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'[OT] OSS (was: USB Resources.)'
2005\12\16@201835 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/16/05, Danny Sauer <spam_OUTpiclistTakeThisOuTspamdannysauer.com> wrote:
> Olin wrote regarding 'Re: [PIC] USB Resources.' on Thu, Dec 15 at 11:15:
> > Yeah, I agree that open source is way overrated.
> [...]
> > For stuff I use to get my job done, I'd rather pay for working
> > software.
>
> The software distribution model has jack crap to do with quality.  I
> think you know that.  However, as a developer and user of open-sourced
> software which works, I take offense at the implication that the only
> way one can get working software is to pay for it.  That said, The
> zealots who claim OSS is always better are just as wrong as the fools
> who think that high costs automatically gives better solutions.  Both
> have some shining examples of turds which people inexplicably continue
> to buy based soly on cost (or perceived lack therof).

It is better to drop the [PIC] tag.

I agree with your judgement.

To small software/hardware vendors, open source is really a bad idea.
For example,
if Olin opens his ProProg design and firmware (he opens the host
software only), it is very hard to earn any money any more.

If HiTech opens up their PICC code and IAR opens their C compilers
code, how can they survive? On the other hand, open source alternatives
like SDCC and AVR-GCC make them work harder to bring values to
their customers.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\16@214249 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
"Xiaofan Chen" wrote:
> To small software/hardware vendors, open source is really a bad idea.
> For example,
> if Olin opens his ProProg design and firmware (he opens the host
> software only), it is very hard to earn any money any more.

I think it should be emphasized that releasing the source code for the host
software often makes good business sense, especially for the small hardware
vendor. Even if users choose not to extend the software, it gives them the
confidence needed to write their own -- I've seen it happen many times over.

Best regards,

Vitaliy

2005\12\17@000138 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Xiaofan wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] OSS (was: USB Resources.)' on Fri,
Dec 16 at 19:24:
> To small software/hardware vendors, open source is really a bad
> idea.  For example, if Olin opens his ProProg design and firmware
> (he opens the host software only), it is very hard to earn any money
> any more.

Well, that depends on the business model.  First, it's entirely
possible to build a succesful business around supporting software
whose source is available.  Some markets have a lot more money in
support than they do in licensing fees.

Second, merely making the source code available is not the same thing
as releasing code into the public domain.  There are copyright laws
that apply in several areas.  I know I've had to sign NDAs to get
source code for some software systems, and there are a whole bunch of
licenses available for products whose source is openly available which
protect the owner from others redistributing the source.  That kinda
becomes less than open source, but none the less, prohibiting the
distribution of binaries or modified versions of the code is still
quite possible.  It's not like it's any more effective to include a
EULA on programs distributed in binary form - I'll bet almost every
person on this board knows someone who's running or has run a copy of
Windows which wasn't fully legit - and the source for Windows isn't
(legally) publically available.

Basically, distributing in binary only form is just barely above the
idea of security through obscurity.  It works to prevent the lazy from
doing anything, but all one has to do is visit
http://astalavista.box.sk/ (warning! probably contains ads that are
generally not safe for work!) and one can find a crack/hack for almost
any program distributed with license keys, etc.  People can still get
around licensing fees if they want, and it's just as illegal as
violating an agreement on source code distribution.  It simply
requires a different way of thinking - and a different way of thinking
may well not work out in every area, so I don't see opening source as
something which will overtake binary distribution anytime soon.  But
it's far from impossible. :)

--Danny

2005\12\17@030426 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/17/05, Danny Sauer <.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@dannysauer.com> wrote:
> Xiaofan wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] OSS (was: USB Resources.)' on Fri,
> Dec 16 at 19:24:
> > To small software/hardware vendors, open source is really a bad
> > idea.  For example, if Olin opens his ProProg design and firmware
> > (he opens the host software only), it is very hard to earn any money
> > any more.
>
> Well, that depends on the business model.  First, it's entirely
> possible to build a succesful business around supporting software
> whose source is available.  Some markets have a lot more money in
> support than they do in licensing fees.

I am talking about small software vendors. To earn money by
support, the software needs to be quite complicated (Linux is
very complicated, even only the USB subsystem from my read
of linux-usb list).

> Second, merely making the source code available is not the same thing
> as releasing code into the public domain.  There are copyright laws
> that apply in several areas.  I know I've had to sign NDAs to get
> source code for some software systems, and there are a whole bunch of
> licenses available for products whose source is openly available which
> protect the owner from others redistributing the source.  That kinda
> becomes less than open source, but none the less, prohibiting the
> distribution of binaries or modified versions of the code is still
> quite possible.

You also agree that this is not open source thus not in the picture
of this discussion.

> Basically, distributing in binary only form is just barely above the
> idea of security through obscurity.  It works to prevent the lazy from
> doing anything,

Not the lazy but people who respect the law.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\17@033411 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Dec 17, 2005, at 12:04 AM, Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> To earn money by support, the software needs to be quite complicated

Well, not really.  To earn money by support, your customers have to
be big enough to be willing to pay for support...  PERHAPS the more
complicated the software is, the smaller that size is.  But if a good
part of your market is hobbyists and very small companies anxious to
only spend a couple hundred bucks ONCE, support is unlikely to be an
attractive option...

BillW

2005\12\17@082628 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> To small software/hardware vendors, open source is really a bad
> idea.  For example, if Olin opens his ProProg design and firmware
> (he opens the host software only), it is very hard to earn any money
> any more.

Blanket statements are (almost) always wrong.

My Wisp628 host software and firmware are open, but I think this
benefits me. There is third-party host software, error fixes and
improvements in both host software and firmware are contrinuted, etc.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\12\17@101736 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Xiaofan wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] OSS (was: USB Resources.)' on Sat, Dec 17 at 02:07:
> On 12/17/05, Danny Sauer <piclistspamKILLspamdannysauer.com> wrote:
> >
> I am talking about small software vendors. To earn money by
> support, the software needs to be quite complicated (Linux is
> very complicated, even only the USB subsystem from my read
> of linux-usb list).

If the software is sufficiently complicated to pay for rather than
developing in-house, then it's sufficiently compliacted to justify
support.  Note that upgrades and modifications are also "support", not
just help desk use.

> > Basically, distributing in binary only form is just barely above the
> > idea of security through obscurity.  It works to prevent the lazy from
> > doing anything,
>
> Not the lazy but people who respect the law.

If everyone respects the law, including copyright and whatever license
is placed on source code, then how does making source available damage
the developer?  Say the license prohibits redistribution of any
changes made, and requires payment for commercial use.  How is that
any worse than binary distribution?  As far as I can tell, the only
difference in that case is that people are locked in to the original
vendor if they need any kind of support (upgrades, etc).  The bigger
reason for binary distribution, IMHO, is to prevent piracy and ensure
future support revenue.  If you don't believe support matters, then
piracy is the only reason, and presuming that your customers are
pirates is not a real good way to do business. :)

--Danny

2005\12\17@144233 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/17/05, Wouter van Ooijen <.....wouterKILLspamspam.....voti.nl> wrote:
> > To small software/hardware vendors, open source is really a bad
> > idea.  For example, if Olin opens his ProProg design and firmware
> > (he opens the host software only), it is very hard to earn any money
> > any more.
>
> Blanket statements are (almost) always wrong.
>
> My Wisp628 host software and firmware are open, but I think this
> benefits me. There is third-party host software, error fixes and
> improvements in both host software and firmware are contrinuted, etc.
>
> Wouter van Ooijen

Maybe you are right and I'd better put all my statements with some
reservations or put IMHO after them.

Still Wisp628 is not totally open --> you have set limit on the PCB design
and you need to earn money from the sale of the hardware. And it may
benefit you but will harm others.

Now PICkit 2 is doing a similar thing --> it will hurt third-party
vendors once the chip supports build up. Microchip can afford not to
earn much money from PICkit 2 since they earn money
from chips sale but small vendors may not be able to do that. They
can even give free C18 and C30 (now almost free) but other compiler
vendors will suffer. I am not so sure if that is a good thing or not.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\17@151041 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Maybe you are right and I'd better put all my statements with some
> reservations or put IMHO after them.

IMHO is not the point, reservations about scope is. Giving things away
can be a very sensible marketing strategy.

> Still Wisp628 is not totally open

The term 'open' has a wide range of meanings - the wisp host software,
firmware and circuit design are all 'open' for various values of 'open'
:)

> you have set limit on the PCB design

Indeed. Most values of 'open' have some limits. Some would say that the
GPL is the most limited of all (in some sense it is).

> And it may benefit you but will harm others.

This I don't understand, or maybe you just mean that I can harm others
by doing perfectly legal things? Of course.

> Now PICkit 2 is doing a similar thing --> it will hurt third-party
> vendors once the chip supports build up. Microchip can afford not to
> earn much money from PICkit 2 since they earn money
> from chips sale but small vendors may not be able to do that.

But once PICkit2 supports all PICs small vendors like me can concentrate
on other things like high-end programmers and gang programmers.
Personally I would probably concentrate on target boards. As a vendor
you can't be lazy.

> They
> can even give free C18 and C30 (now almost free) but other compiler
> vendors will suffer. I am not so sure if that is a good thing or not.

Neither am I, but I am sure that it is their good right to do so.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\12\17@154957 by olin piclist

face picon face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>> Now PICkit 2 is doing a similar thing --> it will hurt third-party
>> vendors once the chip supports build up. Microchip can afford not to
>> earn much money from PICkit 2 since they earn money
>> from chips sale but small vendors may not be able to do that.
>
> But once PICkit2 supports all PICs small vendors like me can concentrate
> on other things like high-end programmers and gang programmers.
> Personally I would probably concentrate on target boards. As a vendor
> you can't be lazy.

The PICKit2 is also not a very robust circuit.  I don't remember the
details, but I looked at it a while ago and wasn't that impressed.  It's
also really a development board which can be used as a programmer.  Of
course this doesn't make it less of a programmer, but it does make it
klunky.  I think there is room for a good and solid USB programmer.
Unfortunately with Microchip selling a quick and dirty version for a low
price it makes it difficult to compete with a better programmer.

But I'm experimenting with that concept now anyway.  I'll get the first
boards back next week and am working on the BOM and ordering parts for the
first 3 prototypes right now.  This programmer (tentatively called the
EasyUSB) will have full variable Vpp and Vdd plus decent PGC and PGD drive
that can be shorted to ground or Vdd indefinitely without damage.  It will
be completely powered from the USB, although I'm adding pads for external 5V
and serial connection which will be useful at least for debugging.  It
should be easy to get the serial working first, then dig into the USB part
on both the PIC and the host.  That may take a few months.

I'm also making the hardware capable of being a debugger.  Unfortunately
that's the easy part.  Making it work in MPLAB as a debugger won't be
trivial, and I'm not sure I'll do it.  For now I'm just making sure the
hardware and firmware are capable and allow dealing with the host side MPLAB
issues later.  If this ever gets done, it should be a very nice alternative
to the ICD2 for probably around 1/4 to 1/3 the cost.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\17@182550 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Dec 17, 2005, at 7:17 AM, Danny Sauer wrote:

> If everyone respects the law, including copyright and whatever license
> is placed on source code, then how does making source available damage
> the developer?

Hmm.  I wonder what has happened to 'closed source' software?  It used
to
be pretty common for computer manufacturers to offer a "source license"
assorted universities and larger customers, thereby resulting in a
steady
influx of new features and "informed" bug fixes...

I guess there's still plenty of licensable source code that is closed,
but
the availability of source for common closed applications and operating
systems seems to be pretty much dried up (?)

Perhaps the OSS movement is a reaction to this; back in the days when
universities used mainframes, it was pretty common for each university
to have their own hacks in the OS (and frequently their own hardware as
well.)  As mainframes went away and were replaced by micros running
(usually) windows, that option went away.  Till linux/etc came along.

BillW

2005\12\18@030648 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/18/05, Wouter van Ooijen <EraseMEwouterspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTvoti.nl> wrote:
> > Maybe you are right and I'd better put all my statements with some
> > reservations or put IMHO after them.
>
> IMHO is not the point, reservations about scope is. Giving things away
> can be a very sensible marketing strategy.

I agree with this and I'd better phrase my statement more accurately later.

{Quote hidden}

I tend to agree that GPL is too limited.

> > And it may benefit you but will harm others.
>
> This I don't understand, or maybe you just mean that I can harm others
> by doing perfectly legal things? Of course.

Sorry I think I phrase my statment wrongly. To me I am not so sure
if this is fair to others in the same business but I know that the
world of business is quite different.

> > Now PICkit 2 is doing a similar thing --> it will hurt third-party
> > vendors once the chip supports build up. Microchip can afford not to
> > earn much money from PICkit 2 since they earn money
> > from chips sale but small vendors may not be able to do that.
>
> But once PICkit2 supports all PICs small vendors like me can concentrate
> on other things like high-end programmers and gang programmers.
> Personally I would probably concentrate on target boards. As a vendor
> you can't be lazy.

I like your proactive attitude.

> > They can even give free C18 and C30 (now almost free) but other compiler
> > vendors will suffer. I am not so sure if that is a good thing or not.
>
> Neither am I, but I am sure that it is their good right to do so.
>

So far most of the OSS movement is in the software world. I am not so
sure if people like to see it in the hardware world. At least I am a bit
scared of a GPLed design of some common circuits or an common
IC. Sorry again I think I can not phrase properly but hopefully people
can understand what I am trying to say.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\18@041149 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> [Olin] The PICKit2 [snip] is
> also really a development board which can be used as a programmer.

I think you are confusing pickit1 and pickit2? 1 is sort of development
PCB, 2 is a programmer with ICSP pinheader connector in a small black
plastic case.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\12\18@043315 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> So far most of the OSS movement is in the software world. I am not so
> sure if people like to see it in the hardware world. At least
> I am a bit
> scared of a GPLed design of some common circuits or an common
> IC. Sorry again I think I can not phrase properly but hopefully people
> can understand what I am trying to say.

1. GPL is an important variant of OSS, but not the only one. BDS for
instance is an important one too, both in code size and in impact (Mac
OS).

2. It is not clear to me (nor AFAIK to RStallman) how GPL would apply to
the hardware world. The concepts of libraries, linking, source,
application etc. are important in the GPL, but have no clear equivalent
in the hardware world.

3. IMHO OSS is just one of the things of a world that is changing, like
the steam engine a few ages ago. It will surely change the world, but
not necessarily for the bad - or for the good, though in this case I
think it will be for the good of the software industry. Think this way:
the industry writes software to earn money. Users want software, and the
are willing to pay for things that are good for them and are not
available for free. OSS mainly shifts this 'frontier' of payed software.
The 'easier' (older) software will get implemented as OSS, so users will
get and use it without paying. The industry can concentrate on more
advanced, interesting, challenging software and earn money with that,
using the OSS software as tools (but not always as components!). Withou
the OSS concept we (users) would forever be paying for PC C compilers,
and we (the industry) would forever be writing them. OSS is (==
enforces) progress!

A year or so ago I was looking for a suitable license for 'free'
embedded libraries. My aim was to have a license that allos all types of
use in (embedded and other) applications, but restrict source
distribution (of that library) to the same license. I think I found it
in the eCos license. It is a kind of wrapper around the GPL, adding the
freedom to freely use the source in an application. I had to modify a
few words to remove the eCos references, and I restricted it to refer to
GPL version 2 only (I don't know what RS will put in a next version).
The result is below, comments are welcome.

============

Embedded Free License version 1

This work is free, in the sense that you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
version 2 as published by the Free Software Foundation.

As a special exception to the GNU General Public License version 2:
if other works instantiate templates or use macros or inline functions
from this work, or you compile this work and link it with other works
to produce a resulting work based on this work, this does not by itself
cause the resulting work to be covered by the GNU General Public
License.
However the source code for this work must still be made available in
accordance with section (3) of the GNU General Public License,
under this Embedded Free License.

This exception does not invalidate any other reasons why a work based on

this file might be covered by the GNU General Public License.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
version 2 along with this work; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301
USA.

This work is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT

ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License
version 2 for more details.

This Embedded Free License is (c) Wouter van Ooijen 2005
(wouterspamspam_OUTvoti.nl).
Unmodified use is allowed. Mofidied use is allowed, but use a different
name.

===============


Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\12\18@071339 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/18/05, Wouter van Ooijen <@spam@wouterKILLspamspamvoti.nl> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Why not LGPL?

2005\12\18@080212 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Why not LGPL?

Do you know LGPL? Probably not, or you would not ask :)

If you combine LGPL-ed source with your own code to create an
executeable for a product that you sell, you are forced to release your
own code under LGPL. For a statically linked image (like for instance
all PIC programs) LGPL is just as contaminating as GPL. The only
difference is with dynamically linked applications.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\12\18@090404 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/18/05, Wouter van Ooijen <RemoveMEwouterTakeThisOuTspamvoti.nl> wrote:
> > Why not LGPL?
>
> Do you know LGPL? Probably not, or you would not ask :)
>
> If you combine LGPL-ed source with your own code to create an
> executeable for a product that you sell, you are forced to release your
> own code under LGPL. For a statically linked image (like for instance
> all PIC programs) LGPL is just as contaminating as GPL. The only
> difference is with dynamically linked applications.
>
> Wouter van Ooijen

Thanks for the explanation. I thought LGPL is quite okay since libusb-win32
is licensed under LGPL and it says that it is okay to be used in commercial
applications.

/********************************************************/
>From libusb-win32 web site:
http://libusb-win32.sourceforge.net/#license
"License
* The library (DLL) is distributed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General
Public License (LGPL).
* All other components (drivers, services, installer) are distributed under the
terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
* This license combination explicitly allows the use of this library
in commercial,
non Open Source applications. Read the licenses carefully and apply
all of their
requirements before including this library in a commercial application!"
/***********************************************/

Do you think libusb-win32 developers are mis-interpreting the LGPL license?

It seems that you know quite a lot of copyright related laws. ;-)
I hope I could have a close relative who is a lawyer. ;-)

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\12\18@093247 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Thanks for the explanation. I thought LGPL is quite okay
> since libusb-win32
> is licensed under LGPL and it says that it is okay to be used
> in commercial applications.

LGPL and GPL code can be used in commercial applications, but that
can have consequences for other code in that application!

> Do you think libusb-win32 developers are mis-interpreting the
> LGPL license?

Did you *link* any of your code *statically* against the libusb-win32? I
don't think so, their code is in a DLL, your code is in your
application. This (and Unix-style dynamically linked libararies (DLL!))
are exactly the (IMO only) circumstances where LGPL and GPL differ and
where LGPL does not contaminate your (dynamically) code.

> It seems that you know quite a lot of copyright related laws. ;-)

I had to, when I created Jal I wanted to know what it meant to release
code under various licenses. I still got it wrong: I intended the Jal
libraries to be used freely in applications, but released them under
LGPL. That still has to be corrected.

> I hope I could have a close relative who is a lawyer. ;-)

My father-in-law is a patent attorney. I am not so fond of software
patents, so I have interesting discussions with him.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\12\18@110917 by olin piclist

face picon face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> I think you are confusing pickit1 and pickit2?

Yes, I was.

******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\18@153353 by Peter

picon face

On Sat, 17 Dec 2005, William Chops Westfield wrote:

> Hmm.  I wonder what has happened to 'closed source' software?  It used to
> be pretty common for computer manufacturers to offer a "source license"
> assorted universities and larger customers, thereby resulting in a steady
> influx of new features and "informed" bug fixes...
>
> I guess there's still plenty of licensable source code that is closed, but
> the availability of source for common closed applications and operating
> systems seems to be pretty much dried up (?)
>
> Perhaps the OSS movement is a reaction to this; back in the days when
> universities used mainframes, it was pretty common for each university
> to have their own hacks in the OS (and frequently their own hardware as
> well.)  As mainframes went away and were replaced by micros running
> (usually) windows, that option went away.  Till linux/etc came along.

Actually the way I see it, from analyzing what I know about the birth of
OSS, it was caused by the revocation of the reasonable 'source access'
license to the *nix OS codebase, at a time when several dozens of
universities had contributed millions of lines of code in application
and system software to the system, for more than ten years. The closure
of the access to *nix source effectively left these universities and
their graduate students high and dry, basically overnight (imagine
leaving 10 years worth of mech. eng students all over the world without
graphite for pencils by levying a heavy tax on graphite - how many
minutes would it take them to come up with a replacement ?). The OSS
movement was a reaction to this imho.

Peter

2005\12\18@155658 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Actually the way I see it, from analyzing what I know about
> the birth of
> OSS, it was caused by the revocation of the reasonable
> 'source access'
> license to the *nix OS codebase

I don't know what you recognise as the birth of the OSS, but Stallmans'
book does not give much link to *nix. IIRC the non-availability of some
printer driver is what pissed him off enough to start his own 'little'
crusade.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\12\18@163639 by Peter

picon face

On Sun, 18 Dec 2005, Xiaofan Chen wrote:

>> Indeed. Most values of 'open' have some limits. Some would say that the
>> GPL is the most limited of all (in some sense it is).
>
> I tend to agree that GPL is too limited.

The GPL was conceived for the specific purpose of preventing pigopolists
and fraudsters from taking code placed deliberately by its authors 'in
the public domain', integrating it into their products, and then selling
them as original works. The GPL is extremely good at doing this in it
wording, and the teeth-gnashing heard from pigopolists when referring to
it confirms its efficiency in keeping their greedy paws off of
enforcedly open source software. It will become even better soon, as
there are vendors who use Linux in their devices and refuse to comply
with the GPL with regards to their code.

It's a free world. You can use another license for your products. The
LGPL for example, and many others. But if you do not have so much clout,
financially and legally, and would not like to see your best product
copied and multiplied by some company that could disembowel you with a
glance, and swallow your life's achievement in about 5 minutes, do
consider the GPL as a safe haven for your codebase and intellectual
property.

> So far most of the OSS movement is in the software world. I am not so
> sure if people like to see it in the hardware world. At least I am a bit
> scared of a GPLed design of some common circuits or an common
> IC. Sorry again I think I can not phrase properly but hopefully people
> can understand what I am trying to say.

No I do not. Are you suggesting that someone should own the patent on a
bipolar transistor in 2005 ? Maybe on a flipflop ? On combinations of up
to 100 gates ? (covers most MSI integrated circuits). That you should
pay someone royalties when using a Schmitt circuit ?

The way progress works is, things are invented as a result of hard work,
patented, embodied into products, and money is made. After 20-odd years
the patents expire and the patented knowledge becomes public domain.
This is the way progress works. This means that almost everything that
is older than 20 years is essentially PD. It also means that if you come
up with something *new* and good you have 20 years to get rich on it.
Given the current turnover rate in engineering technology that should
not be a problem, everyting else being right.

All the modern schemes of 'prolonging' patents using various legal
shenanigans are frauds in this view.

As to PD 'hardware', every time you screw in a lightbulb, use a
d'Arsonval meter, a phone, etc etc, you use PD 'technology' that was
once upon a time patented, and became PD in due course.

It is because of their disregard for previous art that certain US
patents are so lowly regarded. They are effectively attempts to
re-patent devices and technologies which have become PD a long time ago,
and often transparent 'blanket' patents fishing for future income from
lawsuits against often honest developers.

The EC has recently made sure that no such 'booby trap' patent-burdened
technologies can make their way into the open standards they are
elaborating.

Peter

2005\12\18@171833 by olin piclist

face picon face
Peter wrote:
> The GPL was conceived for the specific purpose of preventing pigopolists
> and fraudsters from taking code placed deliberately by its authors 'in
> the public domain', integrating it into their products, and then selling
> them as original works.

You make this sound like a bad thing, but think about why someone would make
their code publicly available without any kind of paid royalty.  They have
already decided not to try to get paid for that code.  There are therefore
two main reasons left that I can see, some fame and recognition for
themselves, and a desire to help the progress of software in general.  Both
these goals can be served by merely requiring someone that uses the code in
a commercial product to say so.  A good example of this is the JPEG image
reading/writing software from the Independent JPEG Group.  They let anyone
use the source for any purpose for free, but it must be made known that the
result is based on the work of the Independent JPEG Group.  This is not an
onerous requirement, and as a result we have lots of commercial software
that can read and write JPEG files, most of which use this code.

Requiring that the source code be make publicly available for derivative
works is actually slows the general software progress compared to not
requiring this.  This means the GPL was not motivated by the second reason.
It still supports the first reason, but so would a less restrictive license.
I think the real reason for the public source requirements of the GPL comes
from an attitude that it's evil for someone to make a profit.  A few
individuals may be in a position to be able to write lots of code while
still making a living in other ways, but most people aren't.  If it weren't
for profit potential, we wouldn't have most of the products we commonly use.
So in a nutshell, the GPL is the preachy result of an arrogant and
unrealistic world view.

Note that I absolutely agree people have the right to set whatever
conditions they want for software they make available to others, but if you
use the GPL don't try to pretend it's for some greater good.  If that's what
you're truly after, a less restrictive license would be more suitable.  The
GPL is about trying to enforce a social agenda.  That's your call, but it
doesn't make you a philanthropist or hero in my book.  At least the people
trying to make profit from software are honest about it.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\18@181537 by Peter

picon face
Olin Lathrop <olin_piclist <at> embedinc.com> writes:

> Peter wrote:
> > The GPL was conceived for the specific purpose of preventing pigopolists
> > and fraudsters from taking code placed deliberately by its authors 'in
> > the public domain', integrating it into their products, and then selling
> > them as original works.
>
> You make this sound like a bad thing, but think about why someone would make
> their code publicly available without any kind of paid royalty.  They have
> already decided not to try to get paid for that code.  There are therefore
> two main reasons left that I can see, some fame and recognition for
> themselves, and a desire to help the progress of software in general.  Both
> these goals can be served by merely requiring someone that uses the code in
> a commercial product to say so.  A good example of this is the JPEG image
> reading/writing software from the Independent JPEG Group.  They let anyone
> use the source for any purpose for free, but it must be made known that the
> result is based on the work of the Independent JPEG Group.  This is not an
> onerous requirement, and as a result we have lots of commercial software
> that can read and write JPEG files, most of which use this code.

You are right in what you are saying but imho you are missing the most important
points:

1) You do not have to release *all* your code under (L)GPL.

2) You are free to offer your code under other licenses simultaneously to the
(L)GPL, without these conflicting. There are several commercial examples for
this. Most notable mySQL, the database that drives most LAMP solutions and
most blogs and wikis out on the web. All commercial Linux distributions follow
a similar model (even if it is not explicitly worded like this).

3) Unlike GPL and dual licensing, you can place your code in PD, deliberately,
and knowing that most pigopolists who will grab it will gladly kick your b***
just for fun (or maybe throw a chair at you).

> Requiring that the source code be make publicly available for derivative
> works is actually slows the general software progress compared to not
> requiring this.  

No. It simply prevents the malicious use of derivative works. If your intention
is to make money out of derivative works you can release the code under dual
license, and commercial use of derivative works can be made possible for $$$
licensing thereof under the alternative (non-GPL) license. Out of 10,000
freeboaters, 2 who matter may choose your approach for their business plan and
that could change your life. Just remember that what you can dual license is
*your* work. Not an aggregation with GPL code. The viral part of the GPL is
designed to work for you, as a developer of code, not against you.

> This means the GPL was not motivated by the second reason.
> It still supports the first reason, but so would a less restrictive license.
> I think the real reason for the public source requirements of the GPL comes
> from an attitude that it's evil for someone to make a profit.  

Beyond the ideology which some of the OSS advocates no doubt share, is an ocean
of people who have authored code only to see it incorporated into commercial
products by others. The GPL serves as an insurance against this kind of problem
and allows people to freely share code they wish to share, while barring the
theft thereof. It does not preclude the release of the same (or improved) code
for commercial purposes to specified, licensed parties, under dual licensing,
nor consulting or hiring of the author for the development of commercial work
based on the dual licensed code.

You can read more about this licensing model here:

http://www.mysql.com/company/legal/licensing/

and you can read about the underlying Berkeley database's dual licensing here:

http://www.sleepycat.com/company/aboutus.html

> A few
> individuals may be in a position to be able to write lots of code while
> still making a living in other ways, but most people aren't.  If it weren't
> for profit potential, we wouldn't have most of the products we commonly use.
> So in a nutshell, the GPL is the preachy result of an arrogant and
> unrealistic world view.

I do not agree. Nobody obliges you to use the GPL for a part or for the whole
of your work. As you often said, it's a free world. The freedom includes the
right to be p***d off by others using the fruit of your thinking and to take
action against it, and the freedom to elaborate a license that allows you to
publish code that will not be misused by third parties, where the you are to
define the exact sense of 'misuse' in this context, in a case-by-case context.
Or, you could be the ultimate individualist, the mom & pop business who takes it
out alone against Big Corp. Good luck with that.

> Note that I absolutely agree people have the right to set whatever
> conditions they want for software they make available to others, but if you
> use the GPL don't try to pretend it's for some greater good.  If that's what
> you're truly after, a less restrictive license would be more suitable.  The
> GPL is about trying to enforce a social agenda.  That's your call, but it
> doesn't make you a philanthropist or hero in my book.  At least the people
> trying to make profit from software are honest about it.

What makes you think open source people are not trying to make some kind of
profit ? Maybe the lack of a loss (usually incurred by code and ideas being
stolen and patented) is a way to define profit ? Okay, sometimes it is not
money, sometimes it is the door opener to a new job, a way to further their
careers (or their business!!), or their egos, or simply a means to get a
sponsored green card. Or simply the desire to share a good idea in the hope that
someone will be able to make the best of it (the op not being able to
for a variety of reasons). But it's worth something to someone, and it tends
to come back.

Peter

2005\12\18@200832 by olin piclist

face picon face
Peter wrote:
> 1) You do not have to release *all* your code under (L)GPL.

Of course not, but this is orthogonal to the discussion of whether it is a
good idea or whether GPL is a "good" license.

>> Requiring that the source code be make publicly available for
>> derivative works is actually slows the general software progress
>> compared to not requiring this.
>
> No. It simply prevents the malicious use of derivative works.

Here we go again.  By "malicious" it seems you mean someone using it in a
for-profit work.  I don't see that as malicious at all.  Sounds downright
useful to me.  The result is that a product will be out there that costs
less to produce than it otherwise would.  This means it will make some
products possible what would not have been, or makes other products cheaper
and therefore more accessible.  Malicious is someone using the code to make
a virus.  I think we can agree that virus writers are just vandals, and any
license on code available to them is irrelevant.  Therefore whatever license
is on the code will have no effect on malicious derivative works.

> If your
> intention is to make money out of derivative works you can release the
> code under dual license,

I was specifically talking about those people who have already decided they
aren't going to make money from the code they make publicly available, or at
least not from licenses.  Again, I was only comparing GPL to other license
schemes for "open" code, and my point is the the GPL is not really motivated
by someone trying to do good but rather to promote a social agenda.  If
you're aim is to have more and better software available out there, then GPL
is not a good answer.

> and commercial use of derivative works can be
> made possible for $$$ licensing thereof under the alternative (non-GPL)
> license.

OK fine, but just don't try to give me a holier than though sermon about the
greater good.

> The viral part of the GPL is designed to
> work for you, as a developer of code, not against you.

I guess this is the fundamental disagreement.  I don't see how forcing me to
publish source code of derivative works is working for me.  As I said
before, I think the GPL is really designed to promote a social agenda.  I
woudn't mind if this was stated clearly up front and the people releasing
GPL code weren't put on a pedestal and worshipped like saints.

> Beyond the ideology which some of the OSS advocates no doubt share, is
> an ocean of people who have authored code only to see it incorporated
> into commercial products by others. The GPL serves as an insurance
> against this kind of problem

What problem!!?  If your aim is truly to have more and better software out
there, you should consider it a success every time it happens.

> and allows people to freely share code
> they wish to share, while barring the theft thereof.

This is the kind of wording that pisses me off.  Clearly it's not theft if
it's allowed, therefore the GPL doesn't bar any "theft".

> It does not
> preclude the release of the same (or improved) code for commercial
> purposes to specified, licensed parties, under dual licensing,

Of course not, I have no problem with someone licensing their code for a fee
for others to use.  Just don't go making a saint out of the licensor.  He's
making a living like everyone else.

>> So in a nutshell, the GPL is the preachy result of an
>> arrogant and unrealistic world view.
>
> I do not agree. Nobody obliges you to use the GPL for a part or for the
> whole of your work. As you often said, it's a free world.

Right.  But that says nothing about the motivations of those putting the GPL
on the code they make publicly available.

> What makes you think open source people are not trying to make some
> kind of profit ? Maybe the lack of a loss (usually incurred by code and
> ideas being stolen and patented) is a way to define profit ? Okay,
> sometimes it is not money, sometimes it is the door opener to a new
> job, a way to further their careers (or their business!!), or their
> egos, or simply a means to get a sponsored green card. Or simply the
> desire to share a good idea in the hope that someone will be able to
> make the best of it (the op not being able to
> for a variety of reasons).

Yes, those are all possible motivations for making code public.  My point is
that something less restrictive than the GPL would serve a lot of these
cases better.

In the end, very few people (maybe none) do anything truly altruistic.  I
make a lot of source code publicly available too.  Frankly, I'm not doing it
to be nice.  It's too much work for that, and I don't really give a crap
whether anyone benefits from it or not.  My main motivation is name
recognition, being recognized as an expert, and ego.  I don't pretend I'm
doing it for some greater good.  I think a lot of people who publicly
release code have similar motivations.  My point is that the GPL is not a
good license for such circumstances because it partly hinders the spread of
the code.  Here is what I put at the top of all PIC source modules:

;   ***************************************************************
;   * Copyright (C) 2005, Embed Inc (http://www.embedinc.com)     *
;   *                                                             *
;   * Permission to copy this file is granted as long as this     *
;   * copyright notice is included in its entirety at the         *
;   * beginning of the file, whether the file is copied in whole  *
;   * or in part and regardless of whether other information is   *
;   * added to the copy.                                          *
;   *                                                             *
;   * The contents of this file may be used in any way,           *
;   * commercial or otherwise.  This file is provided "as is",    *
;   * and Embed Inc makes no claims of suitability for a          *
;   * particular purpose nor assumes any liability resulting from *
;   * its use.                                                    *
;   ***************************************************************

In short I give permission to use it any way you like as long as you
propagate the fact that it came from me.  If you don't, there's nothing in
it for me, and I've therefore got no reason to allow you to do so.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2005\12\18@222757 by Peter

picon face
Olin Lathrop <olin_piclist <at> embedinc.com> writes:

> Peter wrote:
> > 1) You do not have to release *all* your code under (L)GPL.
>
> Of course not, but this is orthogonal to the discussion of whether it is a
> good idea or whether GPL is a "good" license.

I think that the 'goodness' of a license can only be judged by whoever coined
it, and by a judge in court. Others usually just take notice of it.

> >> Requiring that the source code be make publicly available for
> >> derivative works is actually slows the general software progress
> >> compared to not requiring this.
> >
> > No. It simply prevents the malicious use of derivative works.
>
> Here we go again.  By "malicious" it seems you mean someone using it in a
> for-profit work.  I don't see that as malicious at all.  Sounds downright
> useful to me.  The result is that a product will be out there that costs

Let me rephrase that for the last time, I think that there is a misunderstanding
here. I state that:

"The code released by an author under the GPL remains under his/her copyright
and ownership. The GPL governs how *others* can use that code."
"The requirement to publish source for all derivative work applies to the
author, for the use of the code in aggregation with GPLd code written by
*others*, it does *not* apply to use of the code in aggregation with non-GPLd
code, or by itself"

> and therefore more accessible.  Malicious is someone using the code to make
> a virus.  I think we can agree that virus writers are just vandals, and any
> license on code available to them is irrelevant.  Therefore whatever license
> is on the code will have no effect on malicious derivative works.

Malicious is any pigopolist who takes PD code, changes the attributions and
deletes the copyrights, burns it into a Flash and ships 100,000 routers to all
over the world based on that. The GPL makes sure that that cannot happen, and
that if it happens there is legal recourse. This does not mean that you
relinquish your rights on the code, you still own it, and you have no obligation
to continue your participation in the GPL codebase. You can take your
library as is, or modified, and sell it or license it. As long as it's *your*
code you can do with it whatever you like. What you cannot do, is take other
people's code, which is under the GPL, use your library with it, and then base
a product on that without publishing the source, *or* without obtaining a proper
license for the code.

This prevents you from stealing code from others, and others from stealing your
code. And that's the point.

{Quote hidden}

You have to understand that people who have made their code available under the
GPL did not relinquish any rights on it. They still own it. They did not give
up *anything* by doing this. In a way, putting code under the GPL is like a
patent disclosure. It's got full blueprints, and anyone can see them and use
them, but they cannot build something based on it except by also publishing the
full blueprint. That implicitly exposes them to being sued by you should they
try to make it proprietary thereafter, and gives you the right to sell it for
as much money as they would (suppose).

It is these incentives which cause the pigopolists
to gnash their teeth at GPL. It's a device that discourages illicit use of
intellectual property. Should they want to go commercial, they will have to
come knocking on your door, asking for a different license.

> > The viral part of the GPL is designed to
> > work for you, as a developer of code, not against you.
>
> I guess this is the fundamental disagreement.  I don't see how forcing me to
> publish source code of derivative works is working for me.  As I said
> before, I think the GPL is really designed to promote a social agenda.  I
> woudn't mind if this was stated clearly up front and the people releasing
> GPL code weren't put on a pedestal and worshipped like saints.

Imho, you really do not understand what 'derivative works' means. You have a
program that consists of code you contribute (A) and a body of code you extend
or link against (B), which is GPLd. A+B is a derivative work. A is released by
you (suppose) under GPL (you have to, by tying it with B, which is GPLd).
Then someone comes and writes C and makes the work being A+B+C. He
cannot but publish the source (i.e. including A+B+C) or he is in breach of GPL.
At the same time you can find someone who wants to use your A in a product. You
then use A or an improved/adapted A1 and sell/license it to him, by granting
him a non-exclusive license on A or A1. You do *not* need to publish A1 for
this. The only time when you must publish A1 is, if, and only if, you have to
use B and/or C together with A1 to make it work for your client. Then it is up
to the client to find the developers of B and C and ask for licenses, so he can
make the product using A+B+C and not need to publish the source (after aquiring
licenses from you and the developers of B and C). But you own A and A1 all the
time, and you can even revoke the GPL on A if you are really mad at the world.

> > Beyond the ideology which some of the OSS advocates no doubt share, is
> > an ocean of people who have authored code only to see it incorporated
> > into commercial products by others. The GPL serves as an insurance
> > against this kind of problem
>
> What problem!!?  If your aim is truly to have more and better software out
> there, you should consider it a success every time it happens.

Do you mind if I share some of the $ in case there is financial success ? I
understand you don't.

> > and allows people to freely share code
> > they wish to share, while barring the theft thereof.
>
> This is the kind of wording that pisses me off.  Clearly it's not theft if
> it's allowed, therefore the GPL doesn't bar any "theft".

In your opinion, is a patent disclosure an altruistic giving of the contents
thereof, or an insurance against its being ripped ?

> > I do not agree. Nobody obliges you to use the GPL for a part or for the
> > whole of your work. As you often said, it's a free world.
>
> Right.  But that says nothing about the motivations of those putting the GPL
> on the code they make publicly available.

The personal motivations of the leaders are nearly always lost in long
and well-worded discourses ;-)

> Yes, those are all possible motivations for making code public.  My point is
> that something less restrictive than the GPL would serve a lot of these
> cases better.

Other people (lots of them apparently) disagree, and vote with their feet.
Linux/GPL is far more popular than *BSD/BSD license.

> In the end, very few people (maybe none) do anything truly altruistic.  I
> make a lot of source code publicly available too.  Frankly, I'm not doing it
> to be nice.  It's too much work for that, and I don't really give a crap
> whether anyone benefits from it or not.  My main motivation is name
> recognition, being recognized as an expert, and ego.  I don't pretend I'm
> doing it for some greater good.  I think a lot of people who publicly
> release code have similar motivations.  My point is that the GPL is not a
> good license for such circumstances because it partly hinders the spread of
> the code.  Here is what I put at the top of all PIC source modules:

That's as good a motivation as any. Also your license seems to be a version of
the BSD license. You might want to go over it with your lawyer if you haven't
already imho. One of the reasons people do not make up their own licenses is,
that they almost always have flaws. The way to go seems to be, to pick a
popular license, and use it as is. That may have fewer holes in case of
litigation. I am not suggesting that you switch to GPL.

ianal,
Peter

PS: I have my own problems with the GPL and I have decided to use it when it
suits me, for code that I decide to post or publish, but I see a lot of
misunderstanding around it. I am just trying to clarify that.


2005\12\19@083032 by olin piclist

face picon face
Peter wrote:
> Malicious is any pigopolist who takes PD code, changes the attributions
> and deletes the copyrights, burns it into a Flash and ships 100,000
> routers to all over the world based on that.

Changing attributions and deleting copyrights is just plain wrong or
illegal.  Otherwise, what's wrong with this?  In other words, if someone
took public domain code, kept references to the author in the source and
shipped 100,000 copies as binary (assuming the copyright, if any, allowed
this), this is not malicious but a smart way to make a product.

I really object to you calling this "malicious" or "stealing".  It's only
that if the copyright doesn't allow it.  I'm not suggesting people ignore
the GPL copyright, only pointing out that the GPL is not a good license if
your aim is to have more and better software out there (as the proponents of
the GPL usually claim).

> This does not mean that you relinquish your rights on the code, you
> still own it,

It's getting really confusing who is "you".

> This prevents you from stealing code from others, and others from
> stealing your code. And that's the point.

Let's assume that everyone is following the law.  There is then no stealing.
The question is what should others be *allowed* to do with the code.
Labeling a certain type of use as "stealing" or "malicious" is just rude and
inflammatory.

> You have to understand that people who have made their code available
> under the GPL did not relinquish any rights on it. They still own it.
> They did not give up *anything* by doing this. In a way, putting code
> under the GPL is like a patent disclosure. It's got full blueprints,
> and anyone can see them and use them, but they cannot build something
> based on it except by also publishing the full blueprint. That
> implicitly exposes them to being sued by you should they try to make it
> proprietary thereafter, and gives you the right to sell it for as much
> money as they would (suppose).

Yes, I think we all know this.  Again you are completely missing my point.

> It is these incentives which cause the pigopolists
> to gnash their teeth at GPL. It's a device that discourages illicit use
> of intellectual property.

No it doesn't.  Anyone willing to use intellectual property illicitly is
ignoring the license by definition, and therefore it's probably irrelevant
what it says.

The GPL prohibits a certain type of use.  All I'm saying is that this
prohibition is not beneficial to some of the stated aims of the proponents
of the GPL.

{Quote hidden}

That's a good explanation of how the GPL works and its infectious
propagation (I agree that "viral" is a bad term because it also implies
direct harm to the host.  "Infectious" is probably not much better in
connotation, but at least more technically accurate.).

The problem with the GPL is that in this case I make A+B and have to publish
the source to A, as you described above.  This is a serious disinsentive to
use B in the first place.  Publishing A has a certain cost, which makes the
GPLed software more costly to use than more openly released software.

Again, I have no problem with people putting whatever restrictions on their
code they want.  After all, I'm not forced to use it.  What bothers me is
people using rather restrictive licenses like the GPL, then claiming they
are doing it for the common good and to promote more and better software.

> Do you mind if I share some of the $ in case there is financial success
> ? I understand you don't.

I am totally confused what role the "you" and "I" in this statement are
supposed to have.  Of course you can share your profits with me if you like
;-)

> In your opinion, is a patent disclosure an altruistic giving of the
> contents thereof, or an insurance against its being ripped ?

Definitely the latter.  But I don't claim to be patenting my inventions for
the good of everyone.  I unabashedly and proudly admit I patent my
inventions for my own selfish good.

>> My
>> point is that something less restrictive than the GPL would serve a
>> lot of these cases better.
>
> Other people (lots of them apparently) disagree, and vote with their
> feet. Linux/GPL is far more popular than *BSD/BSD license.

But we don't know the people's intents that used the GPL over less
restrictive licenses.  They may very well have been hoping for lucrative
commercial license agreements or advancing their social crusade.


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Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
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2005\12\19@090048 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Malicious is any pigopolist who takes PD code, changes the
> attributions
> and deletes the copyrights, burns it into a Flash and ships 100,000
> routers to all over the world based on that.

If it is fully PD ("anything allowed") code, then what's wrong? And what
does it matter when "attributions" are removed from the source (which
no-one will see) or not? They do not end up in the compiled version
(that is what is flashed) anyway.

Things are of course different when it was GPLed code, or when the
license for the code required any other actions from the user which they
did not comply to. Then they are violating copyright.

> [OLIN] I'm not suggesting
> people ignore
> the GPL copyright, only pointing out that the GPL is not a
> good license if
> your aim is to have more and better software out there (as
> the proponents of
> the GPL usually claim).

I think GPL-ing code might be good for the application level, but I
think it might be the wrong choice for the library level. But of course
my agenda might not match anyone else's. It is simply a decision
everyone has to make. It is your code, you decide if and how to license
it. If you only allow me to use it when I donate a kidney, fine, that's
your choice, but don't expect much use. If you want to allow everyone to
use it freely, fine again, but don't grumble when someone does use it
freely (including turning it proprietary and making $$). State what you
want, put it in the license, and publish it. That's all there is to it,
it's realy like writing code. Don't complain when the machine (in this
case: humanity) does what you wrote instead of what you meant! There are
of course bugs in humanity, but that is what the legal system is for.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2005\12\19@164716 by Peter

picon face


On Sun, 18 Dec 2005, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Linus Torvalds, Tenenbaum (of Xinu fame) and the BSD people were started
by the closure of access to unix sources afaik.

Peter

2005\12\19@173219 by Peter

picon face

On Mon, 19 Dec 2005, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Peter wrote:
>> Malicious is any pigopolist who takes PD code, changes the attributions
>> and deletes the copyrights, burns it into a Flash and ships 100,000
>> routers to all over the world based on that.
>
> Changing attributions and deleting copyrights is just plain wrong or
> illegal.  Otherwise, what's wrong with this?  In other words, if someone
> took public domain code, kept references to the author in the source and
> shipped 100,000 copies as binary (assuming the copyright, if any, allowed
> this), this is not malicious but a smart way to make a product.

Maybe. If properly attributed, then it should be clean.

> It's getting really confusing who is "you".

You, the author.

>> This prevents you from stealing code from others, and others from
>> stealing your code. And that's the point.
>
> Let's assume that everyone is following the law.  There is then no stealing.
> The question is what should others be *allowed* to do with the code.
> Labeling a certain type of use as "stealing" or "malicious" is just rude and
> inflammatory.

It is as malicious and inflamatory as using the word 'viral' on GPL is
imho. The point is that the GPL was elaborated *after* a number of
episodes in which public domain code appeared in someone's products for
a lot of money and nothing could be done about it. Not only that but
patents were issued on certain items afaik. This not only had PD removed
from PD but others effectively prevented from using it too. Very clever.
Note that most people who relinquish code into the PD or publish it
without a proper license would be very surprised if they would recognise
it in some fortune 500 company's product five years later.

So some clever people got together and decided to find a way that would
defeat further attempts at doing that, if possible using their own tools
(the tools of the misappropriators, i.e. the fear of being sued and
assorted legal shenanigans connected to license and patent law). So
they made a legal document conceived to thwart further tries at this.
They called it the GPL. It is now nearing version 3.

{Quote hidden}

It turns out that the type of prohibition implied by the GPL works,
because companies are afraid of being sued by the FSF and the copyright
owners on the code, if they try to abuse the license. There are many
precendents already.

{Quote hidden}

The idea of the GPL promoting better software revolves around the need
for ideas and code to be discussed and analyzed, and improved between
many people for a long time. If it would be PD eventually someone would
grab it and no-one would hear about it again (improvement-wise). The GPL
makes sure that this cooperation can function between interested people
without allowing anyone to grab the goods and run with them to the
nearest patent office. That's what they mean by 'sharing'.

>> Do you mind if I share some of the $ in case there is financial success
>> ? I understand you don't.
>
> I am totally confused what role the "you" and "I" in this statement are
> supposed to have.  Of course you can share your profits with me if you like
> ;-)

Right, I owe you 2 cents so far. I was trying point out your point of
view being slightly biased (imho). One of the things the GPL does, is
that it indirectly ensures that should significant profit be made from
the code contributed by 'me' (in the context of the phrase above), then
I would have the option to stop that and/or join the process. Where 'I'
is defined as an average guy who cannot spend 3 years and $8 million in
a lawsuit with someone who things different about my code. But with the
GPL, I have a fair chance at that.

You were implying that the GPL prevents others from making money and/or
gainfully using the code. That is correct. The GPL prevents that by
scaring would-be 'thieves' with the specter of a very real lawsuit. The
code can still be used commercially (in most cases, subject to the will
of the author(s)), *after* they are consulted and a proper (non-gpl)
license is obtained. That's what I meant by 'I' sharing some of the $.

The way I see it, PD is a send and pray type of publishing, and GPL
maintains a thread that connects the author to his code, and allows him
to have control over what is being done with it. This avoids the
surprise of someone finding a way to claim it was his idea in 5 or 10
years.

>> In your opinion, is a patent disclosure an altruistic giving of the
>> contents thereof, or an insurance against its being ripped ?
>
> Definitely the latter.  But I don't claim to be patenting my inventions for
> the good of everyone.  I unabashedly and proudly admit I patent my
> inventions for my own selfish good.

So the GPL is a 'low cost' patent disclosure if you want. It serves that
purpose for a group of people who 'got burned' before by the
disappearing/misappropriated PD or unlicensed code trick, and have come
up with a better mousetrap.

>> Other people (lots of them apparently) disagree, and vote with their
>> feet. Linux/GPL is far more popular than *BSD/BSD license.
>
> But we don't know the people's intents that used the GPL over less
> restrictive licenses.  They may very well have been hoping for lucrative
> commercial license agreements or advancing their social crusade.

Yes, they may have. Hey, that would make them normal in your eyes, no ?
;-)

Peter

2005\12\20@015426 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Dec 19, 2005, at 1:47 PM, Peter wrote:

> Linus Torvalds, Tenenbaum (of Xinu fame) and the BSD people were
>  started by the closure of access to unix sources afaik.
>
"open source" had a long life well before this.  See things like
DECUS, for instance, or CPMUG.  The careful wording and codifying
of "social agendas" in to OS licenses probably had a lot to do with
things like the closure of access to unix sources, though...

BillW

2005\12\20@020530 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> The point is that the GPL was elaborated *after* a number of
> episodes in which public domain code appeared in someone's
> products for a lot of money and nothing could be done about it.

What is 'elaborated' in this sense?

> Not only that but patents were issued on certain items afaik.
> This not only had PD removed from PD but others effectively
> prevented from using it too. Very clever.

You are mixing things up.

> Note that most people who relinquish code into the PD or publish it
> without a proper license would be very surprised

If they licnese it without a 'propper' license they should not be
surprised when their code is used as allowed by the license they did
use, which is not necessarily the way they intended it to be used.

> So some clever people got together and decided to find a way
> that would
> defeat further attempts at doing that, if possible using
> their own tools
> (the tools of the misappropriators, i.e. the fear of being sued and
> assorted legal shenanigans connected to license and patent law). So
> they made a legal document conceived to thwart further tries at this.

You got the order of events all wrong. There was no PD software as we
know it know at the moment Stallman created the GPL.

> So the GPL is a 'low cost' patent disclosure if you want.

no need for GPL for that, *any* publication is a 'low cost patent
disclosure' in the sense that it can be used as prior art lateron.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2005\12\20@020531 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Linus Torvalds, Tenenbaum (of Xinu fame) and the BSD people
> were started
> by the closure of access to unix sources afaik.

But Linus sure did not start the OSS movement (though he gave it a
important impulse), and Tanebaum was never part of it (Minix was not
OSS).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2005\12\20@023153 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Dec 19, 2005, at 11:05 PM, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> There was no PD software as we
> know it know at the moment Stallman created the GPL.
>
Sure there was; though not all of it was intentional. Part of the
reaction to unix disappearing was that Berkeley slapped copyright
notices on everything (remember, this was back in the days where
you actually had to explicitly copyright things.)  It created a lot
of flack when things like /bin/true (which I think was a shell script
at the time) suddenly being claimed to be "owned" by Berkeley...

I have software I wrote in that timeframe that I didn't copyright,
released publicly, and consider to have been released to the public
domain.  Occasionally something showed up in someone else's commercial
product (an odd feeling.)  More often some small subset of the computing
community got some small benefit from being able to modify and/or run
my software, which was the intent...

BillW

2005\12\20@090856 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/18/05, Wouter van Ooijen <spamBeGonewouterspamBeGonespamvoti.nl> wrote:
> > Thanks for the explanation. I thought LGPL is quite okay
> > since libusb-win32 is licensed under LGPL and it says that it is
> > okay to be used in commercial applications.
>
> LGPL and GPL code can be used in commercial applications, but that
> can have consequences for other code in that application!
>
> > Do you think libusb-win32 developers are mis-interpreting the
> > LGPL license?
>
> Did you *link* any of your code *statically* against the libusb-win32? I
> don't think so, their code is in a DLL, your code is in your
> application. This (and Unix-style dynamically linked libararies (DLL!))
> are exactly the (IMO only) circumstances where LGPL and GPL differ and
> where LGPL does not contaminate your (dynamically) code.

Yes  libusb-win32 application is in general statically linked against
libusb-win32 GCC libraries (libusb.a for for GCC, libusb.lib for MSVC
and libusb.lib for Borland C). In turn it will communicate with the
libusb-win32
wrapper driver (a DLL) or libusb-win32 device driver (libusb0.sys and
libusb0.dll)

For me it is not a problem since I only ported a few GPLed application to
Windows using libusb-win32. Dynamic linking is only introduced in the
latest snapshot version.

The license does warn that it is tricky to including this library in a
commercial
application!

The Linux libusb is licensed under LGPL with the exception of header file
(usb.h) which is dual licensed (LGPL and BSD) so that Sun can created
a version of libusb for Solaris.

I admit I do not know about the complications of LGPL.

The author of libhid (http://libhid.alioth.debian.org/) wants to release
their codes under the Artistic Licence but they can not.

Regards,
Xiaofan


1) The libusb-win32 License is here:
http://libusb-win32.sourceforge.net/#license

"#  The library (DLL) is distributed under the terms of the GNU Lesser
General Public License (LGPL).
# All other components (drivers, services, installer) are distributed
under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
# This license combination explicitly allows the use of this library in
commercial, non Open Source applications. Read the licenses carefully
and apply all of their requirements before including this library in a
commercial application!"

2) Quoted from libhid page http://libhid.alioth.debian.org/
"We realise that this is a serious impediment. The GPL is a "viral" licence,
and you will only be able to use libhid in other GPL projects. We would like
to change the licence, but libhid uses the MGE UPS SYSTEMS HID Parser,
which is GPL, and thus we cannot. Our solution is to rewrite the HID parser.
One of these days. We are also in contact with MGE, trying to convince them
to loosen their licence. If the licencing issues are solved, we are likely to
re-release libhid under the Artistic Licence."

2005\12\20@123350 by Peter

picon face


On Mon, 19 Dec 2005, Peter wrote:
> Linus Torvalds, Tenenbaum (of Xinu fame) and the BSD people were started by
> the closure of access to unix sources afaik.

That would be Tanenbaum, of Minix fame. Xinu is a research/learning
OS-like environment. Sometimes I should re-read my blitz postings before
sending.

Peter

2005\12\20@134720 by Peter

picon face


On Tue, 20 Dec 2005, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> The point is that the GPL was elaborated *after* a number of
>> episodes in which public domain code appeared in someone's
>> products for a lot of money and nothing could be done about it.
>
> What is 'elaborated' in this sense?

Elaborated = conceived, embodied and presumably verified (by lawyers).

>> Not only that but patents were issued on certain items afaik.
>> This not only had PD removed from PD but others effectively
>> prevented from using it too. Very clever.
>
> You are mixing things up.

No I am not. In those cases where PD in the 'gray' zone was grabbed and
patented the original authors were denied any futher rights on it
(including the right of using it in the public domain).

>> Note that most people who relinquish code into the PD or publish it
>> without a proper license would be very surprised
>
> If they licnese it without a 'propper' license they should not be
> surprised when their code is used as allowed by the license they did
> use, which is not necessarily the way they intended it to be used.

You are contradicting yourself imho. If the act of publication ensures
automatic copyright, then an additional license would not be necessary.
Events prove that it is not sufficient and that a license is necessary
anyway.

>> So some clever people got together and decided to find a way that
>> would defeat further attempts at doing that, if possible using their
>> own tools (the tools of the misappropriators, i.e. the fear of being
>> sued and assorted legal shenanigans connected to license and patent
>> law). So they made a legal document conceived to thwart further tries
>> at this.
>
> You got the order of events all wrong. There was no PD software as we
> know it know at the moment Stallman created the GPL.

There was a lot of it on usenet and elsewhere. The first GPL was worded
in 1983:

http://www.invisiblerevolution.net/timeline/engelbart-timelines.html

BBSes existed since 1978 and usenet, where huge amunts of source code
used to be published, since 1979.

>> So the GPL is a 'low cost' patent disclosure if you want.
>
> no need for GPL for that, *any* publication is a 'low cost patent
> disclosure' in the sense that it can be used as prior art lateron.

One wishes that it would be but it turns out not to be so, by precedent
...

Peter

2005\12\20@140628 by Peter

picon face

On Tue, 20 Dec 2005, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> Linus Torvalds, Tenenbaum (of Xinu fame) and the BSD people
>> were started
>> by the closure of access to unix sources afaik.
>
> But Linus sure did not start the OSS movement (though he gave it a
> important impulse), and Tanebaum was never part of it (Minix was not
> OSS).

Linus decided to implement an OS (and not a MUD game or something else)
because he was in the field and probably subjected to a number of
influences (like the frustration of the price of a unix license probably
- and the unavailability of its source code for study). He was already
using gcc, which came from the FSF. One thing led to another and then
critical mass was reached. Tanenbaum had to teach a OS course and he
could not do it with Unix source code, since it was not accessible by
then afaik. Minix strongly influenced Linus afaik. He and Tanenbaum were
al loggerheads over several issues at the time according to archived
messages.

Peter

2005\12\20@183343 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Linus decided to implement an OS

Well, only a kernel. Most of the OS already existed as FSF software.
Funny though, the FSF went the 'wrong' track and tried to build a
'modern' modular kernel. It never came to life. Then this Finnish just
ignored the wisdom of that time and wrote a monolithic kernel.

> Minix strongly influenced Linus afaik.

only in the negative sense.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2005\12\20@183344 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Yes  libusb-win32 application is in general statically linked against
> libusb-win32 GCC libraries (libusb.a for for GCC, libusb.lib for MSVC
> and libusb.lib for Borland C).

*If* those are GPL or LGPL that will force the entire application to use
that license.

> In turn it will communicate with the
> libusb-win32
> wrapper driver (a DLL) or libusb-win32 device driver (libusb0.sys and
> libusb0.dll)

If those are LGPL they won't 'infect/contaminate' the application. If
they are GPL I think they will, but I'm not sure.

Morale: if you license your code in any way make sure that the license
matche syour intention.

Wouter van Ooijen

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consultancy, development, PICmicro products
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2005\12\21@154258 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sun, Dec 18, 2005 at 08:08:26PM -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Peter wrote:
> >1) You do not have to release *all* your code under (L)GPL.
>
> Of course not, but this is orthogonal to the discussion of whether it is a
> good idea or whether GPL is a "good" license.
>
> >>Requiring that the source code be make publicly available for
> >>derivative works is actually slows the general software progress
> >>compared to not requiring this.
> >
> >No. It simply prevents the malicious use of derivative works.
>
> Here we go again.  By "malicious" it seems you mean someone using it in a
> for-profit work. i

Profit only comes from scarcity. Generally the only way to one can sell
software is by restricting its access.

I feel that action becomes malicious when someone restricts previously
unrestricted software.

So the two concepts are tightly bound in this particular instance.

> I don't see that as malicious at all.  Sounds downright
> useful to me.  The result is that a product will be out there that costs
> less to produce than it otherwise would.

However that reduction in cost was gained by utilizing community work
without making a direct contribution back to the community.

>  This means it will make some
> products possible what would not have been, or makes other products cheaper
> and therefore more accessible.

The problem is the inevitible boundry that is created between the community
code and the individual code. Some boundaries are easy. Examples are the
Linux kernel and Linux applications. The kernel is community and changes to
it need to be published for everyone's benefit. However, Linux device
drivers are a tougher problem. System libraries make sense as community
code. However what is one to do with an embedded system library?

The problem I have is that with the "all bets off" approach is that
development of the community code languishes while most developers only
develop their individual code for profit.

>  Malicious is someone using the code to make a virus.

Malicious in this instance is proprietizing community code where the developer
gets all of the benfit and the community gets none. All done in order to make
a buck.

>  I think we can agree that virus writers are just vandals, and any
> license on code available to them is irrelevant.  Therefore whatever license
> is on the code will have no effect on malicious derivative works.

Malicious in a different sense.

>
> >If your
> >intention is to make money out of derivative works you can release the
> >code under dual license,
>
> I was specifically talking about those people who have already decided they
> aren't going to make money from the code they make publicly available, or at
> least not from licenses.

But there's a tradeoff. In lieu of money, OS developers contribute to a
community effort so that the community can benfit from the efforts of
individual developers. The problem occurs from the inevitiable group of
developers who wish to draw down from the community code without giving back
a value add. Or more precisely, hoarding the value add for a profit for
themselves.

>  Again, I was only comparing GPL to other license
> schemes for "open" code, and my point is the the GPL is not really motivated
> by someone trying to do good but rather to promote a social agenda.  

It's to do good but to ensure that everyone plays fair in the process. Not having
to give back (such as BSD) gives a competive advantage that cannot be ignored.
Giving back is the cost of usage. And note that it's only a limited scope too.
A developer only needs to give back changes for the deriviative work. Any work
they generate on their own, even if it uses an OS foundation, is theirs to do
what they wish.

> If you're aim is to have more and better software available out there, then GPL
> is not a good answer.

I'm not sure that blanket fits. GPL software works well for infrastructure like
Operating Systems and Libraries. Lots of developers can benefit from both the
base and the value add to that base. From a profit motive, it works less well
on indiviual efforts. However, I think there could be a good fit where the size
of the project exceeds the people power of a few developers. In that case a
community can be formed where more people power can be brought to bear. The GPL
ensures that contributions go back into the pot.

> >and commercial use of derivative works can be
> >made possible for $$$ licensing thereof under the alternative (non-GPL)
> >license.
>
> OK fine, but just don't try to give me a holier than though sermon about the
> greater good.

I think that sermon still applies. The alternate license comes in when you have
developers who want the benefits of OS code without paying the inherent costs.

> >The viral part of the GPL is designed to
> >work for you, as a developer of code, not against you.
>
> I guess this is the fundamental disagreement.  I don't see how forcing me to
> publish source code of derivative works is working for me.

It may or may not depending on the situation. It can because it gives you access
to others work for only the cost of published contributions. It may not because
that cost may be too high.

Publishing is not for your immediate benefit. It's a pay it forward model where
your contribution help others just as other's contributions helped you.

And let's not forget that this model only applies specifically to the GPL and
only for deriviative works. You can use, distribute, or sell GPL software only
for the cost of telling folks you distribute it to that they have the right to
the source. Companies like RedHat Linux have made billions doing fundamentally
that activity.

And as you pointed out it only applies to deriviative works. If you write all of
your own code, none of this discussion applies (except in the unfortunate case of
statically linked LGPL).

BAJ

2005\12\22@095631 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Mon, Dec 19, 2005 at 08:32:18AM -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Peter wrote:
> > Malicious is any pigopolist who takes PD code, changes the attributions
> > and deletes the copyrights, burns it into a Flash and ships 100,000
> > routers to all over the world based on that.
>
> Changing attributions and deleting copyrights is just plain wrong or
> illegal.  Otherwise, what's wrong with this?  In other words, if someone
> took public domain code, kept references to the author in the source and
> shipped 100,000 copies as binary (assuming the copyright, if any, allowed
> this), this is not malicious but a smart way to make a product.

Without a doubt. That's why the GPL specifically prohibits this activity
without the release (or the offer to release) the source along with it.

> I really object to you calling this "malicious" or "stealing".

It's malicious or stealing when it's done to software whose license
prohibits this. As you state...

>  It's only  that if the copyright doesn't allow it.

Right.

>  I'm not suggesting people ignore
> the GPL copyright, only pointing out that the GPL is not a good license if
> your aim is to have more and better software out there (as the proponents of
> the GPL usually claim).

I agree with out on more software. I think that better is at least debatable.
The premise is that since software development and updates are no longer a
single source process, that end users and other developers have the ability to
get the software that suits their needs. I'm not sure that I'm buying that
argument. But I do think it has some logic to it.

> > This does not mean that you relinquish your rights on the code, you
> > still own it,
>
> It's getting really confusing who is "you".

The author of the code.

>
> > This prevents you from stealing code from others, and others from
> > stealing your code. And that's the point.
>
> Let's assume that everyone is following the law.  There is then no stealing.
> The question is what should others be *allowed* to do with the code.

That's the whole point of licensing.

> Labeling a certain type of use as "stealing" or "malicious" is just rude and
> inflammatory.

I believe that the label was applied to those who was not following the law.
Therefore your statement is invalid if everyone is following the law. You'll
get this discussion from GPL advocates specifically because there are so
many developers trying to figure out ways to circumvent the license.

So let's table that and move back to your assumption. Then the question
becomes:

What are the pros and cons to both developer/resellers and end users to have
source code available?

I'll be the first to admit that there are pros and cons on both sides.
Most Open Source folks cannot see the downsides.

>
> > You have to understand that people who have made their code available
> > under the GPL did not relinquish any rights on it. They still own it.
> > They did not give up *anything* by doing this.

Not true. They have given up single source rights. Once GPLed anyone can
use, modify, and redistribute the code. Every copy and every modification
dilutes the value of the code to the original author. That's one of the
cons to the question above.

Now this may not be too damaging to the author. Maybe they don't have the
ability to fill a distribution channel. Or as Olin has pointed out, maybe
they do not have a profit motive.

But they definitely give up a lot by GPLing their code.

> > In a way, putting code
> > under the GPL is like a patent disclosure. It's got full blueprints,
> > and anyone can see them and use them, but they cannot build something
> > based on it except by also publishing the full blueprint. That
> > implicitly exposes them to being sued by you should they try to make it
> > proprietary thereafter, and gives you the right to sell it for as much
> > money as they would (suppose).

By the nature of a free market, if there are lots of potential vendors,
then the price of the goods drops. A single source software provider can
sell their wares for more than one of a multitude of vendors.

The GPL ensures that there can be a multitude of vendors.

> Yes, I think we all know this.  Again you are completely missing my point.

> > It is these incentives which cause the pigopolists
> > to gnash their teeth at GPL. It's a device that discourages illicit use
> > of intellectual property.
>
> No it doesn't.  Anyone willing to use intellectual property illicitly is
> ignoring the license by definition, and therefore it's probably irrelevant
> what it says.

Agreed. It's a device the protects the original author from being taken when
illicit activity happens. It doesn't prevent the illicit activity from
happening.

> The GPL prohibits a certain type of use.  All I'm saying is that this
> prohibition is not beneficial to some of the stated aims of the proponents
> of the GPL.

Some of the proponents.

> > Imho, you really do not understand what 'derivative works' means. You
> > have a program that consists of code you contribute (A) and a body of
> > code you extend or link against (B), which is GPLd. A+B is a derivative
> > work. A is released by you (suppose) under GPL (you have to, by tying
> > it with B, which is GPLd).

I think we're all clear on that.

> > Then someone comes and writes C and makes the work being A+B+C. He
> > cannot but publish the source (i.e. including A+B+C) or he is in breach
> > of GPL.

Just to be picky. The writer of C is only obligated to give the source
of A+B+C to anyone who receives the work A+B+C. If they give no one the work,
then they are not obligated to give it to anyone. Also they do not need to
make the source public, only give a copy to whomever receives A+B+C. Finally
they cannot prevent the end user receiving A+B+C from publicly publishing
or redistributing A+B+C (source or executable) if that receiver so desires.

> >  At the same time you can find someone who wants to use your A
> > in a product. You then use A or an improved/adapted A1 and sell/license
> > it to him, by granting him a non-exclusive license on A or A1. You do
> > *not* need to publish A1 for this.

That is correct for the original author of A. However none of A, B, or C
can do this with a combined work unless all authors contributing agree to
relicense. So if B adds something really good to A, A cannot proprietize it
without working out something with B.

> >  The only time when you must publish
> > A1 is, if, and only if, you have to use B and/or C together with A1 to
> > make it work for your client.

Bingo.

> > Then it is up to the client to find the
> > developers of B and C and ask for licenses, so he can make the product
> > using A+B+C and not need to publish the source (after aquiring licenses

A1+B+C

> > from you and the developers of B and C). But you own A and A1 all the
> > time, and you can even revoke the GPL on A if you are really mad at the
> > world.

Yes and No. Anyone who received A under the GPL retains their GPL rights.
Anyone who comes after may not be able to get it from the author of A.
However, since GPLed copies of A exist and those license holders have the
right to redistribute, most likely someone can ask one of those license
holders for a copy.

> That's a good explanation of how the GPL works and its infectious
> propagation (I agree that "viral" is a bad term because it also implies
> direct harm to the host.  "Infectious" is probably not much better in
> connotation, but at least more technically accurate.).
>
> The problem with the GPL is that in this case I make A+B and have to publish
> the source to A, as you described above.  This is a serious disinsentive to
> use B in the first place.  Publishing A has a certain cost, which makes the
> GPLed software more costly to use than more openly released software.

Olin, I need some clarification of the above. A is GPL. You create and add B
to A producing A+B. Am I on point? If so then your obligation is to give the
source to B to anyone that you give A+B. So do you mean that publishing B has
a certain cost? That's certainly true.

But Gerhard's point is still made. In this instance you contact the author of
A and ask for a separate license for A.

The typical battle line is the developer who wants to get A for free and
make A+B propietary.

>
> Again, I have no problem with people putting whatever restrictions on their
> code they want.  After all, I'm not forced to use it.  What bothers me is
> people using rather restrictive licenses like the GPL, then claiming they
> are doing it for the common good and to promote more and better software.

More I don't agree with. I think the jury is still out whether as a class
that Open Source software is a better process.

BAJ

2005\12\22@170451 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> However that reduction in cost was gained by utilizing community work
> without making a direct contribution back to the community.

But that "community work" was PD, which means "everything allowed". If
you want to interpret PD as "everything allowed - well not everything,
you must ...", then which term is left for "realy realy everything
allowed"?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


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