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Old 04-28-2008, 01:17 AM
Antonio Olivares
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

--- Rahul Sundaram <sundaram@fedoraproject.org> wrote:

> Antonio Olivares
>
> > Who is the patent holder in this case?
> > I have two links on one of my pages
> >
> > http://www20.brinkster.com/olivares/
> >
> > http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/
> > http://www.freepatentsonline.com/
> >
> > I understand up to a certain point. But
> apparently
> > there are too many patent owners and it will be
> hard
> > to keep up who has the upper hand in this issue.
>
> Precisely. Multimedia is a patent mine field. For
> something like MP3,
> there might be multiple patents that apply to
> different parts of the
> technology held by different entities. Even if you
> decide to pay some of
> the alleged patent holders, you might still be sued
> by another entity.
> This is what happened in the Microsoft lawsuit.
> Refer to the earlier
> link I gave you.
>
> > Suppose a musician records a disc. He/she
> recorded
> > that disc with a record company the record company
> is
> > the one that holds the key to the success of the
> > company. If the artist wanted to put the music on
> the
> > net for free downloading, the record company would
> > refuse to abide by the artists intentions.
> >
> > Who holds the patent to the disc, the creator, or
> the
> > company?
>
> Patents don't apply to any of these people. Only
> copyrights do. Patents
> apply to the specific part of the encoders/decoders.
>
> > Does not Microsoft have they lead here? They
> cannot
> > play a DVD by default?
>
> They don't have any advantage as far as DVD players
> are concerned.
>
> I agree
> > with many things, but I do not know why many
> people
> > say that many of these things are free.
>
> Some of the decoders are free and open source but
> paten encumbered. If
> you are in a region that does not enforce software
> patents, the decoders
> are indeed free and legal for you.
>
> Rahul
>
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>

Got it! Thanks Rahul for taking the time to
explain these issues. I understand better. The
encooders might be free, but they are patent
encumbered and because of that make it hard to
distribute.

Regards,

Antonio


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Old 04-28-2008, 01:28 AM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

Alan Cox wrote:
However, that is not why a lot of open source software is written, and
a lot that was originally written without such restrictions has
subsequently had the viral GPL applied.


Actually people have spent time working out where the code came from
(usually for marketing reasons so they can claim ther company produced
more than rivals!). There is very little code that has gone from other
free licences to GPL (and where it has you can always take the original).


What? Perl, X, OpenOffice, tar don't qualify as 'very little' and
there's probably a lot more. I though a lot of the original linux
drivers were scalped from the *bsd versions too, with the obvious
refusal to share subsequent improvements. It's odd that you'd bring up
the 'you can always take the orginal' argument since exactly the same
applies to any reason you might think the GPL needs its restrictions.



In each case where code has become GPL it has been *in accordance with the
original licence*.


Yes, it is technically legal to take unrestricted free code and apply
the GPL restrictions, but there can't be any moral justification for
doing that, especially when you then threaten to sue anyone who would
try to repeat that process with different restrictions.



Most GPL code has spent its entire existance being GPL code.


Except for the exceptions..


Even more
positively the amount of GPL and other free licenced code continues to
grown rapidly and it seems exponentially (although clearly that cannot
continue forever!)


Yes, it spreads like a virus as it takes away additional contributors
choices of how their own work can be licensed... But, since it can't
ever provide functionality covered by patented code much of the
development effort is simply a dead end.


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Old 04-28-2008, 01:57 AM
Fred Erickson
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

On Sun, 2008-04-27 at 15:53 -0700, Francis Earl wrote:

> Fedora has never been intended for your Grandparents, it is intended for
> people that wish to play with the latest and greatest Linux has to
> offer.
>

HEY! watch what generalizations you make about us old folks =:-)

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Old 04-28-2008, 02:42 AM
Francis Earl
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

> Yes, it spreads like a virus as it takes away additional contributors
> choices of how their own work can be licensed... But, since it can't
> ever provide functionality covered by patented code much of the
> development effort is simply a dead end.


Yes, it ensures it's only used how the author and copyright owner of
that code intends, DAMN THE BAD LUCK. At least they can use the code,
and modify it to their hearts content... they just can't steal it from
the author who donated it to the community.

It can include functionality of patented code provided the patent owner
allows it. There is nothing against that at all, in fact RedHat owns
several patents that it allows everyone to use provided they play by the
rules and don't act in a hostile mannor towards the community.

The nature of GPL code ensures the code is never truly dead, anyone can
pick up the source, and hack on it to fit their requirements, and fork
it to continue maintenance.

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Old 04-28-2008, 02:45 AM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

Francis Earl wrote:

And because the GPL provides the anti-competitive means to keep others
from improving the product in ways you might like better without them
being able to offer it too.


How is it anti-competitive to ensure in legal terms that everyone plays
nicely with each other? Please let me know.


It is the same as if Microsoft claimed that everything that linked to
any of their libraries belonged to them or could only be distributed on
their terms, even if the recipient already had their own copy of the
library itself.



GPL is designed to EMPOWER users, to give the control BACK to the user.
You should read the GNU Manifesto some time.
Technically, users are permitted to do anything they want - the
restrictions apply only to redistribution. However, most people don't
want to write all of their own code or couldn't even if they tried, so
for all practical purposes, the GPL simply limits what you can get.


They can give the software to their friend, instill it on as many
machines as they want - these are both things that effect EVERYONE. The
other rights ensure longevity of the code, and extensive peer review,
which betters the quality of the code... again, benefiting everyone.


I agree with the benefits which is why it is a shame that the code can't
be used at all in many situations which require features under different
restrictions.



Use the livna repo if you do not care about such restrictions.

I do care about the legal issues and they aren't going to go away.


So what exactly are you arguing about? RedHat is attempting to change
the way the IT industry works to empower YOU, to give YOU control and
choice, and keep the corporations honest.


By not advocating Linux on the desktop? That's realistic, but I don't
see how it accomplishes any of the things you are saying. To the extent
that RedHat is accumulating patents that they release for free
distribution they are on the right track, but they aren't ever going to
own them all.



In the Linux space, you just switch distro.


For what
it's worth, a Tivo is a Linux box.
And part of the reason for GPLv3 was to make such things more difficult.
The FSF isn't doing you any favors.


They wanted to ensure a strategy Tivo partook in didn't happen again,


Which is horrible. Tivo is a good thing. More things like that would be
a good thing.



Tivo tried to steal code from people that didn't want it used that way.


Tivo didn't steal any code from anyone. You can still get the same code.


It was a legal loophole so they can benefit solely, that isn't ok in the
FOSS world...


They designed hardware to use the code. There's nothing wrong with that.


If I stole your credit cards, transferred the money to my account, and
gave the card back, you wouldn't feel too good about that, would you?


How does taking away money relate to anything? Using code available to
everyone takes away nothing.



How about if I justified it saying "you can still use the card", would
that make it ok?

No, code is money.


But using another copy of it does not take anything away that was there
before. Try another scenario that doesn't take anything away to see if
you can understand the real situation.


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Old 04-28-2008, 02:45 AM
Francis Earl
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

haha... oops

On Sun, 2008-04-27 at 17:57 -0800, Fred Erickson wrote:
> On Sun, 2008-04-27 at 15:53 -0700, Francis Earl wrote:
>
> > Fedora has never been intended for your Grandparents, it is intended for
> > people that wish to play with the latest and greatest Linux has to
> > offer.
> >
>
> HEY! watch what generalizations you make about us old folks =:-)
>

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Old 04-28-2008, 03:15 AM
Francis Earl
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

> >> And because the GPL provides the anti-competitive means to keep others
> >> from improving the product in ways you might like better without them
> >> being able to offer it too.
> >
> > How is it anti-competitive to ensure in legal terms that everyone plays
> > nicely with each other? Please let me know.
>
> It is the same as if Microsoft claimed that everything that linked to
> any of their libraries belonged to them or could only be distributed on
> their terms, even if the recipient already had their own copy of the
> library itself.

Microsoft doesn't give you access to their code, and doesn't expect full
access to yours.

Thing is, GPL explicitly states that you retain copyrights, so you
dictate what you do with your code, so this is hardly an accurate
example.

The next section discusses this more...

> >>> GPL is designed to EMPOWER users, to give the control BACK to the user.
> >>> You should read the GNU Manifesto some time.
> >> Technically, users are permitted to do anything they want - the
> >> restrictions apply only to redistribution. However, most people don't
> >> want to write all of their own code or couldn't even if they tried, so
> >> for all practical purposes, the GPL simply limits what you can get.
> >
> > They can give the software to their friend, instill it on as many
> > machines as they want - these are both things that effect EVERYONE. The
> > other rights ensure longevity of the code, and extensive peer review,
> > which betters the quality of the code... again, benefiting everyone.
>
> I agree with the benefits which is why it is a shame that the code can't
> be used at all in many situations which require features under different
> restrictions.

The authors don't intend for it to be used that way. That is no
different for any other distro, OS X includes such code also. Microsoft
is the only IT company that doesn't utilize a single piece of GPL'd
code.

More in the next section...

> > If I stole your credit cards, transferred the money to my account, and
> > gave the card back, you wouldn't feel too good about that, would you?
> > How about if I justified it saying "you can still use the card", would
> > that make it ok?
> >
> > No, code is money.
>
> But using another copy of it does not take anything away that was there
> before. Try another scenario that doesn't take anything away to see if
> you can understand the real situation.

How is it any different? What does that money represent? It represents
the time you spent at work. It represents your time and effort. You
still would have the card, just like the community would own the code
still. I could take that money, and buy myself many things, just like
Tivo created many devices.

The authors of code written under the GPL want it used under the terms
of the GPL, they don't want some corporation stealing it and them never
getting any sort of notoriety or even a mention. In the Free Software
world, corporations CAN'T take your code, it is illegal. If you find a
loophole, it is their right to ensure they cover it in the next
incarnation. If the programmer doesn't want to move his code to the new
license, nothing forces him to. If you don't want to agree to use the
code under the new license, you don't have to.

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Old 04-28-2008, 04:23 AM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

Francis Earl wrote:

It is the same as if Microsoft claimed that everything that linked to
any of their libraries belonged to them or could only be distributed on
their terms, even if the recipient already had their own copy of the
library itself.


Microsoft doesn't give you access to their code, and doesn't expect full
access to yours.


Everyone can get their own access to the MS code, and they make no
claims on yours.



Thing is, GPL explicitly states that you retain copyrights, so you
dictate what you do with your code, so this is hardly an accurate
example.


The FSF claims you can't distribute code you've written yourself under
your own terms if it links to a GPL'd library at runtime. My example
was exactly that scenario. I think that would get MS a lawsuit for
anticompetitive behavior, although Apple will probably get away with it
for a while with their iphone development kit.


I agree with the benefits which is why it is a shame that the code can't
be used at all in many situations which require features under different
restrictions.


The authors don't intend for it to be used that way. That is no
different for any other distro,


The *bsd's do not place such restrictions on their code, so don't claim
that everyone does.



OS X includes such code also. Microsoft
is the only IT company that doesn't utilize a single piece of GPL'd
code.


There are some programs that can be feature-complete without including
patented technology or code under other restrictions. And some can't be.



If I stole your credit cards, transferred the money to my account, and
gave the card back, you wouldn't feel too good about that, would you?
How about if I justified it saying "you can still use the card", would
that make it ok?

No, code is money.
But using another copy of it does not take anything away that was there
before. Try another scenario that doesn't take anything away to see if
you can understand the real situation.


How is it any different?


How is software different than money? Making a copy can be legal and
takes away nothing from the original.


> What does that money represent? It represents

the time you spent at work. It represents your time and effort.


All of which you still have, regardless of what others do with other copies.


The authors of code written under the GPL want it used under the terms
of the GPL, they don't want some corporation stealing it and them never
getting any sort of notoriety or even a mention. In the Free Software
world, corporations CAN'T take your code, it is illegal.


Which is a bizarre thing to be concerned about because the only thing
they could possibly do to diminish the value of the original copy would
be to improve it so much that no one would want the original. As a
potential user of that improved version, I think that restriction is a
bad thing. And most bizarre of all is the notion that I can't obtain my
own copy of a GPL'd library, and someone else's code under their own
terms separately.


> If you find a

loophole, it is their right to ensure they cover it in the next
incarnation.


By a loophole, do you mean something that would allow improved versions?

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Old 04-28-2008, 04:35 AM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

Francis Earl wrote:
Yes, it spreads like a virus as it takes away additional contributors
choices of how their own work can be licensed... But, since it can't
ever provide functionality covered by patented code much of the
development effort is simply a dead end.



Yes, it ensures it's only used how the author and copyright owner of
that code intends, DAMN THE BAD LUCK.


Perhaps it was only a tiny piece of code whose author had this
restrictive intent. Once the GPL has been applied, you can't know what
anyone else intended because they no longer have a choice if they want
to contribute at all. Or, like X, the original work wasn't GPL'd at all.



At least they can use the code,
and modify it to their hearts content... they just can't steal it from
the author who donated it to the community.


How could you steal something that was donated? And copyright
infringement isn't stealing anyway - it is copyright infringement.



It can include functionality of patented code provided the patent owner
allows it. There is nothing against that at all, in fact RedHat owns
several patents that it allows everyone to use provided they play by the
rules and don't act in a hostile mannor towards the community.


Anything could happen, I suppose. I don't expect all technology patents
to be donated to the public domain in my lifetime, so I expect I will
always need a commercial OS and an assortment of programs with
appropriate licenses.



The nature of GPL code ensures the code is never truly dead, anyone can
pick up the source, and hack on it to fit their requirements, and fork
it to continue maintenance.


And it ensures it can't have all the functionality you are likely to
need as long as there is technology covered by other, incompatible licenses.


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Old 04-28-2008, 05:57 AM
Gene Heskett
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

On Sunday 27 April 2008, Fred Erickson wrote:
>On Sun, 2008-04-27 at 15:53 -0700, Francis Earl wrote:
>> Fedora has never been intended for your Grandparents, it is intended for
>> people that wish to play with the latest and greatest Linux has to
>> offer.
>
>HEY! watch what generalizations you make about us old folks =:-)

Yeah, one of us old farts might take umbrage. :-) At 73, I have a decent
collection of great-grandkids even. Currently running F8.

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soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
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