Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Nov 2006 23:05 UTC, submitted by SEJeff
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Mark Shuttleworth is trying to entice OpenSUSE developers to join Ubuntu. "Novell's decision to go to great lengths to circumvent the patent framework clearly articulated in the GPL has sent shockwaves through the community. If you are an OpenSUSE developer who is concerned about the long term consequences of this pact, you may be interested in some of the events happening next week as part of the Ubuntu Open Week."
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GPL software users
by david g on Sat 25th Nov 2006 10:06 UTC
david g
Member since:
2005-07-08

It's also important to remember that a GPL software user *can not* violate the GPL. If the user chooses to link in pirated, proprietary, patent-laden software from hell, the GPL has nothing to say about it. This is not a loophole - this is the spirit of the license to a tee.

Reply Score: 1

RE: GPL software users
by drynwhyl on Sat 25th Nov 2006 10:36 in reply to "GPL software users"
drynwhyl Member since:
2006-05-14

> If the user chooses to link in pirated, proprietary,
> patent-laden software from hell, the GPL has nothing to
> say about it.

Of course it hasn't.

The developers (Nvidia) or the redistributor (Ubuntu) would just act illegally if they distribute the wrapper under the GPL when it needs this binary blob to work.

This is the same reason Jörg Schillings cdrecord was thrown out of debian, for violating the GPL: because his GPL work, cdrecord, needs an additional non-GPL package to build, which isnt some essential system library.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: GPL software users
by david g on Sat 25th Nov 2006 11:03 in reply to "RE: GPL software users"
david g Member since:
2005-07-08

Just to be clear:

1) My point only addressed users, not developers (or anyone that would distribute the result).
2) I'm not arguing either side of the Ubuntu-Nvidia situation, just making a general observation that might add to the discussion.

"This is the same reason Jörg Schillings cdrecord was thrown out of debian, for violating the GPL"

I'm not familiar with this event, so could you please give some references? Your description doesn't sound like a GPL violation per se, but Debian often adopts a stricter definition of "free". At the very least, Debian isn't going to be very interested in shipping a program they can't reasonably (meaning, consistent with their principles) provide to the user as a whole.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: GPL software users
by dylansmrjones on Sat 25th Nov 2006 15:13 in reply to "RE: GPL software users"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

[i]The developers (Nvidia) or the redistributor (Ubuntu) would just act illegally if they distribute the wrapper under the GPL when it needs this binary blob to work.[i/]

Wrong. It's perfectly legal to distribute GPL'ed sources linked to non-GPL'ed sources. It is however not legal to distribute proprietary packages linked to GPL'ed packages.

But GPL can always link to non-GPL. However, non-GPL becomes GPL when linked to GPL. That's also why you can distribute the nVidia-drivers. If distributing the nVidia-driver was truly a GPL-violation FSF would have attacked nVidia long ago.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: GPL software users
by dylansmrjones on Sat 25th Nov 2006 18:30 in reply to "RE: GPL software users"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02


This is the same reason Jörg Schillings cdrecord was thrown out of debian, for violating the GPL: because his GPL work, cdrecord, needs an additional non-GPL package to build, which isnt some essential system library.


Nope, this is factual somewhat incorrect. cdrecord was not removed because it needed a non-GPL package. It was removed because Jörg Schilling changed the license of cdrecord from GPL to CDDL, while other parts of cdrtools stayed under the GPL. This resulted in CDDL-packages to link against GPL-packages - and that is a violation. Having GPL to link against non-GPL is however perfectly legal, unless the non-GPL license state otherwise (depending on copyright laws).

At least, that's what is stated here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cdrkit
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cdrtools

Reply Parent Score: 5