"Ivan Shmakov" <onei...@gmail.com
> wrote in message
> Rod Pemberton <do_no...@notemailnotq.cpm> writes:
[FYI, original copyright discussion is mixed within
"public domain bootsector" on alt.os.development.]
> > I believe in both PD and copyrighted code. I don't
> > believe in FOSS code like GPL or LGPL.
> JFTR: public domain, BSD, and the usual flavors of
> copyleft are /all/ valid FOSS licenses.
JFTR: You're wrong. Public Domain code is not licensed. Code
must be copyrighted to be licensed. Unfortunately, PD code is not
copyrighted, therefore it can't be licensed. What you meant to
say, but IMO didn't do so correctly is: the FSF and OSI consider
those forms of source code to all be legally compatible. That's
different from saying uncopyrightable code is licensed under
copyright - which is flat out wrong. Unfortunately, that's a
side-effect of memorizing and parroting the standard copyleft
rhetoric to me. You didn't actually think about what you said.
> > Those licenses are too restrictive to be called "open
> > source", and they have an political agenda: anti-company.
> I'd argue that they have no such agenda. In fact, such copyleft
> licenses prohibit the further encumbrance of the code by /both/
> companies /and/ individuals.
Unfortunately, there is now some loss of context here. "Those"
referred explicitly to the GPL and LGPL. It did not refer to all
copyleft licenses as indicated by your respnse.
> Instead, I'd say that the GPL agenda is /pro-community/, for
> soon after the code is published under such a license, even its
> original author may find that he or she cannot "take it back"
> under his or her exclusive control.
Unfortunately, that's simply untrue.
Under US copyright law, the copyright holder has exclusive
copyrights to the original work. That means the copyright holder
can license his copyrights under any other licenses. That also
means the copyright holder can rescind any license such as the GPL
at any time whether there is a license term prohibiting it or not.
Copyright's are rights. The license isn't. There is no contract
enforcing the license terms. The copyright holder is also granted
copyrights to *ALL* derivative works which do not constitute a
new and original work in their own right, i.e., extremely major
changes. This condition is to prevent theft of copyright via
trivial modifications. That means that the vast majority of
contributions, changes, modifications by others to a GPL'd program
become the copyrighted property of the original author under US
law. So, basically, if you contribute to GPL licensed program,
you're working for free for the original copyright holder since
you've forfitted your rights to him/her due to copyright law.
As for the original author not "taking it back", first they must
prove financial losses to have a valid court case in the US.
That's unlikely for the given situation of it being free software.
But, if they could manage that, and they proved in a court of law
that others were infringing on their copyright, those who are
infringing are guilty of a crime and can be punished by the law.
However, as pointed out by an alt (anarchist, lunatic, and
terrorist) in the original a.o.d. thread, most GPL code is not
high value or high quality, or at least not perceived to be, so
it's unlikely many court cases are going to arise to test any of
> > What's interesting is that a non-Socialist country like the
> > US allows code without a copyright (not allowed by law,
> > forfeited copyright, or copyright term has expired, etc.)
> > which allows for code that is effectively owned by all
> > Americans, or anyone else for that matter.
> Only until such code ends up in a derivative work. And as soon
> as it does -- poof! -- the code is now effectively "owned" by
> the author of the derivative work.
False. That's not how US copyright law works. See above.
> >> How many strings are in a FreeBSD license?
> > Not enough, IMO. There are no prohibitions against combining
> > minimal term MIT or BSD licensed code with more restrictive
> > GPL or LGPL licensed code. There is no "string" in MIT or
> > BSD licensed code requiring that additions, changes, or
> > modifications to the code also fall under the original MIT or
> > BSD copyright. I. e., there is no usage exclusion for
> > abusive open source licenses like the GPL.
> That's the very point of copyleft: a copyleft license is a free
> software license which explicitly disallows further restriction.
While I understand the backwards rhetoric (it does one thing but
everyone supportive claims it does another), just how do you
rationalize the extreme differences between a simple 2, 3, or 4
term license like MIT or BSD that has near zero further
restrictions while the GPL has literally pages upon pages of
restrictions? I.e., the point, which you seemed to have missed,
is that I believe the GPL and LGPL shouldn't be allowed to be
merged (linking is fine) with substantially "free-er" licensed
code like MIT and BSD. Even though the GPL is the first widely
adopted open-source license, it's _extremely_ restrictive compared
to almost all others that have come after, i.e., it's NOT a free
and open-source software license ANYMORE by comparison.
The problem of merging code with different licenses is license
pollution. When multiple authors work on the same program, a
single piece of code can have a variety of authors claiming
copyrights under a variety of license in a single source code
file. Unfortunately, this isn't legal under US law. US law only
allows a work to be copyrighted under a single copyright. I.e.,
mixing of code under different license within a single file isn't
legal. If the code for each is in different files, it's not an
issue. Normally, this causes simpler licenses like BSD and MIT to
become polluted with a number of non-legitimate GPL copyright
claims that are difficult to eliminate from the code. The problem
is it's indeterminable as to what copyright portions of the code
falls under - only one is allowed by US law. So, in effect, the
more restrictive GPL applies to the entire work until proven
otherwise, even if all but one line of code was non-GPL. So, the
GPL has become the "slap-on" license that you can't "slap-off".
It's used by GPL afficionados in an attempt to make all modifiable
code GPL whether it actually is or not. This also affects a
number of Public Domain projects currently, but would disadvantage
GPL copyright claims. The Public Domain code can't be copyrighted
under US law. It either was copyright once and can't be again, or
it is prohibited by law from being copyrighted. GPL authors have
added small snippets of code for which they've claimed GPL
copyrights. However, the work can only have a single copyright,
the original. In these cases, that "copyright" is Public Domain
and as such can't be copyrighted or have copyright claims like GPL
applied to it. I.e., if such a case ever makes it to court, the
GPL authors will forfit their claims to the Public Domain
> Which makes me wonder, should the BSD license /have/ such a
> string, how would you distinguish it from the GPL proper?
Honestly, I don't see the point you're attempting to make. Are
you equating or conflating the two because BSD license would
have one additional restrictive clause? Absurd.