Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Nov 2017 11:50 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes

Andrew S. Tanenbaum, creator of MINIX, has published an open letter to Intel regarding Intel's use of MINIX in the IME:

The only thing that would have been nice is that after the project had been finished and the chip deployed, that someone from Intel would have told me, just as a courtesy, that MINIX 3 was now probably the most widely used operating system in the world on x86 computers. That certainly wasn't required in any way, but I think it would have been polite to give me a heads up, that's all.

If nothing else, this bit of news reaffirms my view that the Berkeley license provides the maximum amount of freedom to potential users. If they want to publicize what they have done, fine. By all means, do so. If there are good reasons not to release the modified code, that's fine with me, too.

I can still barely believe this whole story.

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freedom
by Serafean on Tue 7th Nov 2017 12:27 UTC
Serafean
Member since:
2013-01-08

"Berkeley license provides the maximum amount of freedom to potential users" While that may be true, it does nothing to protect freedoms transitively (Intel's users in this case). As we can see with this story, the end result was a reduction of the end user's freedom to use/trust his computing device.

Reply Score: 14

RE: freedom
by The123king on Tue 7th Nov 2017 13:53 in reply to "freedom"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

And? One of the biggest problems with the GPL is that it requires source code changes to be published. And it tends to "infect" projects that rely on other projects licensed under the GPL. This is one of the reasons Linux lacks decent proprietary device drivers (as drivers are goods at exposing hardware designs, allowing competitiors to steal your trade secrets).

I believe if you want true software freedom, the MIT/BSD licenses are the way to go. Freedom implies no restrictions. Therefore IMHO the GPL is not a free software license

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: freedom
by Vanders on Tue 7th Nov 2017 14:08 in reply to "RE: freedom"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

drivers are goods at exposing hardware designs, allowing competitiors to steal your trade secrets

This is a ridiculous argument and it remains ridiculous.

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: freedom
by Kochise on Tue 7th Nov 2017 15:52 in reply to "RE: freedom"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

OK for MIT/BSD, but BERKLEY (like chosen by Minix) is good too. I personally favor the ZLIB. And it's normal people investing money into a technology wants to keep a little lead.

GPL are only defending their conception of freedom to benefit from proprietary work. Where are the GPL cpus, the GPL gpus, the GPL gsms and so on ? Software is one thing, hardware is another.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: freedom
by sj87 on Tue 7th Nov 2017 15:57 in reply to "RE: freedom"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

And? One of the biggest problems with the GPL is that it requires source code changes to be published. And it tends to "infect" projects that rely on other projects licensed under the GPL.

They wouldn't be proprietary if they were licensed under GPL... In most cases, however, the reason seems to be general hostility towards openness and fair play. It is hard to imagine e.g. generic printer drivers would expose any kind of trade secrets.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: freedom
by ssokolow on Tue 7th Nov 2017 16:00 in reply to "RE: freedom"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Your use of the word "infect" makes it clear that you've bought into Microsoft's old "viral license" smear campaign.

It makes more sense to say that the GPL is a "hereditary license". Projects "inherit" the license from their ancestors and dependencies they choose. It doesn't magically go out and "infect" unsuspecting passers-by.

If you don't want to GPL your project, don't use GPLed code ...and don't whine because you think you're entitled to use my code without "living up to the terms of the contract" I offer. It would have been at least as easy for me to go the All Rights Reserved route.

Edited 2017-11-07 16:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 12

RE[2]: freedom
by Serafean on Tue 7th Nov 2017 16:57 in reply to "RE: freedom"
Serafean Member since:
2013-01-08

The GPL only requires you to distribute your code along with the binaries. Doesn't have to be published. But I admit this is a strawman-ish argumen.

"I believe if you want true software freedom, the MIT/BSD licenses are the way to go."
Now this is where the real discussion begins:
From a purely code perspective, I agree with you. "Here is the code, do as you wish with it" is about the most liberal you can get. Yet it also implies that this code is subject to modifications which will never see the light of day (outside of the author's company) in source form.

What about the end user's freedom to use the product as they wish? Take the IME. Google, Purism (the first companies that come to mind) and many other individuals spend many hours on figuring out
a) what the IME actually does.
b) How it does what it does
c) How to strip parts that I don't need/find dangerous.

I personally want my light switches + bulbs to turn on when I deem it necessary, not when the vendor thinks it is best for me. Sorry for the non-car analogy...

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: freedom
by james_gnz on Wed 8th Nov 2017 07:24 in reply to "RE: freedom"
james_gnz Member since:
2006-02-16

I believe if you want true software freedom, the MIT/BSD licenses are the way to go. Freedom implies no restrictions. Therefore IMHO the GPL is not a free software license


Freedom implies no restrictions beyond those required to uphold others' rights. Being free doesn't mean you're free to restrict other peoples' freedom.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: freedom
by Alfman on Tue 7th Nov 2017 16:15 in reply to "freedom"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Serafean,

"Berkeley license provides the maximum amount of freedom to potential users" While that may be true, it does nothing to protect freedoms transitively (Intel's users in this case). As we can see with this story, the end result was a reduction of the end user's freedom to use/trust his computing device.


This is very insightful. While beneficial to Intel, it can be less friendly towards end users who have fewer rights than if it had been something like GPL.

In this case though Intel was probably window shopping for a license that gave it all the rights. If MINIX were GPL, they'd have chosen something else.

Reply Parent Score: 7