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Thread: FSF Wastes Away Another "High Priority" Project

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    Ribbonsoft did NOT deliberately remove compatibility with later versions of the GPL by taking away the 'or later' clause from GPLv2.
    Yes they did, if you do not include 'or, later' then the licence is de facto incompatible with future versions or the GPL, not including the 'or later' clause is a deliberate choice to keep the code GPLv2 ONLY.

    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    So please, refrain from calling me a moron for my inability to read. If a project is GPL v2 without specifying "or later" it is by default incompatible with GPL v3.
    Of course it is, since it's then GPLv2 ONLY, how could it possibly be compatible with GPLv3? That is why the FSF include the 'or later' clause in the source code they release, as do the majority of other developers licencing their code under the GPL. The most notable exception is obviously Linux which is is GPLv2 only.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    Yes they did, if you do not include 'or, later' then the licence is de facto incompatible with future versions or the GPL, not including the 'or later' clause is a deliberate choice to keep the code GPLv2 ONLY.
    You misread what I wrote. I said they didn't take away the clause from GPL v2 (ie they didn't modify the license). You could argue they intentionally broke compatibility by not activating the clause, I won't dispute that. It's merely possible that a project might specify a version without realising the implications that may have with "or later" further down the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    Of course it is, since it's then GPLv2 ONLY, how could it possibly be compatible with GPLv3? That is why the FSF include the 'or later' clause in the source code they release, as do the majority of other developers licencing their code under the GPL. The most notable exception is obviously Linux which is is GPLv2 only.
    Why should GPL v2 be incompatible with GPL v3? That's a choice the FSF made and I don't agree with their decision. BSD, MIT and other licenses are compatible with each other without being identical. My original complaint was that the FSF claim their licenses are for freedom but they're far too restrictive.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    It's merely possible that a project might specify a version without realising the implications that may have with "or later" further down the road.
    How could that be? They licenced under GPLv2, just like with any other licence, unless you (as in code author) or the licence specifically allow for re-licencing then there is no 'later down the road'.

    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    Why should GPL v2 be incompatible with GPL v3?
    Because the GPL licences are reciprocal, meaning that code which includes GPL licenced code needs to be available under that same (or compatible) licence, that's the whole point of the GPL licence. Now since GPLv2 and GPLv3 are different licences with different conditions, a project licenced under GPLv2 will be (as it is reciprocal) incompatible with GPLv3 (which is also reciprocal), now to limit the fragmentation problems the introduction of new GPL versions can cause (like with GPLv2 and GPLv3) there is the 'or later' clause which makes sure that you can combine source code under different GPL licences.

    Again, GPLv2 and GPLv3 are different licences, they are not compatible, a piece of GPLv2 code with the 'or later' clause is only compatible with GPLv3 because it allows itself to be relicenced to GPLv3.

    So obviously GPLv2 without the 'or later' clause is incompatible with GPLv3, as it can't be relicenced to GPLv3.

    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    My original complaint was that the FSF claim their licenses are for freedom but they're far too restrictive.
    I disagree with FSF's propagande use of the word 'freedom' to describe what is in reality rights, in this case end user rights. I don't see anything 'too restrictive' with them though, but that's up to each and every one to decide for themselves. To me it's a great tit-for-tat licence, and given it's the most popular open source licence I'm not alone. At the end of the day it's all up to the code author/owner to decide upon the licence, it's their code.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    How could that be? They licenced under GPLv2, just like with any other licence, unless you (as in code author) or the licence specifically allow for re-licencing then there is no 'later down the road'.
    Simple. I write some code, and in my copyright header I write GPL v2 and forget to write "or later" (or wasn't aware that it's recommended). 3 years down the track, there's a new GPL version and a project that uses it and that project can no longer use my code. Even if I wanted to relicense with "or later" at the request of that project, I can't do so without approval of every single contributor to my code.


    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    Because the GPL licences are reciprocal, meaning that code which includes GPL licenced code needs to be available under that same (or compatible) licence, that's the whole point of the GPL licence. Now since GPLv2 and GPLv3 are different licences with different conditions, a project licenced under GPLv2 will be (as it is reciprocal) incompatible with GPLv3 (which is also reciprocal), now to limit the fragmentation problems the introduction of new GPL versions can cause (like with GPLv2 and GPLv3) there is the 'or later' clause which makes sure that you can combine source code under different GPL licences.

    Again, GPLv2 and GPLv3 are different licences, they are not compatible, a piece of GPLv2 code with the 'or later' clause is only compatible with GPLv3 because it allows itself to be relicenced to GPLv3.

    So obviously GPLv2 without the 'or later' clause is incompatible with GPLv3, as it can't be relicenced to GPLv3.
    I wasn't asking for a technical explanation of what makes them incompatible, I thought we already agreed they were incompatible.

    I was wondering why the FSF designed licenses that aren't compatible. For example, why shouldn't I be allowed to mix GPLv2 code with GPLv3 code and have them licensed separately? A company like TiVo would be allowed to use the GPLv2 code from my source tree much as they would be allowed to by getting it from upstream just as before. They'd be unable to use the GPLv3 code from my source tree much as they would not be allowed to from an upstream source. The end user will still be allowed to get the source and modify for their own use if they see fit, so no freedoms are revoked there. The only purpose of this restriction of freedom (particularly of the developer) is to give FSF leverage in their philosophical agenda.


    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    I disagree with FSF's propagande use of the word 'freedom' to describe what is in reality rights, in this case end user rights. I don't see anything 'too restrictive' with them though, but that's up to each and every one to decide for themselves. To me it's a great tit-for-tat licence, and given it's the most popular open source licence I'm not alone. At the end of the day it's all up to the code author/owner to decide upon the licence, it's their code.
    From an end user perspective, I agree with you. From a developer perspective, it's quite restrictive.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    write GPL v2 and forget to write "or later"
    How could you 'forget' to write 'or later' if you explicitly wanted to allow re-licencing to later versions of a licence? That makes no sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    For example, why shouldn't I be allowed to mix GPLv2 code with GPLv3 code and have them licensed separately?
    Because then you would have to forego the repriprocal nature of GPL which only allows mixing GPL with compatible licences (as in licences that doesn't change the conditions of whichever GPL licence being used), GPLv2 and GPLv3 are not compatible licences since they affect eachothers conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    A company like TiVo would be allowed to use the GPLv2 code from my source tree much as they would be allowed to by getting it from upstream just as before. They'd be unable to use the GPLv3 code from my source tree much as they would not be allowed to from an upstream source.
    I'm not following, maybe I'm too tired...

    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    The end user will still be allowed to get the source and modify for their own use if they see fit, so no freedoms are revoked there.
    The freedom in question is to be able to run the code on the machine it was intended, this is what Tivo disallowed, they only allowed code signed by Tivo to run on the Tivo, not code modified by the end user, this is what the anti-Tivoization clause in GPLv3 fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    From an end user perspective, I agree with you. From a developer perspective, it's quite restrictive.
    But you see the developer is also an end user. If I as a developer release my code under GPL, and someone else uses my code and enhances/fixes/modifies my code, I am then as an end user (assuming of course that he/she who modified it distributes code containing those changes) entitled to the source code of those modifications to my original code. Hence a tit-for-tat which certainly works great for developers as long as they do not want to keep 'their' modifications proprietary. This is the whole basis of the great cooperative development of Linux for example.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    How could you 'forget' to write 'or later' if you explicitly wanted to allow re-licencing to later versions of a licence? That makes no sense.
    I was describing a situation that a) either a developer didn't explicitly want to allow relicensing or b) didn't know about the concept as they were rookies who jumped on the GPL bandwagon or c) simply that they assumed it was implied by the GPL and that it wasn't required to explicitly state it (I got that impression from you in your original post). I doubt this is the case for the linked article, it was more of a hypothetical situation where this issue can crop up.

    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    Because then you would have to forego the repriprocal nature of GPL which only allows mixing GPL with compatible licences (as in licences that doesn't change the conditions of whichever GPL licence being used), GPLv2 and GPLv3 are not compatible licences since they affect eachothers conditions.

    I'm not following, maybe I'm too tired...
    It doesn't have to forego the reciprocal nature. If an app is GPLv2 and it relies on a GPLv3 library, using/distributing that app under GPLv2 conditions doesn't prevent you using/distributing the library under GPLv3 conditions. It just means that if you want to do something that the GPLv2 allows that the GPLv3 doesn't, you can only use the components that are GPLv2. LGPL allows linking against proprietary applications, why shouldn't GPLv3 allow linking against GPLv2?


    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    The freedom in question is to be able to run the code on the machine it was intended, this is what Tivo disallowed, they only allowed code signed by Tivo to run on the Tivo, not code modified by the end user, this is what the anti-Tivoization clause in GPLv3 fixed.
    If the GPLv3 component was not violating the GPLv3 conditions then the user will still be able to run their modifications as intended. It'd be a weird situation where TiVo only code signed GPLv2 components preventing modifications to that but allowing GPLv3 components to be modified, but even if that happened it still wouldn't be violating the GPLv3 on the GPLv3 components nor will it be violating the GPLv2 on the GPLv2 components.


    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    But you see the developer is also an end user. If I as a developer release my code under GPL, and someone else uses my code and enhances/fixes/modifies my code, I am then as an end user (assuming of course that he/she who modified it distributes code containing those changes) entitled to the source code of those modifications to my original code. Hence a tit-for-tat which certainly works great for developers as long as they do not want to keep 'their' modifications proprietary. This is the whole basis of the great cooperative development of Linux for example.
    In that situation where it's just sharing modifications on a project the GPL works and works very well. However, the restrictions come in when a developer wants to add a feature by reusing an existing library and finding that the "free/open source" license is incompatible due to philosophical differences.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    Yes they did, if you do not include 'or, later' then the licence is de facto incompatible with future versions or the GPL, not including the 'or later' clause is a deliberate choice to keep the code GPLv2 ONLY.
    Talk to a copyright lawyer, you'll find that you are wrong. This is one area where Linus Torvalds is correct, the removal of "or later" from the license header does jack shit to license compatibility.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    It just means that if you want to do something that the GPLv2 allows that the GPLv3 doesn't, you can only use the components that are GPLv2. LGPL allows linking against proprietary applications, why shouldn't GPLv3 allow linking against GPLv2?
    Because LGPL is not reciprocal, it does not make any requirements outside of the LGPL licenced code, GPL on the other hand can't be used together with code licenced in a manner that collides with the conditions of the GPL licence, GPLv2 and GPLv3 are therefore incompatible as their conditions collide, it doesn't matter if they share the same origin or not, they are different licences.

    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    It'd be a weird situation where TiVo only code signed GPLv2 components preventing modifications to that but allowing GPLv3 components to be modified, but even if that happened it still wouldn't be violating the GPLv3 on the GPLv3 components nor will it be violating the GPLv2 on the GPLv2 components.
    Again not sure if I follow (tired), but here goes: Tivo only allowed code signed by Tivo to run on the Tivo, the reason they could do this was because GPLv2 had no condition making sure that the end users would be able to sign code so that it could run on a device which only accepted signed code. They could get the source code, modify it, but not run that modified code on the Tivo as Tivo could block this through code signing. GPLv3 changed this so that Tivo if using GPLv3 licenced code, would have to allow the end user the right to run modified code on the Tivo, in other words had Tivo used GPLv3 licenced code they would have to allow end users the ability to sign their own code so that the Tivo could run it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gigaplex View Post
    In that situation where it's just sharing modifications on a project the GPL works and works very well. However, the restrictions come in when a developer wants to add a feature by reusing an existing library and finding that the "free/open source" license is incompatible due to philosophical differences.
    Well, then the 'other' licence is no less 'incompatible' than GPL is, BSD/MIT for instance are GPL compatible licences as they do not enforce any contradictionaty terms for use, but there are of course other licences which are, like CDDL MSPL which are pretty much designed to be GPL incompatible.

    My personal preference regarding licences are BSD/MIT/LGPL for component/framework/library code, GPL for 'complete' projects, but as always that is just a subjective preference, it's no more the 'truth' than any other preference out there.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_berra View Post
    Talk to a copyright lawyer, you'll find that you are wrong. This is one area where Linus Torvalds is correct, the removal of "or later" from the license header does jack shit to license compatibility.
    What are you talking about? Are you saying Linus has said that him removing 'or later' from GPLv2 has no effect on licence compability? Can you please show me this statement? I know he has specifically stated that he removed the 'or later' because he found the GPLv2 to be perfect, why would he remove the 'or later' if he says it has no effect? Seriously, is this another one of your brainfarts caused by your feverish trolling?

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuc!eoN View Post
    This is a shame. Open Source licences should support free software, not restrict it(s developers).
    Unfortunately it's typical for GPL nazis to struggle about politics instead of just getting their things done (Hurd?).
    You make a fundamental error in your assumptions here. The GPL is NOT about freedom for developers, it is about freedom for users of the software, and keeping it free (i.e. preventing any downstream developers from making a closed commercial derivative).

    It is because you make this mistake concerning exactly whose freedom the GPL is aimed at keeping is why you make this error of judgement about "GPL nazis to struggle about politics". If the original authors of the software had intended to give later developers freedom to do what they wanted, the original code would not have been licensed under the GPL in the first place, but rather some other license such as BSD. No, the original authors wanted to keep the code forever free and open, for the maximum ongoing benefit of the end users. It is not meant to be a free smorgasboard of code for downstream developers to feast upon.

    Here is a link which might make this clearer for you:
    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

    “Free software” means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. With these freedoms, the users (both individually and collectively) control the program and what it does for them.
    The fact that you made this mistake about exactly who was supposed to have the freedoms under the GPL, and you are complaining now about the GPL license of this software and how it prevents developers now from doing whatever they want, is actually a good testament to just how effective the GPL license is at keeping the freedom for end users, which after all is the actual intent of the GPL license.
    Last edited by hal2k1; 01-25-2013 at 02:36 AM.

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