Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Jun 2012 23:56 UTC, submitted by Modafinil
GNU, GPL, Open Source "The Samba Team and seven kernel hackers have come together with Software Freedom Conservancy to help efforts to ensure compliance with the GPL by those who implement Linux and other GPL software. Richard Hillesley talked to Bradley Kuhn of Software Freedom Conservancy, Jeremy Allison of Samba, and Matthew Garrett, who works in his spare time with the GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers."
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LOL
by WorknMan on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 02:03 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Matthew Garrett's rationale for getting involved is that "compliance isn't about punishing companies. It's about encouraging them to fulfil their licence obligations"


I'm sure the FSA would say the same thing. How much longer before companies start getting raided by the GPL police.

Before you hit the thumbs down button, I'm not picking on the GPL folks here. That being said, I don't want to give validity to the GPL license because by respecting that license, you also by extension give validity to every other software license in existence, including the ones that demand you pay a fee for every machine you install the software on. Picking and choosing which licenses you will respect is a bit hypocritical to me, because whether a license is 'good' or 'bad' depends on which vantage point you are looking at it from.

From my point of view, once you put anything digital out in the wild, you are basically putting it in the public domain and don't have a claim as to who can copy/run it and when/where, unless you can enforce such a thing using technological means. In other words, my current line of thinking states that NO software licenses are valid, including the GPL. I don't disagree that the folks who made the GPL had good intentions, but it's just dumb to expect end users to follow a certain set of rules, when there's nothing inherent in the technology that dictates they have to follow those rules. Imagine if you came across a piece of software that said you could only use the software every other Tuesday, and only from a squatting position? Who's going to follow that, and how is it that we arbitrarily decide which parts of a license we will follow and which ones we won't?

Edited 2012-06-02 02:06 UTC

Reply Score: -3

RE: LOL
by TechGeek on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 02:16 in reply to "LOL"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

wow. First off, the GPL is not a software license. It has absolutely nothing to say about how or where you use the software, or how many machines you install it on. It is simply a copyright license, detailing what you must do to distribute (not create) copies to third parties. If you discount it, then you basically wipe out all copyright, whether digital or physical.

You reasoning is a bit odd. You claim since some licenses are bad and some are good, we should so away with them all. Thats anarchy. Now if you are advocating anarchy then fine. But its not a reasonable or realistic view to take of the world. Even the worst third world crap holes have some rules.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: LOL
by ssokolow on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 02:37 in reply to "RE: LOL"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

wow. First off, the GPL is not a software license. It has absolutely nothing to say about how or where you use the software, or how many machines you install it on. It is simply a copyright license, detailing what you must do to distribute (not create) copies to third parties. If you discount it, then you basically wipe out all copyright, whether digital or physical.


Agreed. I've always found it strange that so many Windows installers give the GPL the same presentation as a EULA when they have about as much in common as an elephant and a gecko.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: LOL
by Kroc on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 07:55 in reply to "RE: LOL"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

If you discount it, then you basically wipe out all copyright, whether digital or physical.


That might very well be OP’s point. As far as I understand it, he is saying that any digital restriction is meaningless without enforcement.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: LOL
by WorknMan on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 08:22 in reply to "RE: LOL"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

wow. First off, the GPL is not a software license.


Really? According to the Wikipedia article on the GPL:

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

The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is the most widely used free software license. It was originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU Project.

It is a software license... equally as valid (or invalid) as every other software license on the planet.

It has absolutely nothing to say about how or where you use the software, or how many machines you install it on.


On the contrary, it has plenty to say about these matters. It basically says you can run it wherever you want and install it on as many machines as you want. Just because it is much less restrictive than most other software licenses doesn't change what it is.

If you discount it, then you basically wipe out all copyright, whether digital or physical.


For digital, yes. But physical objects don't apply, because most of them are not copyable. But when (not if) somebody creates a Star Trek-style replicator and you can clone a loaf of bread and infinite amount of times, are we then going to set up laws that says people can't copy a loaf of bread? I am simply pointing out the lunacy of trying to use the legal system to prevent people from copying something that is infinitely copyable. Mind you, I'm speaking on pragmatic terms, not trying to give some sort of moral justification for piracy.

You reasoning is a bit odd. You claim since some licenses are bad and some are good, we should so away with them all. Thats anarchy. Now if you are advocating anarchy then fine. But its not a reasonable or realistic view to take of the world. Even the worst third world crap holes have some rules.


What I am saying is that if we accept one type of software license, we must by extension accept them ALL. As long as we're allowing developers to make the rules, we can't say that some developers are allowed to dictate the terms by wich their software can be used and/or distributed and some aren't allowed to do this, just because some developers set up terms that are more restrictive than you would like. Thus I think it is logical to not allow developers to make the rules anymore, since most of their rules end up being detrimental to end-users anyway. In essence, we've set up a system where developers have 100% of the control, and it ain't right. It's like being sold a car, and then being told where you're allowed to drive it. Sure, some dealers may be less restrictive about this than others, and some might even say 'drive it wherever the hell you want.' I'd just assume not let dealers make these decisions in the first place.

Edited 2012-06-02 08:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: LOL
by Vanders on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 12:25 in reply to "RE: LOL"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

First off, the GPL is not a software license.

It very definitely is, then. What it is not is an End User License Agreement (EULA).

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: LOL
by Gone fishing on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 08:00 in reply to "LOL"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Personally I try to take the opposite approach and try to respect all licenses.It seems to me that the producer of software has a right to determine its license, if the software has an offensive license or EULA then I try not to use that software (although an EULA and Copyright licenses are not equivalent).

This is one of the reasons I choose free software, if more people did this rather than pirating software more people would use free software. The likes of Microsoft know this, which is why they tolerate limited piracy, especially in the developing economies.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: LOL
by ssokolow on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 09:52 in reply to "RE: LOL"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Personally I try to take the opposite approach and try to respect all licenses.It seems to me that the producer of software has a right to determine its license, if the software has an offensive license or EULA then I try not to use that software (although an EULA and Copyright licenses are not equivalent).

This is one of the reasons I choose free software, if more people did this rather than pirating software more people would use free software. The likes of Microsoft know this, which is why they tolerate limited piracy, especially in the developing economies.


Agreed. I do the same. In fact, I go far enough that the only closed-source non-games on my system are Opera (for testing sites I write), Flash (Gnash isn't quite there yet), my nVidia drivers, Skype (normally left turned off), and my BIOS. (I've been lazy. I'll probably specifically source motherboards that'll work with CoreBoot once my only other option is UEFI.)

(Games get a pass as long as they're DRM-free and I didn't pirate them because I have yet to see sufficient evidence for open-source development being able to produce "disposable code" like games where they can't start small and just refine it over the course of a decade.)

Back before I switched to Lubuntu for lack of time, I was on Gentoo using Portage 2.2 alphas and my system was configured so Portage only allowed libre-licensed packages without prompting me to whitelist the licenses individually. (You'd be surprised how many fonts and other supplementary files have little clauses that make them freely-redistributable and freely-usable but not free)

Edited 2012-06-02 09:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3