Pesto wrote:As I see it, the GPL and BSD licenses represent two extremes. I understand the rationale behind the GPL, because it guarantees that any modifications to GPL'd code are contributed back to the community. The BSD license is not viral in nature, like the GPL is, but can't guarantee that further improvements are not kept in proprietary repositories. Are there any licenses that strike a good middle ground? Is that even possible?
Pesto wrote:Yeah, I'm familiar with the LGPL, but how would it work in practice if a stand-alone application were released under it?
ok, so I make this proprietary closed-source program, a.exe, that loads open-source WTFPL b.dll. Now someone modifies b.dll and re-licenses it under GPL. Does this mean I should now GPL my a.exe? Silly, isn't it. I believe they could only demand that if I distribute a.exe with modified b.dll, but as long as I don't, I'm fine.EvanED wrote:Anpheus wrote:GPL people tend to be really silly about this though, in that if a library is released GPL, they want you to either dynamically link it, or if you statically link, you have to release the whole thing's source.
The FSF's position is that dynamic linking is enough to require your program to be GPL'd.
makc wrote:ok, so I make this proprietary closed-source program, a.exe, that loads open-source WTFPL b.dll. Now someone modifies b.dll and re-licenses it under GPL. Does this mean I should now GPL my a.exe? Silly, isn't it. I believe they could only demand that if I distribute a.exe with modified b.dll, but as long as I don't, I'm fine.
phillipsjk wrote:Or more likely, what Apple did with BSD to make OS X.
- The X Window System TrapRMS wrote:Non-copylefted software is vulnerable from all directions; it lets anyone make a nonfree version dominant, if he will invest sufficient resources to add significantly important features using proprietary code. Users who choose software based on technical characteristics, rather than on freedom, could easily be lured to the nonfree version for short-term convenience.
phillipsjk wrote:Edit: Finally worked out how to include an RMS essay reference:- The X Window System TrapRMS wrote:Non-copylefted software is vulnerable from all directions; it lets anyone make a nonfree version dominant, if he will invest sufficient resources to add significantly important features using proprietary code. Users who choose software based on technical characteristics, rather than on freedom, could easily be lured to the nonfree version for short-term convenience.
- The X Window System TrapThis trust was misplaced. In its last year (~1998?), the X Consortium made a plan to restrict the forthcoming X11R6.4 release so that it would not be free software. They decided to start saying no, not only to proprietary software developers, but to our community as well.
There is an irony here. If you said yes when the X Consortium asked you not to use copyleft, you put the X Consortium in a position to license and restrict its version of your program, along with the code for the core of X.
. . .
In September 1998, several months after X11R6.4 was released with nonfree distribution terms, the Open Group reversed its decision and rereleased it under the same non-copyleft free software license that was used for X11R6.3. Thus, the Open Group therefore eventually did what was right, but that does not alter the general issue.
phillipsjk wrote:The point of copyleft is to force the developers and distributors to allow the users to decide for themselves (or was that sarcasm?).
phillipsjk wrote:Yes, Apple did a good job pushing an integrated platform that "just works" for the most part. The problem is that the work needed to make a saleable product from a popular "free" distribution is not that much.
Why should third parties be allowed to impose onerous terms on end-users just because they did boring integration and grunt work? GPL supporters believe the rights of users are more important that the rights of developers to choose any license they want.
stephentyrone wrote:In the course of that work, besides the pretty user interface layer, Apple has made tens of thousands of bug fixes and performance improvements to the BSD layer and kernel, which are published as open source for other projects to use.
hotaru wrote:OS X doesn't use the BSD kernel at all, and the only changes they've made to the BSD userland are removing parts of it and a few minor changes to make things work with their kernel.
stephentyrone wrote:Let's pick one example, near and dear to my heart; the math library. The BSD math library from NeXT was unusably slow on PowerPC. Apple rewrote the core of it for 10.2, bringing in code from the old OS 9 sources (which were closed-source). Instead of keeping it closed, they released the much improved libraries as open source. Apple has continued to work on the library since then, to the point that OS X now contains almost no BSD-derived sources, is substantially faster and more accurate than both the BSD-licensed fdlibm and the glibc math library on both PowerPC and Intel, and is still published as open source.
hotaru wrote:http://opensource.apple.com/source/Libm/Libm-315/Source/Intel/s_cos.s and http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/cvsweb.cgi/s ... .S?rev=1.7 look almost identical to me... just like most of the other files in the math libraries on both operating systems.
Jplus wrote:With copyleft you force the developers and distributors to give the end users only one option, i.e. using open source software that in most cases is cheap but not as convenient and richly featured as it could be.
stephentyrone wrote:If the work is "not that much", then why hasn't anyone else done it? The reality is that it's an enormous amount of work. 25 years of development at NeXT and Apple by hundreds of full-time engineers. In the course of that work, besides the pretty user interface layer, Apple has made tens of thousands of bug fixes and performance improvements to the BSD layer and kernel, which are published as open source for other projects to use.
Bruce Montague wrote:A BSD license is not simply a gift. The question “why should we help our competitors or let them steal our work?” comes up often in relation to a BSD license. Under a BSD license, if one company came to dominate a product niche that others considered strategic, the other companies can, with minimal effort, form a mini-consortium aimed at reestablishing parity by contributing to a competitive BSD variant that increases market competition and fairness. This permits each company to believe that it will be able to profit from some while also contributing to economic flexibility and efficiency. The more rapidly and easily the cooperating members can do this, the more successful they will be. A BSD license is essentially a minimally complicated license that enables such behavior.
A key effect of the GPL, making a complete and competitive Open Source system widely available at cost of media, is a reasonable goal. A BSD style license, in conjunction with ad-hoc-consortiums of individuals, can achieve this goal without destroying the economic assumptions built around the deployment-end of the technology transfer pipeline.
- GPL Advantages and Disadvantages sectionBruce Montague wrote:The GPL was designed to keep research results from transitioning to proprietary products. This step is often assumed to be the last step in the traditional technology transfer pipeline and it is usually difficult enough under the best of circumstances; the GPL was intended to make it impossible.
GPLv3 wrote:3. Protecting Users' Legal Rights From Anti-Circumvention Law.
No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective technological measure under any applicable law fulfilling obligations under article 11 of the WIPO copyright treaty adopted on 20 December 1996, or similar laws prohibiting or restricting circumvention of such measures.
When you convey a covered work, you waive any legal power to forbid circumvention of technological measures to the extent such circumvention is effected by exercising rights under this License with respect to the covered work, and you disclaim any intention to limit operation or modification of the work as a means of enforcing, against the work's users, your or third parties' legal rights to forbid circumvention of technological measures.
- WIPO Copyright Treaty (adopted in Geneva on December 20, 1996)Article 11 wrote:Obligations concerning Technological Measures
Contracting Parties shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures that are used by authors in connection with the exercise of their rights under this Treaty or the Berne Convention and that restrict acts, in respect of their works, which are not authorized by the authors concerned or permitted by law.
- http://cvsweb.netbsd.org/bsdweb.cgi/src/external/gpl3/?only_with_tag=MAIN (The README goes into more detail.)NetBSD GPLv3 policy statement wrote:The code within the src/external/gplv3 directories may have serious
legal impacts if you are a company and redistributing or changing
this code (as a company holding patents). We recommend you contact
your lawyer before using it.
Please do not import new GPLv3 projects without Board approval.
- Why you shouldn't use the Lesser GPL for your next libraryGNU.org wrote:Which license is best for a given library is a matter of strategy, and it depends on the details of the situation. At present, most GNU libraries are covered by the Lesser GPL, and that means we are using only one of these two strategies, neglecting the other. So we are now seeking more libraries to release under the ordinary GPL.
Proprietary software developers have the advantage of money; free software developers need to make advantages for each other. Using the ordinary GPL for a library gives free software developers an advantage over proprietary developers: a library that they can use, while proprietary developers cannot use it.
Using the ordinary GPL is not advantageous for every library. There are reasons that can make it better to use the Lesser GPL in certain cases. The most common case is when a free library's features are readily available for proprietary software through other alternative libraries. In that case, the library cannot give free software any particular advantage, so it is better to use the Lesser GPL for that library.
stephentyrone wrote:No onerous terms are being imposed on end users.
phillipsjk wrote:IMO, "copy-left" faces a double-standard because people equate "free" with the "public domain." As we know, people and companies are generally allowed to take things in the public domain and make them proprietary.
- Found on WikipediaLinus Torvalds wrote:Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it
Anpheus wrote:This is, of course, ignoring the fact that should the FSF ever be owned by or manipulated by another entity, you as a coder are fucked, and you can kiss the spirit of the GPL goodbye.
aadams wrote:I am a very nice whatever it is I am.
Anpheus wrote:This is, of course, ignoring the fact that should the FSF ever be owned by or manipulated by another entity, you as a coder [who allowed relicensing under all future versions of the GPL] are fucked, and you can kiss the spirit of the GPL goodbye.
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