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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RE: freedom
by The123king on Tue 7th Nov 2017 13:53 UTC 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[3]: freedom
by The123king on Tue 7th Nov 2017 16:01 in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

+Companies producing open-source drivers would have to negotiate patents, 3rd party code, general code ownership (even when 1st party) and potential exposure of trade secrets. proprietary code negates these issues. Another issue is the cost of producing clean-room engineered drivers lacking patented code and ownership issues is quite expensive, relative to proprietary drivers. This is added cost for very little benefit when you take into account the limited market share of open-source operating systems. Hence, 1st party open source drivers are almost non-existent.

So can you provide a reasonable argument refuting my claims, or are you going to resort to "ZOMGZORS UR TALKING BOLLOCKS AND UR FACE IS UGLY AND U SMELL!!!"

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: freedom
by tanishaj on Thu 9th Nov 2017 00:55 in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

This is a ridiculous argument and it remains ridiculous.


Any argument that assumes as a fact that closed source in a for-fee product is wrong is ridiculous.

Any Open Source license that allows code to be used in a Close Source product provides a freedom to the maker of that product. That freedom is a good thing.

If the provider of a product chooses to make the code for their product available to others, that is also a good thing.

It does not follow that providing a product that does not provide access to the source code is a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with it. The potential users are free to use or not use the software based on that attribute just as they are free to choose software based on a number of other factors.

There is no difference, ethically, between a company writing it's own software and keeping the source closed than there is in using an Open Source license and keeping it closed. Insisting it is, without citing compelling reasons, is a ridiculous argument that remains ridiculous.

Free Software ( a la GPL ) is a different beast in terms of obligations. Again, it is up to the original author how they want to interact with the world.

For most things, I prefer Open Source to Free Software.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: freedom
by cb88 on Thu 9th Nov 2017 17:46 in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

That is because it isn't a legitimate argument... its a cop out.

Reply Parent Score: 3

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[3]: freedom
by demetrioussharpe on Wed 8th Nov 2017 02:20 in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

OK for MIT/BSD, but BERKLEY (like chosen by Minix) is good too.


You do realize that the "B" in BSD stands for Berkley, right? Minix 3 uses the BSD license.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: freedom
by zima on Wed 8th Nov 2017 15:33 in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Where are the GPL cpus

There are always Opencores... IIRC, ESA uses one family of them in their spaceships.

Reply Parent Score: 3

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[3]: freedom
by tylerdurden on Tue 7th Nov 2017 16:24 in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Yeah, it's fascinating how that talking point (the infection) has gotten such high mileage. Especially since the license refers to code, there's nothing in the GPL forbidding you to make your own code and release it under your own license, it's just that you have to provide the GPLd code you got elsewhere.

Reply Parent Score: 6

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[3]: freedom
by przemo_li on Wed 8th Nov 2017 12:58 in reply to "RE[2]: freedom"
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Not even that.

GPL requires that You make source code available with possible payment covering costs of making them available to USER of your software.

So GPL internal tools can stay inhouse.

And why AGPL was introduced for websites.

Reply Parent Score: 3

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