Re: Open source licensing is a mess

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by peterwn, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    On Jul 2, 7:38 pm, "impossible" <> wrote:
    > Giveaway software published by open source developers is assumed by most
    > users to be "free" -- no cost and unencumbered by any any licensing
    > restrictions. But clearly that's not true. No cost? Yes, because the
    > software has zero value on the open market. But open source software remains
    > the exclusive property of the developers who created it, just like any other
    > software. And apparently that's placed most end users of open source
    > software in a bind..


    Why are end users placed in a bind with 'open source' software and not
    with Micro$oft's and other firms' proprietary software.

    What is the dilemma involving end users of open source software and
    the General Public Licence? The GPL allows an end user to run it
    without restriction. It is as simple as that.

    Since when has the FSF or similar organisation dragged the arse of an
    end user in court (or threatened to), and yet it happens all the time
    with respect to proprietary software.

    In short - what are you waffling on about? Admittedly in some
    dreamworld, perhaps open source end users are regularly rounded up and
    carted off to the dungeons. Perhaps you are using too much electric
    puha.
    peterwn, Jul 3, 2010
    #1
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  2. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    On Jul 3, 2:30 pm, "impossible" <> wrote:
    > "peterwn" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    >
    > > On Jul 2, 7:38 pm, "impossible" <> wrote:
    > >> Giveaway software published by open source developers is assumed by most
    > >> users to be "free" -- no cost and unencumbered by any any licensing
    > >> restrictions. But clearly that's not true. No cost? Yes, because the
    > >> software has zero value on the open market. But open source software
    > >> remains
    > >> the exclusive property of the developers who created it, just like any
    > >> other
    > >> software. And apparently that's placed most end users of open source
    > >> software in a bind..

    >
    > > Why are end users placed in a bind with 'open source' software ...

    >
    > Let's see....if we restore the part of my post that you deleted, I think
    > we'll find the answer.
    >
    > > "More than 65% of respondents who believed that they were not distributing
    > >> open source software were in fact providing software to customers,
    > >> partners
    > >> or others outside the organization. In addition,


    FSF is hardly likely to send them off to the Gulag in a hurry.
    The worst that is likely to happen is a friendly reminder of
    obligations.
    The ones who would feel the full force of FSF's fury are the ones who
    tell FSF to 'f**k off'.

    > >> only 22% of companies
    > >> were
    > >> using any tools or services to determine whether software contained open
    > >> source, despite the fact that 84% use open source software."


    They would also need to now that the software is not proprietary. If
    it is the financial damage if far worse if it was open source deing
    distributed in breach og GPL.

    >
    > >>http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2010/06/30/4879060.htm

    >
    > Most companies that deploy open source source software are in a bind because
    > they are violating terms of the GPL.


    They are in far, far less of a bind than if they wrongly deployed
    proprietary code.

    If they have doubts, they can simply ask FSF. FSF will not bite them.

    I am not going to allow your sick comment about Larry to be repeated.
    peterwn, Jul 3, 2010
    #2
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  3. peterwn

    Gordon Guest

    On 2010-07-02, peterwn <> wrote:
    > On Jul 2, 7:38 pm, "impossible" <> wrote:
    >> Giveaway software published by open source developers is assumed by most
    >> users to be "free" -- no cost and unencumbered by any any licensing
    >> restrictions. But clearly that's not true. No cost? Yes, because the
    >> software has zero value on the open market. But open source software remains
    >> the exclusive property of the developers who created it, just like any other
    >> software. And apparently that's placed most end users of open source
    >> software in a bind..

    >
    > Why are end users placed in a bind with 'open source' software and not
    > with Micro$oft's and other firms' proprietary software.
    >
    > What is the dilemma involving end users of open source software and
    > the General Public Licence? The GPL allows an end user to run it
    > without restriction. It is as simple as that.


    Nope. It goes further than this. One can modify the software. Hence all the
    forks which keep happening in the Linux (distro) world.

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html

    Go on gentle reader, read it. It is written is plain simple English. It has
    stood up in court and won.


    >
    > Since when has the FSF or similar organisation dragged the arse of an
    > end user in court (or threatened to), and yet it happens all the time
    > with respect to proprietary software.




    >
    > In short - what are you waffling on about?


    Trolling.
    Gordon, Jul 3, 2010
    #3
  4. peterwn

    Gordon Guest

    On 2010-07-03, impossible <> wrote:
    >
    >
    > "peterwn" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> On Jul 2, 7:38 pm, "impossible" <> wrote:
    >>> Giveaway software published by open source developers is assumed by most
    >>> users to be "free" -- no cost and unencumbered by any any licensing
    >>> restrictions. But clearly that's not true. No cost? Yes, because the
    >>> software has zero value on the open market. But open source software
    >>> remains
    >>> the exclusive property of the developers who created it, just like any
    >>> other
    >>> software. And apparently that's placed most end users of open source
    >>> software in a bind..

    >>
    >> Why are end users placed in a bind with 'open source' software ...

    >
    > Let's see....if we restore the part of my post that you deleted, I think
    > we'll find the answer.


    HA!

    >
    >> "More than 65% of respondents who believed that they were not distributing
    >>> open source software were in fact providing software to customers,
    >>> partners
    >>> or others outside the organization. In addition, only 22% of companies
    >>> were
    >>> using any tools or services to determine whether software contained open
    >>> source, despite the fact that 84% use open source software."
    >>>
    >>> http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2010/06/30/4879060.htm
    >>>

    >
    > Most companies that deploy open source source software are in a bind because
    > they are violating terms of the GPL.


    impossible, please explain why they are? Both in a) a bind and b) they are
    violating the terms of the GPL.

    BTW got a URL to the quote of your starting posting?
    Gordon, Jul 3, 2010
    #4
  5. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    On Jul 3, 5:10 pm, Gordon <> wrote:
    > On 2010-07-02, peterwn <> wrote:
    >
    > > On Jul 2, 7:38 pm, "impossible" <> wrote:
    > >> Giveaway software published by open source developers is assumed by most
    > >> users to be "free" -- no cost and unencumbered by any any licensing
    > >> restrictions. But clearly that's not true. No cost? Yes, because the
    > >> software has zero value on the open market. But open source software remains
    > >> the exclusive property of the developers who created it, just like any other
    > >> software. And apparently that's placed most end users of open source
    > >> software in a bind..

    >
    > > Why are end users placed in a bind with 'open source' software and not
    > > with Micro$oft's and other firms' proprietary software.

    >
    > > What is the dilemma involving end users of open source software and
    > > the General Public Licence? The GPL allows an end user to run it
    > > without restriction. It is as simple as that.

    >
    > Nope. It goes further than this. One can modify the software. Hence all the
    > forks which keep happening in the Linux (distro) world.  


    Of course, but 'impossible' was commenting on the situation of the
    'end user' who would only run the code. So I confined my response to
    this otherwise it would overload his poor little brain.
    peterwn, Jul 3, 2010
    #5
  6. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    On Jul 4, 2:58 am, "impossible" <> wrote:

    > > FSF is hardly likely to send them off to the Gulag in a hurry.
    > > The worst that is likely to happen is a friendly reminder of
    > > obligations.

    >
    > But you agree then that these customers do not understand their
    > "obligations" under the GPL, right? Do you think that their choice of
    > software might be different if they understood that the supposedly "free"
    > software they picked does not belong to them? That they canno0t freely
    > distribute it to others without adhering to the GPL's licensing
    > restrictions?


    All sorts of factors would come into play in such cases. If (say) a
    hardware developer thinks that a GPL'd software framework (Linux,
    Busybox, compliers, etc) would provide an optimum solution, the
    developer will find that for one option he is faced with royalty
    payments, no access to source code for the framework, and very
    restrictive licencing terms. For the GPL framework, he finds that he
    need not pay royalties, the framework source code is available, the
    processor and memory requirements are probably more modest and he can
    with a bit of care write closed source 'blobs'. Ok, this seems too
    good to be true, now the downside - he needs to make the source code
    for the framework anailable, including his customisations of the
    source code - but hey! this is no great deal and the costs of doing
    this are a pittance compared with royalties he would otherwise have to
    pay.

    The choice is a no-brainer. That is unless the directors, management,
    etc believe in Bill Gates' and Impossible's FUD.


    >
    > > The ones who would feel the full force of FSF's fury are the ones who
    > > tell FSF to 'f**k off'.

    >
    > > They would also need to now that the software is not proprietary.

    >
    > But "open source software **is** proprietary. It is the property of the
    > developers who wrote the code, and those developers alone have the right to
    > set the terms of use and distribution. If that weren't the case, there would
    > be no need for the GPL. It would simply be released in the public domain.


    In general usage in this context 'proprietary' is a term of art
    meaning not 'open source' code. This is clear to everyone except
    'Impossible' whose arguments depend on muddying the waters.


    >
    > Open source software is proprietary software released under the terms of a
    > license like the GPL. As you yourself have admitted, users of open source
    > software are obligated to respect the terms of that license. Why? Because
    > the software they are using is the exclusive property of its authors.


    Agreed, where 'proprietary' is assigned a very broad meaning, but
    virtually all those in the business assume the narrow 'term of art
    meaning' I mentioned above.

    >
    > > If they have doubts, they can simply ask FSF. FSF will not bite them.

    >
    > But the FSF **will** sue them.  For example:
    >
    > http://www.fsf.org/news/2008-12-cisco-suit


    Yes they will. But as I mentioned before, the outfit sued generally
    has told FSf to 'f**k off' several times earlier and suing is a last
    resort to sort the problem.

    A company acting in good faith and prepared to engage constructively
    with FSF will not get sued or even be threatened with outrageous
    damages (as BSA frequently threatens). It is as simple as that.


    >
    > > I am not going to allow your sick comment about Larry to be repeated.

    >
    > This comment?
    >
    > >>> As confused as the Larry D'Loserites are about property rights, this is
    > >>> hardly surprising.

    >
    > That's a comment about you and others in nz.comp who mimic the freetard
    > ideology and fact-free methodology of nz.comp's cowardly drive-by troll,
    > Larry D'Loser. Judging by your response in this thread, I'd say you've
    > proven my point.


    You are the troll, mate. The whole aim of your original troll was to
    spread FUD on behalf of your old mate Bill Gates, and because of your
    sick mind you cannot resist the temptation to make personal attacks on
    people who disagree with you.
    peterwn, Jul 4, 2010
    #6
  7. On Jul 4, 2:58 am, "impossible" <> wrote:
    > ...there would be no need for the GPL. It would simply be released in
    > the public domain.


    Once again you demonstrate you have no idea what you're talking about.
    Hamish Campbell, Jul 4, 2010
    #7
  8. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    On Jul 5, 12:47 am, "impossible" <> wrote:

    >
    > You didn't answer the questions.
    >
    > (1) Do you accept that most customers do not understand their obligations
    > under the GPL?


    I am happy to take 'Open Logic's' release at its face value. I also
    note that MPAA, RIAA and BSA frequently tell similar horror stories
    about how many people are pig ignorant of the meaning of copyright.

    My answer is 'no', but would be 'yes' if 'most' is changed to 'many'.

    >
    > (2)  Do you think that a customer's choice of software might be different if
    > they understood that the supposedly "free" software they picked does not
    > belong to them? That they cannot freely distribute it to others without
    > adhering to the GPL's licensing restrictions?


    An 'end user' customer generally could not care less as long as the
    product works. In any event the end user is not breaching the GPL and
    the GPL does not forbid an 'end use' customer from running allegedly
    'tainted' code. Moreover the FSF and other GPL copyright assignees
    have no bother with such end users. AFAIK no 'end user' (ie someone
    who merely runs the code) has ever been sued or even sent a warning
    letter for an alleged GPL breach.

    A similar sort of survey would also show that most people using Micro
    $oft products are pig ignorant of the terms and conditions of the
    EULA. They are just not interested. They do not want to know - it
    would give them the screaming heebies jeebies. For example how many
    ordinary users know that the EULA forbids the 'benchmarking' of Micro
    $oft products.

    So my answer to your question is 'no'.

    >  The information about the open source licensing mess happens to come from a
    > study by an open source support company. Deal with it!
    >
    > http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2010/06/30/4879060.htm
    >


    'Open Logic' never claimed that there is an 'open source licencing
    mess'. The release merely stated that many makers of hardware and
    software products using GPL'd code are ignorant of the requirements of
    the GPL. If the GPL were a 'licencing mess', Micro$oft's EULA would be
    a far greater licencing mess.

    It is no problem with the licence whether it be the GPL or Micro$oft's
    EULA if people treat the licence as a joke. This does not mean that
    people should stop using the product.

    >
    > > In general usage in this context 'proprietary' is a term of art
    > > meaning not 'open source' code. This is clear to everyone except
    > > 'Impossible' whose arguments depend on muddying the waters.

    >
    > LOL. As I've noted many a time, Larry D'Loserites are hopelessly confused
    > about the meaning of property.


    You are just a sick puppy with this sort of personal abuse.

    > But your attempt now to fob off proprietary
    > rights as a "term of art" is a new one. We all eagerly await your reference
    > to a reputable legal source whop is prepared to back you up on that
    > ridiculous comment.


    OK, in my previous posts, for 'proprietary' read 'closed source'. If I
    have misled you by my inaccurate use of the term 'proprietary' I
    apologise. No one else seems to have been misled by my alleged
    inaccuracy.

    >
    > Are you seriously claiming that open source  developers do not have certain
    > exclusive, proprietary rights over the software they create? If not, then
    > why on earth would anyone be "obligated", as you you put it, to respect the
    > term and conditions of the GPL or any other license under which that
    > software is released?


    No I am not. Open source writers who release their software under GPL
    or other licences do reserve all rights except as licenced. I do agree
    however that some people and manufacturers do treat the GPL as a joke.
    Many however include Micro$oft do take the GPL and similar licences
    very seriously indeed.

    This disposes of your other 'angels dancing on a pinhead' type
    arguments.

    Basically, you are trying to build a big house of cards on a shaky
    foundation in your whole set of arguments.

    The conclusions are quite simple:
    1. End users need have no concern if the GPL'd code they are running
    had been 'tainted' in some way.
    2. Makers of hardware and software that uses GPL'd code in breach of
    licencing conditions risk being 'pinged' by FSF, the Busybox creators,
    etc.
    3. Such makers can readily comply with the GPL while protecting their
    commercial interests.
    4. Even if a maker is 'pinged' by FSF, etc, but is then co-operative,
    the consequences are much, much milder than the consequences of being
    'pinged' by the BSA.
    peterwn, Jul 4, 2010
    #8
  9. In article <>, peterwn <> wrote:
    >On Jul 4, 2:58=A0am, "impossible" <> wrote:

    (snip)

    >You are the troll, mate. The whole aim of your original troll was to
    >spread FUD on behalf of your old mate Bill Gates, and because of your
    >sick mind you cannot resist the temptation to make personal attacks on
    >people who disagree with you.


    ... so why play with it ?
    It would die if not fed ... wouldn't it ? :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Jul 5, 2010
    #9
  10. peterwn

    peterwn Guest

    On Jul 5, 11:11 am,
    (Bruce Sinclair) wrote:
    > In article <..com>, peterwn <> wrote:>On Jul 4, 2:58=A0am, "impossible" <> wrote:
    >
    > (snip)
    >
    > >You are the troll, mate. The whole aim of your original troll was to
    > >spread FUD on behalf of your old mate Bill Gates, and because of your
    > >sick mind you cannot resist the temptation to make personal attacks on
    > >people who disagree with you.

    >
    > .. so why play with it ?
    > It would die if not fed ... wouldn't it ? :)


    Normally, yes. However 'Impossible's trolling FUD IMO needed to be
    rebutted.
    peterwn, Jul 5, 2010
    #10
  11. On Jul 6, 9:10 am, peterwn <> wrote:
    > > .. so why play with it ?
    > > It would die if not fed ... wouldn't it ? :)

    >
    > Normally, yes. However 'Impossible's trolling FUD IMO needed to be
    > rebutted.


    And hey, keeps him occupied, right? At least here he isn't convincing
    anyone that his.. ahem.. interpretation of the facts is anything but
    fantasy.
    Hamish Campbell, Jul 5, 2010
    #11
  12. In article <>, peterwn <> wrote:
    >On Jul 5, 11:11=A0am,
    >(Bruce Sinclair) wrote:
    >> In article <=

    >..com>, peterwn <> wrote:>On Jul 4, 2:58=3DA0am, "impossib=
    >le" <> wrote:
    >>
    >> (snip)
    >>
    >> >You are the troll, mate. The whole aim of your original troll was to
    >> >spread FUD on behalf of your old mate Bill Gates, and because of your
    >> >sick mind you cannot resist the temptation to make personal attacks on
    >> >people who disagree with you.

    >>
    >> .. so why play with it ?
    >> It would die if not fed ... wouldn't it ? :)

    >
    >Normally, yes. However 'Impossible's trolling FUD IMO needed to be
    >rebutted.


    Um ... why ? It's so obviously wrong (to be polite :) ) or propaganda, that
    any sane person would pay it no attention. Replying just encourages it IMO.
    :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Jul 6, 2010
    #12
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