Re: Software as intellectual property -- It's all about thelicense

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Carnations, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Carnations

    Carnations Guest

    On Sun, 20 Dec 2009 08:04:00 -0600, impossible wrote:

    > Confusion over this issue is now hurting open-source developers, who
    > have increasingly found themselves resorting to lawsuits to prevent
    > infringement by companies that thought "open source" meant they could
    > save money by ignoring compliance issues.


    You can't just "ignore" complying with the terms that permit you to use the software.


    --
    "Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
    Carnations, Dec 20, 2009
    #1
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  2. Carnations

    victor Guest

    Re: Software as intellectual property -- It's all about the license

    impossible wrote:
    >
    > "Carnations" <> wrote in message
    > news:p...
    >> On Sun, 20 Dec 2009 08:04:00 -0600, impossible wrote:
    >>
    >>> Larry D'Loserites contrast "open-source software" to "proprietary
    >>> software" -- as if the two were different species. But nothing could be
    >>> further from the truth.
    >>>
    >>> Open source software released under the GPL is proprietary software,
    >>> meaning
    >>> that developers have certain exclusive property rights that give them
    >>> control over how that software is used, copied, distributed, or
    >>> modified.
    >>> The same is true of software released under a convential End User
    >>> License
    >>> Agreement. In both cases, these rights originatre from copyright
    >>> protection.
    >>>
    >>> Confusion over this issue is now hurting open-source developers, who
    >>> have
    >>> increasingly found themselves resorting to lawsuits to prevent
    >>> infringement
    >>> by companies that thought "open source" meant they could save money by
    >>> ignoring compliance issues.
    >>>
    >>> "Open source licenses are granted by the copyright holder and the
    >>> license is
    >>> an exercise of the copyright. In order to enjoy the benefits of the
    >>> license,
    >>> you must comply with its terms. If you don't comply with the license,
    >>> you're
    >>> not licensed--and another word for unlicensed use is 'infringement' ....
    >>>
    >>> "The main issue for businesses is internal control. Businesses have
    >>> procurement organizations that are responsible for procuring
    >>> everything the
    >>> business uses in its operations. Those organizations review
    >>> agreements and
    >>> establish terms before they write the check. The internal control is
    >>> based
    >>> on the assumption that the business will pay for everything it uses. In
    >>> order to arrange for payment, you have to go through procurement.
    >>>
    >>> "Because open source is made available without charge, this basic
    >>> internal
    >>> control fails. The software often comes into the organization without
    >>> review
    >>> of the associated obligations or any process to ensure compliance.
    >>> Companies
    >>> are in the process of implementing policies and processes that impose
    >>> basic
    >>> internal controls over acquisition, use, and compliance of open source
    >>> software"
    >>>
    >>> http://www.informationweek.com/news/development/tools/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=222002605
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>

    >> You can't just "ignore" complying with the terms that permit you to
    >> use the software.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Obviously you can. Otherwise there would be no need for a lawsuit to
    > collect damages for non-compliance.
    >
    > The problem for companies using open-source software is that the costs
    > of ensuring compliance with the terms of multiple licenses issued under
    > multiple copyrights can be much, much greater than they would be
    > ensuring compliance with a single EULA.


    Maybe it is if their product is derivative work where the GPL imposes an
    obligation to distribute the source code etc, but not for the majority
    of users.
    Most GPL violations appear to be by companies that use linux firmware
    for routers, nas, printservers, gps tvs dvds stbs etc.
    As the article you posted points out, that needs to be dealt with as
    procurement process, so the obligations incurred in buying in an OEM
    subsystem are ticked off and the firmware source posted to sourceforge
    or similar repository.
    victor, Dec 21, 2009
    #2
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  3. Carnations

    Carnations Guest

    On Sun, 20 Dec 2009 16:50:54 -0600, impossible wrote:

    >> You can't just "ignore" complying with the terms that permit you to use
    >> the software.

    >
    > Obviously you can. Otherwise there would be no need for a lawsuit to
    > collect damages for non-compliance.


    The Lawsuit is the consequence of their failure to comply with the terms and conditions of use and is
    the very reason why licence terms cannot be ignored.


    --
    "Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
    Carnations, Dec 21, 2009
    #3
  4. Carnations

    Carnations Guest

    On Sun, 20 Dec 2009 16:50:54 -0600, impossible wrote:

    > The problem for companies using open-source software is that the costs
    > of ensuring compliance with the terms of multiple licenses issued under
    > multiple copyrights can be much, much greater than they would be
    > ensuring compliance with a single EULA.


    Yes - I see now - it must be extremely difficult for your company to have a person responsible for
    keeping a register of all GPL'd software approved for use in your company, and to require all requests
    for approving new software to include a workflow step for confirming licensing.

    Is your company truly that incapable?


    --
    "Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
    Carnations, Dec 21, 2009
    #4
  5. Carnations

    Sailor Sam Guest

    Re: Software as intellectual property -- It's all about the license

    impossible wrote:

    > Yes, that's an unanticipated cost that businesses will have to reckon
    > with going forward. Piracy isn't kid stuff anymore.


    Anyone who pretends compliance costs are a non issue with proprietary
    software is selling you a pup.

    OSS has compliance costs, Proprietary software has compliance costs.

    Where's the beef?
    Sailor Sam, Dec 21, 2009
    #5
  6. Carnations

    Gordon Guest

    Re: Software as intellectual property -- It's all about the license

    On 2009-12-21, Carnations <> wrote:
    > On Sun, 20 Dec 2009 16:50:54 -0600, impossible wrote:
    >
    >> The problem for companies using open-source software is that the costs
    >> of ensuring compliance with the terms of multiple licenses issued under
    >> multiple copyrights can be much, much greater than they would be
    >> ensuring compliance with a single EULA.

    >
    > Yes - I see now - it must be extremely difficult for your company to have a person responsible for
    > keeping a register of all GPL'd software approved for use in your company, and to require all requests
    > for approving new software to include a workflow step for confirming licensing.
    >
    > Is your company truly that incapable?
    >
    >

    Or is FUD or trolling.

    The orginal posting seemed to imply that business can not cope with sofware
    which has a different conditions attached to it. They are still in the one
    set of conditions to rule them all.

    They'll catch on in about a decade
    Gordon, Dec 21, 2009
    #6
  7. Carnations

    thingy Guest

    Re: Software as intellectual property -- It's all about the license

    On Dec 21, 11:50 am, "impossible" <> wrote:
    > "Carnations" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:p...
    >
    >
    >
    > > On Sun, 20 Dec 2009 08:04:00 -0600, impossible wrote:

    >
    > >> Larry D'Loserites contrast "open-source software" to "proprietary
    > >> software" -- as if the two were different species. But nothing could be
    > >> further from the truth.

    >
    > >> Open source software released under the GPL is proprietary software,
    > >> meaning
    > >> that developers have certain exclusive property rights that give them
    > >> control over how that software is used, copied, distributed, or modified.
    > >> The same is true of software released under a convential End User License
    > >> Agreement. In both cases, these rights originatre from copyright
    > >> protection.

    >
    > >> Confusion over this issue is now hurting open-source developers, who have
    > >> increasingly found themselves resorting to lawsuits to prevent
    > >> infringement
    > >> by companies that thought "open source" meant they could save money by
    > >> ignoring compliance issues.

    >
    > >> "Open source licenses are granted by the copyright holder and the license
    > >> is
    > >> an exercise of the copyright. In order to enjoy the benefits of the
    > >> license,
    > >> you must comply with its terms. If you don't comply with the license,
    > >> you're
    > >> not licensed--and another word for unlicensed use is 'infringement' .....

    >
    > >> "The main issue for businesses is internal control. Businesses have
    > >> procurement organizations that are responsible for procuring everything
    > >> the
    > >> business uses in its operations. Those organizations review agreements
    > >> and
    > >> establish terms before they write the check. The internal control is
    > >> based
    > >> on the assumption that the business will pay for everything it uses. In
    > >> order to arrange for payment, you have to go through procurement.

    >
    > >> "Because open source is made available without charge, this basic
    > >> internal
    > >> control fails. The software often comes into the organization without
    > >> review
    > >> of the associated obligations or any process to ensure compliance.
    > >> Companies
    > >> are in the process of implementing policies and processes that impose
    > >> basic
    > >> internal controls over acquisition, use, and compliance of open source
    > >> software"

    >
    > >>http://www.informationweek.com/news/development/tools/showArticle.jht....

    >
    > > You can't just "ignore" complying with the terms that permit you to use
    > > the software.

    >
    > Obviously you can. Otherwise there would be no need for a lawsuit to collect
    > damages for non-compliance.


    Not damages ie money but compliance. Unlike the commercial world GPL
    writers sue to get the modified works stop the breach.

    > The problem for companies using open-source software is that the costs of
    > ensuring compliance with the terms of multiple licenses issued under
    > multiple copyrights can be much, much greater than they would be ensuring
    > compliance with  a single EULA.


    Absolute rubbish, "normal" companies dont have any compliance issues.
    As they dont release / sell programs or hardware that contain modified
    GPL code.

    So say Farmers can use Linux and (say) sendmail for free, they can
    modify say Linux to their heart's content and have no worries and no
    costs outside of an admin and commodity hardware.

    If they modify Linux and then sell it on commodity hardware then they
    have compliance issues...but indeed even then they just have to
    release thier modifications...

    An example of this is Sophos's Pure message, its mainly GPL
    underneath, but its "skinned" they have their own bits which are
    attached "externally" to GPL code they comply with GPL and make money
    selling a value added product.

    regards

    Thing
    thingy, Dec 21, 2009
    #7
  8. Carnations

    thingy Guest

    Re: Software as intellectual property -- It's all about the license

    On Dec 21, 8:51 pm, Gordon <> wrote:
    > On 2009-12-21, Carnations <> wrote:> On Sun, 20 Dec 2009 16:50:54 -0600, impossible wrote:
    >
    > >> The problem for companies using open-source software is that the costs
    > >> of ensuring compliance with the terms of multiple licenses issued under
    > >> multiple copyrights can be much, much greater than they would be
    > >> ensuring compliance with  a single EULA.

    >
    > > Yes - I see now - it must be extremely difficult for your company to have a person responsible for
    > > keeping a register of all GPL'd software approved for use in your company, and to require all requests
    > > for approving new software to include a workflow step for confirming licensing.

    >
    > > Is your company truly that incapable?

    >
    > Or is FUD or trolling.
    >
    > The orginal posting seemed to imply that business can not cope with sofware
    > which has a different conditions attached to it. They are still in the one
    > set of conditions to rule them all.
    >
    > They'll catch on in about a decade


    Its more likely Imposible might....and of course EULAs are all
    different...

    What Impossible doesnt realise I think is MS has generally moved
    on...its learning to complete on features and quality.

    Other commercial companies are feeling the pinch of OSS...and have to
    re-act...

    The latest is SAS...they dont only charge an arm and a leg for their
    software and per socket they charge per core and per server....and if
    its on a VMware cluster and the guest has 2 cores (say) they want an 8
    core licence*...(each host has 2 x quad cores) even if the software is
    limited to 2 or 4 cores! That was costing us a 5 figure sum per year
    (and that's an educational price!)......until "R" was released....
    (http://www.r-project.org/) now we get it for free...if we meet a few
    easy criteria (which we do).

    So here we have a clear Opex saving for a company that passes on to
    real customers....and of course customers can still use "R" if they
    want....(and they do).

    regards

    Thing

    *Some commercial software wants licencing per CPU per VMware node!
    (maybe a decade is to soon for them?)
    thingy, Dec 21, 2009
    #8
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