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GPL V3 and Linux

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Jeff V. Merkey

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Jan 20, 2006, 1:36:41 PM1/20/06
to Linux Kernel Mailing List
Cudos to Stallman, The patent retaliation clause is exactly what has
been missing. The inclusion of custom binaries was a little vague, but
the net of it is that the end user can combine the separate parts, and
have the freedom to do so given the GPL3 terms. Any concensus on
whether Linux will move to GPL3? I support adoption and congrats to
Stallman -- A++++.

Jeff
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Stephen Hemminger

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Jan 20, 2006, 2:13:32 PM1/20/06
to linux-...@vger.kernel.org
On Fri, 20 Jan 2006 09:49:44 -0700
"Jeff V. Merkey" <jme...@wolfmountaingroup.com> wrote:

> Cudos to Stallman, The patent retaliation clause is exactly what has
> been missing. The inclusion of custom binaries was a little vague, but
> the net of it is that the end user can combine the separate parts, and
> have the freedom to do so given the GPL3 terms. Any concensus on
> whether Linux will move to GPL3?

No consensus exists, and it would require agreement from all the copyright
holders.

--
Stephen Hemminger <shemm...@osdl.org>
OSDL http://developer.osdl.org/~shemminger

Patrick McLean

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Jan 20, 2006, 2:34:41 PM1/20/06
to Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
Stephen Hemminger wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Jan 2006 09:49:44 -0700
> "Jeff V. Merkey" <jme...@wolfmountaingroup.com> wrote:
>
>> Cudos to Stallman, The patent retaliation clause is exactly what has
>> been missing. The inclusion of custom binaries was a little vague, but
>> the net of it is that the end user can combine the separate parts, and
>> have the freedom to do so given the GPL3 terms. Any concensus on
>> whether Linux will move to GPL3?
>
> No consensus exists, and it would require agreement from all the copyright
> holders.
>

I don't think the kernel is going to move to v3, it's licensed
specifically as v2, this is from the top of COPYING:

> Also note that the only valid version of the GPL as far as the kernel
> is concerned is _this_ particular version of the license (ie v2, not
> v2.2 or v3.x or whatever), unless explicitly otherwise stated.

Also, given that several of the copyright holders in the kernel are
dead, I don't think we will be able to obtain permission.

Alan Cox

unread,
Jan 20, 2006, 2:45:50 PM1/20/06
to Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
On Gwe, 2006-01-20 at 14:34 -0500, Patrick McLean wrote:
> I don't think the kernel is going to move to v3, it's licensed
> specifically as v2, this is from the top of COPYING:

It may well do, or bits of it may well do but it is rather early to
speculate.

> > Also note that the only valid version of the GPL as far as the kernel
> > is concerned is _this_ particular version of the license (ie v2, not
> > v2.2 or v3.x or whatever), unless explicitly otherwise stated.
>
> Also, given that several of the copyright holders in the kernel are
> dead, I don't think we will be able to obtain permission.

It isn't clear that this will be a problem. Very few people specifically
put their code v2 only, and Linus edit of the top copying file was not
done with permission of other copyright holders anyway so really only
affects his code if it is valid at all.

What finally happens is going to depend almost entirely on whether the
GPL v3 is a sane license or not and on consensus, and it is *way* too
early to figure that out.

Jeff V. Merkey

unread,
Jan 20, 2006, 3:08:58 PM1/20/06
to Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
Patrick McLean wrote:

> Stephen Hemminger wrote:
>
>> On Fri, 20 Jan 2006 09:49:44 -0700
>> "Jeff V. Merkey" <jme...@wolfmountaingroup.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Cudos to Stallman, The patent retaliation clause is exactly what has
>>> been missing. The inclusion of custom binaries was a little vague, but
>>> the net of it is that the end user can combine the separate parts,
>>> and have the freedom to do so given the GPL3 terms. Any concensus
>>> on whether Linux will move to GPL3?
>>
>>
>> No consensus exists, and it would require agreement from all the
>> copyright
>> holders.
>>
>
> I don't think the kernel is going to move to v3, it's licensed
> specifically as v2, this is from the top of COPYING:
>
> > Also note that the only valid version of the GPL as far as the kernel
> > is concerned is _this_ particular version of the license (ie v2, not
> > v2.2 or v3.x or whatever), unless explicitly otherwise stated.
>
> Also, given that several of the copyright holders in the kernel are
> dead, I don't think we will be able to obtain permission.


I can do a ceremony and call them with an eagle bone whistle and a
Califonia Condor Feather. We can then ask them directly.
GPL2 is fine if the kernel stays that way for my projects. moving
forward, the patent retaliation clause is a great idea.

Jeff

Jeff V. Merkey

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Jan 20, 2006, 3:16:52 PM1/20/06
to Jeff V. Merkey, Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org

>>
>> Also, given that several of the copyright holders in the kernel are
>> dead, I don't think we will be able to obtain permission.
>
>
>
> I can do a ceremony and call them with an eagle bone whistle and a
> Califonia Condor Feather. We can then ask them directly.
> GPL2 is fine if the kernel stays that way for my projects. moving
> forward, the patent retaliation clause is a great idea.
> Jeff


I called them at the sacred fire in my ceremony room with music from the
bones of an eagle. They said whatever concensus is reached
by the majority if fine with them. One of them said something about
a woman wearing a crazy hat with a white ostrich feather in it
he did not care for, but that was it.

Alexander Shishckin

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Jan 20, 2006, 9:28:31 PM1/20/06
to Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
On 1/20/06, Jeff V. Merkey <jme...@wolfmountaingroup.com> wrote:
> Cudos to Stallman, The patent retaliation clause is exactly what has
> been missing. The inclusion of custom binaries was a little vague, but
> the net of it is that the end user can combine the separate parts, and
> have the freedom to do so given the GPL3 terms. Any concensus on
> whether Linux will move to GPL3? I support adoption and congrats to
> Stallman -- A++++.
GPLv3 tends to get on top of the most braindead things ever known to
software development. It is, in fact, a one-too-many example of how a
person who cannot be seriously considered to be a computer programmer
tries to have his one-too-many revenge on companies which employ real
software developers and produce real world software. Someone should
probably put an end to these miserable efforts.

--
I am free of all prejudices. I hate every one equally.

Chase Venters

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Jan 20, 2006, 11:09:29 PM1/20/06
to Alexander Shishckin, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
On Friday 20 January 2006 20:27, Alexander Shishckin wrote:
> GPLv3 tends to get on top of the most braindead things ever known to
> software development. It is, in fact, a one-too-many example of how a
> person who cannot be seriously considered to be a computer programmer
> tries to have his one-too-many revenge on companies which employ real
> software developers and produce real world software. Someone should
> probably put an end to these miserable efforts.

Why does everyone assume that Stallman is out to 'get revenge' on companies?
Is his desire for freedom so hard to grasp and believe that all you can do is
spin it into silly conspiracies?

Why do people not recognize that his GNU project has built significant things?
Do you not realize that Linux is licensed GPLv2, which is also Stallman's
license?

I'm not going to trumpet around in 'patriotic' support of Stallman for too
long, but if you're going to go on a Stallman/GPL bashing tirade, try having
some real reasons instead of moaning like a rock in the wind.

As for the implicit allegation that he's wrong for not accepting the
"company's" way of doing thing, last I checked, most of this 'free software'
stuff was started and written by people as a hobby, for themselves and their
users -- not for companies. It just happens that Stallman's license allows
business and industry to harmonize.

> --
> I am free of all prejudices. I hate every one equally.

It would seem...

Alexander Shishckin

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Jan 21, 2006, 12:57:42 AM1/21/06
to Chase Venters, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
On 1/21/06, Chase Venters <chase....@clientec.com> wrote:
> On Friday 20 January 2006 20:27, Alexander Shishckin wrote:
> > GPLv3 tends to get on top of the most braindead things ever known to
> > software development. It is, in fact, a one-too-many example of how a
> > person who cannot be seriously considered to be a computer programmer
> > tries to have his one-too-many revenge on companies which employ real
> > software developers and produce real world software. Someone should
> > probably put an end to these miserable efforts.
>
> Why does everyone assume that Stallman is out to 'get revenge' on companies?
> Is his desire for freedom so hard to grasp and believe that all you can do is
> spin it into silly conspiracies?
Ain't that obvoius? Every second word that you read in GPLs is either
'freedom' or 'share' and the rest of the document has absolutely
nothing to do with both, just restricting our *freedom* to *share*.
This is not exactly the way these words are meant to be used.

> Why do people not recognize that his GNU project has built significant things?
> Do you not realize that Linux is licensed GPLv2, which is also Stallman's
> license?

Surely significant things/projects do have their origin there. This is
yet another sad consequence. I hope we can someday get rid of all this
'GNU is ...' crap and build a better world that understands 'freedom'
for what it really is, not just
I'll-sue-you-should-you-use-my-code-in-your-proprietary-product stinky
sort of thing.

> I'm not going to trumpet around in 'patriotic' support of Stallman for too
> long, but if you're going to go on a Stallman/GPL bashing tirade, try having
> some real reasons instead of moaning like a rock in the wind.

He's not a god, nor a prophet, just a human, face it.

> As for the implicit allegation that he's wrong for not accepting the
> "company's" way of doing thing, last I checked, most of this 'free software'
> stuff was started and written by people as a hobby, for themselves and their
> users -- not for companies. It just happens that Stallman's license allows
> business and industry to harmonize.

Not even close. Too much of RMS's bloody 'lectures/prophecies/you-name-it'
can do this to a person. So please be careful.

Chase Venters

unread,
Jan 21, 2006, 1:29:28 PM1/21/06
to Alexander Shishckin, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
On Friday 20 January 2006 23:56, Alexander Shishckin wrote:
> > Why does everyone assume that Stallman is out to 'get revenge' on
> > companies? Is his desire for freedom so hard to grasp and believe that
> > all you can do is spin it into silly conspiracies?
>
> Ain't that obvoius? Every second word that you read in GPLs is either
> 'freedom' or 'share' and the rest of the document has absolutely
> nothing to do with both, just restricting our *freedom* to *share*.
> This is not exactly the way these words are meant to be used.

Perhaps you are looking for BSD? This is Linux, and the GPL, and we use
something called 'copyleft' that is designed to ensure everyone has freedom
and no one can take it away.

> > Why do people not recognize that his GNU project has built significant
> > things? Do you not realize that Linux is licensed GPLv2, which is also
> > Stallman's license?
>
> Surely significant things/projects do have their origin there. This is
> yet another sad consequence. I hope we can someday get rid of all this
> 'GNU is ...' crap and build a better world that understands 'freedom'
> for what it really is, not just
> I'll-sue-you-should-you-use-my-code-in-your-proprietary-product stinky
> sort of thing.

Heh... I suspect you won't be spending much time on or around LKML if that's
your attitude. There are a fair number of kernel developers that believe
strongly enough in all this stuff that they would make legal threats / sue
(rightfully so) over someone writing proprietary drivers.

> > I'm not going to trumpet around in 'patriotic' support of Stallman for
> > too long, but if you're going to go on a Stallman/GPL bashing tirade, try
> > having some real reasons instead of moaning like a rock in the wind.
>
> He's not a god, nor a prophet, just a human, face it.

Indeed, but at least he's provided the world with something of value.

> > As for the implicit allegation that he's wrong for not accepting the
> > "company's" way of doing thing, last I checked, most of this 'free
> > software' stuff was started and written by people as a hobby, for
> > themselves and their users -- not for companies. It just happens that
> > Stallman's license allows business and industry to harmonize.
>
> Not even close. Too much of RMS's bloody 'lectures/prophecies/you-name-it'
> can do this to a person. So please be careful.

What exactly were you saying "not even close" to? That free software is
started and written by most as a hobby? That GPL is business friendly?
Because if you deny it, you're simply WRONG.

I have an important question for you. If you don't like the license /
philosophy / players behind this free software / open source thing, what the
fuck are you doing in LKML? It's really obnoxious to come waltzing into a
community and start telling people "Someone should


probably put an end to these miserable efforts."

In truth, I have some co-workers that feel like you do about copyleft and the
GPL - moaning, groaning and bitching about it. The irony is that they would
be in NO WAY affected by the GPL (it's a *license to distribute*, not a
*contract for use*) unless they decided to make copies. More specifically,
the reason they're always bitching is because they _very specifically_ want
to TAKE and not GIVE BACK.

If you recall, Eric Raymond once said we don't need the GPL anymore. If I
recall correctly, that was the last time Eric Raymond made the headlines. He
rode out on a wave of vast disagreement from the community, and last I
checked, no one has gone from the GPL back to public domain.

Geert Uytterhoeven

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Jan 21, 2006, 2:01:40 PM1/21/06
to Alexander Shishckin, Chase Venters, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
On Sat, 21 Jan 2006, Alexander Shishckin wrote:
> On 1/21/06, Chase Venters <chase....@clientec.com> wrote:
> > On Friday 20 January 2006 20:27, Alexander Shishckin wrote:
> > > GPLv3 tends to get on top of the most braindead things ever known to
> > > software development. It is, in fact, a one-too-many example of how a
> > > person who cannot be seriously considered to be a computer programmer
> > > tries to have his one-too-many revenge on companies which employ real
> > > software developers and produce real world software. Someone should
> > > probably put an end to these miserable efforts.
> >
> > Why does everyone assume that Stallman is out to 'get revenge' on companies?
> > Is his desire for freedom so hard to grasp and believe that all you can do is
> > spin it into silly conspiracies?
> Ain't that obvoius? Every second word that you read in GPLs is either
> 'freedom' or 'share' and the rest of the document has absolutely
> nothing to do with both, just restricting our *freedom* to *share*.

The problem with `just sharing' is that some people are only interested in the
`receiving' part of sharing, so unfortunately you need some extra legal stuff
in the license to make sure everyone plays fair.

Gr{oetje,eeting}s,

Geert

--
Geert Uytterhoeven -- There's lots of Linux beyond ia32 -- ge...@linux-m68k.org

In personal conversations with technical people, I call myself a hacker. But
when I'm talking to journalists I just say "programmer" or something like that.
-- Linus Torvalds

Helge Hafting

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Jan 23, 2006, 4:05:27 AM1/23/06
to Alexander Shishckin, Chase Venters, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
Alexander Shishckin wrote:

>On 1/21/06, Chase Venters <chase....@clientec.com> wrote:
>
>
>>On Friday 20 January 2006 20:27, Alexander Shishckin wrote:
>>
>>
>>>GPLv3 tends to get on top of the most braindead things ever known to
>>>software development. It is, in fact, a one-too-many example of how a
>>>person who cannot be seriously considered to be a computer programmer
>>>tries to have his one-too-many revenge on companies which employ real
>>>software developers and produce real world software. Someone should
>>>probably put an end to these miserable efforts.
>>>
>>>
>>Why does everyone assume that Stallman is out to 'get revenge' on companies?
>>Is his desire for freedom so hard to grasp and believe that all you can do is
>>spin it into silly conspiracies?
>>
>>
>Ain't that obvoius? Every second word that you read in GPLs is either
>'freedom' or 'share' and the rest of the document has absolutely
>nothing to do with both, just restricting our *freedom* to *share*.
>
>

Wrong. The GPL does not in any way take away your *freedom to share*.
It does take away your freedom to *restrict* though, it limits your freedom
to *prevent others from sharing*.

What problem could you possibly have with that? Licences are simple -
don't like them, don't use the product. Why complain about it?

I don't like licences where I have to pay *money* just to get some software.
Expensive, and a waste if I end up not using that sw much.
So I try to avoid that kind when possible. Fortunately, that is
possible almost
all the time for me.

Now, if you don't like the GPL - don't use any GPL-licenced products then!
Why nag about it? I don't bitch about how the "pay" licences limits my
business opportunities. (I cannot possibly afford to buy
every payware program.) In particular, I cannot sell PCs containing lots
of pay-licences software without actually _paying_, thereby driving up
the price. But complaining about that would be silly.

The same applies to you. If you want to include GPL stuff in a product,
then your product goes GPL too. That is the _price_ for GPL code. If that
price is too high for you, don't use GPL code then! That should
be fine with you, and fine with us. But again - complaining about it is
silly.


>This is not exactly the way these words are meant to be used.
>
>
>

>>Why do people not recognize that his GNU project has built significant things?
>>Do you not realize that Linux is licensed GPLv2, which is also Stallman's
>>license?
>>
>>
>Surely significant things/projects do have their origin there. This is
>yet another sad consequence. I hope we can someday get rid of all this
>'GNU is ...' crap and build a better world that understands 'freedom'
>for what it really is, not just
>I'll-sue-you-should-you-use-my-code-in-your-proprietary-product stinky
>sort of thing.
>
>

Well, write your own better licence then, and use it! Then you'll have the
satisfaction of seeing others use your code in their proprietary products.
Nobody stops you from doing that.

Helge Hafting

Bernd Petrovitsch

unread,
Jan 23, 2006, 4:52:51 AM1/23/06
to Alexander Shishckin, Chase Venters, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
On Sat, 2006-01-21 at 08:56 +0300, Alexander Shishckin wrote:
> On 1/21/06, Chase Venters <chase....@clientec.com> wrote:
> > On Friday 20 January 2006 20:27, Alexander Shishckin wrote:
> > > GPLv3 tends to get on top of the most braindead things ever known to
> > > software development. It is, in fact, a one-too-many example of how a
> > > person who cannot be seriously considered to be a computer programmer
> > > tries to have his one-too-many revenge on companies which employ real
> > > software developers and produce real world software. Someone should
> > > probably put an end to these miserable efforts.
> >
> > Why does everyone assume that Stallman is out to 'get revenge' on companies?
> > Is his desire for freedom so hard to grasp and believe that all you can do is
> > spin it into silly conspiracies?
> Ain't that obvoius? Every second word that you read in GPLs is either

No, because MSFTs business model is not the only one in the software
world (though MSFT keeps teaching that).

Bernd
--
Firmix Software GmbH http://www.firmix.at/
mobil: +43 664 4416156 fax: +43 1 7890849-55
Embedded Linux Development and Services

Horst von Brand

unread,
Jan 23, 2006, 4:27:02 PM1/23/06
to Alexander Shishckin, Chase Venters, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
Alexander Shishckin <alexander...@gmail.com> wrote:

[...]

> Ain't that obvoius? Every second word that you read in GPLs is either

> 'freedom' or 'share' and the rest of the document has absolutely nothing
> to do with both, just restricting our *freedom* to *share*.

How so? The existence of GNU doesn't restrict *my* right to share as *I*
wish. If I, freely, place my stuff under GPL it /does/ restrict other
people in just "sharing" (i.e., taking without giving in return). And that
is fine with me. Not with them, I presume...
--
Dr. Horst H. von Brand User #22616 counter.li.org
Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile Fax: +56 32 797513

linux-os (Dick Johnson)

unread,
Jan 23, 2006, 5:11:30 PM1/23/06
to Horst von Brand, Alexander Shishckin, Chase Venters, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List

On Sat, 21 Jan 2006, Horst von Brand wrote:

> Alexander Shishckin <alexander...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> [...]
>
>> Ain't that obvoius? Every second word that you read in GPLs is either
>> 'freedom' or 'share' and the rest of the document has absolutely nothing
>> to do with both, just restricting our *freedom* to *share*.
>
> How so? The existence of GNU doesn't restrict *my* right to share as *I*
> wish. If I, freely, place my stuff under GPL it /does/ restrict other
> people in just "sharing" (i.e., taking without giving in return). And that
> is fine with me. Not with them, I presume...
> --

> Dr. Horst H. von Brand User #22616 counter.li.org
> Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
> Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
> Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile Fax: +56 32 797513

The problem is that every rule and every law takes
away rights. Laws do not give rights. Rules do not
give rights. Amendments to existing laws sometimes
prevent the restriction of rights (like the first 10
amendments of the US Constitution), however there
are no rules or laws that ever, anywhere, provided
any rights whatsoever. Rules, regulations, and laws
are all about restricting rights.

Sometimes the restrictions are necessary. For instance,
except in very special circumstances, governments usually
take away the inherent rights to kill, etc.

The initial writer was correct. The GPL was supposed
to be all about freedom. Then, there are hundreds of
words that have nothing to do with freedom. They
establish rules. The crybaby says; "You will play
by my rules or..." Rules restrict freedom.

Perhaps these rules are necessary. However, for 20
years before the Internet even existed, people were
sharing source-code without rules. This was the
principle behind the PROGRAM EXCHANGE and other
obsolete BBS systems. At that time the ground-
work of most all the file-compression routines,
file-transmission routines, file-types, flight-
simulators, etc., the stuff now claimed by others,
was freely given away. Some expected their names
to remain in the source, but eventually their
names were changed to "Microsoft" or GPL. For
example, Phil Katz. He invented "zip" and gunzip
and all that stuff. He's now dead. His lifetime
of work has been stolen by others and claimed
as their own.

The Internet gets established and somebody who's
claim-to-fame was the development of the world's
most complicated word-processor, establishes some
legalese and a lot of well intentioned persons
fall into his trap as he claims that he developed
GNU/Linux as well. Wake up.


Cheers,
Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.6.13.4 on an i686 machine (5589.54 BogoMips).
Warning : 98.36% of all statistics are fiction.
.

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Thank you.

Chase Venters

unread,
Jan 23, 2006, 7:35:33 PM1/23/06
to linux-os (Dick Johnson), Horst von Brand, Alexander Shishckin, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
On Monday 23 January 2006 16:10, linux-os (Dick Johnson) wrote:
> The problem is that every rule and every law takes
> away rights. Laws do not give rights. Rules do not
> give rights. Amendments to existing laws sometimes
> prevent the restriction of rights (like the first 10
> amendments of the US Constitution), however there
> are no rules or laws that ever, anywhere, provided
> any rights whatsoever. Rules, regulations, and laws
> are all about restricting rights.
>
> Sometimes the restrictions are necessary. For instance,
> except in very special circumstances, governments usually
> take away the inherent rights to kill, etc.
>
> The initial writer was correct. The GPL was supposed
> to be all about freedom. Then, there are hundreds of
> words that have nothing to do with freedom. They
> establish rules. The crybaby says; "You will play
> by my rules or..." Rules restrict freedom.

There's nothing crybaby about it! Copyleft is, as Stallman puts it, to flip
copyright on its head. If there was no such thing as copyright or other forms
of laws / restrictions on sharing ideas and intangible implementations, there
would be zero reason for the GPL because all the GPL aims to do is to
preserve the freedom to share.

So in that sense the GPL is about *enforcing* freedom.

I must admit that I'm terribly confused - I thought all of this was well
understood and accepted. Why must everyone attempt to spin the GPL into
something it is not? The only way the terms of this license would be in any
way restrictive on anyone is if they decided to *exploit* a given GPL work in
order to *restrict* the rights of future users of the work. In that case, the
GPL would intervene and say 'No'.

> Perhaps these rules are necessary. However, for 20
> years before the Internet even existed, people were
> sharing source-code without rules. This was the
> principle behind the PROGRAM EXCHANGE and other
> obsolete BBS systems. At that time the ground-
> work of most all the file-compression routines,
> file-transmission routines, file-types, flight-
> simulators, etc., the stuff now claimed by others,
> was freely given away. Some expected their names
> to remain in the source, but eventually their
> names were changed to "Microsoft" or GPL. For
> example, Phil Katz. He invented "zip" and gunzip
> and all that stuff. He's now dead. His lifetime
> of work has been stolen by others and claimed
> as their own.

The GPL isn't about anyone's "work" or "credit". The licenses that ARE
concerned with "credit" are licenses like the original BSD license with its
attribution clause - you must stamp your product and documentation with
notices that say your stuff was done by the University of Berkeley.

> The Internet gets established and somebody who's
> claim-to-fame was the development of the world's
> most complicated word-processor, establishes some
> legalese and a lot of well intentioned persons
> fall into his trap as he claims that he developed
> GNU/Linux as well. Wake up.
>

Are you suggesting that Stallman claims he developed GNU/Linux? Perhaps I'm
just really misunderstanding what you just said, but if you really did mean
it that way, perhaps you ought to point out where. If you're referring to the
fact that Stallman doesn't like people calling the combination of the kernel
and GNU tools "Linux", then it's only crybaby if you refuse to believe his
published intentions (that "we" care more about open source than free
software, and he's only trying to make sure that "free software" isn't
forgotten). That last part I don't agree with (I think plenty of kernel
people care greatly about free software), but I don't think it's silly to
call the full OS GNU/Linux either.

In any case, I don't think Stallman is concerned about fame so much as he is
concerned with his movement. If it were most other people, I'd say it's all
about fame, but Stallman has at least in my eyes proven himself to
consistently concern himself only with his philosophy.

I don't really blame Stallman for anything he's said that you might take as an
attempt to take credit. I get the impression from seeing the interplay
between "open source" and "free software", ESR and RMS, that ESR would be
happy to write free software and Richard Stallman right out of history. And
since I value "free software" just as much as I value "open source", I don't
want to see that happen.

The bottom line of all my rambling here is that these licenses aren't about
maintaining credit at all, which I think you were implying in your message.
Sans these "You will play by my rules or..." clauses, there would be no huge
open source community because the proprietary software vendors would vacuum
up anything of value and use it as leverage to lock people in. (And as for
your comment about BBSes and the days without licenses, a zillion dollar
proprietary software business had not yet been invented).

If you want open source licenses with no restrictions at all, that's "public
domain". And "public domain" won't ever be what it could be until you abolish
copyright.

Cheers,
Chase

Harald Arnesen

unread,
Jan 23, 2006, 7:53:35 PM1/23/06
to linux-os (Dick Johnson), Horst von Brand, Alexander Shishckin, Chase Venters, Jeff V. Merkey, Linux Kernel Mailing List
"linux-os \(Dick Johnson\)" <linu...@analogic.com> writes:

> The problem is that every rule and every law takes
> away rights. Laws do not give rights. Rules do not
> give rights. Amendments to existing laws sometimes
> prevent the restriction of rights (like the first 10
> amendments of the US Constitution), however there
> are no rules or laws that ever, anywhere, provided
> any rights whatsoever. Rules, regulations, and laws
> are all about restricting rights.

True. Without laws, everything would be chaos (some would say "anarchy",
but every anarchist I know have their own rules of conduct and customs).

It's a bit like when the laws of physics take away the universe's right
to to as it pleases (except that the Universe is pretty much the boss,
and if it does something not allowed by the laws, the laws will better
change).

> Sometimes the restrictions are necessary. For instance,
> except in very special circumstances, governments usually
> take away the inherent rights to kill, etc.

But on the other hand, the (sane) governments give me the right to avoid
being killed by a madman with a gun, because they control who is allowed
to own a gun.

> The initial writer was correct. The GPL was supposed
> to be all about freedom. Then, there are hundreds of
> words that have nothing to do with freedom. They
> establish rules. The crybaby says; "You will play
> by my rules or..." Rules restrict freedom.

And most other "open source" licences take away the programmers freedom
to *keep* derived works free for all to use.

> Perhaps these rules are necessary. However, for 20
> years before the Internet even existed, people were
> sharing source-code without rules. This was the
> principle behind the PROGRAM EXCHANGE and other
> obsolete BBS systems. At that time the ground-
> work of most all the file-compression routines,
> file-transmission routines, file-types, flight-
> simulators, etc., the stuff now claimed by others,
> was freely given away. Some expected their names
> to remain in the source, but eventually their
> names were changed to "Microsoft" or GPL. For
> example, Phil Katz. He invented "zip" and gunzip
> and all that stuff. He's now dead. His lifetime
> of work has been stolen by others and claimed
> as their own.
>
> The Internet gets established and somebody who's
> claim-to-fame was the development of the world's
> most complicated word-processor, establishes some
> legalese and a lot of well intentioned persons
> fall into his trap as he claims that he developed
> GNU/Linux as well. Wake up.

There (probably) wouldn't be a GNU/Linux without the man who developed
the worlds best word-processor (and the worlds best programming editor,
and the framework for the worlds best e-mail client).
--
Hilsen Harald.

Ian Kester-Haney

unread,
Jan 23, 2006, 8:55:40 PM1/23/06
to linux-...@vger.kernel.org
Linux shouldn;t move to the GPL3 for the very reason that the DRM
restrictions would make linux incompatible with soon to be released
displays. Also Nvidia and such would not be able to make binary
drivers available.
Copyright for one work is set forward in law. My view is that Artists
and their sponsors deserve
the right to prevent piracy. In my view the Open Source Community
have an incompatible attitude. In my mind the buying of a DVD means
that I watch it on DVD players be it on my computer or on the TV.
while I beleive that I should be able to watch my DVDs on a linux
based system, it behooves the open source community to support it in a
legal way. Cracking Access Control Sytems might be fun, but it only
generates huge controversy in concerned industries. An Open Source
Access Control System that is respected by the FOSS community would be
a great diplomatic way to allow for more access to content. My
personal view is that copying for my own personal use is ok, however
the converting of such material in a way not granted to me by the
Creator is not ethical. Richard Stallman is painting himself into a
corner in this way.

Hence:
The GNU/Linux community needs to work with the MPAA, RIAA and
other DRM players and work to support basic restrictions on copying
content while preserving the Creator/Companies right to sustain their
works.

Thankyou

Kyle Moffett

unread,
Jan 23, 2006, 10:09:18 PM1/23/06
to Ian Kester-Haney, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
On Jan 23, 2006, at 20:55, Ian Kester-Haney wrote:
> Linux shouldn;t move to the GPL3 for the very reason that the DRM
> restrictions would make linux incompatible with soon to be released
> displays.

I'm sorry, what are you saying here? I've not heard about these soon-
to-be-released displays, could you elucidate, possibly summarizing or
linking to references?

> Also Nvidia and such would not be able to make binary drivers
> available.

In many peoples eyes, this would be a _good_ thing, besides, it's not
clear whether or not their binary drivers are legal _now_, without
concern for their status under the GPLv3

> Copyright for one work is set forward in law. My view is that
> Artists and their sponsors deserve the right to prevent piracy.

Have you tried describing music "piracy" to a small child (say, age
6) in a way that distinguishes it from "sharing your things with
other people"? It's rather difficult, possibly even impossible.
Many people argue that with modern technology, this distinction has
become artificial and an artifact of an aging business model. A
number of artists who promote some music sharing have been doing very
well.

> In my view the Open Source Community have an incompatible attitude.

I will ignore the second bit, since it's mostly a matter of opinion,
but the Open Source Community (especially the Linux Community) values
copyright extremely highly. In fact, it is this copyright that makes
the Linux Kernel sources a true democracy. You cannot relicense the
whole without agreement from all (or an extremely large majority
bordering on "all") of the developers consent.

> In my mind the buying of a DVD means that I watch it on DVD players
> be it on my computer or on the TV.

Or, according to Fair Use as set down in a number of court cases,
make a single copy for backup, show privately to friends, convert to
an alternative format for viewing in a different way or with other
equipment.

> While I beleive that I should be able to watch my DVDs on a linux

> based system, it behooves the open source community to support it
> in a legal way.

I go to the store, I find a black box on the shelf, I pick it up, go
to the cashier, pay for it, and leave the store. At that point, I've
purchased an object and may do whatever I like with said object. I
never signed any license or filled out any forms prior to paying
money for it, and there was no condition that I do so, therefore no
_license_ conditions apply.

On the other hand, copying the DVD and giving a copy to all your
friends is _distributing_ it and therefore covered by _copyright_ law
(not license/contract law), which makes it illegal for me to do so
(although my personal opinion is that needs careful review and
possible revision).

> Cracking Access Control Sytems might be fun, but it only generates
> huge controversy in concerned industries.

<Biased Personal Opinion>
The industries do not matter. The point of the government is to help
and protect the _people_. This means that to a limited extent, the
government protects individuals copyrights, and allows corporations
some rights (because they provide jobs, services, etc). This does
not mean that the government should do anything the industry wants
even though hundreds of millions of people are breaking that law on a
daily basis. Something that widespread (especially given the lack of
issues arising thereof) indicates that the _law_ is wrong, not the
many millions doing the breaking. This bends more towards the
copyright issues I talk about above, but applies here too.
</Biased Personal Opinion>

Besides, a DRM system is pointless and futile; it's trying to protect
data from people by giving them the encrypted data, the algorithm,
and the key. Any cryptographer will tell you that you are bound to
lose from the start.

> An Open Source Access Control System that is respected by the FOSS
> community would be a great diplomatic way to allow for more access
> to content.

Open Source Access Control System:

if (access_allowed(media_descriptor, user_data)) {
provide_data(media_descriptor);
}

My 3-line patch to "fix" it to let me watch my German DVD in the US:

--- oldfile
+++ newfile
-if (access_allowed(media_descriptor, user_data)) {
provide_data(media_descriptor);
-}

This is a _fundamentally_ _flawed_ idea.

> My personal view is that copying for my own personal use is ok

Good

> however the converting of such material in a way not granted to me
> by the Creator is not ethical.

Why does the creator have any say in what you can do with it
personally? I'm legally allowed to buy a copy of MS Windows and burn
it for symbolic value; why the hell would we want to allow a
*CORPORATION* (Read: bunch of greedy rich executives) control what
you can do with stuff. Heck, we don't trust the _government_ (Read:
bunch of greedy rich lawyers), or sometimes even one's personal
_church_ to control.

> The GNU/Linux community needs to work with the MPAA, RIAA and other
> DRM players and work to support basic restrictions on copying
> content while preserving the Creator/Companies right to sustain
> their works.

We don't _need_ to work with anybody, we're just converting abstract
mathematical algorithms to a more practically useable form and
publishing the result. The fact that somebody with lawlessness in
mind could do something illegal with our formalized codified
published math files is totally irrelevant. In the US (where I live,
can't speak for other countries) we don't blame the gun manufacturers
for what people do with submachine guns, so why should we blame the
software developers (Read: practical mathematicians) for what people
do with their programs?

Cheers,
Kyle Moffett

--
Simple things should be simple and complex things should be possible
-- Alan Kay

Bernd Petrovitsch

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 4:12:07 AM1/24/06
to Ian Kester-Haney, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
On Mon, 2006-01-23 at 19:55 -0600, Ian Kester-Haney wrote:
[...]

> Copyright for one work is set forward in law. My view is that Artists
> and their sponsors deserve
> the right to prevent piracy. In my view the Open Source Community

Of course and ATM there are - at least in the free world - more than
enough possibilities to punish "piracy" of copied copyrighted work.
The whole DRM (which actually shopuld be read as "Digital Restrictions
Management") and "against copyright piracy" campaign is to take away
legal rights like "playing a legallay produced and bought DVD as often
was you wish" and to limit you to "view it at most 3 times and disallow
any copy - expecially legal ones".

> have an incompatible attitude. In my mind the buying of a DVD means
> that I watch it on DVD players be it on my computer or on the TV.
> while I beleive that I should be able to watch my DVDs on a linux
> based system, it behooves the open source community to support it in a
> legal way. Cracking Access Control Sytems might be fun, but it only

The copyright-industry to-be-implemented access control is in fact
illegal.

> generates huge controversy in concerned industries. An Open Source

Yes, because the concerned industries ignored the develoment in last 20
years. And they don't like certain aspects and rights of e.g.
continental European laws (yes, copying music CDs privately and giving
them away as a birthday present is completely *legal* hereover. We
actually *pay* for this right with ~40 eurocent per writable medium
since decades, i.e. since music tapes were young and paper copying
machines were very expensive).

> Access Control System that is respected by the FOSS community would be
> a great diplomatic way to allow for more access to content. My

You are listening and beliving to the propaganda too much.

> personal view is that copying for my own personal use is ok, however
> the converting of such material in a way not granted to me by the
> Creator is not ethical. Richard Stallman is painting himself into a

The creator (if you mean the artist) and the above mentioned "concerned
industries" are two different things.
And you probably have at the moment far more rights to copy for your
private use than you know - and this is at stake.

The strategic problem, that DRM has is: It doesn't hurt (or even apply
to) the big commercial (and thus illegal) copying organizations. And -
at least as far I the propaganda read - are the big evils.
The only target is the private consumer.
Do you want to pay 1$ for every time you hear a song?
Think of DVDs/CDs which *require* Internet access (next generation game
console will deliver that probably) and a (properly filled) PayPal
account.

> corner in this way.

Bernd
--
Firmix Software GmbH http://www.firmix.at/
mobil: +43 664 4416156 fax: +43 1 7890849-55
Embedded Linux Development and Services

-

David Schwartz

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 5:26:42 AM1/24/06
to linux-os (Dick Johnson), Linux Kernel Mailing List

> Sometimes the restrictions are necessary. For instance,
> except in very special circumstances, governments usually
> take away the inherent rights to kill, etc.

I guess I can't figure out what you could possibly mean by the word "right"
such that the phrase "inherent rights to kill" is meaningful. Perhaps you
could clarify.

DS

Lee Revell

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 5:39:00 AM1/24/06
to dav...@webmaster.com, linux-os (Dick Johnson), Linux Kernel Mailing List
On Tue, 2006-01-24 at 02:23 -0800, David Schwartz wrote:
> > Sometimes the restrictions are necessary. For instance,
> > except in very special circumstances, governments usually
> > take away the inherent rights to kill, etc.
>
> I guess I can't figure out what you could possibly mean by the word "right"
> such that the phrase "inherent rights to kill" is meaningful. Perhaps you
> could clarify.

This discussion could not have less to do with kernel development,
PLEASE take it elsewhere.

Lee

linux-os (Dick Johnson)

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 8:55:19 AM1/24/06
to David Schwartz, Linux Kernel Mailing List

On Tue, 24 Jan 2006, David Schwartz wrote:

>
>> Sometimes the restrictions are necessary. For instance,
>> except in very special circumstances, governments usually
>> take away the inherent rights to kill, etc.
>
> I guess I can't figure out what you could possibly mean by the word "right"
> such that the phrase "inherent rights to kill" is meaningful. Perhaps you
> could clarify.
>
> DS

Simple, from Government 101. Suppose you start a new country unencumbered
with rules and laws. You have "total" freedom, therefore all rights.
Because you believe that everybody is "good" (you decide what that means)
and would, therefore, never do anything "bad", you don't need any
laws.

Sooner or later somebody does something "bad" (like kills somebody).
So, you make a law against killing. As you make that first law, you
have restricted rights. That's what laws do, they restrict rights.

Unfortunately, it never stops with the "obviously necessary"
laws. Eventually, every time somebody believes he or she has been
harmed somehow, the cry goes out; "There ought to be a law....".
Some goody-twoshoes in the government makes a new law. Eventually,
there are so many laws that there is no freedom whatsoever.

Most laws, designed to protect, have far-reaching consequences that
actually cause more problems than they are supposed to solve. That's
the nature of Law and Government in general. That's why it's important
to control (reduce) the number of laws that exist and control the
size of government. Of course, once the government controls the schools
all is lost.

Cheers,
Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.6.13.4 on an i686 machine (5589.54 BogoMips).
Warning : 98.36% of all statistics are fiction.
.

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Thank you.

Alan Cox

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 10:50:03 AM1/24/06
to Ian Kester-Haney, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
On Llu, 2006-01-23 at 19:55 -0600, Ian Kester-Haney wrote:
> Linux shouldn;t move to the GPL3 for the very reason that the DRM
> restrictions would make linux incompatible with soon to be released

The DRM restrictions mostly only restate some of the less clear effects
of the GPL. The GPL v2 already requires all the keys etc since it
requires the scripts to build. It just makes it clearer.

> displays. Also Nvidia and such would not be able to make binary
> drivers available.

The GPL doesn't permit them to anyway. If they are legal then it is
because they are not derivative works which forms an implicit barrier in
copyright law. Essentially copyright law limits itself to works based on
other works. So as an author of a book I can say "You may not copy this
book" but I cannot (in copyright enforced agreement) say "You may not
write a book on this subject if you read mine", only to control works
based upon mine in a material way (which is what "derivative work" is
all about).

That also means for example that a GPL OS running a non-derivative
application has no power to forbid that application from using DRM
itself.

Now there is a case where it get much messier - GPL with exceptions/LGPL
being the clear one. A glibc that prohibited linking with DRM using code
would raise much more complicated problems, but that is for the
glibc/FSF list to argue over and does need addressing sensibly.


> The GNU/Linux community needs to work with the MPAA, RIAA and
> other DRM players and work to support basic restrictions on copying
> content while preserving the Creator/Companies right to sustain their
> works.

What on earth makes you think those bodies want creators to have any
rights. You've obviously never watched creators and the "industry"
fighting each other. Anyway fighting DRM is actually helping even the
music "industry" if H. Valarian's analysis is correct.

Free Software is about -freedom- that means the freedom to do things
like play music you own the rights to play and the freedom to distribute
music you have the right to distribute. The dream of big music industry
is mandatory DRM where there is no way for an artist to escape their
clutches and publish music without them getting a very large cut of, if
not all the profits.

Much of the big music industry today is like vanity publishing, they
sign you up, bill you for the costs of making the recordings, screw you
on royalty deals then charge you the remainder the royalties didn't
cover.

So why should we work with the RIAA members (especially as there is good
evidence to suggest that one of them stole GPL code for a proprietary
DRM system) ?

Free means that everyone must be able to use Linux

Alan

Jeff V. Merkey

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 1:00:24 PM1/24/06
to linux-os (Dick Johnson), David Schwartz, Linux Kernel Mailing List
linux-os (Dick Johnson) wrote:

>On Tue, 24 Jan 2006, David Schwartz wrote:
>
>
>
>>>Sometimes the restrictions are necessary. For instance,
>>>except in very special circumstances, governments usually
>>>take away the inherent rights to kill, etc.
>>>
>>>
>> I guess I can't figure out what you could possibly mean by the word "right"
>>such that the phrase "inherent rights to kill" is meaningful. Perhaps you
>>could clarify.
>>
>> DS
>>
>>
>
>Simple, from Government 101. Suppose you start a new country unencumbered
>with rules and laws. You have "total" freedom, therefore all rights.
>Because you believe that everybody is "good" (you decide what that means)
>and would, therefore, never do anything "bad", you don't need any
>laws.
>
>Sooner or later somebody does something "bad" (like kills somebody).
>So, you make a law against killing. As you make that first law, you
>have restricted rights. That's what laws do, they restrict rights.
>
>

Say rather than restrict rights they define where your rights end and
the rights
of another person begin. Rather they "balance" rights by drawing a line
between
the rights of individuals and the rights of the state. The complex case
is something
called a "compelling interest". i.e. The government has a compelling
interest to
protect citizens from killing each other.

>Unfortunately, it never stops with the "obviously necessary"
>laws. Eventually, every time somebody believes he or she has been
>harmed somehow, the cry goes out; "There ought to be a law....".
>Some goody-twoshoes in the government makes a new law. Eventually,
>there are so many laws that there is no freedom whatsoever.
>
>
>

There are so many laws, you need to have courts in order to perform
"balancing tests" between the rights of individuals (courts of equity)
and the rights of the governement (compelling interests vs. the rights
of Individuals)

>Most laws, designed to protect, have far-reaching consequences that
>actually cause more problems than they are supposed to solve. That's
>the nature of Law and Government in general. That's why it's important
>to control (reduce) the number of laws that exist and control the
>size of government. Of course, once the government controls the schools
>all is lost.
>
>
>

Why Dick, we have something in common -- we are both libertarians (political
party that believes less laws and governemtn control is a very good thing).

Jeff

Ian Kester-Haney

unread,
Jan 24, 2006, 8:21:46 PM1/24/06
to linux-...@vger.kernel.org
Allowing for the playing of DRM protected content is accepted. While
it is sad to see big business rule the day, it is still copyrighted
works we are talking about. GPL v3 says that the use of DRM in or
around the GPLv3 software would be a direct violation and therfore
illegal under the GPL liscense. Respecting the limits setup by the
DRM or ACS would be a proactive step in making linux more corporate
friendly. Should the individuals producing, directing and starring in
movies and music be penalized for the abuses of the recording
industry. Piracy does exist and supporting the real creative works of
others is important.

According to the Managed Copy Protection in upcoming HD-DVD and
Blu-Ray discs, if the channel between digital display devices is not
authenticated as direct to display, the resolution would be cut to
prevent electronic copies from being easily made.

I seruiosly doubt that anyone commited to the Open Source community
would condone piracy, just as I am sure that Protection schemes always
break down in the end. It is sometimes irresponsible to circumvent
methods designed to protect peoples copyright. The viral liscensing
in the GPL v 2 allows for the best integration with 3rd party
applications.
The GPLv3 would not allow any copyrighted materials under DRM to be
viewed, one could even argue that protected PDF files might constitute
DRM and not be allowed under the new GPL. I think that subverting the
efforts of companies and artists to protect their works is
unnaceptable. Public crap about hacking iTunes to get unprotected
files is detrimental to the Open Source Community. It should be noted
that DRM is not inherently bad, implementations are currently pretty
crappy, but surely an open source DRM could be presented, and a step
to make that happen would be to keep the Kernel under GPLv2.

Bernd Petrovitsch

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 4:43:04 AM1/25/06
to Ian Kester-Haney, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
On Tue, 2006-01-24 at 19:21 -0600, Ian Kester-Haney wrote:
[...]
> friendly. Should the individuals producing, directing and starring in
> movies and music be penalized for the abuses of the recording

Of course not. But I can't see any mentioning of these in the propaganda
of the big music industry.

> industry. Piracy does exist and supporting the real creative works of
> others is important.

ACK.
But DRM will not stop (or even hinder seriously) the big commercial
copying organizations only the private copies (even if they are legal by
allmeans).
So this argument is plain simply moot.

> I seruiosly doubt that anyone commited to the Open Source community
> would condone piracy, just as I am sure that Protection schemes always
> break down in the end. It is sometimes irresponsible to circumvent
> methods designed to protect peoples copyright. The viral liscensing
> in the GPL v 2 allows for the best integration with 3rd party
> applications.
> The GPLv3 would not allow any copyrighted materials under DRM to be
> viewed, one could even argue that protected PDF files might constitute
> DRM and not be allowed under the new GPL. I think that subverting the

With the exception that I *can* circumvent the protection on PDFs *if*
I'm legally allowed to copy the copyrighted work (with or without the
owner's permission - this is one reason for a legal copy. But there are
others which cannot be inhibited by the copyright holder - which is
usually not the artist).

> files is detrimental to the Open Source Community. It should be noted
> that DRM is not inherently bad, implementations are currently pretty

No, but the motivation behind and the reasons for it existence is bad.

> crappy, but surely an open source DRM could be presented, and a step
> to make that happen would be to keep the Kernel under GPLv2.

Let's see if DRM actually get accepted or shares the success of micro
channel and other big business must-have "inventions".

[ Fullquote killed ]

Bernd
--
Firmix Software GmbH http://www.firmix.at/
mobil: +43 664 4416156 fax: +43 1 7890849-55
Embedded Linux Development and Services

-

Steven Rostedt

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 11:05:04 AM1/25/06
to Bernd Petrovitsch, linux-...@vger.kernel.org, Ian Kester-Haney
On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 10:42 +0100, Bernd Petrovitsch wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-01-24 at 19:21 -0600, Ian Kester-Haney wrote:
> [...]
> > friendly. Should the individuals producing, directing and starring in
> > movies and music be penalized for the abuses of the recording
>
> Of course not. But I can't see any mentioning of these in the propaganda
> of the big music industry.
>
> > industry. Piracy does exist and supporting the real creative works of
> > others is important.
>
> ACK.
> But DRM will not stop (or even hinder seriously) the big commercial
> copying organizations only the private copies (even if they are legal by
> allmeans).
> So this argument is plain simply moot.

I'll even go a step farther. All these technical restrictions for
prevention of copying really backfires in the end. For example, this
stupid Region coding of DVDs. I go to Germany quite a lot, and to help
out my German, I buy DVDs there so when I'm home I can listen to movies
in German. The problem arises when I try to play these at home, since my
DVD player is coded for the US. The only way I can watch movies that I
legally bought in Germany is to copy them (probably with illegal
software) and turn off the region code so I can watch them on my home
DVD players.

Now here's the kicker. A colleague of mine asked why I even bother
buying the DVDs in the store, when I could buy them on the black market
for a much cheaper price and they will play on my home player. This is
very tempting, but my conscience tells me to pay those that actually
make the films. But it does beg the question of what the Region coding
is actually trying to stop?

Sorry, this is not about kernel programming, any replies should probably
be sent off list.

-- Steve

Marc Perkel

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 1:46:48 PM1/25/06
to Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org

Patrick McLean wrote:
> Stephen Hemminger wrote:
>
>

> Also, given that several of the copyright holders in the kernel are
> dead, I don't think we will be able to obtain permission.
>
>

Makes me wonder if something should be done to address the issue of dead
copyright holders. Not sure what but maybe there should be a clause in
GPL3 addressing that?

Jeff V. Merkey

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 2:02:08 PM1/25/06
to Marc Perkel, Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
Marc Perkel wrote:

>
>
> Patrick McLean wrote:
>
>> Stephen Hemminger wrote:
>>
>>
>> Also, given that several of the copyright holders in the kernel are
>> dead, I don't think we will be able to obtain permission.
>>
>>
>
> Makes me wonder if something should be done to address the issue of
> dead copyright holders. Not sure what but maybe there should be a
> clause in GPL3 addressing that?


Their heirs would have two years to bring a cause of action if they
object. Proper notice could be served by posting a notice on the
internet at kernel.org
that their code is being redistributed under GPL3. I note that the
general notice in the code states "GPL2 or any later version of the
license". Given this
language, it is highly likely the remaining code can proceed under a new
license without incident since it can be assumed they already agreed by
having this general notice posted at kernel.org for many years. I
think the point is moot. Legally, there is exposure if their successors
or owners
of their estates bring action. Those outside the US would of course be
subject to the laws of their jurisdiction. An attorney at FSF needs to
review their
code and render an opinion, but I think it will not be a problem.

Jeff

Jeff V. Merkey

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 2:17:52 PM1/25/06
to Jeff V. Merkey, Marc Perkel, Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org

>> Makes me wonder if something should be done to address the issue of
>> dead copyright holders. Not sure what but maybe there should be a
>> clause in GPL3 addressing that?
>
>
>
> Their heirs would have two years to bring a cause of action if they
> object. Proper notice could be served by posting a notice on the
> internet at kernel.org
> that their code is being redistributed under GPL3. I note that the
> general notice in the code states "GPL2 or any later version of the
> license". Given this
> language, it is highly likely the remaining code can proceed under a
> new license without incident since it can be assumed they already
> agreed by
> having this general notice posted at kernel.org for many years. I
> think the point is moot. Legally, there is exposure if their
> successors or owners
> of their estates bring action. Those outside the US would of course
> be subject to the laws of their jurisdiction. An attorney at FSF
> needs to review their
> code and render an opinion, but I think it will not be a problem.
>
> Jeff
>
>>
NOTE: Under the Doctrine of Esstopel, if you proceed on this basis and
two years pass without their heirs bringing an action of some sort, then
under this
legal doctrine, the rights to use their code under GPLv3 would in all
probability pass consitutional muster. Again, someone needs to run this
by an attorney at the FSF and get a formal legal opinion rendered. The
Doctrine of Esstopel basically says that if you use something for some
period of time, and no one
objects, then you obtain certain rights to use it permenantly. Not
wanting to disrespect the wishes of the dead, I would attempt to contact
the successors of
their estates in any event and obtain permission, and if not possible,
then proceed.

Marc Perkel

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 2:24:54 PM1/25/06
to Jeff V. Merkey, Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org

Is it possible to have Linux be mostly GPL3 with parts of it GPL2? Or is
that just too insane to deal with?

Kyle Moffett

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 2:51:49 PM1/25/06
to Marc Perkel, Jeff V. Merkey, Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
On Jan 25, 2006, at 14:24:13, Marc Perkel wrote:
> Is it possible to have Linux be mostly GPL3 with parts of it GPL2?
> Or is that just too insane to deal with?

Well given that parts of the kernel are GPLv2-only, other parts are
GPLv2+, other parts are GPL/BSD, etc, I can't see how somebody using
a GPLv3-only or GPLv3+ license for some other part would be
problematic. If anything, the multiple licensing provides additional
code protection; we get the advantages of all the licenses, but if
any one license is found to be invalid, it does not break the
protection of the body of code itself.

Cheers,
Kyle Moffett

linux-os (Dick Johnson)

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 3:45:07 PM1/25/06
to Kyle Moffett, Marc Perkel, Jeff V. Merkey, Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006, Kyle Moffett wrote:

> On Jan 25, 2006, at 14:24:13, Marc Perkel wrote:
>> Is it possible to have Linux be mostly GPL3 with parts of it GPL2?
>> Or is that just too insane to deal with?
>
> Well given that parts of the kernel are GPLv2-only, other parts are
> GPLv2+, other parts are GPL/BSD, etc, I can't see how somebody using
> a GPLv3-only or GPLv3+ license for some other part would be
> problematic. If anything, the multiple licensing provides additional
> code protection; we get the advantages of all the licenses, but if
> any one license is found to be invalid, it does not break the
> protection of the body of code itself.
>
> Cheers,
> Kyle Moffett
>

The original GPL said something about:
"You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients'
exercise of the rights granted herein." (Section 6).
Then, that __exact__ code was redistributed under Version 2
which further restricted rights, then additional versions
which further restricted rights. Now you are planning to
add additional restrictions? I don't think the present
so-called license would pass muster in any sane court in
the United States after the original licensed code was
plagiarized into a new binding license.

Simple test. Pretend the code was a music chart. Music
charts have been copyrighted since the start of the
copyright office. You write some music and, in its
copyright notice, you license anybody to use it as
long as they don't claim that they wrote it. Then
some licensing agency comes along and writes a new
license, effectively claiming ownership by claiming
control (the legal word is conversion). Do you think
for a moment that any court of law would uphold the
new license?

All of Linux has undergone such a conversion and it is
effectively owned by the "Free Software Foundation, Inc."
Of course RMS didn't tell you this when he appropriated
it, but it's done.

If code was written to be distributed under a certain
set of rules, just like sheet-music, nobody but the
writer or his assigns is allowed to change those
distribution rules at a later date. If those rules
are changed, they are invalid, i.e., unenforceable.

You want new rules, you rewrite the kernel from scratch
under the new rules and, you must not produce a derived
work (which has many meanings) in the process or the
new license is unenforceable as well.


Cheers,
Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.6.13.4 on an i686 machine (5589.66 BogoMips).


Warning : 98.36% of all statistics are fiction.
.

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Thank you.

Chase Venters

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 4:21:55 PM1/25/06
to linux-os \(Dick Johnson\), Kyle Moffett, Marc Perkel, Jeff V. Merkey, Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006, linux-os \(Dick Johnson\) wrote:
>
> The original GPL said something about:
> "You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients'
> exercise of the rights granted herein." (Section 6).
> Then, that __exact__ code was redistributed under Version 2
> which further restricted rights, then additional versions
> which further restricted rights. Now you are planning to
> add additional restrictions? I don't think the present
> so-called license would pass muster in any sane court in
> the United States after the original licensed code was
> plagiarized into a new binding license.
>

Try doing your homework. GPL v1 says:

> Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program
> specifies a version number of the 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 the license, you may choose any version ever published by the Free
> Software Foundation.

This means that when the code went GPL v1 -> GPL v2, the transition was
permissible. Linux v1.0 shipped with the GPL v2. It did not ship with a
separate clause specifying that "You may only use *this* version of the GPL"
as it now does. (I haven't done any research to find out when this clause
was added, but it was after the transition to v2).

I'm not sure what you're trying to imply about "conversion" or FSF
"owning" Linux. Choosing to release your software under the GPL, even when
the GPL is authored by a third party, does not make said third party the
copyright owner of your work.

If a migration to v3 were to occur, the only potential hairball I see is
if someone objected on the grounds that they contributed code to a version
of the kernel Linus had marked as "GPLv2 Only". IANAL.

- Chase

Linus Torvalds

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 5:41:13 PM1/25/06
to Chase Venters, linux-os \(Dick Johnson\), Kyle Moffett, Marc Perkel, Jeff V. Merkey, Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006, Chase Venters wrote:
>
> This means that when the code went GPL v1 -> GPL v2, the transition was
> permissible. Linux v1.0 shipped with the GPL v2. It did not ship with a
> separate clause specifying that "You may only use *this* version of the GPL"
> as it now does. (I haven't done any research to find out when this clause was
> added, but it was after the transition to v2).

Bzzt. Look closer.

The Linux kernel has _always_ been under the GPL v2. Nothing else has ever
been valid.

The "version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version"
language in the GPL copying file is not - and has never been - part of the
actual License itself. It's part of the _explanatory_ text that talks
about how to apply the license to your program, and it says that _if_ you
want to accept any later versions of the GPL, you can state so in your
source code.

The Linux kernel has never stated that in general. Some authors have
chosen to use the suggested FSF boilerplate (including the "any later
version" language), but the kernel in general never has.

In other words: the _default_ license strategy is always just the
particular version of the GPL that accompanies a project. If you want to
license a program under _any_ later version of the GPL, you have to state
so explicitly. Linux never did.

So: the extra blurb at the top of the COPYING file in the kernel source
tree was added not to _change_ the license, but to _clarify_ these points
so that there wouldn't be any confusion.

The Linux kernel is under the GPL version 2. Not anything else. Some
individual files are licenceable under v3, but not the kernel in general.

And quite frankly, I don't see that changing. I think it's insane to
require people to make their private signing keys available, for example.
I wouldn't do it. So I don't think the GPL v3 conversion is going to
happen for the kernel, since I personally don't want to convert any of my
code.

> If a migration to v3 were to occur, the only potential hairball I see is if
> someone objected on the grounds that they contributed code to a version of the
> kernel Linus had marked as "GPLv2 Only". IANAL.

No. You think "v2 or later" is the default. It's not. The _default_ is to
not allow conversion.

Conversion isn't going to happen.

Linus

Chase Venters

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 6:26:36 PM1/25/06
to Linus Torvalds, Chase Venters, linux-os \\(Dick Johnson\\), Kyle Moffett, Marc Perkel, Jeff V. Merkey, Patrick McLean, Stephen Hemminger, linux-...@vger.kernel.org
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>
> On Wed, 25 Jan 2006, Chase Venters wrote:
>>
>> This means that when the code went GPL v1 -> GPL v2, the transition was
>> permissible. Linux v1.0 shipped with the GPL v2. It did not ship with a
>> separate clause specifying that "You may only use *this* version of the GPL"
>> as it now does. (I haven't done any research to find out when this clause was
>> added, but it was after the transition to v2).
>
> Bzzt. Look closer.
>
> The Linux kernel has _always_ been under the GPL v2. Nothing else has ever
> been valid.

I see. That makes perfect sense given that the GPL v2 is dated 1991...
this slipped my filters when I was grokking Dick's comment:

>>> The original GPL said something about:
>>> "You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients'
>>> exercise of the rights granted herein." (Section 6).
>>> Then, that __exact__ code was redistributed under Version 2
>>> which further restricted rights,

> The "version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version"


> language in the GPL copying file is not - and has never been - part of the
> actual License itself. It's part of the _explanatory_ text that talks
> about how to apply the license to your program, and it says that _if_ you
> want to accept any later versions of the GPL, you can state so in your
> source code.

I wasn't actually referring to the explanatory text; rather, clause 9 in
the section "TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND
MODIFICATION". I suppose though upon reading clause 9 again the phrase "If
the Program does not specify a version number of this License, you may
choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation." is
kind of confusing.

Does the header of the GPL in COPYING ("GNU General Public
License; Version 2, June 1991") count as the "Program" specifying a
version number of the license?

> The Linux kernel has never stated that in general. Some authors have
> chosen to use the suggested FSF boilerplate (including the "any later
> version" language), but the kernel in general never has.

Agreed.

> In other words: the _default_ license strategy is always just the
> particular version of the GPL that accompanies a project. If you want to
> license a program under _any_ later version of the GPL, you have to state
> so explicitly. Linux never did.

If the header of the GPL counts as the "Program's" specification of
the version number, I suppose you're right. I just don't really understand
why the language allowing _any_ version of the GPL if the version number
isn't specified then... when would any project ever publish a version of
the GPL license that has been modified to remove any mention of a version
number?

> So: the extra blurb at the top of the COPYING file in the kernel source
> tree was added not to _change_ the license, but to _clarify_ these points
> so that there wouldn't be any confusion.
>
> The Linux kernel is under the GPL version 2. Not anything else. Some
> individual files are licenceable under v3, but not the kernel in general.
>
> And quite frankly, I don't see that changing. I think it's insane to
> require people to make their private signing keys available, for example.
> I wouldn't do it. So I don't think the GPL v3 conversion is going to
> happen for the kernel, since I personally don't want to convert any of my
> code.
>

Fair enough. I'm not trying to really argue for or against the kernel
switching versions... just trying to address some posts I've seen on LKML
that seem to get the licensing issue _really_ wrong (perhaps I'm now in
that group.)

Cheers,
Chase

Kurt Wall

unread,
Jan 25, 2006, 7:46:31 PM1/25/06