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'SCO lobbying Congress about Linux'
2004\01\24@203307 by Richard Graziano

picon face
But isn't it a good thing to protect individual rights and intellectual
property?  I don't know if you are also one of those who support the
abrogation of patent laws as well.  There is some interest in that scenario.
I am certainly not accusing.  But I wonder what motive people have in
preventing others from electing to enjoy the fruits of their labor and
protection from others who would usurp the benefit of that labor without
fair compensation.  I wonder if those who support the abrogation of software
copyright and patent protection have any interest in working hard without
pay or benefit other than having done the work.  Personally, I am not sure
whether or not there is some satirical joke in suggesting open-software. or
even as some have suggested open-patents.

I cannot see how a software engineer would elect to work for the "benefit of
others, without compensation."  What is it that I am missing in this
scenario?

Should the military be compelled by the open-software scheme?  I wonder what
would the purpose of a defenseless military would be.  Has anyone taken the
time to think this thing through? Or can it be that I am missing something
very fundamental, because as far as I know, software engineering and the
security thereof is germane to the function of this PICLIST and certainly
the support of many who participate on the list.

I have certain proprietary software and hardware as well.  I am certainly
not interested in sharing my hardware and software designs, nor my
algorithms with my competitors.

Perhaps, I am misreading this thread.  If so, please enlighten me so I can
stand corrected and apologize for my shortsightedness and ignorance.

Richard

{Original Message removed}

2004\01\24@211753 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> But isn't it a good thing to protect individual rights and intellectual
> property?  I don't know if you are also one of those who support the

Yes, it is good to protect individual rights. This includes the right to
give one's work freely to others. In no way does the GPL violate that
concept. If you don't want to release a work under the GPL, then don't
include code in your work that was GPL'ed. It isn't as if there isn't
copious README files explaining this.

> abrogation of patent laws as well.  There is some interest in that scenario.

Well, I don't think that the patent laws help the "national good" any more,
but that's another story. They're still better for some things than not
having patents.

> I am certainly not accusing.  But I wonder what motive people have in
> preventing others from electing to enjoy the fruits of their labor and
> protection from others who would usurp the benefit of that labor without
> fair compensation.  I wonder if those who support the abrogation of software

Only a few extremists in the open source community would demand that *all*
software be open. There are advantages in hving all software be open,
but each to his own.

> I cannot see how a software engineer would elect to work for the "benefit of
> others, without compensation."  What is it that I am missing in this
> scenario?

I have released (and am still in the process of releasing) a Java robotics
framework. I don't want to be bothered trying to sell it and somebody might
get some use out of it. Why should I prevent them? Yes, I'm doing this
mainly for myself, but I have included some parts mainly for others.

> Should the military be compelled by the open-software scheme?  I wonder what
> would the purpose of a defenseless military would be.  Has anyone taken the

Why do you make the assumption that open-source software is less secure
than closed-source software? It seems that fixes come more quickly to
Linux (open-source) than to Windows (closed-source).

Also, the open-source community admits to and fixes problems more rapidly
than most close-source sources.

> time to think this thing through? Or can it be that I am missing something
> very fundamental, because as far as I know, software engineering and the
> security thereof is germane to the function of this PICLIST and certainly
> the support of many who participate on the list.

Yes, and there are many ways to make money from software. One can make
money from open-source software though various means.

> I have certain proprietary software and hardware as well.  I am certainly
> not interested in sharing my hardware and software designs, nor my
> algorithms with my competitors.

Then don't. Nobody is forcing you to. SCO is *claiming* that the open-source
comminity wants this. The technical term for this is a "lie". SCO does
that.

However, there are advantages to sharing. Sometimes some peer consultation
can help. I would not be where I am today without the contributions of
others. By releasing some software open-source, and by writing articles,
I feel I am giving back to those who helped me get started. Other people
will do the same in the future.
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2004\01\24@215358 by Richard Graziano

picon face
Thank you so much for your kind and courteous explanation.  But I have been
in this business a long time and if what you say about the posture of
open-software is true, and I have no reason to doubt you, so I accept it,
then the fact is that open software and open hardware have been around for
as long as I can remember.  I used to teach electronics design at a
community college and I gave my students a good deal of what I developed so
that they could use it, learn from it and profit from it.  I had already
profited from it myself.  I am always ready to help new engineers and
technicians solve problems or get projects up and running.  I have never
even considered compensation: it is a gift.  I have been doing this for
years, only I never referred to it as open anything.

That being the case, and I admit that I came in late on this thread, I fail
to see why it would be controversial.  I read the SCO letter and it made a
great deal of sense to me because I do not believe that anyone should be
compelled to open their software (technology).  I am a staunch advocate of
individual rights and copyright protection as well as patent protection.  I
have some designs that I will not patent because that will put them in the
public domain where others may be able to discover the basis of invention.
I once was asked by Singer, et al to design a better autofocus that Kodak's.
It was easy. I pulled their patents and decided to go a different route that
would surpass the Kodak design. But that does not suggest that patent laws
should be abrogated because a trade secret is viable.

If I am to understand you, the controversy is that ones right to publish
freely without consequence is being infringed upon.  If someone steals the
source code from someone else and publishes it at large, I see that as
infringement and I cannot see any way to justify it.  According to the SCO
letter, that is a salient part of their argument.  Some significant pat of
their source code was usurped.  I do not know if this is a fact.  But I am
persuaded that protection against such theft is warranted.

I appreciate your clarification, that open-software means anyone can give
away their work without fear of being impugned or maligned.  But I wonder
why that should even be a question when it has been a practice since I was a
new physicist with a small company in Silicon Valley.   I have been laboring
under the assumption, based upon what others have represented as their view,
that all software should be "open."  I can only conclude that there is room
for clarification on both sides of the issue because some are indeed
advocating that legal protection of software rights be removed that it is a
compelling force.

As you have stated, however, these must be the extremists, or fringe
elements of the idea.

I wish to be sure that you accept my sincere thanks for taking the time to
explain some things that I have misunderstood, and clarifying some thing
which I have understood.  I will continue to research the broader context of
the notion.

Regards,
Richard



{Original Message removed}

2004\01\24@221053 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> Thank you so much for your kind and courteous explanation.  But I have been

You're welcome.

> That being the case, and I admit that I came in late on this thread, I fail
> to see why it would be controversial.  I read the SCO letter and it made a
> great deal of sense to me because I do not believe that anyone should be

Yes, but if you have read the previous news about SCO, you will find that
pretty much *all* their points are bald-faced lies.

> compelled to open their software (technology).  I am a staunch advocate of
> individual rights and copyright protection as well as patent protection.  I

As am I.

> have some designs that I will not patent because that will put them in the
> public domain where others may be able to discover the basis of invention.

Strange. I won't patent because it costs too much for far too little.

> I once was asked by Singer, et al to design a better autofocus that Kodak's.
> It was easy. I pulled their patents and decided to go a different route that
> would surpass the Kodak design. But that does not suggest that patent laws
> should be abrogated because a trade secret is viable.

Yes. However, if Kodak had used a trade secret, it would have been *much*
easier to merely copy their design.

> If I am to understand you, the controversy is that ones right to publish
> freely without consequence is being infringed upon.  If someone steals the

Yes.

> source code from someone else and publishes it at large, I see that as
> infringement and I cannot see any way to justify it.  According to the SCO

I agree. Theft is still theft.

> letter, that is a salient part of their argument.  Some significant pat of
> their source code was usurped.  I do not know if this is a fact.  But I am
> persuaded that protection against such theft is warranted.

SCO's argument is that *some* code that is in Linux came from their sources.

However, they have never disclosed even the files that were supposed to
have been "stolen".

There are lawsuits in progress which will force discovery of this. Because
of SCO's handling of this and refusal to give out information, it is assumed
that they are attempting to boost their stock prices. The information that
is requested is, at their own admission, already in the Linux code. Therefore
it couldn't hurt them to release the information *unless* it would destroy
their position.

> I appreciate your clarification, that open-software means anyone can give
> away their work without fear of being impugned or maligned.  But I wonder
> why that should even be a question when it has been a practice since I was a
> new physicist with a small company in Silicon Valley.   I have been laboring
> under the assumption, based upon what others have represented as their view,
> that all software should be "open."  I can only conclude that there is room
> for clarification on both sides of the issue because some are indeed
> advocating that legal protection of software rights be removed that it is a
> compelling force.

Yes, and since you have been a software engineerer for years and you don't
know much about open-source, imagine how legislators will take this.

> As you have stated, however, these must be the extremists, or fringe
> elements of the idea.

Unfortunately yes.
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2004\01\24@224038 by Richard Graziano

picon face
Thank You D. Jay Newman.  I am a physicist and engineer when I have to be,
and I write code.  I would not profess to be a software engineer based upon
the incredible and amazing work some of my employees have done. They are the
software engineers.  That, however, is not important.

I believe that this sort of colloquy is intellectually healthy and serves
the industry very well.  Thank you for your courteous reply.

Regards,
Richard


{Original Message removed}

2004\01\24@231153 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Richard Graziano wrote:
> But isn't it a good thing to protect individual rights and intellectual
> property?

Yes, but SCO appears to have no legitimate claims to either in this
case.  See the documentation on the case they started (and then were
counter-sued) with IBM at http://www.groklaw.net -- it's enlightening.

As Linus Torvalds put it... "They're smoking crack."

Nate Duehr, natespamKILLspamnatetech.com

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2004\01\24@233511 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Saturday, Jan 24, 2004, at 18:13 US/Pacific, D. Jay Newman wrote:

> It seems that fixes come more quickly to
> Linux (open-source) than to Windows (closed-source).
>
> Also, the open-source community admits to and fixes problems more
> rapidly than most close-source sources.
>
>
Except when they refuse to admit that they have a bug.  I understand
that there is some VERY questionable logic in the current Linux ARP
code, and the relevant developer simply refuses to admit that it
should be changed.  Since there is effectively no way to apply market
pressure to free software, it might never get changed.  Assorted
vendors are cringing about how much THEY are likely to have to spend
to 'support' this quirk that won't go away...

The things going on (or not going on) with the Jal compiler since
it was made open source are mildly amusing as well.

And there are the lovely version to version incompatibilities in
famous packages like emacs.  Sometimes solved by fragmentation into
several separate "products."

Open source is a fine thing, but it doesn't solve all problems.
It also isn't new.  Universities and such were sharing source code
for all sorts of stuff long before the 8086 even existed...

It does raise some interesting Intellectual Property issues.  If
code is copyrighted and/or trade secret, I am free to "clean room"
reproduce similar code (like an IBMPC BIOS, as a popular item) if
I can reasonably demonstrate that I never studied, stole, or otherwise
used the code i am 'reverse engineering.'  Accused of violating GPL
by including open source (GPL'ed) code, I would likely have a very
difficult time indeed demonstrating that I had never looked at the
relevant open source code.   I'm not a big fan of the GPL ("if you
include any GPL code, your code must also be GPL'ed.")  We have a
<expletive deleted> legal team that has to oversee and approve
every use of open source code in our products.  Somehow, I think
paying lawyers big bucks instead of paying programmers big bucks
was NOT what even RMS had in mind.

Sigh.
BillW

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2004\01\24@234755 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> On Saturday, Jan 24, 2004, at 18:13 US/Pacific, D. Jay Newman wrote:
>
> > It seems that fixes come more quickly to
> > Linux (open-source) than to Windows (closed-source).
> >
> > Also, the open-source community admits to and fixes problems more
> > rapidly than most close-source sources.
> >
> Except when they refuse to admit that they have a bug.  I understand
> that there is some VERY questionable logic in the current Linux ARP
> code, and the relevant developer simply refuses to admit that it
> should be changed.  Since there is effectively no way to apply market
> pressure to free software, it might never get changed.  Assorted
> vendors are cringing about how much THEY are likely to have to spend
> to 'support' this quirk that won't go away...

Anybody is able to rewrite the ARP code and release it. Yes, that may
cause a split, but it is allowable under the GPL.

> And there are the lovely version to version incompatibilities in
> famous packages like emacs.  Sometimes solved by fragmentation into
> several separate "products."

As you point out.

> Open source is a fine thing, but it doesn't solve all problems.

Agreed. I will admit that I try to choose open-source alternatives
when possible, but I'm not a fanatic about it.

> It also isn't new.  Universities and such were sharing source code
> for all sorts of stuff long before the 8086 even existed...

Ayup. Including some of the unix code...

> It does raise some interesting Intellectual Property issues.  If
> code is copyrighted and/or trade secret, I am free to "clean room"
> reproduce similar code (like an IBMPC BIOS, as a popular item) if
> I can reasonably demonstrate that I never studied, stole, or otherwise
> used the code i am 'reverse engineering.'  Accused of violating GPL
> by including open source (GPL'ed) code, I would likely have a very
> difficult time indeed demonstrating that I had never looked at the

Unfortunately you may be right. However, in any non-trivial program
there should be enough differences.

> relevant open source code.   I'm not a big fan of the GPL ("if you
> include any GPL code, your code must also be GPL'ed.")  We have a
> <expletive deleted> legal team that has to oversee and approve
> every use of open source code in our products.  Somehow, I think
> paying lawyers big bucks instead of paying programmers big bucks
> was NOT what even RMS had in mind.

Again, this is highly unfortunate.

Frankly I'm not a big fan of the GPL, preferring the LGPL instead. I
feel that the GPL is a bit too strict and can lead to a lack of sharing.
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2004\01\25@002124 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sat, Jan 24, 2004 at 09:52:30PM -0500, Richard Graziano wrote:
> Thank you so much for your kind and courteous explanation.  But I have been
> in this business a long time and if what you say about the posture of
> open-software is true, and I have no reason to doubt you, so I accept it,
> then the fact is that open software and open hardware have been around for
> as long as I can remember.  I used to teach electronics design at a
> community college and I gave my students a good deal of what I developed so
> that they could use it, learn from it and profit from it.  I had already
> profited from it myself.  I am always ready to help new engineers and
> technicians solve problems or get projects up and running.  I have never
> even considered compensation: it is a gift.  I have been doing this for
> years, only I never referred to it as open anything.

That's the concept. Except that the family of free licenses specifically
grant (and under some conditions require) the licencee permission to further
distribute that work.

>
> That being the case, and I admit that I came in late on this thread, I fail
> to see why it would be controversial.  I read the SCO letter and it made a
> great deal of sense to me because I do not believe that anyone should be
> compelled to open their software (technology).

That argument is flawed on two different fronts. Let's take the 1st paragraph
of page 2 [EMPHSIS MINE]:

"The GPL seeks to commodotize software by reducing its monetary value to
zero and making it. THE GPL IS CAREFULLY DESIGNED TO HAVE A VIRAL EFFECT,
IT "FREES" THE SOFTWARE THAT IS PROPRIETARY, LICENSABLE, AND A SOURCE OF
INCOME FROM THE COMPANIES THAT DEVELOP IT."

The above is flat inflammatory for effect. The GPL cannot be applied to
software except by its owner/authors. So there's no way for me to take your
software, slap a GPL license on it and "free" it. If it did that, then one
should be pissed off. That's what the letter wants you to think.

Now the flip side that ticks for profit software companies off is the fact
that the GPL is also designed to resist being proprietized by software
developers. That's the viral effect. I release GPL software that I have
written. By doing this I've granted you a specific list of rights. However
the one responsibility I put on you is that if you modify and redistribute,
that you extend the same rights I've given to you to whomever you distribute
to. So if I give you the source of a project under the GPL and you modify it
and sell it, you have to give your modifications to the source too.

The GPL has a price, and the currency is access. I open access to my stuff for
everyone to use. But the price is that if you add to it, you can't restrict
access to the changes. If that price is too high, then all you have to do is
rewrite it yourself, then slap any license you like on it.

> I am a staunch advocate of
> individual rights and copyright protection as well as patent protection.  I
> have some designs that I will not patent because that will put them in the
> public domain where others may be able to discover the basis of invention.

Trade secret. Works a lot of the time but provides no protection if the cat
is let out the bag.

But the GPL is a specific expression of the individual rights and copyright
protections you refer to. I as the author insist on the right to give my
code away, and to insist that if you use my (MY!) code as a basis for your
work, that you make your code just as available as mine. And I'm using
copyright to enforce the license, so if you disagree, by copyright you have
no permissions at all.

> I once was asked by Singer, et al to design a better autofocus that Kodak's.
> It was easy. I pulled their patents and decided to go a different route that
> would surpass the Kodak design. But that does not suggest that patent laws
> should be abrogated because a trade secret is viable.

Software patents are a very sticky area because they are almost always the
tangible expression of an idea, which originally patents prohibited. One
cannot patent the idea of a car, one can patent a specific car. But in software
if one patents a program, then the next developer can simply write another
program that does the same job. So software patents try to grab as much
infospace as it can i.e. (no one can implement any concept of a One Click
Shopping site because Amazon holds the patent).

But it's a smokescreen anyway designed to make you think that Open Source
advocates want to run around abridging software patents.

>
> If I am to understand you, the controversy is that ones right to publish
> freely without consequence is being infringed upon.  If someone steals the
> source code from someone else and publishes it at large, I see that as
> infringement and I cannot see any way to justify it.  According to the SCO
> letter, that is a salient part of their argument.

It is. However in almost a year since this issue first came up, SCO has not
deigned to supply one shred of evidence backing up that claim. It's gotten
so bad that IBM filed and was granted a motion compelling SCO to come up with
the goods.

Also there is a dispute as to whether or not SCO owns the disputed code at
all. Here's an article on the subject.

http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/os/story/0,10801,88732,00.html?f=x72

> Some significant pat of
> their source code was usurped.  I do not know if this is a fact.

Good! Thanks for having an open mind about that point.

> But I am persuaded that protection against such theft is warranted.

Of course it is. And that protection is already there. It's called copyright
law.

>
> I appreciate your clarification, that open-software means anyone can give
> away their work without fear of being impugned or maligned.  But I wonder
> why that should even be a question when it has been a practice since I was a
> new physicist with a small company in Silicon Valley.   I have been laboring
> under the assumption, based upon what others have represented as their view,
> that all software should be "open."

I certainly don't subscribe to that view. My view is simple, if it's your code
do what you want with it. If it's not your code, do only what the code's
owner gives you license to do. Simple. Now as a user I can decide if I wish
to comply to the term, and if not I can look for (or write) alternatives.
Usually I will look at Open Source solutions first because I know from hard
experience that Open Source gives me the best flexibility in utilizing the
software.

{Quote hidden}

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2004\01\25@020359 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Frankly I'm not a big fan of the GPL, preferring the LGPL instead. I
> feel that the GPL is a bit too strict and can lead to a lack
> of sharing.

You'd better re-read the LGPL, it does not allow (much) more sharing
than GPL. I have been looking for a more appropriate license for my
stuff (including the Jal libraries) too, but have not found one yet.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\25@020400 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Except when they refuse to admit that they have a bug.  I understand
> that there is some VERY questionable logic in the current Linux ARP
> code, and the relevant developer simply refuses to admit that it
> should be changed.  Since there is effectively no way to apply market
> pressure to free software, it might never get changed.  Assorted
> vendors are cringing about how much THEY are likely to have to spend
> to 'support' this quirk that won't go away...

But then why don't they just fix it?

> The things going on (or not going on) with the Jal compiler since
> it was made open source are mildly amusing as well.

Interesting! In what sense, and what did you contribute yourself?

> Open source is a fine thing, but it doesn't solve all problems.

What made you think it would?

> It also isn't new.  Universities and such were sharing source code
> for all sorts of stuff long before the 8086 even existed...

Totally free (public domain) stuff is not new, but the GPL is new, and a
marevellous piece of 'code'.

{Quote hidden}

Yes he had. You are making closed software, otherwise you would not need
to avoid using GPL-ed software. And RMS has tried to make that hard. And
he used the same law others use to make using software hard: the
copyright law. I think GCC is good coding work, but GPL is much better.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\25@020401 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I read the SCO letter
> and it made a
> great deal of sense to me

whoops, you'd better re-read it!

> because I do not believe that
> anyone should be
> compelled to open their software (technology).

Who is? And by whom?

> I am a
> staunch advocate of
> individual rights and copyright protection as well as patent
> protection.

Do you know that the GPL and related license are based on copyright law?

> If I am to understand you, the controversy is that ones right
> to publish
> freely without consequence is being infringed upon.

Who does this?

> If someone steals the
> source code from someone else and publishes it at large, I see that as
> infringement and I cannot see any way to justify it.

Neiter do I. Provided of course that it is proven.

> persuaded that protection against such theft is warranted.

No-one (especially no Open Source proponent) will argue with that,
especially beacuse
the Open Source licenses are based on copyright law.

> I appriciate your clarification, that open-software means
> anyone can give
> away their work without fear of being impugned or maligned.

Not just that. It also means that they have full rights to impose
restrictions on this 'giving away', just as much as those how sell right
to their software have rights to impose limitations. Equal rights,
remember?

> some are indeed
> advocating that legal protection of software rights be
> removed that it is a
> compelling force.

So? Anyone is free to advocate (almost) anything.

> As you have stated, however, these must be the extremists, or fringe
> elements of the idea.

There are extremist Christians, Muslimst, Jews, Left-wingers,
Right-wingers, Moderaters, (Moderators?), Open-sourceres,
Closed-sourcerers, name any other group. So what?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\25@021437 by D. Jay Newman

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> > Frankly I'm not a big fan of the GPL, preferring the LGPL instead. I
> > feel that the GPL is a bit too strict and can lead to a lack
> > of sharing.
>
> You'd better re-read the LGPL, it does not allow (much) more sharing
> than GPL. I have been looking for a more appropriate license for my
> stuff (including the Jal libraries) too, but have not found one yet.

As far as I can read, it allows my stuff to be linked into other code
without requiring a source level distribution of the other code. It does
require that *my* code be kept free.

I will reread the relevent files when I'm awake, as it's after 2:30 am
here.  :)
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2004\01\25@022307 by D. Jay Newman

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> > I read the SCO letter
> > and it made a
> > great deal of sense to me
>
> whoops, you'd better re-read it!

I think that this is an important point.

The OP has been involved with computers for quite some time, and was
taken in.

Think of how legislators who even less knowledge of such things will react.

*We* know that the SCO is lying. Other people don't.

> > As you have stated, however, these must be the extremists, or fringe
> > elements of the idea.
>
> There are extremist Christians, Muslimst, Jews, Left-wingers,
> Right-wingers, Moderaters, (Moderators?), Open-sourceres,
> Closed-sourcerers, name any other group. So what?

Yes, there are extremists in *any* group. Usually these people are not
looked on well by members of the group. On the other hand, outsiders
have a tendency to judge a group by its extremes.

[Aside for user-interface programmers: people remember the *extremes*,
not the averages; so a user interface should exhibit as consistent a
behavior as possible even if it means somewhat sub-optimal performance
on the whole. This is the same tendency as in the above paragraph.]
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2004\01\25@022722 by D. Jay Newman

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> > It also isn't new.  Universities and such were sharing source code
> > for all sorts of stuff long before the 8086 even existed...
>
> Totally free (public domain) stuff is not new, but the GPL is new, and a
> marevellous piece of 'code'.

Not that new. It's at least twenty years old.

> > <expletive deleted> legal team that has to oversee and approve
> > every use of open source code in our products.  Somehow, I think
> > paying lawyers big bucks instead of paying programmers big bucks
> > was NOT what even RMS had in mind.
>
> Yes he had. You are making closed software, otherwise you would not need
> to avoid using GPL-ed software. And RMS has tried to make that hard. And
> he used the same law others use to make using software hard: the
> copyright law. I think GCC is good coding work, but GPL is much better.

Yes, but RMS is one of the fanatics. I see his point, but I'm a moderate
on this.
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2004\01\25@024215 by Dan Devine

picon face
On Sat, 2004-01-24 at 23:02, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > Frankly I'm not a big fan of the GPL, preferring the LGPL instead. I
> > feel that the GPL is a bit too strict and can lead to a lack
> > of sharing.
>
> You'd better re-read the LGPL, it does not allow (much) more sharing
> than GPL. I have been looking for a more appropriate license for my
> stuff (including the Jal libraries) too, but have not found one yet.

>From my reading of the GPL and LGPL, there is a significant difference
with regard to embedded systems.

I believe that the GPL requires sharing in all situations where code is
statically linked...  There are exceptions when application code calls
dynamic system modules, but there prob. wouldn't be any of these modules
on a PIC.  I believe this (the static linkage) covers all embedded
applications except perhaps code which is loaded at run time through
some type of bootloader (think serial eeprom as source of custom stuff,
with GPL'd code living constantly in program memory, program starts,
looks for flag, and does self program with contents of serial eeprom).
Otherwise, using any GPL code in an embedded unit would require you to
release all the code you added, plus the stuff you got for free.  There
might be exceptions, but the intent of the GPL is to bring as much into
free as possible.  Basically, if you include a header file, and that
header file is GPL, you've included GPL code in your code....you must
release.

The LGPL on the other hand, makes the distinction between library code
and task/application code.  It allows for a better mix between
proprietary code and open code.  You might not be required to release
your application code if you have not modified the library, and only use
documented system calls.  If you didn't modify the library, I'm not sure
if you have to release it.  You could further this distinction by
setting your application in one codepage and having the library located
in another, just to draw the line in the sand as it were, with the
ability to show that the binary is the same regardless of your code's
addition.

I'm sure there are a few more subtleties to this, I recommend reading it
for yourself.

Just my $0.02..... Read more on the GPL and LGPL at the FSF

http://www.fsf.org/



Dan D

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2004\01\25@025457 by D. Jay Newman

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> The LGPL on the other hand, makes the distinction between library code
> and task/application code.  It allows for a better mix between
> proprietary code and open code.  You might not be required to release
> your application code if you have not modified the library, and only use
> documented system calls.  If you didn't modify the library, I'm not sure
> if you have to release it.  You could further this distinction by
> setting your application in one codepage and having the library located
> in another, just to draw the line in the sand as it were, with the
> ability to show that the binary is the same regardless of your code's
> addition.

That was somewhat close to my reading, except that it has been reworded
so that it no longer applies to just libraries.
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2004\01\25@035218 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
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Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>>Frankly I'm not a big fan of the GPL, preferring the LGPL instead. I
>>feel that the GPL is a bit too strict and can lead to a lack
>>of sharing.
>
>
> You'd better re-read the LGPL, it does not allow (much) more sharing
> than GPL. I have been looking for a more appropriate license for my
> stuff (including the Jal libraries) too, but have not found one yet.

Are you looking for "more open" or "less open" Wouter?  I couldn't
figure it out from this message.

Most experts agree that if you're going for "more open" BSD's license is
the most open of them all... at the expense of allowing anyone to take
your source code, make it part of a commercial product, and the only
credit you'll get is if your name is on the Copyright notice.

But it's very "open".

Nate Duehr, EraseMEnatespamspamspamBeGonenatetech.com

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2004\01\25@043237 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Yes, but RMS is one of the fanatics. I see his point, but I'm
> a moderate on this.

I can't say I totally agree with RMS, but I firmly believe that whoever
does the work is entitled to influence. The GCC is a *big* piece of work
(probably larger than the total contribution of LT), so it is only fair
that RMS has a large influence on how things go.

And looking the other way: anyone dare to state that SCO is among the
moderates?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\25@060150 by Howard Winter

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Bill,

On Sat, 24 Jan 2004 20:22:09 -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Then why doesn't someone else fix it?  As I understand the situation, anyone is free to create their own
versions and release them to the public.  The incorporation of the new or old version is then the choice of
the person building Linux.  This sort of thing has happened in the OS/2 world, which is my favourite Operating
System, where IBM's drivers for serial ports and disk drives were thought to be less than optimal and new ones
were written by Ray Gwinn and Daniela Engert, respectively.  These are now used by most people in preference
to those from IBM.  And this is in the arena of closed, copyright protected code (although Dani's stuff is
free to use).

> Since there is effectively no way to apply market
> pressure to free software, it might never get changed.

I don't see that as a logical conclusion - if the original "buggy" stuff was free, why can't new "clean" stuff
be written and free too?

> Assorted
> vendors are cringing about how much THEY are likely to have to spend
> to 'support' this quirk that won't go away...

So why don't they spend the money on fixing it?

> The things going on (or not going on) with the Jal compiler since
> it was made open source are mildly amusing as well.

I know of JAL but I must admit I haven't heard anything about these "things going on" - could you point me to
this, please?

> And there are the lovely version to version incompatibilities in
> famous packages like emacs.  Sometimes solved by fragmentation into
> several separate "products."

Every piece of software has backward-compatibility issues (or forks) - look at Windows.  When Windows 95 and
NT were released, it was said that the next version of Windows would pull them together into one homogeneous
package, but they then released 98, 98 SE, ME, various numbered NTs and 2000 before finally producing XP, over
about seven years.  And even then XP has "Home" and "Professional" versions!  It seems to be a fact of life
that when someone has a good idea, someone else has a "better" one based on it, but the original developer
won't accept that it is better, so two versions may continue to exist.  It's a human nature thing, often
called "not invented here"!  We just have to make the best we can of the situation.

> Open source is a fine thing, but it doesn't solve all problems.

*Nothing* solves all problems!  :-)  That's why it's so annoying that lawyers have such a grip on the world -
they give the impression that they want to find a solution to every problem, and charge a fortune for trying,
but they don't ever promise to solve anything, and they get paid regardless of the outcome...  I think
Shakespeare had the right idea!  :-)

> It also isn't new.  Universities and such were sharing source code
> for all sorts of stuff long before the 8086 even existed...

Indeed, the famous Greek philosophers' /raison d'etre/ was to pass on their knowledge and encourage others to
further it.

> It does raise some interesting Intellectual Property issues.  If
> code is copyrighted and/or trade secret, I am free to "clean room"
> reproduce similar code (like an IBMPC BIOS, as a popular item) if
> I can reasonably demonstrate that I never studied, stole, or otherwise
> used the code i am 'reverse engineering.'  Accused of violating GPL
> by including open source (GPL'ed) code, I would likely have a very
> difficult time indeed demonstrating that I had never looked at the
> relevant open source code.

I don't see why not:  I've never looked at any source code of any operating system (open or otherwise) - why
would the fact that others have looked at it prejudice my assertion that I haven't?  In Britain the legal
system is that nothing may prejudice a jury, and sometimes a newspaper will publish something that might do
so, so the judge may ask the jury if they have read the relevant paper and excuse them if so.  It doesn't
happen often, but it does happen.  It would be up to the "other side" to prove that I had seen the relevant
code.

> I'm not a big fan of the GPL ("if you
> include any GPL code, your code must also be GPL'ed.")  We have a
> <expletive deleted> legal team that has to oversee and approve
> every use of open source code in our products.  Somehow, I think
> paying lawyers big bucks instead of paying programmers big bucks
> was NOT what even RMS had in mind.

I completely agree with that!  If your firm has decided to use lawyers this way, that's their choice, but it
isn't mandatory, and I imagine most people don't do so.  Why not get them to draw up guidelines to follow
which will "keep things legal" and just follow those in future?  Should save money all round!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\01\25@062641 by Howard Winter

face
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Byron,

On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 00:20:12 -0500, Byron A Jeff wrote:

> Software patents are a very sticky area because they are almost always the
> tangible expression of an idea, which originally patents prohibited. One
> cannot patent the idea of a car, one can patent a specific car. But in software
> if one patents a program, then the next developer can simply write another
> program that does the same job. So software patents try to grab as much
> infospace as it can i.e. (no one can implement any concept of a One Click
> Shopping site because Amazon holds the patent).

This is the case only in the USA.  In Britain and Europe, for example, you cannot patent an idea, or a
technique, or a business process or practice (these have been excluded from English patents as long as they
have existed) and more recently computer software and genes have been added to the "specifically-excluded"
list.  I don't know how patent / copyright are resolved in the USA - if someone copies something that is
patented and copyright, which legislation do you use to challenge them?

Copyright is different though - anything written is automatically copyright, and you don't have to do anything
to establish copyright, although putting the little "c in a circle" is a way to remind people of the fact.

The original idea of patents was to allow inventions to be publicised, with the "payback" being that they were
protected from copying for a while.  It wasn't specifically to allow the inventor to make money, but to get
the inventions out into the World in a way that the inventor didn't lose out.  But the inventor must allow
people to use the invention for a reasonable fee, and that includes them creating better versions.  If you
refuse to licence a patented invention, the patent is void.

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\01\25@062849 by Howard Winter

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Wouter,

On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 08:02:11 +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> I have been looking for a more appropriate license for my
> stuff (including the Jal libraries) too, but have not found one yet.

Why not write your own licence that specifies exactly what you want to apply to your stuff?

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\01\25@063941 by Howard Winter

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Wouter,

On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 10:31:28 +0100, Wouter van Ooijen
wrote:

>  anyone dare to state that SCO is among the moderates?

They are, in the way that a fox is among the chickens!
:-)

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\01\25@081322 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> The LGPL on the other hand, makes the distinction between library code
> and task/application code.

Not much distinction. I just re-read the LGPL and it is indeed as was
pointed out to me by Jal users: for a compiled application that includes
any (compiled) LGPL code the LGPL fully applies and forces publication
of the source of the application. Please correct me (with appropriate
citations) if you disageer. My quote:

4. You may copy and distribute the Library (or a portion or derivative
of it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the
terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you accompany it with the
complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be
distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
customarily used for software interchange.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\25@081323 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Are you looking for "more open" or "less open" Wouter?  I couldn't
> figure it out from this message.

What I am looking for is something that permits every use of my
libraries when in compiled form, and is roughly equal to GPL/LGPL for
the source form. Note that I want this for Jal libraries, and Jal does
not have an object format to confuse the distinction.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\25@081324 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > I have been looking for a more appropriate license for my
> > stuff (including the Jal libraries) too, but have not found one yet.
>
> Why not write your own licence that specifies exactly what
> you want to apply to your stuff?

Why not write your own compiler and create your own microcontroller?
Same reason: writing a license is work, and difficult work. IMHO the GPL
is probably a more important creating than GCC or Linux.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\25@150230 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sun, Jan 25, 2004 at 08:02:11AM +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > I read the SCO letter
> > and it made a
> > great deal of sense to me
>
> whoops, you'd better re-read it!

Breathe Wouter, breathe.

Richard is taking the SCO letter at face value. He even says at the bottom of
one of is his posts something along the lines "if SCO is to be believed".

>
> > because I do not believe that
> > anyone should be
> > compelled to open their software (technology).
>
> Who is? And by whom?

According to the letter, legitimate profit making software companies and
developers are being forceably GPLed by Open Source developers.

SCO's whole campaign is that their precious Unix intellectual property is
being stolen and made into GPL code, thus depriving them the ability to make
a living on their property.

Don't worry about little details that there is no evidence that any code has
been stolen, or that in fact SCO actually owns anything. That's beside the
point. The GPL is depriving them of a living.

[For the humor challenged: toungue firmly in cheek.]

>
> > I am a
> > staunch advocate of
> > individual rights and copyright protection as well as patent
> > protection.
>
> Do you know that the GPL and related license are based on copyright law?

We're educating him. For us US folks, we need to be aware that we need to
educate our CongressCritters too.

>
> > If I am to understand you, the controversy is that ones right
> > to publish
> > freely without consequence is being infringed upon.
>
> Who does this?

Open Source developers. The FSF. IBM. Red Hat. Anyone who uses the GPL.
Take your pick.

>
> > If someone steals the
> > source code from someone else and publishes it at large, I see that as
> > infringement and I cannot see any way to justify it.
>
> Neit[h]er do I. Provided of course that it is proven.

See we all agree with the conclusion. However the premise is flawed.

>
> > persuaded that protection against such theft is warranted.
>
> No-one (especially no Open Source proponent) will argue with that,
> especially beacuse
> the Open Source licenses are based on copyright law.

Absolutely.

>
> > I appriciate your clarification, that open-software means
> > anyone can give
> > away their work without fear of being impugned or maligned.
>
> Not just that. It also means that they have full rights to impose
> restrictions on this 'giving away', just as much as those how sell right
> to their software have rights to impose limitations. Equal rights,
> remember?

Exactly. In fact in some ways it's more draconian to developers than the
standard EULAs because a developers/redistributor cannot make the code
(and more importantly any changes or additions to the codebase) proprietary.
Without an inherent mechanism for creating scarcity, there's little hope of
creating the vast profit pool that commercial software companies so crave.

>
> > some are indeed
> > advocating that legal protection of software rights be
> > removed that it is a
> > compelling force.
>
> So? Anyone is free to advocate (almost) anything.

Look at SCO! ;-)

BAJ

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2004\01\25@151026 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sun, Jan 25, 2004 at 02:11:36AM -0500, D. Jay Newman wrote:
> > > Frankly I'm not a big fan of the GPL, preferring the LGPL instead. I
> > > feel that the GPL is a bit too strict and can lead to a lack
> > > of sharing.
> >
> > You'd better re-read the LGPL, it does not allow (much) more sharing
> > than GPL. I have been looking for a more appropriate license for my
> > stuff (including the Jal libraries) too, but have not found one yet.
>
> As far as I can read, it allows my stuff to be linked into other code
> without requiring a source level distribution of the other code. It does
> require that *my* code be kept free.

That's close to the mark. However there are two important caveats:

1) Your codebase must provide a mechanism for relinking with newer versions
of the library. With applications software this usually isn't a big deal
because the library is dynamically linked anyway. However in an embedded
environment, this could in fact be problematic.

2) Those rules do not apply to the library itself. If you modify and
redistribute the actual LGPL code, it behaves the same as GPL code i.e.
you have to release the source to any changes to the library.

>
> I will reread the relevent files when I'm awake, as it's after 2:30 am
> here.  :)

You see the caveats when you do.

BAJ

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2004\01\25@153309 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > As far as I can read, it allows my stuff to be linked into
> other code
> > without requiring a source level distribution of the other
> code. It does
> > require that *my* code be kept free.
>
> That's close to the mark. However there are two important caveats:

As far as I read the LGPL any complete executable application (as a PIC
program has to be) that is distributed and contains LGPL code must be
accompanied by the full source. If you think otherwise please mention
the LGPL section that allows you to do otherwise.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\25@170016 by D. Jay Newman

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>
> > > As far as I can read, it allows my stuff to be linked into
> > other code
> > > without requiring a source level distribution of the other
> > code. It does
> > > require that *my* code be kept free.
> >
> > That's close to the mark. However there are two important caveats:
>
> As far as I read the LGPL any complete executable application (as a PIC
> program has to be) that is distributed and contains LGPL code must be
> accompanied by the full source. If you think otherwise please mention
> the LGPL section that allows you to do otherwise.

It looks like you're correct.

I need to find a new license that allows my framework to be kept free
while allowing it to be used in commercial products.

Of course, since my framework is a Java package it will seldom be
hard-linked with other programs.
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2004\01\25@170639 by D. Jay Newman

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face
> That's close to the mark. However there are two important caveats:
>
> 1) Your codebase must provide a mechanism for relinking with newer versions
> of the library. With applications software this usually isn't a big deal
> because the library is dynamically linked anyway. However in an embedded
> environment, this could in fact be problematic.

You are right. I reread things and the LGPL isn't what I want. However,
it isn't that critical to me because I'm releasing Java code.

> 2) Those rules do not apply to the library itself. If you modify and
> redistribute the actual LGPL code, it behaves the same as GPL code i.e.
> you have to release the source to any changes to the library.

On the other hand, this *is* something I want.

> > I will reread the relevent files when I'm awake, as it's after 2:30 am
> > here.  :)
>
> You see the caveats when you do.

Ayup. You're right.
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2004\01\25@172130 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> > Yes, but RMS is one of the fanatics. I see his point, but I'm
> > a moderate on this.
>
> I can't say I totally agree with RMS, but I firmly believe that whoever
> does the work is entitled to influence. The GCC is a *big* piece of work
> (probably larger than the total contribution of LT), so it is only fair
> that RMS has a large influence on how things go.
>
> And looking the other way: anyone dare to state that SCO is among the
> moderates?

I don't think that fanatic applies to SCO either. From everything I've
heard they are a bunch of lying idiots trying to blackmail people using
the legal system.
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2004\01\25@195552 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 03:01 US/Pacific, Howard Winter wrote:

>> Except when they refuse to admit that they have a bug.  I understand
>> that there is some VERY questionable logic in the current Linux ARP
>> code, and the relevant developer simply refuses to admit that it
>> should be changed.
>
> Then why doesn't someone else fix it?  As I understand the situation,
> anyone is free to create their own versions and release them to the
> public.

Sure.  I'm not too familiar with the exact details...

But we're talking about the major distributions here.  How many
of the distributers do you think are willing to piss off THE (?)
(non-resident) expert of the low-level IP code just to "give in" to
a bunch of those evil non-open-software companies? And who will go
first?  I don't recall whether the "problem" here has good side effects,
and it (used to be) pretty rare, only being relevant on multi-homed
hosts.
(unfortunately, those are getting much more common now that many laptops
have both an ethernet and a wireless card...)

And then you have the "momentum" problem.  Even when you have agreement
that some behavior is a problem (oh, like the old 4.2bsd wrong broadcast
address), it can take nearly forever to trickle down and across to
everyone
who needs to change it...

Big companies have this sort of problem with their "prima donna"
engineers, even when they're proper employees.  It's gotta be a lot
worse
when you're talking about volunteers.

BillW

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2004\01\25@200422 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 03:01 US/Pacific, Howard Winter wrote:

>
>> The things going on (or not going on) with the Jal compiler since
>> it was made open source are mildly amusing as well.
>
> I know of JAL but I must admit I haven't heard anything about these
>  "things going on" - could you point me to this, please?
>
Oh, it's not that bad.  Most of the volunteers are interested in
the stuff with glory attached.  18f support, mostly.  And the code
was split up and reorganized along standard open source conventions.
The relevant gripe is that despite months and more people working on
it, I don't think there has been much actual improvement over the
closed source version Wouter suppled as binaries.

(OTOH, my interest was mainly in getting the compiler to run on
my mac, which was essentially impossible without source.  Both
Wouter's original source, and the carved up sourceforge version,
compile and run under macosX with very little effort, so that
IS a big improvement, it a way.

BillW

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2004\01\25@201426 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 05:12 US/Pacific, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>  I just re-read the LGPL and it is indeed as was
> pointed out to me by Jal users: for a compiled application that
> includes
> any (compiled) LGPL code the LGPL fully applies and forces publication
> of the source of the application. Please correct me (with appropriate
> citations) if you disageer. My quote:
>
> 4. You may copy and distribute the Library (or a portion or derivative
> of it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the
> terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you accompany it with the
> complete corresponding machine-readable source code,

I believe that's only the source of the library itself that you need to
be
willing to distribute (including any modifications you've made to the
library.)

Here's what our internal guidelines say about lgpl:

2.3.2
GNU LIBRARY GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE (LGPL)
The LGPL is used primarily for software libraries, and is slightly less
onerous than the GPL. Like the GPL, the LGPL requires you to distribute
the source code of any modifications you make to the GPL code as open
source code. Unlike the GPL, however, LGPL does not require you to
distribute the source code of any other software which is linked
(dynamically or statically) to LGPL code. This allows you to link
proprietary applications with LGPL libraries without contamination. For
example, the GNU C Library (Glibc) is licensed under LGPL, and you are
free to link your proprietary applications to Glibc and still have them
remain proprietary. However, if your software accesses the LGPL code
during the compilation process (i.e. statically linked), you have an
obligation to release the object code of your software (note: unlike
executable code, object code is an intermediary version of your
software that requires further compilation before it can be executed by
a computer and used by an end user).

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2004\01\25@202457 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 03:28 US/Pacific, Howard Winter wrote:

>
>> I have been looking for a more appropriate license for my
>> stuff (including the Jal libraries) too, but have not found one yet.
>
> Why not write your own licence that specifies exactly what you want
>  to apply to your stuff?
>
The advantage of a using a standard license is similar to the advantage
of using standard libraries.  People who might want to use your code
area already familiar with what they are dealing with.  A non-standard
license means a company probably needs a lawyer to review it to see if
they can use it or not.  This is not much of an issue if open source
becomes more open source, but is a big problem if you want the new code
to be either more or less restricted in its distribution requirements.
And it's a very big problem indeed for embedded software; if I want to
sell a PIC datalogger written in JAL that uses standard libraries,
suddenly I also need to have a mechanism in place for distributing
sources.  Yuck.

BillW

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2004\01\25@203123 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 05:12 US/Pacific, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> What I am looking for is something that permits every use of my
> libraries when in compiled form, and is roughly equal to GPL/LGPL for
> the source form. Note that I want this for Jal libraries, and Jal does
> not have an object format to confuse the distinction.
>
What do you want to have happen if people modify the library source?
That seems to be one of the sticky points of (L)GPL/etc.

BillW

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2004\01\25@204407 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 12:02 US/Pacific, Byron A Jeff wrote:

>
> According to the letter, legitimate profit making software companies
> and
> developers are being forceably GPLed by Open Source developers.
>
This seems to be true to a certain extent.   Along the lines of "we've
shown that cisco (linksys) routers contain staticly linked GPL'ed code,
therefore we demand that the entire source be released."

Thus the need for lawyers on the software company side, if they don't
want to release all their source.  Note that a very small amount of
GPL code can potentially contaminate a large amount of proprietary code.
GPL evangelists WANT that, of course, but I doubt that it is best for
most users...

BillW

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2004\01\25@205441 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> This seems to be true to a certain extent.   Along the lines of "we've
> shown that cisco (linksys) routers contain staticly linked GPL'ed code,
> therefore we demand that the entire source be released."

Yes, but the license for the code demands that.

All they have to do is to not use any GPL'ed code in order to prevent
this. This isn't that difficult. The license is displayed visibly in
the source code for all properly GPL'ed code.
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2004\01\25@213422 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 17:49 US/Pacific, D. Jay Newman wrote:

> All they have to do is to not use any GPL'ed code in order to prevent
> this. This isn't that difficult.

It gets more difficult all the time.  In many senses.  As intended.

BillW

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2004\01\25@214044 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 17:49 US/Pacific, D. Jay Newman wrote:
>
> > All they have to do is to not use any GPL'ed code in order to prevent
> > this. This isn't that difficult.
>
> It gets more difficult all the time.  In many senses.  As intended.

Yes, this is was intended. However, it is still posssible to work without
GPL'd code.
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2004\01\25@214632 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
A thought. If it can be shown that there is even ONE line of GPL code in
SCO's products then it seems to me that SCO's case fails utterly and that
legally all of SCO's product is GPL. As SCO's UNIX is based on a long line
of development in a University context, what are the chances that no piece
of GPL code was EVER included?

If such a situation could be shown to exist then SCO would probably see
maintenance of the status quo as a very reasonable compromise.


       RM

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2004\01\25@220504 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> A thought. If it can be shown that there is even ONE line of GPL code in
> SCO's products then it seems to me that SCO's case fails utterly and that
> legally all of SCO's product is GPL. As SCO's UNIX is based on a long line
> of development in a University context, what are the chances that no piece
> of GPL code was EVER included?

I don't think that would hold up in a court of law.

I think they would have to *knowingly* have included the line of code.

Also, if anybody put code that belonged to somebody else under the GPL,
they did it without right. There was a time when people were adding
things to unix without legal right. The university community thought
that they could do as they pleased because they had access to the source
code.

I think the entire situation with unix is entirely mucked up.

However, SCO's lawsuit is about a very specific situation with IBM, and
is even more mucked up.
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2004\01\26@020948 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
{Quote hidden}

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2004\01\26@040008 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > I know of JAL but I must admit I haven't heard anything about these
> >  "things going on" - could you point me to this, please?
> >
> Oh, it's not that bad.  Most of the volunteers are interested in
> the stuff with glory attached.  18f support, mostly.  And the code
> was split up and reorganized along standard open source conventions.
> The relevant gripe is that despite months and more people working on
> it, I don't think there has been much actual improvement over the
> closed source version Wouter suppled as binaries.

But did you expect a sudden miracle? How much time did (for instance)
you spend on it?

> (OTOH, my interest was mainly in getting the compiler to run on
> my mac, which was essentially impossible without source.  Both
> Wouter's original source, and the carved up sourceforge version,
> compile and run under macosX with very little effort, so that
> IS a big improvement, it a way.

This (side) effect of opening the Jal compilers source was indeed one my
reasons.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\26@040009 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Here's what our internal guidelines say about lgpl:

Sorry, I don't care about the opinion of your legal department, I want
to see it in the LGPL text!

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\26@040010 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Thus the need for lawyers on the software company side, if they don't
> want to release all their source.  Note that a very small amount of
> GPL code can potentially contaminate a large amount of
> proprietary code.
> GPL evangelists WANT that, of course, but I doubt that it is best for
> most users...

Using even a small amount of Mirocsoft's Intellectual Property (I won't
argue a bout the last, but 'intellectual' is a bad fit IMHO) makes me
liable to their license fees and conditions. And rightly so, they own
their property and if I want to use it they make the rules. Why should
it be different for GPL'ed code?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\26@040012 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> What do you want to have happen if people modify the library source?
> That seems to be one of the sticky points of (L)GPL/etc.

Just like (L)GPL: the original license sticks to the (source!) code. But
for Jal library code the contamination effect will be less of an issue
than for 'normal' code.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\26@040012 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> However, SCO's lawsuit is about a very specific situation
> with IBM, and is even more mucked up.

I am not often on IBM's side, but I hope they grind SCO to silicon and
bake them into something usefull. They have big and experienced legal /
intellectual property departments, and the chip foundries for the last
step.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\26@065136 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sun, Jan 25, 2004 at 05:30:35PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 05:12 US/Pacific, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>
> >What I am looking for is something that permits every use of my
> >libraries when in compiled form, and is roughly equal to GPL/LGPL for
> >the source form. Note that I want this for Jal libraries, and Jal does
> >not have an object format to confuse the distinction.
> >
> What do you want to have happen if people modify the library source?
> That seems to be one of the sticky points of (L)GPL/etc.

Actually that isn't Wouter's problem. The problem is that the JAL
infrastructure doesn't have a mechanism for the separation of the library
code vs. the applications code. The LGPL dictates that users have the right
to update their libraries. In a DLL style situation that's easy enough because
the library is in a separate package. But JAL must compile the library in.
Because of this the only way to meet the library update requirement is to have
the source code of the application so that the application can be recompiled
with the new library. Thus defeating the primary difference between the LGPL
and the GPL.

Wouter is correct. There currently isn't a license that allows for what he
wants. He needs an even weaker LGPL that drops the library update clause.

But I can see where the FSF is coming from too because once you weaken that
requirement, then the end user is locked into the binary offered with no
ability to update the supposedly free library.

One tough nut to crack.

BAJ

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2004\01\26@071708 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Mon, Jan 26, 2004 at 09:59:05AM +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > Here's what our internal guidelines say about lgpl:
>
> Sorry, I don't care about the opinion of your legal department, I want
> to see it in the LGPL text!

It's not. In its current form the LGPL can't do what you need.

But I think that it needs to remain as is. See my other post for details.

What needs to happen is that JAL needs to be updated to create relocatable
objects which can be linked. Then you can meet the requirement of the LGPL
(user updatable LGPL libraries) while meeting the requirement of proprietary
application developers (no source release). It is actually the best situation
because libraries need to be available to everyone while applications are
specific to particular users.

BAJ

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2004\01\26@095731 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sun, Jan 25, 2004 at 05:43:44PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> On Sunday, Jan 25, 2004, at 12:02 US/Pacific, Byron A Jeff wrote:
>
> >
> >According to the letter, legitimate profit making software companies
> >and
> >developers are being forceably GPLed by Open Source developers.
> >
> This seems to be true to a certain extent.   Along the lines of "we've
> shown that cisco (linksys) routers contain staticly linked GPL'ed code,
> therefore we demand that the entire source be released."

But that's a pot-kettle-black situation. The GPL is specific that if
you use GPLed code you must release the source. So if you include
GPL code, you get what you get.

You can't have it both ways. It's not possible to have free software
except when you don't want it to be free. It's either one or the
other.

But I don't really see the big deal in terms of embedded systems.
Firmware in isolation isn't really going to help. You need hardware
to support it.

The real interesting question from an LGPL standpoint is does it
require the hardware to support firmware updates. I mean I can give
you the source, and the tools to build a new executable. But if the
hardware doesn't facilitate loading the new software, have I
fulfilled my obligation to the LGPL? It's an interesting question.

>
> Thus the need for lawyers on the software company side, if they don't
> want to release all their source.  Note that a very small amount of
> GPL code can potentially contaminate a large amount of proprietary code.
> GPL evangelists WANT that, of course, but I doubt that it is best for
> most users...

If it's a small amount, there really isn't an issue. Simply rewrite the
GPL code, and keep it all proprietary.

The flip side is more interesting. If the majority of a project is
GPL code and a small amount of propritary code is added but the
whole thing is locked up. Shouldn't the FSF go after these folks?
They are violating the license.

BAJ

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2004\01\26@101638 by cisco J. A. Ares

flavicon
face
Look for Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/

Also take a look at MySQL licencing, they have GPL and private licencing
(if I got it right).

Hope this helps.
Francisco


Byron A Jeff wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\01\26@101845 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> If it's a small amount, there really isn't an issue. Simply rewrite the
> GPL code, and keep it all proprietary.

Agreed.

> The flip side is more interesting. If the majority of a project is
> GPL code and a small amount of propritary code is added but the
> whole thing is locked up. Shouldn't the FSF go after these folks?
> They are violating the license.

Yes. Not only are they violating the license, but they are violating the
*intent* of the license. And generally when this is done it is done
knowingly.
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2004\01\26@102518 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> Actually that isn't Wouter's problem. The problem is that the JAL
> infrastructure doesn't have a mechanism for the separation of the library
> code vs. the applications code. The LGPL dictates that users have the right
> to update their libraries. In a DLL style situation that's easy enough because

The problem is that small embedded processors (such as PICs) rarely have
provision for linkable libraries. Many don't even have provision for
upgradable firmware.

> the library is in a separate package. But JAL must compile the library in.
> Because of this the only way to meet the library update requirement is to have
> the source code of the application so that the application can be recompiled
> with the new library. Thus defeating the primary difference between the LGPL
> and the GPL.

Yes. We need something better for embedded systems. Similar to the LGPL,
but a bit looser. An LLGPL?  :)

> But I can see where the FSF is coming from too because once you weaken that
> requirement, then the end user is locked into the binary offered with no
> ability to update the supposedly free library.

On the other hand, most of these licenses are aimed at programmers. Most
users won't upgrade just *part* of an embedded system.
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2004\01\26@102932 by D. Jay Newman

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> > However, SCO's lawsuit is about a very specific situation
> > with IBM, and is even more mucked up.
>
> I am not often on IBM's side, but I hope they grind SCO to silicon and
> bake them into something usefull. They have big and experienced legal /
> intellectual property departments, and the chip foundries for the last
> step.

Let's not be hasty. I'm sure there is something *much* more slow and painful
that can be done...

Personally I don't think that anything useful can come out of SCO.
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2004\01\26@112112 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> But I can see where the FSF is coming from too because once
> you weaken that
> requirement, then the end user is locked into the binary
> offered with no
> ability to update the supposedly free library.

Note that what I want is not 'free firmware', for all I care the
firmware can be read-protected, unavailable, the serila number dusted
off, and the chip inserted backwards to confuse the potential copyer.
What I want is a free library.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\26@133430 by Juan Garofalo

flavicon
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Byron A. Jeff  said:

>Without an inherent mechanism for creating scarcity, there's little hope of
>creating the vast profit pool that commercial software companies so crave.


       Look, scarcity is not created. It's always there. It's a fact of
life and economics, not an artificial construction. What really IS
artificial is 'free' software.

       What you are saying is that profit is magically created by copyright
laws. Profit is created because some individual (or firm) provides the
solution to some other individual's problem. This value may be protected by
the law but is *definitely* not created by it.

       Also, using copyright laws to enforce free distribution of some
good/service is really a contradiction in terms. Copyright laws are there to
protect profit. If you choose to give away your profit, What kind of
copyright protection can you claim ?

       On a strict individual rights basis, you are free to do what you
like with your property and you are free to enter into an open source
license scheme if you want to. All right. As long as you don't interfere
with somebody else's property rights.

       This open source 'idea' is based on a flawed premise. If you include
a free spare in your car, does that imply that your whole car is now free ?
And why such an absurd thought should hold true for software ? If you
include open source code in your proprietary algorithms, you must disclose
them ? Nonsense. The end result is that nobody  working in the real economy
will purposedly include open source code in his products.

       It's ironic that the people who are for 'sharing' and not 'profit'
end up hiring lawerys to enforce their copyright free copyrights...



Best Regards,

Juan.

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2004\01\26@140604 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> But isn't it a good thing to protect individual rights and intellectual
> property?  I don't know if you are also one of those who support the
> abrogation of patent laws as well.  There is some interest in that
> scenario.

There is a very clear separation line between software patents,
copyrights, and this (open vs. proprietary) case. The GPL *is* a legal
license that incorporates and stipulates the views and policy of the
license holders and if, in any way, and at any time, someone will
invalidate it, then he will have put all other legal licenses and legal
intellectual property protection systems under question. If someone can
run to Congress or anywhere else and attack a license on the grounds it is
un-whatever, after failing to do so in court, and thus bypass the legal
system it is defined in, then anyone can do that, with any license or
intellectual property. The victory of open source licensed under GPL will
mean that in fact the current protection scheme *does* work. If they will
loose, fear for any license or patent you may have, as defending it in
court will no longer be enough even if you win.

The small jump from this to generic drugs and antibiotics, genetics
patenting, life-saving medical procedure patenting, and many other things,
is too obvious for me not to mention it here.

> Personally, I am not sure whether or not there is some satirical joke in
> suggesting open-software.  or even as some have suggested open-patents.

There is about as much satire in it, as would be in making all roads, toll
roads, starting tomorrow morning at 0700 sharp, and holding all persons
who ever contributed to its building, design, and maintenance, responsible
for anything that happens on it, for the remaining half of eternity (yes,
that includes all the streetcleaners who ever swept it).

And by toll roads I mean including your own driveway and there would be a
different toll for walking alone or in groups, and a discount for children
and the elderly, and you'd be forced to declare income for taxation
purposes on tolls you would force visiting friends and your mother pay you
whenever they walk on your own porch.

Open patents already exist, they are called public domain. If you've ever
used a wheel, water, fire, a shoe, or a pencil, then you probably already
use Open Patented objects and procedures. If you would like to pay someone
money for those and many other actions, you might come to live to regret
it very soon. The US Patent Office seems to close its eyes quite often
when a new Invention incorporates large amounts of public domain, but
other people do not and will not.

Incidentally the GPL and what it stands for is the exact, precise, legal
opposite of public domain, it being a license for the limited and clearly
defined use of a technology or software, with clearly defined owners, as
opposed to public domain.

Peter

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2004\01\26@142913 by Dan Devine

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On Mon, 2004-01-26 at 08:14, Juan Garofalo wrote:

>
>         Look, scarcity is not created. It's always there. It's a fact of
> life and economics, not an artificial construction. What really IS
> artificial is 'free' software.
>

Scarcity in the software world simply means that there are only a few
who understand/have seen/can modify the source code.  True physical
scarcity is a myth in this instance, as software can be copied without
cost and without diminishing the usefulness of the original holder's
property.

This is where software differs from actual physical property.  Copying
the software does not diminish the value of the original, EXCEPT when
the only value in the original is in keeping it secret/scarce.  My copy
of Open Office does not do anything do diminish your use of Open Office,
no matter how many times I copy it or distribute it.  In fact, the
people at OpenOffice.org would say that I'm INCREASING the value by
passing it around and making it more widespread.

>         What you are saying is that profit is magically created by copyright
> laws. Profit is created because some individual (or firm) provides the
> solution to some other individual's problem. This value may be protected by
> the law but is *definitely* not created by it.
>

Correct, closed source software and traditional copyright allows the
developer to extract MAXIMUM value from the software.  The vendor can
continue to raise the price until the consumer no longer feels the
product meets their cost/performance needs.  Traditional software
copyright/marketing is based upon "how much is this worth to you?"
rather than "this is how much effort it took me to create."

This is primarily where the Open Source movement is driving
software....to the service arena.  There will always be PLENTY of jobs
for programmers, the shift is away from profit extraction through
artificial scarcity to profit generation through provisioning of
service.  This is a good thing for everyone EXCEPT Bill Gates and the
other propriatary vendors.  As a small business owner, I see this as a
welcome thing.  I can now solicit vendors to help me create/modify code
for my business without being extorted for the maximum I'm willing to
pay.  If I want to develop something, I'm paying for brain power, NOT
royalties.

>         Also, using copyright laws to enforce free distribution of some
> good/service is really a contradiction in terms. Copyright laws are there to
> protect profit. If you choose to give away your profit, What kind of
> copyright protection can you claim ?
>

Absolutely wrong.  Copyright laws are NOT designed to protect profit,
they are a mechanism to allow the creator of a work to specify what
conditions his/her work may be copied.  Period.  Nothing in the
constitution guarantees the right to profit.  Further, as Linus Torvalds
points out in regards to SCO's suit, copyright law attaches value to
software, and the expectation of future modifications being released
back to the original creator is considered payment for the initial
release of code.  There is an actual transaction being performed here,
that IS based upon copyright law.  It's simply not the traditional
exchange of money.  The transaction here is in exchange of services, "I
give to you..so you give back to me in kind."


>         On a strict individual rights basis, you are free to do what you
> like with your property and you are free to enter into an open source
> license scheme if you want to. All right. As long as you don't interfere
> with somebody else's property rights.
>

I'll agree with that, so long as you respect the GPL or whatever
licensing scheme the creator uses.  Using the GPL is exactly like any
licensing agreement with MS / SUN / SCO / whoever.  By receiving the
code and distributing it, you agree to the terms....simple contract.  I
would argue that free software is NOT dumping as well, because as I
pointed out above, there IS a value attached to it....the value is in
receipt of modifications made to his/her code.

>         This open source 'idea' is based on a flawed premise. If you include
> a free spare in your car, does that imply that your whole car is now free ?
> And why such an absurd thought should hold true for software ? If you
> include open source code in your proprietary algorithms, you must disclose
> them ? Nonsense. The end result is that nobody  working in the real economy
> will purposedly include open source code in his products.
>

This is a bad analogy, a car is a physical item with physical production
costs.  Each tire has a physical value.  Software has a physical
production cost too, this is allowed for under the OSS model as vendors
ARE allowed to charge for services.  As a customer, I receive the source
when the contract is done, and I'm allowed to use/modify to my heart's
content.  Again, this is a real (and fair) transaction.  What is not
allowed under the OSS model is a royalty payment to the tire creator!...
Imagine if you had to make royalty payment to Ford for every 1/4-20 bolt
or tire you purchased!  Imagine if you HAD to purchase tires from Ford,
because they've made it impossible to mount other types?  Imagine Ford
using the DMCA against others who would try to make an interoperable
tire.  In a sense, the tires in your model ARE free, as anyone with
proper equipment can make a tire and compete with Firestone without
being sued for copyright or "Intellectual Property" violations.  Cars
ARE essentially open, as the vibrancy of the after-market car part
business can show!  People are allowed to open the hoods, tinker, put
parts from other vendors together, etc.  The "fee for service" model
keeps things fair.

This example just shows where the software industry is headed....fee for
service!  You make me a better tire, or provide a better backup tool for
my Apache server, and I'll stick with you as long as your price/service
ratio seems fair.

The OSS model simply makes it impossible to start extorting the
customers when service goes down and price goes up.....this is exactly
like physical products which do not employ "lock-in" type strategies.

>         It's ironic that the people who are for 'sharing' and not 'profit'
> end up hiring lawerys to enforce their copyright free copyrights...
>

I'm not running FOR any lawyers, I'm running AWAY from them....  Lawyers
provide an example of a self perpetuating and expanding business model
with no tangible product!...  As a business owner, I generally try not
to spend money where I don't receive any actual good in return for my
payment.  Lawyers exemplify this.

Dan D

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2004\01\26@150406 by annirack

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From: Juan Garofalo
> Byron A. Jeff  said:
>
> >Without an inherent mechanism for creating scarcity, there's
> little hope of
> >creating the vast profit pool that commercial software companies
> so crave.
>
>
>        Look, scarcity is not created. It's always there. It's a
> fact of
> life and economics, not an artificial construction. What really IS
> artificial is 'free' software.

(Pay) Software follows the same market rules as any other commodity.  Supply and demand dictate its price.

There are several factors to take into account when considering the price of software.  1) cost of development.  2) cost of distribution.  3) supply, and 4) demand.

When the internet is taken into account, cost of distribution drops to the price of bandwidth times the size of the distribution, and supply increases to the bandwidth limit of the company.

The demand, however, stays at its current size.  This should dictate a dramatic decrease in price.

Since the advent of widespread use of the internet, this dramatic decrease has not happened.  The only explanation for this is that companies are artificially inflating the cost of their product by not releasing it on the net and thereby restricting the supply.

Arguably this inflation of pricing is to recover development cost. However, when looking at the anual income of a corporation such as Microsoft, it is clear that their pricing is not, in fact, "fair."

>        What you are saying is that profit is magically created by
> copyrightlaws. Profit is created because some individual (or firm)
> provides the
> solution to some other individual's problem. This value may be
> protected by
> the law but is *definitely* not created by it.

Yes, actually it is.  Since software itself is an easily duplicable commodity, the only thing that allows it to make profit is its copyright.  The actual value of software approaches nil.

>        Also, using copyright laws to enforce free distribution of
> somegood/service is really a contradiction in terms. Copyright
> laws are there to
> protect profit. If you choose to give away your profit, What kind of
> copyright protection can you claim ?

How does that work?  That's like saying that volunteers aren't protected by labour laws!  At least in Canada, volunteer labour is still under the jurisdiction of the Worker's Compensation Board.  I.e. you're not allowed to ask a volunteer to do anything potentially hazardous any more than you are a regular employee.  In fact, volunteers are generally subject to more protection than standard workers.

In other words, in the working world, you can't take advantage of volunteers.  Why should this be different in the software world?

Why should you paying for my software grant me more rights than me giving it to you?  That notion is absurd.

{Quote hidden}

You're looking at this in the wrong light.  You're talking about free (as in beer) not free (as in speech).  Open source software is free (as in speech).  A spare tire with your car is free (as in beer).

You cannot draw analogies for open-source software from physical goods.  Physical goods have a price because each copy has to be produced seperately.  The distribution costs more than the development.  Software is quite the opposite.  When you buy software, you're paying for the development (and profit) not the distribution.  Even without the intellectual property that goes into physical goods, those goods have a cost for the raw materials associated with them, and the process to turn those raw materials into something useful.  With software, there is no such associated cost.

If you've ever seen the movie "pay it forward" you'll understand the concept behind open source software.  The principle is that the authors are *giving you a gift*.  Rather than paying them back, all they ask of you is that you do the same for someone else.  In the open source community, this takes the form of freely distributing any changes you've made to the software.

This isn't an absurd notion, it's the closest thing to morals you see in the business world.

>        It's ironic that the people who are for 'sharing' and not
> 'profit'end up hiring lawerys to enforce their copyright free
> copyrights...
>
>
> Best Regards,
>
> Juan.

--Brendan

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2004\01\26@160117 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> >Without an inherent mechanism for creating scarcity, there's
> little hope of
> >creating the vast profit pool that commercial software
> companies so crave.

Huh? Either that vast pool exists, so the those companies are happy, or
it does not exist, hence carcity, hence for-profit companies like
microcsoft will jump in and the aforementioned companies will be, well -
happy?

> What really IS
> artificial is 'free' software.

non-free software is natura??

>         Also, using copyright laws to enforce free
> distribution of some
> good/service is really a contradiction in terms. Copyright
> laws are there to
> protect profit.

No. The GPL is firmly rooted in copyright law. It even follows the laws
of economics, just not the financial enconomics. Read 'cathedral and
bazaar', not the paper but the full book, especially the last chapters
about the machanisms of the gift economy.

> If you choose to give away your profit, What kind of
> copyright protection can you claim ?

Copyright protection is there at the choice of the author (actually, it
is always there but the author can refrain from exercising his rights),
profit is optional.

> If you include
> a free spare in your car, does that imply that your whole car
> is now free ?

If that was the condition of giving you that spare and you accepted
that: yes, of course. You decided to enter the deal, so you have to
fulfill your part. Otherwise refuse the tire.

Note that the term 'free' as used by Stallman does *not* mean gratis. It
means freedom.

> If you
> include open source code in your proprietary algorithms, you
> must disclose
> them ? Nonsense. The end result is that nobody  working in
> the real economy
> will purposedly include open source code in his products.

Then so what? Its everybody's free choice (free again!) to use what he
wants, but always on the conditions of the author of the software.

>         It's ironic that the people who are for 'sharing' and
> not 'profit'
> end up hiring lawerys to enforce their copyright free copyrights...

GPL is definitely not 'copyright free'!

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\26@172547 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Juan Garofalo wrote:

>         This open source 'idea' is based on a flawed premise. If you include
> a free spare in your car, does that imply that your whole car is now free ?
> And why such an absurd thought should hold true for software ? If you
> include open source code in your proprietary algorithms, you must disclose
> them ? Nonsense. The end result is that nobody  working in the real economy
> will purposedly include open source code in his products.

Not nonsense.  In your scenario, you've used someone else's software
mixed with your algorithm to create a solution.  Your solution wouldn't
exist if you hadn't based it on their code.

If you want to implement a solution that's completely closed-source
(including the portion you used from the open-source community in your
original algorithm) there is no one stopping you.  That's your right.
BUT -- if you use their software to base your solution on, the original
authors had an agenda -- the spread of Free software, and they require
that your software also be Free.

If you can't live with that, you can't use their software to create your
solution.  100% fair and equitable.

The original author of half your "finished product" wanted his software
used openly -- and as a professional you have to respect that and use
something else for that piece of your "solution" if you can't live up to
his/her wishes.  They wish you no ill-will, but you don't get permission
to use their software until you agree to release yours as Free also.

That's your decision to make.  They made theirs when they released their
software under a License like the GPL.  They shouldn't HAVE to hire
lawyers to protect against YOU if you're an honorable person.

No one's holding a gun to your head and saying you must implement your
solution inside of an open-source one.  If you can't afford to make your
solution open-source, then plan accordingly and don't use Free software
as half the basis for the solution.

Even better, you can implement proprietary solutions on open-source
PLATFORMS all day long, and sell them.  And keep them closed-source.
They're not against that.  You can write a C program that runs on the
hundreds of programs that make up the Linux OS, for example, keep the
source closed and sell it.

>         It's ironic that the people who are for 'sharing' and not 'profit'
> end up hiring lawerys to enforce their copyright free copyrights...

They just are protecting their right to ask their software not be used
in a way they do not approve of.  That's not ironic.  That's just our
legal system.  They created it, now they're defending it.  It's really
none of your business, unless you chose to be dishonorable and break
their License for use of their software and you're the target of such
legal action.

It makes perfect sense when working within the legal system to employ
legal professionals (lawyers).

If you wish to create something open-source OR closed-source and
Copyright it, that's your choice.  They're two different things,
especially when you cross International boundaries, since Copyright in
one country is not the same as Copyright in another.  Both you and the
person who wants his/her code to remain open are protected equally under
Copyright.

Nate Duehr, nateRemoveMEspamnatetech.com

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2004\01\26@200204 by Russell McMahon

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>  What you are saying is that profit is magically created by copyright
> laws. Profit is created because some individual (or firm) provides the
> solution to some other individual's problem. This value may be protected
by
> the law but is *definitely* not created by it.
>
>         Also, using copyright laws to enforce free distribution of some
> good/service is really a contradiction in terms. Copyright laws are there
to
> protect profit. If you choose to give away your profit, What kind of
> copyright protection can you claim ?
>
>         On a strict individual rights basis, you are free to do what you
> like with your property and you are free to enter into an open source
> license scheme if you want to. All right. As long as you don't interfere
> with somebody else's property rights.

This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning and basis
of capitalism.
If the immediate application of this assertion is not obvious please bear
with me for a few paragraphs.
Capitalism is about the right of each individual to control their own
capital. Capital is far more than money. (Money is of course just a "place
holder" to represent capital). Capital can include financial assets (or
things that money can buy), health, enjoyment of life and more. Capitalism
asserts that each individual has the right to decide for themselves how such
capital is to be traded or used. There may be forces outside their control
which frustrate the manner in which they wish to exercise their rights (eg
cancer destroys health, weevils destroy crops, stock markets crashes destroy
place-holders) but (capitalism asserts) no person has the right to cause
these things to happen without having arranged "terms of engagement" with
the capital owner. A stock market crash constitutes fair dealing as long as
everyone concerned has dealt in a manner in accordance with pre-agreed
rules.

Further to the above, each person has a right to determine what constitutes
their capital as long as this decision does not interfere with other's
rights
to capital. For instance, if I decide that viewing beautiful sunsets (or
sunsets that I decide are beautiful) constitutes increasing my capital then
it is so. Unless, that is, I in some way interfere with someone else's right
in the process. ("Hey you - I own that sunset - I demand a view of a
beautiful waterfall in exchange"). In such cases a body of persons MUST
agree to common jurisdiction to determine how such matters are concluded to
everyone's satisfaction, more or less. Failure to agree to a common set of
laws (effectively "terms of engagement" leads to anarchy. If I contend that
the gold I find is mine because I found it and you contend that the gold is
yours because it's on "your" land then unless we can mutually agree whether
you own the land (or the UNIX code or ...) then there can be no agreement
and even that wont help unless there are mutually agreed
arrangements in place to cover who owns gold  found on somebody else's land.
In cases where mutual agreement is liable to be inconsistently arrived at
groups of people mutually decide to set themselves up as authorities and
enforce their will, by force if necessary. Such use of compulsion to enforce
freedom is paradoxical and much railed against. Without it in some form or
other, however, capitalism doesn't work. The logical extension of the
"wanna be free to be a capitalist without restrictions" leads us to
libertarianism. A libertarianism is a pure capitalist who wants the state to
provide nothing but a strong police force to protect them from their slaves.
But that's another matter.

Following the concept of me being free to utilise my capital as I see fit
without compulsion, I may decide that MY capital may be increased by "doing
good" to others as I see it. Others may not see how such actions increase my
capital. But, as long as I see fit to increase MY capital in this manner,
pure capitalism says that  I am utterly free to do so as long as I don't
transgress others agreed freedoms. eg if the recipients of my largesse do
not wish to accept my increasing their capital then I am transgressing their
rights by forcing them to accept it. If I decide that others also should do
as I do and increase their capital in this strange way then I am free to
suggest it to them but if I compel them in some manner I am breaching
capitalism's basic tenets.

Capitalism includes the right to compete. Market prices are (intended to be)
set by competition between holders of capital. As long as I use my capital
in the market with the aim of increasing it in a manner that seems good to
me (but may not seem good to you) I am free to do so as long as I do not
directly inhibit your actions.
****Competition is an inherent characteristic of capitalism****. Freedom to
decide how to compete is my prerogative, limited din practical cases by
threats of force and regulation by mutually agreed governing bodies.

So, what's this got to do with open software?
If it's not obvious by now I probably can't explain it, but:

Open software is a pure capitalist idea. Capitalism asserts that I own my
own resources. My productive capacity, my intelligence and more are mine to
utilise as I see fit. I can define capital as I see fit. If Bill Gates sees
a world full of M$oft products as being the ultimate expression of the
growth of his capital (subject, perhaps,  to Mr Sherman's ideas) and Linux
Penguin sees a world full of his software being the ultimate expression of
his, they are free to compete to make it so. Who is to say who would achieve
the greatest capital if they won? If I was able to choose between having
acquired the capital of either of these two gentlemen to date it would be a
very hard decision as to which I would accept! (Showing that I also have a $
driven streak within  - and that I don't know how much Linus Penguin has in
his bank account :-) ).

Attempts to make me use my capital as I do not wish to are socialism.
Attempts at coercion have no part in pure capitalism. Those who oppose
purely capitalist actions are liable to relabel them in order to denigrate
them. For example, Philanthropy - one version of this is the employment of
one's financial resources on activities you see as worthwhile without
receiving financial return - is a pure form of capitalism. As long as I do
not compel others to receive my capital or to emulate my deeds this remains
a capitalist act. Those who may find such actions not to their taste may,
quite incorrectly, label philanthropy as socialism. Which, of course, it's
not.

Once upon a time in a country far far away from most of us (and quite close
to others) there was a guy who got lucky in a big way. By discovering a
quite trivial matter at an opportune time he was able to accumulate a vast
fortune. he "discovered" dynamite. If you ask most people who the discoverer
of dynamite was, or whether they care, the answer would be no on both
counts. If you ask most people what Alfred Nobel did and whether they care
the answer would be ..... . By using his capital to set up the Nobel Prize
system lucky Alfie has generated capital which, in human terms, stretches
far beyond the grave. There may well have been many richer men in his day
but, if there were, few people know their names. If this sort of capital is
not what makes you excited you are welcome to do something else with your
millions.

> This open source 'idea' is based on a flawed premise. If you include
> a free spare in your car, does that imply that your whole car is now free
?

Mrs Kroc recently left $US 1.5 billion to the Salvation Army. There were
very specific conditions attached. Effectively the SA not only do NOT
receive the money directly BUT it will also cost them $US70 million over the
next 10 years if they accepted the gift. They were not obliged to accept.
They did. Of course.

The owner of the capital may dictate the terms of use. If the terms are
unacceptable the recipient may decide not to do business. If they accept
they are bound by the conditions. Do you work by some other system than
this?

> And why such an absurd thought should hold true for software ? If you
> include open source code in your proprietary algorithms, you must disclose
> them ? Nonsense.

This is shooting down an argument that has not been made.

The true statement would be more like - "If you decide to include open
source software which legally requires you to disclose the whole code that
they are included in then you must disclose them". Absolutely! To say
otherwise would be to equally approve of the concept that you can
legitimately make use of Microsoft's code in your proprietary algorithms
then
you may do so with impunity and no need for payment or fear of retribution.
OR If I find gold on your land / food in your larder / information on your
server ... then I may acquire it freely and legitimately.

Open Source does not COMPEL anyone to do anything. Open Source INVITES
people to agree to their terms in exchange for certain benefits. Each
person must choose for themselves whether the transaction represents value
to them.

> The end result is that nobody  working in the real economy
> will purposedly include open source code in his products.

No. Nobody in the real economy who wishes to not open source their product
will include (or at least admit including) open source software in his
products. But, people in the real economy who do not mind open sourcing
their code will gain the benefits of freely available open source software.

To define "real economy" as covering only a part of the pure capitalist
model is to blind yourself to reality and miss out on all the benefits that
capitalism can bring :-)


>  It's ironic that the people who are for 'sharing' and not 'profit'
> end up hiring lawerys to enforce their copyright free copyrights...

No mention need be made of "profit", for or against, in explaining the open
source concept. The term "not for profit" may sometimes be used as a
shorthand way of saying "money may not be charged" but you CAN still profit

from open source software. And people do.



       Russell McMahon

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2004\01\26@224942 by Colin Constant

picon face
>
>This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning and basis
>of capitalism.
>
>Capitalism is about the right of each individual to control their own
>capital. Capital is far more than money. (Money is of course just a "place
>holder" to represent capital). Capital can include financial assets (or
>things that money can buy), health, enjoyment of life and more.

This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning and basis
of capital.

Colin

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2004\01\26@230042 by D. Jay Newman

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face
> >This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning and basis
> >of capitalism.
> >
> >Capitalism is about the right of each individual to control their own
> >capital. Capital is far more than money. (Money is of course just a "place
> >holder" to represent capital). Capital can include financial assets (or
> >things that money can buy), health, enjoyment of life and more.
>
> This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning and basis
> of capital.
>
> Colin

This is pretty much how I've heard it defined. Usually "looking at sunsets"
was not defined as an asset, but how different is that from a vacation
somewhere?

Capital doesn't have to be tangible; it just needs to have value.

*Usually* people talk about tangible assets, but nothing in the definition
of capital requires it to be tangible.
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2004\01\26@230247 by William Chops Westfield

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> Juan Garofalo wrote:
>
>>  This open source 'idea' is based on a flawed premise.

Oh, nonsense.  Open source (so far) applies relatively poorly
to end-user software (the average end user has about as much
use for source as they do for a pentium4 datasheet), and (IMO)
especially poorly to embedded software, and I have deep
philosophical reservations about the concept of charging for
maintenance and support rather than creation, but it works
pretty well for and among the software development community.

The biggest problem seems to be when people slap a GPL or LGPL
license on some code without noticing how much that might
restrict its "typical" usage.

BillW

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2004\01\27@002623 by James Caska

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I think it comes down to intent. The real 'spirit' of OpenSource seems
to be a big 'F.U' to capatilism actually.. But there is more to
capatilistic societies than capitalism.. And that is democracy and in a
democratic free society you are allowed to express yourself and that
includes by conditionally giving away your 'capital'..

But.. Jump back to the 'spirit' of OpenSource for a second and that
'F.U' intention.. There is another organism out there that get's itself
inside of a host organism and then busily re-organises that organism to
manufacture more of it'self... Sounds familiar to anyone who has caught
a cold! It's amazing how close these OpenSource licenses look like virus
definitions.. Easy absorbtion from low barrier to entry (free), Self
reproduction (any other code that contains it becomes it).. Etc.

And well like any other virus introduced to a host with no immune system
.. It gets a chance to run riot for a while before the host recognises
the foreign body. By persuing legal options OpenSource has revealed
it'self as a malignant virus rather than a benign symbiotic one and the
Software Industries immune response is kicking in.. White blood cells
are being manufactured as we speak isolating the runaway virus'
extracting it from otherwise healthy code and creating early warning
defence systems such a company policies to recognise the viral code
before it benetrates the code-cell membrane.

All that has happened is that the confusion of the meaning of 'free
software' exploited by this virus to gain widespread adoption has been
better understood as 'not free afterall' and the whole movement will
reach a new equilabrium once the commercial Immune System kicks in..

No doubt OpenSource and free software has it's place.. But as a 'F.U'
mechanism.. It's had it's day and those clever chaps who invented it all
can feel very happy with themselves.. Well done.. You showed em'


James Caska
http://www.muvium.com
uVM - 'Java Bred for Embedded'



{Original Message removed}

2004\01\27@011131 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Thursday, Feb 26, 2004, at 21:25 US/Pacific, James Caska wrote:

> I think it comes down to intent. The real 'spirit' of OpenSource
> seems to be a big 'F.U' to capatilism actually...

Since I just "yelled" at someone else for painting all proprietary
software developers with an overly broad brush, so I feel a bit
compelled to yell at this equivalent slandering of "open source."
PERHAPS you could say this about the Gnu project, and the GPL in
particular.  But that's only a small portion of "open source" in
general.  The BSD license is plenty accessible to both proprietary
and open source developers, for instance.  And there's plenty of
source actually release to the public domain, or with all sorts of
intermediate suggestions on how it ought to be used.  Dating back
MUCH further than gnu, BTW.

You run into interesting sets of confusion with things like libraries
that were originally written separately, and are now included in
linux distributions, BSD distributions, and also available on their
own.  Which licenses actually apply?  What if you find the identical
code with different license agreements attached?  (most recently,
I ran into this trying to find open source "curses" screen libraries.)

BillW

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2004\01\27@024730 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> >Capitalism is about the right of each individual to control their own
> >capital. Capital is far more than money. (Money is of course
> just a "place
> >holder" to represent capital). Capital can include financial
> assets (or
> >things that money can buy), health, enjoyment of life and more.
>
> This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the
> meaning and basis
> of capital.

I don't see a similey, so I assume you are serious. So which
misunderstanding do you hint at?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\27@040143 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> >This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning and
basis
> >of capitalism.
> >
> >Capitalism is about the right of each individual to control their own
> >capital. Capital is far more than money. (Money is of course just a
"place
> >holder" to represent capital). Capital can include financial assets (or
> >things that money can buy), health, enjoyment of life and more.
>
> This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning and
basis
> of capital.

By all means elucidate.
Enquiring minds would love to know :-)


       RM

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2004\01\27@050027 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>Capitalism is about the right of each individual to control their own
>capital. Capital is far more than money. (Money is of course just a
> "place
>holder" to represent capital). Capital can include financial assets (or
>things that money can buy), health, enjoyment of life and more.

> > This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning and
> > basis of capital.

I'll reply to this again.
I don't think I misunderstand what "capital" means (obviously enough).
I'd be genuinely interested in knowing what parts of my (loose) definition
of  capital you disagreed with.
I assume you agree with the concept of it representing tangibles which can
be converted to or purchased with money.

I assume you disagree with some part of the suggestion that intangibles or
indirectly quantifiable items also represent capital.

eg
Acquired skills (the result of training or practice) which may assist in
generation of money.

The acquisition or cultivation of things which create senses of well being,
improved mental state, better health etc (eg looking at beautiful sunsets).

The translation of money or equivalent into social capital. (Whose name will
be better known a century from now - W Gate$ or Linus T's). And whose money
will do better for them a century from now.)

Comment would be appreciated.



       Russell McMahon

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2004\01\27@050650 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I assume you disagree with some part of the suggestion that
> intangibles or
> indirectly quantifiable items also represent capital.

That would be a difficult position - Inetllectual Property is definitely
intangible but is a very important asset in today's economics. Ask IBM,
and I don't mean in connection with SCO.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\27@052349 by Vincent Vega

picon face
They hire lawyers to protect their right to share not their
right to profit.
Best regards
VV

Juan Garofalo <.....animacion3dspamspam.....HOTPOP.COM> wrote:

>It's ironic that the people who are for 'sharing' and not 'profit'
>end up hiring lawerys to enforce their copyright free copyrights...







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2004\01\27@054916 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
>>Capitalism is about the right of each individual to control their own
>>capital. Capital is far more than money. (Money is of course just a
>>"place holder" to represent capital). Capital can include financial
>>assets (or things that money can buy), health, enjoyment of life and
>>more.

>From: Colin Constant [colinpiclistKILLspamspamEraseMEHOTMAIL.COM]
>
>This argument shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the
>meaning and basis of capital.
>

From http://www.dictionary.com:
Capital:
1)Wealth in the form of money or property, used or accumulated in a business
by a person, partnership, or corporation.
2)Material wealth used or available for use in the production of more
wealth.
3)Human resources considered in terms of their contributions to an economy:
' [The] swift unveiling of his... plans provoked a flight of human capital'
(George F. Will).

The original argument shows no fundamental misunderstanding according to
this.  Care to explain your point?

Mike




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2004\01\27@084749 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 16:25:17 +1100, James Caska wrote:

>...<
> But.. Jump back to the 'spirit' of OpenSource for a second and that
> 'F.U' intention.. There is another organism out there that get's itself
> inside of a host organism and then busily re-organises that organism to
> manufacture more of it'self... Sounds familiar to anyone who has caught
> a cold! It's amazing how close these OpenSource licenses look like virus
> definitions.. Easy absorbtion from low barrier to entry (free), Self
> reproduction (any other code that contains it becomes it).. Etc.
>
> And well like any other virus introduced to a host with no immune system
> .. It gets a chance to run riot for a while before the host recognises
> the foreign body. By persuing legal options OpenSource has revealed
> it'self as a malignant virus rather than a benign symbiotic one and the
> Software Industries immune response is kicking in.. White blood cells
> are being manufactured as we speak isolating the runaway virus'
> extracting it from otherwise healthy code and creating early warning
> defence systems such a company policies to recognise the viral code
> before it benetrates the code-cell membrane.

Sounds familiar indeed, when you think of how Microsoft has got where it is: for example the famous "free"
inclusion of Internet Explorer as part of Windows creates the low barrier to entry that you mention, leading
to the widely-held opion that "everyone" has IE, so that creating web sites that are only usable by those
running IE is acceptable.  And this has the effect of "spreading" IE even among those who don't want to use
it, so that they can read these web sites, which means that they have to pay for Windows even if they'd rather
use something else.  So the "free" IE has increased sales of Windows.  Sounds pretty "viral" to me, and not a
sign of Open Source!  The White Cells in this case could be seen to be the "Free Software" movement, trying to
reclaim the free choice of software, and this is where the "free" comes from - not "no financial payment" but
"freedom to choose".

But your analogy and my accessory to it miss one vital difference between biological visuses and the software
we're talking about - nobody *wants* to catch a cold!  The cold virus is an uninvited invader with no benefit
to the infected body.  Software has a benefit to users and they willingly acquire, install and use it to
achieve a given end, and if they don't like it for any reason (the way it works/looks, the system overhead it
imposes, the licencing conditions, the reputation of the supplier, anything at all!) then they can choose not
to use it.  Any "viral" behaviour is part of the "price" and anyone can choose not to pay it, by not using
that software.  (This obviously excludes virus / trojan horse / malware, because obviously they *are* like
biological viruses in being uninvited intruders).

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\01\27@085204 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
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Colin,

On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 20:49:36 -0700, Colin Constant wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Did you read the rest of Russell's post?  I must admit that I sat up when I read the above, but the rest
explains it very clearly and I find myself agreeing with most of what he said, including his definition of
capital.  Unless you are restricting it to its definition in the realm of economics, where it is a very
limited technical meaning, in which case it has very little to do with the subject of this discussion.

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\01\27@090034 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Vincent,

On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 02:22:28 -0800, Vincent Vega wrote:

> Juan Garofalo <@spam@animacion3dspamspamKILLspamHOTPOP.COM> wrote:
>>
>> It's ironic that the people who are for 'sharing' and not 'profit'
>> end up hiring lawerys to enforce their copyright free copyrights...

> They hire lawyers to protect their right to share not their
> right to profit.

Or to widen it still further, in the US at least it appears to be necessary to hire lawyers to protect one's
*rights* - rights of any kind, certainly not limited to anything involving money.

Although ironically in a lot of cases the resolution is distilled into an amount of money changing hands, even
when money was not involved in the original situation that resulted in the legal system becoming involved.  It
is probably seen to be the easiest way to conclude the thing.

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\01\27@091532 by Howard Winter

face
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Russell,

On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 14:01:08 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Well not being "most people", I know all about Nobel's story!  You missed out a link that I think does him a
disservice - when he invented dynamite he did so to improve the mining industry, which was improved
dramatically with a great advantage to those taking part (although accidents did take their toll, of course).
However, Nobel also thought - terribly wrongly as we now know - that the effects of Dynamite were so terrible
that the knowledge that the "other side" had it would mean that nobody would start any more wars.  He was
shocked to find that he had utterly underestimated the callousness of leaders in persuing their personal aims
at any cost to the men they command, and that his invention was used as a weapon.  He felt he needed to "make
amends" for the terrible destructive power he unleashed, and as a direct result he set up the Nobel Prize
foundation.  He wanted to give the world something to make up for what he saw as his culpability in increasing
harm to people, and as it turns out he certainly succeeded in changing what he is remembered for, as you point
out.  If Dynamite and its derivatives had never had military uses, maybe he would have just spent the money
himself - we will never know, but the fact that he converted his financial capital into the kind that the
Nobel Prize represents was clearly capitalism at its best!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\01\27@092527 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
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Russell,

On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 14:01:08 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:

> Attempts to make me use my capital as I do not wish to are socialism.

I think you're being a bit black-and-white about this - attempts to make me use my capital as I do not wish
include socialism, communism, dictatorship, totalitarianism, tithe, taxation...

In fact democracy, certainly as it is practised, can do so as well.  When the majority wants something to
happen that needs me to contribute some of my capital, I have to do so even if I don't want to!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\01\27@104111 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Mon, Jan 26, 2004 at 05:19:33PM +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > But I can see where the FSF is coming from too because once
> > you weaken that
> > requirement, then the end user is locked into the binary
> > offered with no
> > ability to update the supposedly free library.
>
> Note that what I want is not 'free firmware', for all I care the
> firmware can be read-protected, unavailable, the serila number dusted
> off, and the chip inserted backwards to confuse the potential copyer.
> What I want is a free library.

You know in some ways this is only interesting part of this massive thread that
I started. Let's work this through. Here's the gist of the LGPL:

1) The library can be freely used and distributed.
2) Any code that simply uses the library is not affected by the LGPL status
  of the library. So it can be closed source. More on this in a minute.
3) However any changes to the library itself are subject to the LGPL and the
  source must be released if the modified library is released.
4) Users have the right, and developers have the obligation to provide, a
  mechanism for the user to update the library. The consquence of this, which
  is the problem with the JAL library, is that if there is no procedural
  mechanism to separate the applications code and the library code, that the
  only way to accomplish this is to release the applications source. This
  negates point #2 which is the whole purpose of the LGPL.

So the question hinges not on #4, which JAL must get rid of, but on point #3,
which directly affects the "freeness" of the library itself by enforcing that
changes to the library itself is shared by everyone. It's the typical
Stallman enforced sharing scenario. Without it individuals can upgrade a
library and keep the upgrades to themselves.

Now huddle in and listen closely to the next question: Does that matter?

My best guess is that it probably doesn't. JAL libraries will be just as
effective with only points #1 and #2, and dropping #3 and #4. It's unlikely
that any JAL library will be a massive upgrade/overhaul that obsoletes a
previous version. And for the most part users of complete projects wouldn't
care much anyway.

So given that the answer is simple: relicense everything under the BSD license.
It meets points #1 and #2, while making no further requirements on users or
developers.

Hope this helps,

BAJ

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2004\01\27@105147 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Tue, Jan 27, 2004 at 10:39:45AM -0500, Byron A Jeff wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 26, 2004 at 05:19:33PM +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

I feel the need to clarify #4 a bit more, though the solution is the same.

{Quote hidden}

Clarification: a complete application consists of application code and library
code. They are integrated in some way: linked, or included. The user's right
to update means that if the library is modified, improved, bugfixed, or
extended, then users should be able to build a new complete application by
mixing the application code and the new library. In higher level systems this
is pretty easy: libraries come in a separate package and simply relinking
(or just loading with the new lib if the lib is dynamincally linked) is
sufficient to "update" the complete application with the library. However in
the case of JAL, and other embedded systems development suites, the application
code and the library code are compiled together. Hence the point above of
...no procedural mechanism to separate the applications code and the library
code.

Now the fact of the matter is that there is a way to do this in the PIC world:
linking relocatable objects. However at this time JAL doesn't have a system
for producing such objects. When it does, most of the issues above will
disappear. But until then (or even then for that matter) the BSL license is
probably best.

BAJ

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2004\01\27@115850 by Juan Garofalo

flavicon
face
Some points :


a)

       Scarcity regarding software means *scarcity of brains*. Real,
physical brains. That's not created by law. To write complex software is not
easy, that's why software has value. Any attempt to deny such a basic fact
will lead to lots of nonsensical arguments.


b)

       Somebody tried to justify gratis software saying that copying is
gratis. You need something known as the hardware industry to be able to copy
(or run) software. I don't think silicon is gratis...

       Even if copying were gratis, that has nothing to do with the price
of software. That price is dictacted by development costs and profit. Supply
and demand are secondary.

       Software is not different from any manufacturing industry. There are
costs, there are profits for the people who use their brains. Any argument
against this is an argument against capitalism, individual rights, the open
society, or whatever name you wish to give it. It's an argument about and
against the very political foundations of society. Unless you're advocanting
for a collectivist society...


c)

       The fact that an individual is able to enter into an open source
contract, or not,  doesn't mean that the open source scheme is right, per se.

       That is, trying to prove the economic soundness of open source
because some people are willing to enter into open source contracts is a
completly misleading argumentation.

       I'm not ever using open source code if that means making my own code
open source. Because I perfectly understand the legal framework that would
bind me if I did. It would be a subverted law. I don't agree with a law (the
OS licence) wich forces me to give my property away.

       I'm not ever accepting that such an scheme(OSS) is a viable one for
a market economy. I have all the proper arguments to back such an assertion.


d)

       I don't think Russell is a qualified speaker for what capitalism is.
Just a correction, as a sample:

Russell said:

>A stock market crash constitutes fair dealing as long as
>everyone concerned has dealt in a manner in accordance with pre-agreed
>rules.

       A stock market crash is caused by public policies. Inform yourself
regarding the bussines cycle. http://www.mises.org.

       Stock market crashes are caused by the mighty PUBLIC central bank
inflating the money supply, that is, creating cheap money wich is
malinvested in the stock exchange. Stock crashes are caused  when capitalism
is overriden by the will of a few 'selected' men who think that can dictate
what the interest rate should be, i.e. Greenspan. That's not capitalism but
lack thereof.


e)

               Wouter answers part of my message confusing a quotation from
Jeff Byron with my own content...read carefully.



Regards.

Juan.




































       If programming were so value-free that anybody could write anything,
without effort, I don't know why I have to pay for my 3D animation and
modelling software. I'm more or less aquainted with that market and I know
what features I can get for free, and what features I need to pay for. That
is, I, as a customer know what I'm talking about, as opposed to socialist
daydreaming.

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2004\01\27@123421 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Now the fact of the matter is that there is a way to do this
> in the PIC world:
> linking relocatable objects. However at this time JAL doesn't
> have a system
> for producing such objects.

Is far as I am concernewd Jal will never use relinkeable objects. For
instance, ever noticed that Jal warns you when you use too many stack
entries? A compiler that outputs object can't.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\27@123422 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> 2) Any code that simply uses the library is not affected by
> the LGPL status of the library.

Better read the LGPL again and/or give a better definition of 'simply
uses'.

> So given that the answer is simple: relicense everything
> under the BSD license.
> It meets points #1 and #2, while making no further
> requirements on users or developers.

But I want a GPL-like stickyness on the library. I certainly don't want
to be conformted with an updated version of the library that I must pay
for to use!

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\27@123838 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> Open software is a pure capitalist idea. Capitalism asserts that I own my
> own resources. My productive capacity, my intelligence and more are mine to
> utilise as I see fit. I can define capital as I see fit. If Bill Gates sees

Well written Russel!

I just watned to comment on your line above and how it applies in
today's U.S. marketspace.

Every company I have worked for in the last decade has attempted to get
me to sign far-reaching Intellectual Property contracts with them, that
usually state something to the effect of "all works created by the
employee are the sole property of Company X."  I *never ever* sign these
without a re-negotiation of such a clause to include the following ideas:

- Works created outside of business hours that are not a core product of
Company X are NOT the property of Company X.
- Company X will be explicit in their requests for works to be produced.

Similar to that, anyway.  And I run whatever legal gobledeegook comes
out of the process by my friend who's an attorney.

Why?  Because I work on open-source projects outside of work.  If a
contract I hold with my employer states that they own it, it can cause
all sorts of headaches for BOTH parties to the contract.  (My company
then becomes responsible for distribution of anything I license under
the GPL, in a round-about way... not really but it's good to point out
such legal entanglements *could* happen if they really want to claim
full ownership of works I create.)

In addition, since I'm a system administrator by trade, I also ask the
company to review and approve that I will abide by this document:

http://sageweb.sage.org/resources/publications/code_of_ethics.html

ESPECIALLY the privacy section.  I have used this to deny (what I feel
to be) inappropriate requests to monitor the actions of individuals
using the systems I administer.  Of course, there is USUALLY company
policy that overrides this and I'll abide by those policies IF THEY ARE
PUBLISHED within the organization and the organization has notified
employees in advance that their actions are monitored.  No policy, no
monitoring.

Nate Duehr, spamBeGonenateRemoveMEspamEraseMEnatetech.com

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2004\01\27@124046 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
{Quote hidden}

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2004\01\27@125923 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Tue, Jan 27, 2004 at 06:33:12PM +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > Now the fact of the matter is that there is a way to do this
> > in the PIC world:
> > linking relocatable objects. However at this time JAL doesn't
> > have a system for producing such objects.
>
> Is far as I am concernewd Jal will never use relinkeable objects. For
> instance, ever noticed that Jal warns you when you use too many stack
> entries? A compiler that outputs object can't.

Correct. I wasn't arguing whether or not JAL should create relocatable
objects. Just the fact that there is PIC tool technology to do so, and
that it creates an avenue to solve the issues with the LGPL.

BAJ

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2004\01\27@133037 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Correct. I wasn't arguing whether or not JAL should create relocatable
> objects. Just the fact that there is PIC tool technology to do so, and
> that it creates an avenue to solve the issues with the LGPL.

But that road is closed for an all-at-once compiler, so I need another
route.

And besides: the object route would make it impossible to include the
jal library in a gadget that is by (market) descision copy-protected,
which I want to allow.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\27@144552 by Colin Constant

picon face
{Quote hidden}

Well, yes, I guess that's what I was doing.

>in which case it has very little to do with the subject of this discussion.

You're probably right.

Later,
Colin

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2004\01\27@150629 by Colin Constant

picon face
{Quote hidden}

I think it does. "Health, enjoyment of life", etc. are not included in the
above definition or, indeed, in any reasonable definition of capital.

You can say that capital includes anything a person values, but that's just
talking nonsense.

Colin

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2004\01\27@150836 by Colin Constant

picon face
{Quote hidden}

Well, yes, I guess that's what I was doing.

>in which case it has very little to do with the subject of this discussion.

You're probably right.

Later,
Colin

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2004\01\27@151250 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> >1)Wealth in the form of money or property, used or accumulated in a
> >business
> >by a person, partnership, or corporation.
> >2)Material wealth used or available for use in the production of more
> >wealth.
> >3)Human resources considered in terms of their contributions
> to an economy:

> "Health, enjoyment of life", etc. are not
> included in the
> above definition or, indeed, in any reasonable definition of capital.

Why not? For instance I can easily see Health and/or enjoyment of life
being seen as a human resource in the sense of 3). Where would you put
things that are totally accepted in the economy and often appear on
balances like goodwill, Intellectual Property, image, brand loyality?

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\27@151931 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> > "Health, enjoyment of life", etc. are not
> > included in the
> > above definition or, indeed, in any reasonable definition of capital.
>
> Why not? For instance I can easily see Health and/or enjoyment of life
> being seen as a human resource in the sense of 3). Where would you put
> things that are totally accepted in the economy and often appear on
> balances like goodwill, Intellectual Property, image, brand loyality?

In the US, at least, both image and brand can be bought and sold (by
buying a company or product line). Intellectual property is treated
much like any tangible asset for the purposes of buying and selling.

I thought about trying to define capital as something that others would
value, but I had friends who owned a house in Texas during the land-crash.

(Basically the prices for houses/land went down so fast that so many people
had mortgages for far more than the house/land could be sold for. This
was coupled with a lack of jobs -- or perhaps caused by -- in the area.
It was *very* difficult to find a buyer at a price that made it worth
selling.)
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2004\01\27@160208 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> > Attempts to make me use my capital as I do not wish to are socialism.
>
> I think you're being a bit black-and-white about this - attempts to make
me use my capital as I do not wish
> include socialism, communism, dictatorship, totalitarianism, tithe,
taxation...

I agree *. I was trying to make a clear capitalism / non-capitalism
distinction so my point would not be lost on the writer of what I was
responding to. Also, fwiw, I wasn't necessarily saying that either was good
or bad in any way - just different from each other.


       Russell McMahon


Except that "tithe" is not compulsory per se in the context it is used, it's
a free choice. But that's another area :-)

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2004\01\28@020416 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
>> I think you're being a bit black-and-white about this

That's one of the problems with GPL.  It's VERY black and white.
A small amount of GPL code "poisons" a large amount of other code.
GOOD licenses are negotiable.  (There are an awful lot of not
good licenses around these days, of course.  Sigh.)

As an interesting question, can the AUTHOR of code that was
released under GPL ever change the license terms?  As in "I
want to make this completely PD now", or perhaps "I made a big
set of improvements and I think I can sell it now as proprietary
code"?  The latter seems reasonably doable, assuming that the
basis of the improved code all belongs to the author (doesn't
contain any fed-back improvements from others.)  The former
seems more problematic...

BillW

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2004\01\28@020416 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
>> I think you're being a bit black-and-white about this

That's one of the problems with GPL.  It's VERY black and white.
A small amount of GPL code "poisons" a large amount of other code.
GOOD licenses are negotiable.  (There are an awful lot of not
good licenses around these days, of course.  Sigh.)

As an interesting question, can the AUTHOR of code that was
released under GPL ever change the license terms?  As in "I
want to make this completely PD now", or perhaps "I made a big
set of improvements and I think I can sell it now as proprietary
code"?  The latter seems reasonably doable, assuming that the
basis of the improved code all belongs to the author (doesn't
contain any fed-back improvements from others.)  The former
seems more problematic...

BillW

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2004\01\28@033243 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> As an interesting question, can the AUTHOR of code that was
> released under GPL ever change the license terms?  As in "I
> want to make this completely PD now", or perhaps "I made a big
> set of improvements and I think I can sell it now as proprietary
> code"?  The latter seems reasonably doable, assuming that the
> basis of the improved code all belongs to the author (doesn't
> contain any fed-back improvements from others.)  The former
> seems more problematic...

The author has and retains full copyright so he can do whatever he
wants, except 'revoking' the already given license. The enforcing of
(L)GPL and similar licenses *depend* on the fact that the author has the
copyright: the GPL is just an permit, given by the author, to use the
code under certain conditions. Outside those conditions the authors
copyright forbids you to use the code.

So IMHO if a (L)GPL will ever be in court it will be introduced by the
user of the code, who will try to argue that he is within the license.
The author will just excercise his copyright and leave it up to the user
to prove he acted within the exception (the (L)GPL).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\28@033243 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> As an interesting question, can the AUTHOR of code that was
> released under GPL ever change the license terms?  As in "I
> want to make this completely PD now", or perhaps "I made a big
> set of improvements and I think I can sell it now as proprietary
> code"?  The latter seems reasonably doable, assuming that the
> basis of the improved code all belongs to the author (doesn't
> contain any fed-back improvements from others.)  The former
> seems more problematic...

The author has and retains full copyright so he can do whatever he
wants, except 'revoking' the already given license. The enforcing of
(L)GPL and similar licenses *depend* on the fact that the author has the
copyright: the GPL is just an permit, given by the author, to use the
code under certain conditions. Outside those conditions the authors
copyright forbids you to use the code.

So IMHO if a (L)GPL will ever be in court it will be introduced by the
user of the code, who will try to argue that he is within the license.
The author will just excercise his copyright and leave it up to the user
to prove he acted within the exception (the (L)GPL).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\01\28@093039 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> As an interesting question, can the AUTHOR of code that was
> released under GPL ever change the license terms?  As in "I
> want to make this completely PD now", or perhaps "I made a big
> set of improvements and I think I can sell it now as proprietary
> code"?  The latter seems reasonably doable, assuming that the
> basis of the improved code all belongs to the author (doesn't
> contain any fed-back improvements from others.)  The former
> seems more problematic...

Under those conditions I *believe* that the author can do whatever
they want with the *new* version. The older version released under
the GPL is still GPL'ed.

I seem to recall that a request was made of an author to change the GPL
to a different license and it was done. Unfortunately I forget exacty
when and where this was...
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2004\01\28@093039 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> As an interesting question, can the AUTHOR of code that was
> released under GPL ever change the license terms?  As in "I
> want to make this completely PD now", or perhaps "I made a big
> set of improvements and I think I can sell it now as proprietary
> code"?  The latter seems reasonably doable, assuming that the
> basis of the improved code all belongs to the author (doesn't
> contain any fed-back improvements from others.)  The former
> seems more problematic...

Under those conditions I *believe* that the author can do whatever
they want with the *new* version. The older version released under
the GPL is still GPL'ed.

I seem to recall that a request was made of an author to change the GPL
to a different license and it was done. Unfortunately I forget exacty
when and where this was...
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2004\01\28@111633 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

> You run into interesting sets of confusion with things like libraries
> that were originally written separately, and are now included in
> linux distributions, BSD distributions, and also available on their
> own.  Which licenses actually apply?  What if you find the identical
> code with different license agreements attached?  (most recently,
> I ran into this trying to find open source "curses" screen libraries.)

This is why you choose to use Debian Linux for your research, of course
-- when you're researching the appropriateness of software for your
project!  :-)  Debian is also militant about not including non-Free (as
in Freedom) software and even currently rejects some of the GNU
documentation and books because the GNU documentation license doesn't
live up to the Debian Free Software Guidelines document/rules.

-> Not having both "pristine" source and any changes separated out, is a
Critical level bug.

-> Not having a license included inside the package, is a Critical level
bug.

-> Debian stable is never released with Critical level bugs.

The locations of all installed software must match the package
maintainer's policy.  You'll never find the license in
/usr/local/etc/license-for-package for one package, and
/home/packagename for another, for example.  Everything in its place --
you'll find documentation in /usr/share/doc/<packagename>.  All original
licenses MUST be included in source packages, or the package cannot be
included in the release version.

No RPM-based Linux distribution provides this level of organization.

If it's in Debian stable, and you don't have a "non-free" line in your
/etc/apt/sources.list -- you can be assured there's more fanatical
people than you about Free Software making sure the licenses are 100% Free.

It's a great "tool" in this fashion.

Nate Duehr, spam_OUTnateTakeThisOuTspamEraseMEnatetech.com

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2004\01\28@111633 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

> You run into interesting sets of confusion with things like libraries
> that were originally written separately, and are now included in
> linux distributions, BSD distributions, and also available on their
> own.  Which licenses actually apply?  What if you find the identical
> code with different license agreements attached?  (most recently,
> I ran into this trying to find open source "curses" screen libraries.)

This is why you choose to use Debian Linux for your research, of course
-- when you're researching the appropriateness of software for your
project!  :-)  Debian is also militant about not including non-Free (as
in Freedom) software and even currently rejects some of the GNU
documentation and books because the GNU documentation license doesn't
live up to the Debian Free Software Guidelines document/rules.

-> Not having both "pristine" source and any changes separated out, is a
Critical level bug.

-> Not having a license included inside the package, is a Critical level
bug.

-> Debian stable is never released with Critical level bugs.

The locations of all installed software must match the package
maintainer's policy.  You'll never find the license in
/usr/local/etc/license-for-package for one package, and
/home/packagename for another, for example.  Everything in its place --
you'll find documentation in /usr/share/doc/<packagename>.  All original
licenses MUST be included in source packages, or the package cannot be
included in the release version.

No RPM-based Linux distribution provides this level of organization.

If it's in Debian stable, and you don't have a "non-free" line in your
/etc/apt/sources.list -- you can be assured there's more fanatical
people than you about Free Software making sure the licenses are 100% Free.

It's a great "tool" in this fashion.

Nate Duehr, EraseMEnatespamBeGonespamKILLspamnatetech.com

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2004\01\29@030607 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> As far as I can read, it allows my stuff to be linked into other code
> without requiring a source level distribution of the other
> code. It does require that *my* code be kept free.

which part of the text permits you to do that?

Wouter van Ooijen

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Subject: Re: [OT:] SCO lobbying Congress about Linux
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> One problem is that large commercial programs are made by large teams
> of programmers. Some of these programmers may not understand the problems
> they may cause by including GPL'ed code. The companies legal department
> probably doesn't look through the source code.
>
> Now this company has released a commercial program that *should* have been
> GPL'ed.
>
> What should happen if they are "caught"?

Replace "GPL'ed" code with "MicroSoft Code" in the above and rerun it.
What do you think would happen? :-)

If you take out the GPL code and apologise profusely what do you think would
happen?
If you take out the Micro$oft code and apologise profusely what do you think
would happen?


       Russell McMahon

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..
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2004\01\30@220105 by Nate Duehr

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On Thursday 26 February 2004 10:25 pm, James Caska wrote:

> But.. Jump back to the 'spirit' of OpenSource for a second and that
> 'F.U' intention.. There is another organism out there that get's itself
> inside of a host organism and then busily re-organises that organism to
> manufacture more of it'self... Sounds familiar to anyone who has caught
> a cold! It's amazing how close these OpenSource licenses look like virus
> definitions.. Easy absorbtion from low barrier to entry (free), Self
> reproduction (any other code that contains it becomes it).. Etc.

The GPL has been defined by the very people that wrote it as "viral" before,
this is not news.

> And well like any other virus introduced to a host with no immune system
> .. It gets a chance to run riot for a while before the host recognises
> the foreign body. By persuing legal options OpenSource has revealed
> it'self as a malignant virus rather than a benign symbiotic one and the
> Software Industries immune response is kicking in.. White blood cells
> are being manufactured as we speak isolating the runaway virus'
> extracting it from otherwise healthy code and creating early warning
> defence systems such a company policies to recognise the viral code
> before it benetrates the code-cell membrane.

Malignant only to those who wish to profit from other's Free work, yes.

> All that has happened is that the confusion of the meaning of 'free
> software' exploited by this virus to gain widespread adoption has been
> better understood as 'not free afterall' and the whole movement will
> reach a new equilabrium once the commercial Immune System kicks in..

Now this is not true.  The license is there on every piece of GPL software
specifically for the purpose of being read and followed.  People who don't
read fine print on contracts get screwed over every day of the year in every
land... people who don't read their software licensing and ABIDE BY THE LAW
find themselves on the other side of a courtroom defending themselves whether
it's Free software, Open Source Software (not the same, by the way), or
Commercial software.

The same people you're defending that are supposedly so "infected" have used
the legal system numerous times in the past to protect their intellectual
property rights -- the folks at GNU are doing nothing different, in that
regard.  AT ALL.

> No doubt OpenSource and free software has it's place.. But as a 'F.U'
> mechanism.. It's had it's day and those clever chaps who invented it all
> can feel very happy with themselves.. Well done.. You showed em'

It never was about "showing anyone" anything -- it was about "share and share
alike."  AND they put the force of the law behind it by following the rules
everyone else follows.

Anyone caught unawares that they're doing something illegal by breaking the
license of ANY software they use is going to be punished.  Ever hear of the
BSA?

You can't want legal remedies to protect your intellectual property rights and
not allow others to do the same AS THEY SEE FIT, James.  The law says if you
enter into a contract by using software that has a specific license you must
abide by the contract.  You would certainly want that to be true with muvium,
so you can't complain about people who want it for software licenced under
the GPL.

If your customers don't read your software license, you'll still hold them to
it, I'm damn sure of that.  There was no "trickery" here... just idiots who
don't read licenses and then break that license and don't expect any
repercussions.  Too bad.  The GPL/OpenSource folks never CHANGED the rules by
enforcing them.

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2004\01\30@224743 by Nate Duehr

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On Tuesday 27 January 2004 09:59 am, Juan Garofalo wrote:

>         If programming were so value-free that anybody could write
> anything, without effort, I don't know why I have to pay for my 3D
> animation and modelling software. I'm more or less aquainted with that
> market and I know what features I can get for free, and what features I
> need to pay for. That is, I, as a customer know what I'm talking about, as
> opposed to socialist daydreaming.

And there are socialist daydreamers out there who are writing the features you
need to pay for into open software probably right now so you and everyone
else can enjoy them later for free.

Then after all that hard work, they ask only one thing -- that if you change
their software in any way and GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE that you have to also
give them the same opportunity to see and change the source code that you did
in order to make your changes.

What this tends to do is to push the level of the software you can get "for
free" in your comments above -- higher and higher -- and those with the
software jobs can use things like an entire operating system that was only a
dream in a young Finns eye a few years back to run their entire closed-source
application on.

Their barrier to entry to create a closed-source solution no longer includes
having to pay for (or steal) a closed-source operating system.  So they can
focus on their product.

The only risk is... another "socialist daydreamer" might come along and decide
to write something similar to their closed source product and put them out of
that business... then someone can go from there and layer on another layer of
closed or open source...

It really doesn't matter.  Those interested in getting paid for their
programming or those not interested in getting paid, both will always find a
way to do both.

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