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Old 06-30-2008, 07:43 PM
Simo Sorce
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Mon, 2008-06-30 at 07:29 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
> Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> > Les Mikesell wrote:
> >>
> >> Perhaps there are places who want to prevent better versions than
> >> their own from ever being available and use this to justify the GPL
> >> restrictions on combinations with other components. From a user's
> >> perspective, though, this is just as harmful as any other
> >> anti-competitive ploy to limit choices. And unfortunately, even if
> >> the business reasons to maintain the restrictions on a particular
> >> product go away, the restrictions, once applied, never do.
> >
> > That's factually incorrect. Relicensing, dual or even tri licensing
> > happens all the time.
>
> It's possible, but rare for project that has been under the GPL for any
> length of time. Since there is no requirement to track the copyright
> ownership of contributers there is generally no way to get permission
> from all of them for a change. Of course a dual license could be
> applied from the start with one being less restrictive like perl's to
> eliminate that problem.

Such dual licensing would be useless.

Simo.

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Old 06-30-2008, 07:46 PM
Simo Sorce
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Mon, 2008-06-30 at 14:40 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
> Simo Sorce wrote:
> >
> > Sorry but this comment is either grossly imprecise and dictated by hurry
> > in writing up[, or it underlines a gross misunderstanding of the GPL. In
> > either case, as it is just false.
> >
> > First, a copyleft license by nature,
>
> Can you define copyleft? I don't think that term helps clear up any
> misunderstandings.

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/

> > cannot be compatible with just any
> > license, but only with licenses that follow certain rules, for obvious
> > reasons.
>
> Those reasons are not at all obvious. There is never any need to
> restrict combinations of works.

You cannot allow combination with licenses that have provisions that
conflict with your license, otherwise such provisions would become
useless, it's that simple.

> > Being GPL compatible is not difficult at all, in most cases modern
> > licenses that are not GPL (at least v3) compatible, are not by choice,
> > so you should really look at both sides of the equation, you cannot
> > blame the GPL for lack of compatibility, compatibility is always a two
> > sides story.
>
> When the GPL is the only one placing requirements on the other
> components it is not a two sided story.

Can you provide an example of an incompatible license where the
incompatibility lies only within the GPL itself ?

Simo.

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Old 06-30-2008, 09:15 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Simo Sorce wrote:



First, a copyleft license by nature,
Can you define copyleft? I don't think that term helps clear up any
misunderstandings.


http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/


Not much there about prohibiting combinations with other licenses.


> cannot be compatible with just any

license, but only with licenses that follow certain rules, for obvious
reasons.
Those reasons are not at all obvious. There is never any need to
restrict combinations of works.


You cannot allow combination with licenses that have provisions that
conflict with your license, otherwise such provisions would become
useless, it's that simple.


I guess that depends on your concept of 'useless'. If the point is to
prevent better works from being available as a result of such
combinations, then I guess I'd agree, but I don't see why anyone wants
that. The politics discussed here
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/why-not-lgpl.html sort of leans that way
but I think it is wrong.



Being GPL compatible is not difficult at all, in most cases modern
licenses that are not GPL (at least v3) compatible, are not by choice,
so you should really look at both sides of the equation, you cannot
blame the GPL for lack of compatibility, compatibility is always a two
sides story.
When the GPL is the only one placing requirements on the other
components it is not a two sided story.


Can you provide an example of an incompatible license where the
incompatibility lies only within the GPL itself ?


I can't think of any other license where the incompatibility would not
be only within the GPL, at least in every case where the components can
be distributed separately. No other license that I know of has a 'work
as a whole' clause to restrict a library from being linked with a main
program or other libraries that are under different terms.


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Old 06-30-2008, 09:20 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Simo Sorce wrote:


It's possible, but rare for project that has been under the GPL for any
length of time. Since there is no requirement to track the copyright
ownership of contributers there is generally no way to get permission
from all of them for a change. Of course a dual license could be
applied from the start with one being less restrictive like perl's to
eliminate that problem.


Such dual licensing would be useless.


How has it harmed perl to not force it's users to worry, as this endless
thread has, about whether or not some component that it links is too
free or not free enough?


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Old 06-30-2008, 09:23 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell wrote:

Simo Sorce wrote:


It's possible, but rare for project that has been under the GPL for
any length of time. Since there is no requirement to track the
copyright ownership of contributers there is generally no way to get
permission from all of them for a change. Of course a dual license
could be applied from the start with one being less restrictive like
perl's to eliminate that problem.


Such dual licensing would be useless.


How has it harmed perl to not force it's users to worry, as this endless
thread has, about whether or not some component that it links is too
free or not free enough?


It has instead made them worry about the nuances of the artistic license
which is far from a clear one.


Rahul

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Old 06-30-2008, 09:31 PM
Simo Sorce
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Mon, 2008-06-30 at 16:20 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:
> Simo Sorce wrote:
> >
> >> It's possible, but rare for project that has been under the GPL for any
> >> length of time. Since there is no requirement to track the copyright
> >> ownership of contributers there is generally no way to get permission
> >> from all of them for a change. Of course a dual license could be
> >> applied from the start with one being less restrictive like perl's to
> >> eliminate that problem.
> >
> > Such dual licensing would be useless.
>
> How has it harmed perl to not force it's users to worry, as this endless
> thread has, about whether or not some component that it links is too
> free or not free enough?

Heh, this discussion is actually useless too.

You dislike the GPL, fine, I think everybody understood that. Now you
have 2 options: come to terms with it, or not.

In either case I'd suggest you express your frustrations about licenses
on some other list, not on a development list.

Simo.

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Old 07-01-2008, 12:23 AM
Matthew Saltzman
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Mon, 2008-06-30 at 15:26 -0400, Simo Sorce wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-06-30 at 18:38 +0000, Matthew Saltzman wrote:
> >
> > My original point was simply that interoperability of GPL software and
> > software released under a number of other FOSS licenses is hindered by
> > the GPL's prohibition^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H lack of permission to
> > distribute combined works. Unfortunately, an all-GPL world is a
> > utopian
> > dream; the real world is more complicated and more frustrating.
>
> Sorry but this comment is either grossly imprecise and dictated by hurry
> in writing up[, or it underlines a gross misunderstanding of the GPL. In
> either case, as it is just false.
>
> First, a copyleft license by nature, cannot be compatible with just any
> license, but only with licenses that follow certain rules, for obvious
> reasons. Trying to discuss this point is like trying to argue that
> gravity sucks and whine about it.

Any license, by nature, cannot be compatible with just any other license
(except for distribution in the public domain). I don't know of another
license that prohibits linking to libraries based on the library license
terms.

On the other hand, the "My license is red hot; your license ain't
doodly-squat" attitude of some GPL defenders isn't terribly helpful
either.

>
> Second, you should really differentiate between GPLv2 and GPLv3, as
> GPLv3 address, with many others, also the license compatibility problem,
> making GPLv3 more compatible with other copyleft licenses.

Some of them. It doesn't help if it's not compatible with the license
of the software you need at that moment.

>
> Third and not less important the first, the GPL (v2/3) does NOT prohibit
> distribution of combined works as long as all pieces use GPL compatible
> licenses.

That's what I meant. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

>
> Being GPL compatible is not difficult at all, in most cases modern
> licenses that are not GPL (at least v3) compatible, are not by choice,
> so you should really look at both sides of the equation, you cannot
> blame the GPL for lack of compatibility, compatibility is always a two
> sides story. That said I am not pointing fingers at anyone, as I believe
> everyone have the right to choose and draft the license for their own
> software they way they want.

Many licenses that are not compatible with GPLv3 are so because they
were written before GPLv3 existed. The differences between GPLv3 and
CPL seems from what I've read to be due to relatively technical legal
points, such as the "choice of law" clause in the CPL (which predates
the GPLv3).

>
> Finally, please let's keep this para-legal quasi-trolling off the
> fedora-*DEVEL* mailing list thanks.

I was happy to let the thread die back a couple weeks ago.

>
>
> Simo.
>
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Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:33 AM
"Callum Lerwick"
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Sun, Jun 29, 2008 at 11:39 AM, Matthew Saltzman <mjs@clemson.edu> wrote:


Good for them. *(No sarcasm intended.) *But an anecdote is not a proof.*
I'm countering the implied FUD that the GPL scares away commercial developers by pointing out how copyleft licenses can in fact attract commercial development to the open source model who would otherwise avoid it, as copyleft licenses can protect their bottom line in a way that so-called "permissive" licenses can not. And I even gave a concrete example, lets call it a case study. Which is more than what you're giving.



The GPL is not the only license that protects code released under it

from incorporation into proprietary products. *But some clauses in the

GPL prevent interoperability with other software that (for whatever

reason) was released under different licenses that even the FSF

acknowledges are in the spirit of freedom and open source. *That's too

bad for free and open-source software.
This is what you call a 'bug'. Yes, bugs are unfortunate, but bugs can be fixed. Lets look at another case study: It just so happens that the Second Life client has run in to this. It uses the APR library, which is under the Apache License 2.0, which on a technicality is incompatable with the GPLv2. Linden Lab solved this by "patching" the GPL by giving a FLOSS exception. Problem solved.


And it just so happens the FSF released a new version of the GPL, version 3 which fixes the Apache License incompatability. Unfortunately Linden Lab chose GPLv2 Only, me and others have asked them to update to GPLv3, or at least switch to GPLv2+, but it has been blown off as being rather low priority for them...


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Old 07-01-2008, 10:58 AM
Andrew Haley
 
Default Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell wrote:
> Simo Sorce wrote:
>>
>> Sorry but this comment is either grossly imprecise and dictated by hurry
>> in writing up[, or it underlines a gross misunderstanding of the GPL. In
>> either case, as it is just false.
>>
>> First, a copyleft license by nature,
>
> Can you define copyleft?

Oh, come on, you're trolling now. Copyleft is a well-understood
term, common in any discussion of software licences. If you don't
know what it means I suggest you should leave this argument
forthwith.

Andrew.

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