Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Sep 2007 21:24 UTC, submitted by Kishe
GNU, GPL, Open Source "A research firm serving the mobile phone industry has published an 18-page whitepaper about open source licensing. Entitled 'GPLv2 vs. GPLv3', the paper examines the meteoric rise of open source software, and the forces that shaped each license, before concluding with an extremely detailed point-by-point comparison."
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by Manuma on Sat 29th Sep 2007 21:49 UTC
Manuma
Member since:
2005-07-28

GPLv2 is GPLv3 with more freedom and less restrictions, as easy as that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by JMcCarthy on Sat 29th Sep 2007 22:06 UTC in reply to "..."
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

The GPLv3 is only "less free" if you're a developer trying to exploit loopholes and circumvent the ideals of v2. Otherwise, the people who use your software are "more free" because you don't poscess the same ability to screw them.

Reply Score: 20

RE[2]: ...
by sappyvcv on Sat 29th Sep 2007 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

While the freedom aspect is debatable, it is certainly more restrictive.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: ...
by Oliver on Sat 29th Sep 2007 22:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

The term freedom is never debatable. A golden cage is 'freedom' up to the borders.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: ...
by pinky on Sat 29th Sep 2007 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>The term freedom is never debatable. A golden cage is 'freedom' up to the borders.

But there are natural borders which normally everyone accepts. This border is drawn at the point where the freedom of other persons began.

Nobody would really argue that people should have the power to restrict other people freedom. I say "power" because in my eyes this is the point where "freedom for myself" convert into "my power over other people".

I'm all in favor of freedom for everyone but not in favor of power for everyone.

Edited 2007-09-29 23:09

Reply Score: 9

RE[5]: ...
by renox on Sun 30th Sep 2007 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

>>But there are natural borders which normally everyone accepts. This border is drawn at the point where the freedom of other persons began.<<

In theory yes, in practive, try to go naked on the street and see how free you are..

About the article: there's no way I'll read a 16 page article on GPLv2 vs v3.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: ...
by sappyvcv on Sat 29th Sep 2007 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Never debatable? Uh.. are you being serious?

Reply Score: 8

RE[5]: ...
by archiesteel on Mon 1st Oct 2007 04:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

For once I agree with you: certain words, such as "freedom", represent complex concepts that cannot be reduced to absolutes. Freedom is certainly debatable, and many people have debated the concept over human history.

The case can be made that GPL, while more restrictive, protects freedom of the code by making sure derivatives are also free. Others argue that BSD gives more freedom to developers. These apparently contradictory positions are, in fact, both true.

This is why internet discussions on such loaded terms often degenerate into flamewars.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: ...
by chrono13 on Sun 30th Sep 2007 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
chrono13 Member since:
2006-10-25

Anarchy aside, all freedoms are based on limits and restrictions of others freedoms.

Your freedom to own property, for example, depends on restricting other people's freedom to take that property from you.

Your freedom of speech is nothing more than a restriction on others "freedom" to suppress your speech.

And of course, you are free to choose whichever license best suits your project.

Of a more interesting subject of discussion, I remember there was an interesting point made over machine-specific code through encryption (tivoisation) used in the context of casino gaming, voter machines, etc. There may be cases in which the GPL3's freedoms are not ideal, and one would want to restrict in what ways it can be used or redistributed by choosing a more restrictive OSS license.

Edited 2007-09-30 00:02

Reply Score: 9

RE[5]: ...
by cyclops on Sun 30th Sep 2007 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I remember there was an interesting point made over machine-specific code through encryption (tivoisation) used in the context of casino gaming, voter machines, etc."

Much as some would agree with what you are saying...although GPL3 covers this very use through a sentence I particularly object to.

In the context of casino gaming & voting machines I would rather the code be available by *law* not some copyright license by an organization. Although to be fair I would to know of any casino of voting machine software that uses GPL at all.

Edited 2007-09-30 01:05

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: ...
by Gone fishing on Sun 30th Sep 2007 07:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Anarchy aside, all freedoms are based on limits and restrictions of others freedoms.

Even an anarchist would agree with that, where an anarchist would disagree is on the role of the state and corporations on defining and limiting those restrictions and freedoms.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ...
by freesid on Sun 30th Sep 2007 04:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
freesid Member since:
2007-02-19

Please dont generalize like that...

"More restrictive to commercial companies, but is more free to end users"

Thats how i see it ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ...
by sappyvcv on Mon 1st Oct 2007 03:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

The license isn't more free. The license places more restrictions. It's the software which use the license which are "more free" according to some.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: ...
by freesid on Mon 1st Oct 2007 05:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
freesid Member since:
2007-02-19

While the freedom aspect is debatable, it is certainly more restrictive.


Oh, were you talking about license *terms* and not in its effect/meaning, in your above statement?

Well, thats not how i understood :-(

Reply Score: 1

Wrong
by pinky on Sat 29th Sep 2007 22:53 UTC
pinky
Member since:
2005-07-15

I had to read only a few sentences to find the first bullshit (sorry for using this term):

"However where the OSI and the FSF diverge is
that the OSI also require that an OSI approved
open source license should not restrict
commercially important freedoms, such as the
ability to distribute open source and non open
source software together, and to not discriminate
against any persons, field of endeavour or
technology products. This last point is a
particular area of differentiation with the FSF,..."


That's just wrong. That's not where FSF and OSI diverge both are against restriction of any possible use and of course against commercially restriction.
I want to remember the the "Open Source Definition" is nothing more than the "Debian Free Software Guide" so there is absolutely no diverge between OSI and FSF based on their definition of "Open Source" and "Free Software".


...GPLv3 contains wording which appears to
preclude use of GPLv3 covered code in specific
technology areas.


No, GPLv3 doesn't preclude any use. You can use GPLv3 code in any technology areas. But you can't deny your users freedom. That's an important difference.

Edited 2007-09-29 22:54

Reply Score: 15

non-issue
by mesonychoteuthis on Sun 30th Sep 2007 03:47 UTC
mesonychoteuthis
Member since:
2007-08-01

"Of a more interesting subject of discussion, I remember there was an interesting point made over machine-specific code through encryption (tivoisation) used in the context of casino gaming, voter machines, etc. There may be cases in which the GPL3's freedoms are not ideal, and one would want to restrict in what ways it can be used or redistributed by choosing a more restrictive OSS license."

The prohibition against tivoisation only applies to "consumer devices." Neither of those cases involve a consumer device as defined in Gpl3, and neither of them would invoke the anti-tivoisation language anyway. The GPL3 only provides that the *owner* of the device in question should have the freedom to modify it. Gamblers don't own slot machines, nor do voters own voting machines. Supposed weakness like this one are produced in abundance by people who don't bother to read and understand the license before commenting.

Reply Score: 7

RE: non-issue
by chrono13 on Sun 30th Sep 2007 03:53 UTC in reply to "non-issue"
chrono13 Member since:
2006-10-25

"Supposed weakness like this one are produced in abundance by people who don't bother to read and understand the license before commenting."

Yes, and I read it as a comment. I had not come to that conclusion myself. I apologize for repeating that misconception and I thank you for the clarification.

Reply Score: 2

RE: non-issue
by DrillSgt on Sun 30th Sep 2007 05:39 UTC in reply to "non-issue"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"The GPL3 only provides that the *owner* of the device in question should have the freedom to modify it. Gamblers don't own slot machines, nor do voters own voting machines."

The owner of slot would be the casino's. As a gambler I would not want them to be able to control the code either, nor to modify it. Same with voting machines where the government owns them. Casino owners should *never* be allowed to modify code in a machine, nor should the government be allowed to modify code in voting machines. GPLv3 specifically provides this right, which would therefore make it illegal to be used in these contexts, due to other laws which do and have existed. In these contexts the "consumers" are the casino's and governments. Consumer refers to whoever owns the equipment. A gambler or a voter are not "consumers" of those devices, just users. As I mentioned already, due to laws that already exist, GPLv3 licensed code is automatically and already shut out from these markets that you mentioned.

Reply Score: 4

freesid
Member since:
2007-02-19

The generally accepted best practice is that a derivative work is not created when statically linking GPL software to non-GPL software. However there is no clear agreement within the FOSS community regarding dynamically linking of GPL software to non-GPL software.


I thought it was the reverse? Dynamic linking is not a derivative work, but static linking is. isn't it?

Reply Score: 3

v What?
by CVDpr on Sun 30th Sep 2007 05:27 UTC
bsd license
by nulleight on Sun 30th Sep 2007 08:21 UTC
nulleight
Member since:
2007-06-22

I think people who say that bsd license is a true freedom are hypocrites. If they'd cared for freedom they'd release their code in public domain and wouldn't bitch if someone wouldn't give them credit -> see recent Atheros debakle. This was off topic, I admit, but this issue gets raised every time in a gpl discussion. I think gpl was the desicive reason for open source success and also a reason why competitiors actually can stand to develop the same product (linux) together because they know they all will benefit from it. This is also a reason why companies don't contribute back to bsd-licensed pojects, because their competitor can just snatch it away, add a pair of uniqire features and give it off as their own product and gain an unfair advantage. Like the bsd stack in windows. There are a lot of examples for that. I mean apart from "i dont care for my freedom untill a nazi-government knocks on my door" crowd a lot of people actually care about things like open source drivers an free software ( as in speech ). I am not a gpl fanboy, there are clearly other licenses that accomplish the same thing, they are just like a "police" that get's sometimes annoyng, but without it you wont get the MOTIVATION of alot of people who want to see their "free" code in programs that benefit humanity and not used as a tool to enslave it (for example windows monopoly).

Edited 2007-09-30 08:22

Reply Score: 6

RE BSD license.
by alban on Sun 30th Sep 2007 09:28 UTC in reply to "bsd license"
alban Member since:
2005-11-15

BSD License = "Freedom TO"
GPL = "Freedom FROM"

Reply Score: 6

RE BSD license.
by sbergman27 on Sun 30th Sep 2007 20:15 UTC in reply to "RE BSD license."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

BSD License = "Freedom TO"
GPL = "Freedom FROM"

"""

That's a reasonable observation.

From another angle:

BSD: Barriers to sharing code are do more harm than good.
GPL: Barriers to code sharing are unfortunate, but do more good than harm.

I think that the availability of FOSS licenses which have different strengths and weaknesses, to suit a variety of projects and authors has been key to our success. Even RMS agrees that Xiph's use of permissive licenses for their reference implementations for the ogg formats is preferable to copylefting them.

One should think very carefully when choosing an appropriate license... always keeping in mind that code reuse is *HARD*. Adding artificial barriers comes at a cost. Sometimes that cost might be outweighed by the advantages.

But in the end, the most important thing is that authors license their code in a way that really reflects their expectations as to what the responsibilities of the users of that code should be. If he expects the users of the code to give back, that should be in the license. Claiming to support permissive licenses and then moaning and whining when people don't pay money back to one's own project (as a certain well known leader of a permissively licensed project has done) does not help anyone.

Edited 2007-09-30 20:23

Reply Score: 3

RE BSD license.
by llanitedave on Mon 1st Oct 2007 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE BSD license."
llanitedave Member since:
2005-07-24

"BSD: Barriers to sharing code are do more harm than good.
GPL: Barriers to code sharing are unfortunate, but do more good than harm.


You got this backwards. The GPL is not a barrier to code sharing, it's a mandater of it. The GPL prevents a distributer from refusing to share the code. A BSD license allows the distributer to refuse to share the code.

Reply Score: 2

RE BSD license.
by sbergman27 on Tue 2nd Oct 2007 03:24 UTC in reply to "RE BSD license."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

The GPL is not a barrier to code sharing, it's a mandater of it.

"""

Virtually no FOSS project which is not under GPL can use code from a GPL'd project. Even GPLv2 projects are prohibited from using GPLv3 code. That's a huge barrier to code sharing. A one-way barrier, though, for the most part, since great care has been taken by the GPLvX authors to ensure what they term "compatibility" with other FOSS licenses. That means making sure that GPL projects can take from other projects as they please, without the donor projects receiving anything in return.

I'm willing to accept that situation as (possibly) being good for FOSS as a whole. But please do not just ignore the fact that copyleft licenses do erect barriers to code sharing in the FOSS world.

I would file your argument in the "sometimes the benefits outweigh the disadvantages" category.

Edited 2007-10-02 03:30

Reply Score: 1

RE BSD license.
by pinky on Tue 2nd Oct 2007 14:08 UTC in reply to "RE BSD license."
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>That's a huge barrier to code sharing. A one-way barrier, though, for the most part, since great care has been taken by the GPLvX authors to ensure what they term "compatibility" with other FOSS licenses.

GPL compatibility is not a special compatibility it's the very normal compatibility we know from any other area.

Compatible means that you can mix code. You can mix BSDL and GPL code, you can mix Apache-License and GPLv3 code, etc.

There is absolutely no technical or legal barrier. Maybe there is a personal barrier if an author of BSD code don't want to combine his code with GPL code. But than this is his personal decision and not a barrier of the GPL or any strange definition of compatibility.

What you mean is that you can't relicense GPL code. But that's relicensing and not compatibility.

Relicensing is not possible but compatibility (especially for GPLv3) is quite good.

Reply Score: 4

RE BSD license.
by sbergman27 on Tue 2nd Oct 2007 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE BSD license."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

GPL compatibility is not a special compatibility it's the very normal compatibility we know from any other area.

"""

FSF doublespeak. For an organization which claims to take the moral high ground, they play the doublespeak game to a level which rivals the large multinationals.

"""
What you mean is that you can't relicense GPL code. But that's relicensing and not compatibility.

"""

More doublespeak.

No. I mean that if you are a GPLv3 project you can take code from, say, an Apache project without changing your license. But if you are an Apache project, you cannot incorporate the GPL'd project's changes to your code back into your code without changing your license. And if you try to argue that a project changing its license is no big deal, just consider a scenario in which GPL'd projects were required to change their license to use, say, BSD or MIT licensed code.

I really wish that some of the permissively licensed projects would temporarily add a "no copyleft" clause to their licenses just to make the point. Can you imagine the shock, horror, and outrage which would be elicited if permissively licensed projects ever decided that turnabout was fair play?

The cries of "It's not fair!" would be deafening, and you know it.

Edit: I should probably clarify that I am generally favorable to copyleft licenses, including GPLv2 and even GPLv3. But to ignore the fact that restrictive licenses like GPLv[23] are not good team players with the greater FOSS community is deceptive and counterproductive. GPLv[23] are good licenses for many use cases *despite* their warts. But they do *have* the warts.

Edited 2007-10-02 17:42

Reply Score: 1

RE BSD license.
by Valhalla on Tue 2nd Oct 2007 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE BSD license."
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

the problem with permissive licences not being able to incorporate GPL licenced code is due to the basic rights that define the whole copyleft licence, which is to give rights to the recipient, for example the right to recieve the sourcecode.

since permissive licences does not require these rights to be given to the recipient, they cannot adopt GPL licenced code.

so please sbergman, explain to me how you can be favourable to copyleft and yet complain about the licence incompability that prevents permissive licences to use GPL licenced code? it is a direct consequence of the rights that GPL gives recipients, which in turn is what GPL was created for.

so sbergman, how would you solve this?

sbergman27 wrote:
"I really wish that some of the permissively licensed projects would temporarily add a "no copyleft" clause to their licenses just to make the point."

and what point would that be? that we are NOT permissively licenced? that it is ok to use our code in closed source projects but not in open source projects that use GPL? I fail to see the logic other than to punish GPL as a competitor in the open source licence space.


I personally think that GPL-style licences are better suited for applications and that system oriented code such as drivers etc are better when permissively licenced so as to easily be incorporated into all open source kernels with a minimum of fuss, but that is my personal preference, and it is still at the discretion of the code author. whatever licence he/she chooses is up to them and I don't see no reason why I should second guess their reasoning. but you on the other hand, try to blame FSF for what is ultimately the choice of said code author, again your anti-FSF fervor shines through.

Reply Score: 2

RE BSD license.
by pinky on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE BSD license."
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

In some later post you write this:

>The above quoted line is an example of the lack of respect for others which I see too often in posts by overly-enthusiastic FSF supporters/

And i have to read things like "FSF doublespeak. For an organization which claims to take the moral high ground, they play the doublespeak game to a level which rivals the large multinationals."

Sorry but such statements are disrespectful too. So please practice what you preach.

Now to the topic:

>No. I mean that if you are a GPLv3 project you can take code from, say, an Apache project without changing your license. But if you are an Apache project, you cannot incorporate the GPL'd project's changes to your code back into your code without changing your license.

You don't have to change your license only the license of the whole will be GPL.

But again whether you do it or not is neither a technical nor a legal barrier it's i only a personal question.

Lets make it concrete (BSDL project wants to uses GPL code):

We agree that both licenses are Free Software licenses the basic difference is that GPL requests that the software stays free while the BSD says "do what you want".

Now a BSDL project want to use a GPL module. They can use it. There is absolutely no technical or legal barrier which stops the project.
They can use the GPL module and their code can be BSDL. Sure the complete work would be GPL because you are using parts which say that it's not only free but it also wants to stay free. But this has no effect on the BSDL code. Everyone who gets the program can use all the BSDL code under the terms of the BSDL.

The other way around is basically the same. If a GPL project wants to use a BSDL module the BSDL module will always be BSDL. So everyone who will get a copy of the program can use the BSDL part under the terms of the BSDL.

So what's stops BSD code to use GPL code? It's not the GPL who stops them and it's not any legal or technical barrier. It's is only the opinion of the author who wants a 100% BSDL program. So the only one who stops the BSD project is the BSD project by itself.

This is also exactly the same problem for authors of GPL projects who want a 100% GPL project. This author would probably refuse to use BSDL code. But than again this wouldn't be a compatibility, legal or technical problem but only a personal problem/decision.

You can combine BSDL code with GPL code and you can combine GPL code with BSDL code and in both cases every code would keep its license.

Reply Score: 2

RE: bsd license
by Soulbender on Mon 1st Oct 2007 08:34 UTC in reply to "bsd license"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

but without it you wont get the MOTIVATION of alot of people who want to see their "free" code in programs that benefit humanity


The people who work on Apache, Perl, Python, X.org etc does not seem to lack motivation.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: ...
by Downix on Sun 30th Sep 2007 12:26 UTC
Downix
Member since:
2007-08-21

> In theory yes, in practive, try to go naked on the street and see how free you are..

I dunno, those guys in Battleboro Vermont don't seem to have this problem.

Reply Score: 1

gpl
by zhulien on Sun 30th Sep 2007 14:10 UTC
zhulien
Member since:
2006-12-06

for someone who just wants a no-fuss making available for any purpose their sourcecode, the GPL, is just too hard.

Reply Score: 2

RE: non-issue
by DrillSgt on Sun 30th Sep 2007 15:46 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

Thanks for modding me down. I forgot that by having a different opinion than yours and stating facts was against the rules.

Reply Score: 5

RE: RE: non-issue
by trenchsol on Mon 1st Oct 2007 10:55 UTC in reply to " RE: non-issue"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Don't worry. Sometimes, having certain kind of people as opponents is an indication that you are on the right track.

Reply Score: 4