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Thread: Mir's GPLv3 License Is Now Raising Concerns

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericg View Post
    GPLv3 requires users be able to replace GPLv3 code if they would like... thats an issue on mobile and is considered VERY anti-carrier. If they can get hardware manufacturers on board thats fine, but few carriers will like the idea of their users screwing with the software.

    The CLA is very anti-opensource because it means that if you submit a patch to Unity or Mir that you have to assign copyright to Canonical. Since Canonical is the only copyright holder it means they can release, for example, version 1.6 of Mir, and then make 1.7 and forward closed source. They can never take away the sources for 1.0 -> 1.6, but they can make any future development closed source.

    This is anti-developer because many open source devs will only submit to projects that they know ARE open source and will REMAIN open source, the CLA makes it so it IS open source now... and it MAYBE will be open source in the future.
    hm i see now ty

    i dont imagine canonical make mir closedsource, its one of this flags counter ios and others, but we never know.

  2. #12
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    In reality though, are there any external developers actually contributing to Mir (or Unity for that matter) ?

    It seems to me that Canonical wants to develop their whole user-facing 'stack' in-house, as such I doubt Canonical expect or even hope for external contributors.

    Meanwhile, dual licencing under copyleft and a proprietary licence is nothing new, and I don't see anything inherently bad about it as long as any potential contributors are made well aware of this, which is hardly something they can miss given the copyright assignment.

    As for Mir's future, I think it will remain in the domain of the 'buntu's, with Wayland becoming the de facto standard amongst the rest of the distro world once it has matured enough to replace X.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericg View Post
    GPLv3 requires users be able to replace GPLv3 code if they would like... thats an issue on mobile and is considered VERY anti-carrier. If they can get hardware manufacturers on board thats fine, but few carriers will like the idea of their users screwing with the software.

    The CLA is very anti-opensource because it means that if you submit a patch to Unity or Mir that you have to assign copyright to Canonical. Since Canonical is the only copyright holder it means they can release, for example, version 1.6 of Mir, and then make 1.7 and forward closed source. They can never take away the sources for 1.0 -> 1.6, but they can make any future development closed source.

    This is anti-developer because many open source devs will only submit to projects that they know ARE open source and will REMAIN open source, the CLA makes it so it IS open source now... and it MAYBE will be open source in the future.
    This is not exactly the point of Matthew Garrett's rant. He said

    Instead you end up with a situation that looks awfully like Canonical wanting to squash competition by making it impossible for anyone else to sell modified versions of Canonical's software in the same market.
    The concern is that Canonical, unlike e.g. Google, will not enable competitors to sell modified, close-source versions. As vendors are usually unhappy about disclosing source code, that leaves Canonical as the sole beneficiary from the code you contribute. This is so because only Canonical can allow vendors to sell closed-source products, since only Canonical owns all of the necessary copyright.
    Last edited by amehaye; 06-20-2013 at 03:44 AM.

  4. #14
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    As always with this guy : FUD and FUD and FUD.... Pathetic.
    It's really good to see people from open source communty saying that putting a project in GPL is bad... Only to have reason to create some FUD against Canonical/Ubuntu.
    He did the same with lightDM ranting against the project and spreading some FUD...
    Last edited by seb24; 06-20-2013 at 03:51 AM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by seb24 View Post
    As always with this guy : FUD and FUD and FUD.... Pathetic.
    It's really good to see people from open source communty saying that putting a project in GPL is bad...
    Apart from Micheal trying to frame the article title as something bad with GPL (no surprise there), the actual blog entry by Garret is really about the copyright assignment and how it means that Canonical can distribute Mir in a proprietary fashion, while that option isn't available to any external contributors as they hand their copyright over to Canonical.

    Unless you are a potential Mir contributor or a proprietary vendor who wants to use Mir, this doesn't really matter. Only thing from a foss perspective that would change is if Canonical would start keeping parts of the actual Mir code proprietary, but that's not the case here.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by seb24 View Post
    As always with this guy : FUD and FUD and FUD.... Pathetic.
    It's really good to see people from open source communty saying that putting a project in GPL is bad... Only to have reason to create some FUD against Canonical/Ubuntu.
    He did the same with lightDM ranting against the project and spreading some FUD...
    Had you took the time to read the actual message instead of, wait for it, FUD'ing like a troll, you'd notice the issue is *not* the GPLv3, but actually the copy right assignment (CA) which more-or-less means* "you can contribute as much as you like, but once you give the code - we own it, and can do with it what-ever we want.... and oh, we may decide to close source it, and its quite possible you won't be able to -fork you own code-. **

    - Gilboa
    * INAL, but I had some dealings in the past of CA.
    ** See second post.
    Last edited by gilboa; 06-20-2013 at 04:18 AM.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    Unless you are a potential Mir contributor or a proprietary vendor who wants to use Mir, this doesn't really matter. Only thing from a foss perspective that would change is if Canonical would start keeping parts of the actual Mir code proprietary, but that's not the case here.
    As I said above, INAL (I'm not a lawyer), but it'll be nice if someone that's well versed on the subject, will be able to shed light on one nagging question: Does this (specific) CA means you won't be able to fork previous versions of Mir that includes community contributions if/when Canonical decides to go proprietary (E.g. MySQL)?

    - Gilboa

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilboa View Post
    As I said above, INAL (I'm not a lawyer), but it'll be nice if someone that's well versed on the subject, will be able to shed light on one nagging question: Does this (specific) CA means you won't be able to fork previous versions of Mir that includes community contributions if/when Canonical decides to go proprietary (E.g. MySQL)?

    - Gilboa
    No. If something is released as GPLv3, it stays as GPLv3, forever, and grants its users every right that GPLv3 grants, including forking. A license cannot be changed retroactively: if the license is changed to proprietary at some point, it only applies to new versions - any releases that have already been released as GPLv3 stay open and can be forked.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    No. If something is released as GPLv3, it stays as GPLv3, forever, and grants its users every right that GPLv3 grants, including forking. A license cannot be changed retroactively: if the license is changed to proprietary at some point, it only applies to new versions - any releases that have already been released as GPLv3 stay open and can be forked.
    Thanks.
    The implications of using GPLvX are more or less clear to me.
    Questions is: Can the CA be used to squash future development of the -old- GPLvX versions?

    - Gilboa

  10. #20
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    Instead you end up with a situation that looks awfully like Canonical wanting to squash competition by making it impossible for anyone else to sell modified versions of Canonical's software in the same market.
    IMHO GPL + CLA is an honest business model. Canonical invests their money on a product and releases it as a fully compliant open source project. All rights of the GPL are being honored. Then they additionally gain the ability to sell commercial licenses of their products. To do that you have to own the copyright in its entirety, so the CLA enables that.

    Canonical will not close down their open source projects. They would be idiots to do that, because the next day forks would pop like mushrooms (remember GPL is always in effect). They gain value by having the option to sell commercial licenses. In addition in a hypothetical company sell, having the copyright in its entirety also counts as an asset (see MySQL and Qt).

    Of course CLA also prevents a competitor from bypassing Canonical and sell commercial licenses on their own. This is plain honest and haters are going to hate that but such is life.

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