GPL propaganda - Linux

This is a discussion on GPL propaganda - Linux ; Kelsey Bjarnason wrote: > > [snips] > > On Wed, 08 Oct 2008 14:24:37 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote: > > > By imposing GPL § 2(b) on licensees, copyright owners try to magnify > > their rights beyond those sanctioned ...

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Thread: GPL propaganda

  1. Re: GPL propaganda


    Kelsey Bjarnason wrote:
    >
    > [snips]
    >
    > On Wed, 08 Oct 2008 14:24:37 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    >
    > > By imposing GPL § 2(b) on licensees, copyright owners try to magnify
    > > their rights beyond those sanctioned by the Copyright

    >
    > By definition, anything which grants _more_ options to you than copyright
    > does cannot be the limiting mechanism you're arguing. The *most*


    http://www.ipinfoblog.com/archives/O...l%20Issues.pdf

    LEGAL ISSUES IN OPEN SOURCE AND
    FREE SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION1
    RAYMOND T. NIMMER

    1 This materials have been adapted from Chapter 11 in Raymond T.
    Nimmer, The Law of Computer Technology (1997, 2005 Supp.).

    -----
    C. Viral impact: unrestricted vs. copyleft software

    The idea of "copyleft" license provisions is a characteristic part of
    at least a segment of the free software and open source software (FSOS)
    community.89 Indeed, it is common in FSOS to view restrictive copyleft
    provisions as the hallmark of truly "free" software, as the community
    defines that term. From the perspective of nonbelievers, however,
    copyleft is the most controversial feature of free software and open
    source software because it affects the user's rights with respect to
    the FSOS software and may impact the user's control of software written
    entirely by it when used in conjunction with the FSOS software.

    In a stunning example of double-speak, the Preamble to the GPL
    describes the reason for such provisions in the GPL in terms of
    protecting the licensee's rights:

    To protect your rights,
    -----

    Nimmer continues:

    -----
    While proponents refer to such restrictions as creating "free" software,
    protecting rights, persons affected or potentially affected by the terms
    tend to refer to the risk of "viral" license terms that reach out to
    infect their own, separately developed software and of improper market
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    leverage and misuse of copyright to control the works of other people.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    -----

    He also notes:

    -----
    Beyond contract interpretation issues, the viral terms of licenses
    present legal issues about enforceability. One basis for challenge
    lies in the concept of misuse.98 This theory precludes enforcement of
    intellectual property rights that have been misused by the rights
    owner, including at least in some cases by attempting to leverage the
    rights into control of products or work that falls outside the scope
    of the licensor?s property interest. Clearly, the viral terms in an
    FSOS license do this, but whether courts would hold that they are
    justifiable by the nature of the context and the purpose behind the
    license terms remains to be seen.
    -----

    regards,
    alexander.

    --
    http://gng.z505.com/index.htm
    (GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
    be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
    too, whereas GNU cannot.)

  2. Re: GPL propaganda

    Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    >
    > Kelsey Bjarnason wrote:
    >>
    >> [snips]
    >>
    >> On Wed, 08 Oct 2008 14:24:37 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    >>
    >> > By imposing GPL § 2(b) on licensees, copyright owners try to magnify
    >> > their rights beyond those sanctioned by the Copyright

    >>
    >> By definition, anything which grants _more_ options to you than copyright
    >> does cannot be the limiting mechanism you're arguing. The *most*

    >
    > http://www.ipinfoblog.com/archives/O...l%20Issues.pdf
    >
    > LEGAL ISSUES IN OPEN SOURCE AND
    > FREE SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION1
    > RAYMOND T. NIMMER
    >
    > 1 This materials have been adapted from Chapter 11 in Raymond T.
    > Nimmer, The Law of Computer Technology (1997, 2005 Supp.).
    >
    > -----
    > C. Viral impact: unrestricted vs. copyleft software
    >
    > The idea of "copyleft" license provisions is a characteristic part of
    > at least a segment of the free software and open source software (FSOS)
    > community.89 Indeed, it is common in FSOS to view restrictive copyleft
    > provisions as the hallmark of truly "free" software, as the community
    > defines that term. From the perspective of nonbelievers, however,
    > copyleft is the most controversial feature of free software and open
    > source software because it affects the user's rights with respect to
    > the FSOS software and may impact the user's control of software written
    > entirely by it when used in conjunction with the FSOS software


    Bull****.

    >
    > In a stunning example of double-speak, the Preamble to the GPL
    > describes the reason for such provisions in the GPL in terms of
    > protecting the licensee's rights:



    It does. There's nothing "restrictive" about the GPL.

    > While proponents refer to such restrictions as creating "free" software,
    > protecting rights, persons affected or potentially affected by the terms
    > tend to refer to the risk of "viral" license terms that reach out to
    > infect their own, separately developed software and of improper market
    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    > leverage and misuse of copyright to control the works of other people.
    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


    more bull**** from someone who doesn't understand the gpl.
    **** off "Alex"
    Try reading the GPL and understanding its implications before commenting
    again.

    > Beyond contract interpretation issues,


    It's not a contract, it's a license.


    > the viral terms of licenses


    Name one.
    --
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | |
    | Andrew Halliwell BSc | "The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't |
    | in | suck is probably the day they start making |
    | Computer science | vacuum cleaners" - Ernst Jan Plugge |

  3. Re: GPL propaganda

    In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Andrew Halliwell

    wrote
    on Wed, 8 Oct 2008 21:08:02 +0100
    <2igvr5-odd.ln1@ponder.sky.com>:
    > Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    >>
    >> Kelsey Bjarnason wrote:
    >>>
    >>> [snips]
    >>>
    >>> On Wed, 08 Oct 2008 14:24:37 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    >>>
    >>> > By imposing GPL § 2(b) on licensees, copyright owners try to magnify
    >>> > their rights beyond those sanctioned by the Copyright
    >>>
    >>> By definition, anything which grants _more_ options to you than copyright
    >>> does cannot be the limiting mechanism you're arguing. The *most*

    >>
    >> http://www.ipinfoblog.com/archives/O...l%20Issues.pdf
    >>
    >> LEGAL ISSUES IN OPEN SOURCE AND
    >> FREE SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION1
    >> RAYMOND T. NIMMER
    >>
    >> 1 This materials have been adapted from Chapter 11 in Raymond T.
    >> Nimmer, The Law of Computer Technology (1997, 2005 Supp.).
    >>
    >> -----
    >> C. Viral impact: unrestricted vs. copyleft software
    >>
    >> The idea of "copyleft" license provisions is a characteristic part of
    >> at least a segment of the free software and open source software (FSOS)
    >> community.89 Indeed, it is common in FSOS to view restrictive copyleft
    >> provisions as the hallmark of truly "free" software, as the community
    >> defines that term. From the perspective of nonbelievers, however,
    >> copyleft is the most controversial feature of free software and open
    >> source software because it affects the user's rights with respect to
    >> the FSOS software and may impact the user's control of software written
    >> entirely by it when used in conjunction with the FSOS software

    >
    > Bull****.


    Badly worded, to be sure.

    [1] How does a "copyleft" write software in the last sentence?
    [2] The first sentence ("The idea of ... is ... community")
    is overly verbose, and has the wrong verb (idea = community?).

    It might be better rewritten:

    "Copyleft" license provisions are cherished by a
    part of the free software and open source software
    (FSOS) community.

    [3] The term "restrictive" is first introduced in sentence 2, and
    probably should also be introduced in sentence 1, along with
    a connector or two of some sort:

    Highly restrictive "copyleft" licensing provisions
    are cherished by a part of the so-called free
    software and open source software (FSOS) community.

    This at least makes the paragraph -- and the bias --
    more obvious. The rewrite doesn't make the paragraph
    true, of course.

    [4] The last sentence is also overly verbose; it might be
    rewritten:

    However, "Copyleft" is the most controversial
    feature of FSOS to nonbelievers, because
    "copyleft" affects the user's rights with respect
    to FSOS and may impact the user's control
    of derivative or generated software.

    though at this point I'm not exactly sure
    where this idea is going. (It is possible
    for software to generate software; the easiest
    example is yacc or bison, which generates code from
    language specifications. Of course one can quibble
    endlessly here; the microprocessor, after all, reads
    instructions, which makes them data; and many pieces
    of data, even purely numeric ones, must be interpreted
    in the context of the user's learning, which might
    make them instructions.)

    >
    >>
    >> In a stunning example of double-speak, the Preamble to the GPL
    >> describes the reason for such provisions in the GPL in terms of
    >> protecting the licensee's rights:

    >
    >
    > It does. There's nothing "restrictive" about the GPL.


    There are some mild restrictions designed presumably to
    ensure that software, once under the GPL, remains under
    the GPL, and modifications to the software are GPL as well,
    if they are integral to the software (adding modules to
    a piece of GPL software that are non-essential leads one
    into interesting territory, as does a merge of two software
    packages, or a total rewrite).

    In an ideal world, we'd simply say "he wrote this part, she
    wrote that part" and that would be all that's needed. I
    for one think that the GPL strives for that ideal, but the
    real world has issues precluding such a naive solution.

    >
    >> While proponents refer to such restrictions as creating "free" software,
    >> protecting rights, persons affected or potentially affected by the terms
    >> tend to refer to the risk of "viral" license terms that reach out to
    >> infect their own, separately developed software and of improper market
    >> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    >> leverage and misuse of copyright to control the works of other people.
    >> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    >
    > more bull**** from someone who doesn't understand the gpl.
    > **** off "Alex"
    > Try reading the GPL and understanding its implications before commenting
    > again.
    >
    >> Beyond contract interpretation issues,

    >
    > It's not a contract, it's a license.


    A license is an implied contract, though I'm not that familiar
    with contract law; the general contract is that, should a user
    want to use software or media, that he does so within the
    strictures defined in the EULA.

    (This is assumed the EULA has any legal validity at all,
    of course. I'd have to dig deep into case law to see what
    the courts think.)

    The GPLv2 in particular has paragraph 5:

    5. You are not required to accept this License, since
    you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants
    you permission to modify or distribute the Program
    or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited
    by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore,
    by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work
    based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of
    this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions
    for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or
    works based on it.

    In GPLv3 paragraph 9 implements this general concept;
    the verbiage has been tightened and changed somewhat to
    "propagate" a covered work rather than distributing a
    Program or derivative works.

    >
    >
    >> the viral terms of licenses

    >
    > Name one.


    In GPLv2, one very fanciful interpretation might have the
    phrase "derivative work" basically encapsulate anything
    using the libreadline library (which is under GPL; it's a
    nice little library for handling history and line editing,
    AIUI, and used in bash, among other places) as a derivative
    work (since it uses the library) and therefore under
    the GPL. That and similar considerations might make the
    GPL "viral". (It is far from clear that such "virality"
    is in itself a bad thing; software and digital media are
    unique in that they are so readily and cheaply duplicable,
    unlike, say, a banana, can of corn, microprocessor, or
    automotive fuel pump.)

    The term "derivative" has been entirely removed in GPLv3,
    though one still might have issues regarding "covered work",
    which is either the unmodified Program or a work based
    on the Program. The term "covered work" is extensively used
    in the text.

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html
    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.html

    (Disclaimer: I'm not part of GNU and am not a lawyer.)

    --
    #191, ewill3@earthlink.net
    Useless C++ Programming Idea #8830129:
    std::set<...> v; for(..:iterator i = v.begin(); i != v.end(); i++)
    if(*i == thing) {...}
    ** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **

  4. Re: GPL propaganda


    Andrew Halliwell wrote:
    [...]
    > > Beyond contract interpretation issues,

    >
    > It's not a contract, it's a license.


    The U.S. Supreme Court:

    ------
    Whether this [act of authorization] constitutes a gratuitous license,
    or one for a reasonable compensation, must, of course, depend upon the
    circumstances; but the relation between the parties thereafter in
    respect of any suit brought must be held to be contractual, and not an
    unlawful invasion of the rights of the owner." De Forest Radio Tel. &
    Tel. Co. v. United States, 273 U.S. 236, (1927)
    ------

    http://jmri.sourceforge.net/k/docket/236.pdf

    ------
    The Artistic License permits reproduction, modification, and
    distribution provided that the user meet the terms of the license. Id.
    Ex H. GPL has similar requirements, but also requires that software
    which incorporates GPL-licensed code to be free and distributed under
    GPL. Id. Ex I. Both licenses use the phrase provided that. The Federal
    Circuit held this language indicates a condition restricting the scope
    of the license. Jacobsen v. Katzer, 535 F.3d 1373, 1381 (Fed. Cir.
    2008). The Court implicitly held that these licenses bind a user through
    a bilateral implied-in-fact contract. See id.
    ------

    It seems that very few people understand what a "scope of use"
    restricion in a copyright license really means. An excellent
    illustration of what a "scope of use" restriction entails was implicitly
    stated in I.A.E., INC. v. SHAVER, 74 F.3d 768 (7th Cir. 1996):

    [fn 7] "A 'license' was described by Judge Swan of the Second Circuit
    more than a half-century ago in these terms: "In its simplest form, a
    license means only leave to do a thing which the licensor would
    otherwise have a right to prevent." Western Elec. Co. v. Pacent
    Reproducer Corp., 42 F.2d 116, 118 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 282 U.S. 873
    (1930)."

    The operative phrase is "[a] thing which the licensor would otherwise
    have a right to prevent." In the case of copyright infringement, the
    "thing" must violate one of the rights enumerated in 17 USC 106.

    For example, in the JMRI case does an original author have a 17 USC 106
    right to *prevent* an attribution of copyright? Absolutely not!

    Conditions precedent effect the "coming into existence" of a copyright
    grant but it doesn't describe the purpose for which that grant is to be
    *used*.

    That's why Judge White in the Jacobsen case stated:

    "Plaintiff's Claim Sounds in Contract, Not Copyright ... The condition
    that the user insert a prominent notice of attribution does not limit
    the scope of the license. Rather, Defendants alleged violation of the
    conditions of the license may have constituted a breach of the
    nonexclusive license [contract], but does not create liability for
    copyright infringement where it would not otherwise exist."

    regards,
    alexander.

    --
    http://gng.z505.com/index.htm
    (GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
    be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
    too, whereas GNU cannot.)

  5. Re: GPL propaganda

    Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    >
    > The Ghost In The Machine wrote:
    > [...]
    >> The GPLv2 in particular has paragraph 5:
    >>
    >> 5. You are not required to accept this License, since
    >> you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants
    >> you permission to modify or distribute the Program
    >> or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited
    >> by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore,
    >> by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work
    >> based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of
    >> this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions
    >> for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or
    >> works based on it.

    >
    > http://www.ipinfoblog.com/archives/O...l%20Issues.pdf
    >
    > -----
    > Even more explicitly, GPL 5 states:
    >
    > You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed
    > it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute
    > the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law
    > if you do not accept this license. Therefore, by modifying or
    > distributing the Program ? you indicate your acceptance of this License
    > to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or
    > modifying the Program or works based on it.63


    Nothing wrong with that.
    GPL is a permissive license. You don't need to accept the GPL to use the
    program, only when you choose to use the source code or modify and
    distribute are you bound by it.

    Try distributing something that ISN'T open source sometime and see how long
    it is before they sue you for copyright infringement.


    > This language, which is of a type used in contractual arrangements such
    > as in commercial shrinkwrap licenses, clearly contemplates creation of a
    > contractual relationship.64 ?Acceptance? of a license is not relevant to
    > a non-contractual restriction. The restriction simply exists.


    If you choose not to abide by it, you do not have permission to distribute.
    What is so hard for you to understand about that?
    Nothing in the license limits how you USE the program.
    (unlike certain EULAs we could care to mention)

    > If the
    > model followed by the GPL were non-contractual in nature, the language
    > referring to ?acceptance? would not be used. Instead, the copyright
    > owner might simply state: ?You may copy, modify, and distribute this
    > software, but only in compliance with the following conditions.? Instead
    > language of ?acceptance? is present. This suggests a document that
    > contemplates creating a contractual relationship if accepted by the
    > other party.


    Biiiiig deal.

    *snip the rest of "alex"'s crap.
    --
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | |
    | Andrew Halliwell BSc | "The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't |
    | in | suck is probably the day they start making |
    | Computer science | vacuum cleaners" - Ernst Jan Plugge |

  6. Re: GPL propaganda

    On Wed, 08 Oct 2008 21:11:07 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote:

    > Kelsey Bjarnason wrote:
    >>
    >> [snips]
    >>
    >> On Wed, 08 Oct 2008 14:24:37 +0200, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
    >>
    >> > By imposing GPL § 2(b) on licensees, copyright owners try to magnify
    >> > their rights beyond those sanctioned by the Copyright

    >>
    >> By definition, anything which grants _more_ options to you than
    >> copyright does cannot be the limiting mechanism you're arguing. The
    >> *most*

    >
    > http://www.ipinfoblog.com/archives/O...l%20Issues.pdf


    Oops, here he is again.

    Okay, skippy, try to understand this: nobody is forcing you to use GPLed
    code. Since you obviously don't like it, go write your own.

    Problem solved. Why, exactly, are you still whining about this?


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