v2 is a fine licence, lets not ruin it by throwing away all perspective and balance.

If you want devices that you can readily modify, then buy from manufacturers that cater to that market (it is a very small market though, so you may have to shop around). Same with software. Stop trying to force everyone into the same box. The freedoms that the FSF promotes are meaningless to 99% of the population, who will never write a line of code in their life, but the freedoms that the FSF are trying to restrict will negatively impact a fairly large chunk of the population who are trying to run (or work for) businesses and make a living.

Reply Score: 1

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"The same for TiVo - they make a hardware device, intended for a very specific purpose, and they also have to protect the interests of their content providers in order to licence the content they sell. you are perfectly entitled to pull your TiVo apart and tinker with the software or hardware, but TiVo is under no obligation to support that activity, and nor should they be."

I'm not disagreeing with you. Ignoring the fact I don't need protecting from my content. How would allowing me to replace the kernel on the Tivo protect the content providers?

"Personally, I am sick of noisy minorities trying to tell me what is ethical and what is not - ethics and morals are arbitrary and relative, and each individual will have their own angle on what they consider ethical or not. The only practical option is to come to a general consensus that suits the majority, and in the case of the GPL v3, I suspect that the majority of developers and businesses will see it as excessively draconian and restrictive measure that will not be widely adopted or endorsed. "

Whats great about this comment, is the fact nobody is forced to use GPL3...or indeed use GPL3 software. Even Linus thinks he has a right to choose the license that suits him best. The reality is for adoption GPL3 software relies on being popular with developers. The simple fact is if it is not popular it will not be used.

"If you want devices that you can readily modify, then buy from manufacturers that cater to that market (it is a very small market though, so you may have to shop around). Same with software. Stop trying to force everyone into the same box. The freedoms that the FSF promotes are meaningless to 99% of the population, who will never write a line of code in their life, but the freedoms that the FSF are trying to restrict will negatively impact a fairly large chunk of the population who are trying to run (or work for) businesses and make a living."

Thats incredibly offensive and a lie, you can only argue that the FSF, hasn't worked on the kernel, but they have wrote an awful lot of code elsewhere.

Richard Stallman in GCC
http://www.opensource.org/node/155

Reply Score: 3

m_abs Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe I'm wrong here but I think you misunderstood the person you're replying to...

Thats incredibly offensive and a lie, you can only argue that the FSF, hasn't worked on the kernel, but they have wrote an awful lot of code elsewhere.


I assume you're talking about this sentence: "The freedoms that the FSF promotes are meaningless to 99% of the population, who will never write a line of code in their life..."
He isnīt saying that FSF never coded or never will code anything, that would indeed be a lie, but he is saying that 99% of the population will never write a line of code which is the truth. Most people don't write code them self, they just use the software.

Reply Score: 1

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Your absolutely right. I did read that wrong, but is the fact that 99% of people will never write code, make it meaningless to those people.

The reality is both Linus and the FSF are in 100% agreement. That there exists advantages to having the code open, whether it come from the benefit that those 1% offer or 100%.

One of the things that I find interesting, the move that open-source has done by going mainstream is Linus desire to please companies; pander to the embedded market and he is right, and definitely so for the kernel which is wrote by companies much more than by hobbiests; academics etc etc or for Political reasons.

..but I think he's making a mistake, you can see moving to a web desktop; Solaris being more friendly; Microsoft appealing to both the home server/developer crowd, just at Linux the Desktop is looking "good enough" for anybody, and getting better. And he's wasting time attacking Sun and FSF, when they are both actively *promoting* GNU/Linux. While he embeds himself more in the kernel.

People like open-source for lots of reasons privacy; security; future proofing; easy to customize; modular etc etc without touching a line of code, these people know what "Linux" is they expect these things and others. Notice I don't even *mention* abstract concepts like the four freedoms. Tivoization doesn't give them any of these things. Why would they care what OS was on the Tivo. The thing I find most bizarre about the whole thing is that the success of Linux the kernel, and of Tivo themselves is because of these people that use and promote Linux.

I personally bought a wireless/router/modem by linksys only last month to run http://openwrt.org/ on the thing, and the premise that I could both run; and change linux on there and I intend to use beyond its current software limitations...and not write a line of code, and it will be a better solution for what *I* want than any WHS.

To be fair I'm tired of Linus the politician, GNU is a better term for the OS now, or Solaris. Both Sun and FSF both seem *interested* in producing software for *me*, and that will get to be an increasing theme on here. Linus has lost touch with the very people who follow him. People often quote the day Linus and Stallman were together and Dick ranting while Linus played with his kids. How times have changed. If you read the thread he's appalling. To be fair Alexandre doesn't look that great, but only Alan Cox comes off looking an adult.

Reply Score: 2

b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

To be fair Alexandre doesn't look that great, but only Alan Cox comes off looking an adult.

Would you mind elaborating? I did not read everything, but Oliva posted far more than Cox did, so I would assume that he was "spread out" far more thinly and so goofed up more. Moreover, what I read from Cox was rather conservative claims that were easy to make.

Edited 2007-06-18 23:12

Reply Score: 2

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Cox's neutralise's Linus more dangerous comments, yet remained polite, he does not get drawn into the contest, warns Linus without offending Linus who is clearly after blood. Doesn't bog himself down in minor detail. All looks completely neutral. Focuses on the problem in hand. That post I quoted is the *best* post I have seen in a long time.

Olivia is going to look bad whatever is posted arguing an abstract concept, weak wording of the license done intentionally specifically for the kernel, not asrespected figure with the kernel. Every Microsoft poster here knows that you focus on the positives. Compromise is already crippling the license, but offers *more* compromise, may as well have said he/she? was in the wrong. The whole spirit thing just looks stupid even more so when your describing someone else's spirit. The only thing Olivia should have done is reminded Linus his customer is not TiVo its those GNU users, Cox had to do that.

Reply Score: 2

npang Member since:
2006-11-26

Your absolutely right. I did read that wrong, but is the fact that 99% of people will never write code, make it meaningless to those people.

This doesn't matter one bit. If I don't know how to bake a wedding cake for my wedding, I hire a wedding cake baker. If I don't know how to tune my car's engine and modify the transmission to make it a 4x4, I can go hire an automechanic. If I want to add a new room to my house, I can hire a builder. If I have software that was suitable under my old requirements and is now unsuitable under my new requirements, I should be free to go to any software developer and get some modifications done without requiring to go to the original developer.

Edited 2007-06-19 14:22

Reply Score: 1

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

Quote from Linus in the article:

And no, it isn't legal to put those 200G hard
drives in your TiVO no matter what you think


From the TiVo license agreement:

Any attempt to disassemble, decompile, ... either the TiVo DVR or the software of the TiVo DVR is strictly prohibited

Hmmm, doesn't sound like it's only invalidating the warranty to me, just sounds illegal. Looks like you didn't read the article and don't know what you're talking about.

Fact is, if you buy a piece of machinery ... YOU OWN IT. The car analogy stands. If a car were subject to the TiVo EULA it would be illegal to:

1. Use a custom license plate.
2. Change your spark plugs.
3. Put on a new set of Rims.
4. Add a turbo-charger.
5. Perform an oil change.
5. etc. etc. etc.

Name me ONE brand of car (or any other mechanical device) that has those restrictions!

Reply Score: 1

Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

Here is an example: I own my own house, but it is illegal for me to put up an extension without approval from the local government - I own it, but I can't legally do whatever I like with it, for various reasons. I can't legally put an anti-aircraft battery on the roof for example. Nor can I put a pool in my backyard unless I enclose it with a fence complying with certain safety standards.

I don't know about cars, but most consumer whitegoods are non-user serviceable, and often all of the electronic components are embedded in resin to prevent the user from servicing them (I have a clock radio like this), or special screws are used that require a fairly obscure tool to remove (such tools are not hard to acquire or fabricate if you know hat you are doing), or are assembled in such a way that the only way to disassemble it requires breaking it (this is a common one).

Many devices are protected by law from end user modification for safety reasons. It is illegal AFAIK to modify many electronic devices to emit radio frequencies in certain frequency bands, particularly ones that could interfere with aircraft operation or communications, for example.

Many parts of cars have to comply with safety standards, and if you modify them, the car will no longer be able to be driven legally, as they are deemed unsafe.

In the US, I suspect (I live in Australia, so I'm not 100% sure about this) that it would be a violation of the DMCA to modify a TiVo, and hence illegal. In other jurisdictions, it would not be illegal, you would just void your warranty.

Reply Score: 1

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

I'm sick of analogies, free software made proprietary by hardware is impossible to do.

Could you supply any reference to where any organization *forces* tivo to cripple Linux

just to be hypocritical...

Analogy(Patent Pending)
=======================
Lego, stuck together with superglue.

Reply Score: 2

b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

Personally, I am sick of noisy minorities trying to tell me what is ethical and what is not - ethics and morals are arbitrary and relative, and each individual will have their own angle on what they consider ethical or not. The only practical option is to come to a general consensus that suits the majority, and in the case of the GPL v3, I suspect that the majority of developers and businesses will see it as excessively draconian and restrictive measure that will not be widely adopted or endorsed.

The other parts of your post will likely be criticized. I will just challenge you here. First, you are free to ignore anyone's opinion. By invoking moral relativism as you do, you can justify, say, genocide, so I doubt that you can maintain that position. Sooner or later you will have to concede that there are ethical principles that people anywhere are likely to hold, such as the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.(*) Indeed, the Golden Rule underlies the free software movement.

A consensus on the GPLv3 is not "the only practical option" but a just a matter of fact, a notion that arises among people and changes over time, just like the notion of whether Microsoft Windows is the best OS. The GPLv3 is just a license that people are free to ignore, not a measure, so I am unimpressed by anything that might be "draconian" about it. What if I had no license at all to something? Should I moan about how draconian that is?

Finally, I would urge you to reconsider the role of noisy minorities throughout history and indeed in the world today. You would have to concede that they can matter a great deal and often are the rescue from the "tyranny of the majority":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority

(*): Is the Golden Rule biological? See:
http://richarddawkins.net/article,1077,The-Golden-Rule,Brian-Coughl...

Edited 2007-06-18 13:30

Reply Score: 2

Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

Sooner or later you will have to concede that there are ethical principles that people anywhere are likely to hold, such as the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.(*) Indeed, the Golden Rule underlies the free software movement.


Not people anywhere. At various times and places in history (including the present day), various cultures and societies have decided that many things (such as genocide) are perfectly ethical and justifiable, and normal. The so called golden rule* you quote has little to do with human nature or reality. In fact, the only rule that applies universally throughout all cultures and across the ages is "do what your fellow human beings will let you get away with, otherwise do what you would like them to do to you".


For example, people in many Islamic countries believe that it is perfectly ethical and moral to use violence against those who do not share their beliefs, indeed to the extent that they often believe it is unethical not to violently attack the "infidel".

As for the "Tyranny of the Majority" rubbish, what reality are you dreaming in? It is not possible to satisfy everyone, and no matter what rules you make, someone will be disenfranchised and pissed off.

Should a noisy minority who promote racism, ethnic cleansing, oppression of women be given preferential status over the prevailing majority view on these issues? No? Then why should another minority promoting another extreme ideology get a special hearing. The task of the FSF is to convince the majority of computer users and stakeholders in computer technology that they have more to gain than to lose.

*While I agree with Richard Dawkins on many issues, the idea that that we have some biological drive to be nice to one another doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Peoples attitudes towards other people, their ethics and morals are almost entirely shaped by the culture they live in and their particular life experiences, and we are genetically programmed to adapt our behaviour to whatever gives us the most personal gain, and hence reproductive success. Sometimes this will mean being egalitarian and sharing, but just as often it will mean the opposite.

Reply Score: 1

b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

Not people anywhere.

I qualified with "likely". I see no indication why moral relativism is any more justified than, say, utilitarianism, and the latter seems to be more practical.

You are overreacting about the "Tyranny of the Majority"; it's far more specific than the ideal you are assuming. Moreover, I said nothing about preference for minorities, only an acknowledgement that they have been positive influences. OTOH, I would characterize, say, the DMCA as a mistake that hurts the noisy minority, among others.

I see where you are coming from with your view on the arbitrary nature of altruism, but foolishly I suppose I do think that civilization is possible. (Yes, it's not logical, so shoot me.) Thus, I cannot limit myself to the bare assumptions that your view requires.

Edited 2007-06-18 23:17

Reply Score: 2

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Shame you were modded down, that was very well put.

Reply Score: 1

To get this right
by Kishe on Tue 19th Jun 2007 08:28 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

Linus is supporter of Open Source

Alexandre is supporter of Free Software.

Opensource generally means linus's favorite "Tit for tat" ideology where you give and you shall be given. (aka merging)

Free Software means Everything goes ideology where everyone can take what they want without any need to give anything back. (aka branching)


This is age old argument that has been around since GPLv1...at one point everyone agreed that branching cannot exist without merging and merging cannot exist without branching but now with GPLv3 the argument has been revived and even hardware has been dragged in to the mess.

According to open source ideology Tivoization is fine because it gives tit for tat. (aka allows merging)

According to free software ideology tivoization is bad because it limits what the end user can do with the sourcecode (aka limits branching)

There has ALWAYS been these two dominant ideologies in the GNU community and these two ideologies clashing is nothing new.

Problem with GPLv3 is that it's not as balanced between these two ideologies as gplv2 is.

Reply Score: 1