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Gez
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The problem is that none of the licenses distinguish between commercial uses that consist in selling the Product itself (licenses love calling stuff "the Product"), and selling the Product as part of a larger collection of other products, where the Product itself is not especially important to the whole and not used specifically to advertise the collection.

Because of that, a "no commercial use" license means "no, you can't bundle it with Debian/Ubuntu/Redhat/Slackware/insert your favorite distro here" and a "yes commercial use" license means "yes, you can sell this on the iApp iStore and make iBucks off my own iWork, you parasite".

(Though to be honest, it doesn't bother me that people are selling Freedoom apps on whatever platform they want. If people want to pay for that, more power to them. If they don't, they can always get the source code and the game data for free, and put it on their phone/tablet/whatever by themselves. And if they have no idea how to do so and would rather pay $2 for the convenience of having it already done, then it's cool, they can.)

Old Post 11-20-12 19:08 #
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kb1
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AlexMax said:
If you're talking about the author of a GPL port being ironic, he has claimed to have offered his code to ZDoom in the past, and I know for a fact that fraggle donated Fragglescript.
Nah, I was just laughing about Quasar saying "you sound bitter", then proceeding to rage for another few sentences :). No harm intended. Carry on.

Old Post 11-20-12 21:17 #
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Lyfe
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Quasar said:
This is always the case, no matter what license is used. BSD places some (very weak) restrictions on what you can do: You cannot claim you wrote the original software...

True. Wasn't suggesting otherwise, but I wanted to point out the fallacy that GPL gives you something you can "do anything with." Especially a fallacy from the fanatic to whom I was responding. I actually do believe in attribution & copyright. I find the concept of writing software to be similar to writing a book. You deserve credit for the work you do. Public domain does not imply attribution. Copyright enables it (and is legally acknowledged by most governments).

Side note, the zlib license isn't exactly bsd-style. It does not require attribution in binary form, only in source form. (See first clause.)

@myk:
Except again, because the sources are GPL, selling a derivative of any of the doom/quake engines as a game engine is preposterous as there's no profitable market for something you can get for free. If nothing other than because the sources will be available to the 'buyer'. Thus, as a game engine manufacturer (which is one of id software's sources of income), they have removed the competition. As far as competing with a game developer, you are still on your own for developing content, just like any other game studio.

@fraggle:
Point. I cannot find what I was thinking of either. He definitely believes that all code should be GPL. I blame the exception for glibc on the fact that reality was observed.
It's hard to find history, but from what I gather, the original glibc was GPL, not LGPL, and without an exception clause in the then-current license. There is also ton of commentary on his belief that all code should be GPL. I'm pretty sure I've seen the comment, though. Not important enough to waste my time on it anymore though. I've met the man. And I wanted my 45 min back after his speech. It was like going to a church to see what their religion believes in and finding out that the ideology doesn't make sense.

Old Post 11-20-12 22:44 #
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Ladna
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Gez:

That's a great point about EE using GPL libraries (not that I can think of any off hand, and as Quasar pointed out SpiderMonkey isn't one of them). I would point out that there's a difference between using GPL code - which is licensed to promote freedom - and BUILD code - which is licensed to promote Ken Silverman. Using the DSL to incorporate Heretic/Hexen code, and using BUILD code to incorporate BUILD features (slopes, voxels, etc.) has caused a lot of problems in the Doom community, I think that's incontrovertible. I would also go further and say those problems are worse than not having slopes or voxels, and that the tradeoff isn't worth it.

Blzut3:

Leasing stuff is way different. I'm loathe to introduce yet another car analogy into an open source software discussion, but here we go. If you put a N2O system in a leased car you're essentially fucked. It wasn't yours. But if you buy a car, then all you have to worry about are the terms of your warranty. Nothing snaps inside your car and renders it worthless if you replace your struts. This is the way hardware should be, terms should be clearly specified and ownership should mean ownership.

Same goes for media too by the way. If I buy an episode of Futurama, I get to watch it whenever, wherever on whatever I want with whomever I want. Of course there are limits to "public viewings", which are designed to prevent people from running for-profit pirate movie theaters, but crazy DRM schemes go way above and beyond that. Laudably, the GPLv3 at least tries to address DRM, inasmuch as a license can.

In order to show that I am a reasonable man, I'll argue against myself here for a moment. I think that modding software in some circumstances can be extremely dangerous. Cars have software that control all kinds of critical things, phones in particular throttle CPU performance to avoid overheating and exploding the battery in someone's hands. Not that disallowing software modifications prevents any of this (obviously), but I think there need to be some strong Surgeon General warnings flashing everywhere so that anyone modding their hardware is aware they could do serious damage in some cases. In cases where you could do serious damage to others (radio jamming for example) I'm fine with locking things down personally, even though I can't reconcile it philosophically. Then again, I haven't given it a ton of thought.

100% agreed about education, and I think the Apple App Store situation is just sad.

Re: 1-way street, I don't want to speak for anyone or cause any problems. Quasar's the boss on this one, and AFAIK SoM's the boss on Cardboard.

hex11:

If you read the next sentence of what I wrote, I was explicit about not calling anyone bad guys. I don't automatically think that people who don't share my values are bad guys, and I wanted to make that clear.

100% agree people should work on what they want to work on and license it however they want. Fuck the haters. Would rather you not lump me in with assholes just because they like the GPL too.

Lyfe:

1. I don't understand the point you're making about relevance vs. support, but I will say that the GPL is currently very relevant, as Blzut3 pointed out earlier, in the NVIDIA/DMA-BUF issue. I don't know what to say other than that, it's like trying to convince birthers past a certain point.

3. Why doesn't that dev just take the ZDaemon approach and "remove offending code"? Plus, it's not like dev #2 forced dev #1 to accept their contribution. This is exactly how GPL licensing is supposed to work actually, freedom to reuse and low barriers to community contribution. Hooray!

4. All I'm saying is that people aren't stupid failures for having different values than you, and I'm happy to debate those values. I would ask (apropos point 2) that we try and keep hyperbole out of things, but coming from the IDL way of discussing issues, I can (and you have seen this) work well in both environments ;). To address your point, there are lots of open source projects that are gold standards in their application domain. Browsers in particular are a shining counter example to your point, and besides being generally more full-featured, their freedom and community-based development are also important features, as they drive the open web and thus make it a viable platform for development.

5. The GPL contains a "system libraries" exception specifically for stuff like standard C libraries. Besides, the GNU C Library is LGPL, so I don't understand your point at all.

6. They were basically piping in and out of various GCC processes to work it into XCode. That approach sucks. I don't blame them for throwing their weight behind Clang from a technical perspective. It does cause me dismay that anti-GPL advocates use this as an example for why the GPL is a bad license, when Apple's refusal to open XCode up was the issue. I don't think anyone did anything wrong, it's just frustrating to see the situation slanted by anti-GPL advocates is all.

8. Look dude, you think this is boring? Try reading about hypothesis testing sometime. Quick, what's the difference between confidence interval hypothesis testing and p-value hypothesis testing? What's a type I error vs. a type II error? I actually do this for fun to take a break from schoolwork. If you're not having fun, then I don't know what the hell you're doing here. I refuse to take any responsibility for your short attention span, inability to focus, or poor reading comprehension skills and direct you to your local elementary school. May God have mercy on the country you vote in.

9. (new point about tivoization) Licensing code isn't "giving" code. When a dev releases code under the GPL, that means you can use it under the terms of the GPL, it doesn't transfer ownership to you. Those are very different things. It sort of seems like you think that code should be released with no restrictions because you want to increase code reuse. I agree, but as I've said earlier, I think that vs. public domain and BSD licensing (public domain isn't really a license) the GPL does a better job of not restricting downstream users. The only restrictions are that you can't restrict freedom anymore (Examples: put a non-commercial use clause on your license, close the source), and you have to provide source if you distribute binaries. That's just not that bad. Again, I've been making this point for a while, and I'd be happy to discuss it further, but I'd like you to avoid putting words in my mouth. I never said "that GPL gives you something you can 'do anything with.'".

In fact, almost all the reasons to restrict freedom past what the GPL does are bad. The only reasonable one I can come up with is selling software, but that's exactly what licensing exists to allow. Contact the developer and ask to pay them to license their software. MySQL did exactly this. Furthermore there are other business models, content, support, and advertising readily come to mind.

10. Re: "selling a derivative of any of the doom/quake engines as a game engine is preposterous". There's at least 1 Doom derivative that was sold for money. I'm pretty sure at least one copy was sold, so that goes against your point right there. It's also worth pointing out that ID continues to make money on Doom/Doom II/Doom 3 despite the engines being open source. Hell, iPhone Doom is PrBoom isn't it?

Myk:

100% agree, information wants to be free, and these days so do the applications that work with that information. Things are already so much better now that we've recognized (and fought tooth and nail for) the benefits of open standards and open software.

Old Post 11-21-12 05:49 #
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printz
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Ladna said:

10. Re: "selling a derivative of any of the doom/quake engines as a game engine is preposterous". There's at least 1 Doom derivative that was sold for money. I'm pretty sure at least one copy was sold, so that goes against your point right there. It's also worth pointing out that ID continues to make money on Doom/Doom II/Doom 3 despite the engines being open source. Hell, iPhone Doom is PrBoom isn't it?

I'm glad that art assets don't belong to the code, and thus can be private and not shared with the code. Or does GPL want also that to be mandatorily distributed? I kinda figure that this is how Doom has remained a commercial game even after GPLing its code.

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Old Post 11-21-12 06:24 #
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Quasar
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printz said:
I'm glad that art assets don't belong to the code, and thus can be private and not shared with the code. Or does GPL want also that to be mandatorily distributed? I kinda figure that this is how Doom has remained a commercial game even after GPLing its code.

No. Use of data in a GPL codebase does not put any kind of restriction on that data, except in one special circumstance:

When the output of the program is a derivative work of the original program (ie., the program outputs source code).

Because of that quirk, it should be noted that Bison and Flex, the two programs to which this is known to most apply, actually carry FSF-sanctioned exceptions on their licensing so that their output is *not* subjected to the terms of their license.

Wow they're such extremists, aren't they? 9_9

What you may be thinking of are additional, extra-license restrictions that are placed on things that wish to be included into a Linux distro. Because those are sold commercially, they have to have restrictions on content, and not just on code, so anything included with such a package needs to be freely licensed content (such as under a CC license).

Old Post 11-21-12 14:03 #
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Gez
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Ladna said:
I would point out that there's a difference between using GPL code - which is licensed to promote freedom - and BUILD code - which is licensed to promote Ken Silverman.

Oh, I totally agree that the Build license is rubbish (and much more so than the GPL, regardless of criticisms one might make about it); and I'd be glad if the Build code in ZDoom was replaced with equivalent under a saner license (such as BSD or LGPL).


Quasar said:
No. Use of data in a GPL codebase does not put any kind of restriction on that data, except in one special circumstance:

When the output of the program is a derivative work of the original program (ie., the program outputs source code).


This is a very weird clause. Derivation or not, I don't think any program should enforce a license on its output (unless the program is a quine).

Last edited by Gez on 11-21-12 at 15:35

Old Post 11-21-12 15:27 #
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myk
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Lyfe said:
Except again, because the sources are GPL, selling a derivative of any of the doom/quake engines as a game engine is preposterous as there's no profitable market for something you can get for free. If nothing other than because the sources will be available to the 'buyer'.
There's also the fact that the code is old and there are tons of engines and games that do what it does, so it was already not very profitable to begin with.


Thus, as a game engine manufacturer (which is one of id software's sources of income), they have removed the competition.
That affects id as much as anyone else, except they have a brand advantage with games like DOOM. Free sources "remove" competition by making competition so abundant that it lowers the value of any product. That is, this "removal" you speak of only counts in a saturated market. The competition was "removed" versus code that would not have seen the light of day anyway, or was stuck with a "look but don't touch" license. The only real way to remove competition is by withholding sources, not releasing them.

And yes, a BSD-like license can be inconvenient for the original commercial copyright holder unless what's being released has no value. It's better to either not release code at all and keep licensing it privately or release it under the GPL. One way to protect things is by obscurity, but exposure has always been the other way.

The GPL also grants an effect over the general public, where the copyright holders are guaranteeing everyone access to the code, without anyone appropriating its legacy, creating solid community work that upholds and celebrates the copyright holders' work over a longer period of time. DOOM's modifiability has always been an asset, which the id guys started noticing with Wolfenstein 3D. This is doubly relevant considering Carmack's general habit to look ahead, always wanting to try something new rather than exploiting technologically obsolete code: "Let's give people something to play with and not forget us while we work on the next big thing".

I see nothing but usefulness and purpose there, and it's only part of what the GPL offers. Thinking it's a license that "lost its purpose" is a doomed proposition, more so in this community.

Old Post 11-21-12 19:07 #
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Quasar
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Gez said:
This is a very weird clause. Derivation or not, I don't think any program should enforce a license on its output (unless the program is a quine).

It's not a matter of license. It is a matter of copyright law, which most of you seem to be forgetting about in this equation.

Without a license, you have no rights. None, nada, zilch, zip. The license is your grant of rights from the author. If the Bison and Flex licenses did NOT go out of their way to explicitly DISCLAIM their output as being a derivative work, then, under existing case law, the similarities to the original would be more than enough for you to lose a copyright case in court to a belligerent rights owner.

This is why ultimately referring to the GPL as if it takes away anything at all is completely misinformed. It grants significant and far-reaching rights to the code, far more than most licenses. And not as much as a few of them. But the default - what it builds on top of - is permission to do nothing at all. Just don't forget that.

Old Post 11-21-12 20:49 #
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Gez
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Quasar said:
If the Bison and Flex licenses did NOT go out of their way to explicitly DISCLAIM their output as being a derivative work, then


... they would be completely useless to anybody.

By the same token, any source code is a derivative work from the programing language's specs. And any binary is a derivative work from the CPU specs.

This all makes no sense to me.

Old Post 11-21-12 21:21 #
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Quasar
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Gez said:


... they would be completely useless to anybody.

By the same token, any source code is a derivative work from the programing language's specs. And any binary is a derivative work from the CPU specs.

This all makes no sense to me.


There are different reasons why those don't apply. A spec is different from a functional piece of code, and standards bodies or corporations publishing those specs for public use may often themselves offer such disclaimers of interest. Note that specs NOT intended for public consumption often go out of their way to dictate terms of use. For example Nintendo's console SDKs. Ever gotten your hands on one? You gotta get about 10 pages in before you're past all the bullshit about what they'll do to you if you release them or make any sort of use of them outside their pre-blessed scenarios.

Either way, thank lawyers and law makers for the mess. Licenses like the GPL try to "fix" the miasma of copyright law by mostly canceling it out in favor of terms that work the opposite way - hence "copyleft".

Old Post 11-21-12 21:25 #
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GhostlyDeath
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Graf Zahl said:
A truly 'free' license, for example is the BSD license. It really allowd to *freely* use code licensed under it. The GPL does not.


No, a truly free license is public domain or WTFPL.

EDIT, more posting:

This thread is just one giant TLDR, just drags on and drags on.

But, another thing I want to point out is that ReMooD is under the GPLv3+! This makes everything a one way street to me, meaning I can steal everyone else's GPLv2+ code and upgrade it, and they can't take the now modified and changed to GPLv3+ code and use it in their engine.

However, despite my license advantage on my high horse, I do not take code from other source ports because I'd much rather write it myself (I am paranoid). Since for the most part, the code I write in ReMooD is shared with my proprietary super secret projects of awesome.

The reason I went for GPLv3+ is because I feel that it is a stronger license than the GPLv2+.

Also, Doom 3 is GPLv3+. So this means that ReMooD could take code from Doom 3. $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Last edited by GhostlyDeath on 11-22-12 at 17:24

Old Post 11-22-12 16:35 #
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Graf Zahl
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GhostlyDeath said:

meaning I can steal everyone else's GPLv2+ code and upgrade it, and they can't take the now modified and changed to GPLv3+ code and use it in their engine.




That's by far the shittiest property of the GPL, that it allows to upgrade the license on other people's code.

And to be clear, should I ever see someone take my BSD-licensed code and change the license to GPL I'd complain very loudly.

The code may be used in GPL'd projects but it may not be relicensed.

Old Post 11-22-12 17:33 #
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myk
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These "this is free" vs "no, actually this is free" discussions tend to miss the point because free has nuances in its meaning, and even when you apply the same one, freedom is relative to whatever it's avoiding influence or restrictions from.

Public domain makes works ignore legal and copyright claims and responsibilities. The BSD license, especially the commercial variety, is similar but demands credit to the author; others can use the work similarly to public domain works, but must give credit. Both deny the relevance of derivation, except in that mention in the BSD case. It takes a work as a "whole" and not as a bit of a huge jigsaw or collage. The BSD license may be useful sometimes, but it's probably best for people who stopped reading philosophy somewhere in the 19th century.

The GPL and similar licenses actively liberate works from traditional copyright restrictions and whims, highlighting that knowledge is produced communally, not in isolation, directly and indirectly. Everything is more or less derived, either as a copy or in how everything else allows it to happen, hence there's a fundamental responsibility to share.

Old Post 11-22-12 17:35 #
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printz
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myk said:
The BSD license may be useful sometimes, but it's probably best for people who stopped reading philosophy somewhere in the 19th century.
What exactly do you mean by that? I don't really get it. Do you mean that BSD is too weak (being just like public domain + an easy to follow condition)?

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Old Post 11-22-12 17:50 #
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Graf Zahl
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What myk says is propaganda bullshit. Hollow phrases with no relevance but pushing an agenda. Nothing more.

Old Post 11-22-12 18:00 #
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myk
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printz said:
What exactly do you mean by that? I don't really get it.
I was being a bit facetious there but it uses traditional copyright and authorship concepts tied the beginnings of the printing era, before modern science and psychology. The traditional concept of self and author is similar to the idea that a work can be taken by itself. A monolithic ego differentiated from other people, not tied through genetics, subconscious drives, or socioeconomic relations. We're all supposedly miniature gods that can detach ourselves from all the conditionings of the material world, and our works are our creations.

Old Post 11-22-12 18:08 #
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GhostlyDeath
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Graf Zahl said:
That's by far the shittiest property of the GPL, that it allows to upgrade the license on other people's code.


I don't mind the ability to upgrade the license, in fact it is quite a nice property. I would not mind if all the other source ports upgraded also, if any have. I can always revert back to the GPLv2+ with no issue (since the base code could be back-reverted to the GPLv2+ variant) because since I own the code I can do whatever I want with it. And when I say whatever I want, I can strip out all my code from ReMooD and make it uncompilable but still place it under the GPL! Then release builds of my binary with my hidden GPL code creating a program in which nobody can comply with the GPL. But would I do this? No, that would be dumb.

The reason I use the GPL is because it protects the program being open source and that it remains completely open source, I worked on this and made it open so you must have it open also. And if you do not like the restriction that I have placed on the code then do not use it, you are not forced to.

Remember that with your own code, the license does not apply to you!


Graf Zahl said:
And to be clear, should I ever see someone take my BSD-licensed code and change the license to GPL I'd complain very loudly.


That is not legal. Unless the licenses says it can be done (public domain, WTFPL, etc.).

All the code I write is 100% legal (I hope).


Graf Zahl said:
The code may be used in GPL'd projects but it may not be relicensed.


I personally do not write any code under the BSD or its derivatives. Nor do I even take any BSD code under the circumstances.

The only thing I have imported into ReMooD personally along with my other projects is miniz, which is Unlicense.

Old Post 11-22-12 18:13 #
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printz
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Graf Zahl said:

And to be clear, should I ever see someone take my BSD-licensed code and change the license to GPL I'd complain very loudly.

The code may be used in GPL'd projects but it may not be relicensed.

Then put a prominent clause in your copyright notice stating that.

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Old Post 11-22-12 18:40 #
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Graf Zahl
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The BSD already contains this:



** 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
** notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.



I think it's clear enough that this prohibits relicensing.

Old Post 11-22-12 19:54 #
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Note EE has become more careful about this. I have always included zdoom_license.txt; now, in addition, individual derived code segments are called out within the files and, unless the entire file is under that license, the license is reiterated at the header of that particular section and explicitly demarcated.

Old Post 11-22-12 20:43 #
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Yeah, EE C/S branch does a similar thing. The more arguments we can avoid about where code came from and what license it's under, the better.

EDIT:

Also you can't relicense someone's code. The only party who can license code to another party is the owner. Licenses are exceptions to copyrights, essentially.

Last edited by Ladna on 11-22-12 at 21:35

Old Post 11-22-12 21:30 #
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Lyfe
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myk said:
These "this is free" vs "no, actually this is free" discussions tend to miss the point because free has nuances in its meaning, and even when you apply the same one, freedom is relative to whatever it's avoiding influence or restrictions from.


I take offense to this. There is a definition of 'free' in the dictionary. To use the word 'free' and then have to define what you mean is to have chosen the wrong word. The use of the word 'free' by the FSF is thus, a marketing ploy. Like the origins of the oxymoron "friendly fire", the use of the term "free software" is to try and make it seem better than it is.


Ladna said:
Also you can't relicense someone's code. The only party who can license code to another party is the owner. Licenses are exceptions to copyrights, essentially.

Unless the license (like GPL 2.1 and later) includes a relicense clause. Y'know, in case the FSF ever decides that GPL v32 gives them permission to use your project in whatever way they want. Closing it off, selling it to high bidders, etc, etc. I'm not saying that the FSF would, but you just gave them the ability to do it.

1. Argument on relevance:
Originally the GPL was there to solve an issue - RMS wanted a way to write software to fuck over the printer manufacturers, because they were telling him he couldn't do something. It turned out to be useful in the original days of getting open-source projects to remain open-source, ala Linux kernel, versus the various commercial spin-offs from the BSD/OS (which was also getting sued by Novell).

Fast forward to today - We have very stable solutions that have evolved as open-source projects. Projects that aren't GPL aren't disappearing into a commercial derivative, they're flourishing with commercial support. PostgreSQL, MySQL (in a fashion), Postfix, Webkit, Apache, Nginx, various high-level programming languages.

The lack of GPL in these projects shows that open-source projects are successful without the restrictions the GPL places upon code. Thus, the GPL is no longer relevant.


3. Yes, that's how the GPL is supposed to work. It prevents projects from ever being utilized by non-GPL work. Hurray for limitations! The point I was making is that your resultant project becomes owned by the GPL, not by the individuals who built it.

I know this is a side topic, but the GPL's use of the word "freedom" is incorrect, and their definition of "Free Software" is strained, at best. It's a terrible marketing ploy. How bad is it when you have to define your terms for what a 2-word phase means to you in several paragraphs?

4. Never said people were "stupid failures." I fail to see how browser are a good counterpoint to my argument. I believe I'm arguing (on this point) that license doesn't matter to the users nearly as much as utility. Or in the browsers case - what is available by default, imposed by the workplace, or recommended by friends. If I take the users at my workplace, they often use IE, because it ships with windows. The power users will vary based on what browser they like, and none of their decisions are based on what license the developer used for their code.

5. If I find the quote, I'll let you know.

6. I think we almost agreed on something. Thank you for acknowledging that there would be obvious technical reasons for XCode dumping gcc in favor of clang/llvm. I do think it's wrong to want to impose Apple on using GPL just because gcc is GPL.

8. I could have asked this better. What I find obnoxious is when the content being written goes off onto some tangent about cars or phones, or politics to try and make a point about some semi-related thing in the active discussion. I find my arguments with you tend to involve a lot of that, and I'd rather keep on track.

9. Restrict freedom. Let me start with a basis here, and go on. Let's see if we can agree on anything else.
Public domain - the most free of all 'licenses'.
3-clause BSD - pretty unrestrictive, attribution, copyright.
GPL - attribution, copyright, must release derivatives under GPL, can be 'upgraded' to future license version, cannot be combined with licenses which have arbitrary restrictions like "may not release derivative with same name."
Proprietary - often commercial cost, no permissions except what you explicitly are given.

So, the limited number of further 'freedom' restrictions you could impose on software (if you were not choosing the GPL) basically line you up with the "icky bad" licenses from commercial companies. It's not that you want addition restrictions on your 'freedom'. It's just that you don't want additional liberties to be taken with the code you contributed.

10. Citation needed.
Addressing iphone doom sales: They're selling you a package, including content. They're not selling you an engine.

My opinion on why you should use the GPL in 1 sentence: "If I'm not benefiting from it, nobody is!"

Old Post 11-23-12 19:15 #
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The upgrade ability of the GPL is an option and can be removed.

Old Post 11-23-12 20:34 #
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printz
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Lyfe said:

Fast forward to today - We have very stable solutions that have evolved as open-source projects. Projects that aren't GPL aren't disappearing into a commercial derivative, they're flourishing with commercial support. PostgreSQL, MySQL (in a fashion), Postfix, Webkit, Apache, Nginx, various high-level programming languages.

The lack of GPL in these projects shows that open-source projects are successful without the restrictions the GPL places upon code. Thus, the GPL is no longer relevant.


3. Yes, that's how the GPL is supposed to work. It prevents projects from ever being utilized by non-GPL work. Hurray for limitations! The point I was making is that your resultant project becomes owned by the GPL, not by the individuals who built it.

Personally I see GPL useful for learning, experimenting and getting good at programming, and in return giving others a chance to learn. Like Stallman said, programming is a craft.

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Old Post 11-23-12 21:19 #
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Lyfe said:
I take offense to this. There is a definition of 'free' in the dictionary. To use the word 'free' and then have to define what you mean is to have chosen the wrong word. The use of the word 'free' by the FSF is thus, a marketing ploy. Like the origins of the oxymoron "friendly fire", the use of the term "free software" is to try and make it seem better than it is.
Well, there are at least two separate definitions for 'free' (gratis vs. liberty) so that would seem like a moot point. But I think calling it a marketing ploy is a bit contrived. If you've read the FSF political propaganda (and I'm sure you have, cringing all the way through), then you know that the purpose of the GPL is to guarantee certain freedoms to the users of the software. So it's accurate in the sense that it brings those freedoms.

I should point out that even the word "liberty" has multiple meanings in English. The difference between the copyleft approach of the GPL and the liberal approach of the BSD license is roughly analogous to the difference between positive and negative liberty. In that sense (taking "free" as a synonym), it's perfectly legitimate to use "free" to describe the GPL.

Old Post 11-23-12 21:25 #
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myk
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Lyfe said:
I take offense to this. There is a definition of 'free' in the dictionary. To use the word 'free' and then have to define what you mean is to have chosen the wrong word.
You usually define how you use a word by context. People arguing using the same word in different contexts or even with different acceptations are bound to have a hard time understanding each other because they think they're talking about the same thing but they aren't. Their general conclusion is that the other guy is an idiot that doesn't know what he's talking about.


The use of the word 'free' by the FSF is thus, a marketing ploy. Like the origins of the oxymoron "friendly fire", the use of the term "free software" is to try and make it seem better than it is.
The software and its derivatives are free from being locked up in a few select computers, and users are free to access every bone of the software and its legacy.


How bad is it when you have to define your terms for what a 2-word phase means to you in several paragraphs?
Need and political action are not synonymous. You can have a flag and a constitution at the same time.

Old Post 11-23-12 21:34 #
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Ladna
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Lyfe said:

I take offense to this. There is a definition of 'free' in the dictionary. To use the word 'free' and then have to define what you mean is to have chosen the wrong word. The use of the word 'free' by the FSF is thus, a marketing ploy. Like the origins of the oxymoron "friendly fire", the use of the term "free software" is to try and make it seem better than it is.



I looked up "free" in Merriam Webster's online dictionary, and there are 15 different uses. Many of them can apply to software, and a lot of them have specific relevance to this discussion, including having no trade restrictions, having no obligations or restrictions, not obstructed, restricted, or impeded, not costing or charging anything, and open to all comers. To be honest, I find the term "free software" quite apt in this regard.

It's also obvious that freedom is different things to different people. John Stuart Mill (warning, boring tangent incoming) argued that an individual's freedom should only be impinged upon to prevent harm to others, but "harm" is a nebulous concept. Speed limits are a great example; cops like to trot out stats that say things like, "for every X mph we increase the speed limit, Y people die". Of course, if we fully bought into that argument, we would all ride bicycles. The fact that we don't proves that, while the loss of life isn't ideal, we think the greater "harm" is having to leave for work way earlier in the morning.

In our case, you are arguing that the main harm is feature loss, and I am arguing that the main harm is freedom loss itself. I'm happy to debate that, and I'll start with a GPL vs. BSD argument that I made in a previous post:


Ladna said:

Let's use some short hypotheticals. If BUILD were GPL, FMOD were GPL, and Heretic/Hexen were GPL, none of these problems would exist. Now you can say, "OK, but that just shows the GPL's fragility. FMOD isn't GPL compatible, so the whole situation falls apart." You'd be absolutely right about that. But let's assume each project is BSD. Now if one of the game projects is closed source, you can't use it (because you don't have the code). Suddenly ZDoom loses a ton of features.

Furthermore, it's also not possible for the GPL hypothetical to ever go wrong. Once a codebase is GPL that's that (pretty much anyway). BSD provides no such guarantees, and specifically so; BSD advocates view the fact that their licenses allows closed source as a feature. In the BSD hypothetical, there is nothing at all that prevents those game projects from closing their source and screwing downstream devs, forcing them to rely on older codebases and implement new features in tandem with the new, closed version or risk obsolescence.

BSD solves none of the issues. Closed source and GPL incompatible projects are the problems.




Lyfe said:

Unless the license (like GPL 2.1 and later) includes a relicense clause. Y'know, in case the FSF ever decides that GPL v32 gives them permission to use your project in whatever way they want. Closing it off, selling it to high bidders, etc, etc. I'm not saying that the FSF would, but you just gave them the ability to do it.



I have three points:

First, there is no GPL 2.1. There's an LGPL 2.1.

Second, it's not relicensing. Devs can use that clause to license their software under specific versions of the GPL. There is no way to legally relicense someone else's code. It simply makes no sense.

Third, as Quasar points out, this is an intentional and optional feature:


GPLv2:

If the Program specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.



If, as a dev licensing your software, you didn't want your software to be available under the terms of future GPL licenses, you can simply not use the "any later version" part of the license. No problem.


Lyfe said:

1. Argument on relevance:
Originally the GPL was there to solve an issue - RMS wanted a way to write software to fuck over the printer manufacturers, because they were telling him he couldn't do something. It turned out to be useful in the original days of getting open-source projects to remain open-source, ala Linux kernel, versus the various commercial spin-offs from the BSD/OS (which was also getting sued by Novell).



The GPL and the FSF are a little more than a big middle-finger to printer manufacturers. The FSF filed GPL compliance lawsuits against Linksys/Cisco and OpenTV, for example. Other groups have also filed lawsuits to assert compliance with the GPL. Indeed, the GPL is very relevant to parties whom are sued for lack of GPL compliance, besides the numerous other reasons (which I could go into if you like).


Lyfe said:

Fast forward to today - We have very stable solutions that have evolved as open-source projects. Projects that aren't GPL aren't disappearing into a commercial derivative, they're flourishing with commercial support. PostgreSQL, MySQL (in a fashion), Postfix, Webkit, Apache, Nginx, various high-level programming languages.

The lack of GPL in these projects shows that open-source projects are successful without the restrictions the GPL places upon code. Thus, the GPL is no longer relevant.



The existence of successful FOSS, non-GPL projects doesn't mean the GPL isn't relevant. What's the viable non-GPL alternative to Linux?


Lyfe said:

3. Yes, that's how the GPL is supposed to work. It prevents projects from ever being utilized by non-GPL work. Hurray for limitations! The point I was making is that your resultant project becomes owned by the GPL, not by the individuals who built it.

I know this is a side topic, but the GPL's use of the word "freedom" is incorrect, and their definition of "Free Software" is strained, at best. It's a terrible marketing ploy. How bad is it when you have to define your terms for what a 2-word phase means to you in several paragraphs?



First, your project is never "owned" by the GPL, it is owned by you. I think you maybe mean "controlled", but that's not true either. You can always license your own code however you want.

And as I said above, the "I can't use GPL code" problem is solved by being GPL yourself, and I honestly don't see what the problem with that is.


Lyfe said:

4. Never said people were "stupid failures." I fail to see how browser are a good counterpoint to my argument. I believe I'm arguing (on this point) that license doesn't matter to the users nearly as much as utility. Or in the browsers case - what is available by default, imposed by the workplace, or recommended by friends. If I take the users at my workplace, they often use IE, because it ships with windows. The power users will vary based on what browser they like, and none of their decisions are based on what license the developer used for their code.



The argument is kind of the whole "free software is good" argument rolled up into a single example. I'll try and walk through it.

I agree that users don't much care about licenses (although as a user, licensing is very important to me, so it's not universally true), but I think they very much care about what licenses guarantee. There would likely be no Android dev community without the GPL, as no one would have an obligation to release their source. Furthermore, no one views closed source as a feature (no one reasonably well informed anyway). As I said earlier, no one goes around saying, "man, too much of the software I use is open source, I should really do something about that".

You were arguing that software succeeds due to "More features, better performance, better interface, better support", and more specifically that "open source doesn't inherently make a product better". I brought up Firefox specifically because it's a great example of a wildly successful application with two extra characteristics:

- Its source can't be closed
- It implements open standards (some would say to a fault, see the video tag controversy)

The "can't close the source" characteristic is important because it meant that even if Mozilla folded, their software projects wouldn't go down with them, thus establishing a permanent gold-standard browser. The Mozilla Public License was indispensable to that, and it ensured the openness of the web.

No doubt it was crucial that Firefox be a good browser that people liked, and that was a features issue. But the effect the MPL had on the web created an entirely new application space (web applications), and that's a much bigger deal than simply having a successful application by itself.

The point is that Firefox would likely have been successful on its own, but because of the MPL it basically created the open web. That's a big deal.


Lyfe said:

6. I think we almost agreed on something. Thank you for acknowledging that there would be obvious technical reasons for XCode dumping gcc in favor of clang/llvm. I do think it's wrong to want to impose Apple on using GPL just because gcc is GPL.



We sort of agree. The technical problem was caused by Apple's refusal to open XCode's source. They had three choices:

1. Open the source to XCode and start integrating GCC
2. Keep XCode closed and pipe in and out of GCC
3. Keep XCode closed and build a compiler you can legally incorporate into XCode

They chose option 3, which was great for Apple. I don't give a shit about Apple though, I care about users and communities, and a closed source XCode is worse than an open source XCode for them.


Lyfe said:

9. Restrict freedom. Let me start with a basis here, and go on. Let's see if we can agree on anything else.
Public domain - the most free of all 'licenses'.
3-clause BSD - pretty unrestrictive, attribution, copyright.
GPL - attribution, copyright, must release derivatives under GPL, can be 'upgraded' to future license version, cannot be combined with licenses which have arbitrary restrictions like "may not release derivative with same name."
Proprietary - often commercial cost, no permissions except what you explicitly are given.

So, the limited number of further 'freedom' restrictions you could impose on software (if you were not choosing the GPL) basically line you up with the "icky bad" licenses from commercial companies. It's not that you want addition restrictions on your 'freedom'. It's just that you don't want additional liberties to be taken with the code you contributed.



Haha, nah I don't agree with that. I think licensing your code under the BSD license and placing it into the public domain is much worse for freedom than licensing your code under the GPL. The GPL enforces freedom. BSD/PD allow closing the source. I think classifying the ability to close the source as a "liberty" is shortsighted, because I can't see any real benefit.

You're for code reuse because it leads to better feature development. How do you reuse code that's closed source?


Lyfe said:
10. Citation needed.
Addressing iphone doom sales: They're selling you a package, including content. They're not selling you an engine.

My opinion on why you should use the GPL in 1 sentence: "If I'm not benefiting from it, nobody is!"



It's Action Doom.

And they are absolutely selling you an engine. If you bought iPhone Doom and it didn't come with the engine, you would be pissed. It's, as you said, a package, and neither the engine nor the content are expendable. Furthermore, it shows that the GPL doesn't equal profit death.

I would - naturally ;) - rephrase your statement as: "If you want to benefit from my code, you have to extend the same rights to others that I extended to you".

Old Post 11-24-12 03:06 #
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printz
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Ladna said:

The existence of successful FOSS, non-GPL projects doesn't mean the GPL isn't relevant. What's the viable non-GPL alternative to Linux?

The BSD operating systems.


Haha, nah I don't agree with that. I think licensing your code under the BSD license and placing it into the public domain is much worse for freedom than licensing your code under the GPL. The GPL enforces freedom. BSD/PD allow closing the source. I think classifying the ability to close the source as a "liberty" is shortsighted, because I can't see any real benefit.

You're for code reuse because it leads to better feature development. How do you reuse code that's closed source?

There's obviously more freedom for the developer if, in addition to the code being reusable, it can also be closed and used together with other code that for any reason needs to be closed. Sure, it balances itself by resulting in fewer options for downstream potential developers, but the original code is still available, you can still create competing FOSS products. And competition is good. GPL doesn't really offer it: everything you want to copy is available, everything you make will be available. Where's the competitive enjoyment in this?

I don't find the looming control of closed software so dangerous. If a company's services become detrimental, we can always boycott their services, choosing a better competitor.

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Old Post 11-24-12 08:54 #
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GhostlyDeath
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I like how people say with GPL projects there is no competition. Well that is a complete lie.

Also, as stated multiple times before, the license of the code applies to others and not the actual owners of the code.

Plus, it is an assholeish move if you take someone elses code who wrote it for nothing and made it open source and used it in your closed source project.

Old Post 11-24-12 14:40 #
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