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Old 04-28-2008, 02:41 PM
"max bianco"
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 12:23 AM, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
>
The hard work is done by the original author. So if I understand you
correctly, its ok with you if i use your code, improve it, and
relicense it so what you freely contributed is now going to cost you
money. So your hard work now belongs to someone else.

Max

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Old 04-28-2008, 03:09 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

max bianco wrote:

>> 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.


The hard work is done by the original author. So if I understand you
correctly, its ok with you if i use your code, improve it, and
relicense it so what you freely contributed is now going to cost you
money. So your hard work now belongs to someone else.


How can it belong to someone else when you still have it - and so does
everyone else that wants it? The problem is that other people have also
done work that may or may not be free - that part isn't anyone else's
business if the terms are acceptable to the end user and if I need those
things I can't use any GPL'd code combined with it. And this forces
everyone to keep doing business with Microsoft.


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Old 04-28-2008, 03:47 PM
Matthew Saltzman
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

On Mon, 2008-04-28 at 10:41 -0400, max bianco wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 12:23 AM, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > 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.
> >
> The hard work is done by the original author. So if I understand you
> correctly, its ok with you if i use your code, improve it, and
> relicense it so what you freely contributed is now going to cost you
> money. So your hard work now belongs to someone else.
>

I don't think anyone is talking about modifying your code and
relicensing it. That would clearly be a derived work, and there's no
question you can impose conditions on its redistribution.

You write a library. I write a program that calls routines in your
library. Now the question is whether your license can impose conditions
on my distribution of my own code. That's a fuzzy, gray area, but (to
mix a metaphor) it's just the tip of the iceberg of complexity.

ChipCo creates a piece of specialized hardware and releases a
proprietary driver. I write code to interface your library and the
ChipCo driver. Can your license prevent me from distributing my code?
If so, you and I might have a reasonable disagreement about whether
that's a good thing. But you can't deny that some people who might
benefit from my code (and by extension, your code) are prevented from
doing so. You can only argue that some greater good is served by their
suffering. Note that I want to be generous with my code and release it
under an open-source license; I'm not trying to unfairly benefit from
your work.

You write a library and distribute it under an open-source license. I
write a library and distribute it under a slightly different--but
incompatible--open-source license. Les writes a program that links to
both libraries. If your license can impose conditions on Les's
distribution of his program, then users who would get value from Les's
program are SOL. Note that nothing here violates the spirit of OSS.
Everyone involved wants to be generous. Nobody is trying to unfairly
benefit from anyone else's work. But due to a technicality, nobody can
benefit from Les's work at all! That seems like a shame, doesn't it?

--
Matthew Saltzman

Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu
http://www.math.clemson.edu/~mjs

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Old 04-28-2008, 04:00 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

Alan Cox wrote:

That is the heart of the question - are you just using some generic
interface (and US caselaw is mostly against API copyright) or are you
creating a new work which incorporates an existing work.
The strange part is that this concept can change after the fact or by
the existence of code you didn't know about. I think the legal system
will have a problem with it.


I never said that it would change. Whether one work is incorporating
another doens't change because two copies of the "other" exist. The
question is much more about whether it is generic.


But that _is_ the FSF claim and the crux of the RIPEM case. Writing an
interface-compatible non-GPL'd library (fgmp) as a potential alternative
made the whole claim that the separate work was 'derived' go away, even
though the alternative wasn't really ever used. The case did change
because of the existence of the other copy gave clear proof that the
choice to link to the GPL'd version was the end user's choice and the
calling code couldn't possibly be considered a derived work of one or
the other. Of course it was never proven the other way, but that was
the FSF position which, as usual compared to less restricted code, just
caused everyone extra trouble.



Suppose you write a piece of software which is split into a collection of
modules. At what point do I need your permission to dynamically link
another program against them.


Never, if you obtained them with the right to use your copy.


Clearly I do if I just put all of your
modules together again.


Not if you have the right to use them.

> Fairly clearly I do if I put most of your program

back together and tweak a few bits (eg if you write a game and I link all
of your game back together with a single module change say to let me turn
the music on or off). At the other end if I use your library
implementation of something like printf (say you had written your own),
it would appear I do not, as it is a generic interface.


I believe the right to modify your copy of something has been
established in at least some cases. And is explicitly given on GPL code.



There is a point at which I am taking your creative work and modifying
it, and a point at which I am just using generic interfaces you provided.
The challenge is to work out which is which, and even more importantly to
evolve a set of meaningful tests to make that decision.


Agreed - but the FSF makes assumptions about it. Personally, I think
the only purpose of a library is to provide use of its interfaces and
functions and there is nothing you can do outside of it that constitutes
a copyright violation. It would be intriguing to see someone try to
prove otherwise in a case where the library's own license specifies that
there are no usage restrictions.



Just as with books - am I creating a book referencing another work or a
book that incorporates chunks of another book, and that depends on
context and isn't entirely clear - see the current Harry Potter lawsuit.
Book examples aren't very similar.


It seems to be where many lawyers look to understand the equivalences in
copyright law where there is caselaw, along with things like record
compilations.


But none of those start with the ability of anyone to obtain their
licensed copy freely, so there is no equivalence. You'd have to start
with the premise that everyone who could possible be the target of the
claimed derived work's infringing copy already has their own licensed
copy of the original. It would be more like providing a custom case for
your own copy of a record than a compilation that includes the same content.


--
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:04 PM
Alan Cox
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

> But none of those start with the ability of anyone to obtain their
> licensed copy freely, so there is no equivalence. You'd have to start

That is not what the lawyers tell me.

>It would be more like providing a custom case for your own copy of a record

Which may itself cause you problems if you redistribute it.

Alan

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Old 04-28-2008, 04:06 PM
Ric Moore
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

On Sat, 2008-04-26 at 22:11 -0500, Les Mikesell wrote:

> Programmers haven't seen the need for control-key commands since
> keyboards started including an alt key and a bunch of function keys and
> everything has a mouse.

I think his point was that all require that "you remove your hands from
the home row due to the means by which they are called."

I used Wordstar for quite awhile during my cp/m days, and still miss
it.

--
================================================
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:16 PM
Ric Moore
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

On Sun, 2008-04-27 at 08:20 -0700, Paul Shaffer wrote:
> --- On Sat, 4/26/08, Francis Earl <lunitik@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >Why should they pay around $15 per user for software the user didn't pay for, just so they can play codecs that aren't relevant to the people making them their money?
>
> It's called "mindshare." And since when do you define relevance for Redhat's customers? Sounds rather presumptuous, to me. You mention the mindshare concept later, but don't seem to understand it works both ways. And it's a huge advantage in a competitive marketplace.
>
> >There are even legal ways to get codecs (fluendo) and other equally easy ways.
>
> What's easy to you is not easy for the vast majority of users. Computer use for virtually everything these days is taken for granted. Computer knowledge about how they work should not be.
>
> >Today, Linux is big business, and is really making strides even on the home desktop.
>
> Ya think? Ok "strides" compared to what - the over 90% share M$ enjoys? Methinks we got alot more stridin' to do.
>
> >...makes an effort to ensure the industry can't rape users anymore.
>
> I suppose Redhat more prefers neglect to rape. Or maybe passive coercion. But this approach is doomed to failure as we've already seen by Ubuntu's success. Redhat's ability to ensure anything in this industry is doubtful and becoming less a factor all the time as long as they and people like you decry the "ignorant" society and people who can't add a repo. Fedora has become a niche oddity in the Linux distro field because they view the vast majority of potential users as scapegoats for some holier than thou OS delusion.

OTOH, according to definition, "Power and Authority has an equal and
attendant amount of Respsonsibility Any difference between the two is
the degree of dysfunction."

Or, since Red Hat has assumed the role of a major player and contributor
in the Linux world, if they fail to be responsible by protecting
themselves legally, they then may become unable to serve any longer,
mainly through lawsuits that could fatally damage the company. Red Hat
has some of the most skilled kernel developers on it's payrolls. If the
company fails, we lose them as well.

So, it's something to consider. I'm sure their legal staff does
everyday. Failure to do so would be dysfunctional. Ric
--
================================================
My father, Victor Moore (Vic) used to say:
"There are two Great Sins in the world...
..the Sin of Ignorance, and the Sin of Stupidity.
Only the former may be overcome." R.I.P. Dad.
Linux user# 44256 Sign up at: http://counter.li.org/
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:21 PM
Ric Moore
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

On Sun, 2008-04-27 at 11:42 -0700, Francis Earl wrote:
> > Apparently some of the MP3 patents are supposedly
> > dying out, but not so soon
> >
> > http://www.tunequest.org/a-big-list-of-mp3-patents/20070226/
>
> I was under the impression they were expiring around 2010, thank you for
> that link. The big one there is Alcatel-Lucent as they are the guys
> really throwing their muscle around.

Well, they lost their ass on so many other fronts that they have to do
something to make a nickle. Ric

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================================================
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Only the former may be overcome." R.I.P. Dad.
Linux user# 44256 Sign up at: http://counter.li.org/
http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/oar
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:27 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

Ric Moore wrote:


Programmers haven't seen the need for control-key commands since
keyboards started including an alt key and a bunch of function keys and
everything has a mouse.


I think his point was that all require that "you remove your hands from
the home row due to the means by which they are called."


Yes, but if you are in a hurry you would type all the text first, then
go back through and apply styles instead of micro-managing formatting as
you go.



I used Wordstar for quite awhile during my cp/m days, and still miss
it.


It was OK for its time but it didn't age very well.

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Old 04-28-2008, 04:51 PM
Paul Shaffer
 
Default Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves

Another simplistic analogy from Cox that fails to even resemble an intelligent comment:

--- On Mon, 4/28/08, Alan Cox <alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk> wrote:

> From: Alan Cox <alan@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
> Subject: Re: Fedora Desktop future- RedHat moves
> To: ace_wizard@yahoo.com
> Date: Monday, April 28, 2008, 10:27 AM
> > There's a big middle ground other distros are
> filling and which Fedora has apparently ?
> > abandoned.
>
> Abandoned isn't the word I'd choose - it never
> wanted or had the middle
> ground in the first place. And as someone who worked on
> late RH products
> I have to say the "middle ground" has a tendancy
> to be the gap between
> two stools.
>
> Alan


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