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Tomorrow GPLv3 is Released
Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 11:34 AM EDT

Tomorrow at noon GPLv3 will be released. I was on one of the committees, so it's a relief it's finally done. I just wanted to say out loud how hard it was to try to get everyone's wants included. But the effort was real. And not everybody on the committees were fanbois either, from what I saw on the committee I was on. Lots of give and take. FSF demonstrated a willingness to listen to everyone and take seriously what all were saying and they made some adjustments that they didn't particularly want to make but made anyway to try to meet concerns others had.

If it wasn't possible to please absolutely everyone on planet earth, it's because not everyone is on the same page as to what matters most. That's fine. GPLv3 isn't trying to be the one and only license in the world. And it's not a religion or a political document. It's a license. That's all it is. Use it if it suits your needs. It surely meets some current legal needs in a way no other license does. In fact, what it foresaw regarding patents actually came to pass while it was in the draft process.

Did you see the latest from Linspire, by the way, speaking of current events? Hold your nose, because I'm going to show you.

Kevin Carmony tries to justify his decision to sign a patent deal with Microsoft, and he couches it in part like this:

Lastly...some distributions have come out, claiming to be taking the "morale high ground" by refusing to give into "Microsoft threats," while openly promoting the means of circumventing proprietary software on their web sites, amounting to nothing more than high-brow software piracy. Some are claiming anti-Microsoft sentiment in regards to our recent announcement, but I don't see them licensing or respecting the IP from many others, not just Microsoft. That's not how I define the "moral high ground."

So, if we don't sign patent deals with Microsoft, we're pirates? Puh-lease. I told you to hold your nose. I don't even know what he's talking about. It would be hard to find a group that tries as hard as FOSS programmers do to respect the property of others, in my experience. That's why SCO can't find anything in Linux and it's no doubt why there has never been a patent infringement suit against it.

As for Microsoft, it won't show anything. Please do show us the patents with specificity, Mr. Carmony. You must know what they are, if you are "respecting" them. So share with the community what you know. By all means we will respect any legitimate patents by ripping out whatever we need to, pay whatever we need to, and work around it. But you have to tell us what they are so we can check them for obviousness, for a start, and prior art, so we can make sure this isn't just Microsoft selling the world a pig in a poke. They do have a reputation for FUD. Had you not heard?

And if you signed without knowing about any specific patents, say so. Because then you are not respecting someone's IP at all. You are giving in to Mafia-like threats based on fear. That is not the moral high ground to me, although you are free to do whatever you please.

I mention this just to point out that GPLv3 can't please everyone, because ideas differ about what is right and what isn't. But if your desire is to build up over time an oasis of code a little more free of patent infringement threats (the only final solution is for software and patents to get a divorce, of course) and with the assurance that no one can take your code and sign patent deals -- with Microsoft or anyone else -- that you don't want your code involved with, GPLv3 is likely your license. GPLv2 can't protect your code from those patent deals, as you now can clearly see. So if that matters to you, GPLv2 is not perfect for you.

Mr. Carmony asked a question, will Linux split in two factions? The answer is no. Some Linux distros will limp along a while and then die off, because they misunderstood what folks want when they choose GNU/Linux and FOSS. You can see that already. Red Hat, which refused to sign any such deal, is flourishing, for example. It's not about code that "just works". Apple offers that already. It's the freedom. And we've proven willing to put up with some temporary frustration in order to get it. In time, FOSS will win, and all those proprietary codecs and everything else will be made available on pleasanter terms, because market share does that.

Even businesses want freedom to customize without fear. The GPL -- both versions -- gives you that in a way that patent deals never can. GPLv2 and v3 are usable together, don't forget. GPLv3 code can run *on* the kernel without any license problems.

Update: I used the wrong adjective. I'm sorry if I confused you. I woke up thinking it was Friday, and it's been like that all day. Here's the correct info from Richard Stallman's essay:

When we say that GPLv2 and GPLv3 are incompatible, it means there is no legal way to combine code under GPLv2 with code under GPLv3 in a single program. This is because both GPLv2 and GPLv3 are copyleft licenses: each of them says, “If you include code under this license in a larger program, the larger program must be under this license too.” There is no way to make them compatible. We could add a GPLv2-compatibility clause to GPLv3, but it wouldn't do the job, because GPLv2 would need a similar clause.

Fortunately, license incompatibility only matters when you want to link, merge or combine code from two different programs into a single program. There is no problem in having GPLv3-covered and GPLv2-covered programs side by side in an operating system. For instance, the TeX license and the Apache license are incompatible with GPLv2, but that doesn't stop us from running TeX and Apache in the same system with Linux, Bash and GCC. This is because they are all separate programs. Likewise, if Bash and GCC move to GPLv3, while Linux remains under GPLv2, there is no conflict.

Keeping a program under GPLv2 won't create problems.

And here's the GPLv3 FAQ on compatibility:

How is GPLv3 compatible with other GNU licenses?

The various GNU licenses enjoy broad compatibility between each other. The only time you may not be able to combine code under two of these licenses is when you want to use code that's only under an older version of a license with code that's under a newer version.

It has a handy chart.

So as GPLv3 builds up a large pool of safer code, everyone will know where the greatest safety and freedom from patent threats can be obtained without having to sign off on a de facto proprietization of code that was written with the clear intent that it stay free of patent deals. Freedom is what we switched from Microsoft's products *for*.

If you wish to respect other people's IP, you might start by respecting the GPL. It's a legal license, and its intent is clear. Deals that try to leapfrog over it or slice off a bit of it or undermine it are not the way to show you respect the authors' right to tell you what you can do with copyrighted software they have written and own and released under terms that you are supposed to respect.


Tomorrow GPLv3 is Released | 460 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here please
Authored by: Erwan on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 11:36 AM EDT
If any...


[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic here
Authored by: Erwan on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 11:38 AM EDT
And remember please, some like clickies...


[ Reply to This | # ]

Respecting Others' Intellectual Developments
Authored by: mcinsand on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 11:42 AM EDT
So, Linspire claims to be respecting others' hard-won intellectual developments
by jumping into bed with the company that has one of the worst records of
respecting others' intellectual property in the history of intellectual
property? Maybe the new dictionary needs to have Carmony's picture by the
definition for hippocrite. The kernel guys and guys at Redhat mount a serious
effort to maintain a clean pedigree for all code that goes into their respective
projects, they make sure that the process is open, and they have publicly
expressed a mission to keep free of infringements. Can anyone with half a clue
say that about the parties of the Microsoft-Quisling deals?

mcinsand (or did I actually log in this time?)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Linseed or whatever
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 11:59 AM EDT
I suspect what they gave in to was plain old payola.

[ Reply to This | # ]

To get a ruling on software patents
Authored by: kawabago on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 12:00 PM EDT
Could an american petition a federal court for a declaratory judgement that
software is not patentable as per the law? Could that be a vehicle to get the
question in front of the Supreme Court? I get the impression they want someone
to do that so they can rule on it. My idea is to get the question in front of
the Supreme Court without a long expensive legal battle in lower courts.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft and RICO?
Authored by: chris hill on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 12:01 PM EDT
Given how Microsoft is acting, and how SCO acted, is it possible that they have stepped over the line and committed several RICO offenses in the United States?

Racketeer Influences and Corrupt Organizations Act seems to have several which this patent covenant scheme falls under:

  • Extortion
  • fraud
  • Section 2332b (g)(5)(B) which states:

    (i) section 32 (relating to destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities), 37 (relating to violence at international airports), 81 (relating to arson within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction), 175 or 175b (relating to biological weapons), 175c (relating to variola virus), 229 (relating to chemical weapons), subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) of section 351 (relating to congressional, cabinet, and Supreme Court assassination and kidnaping), 831 (relating to nuclear materials), 832 (relating to participation in nuclear and weapons of mass destruction threats to the United States) [2] 842(m) or (n) (relating to plastic explosives), 844(f)(2) or (3) (relating to arson and bombing of Government property risking or causing death), 844(i) (relating to arson and bombing of property used in interstate commerce), 930(c) (relating to killing or attempted killing during an attack on a Federal facility with a dangerous weapon), 956(a)(1) (relating to conspiracy to murder, kidnap, or maim persons abroad), 1030(a)(1) (relating to protection of computers), 1030(a)(5)(A)(i) resulting in damage as defined in 1030(a)(5)(B)(ii) through (v) (relating to protection of computers), 1114 (relating to killing or attempted killing of officers and employees of the United States), 1116 (relating to murder or manslaughter of foreign officials, official guests, or internationally protected persons), 1203 (relating to hostage taking), 1361 (relating to government property or contracts), 1362 (relating to destruction of communication lines, stations, or systems), 1363 (relating to injury to buildings or property within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States), 1366(a) (relating to destruction of an energy facility), 1751(a), (b), (c), or (d) (relating to Presidential and Presidential staff assassination and kidnaping), 1992 (relating to wrecking trains), 1993 (relating to terrorist attacks and other acts of violence against mass transportation systems), 2155 (relating to destruction of national defense materials, premises, or utilities), 2156 (relating to national defense material, premises, or utilities), 2280 (relating to violence against maritime navigation), 2281 (relating to violence against maritime fixed platforms), 2332 (relating to certain homicides and other violence against United States nationals occurring outside of the United States), 2332a (relating to use of weapons of mass destruction), 2332b (relating to acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries), 2332f (relating to bombing of public places and facilities), 2332g (relating to missile systems designed to destroy aircraft), 2332h (relating to radiological dispersal devices), 2339 (relating to harboring terrorists), 2339A (relating to providing material support to terrorists), 2339B (relating to providing material support to terrorist organizations), 2339C (relating to financing of terrorism,[3] or 2340A (relating to torture) of this title;

    Emphasis is mine, and I am unsure if I am right. Can anyone explain if I've noted this properly, or if I can blow it out my ear?

    As I'm Canadian, I'm trying to understand this.

    Chris Hill

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • Microsoft and RICO? - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 01:28 PM EDT
    • Microsoft and RICO? - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 06:20 PM EDT
      • aren't they? - Authored by: LocoYokel on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 07:41 PM EDT
        • Yes - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 29 2007 @ 04:10 PM EDT
    i hate to disagree
    Authored by: sumzero on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 12:13 PM EDT
    "And it's not a religion or a political document."

    the fsf is political. the concept of a free society is a political one and the
    gpl is a political statement promoting this.

    in fact, every action is political. this is widely acknowledged in less
    developed areas of the world, but we have become insulated in the west as we do
    not readily and immediate see the results of our actions in the same way they do
    in africa or south america, for example.

    48. The best book on programming for the layman is "alice in wonderland"; but
    that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.

    alan j perlis

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    GPLv3: good or evil?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 12:15 PM EDT
    Time will tell if the additional restrictions on freedom to defend freedom will
    be a net gain or a net loss for Linux, should it adopt v3. Will users demand
    that linux be in more devices so they have more hacking rights? Will companies
    steer clear of it due to concerns, possibly fud induced, about the license and
    their intellectual property. Time will tell.

    It will also be interesting to see what happens with projects that use GPL
    software in different ways. Will this drive the BSD projects to increase their
    pace of GPL code retirement? Will it cause forks of projects that have gplv2
    licenses today that move to v3 (even though the GPL was supposed to prevent
    forks)? Will it change things such that FSF software becomes less relevant
    because the new restrictions are too onerous? Or will it be a well-hyped

    Time will tell, although I'm sure the commentators here will weigh in with their
    opinions before time has a chance to tell.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    is carmony admitting a gpl 2 violation?
    Authored by: sumzero on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 12:18 PM EDT
    if he knows of specific patents that affect linux which he cannot pass on the
    usage rights to, isn't he precluded from distributing under gpl 2?

    48. The best book on programming for the layman is "alice in wonderland"; but
    that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.

    alan j perlis

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Split into fractions - good one
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 12:49 PM EDT
    "Mr. Carmony asked a question, will Linux split in two factions? The answer
    is no."

    Sorry, Linux (either kernel or distributions) is already split into multiple
    factions! So it is a little late to either ask or answer the question. After
    all this is what actually drives Linux towards world domination.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 01:05 PM EDT

    I can finally get around to reading the GPLv3.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Use the courts to force MS to show its patent hand?
    Authored by: kberrien on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 01:21 PM EDT
    >As for Microsoft, it won't show anything. Please do show us >the patents
    with specificity, Mr. Carmony. You must know what >they are, if you are
    "respecting" them. So share with the >community what you know.

    Would it possible, to use the courts via a suit to enforce (or if they don't
    comply, thus indemnify) Microsoft to show their patent claims (which have been
    announced in public and referenced in these agreements)?

    Ie, head Microsoft at the pass. And perhaps, if they don't comply the very
    attempt might provide future legal cover for distributors, developers and users?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Tomorrow GPLv3 is Released
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 01:32 PM EDT
    Hmm... So in the final draft we have:

    "You may not convey a covered work if you are a party to an arrangement with a third party that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment ..." (emphasis mine)

    And now you say:

    "... and with the assurance that no one can take your code and sign patent deals -- with Microsoft or anyone else -- that you don't want your code involved with ..." (emphasis mine)

    So are you saying the "that is in the business of distributing software" language is gone from GPLv3 final, and that section now applies to everyone?

    Please say yes.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    We can all help FSF
    Authored by: Nick_UK on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 01:38 PM EDT
    Today, I joined the FSF as an associate member. Anyone can, and I think it is really great way to help:

    Join FSF

    Of course, you can also donate as little/much as you want to help finance the work of FSF.

    Nick [FSF member 5508]

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    academic versus real worlds
    Authored by: stites on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 01:42 PM EDT

    "In fact, what it foresaw regarding patents actually came to pass while it was in the draft process."

    I think that in the beginning most people treated GPLv3 as an academic exercise. We were theorizing about possible software patent attacks on Open Source and possible defences. When the Microsoft-Novell agreement was announced the real world suddenly intruded into the debate. As a result the debate became much more intense and much more important.

    In his criticisms of GPLv3 Linus Torvalds has said that people have exaggerated the dangers of the Microsoft-Novell agreement in order to generate support for GPLv3. I agree that the emotions generated by the Microsoft-Novell agreement have greatly increased support for GPLv3 but I don't think that those dangers are exaggerated. In the real world Microsoft is using software patents to attack Open Source and we are forced to fight back.

    Steve Stites

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Linspire and SUSE
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 01:44 PM EDT
    I use a free version of Linux but I had been planning to go to a commercial
    distro for various reasons. Because of the patent deals, I won't use them now.

    I don't have MS codecs, fonts, or software installed on my Linux box. Microsoft
    alleges Linux violates their patents and tell me I have to pay them for use of
    those patents. But when I ask for what patents, the answer is we're not going
    to tell because they know some are shakey and they don't want me to rectify any
    infringment so they can keep me in perpetual violation.

    So, tell me why I have to pay MS to use Linux. But if it's because of some
    reason I can't verify and recitify, then all deals are off with you.

    Silence? Thought so. Enjoy your 'moral highground'.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Will it stand up in a court of law?
    Authored by: Sesostris III on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 01:51 PM EDT
    IANAL (obviously!)

    OK, as far as many here are concerned, the GPLv3 says many of the right things
    (and fills in a few "loopholes" in the GPLv2). However, saying the
    right thing and being legally robust are two different things! Are we all
    convinced that it will stand up (if challenged) in a court of law?

    I see (at least) two possible areas of "attack":

    Firstly "Tivoization", where it could be argued that the
    anti-tivoization clause was non-legal in a specific instance as mandated by
    (say) congress ("Congress mandates locked-down open-source software to be
    used in all voting machines, to provide confidence, peace of mind, auditability,
    along with security and freedom from tampering" or words to that effect).

    Secondly patents. In the US, which is primary; patent or copyright? (US only, as
    this bit not really relevant elsewhere). Which is worse, infringing patent, or
    infringing copyright? Could a judge come down in favour of a corporation (say
    Linspire) for trying to do the right thing wit regards patents, even if this
    seems to be infringing copyright? Or will the judge most certainly, definitely,
    without qualm, come down in favour of the GPLv3 copyright holder?

    Assuming a decision not to the liking of the GPLv3 community, what would be the

    Won't happen? We've seen the hassle SCO have put IBM through, and that is
    without necessarily holding any copyrights! Microsoft are bigger and richer than
    SCO, and they most certainly do hold patents (in the US).

    My fear is that the GPLv3 may say things more pleasing than the GPLv2, but be
    legally weaker. It may become a target just because of that.

    Please prove me wrong!

    Sesostris III

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    on the linspire stuff
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 01:51 PM EDT
    Just a bit of history on the Linspire thing. MS and Linspire are not
    historically bedfellows. Remember that Linspire used to be Lindows. They
    fought very long against MS on trademark issues (MS claims to hold
    "Windows" as a trademark, even though the concept of
    "windows" in computing has been around for much longer than MS's use
    of the word). MS would've lost their trademark in the US and went court
    shopping in the international arena until they found one sympathetic to their
    point of view (pisses me off to this day that they co-opted a generic term like

    In any case, Linspire has always licensed codecs and other proprietary software
    from other companies (WMP codecs and DVD playback among others). It was their
    choice in the legal department. From that viewpoint they tried to provide a
    legal means for a "fully functional" Linux desktop (able to play
    movies, view common web media, etc). I suspect the patent / licensing deal
    covers the non-GPL stuff in their distribution. It's been mentioned before, but
    as far as codecs and whatnot go Linspire _did_ take the high ground and license
    them properly... NOTE: I'm not saying that any other distro has actively
    promoted getting these through other means, although there are plenty of
    fansites / userland instructions to get the codecs for other distros.

    Although this is speculative on what the agreements actually cover. As usual,
    it'd be much appreciated if Linspire did note exactly what was covered...
    Perhaps the right thing here is to invite Linspire to clarify exactly what was
    covered and what was not.

    Side note: Glad GPLv3 is nearly here. It's been a while in the coming, but
    recent events demonstrate the need.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    circumventing proprietary software
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 02:04 PM EDT
    And what, if i may respectfully ask, is wrong with that?

    As an example: installing and using any GNU/Linux
    distribution is a fully legal way to 'circumvent
    proprietary software': by not using it. Have i missed
    something and has that become illegal overnight? 'Openly
    promoting such circumvention' could hardly be called an
    offence i'd think, much less 'piracy'.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Tomorrow GPLv3 is Released
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 02:46 PM EDT
    With respect, I think that PJ is misinterpreting the Linspire statement. In my
    Ubuntu system, I have added access to the "universe" repository which
    makes it trivially simple to install illegal codecs for mp3, gif, and similar
    file types. Ubuntu and other distros are careful to keep these out of their
    mainstream repositories, but, come on, let's admit that 99% of users read the
    forum postings telling them how to install these codecs and do in fact have
    "illegal" software on their computers. I think this is what he is
    referring to. Linspire does avoid that problem with appropriate licensing.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    That STINKS!
    Authored by: wvhillbilly on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 02:47 PM EDT
    Lastly...some distributions have come out, claiming to be taking the "morale high ground" by refusing to give into "Microsoft threats," while openly promoting the means of circumventing proprietary software on their web sites, amounting to nothing more than high-brow software piracy. Some are claiming anti-Microsoft sentiment in regards to our recent announcement, but I don't see them licensing or respecting the IP from many others, not just Microsoft. That's not how I define the "moral high ground."
    [My bold]

    That stinks! That absolutely stinks. Stinks worse than a cat that's been dead for a week.

    If they want to make patent deals with Microsoft on their own proprietary software, fine. But when they do it with open source software they don't own, that's a whole 'nother ball game. And then accusing FOSS of piracy? That's adding insult to injury, if not flat out libel.

    What goes around comes around, and the longer it goes the bigger it grows.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    High-brow piracy
    Authored by: hubick on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 03:01 PM EDT
    I think he's probably referring to this:

    And I agree with him.

    Installing proprietary codecs on your Linux system does violate many of those
    codec licenses, which is essentially piracy.

    Switch to OGG, etc.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Looks like Wall street likes GPLv3
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 03:24 PM EDT
    <a href="">SIFMA

    "The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) today
    commended the Free Software Foundation and the Software Freedom Law Center for
    their significant work in introducing Version 3 of the General Public License

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Tomorrow GPLv3 is Released
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 03:55 PM EDT
    Iam thinking that the gplv3 should override the gplv2 after a given time limit,
    after the gplv3 release date. Override I mean that the gplv2 will become the
    gplv3 default. I don't believe in any fork(s) within the community developments,
    however, I do see the need to follow through with the change.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Re: Kevin Carmony
    Authored by: mtew on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 04:00 PM EDT
    I have heard of European (and other?) sites in countries without software
    patents that provide codecs and other pieces of software that, if hosted in the
    USA, would be guilty of infringing US patents.

    That puts him on the 'correct' side of that one point, He is still a
    self-serving git over-all and on his other points.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    "I was on one of the committees"
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 04:09 PM EDT
    PJ wrote: "I was on one of the committees"

    I thought the rumor from SCO is that you "were" one of the committees.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: Steve Martin on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 06:12 PM EDT
    I read the linked story to an extent, and the first thing that struck me is that
    he's prattling about choices, talking about how he "prefer[s] Debian to
    RPM", apparently not realizing he's comparing apples and oranges (or, more
    accurately, comparing a distro to a package manager). I'm not an expert, but
    even I know better than that.

    "When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffee, "Sports

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Tomorrow GPLv3 is Released
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 06:27 PM EDT
    but I don't see them licensing or respecting the IP from many others

    Right, and how many times has Microsoft been found guilty of infringing somebody else's patents or copyrights ?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Eric S. Raymond and Kevin Carmony
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 06:38 PM EDT
    Where in the world is Eric S. Raymond ?
    Now, what's a reasonable explanation for him supporting Linspire ?
    Open Source Guru Eric S. Raymond Joins Freespire Leadership Team

    The company that was all rosey 8 months ago is now in bed with Microsoft ?
    I'd love to know.
    According to Carmony... Raymond is a principled person who would never take money in exchange for his views or support.
    Kevin Carmony email

    This note was written by Carmony to sort-of distance himself from Raymond.
    But hey...
    Linspire actively, (and Carmony personally) used Raymond's credentials to bring some credibility into Linspire

    How does that leave Carmony himself with respect to his own principles, if any ?

    IMHO There's something fishy here, and it has M$ tatooed all over.
    Some revenge for Halloween ?
    So, where in the world is ESR now ? We already know where Carmony is.
    See you at the Money Bin

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    GPLv2 and GPLv3 are *not* compatible.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 06:59 PM EDT
    If they were compatible, there wouldn't be a problem. The community had pretty
    much settled on either the GPLv2 or BSD-without-advertising, which are mostly
    compatible. And that gives a large body of code you can mix-and-mash at will.
    Now that is going to fragment again. Joy.

    The GPLv3 is going to be reminded as the worst ibiblio.orgup in the free
    software history simply because it isn't compatible both ways with v2 and it's
    controversial enough for a lot of people not to want to change.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    No, GPLv2 and GPLv3 are NOT compatible. They can't be.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 07:13 PM EDT
    "GPLv2 and v3 are compatible, don't forget."

    They are? For the FSF's meaning of "compatible" as "I'm allowed
    to combine code licensed under these two licenses into a single codebase and
    distribute the result"? This seems like new news to me -- my understanding
    is that they were not. The GPLv2 prohibits making additional restrictions on
    the code one distributes, so one cannot relicense someone else's GPLv2 code
    under the GPLv3. (Otherwise, there'd be no problem with relicensing the Linux
    kernel as GPLv3.) Similarly, the GPLv3 places requirements that certain
    additional restrictions such as patent licenses, which means one cannot
    relicense someone else's GPLv3 under GPLv2. (Otherwise, there'd be no point in
    the GPLv3!) Thus, as far as I can see, they are NOT compatible licenses.

    I thought the FSF had been fairly clear about that from the beginning.

    The whole need for the GPLv3 is to prohibit some things that the GPLv2 has
    required (such as letting people do hardware keys), and so writing a GPLv3 such
    that all GPLv2 code can automatically be distributed as GPLv3 won't work. And
    it would be pointless if the GPLv3 let GPLv3 code be distributed under the
    GPLv2. Therefore, they unfortunately have to be incompatible; there's no way
    around it.

    I hope the FSF's press release tomorrow comments on this; it does seem likely to
    be a bit of confusion.

    (And, a question for people replying who do believe the licenses are compatible:
    If I take some GPLv2 code from Alice, and some GPLv3 code from Bob, and combine
    them into a single codebase and distribute it, what license can I use to
    distribute it under? If they're compatible, there has to be an answer to that

    - Brooks

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Tomorrow GPLv3 is Released
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 07:45 PM EDT
    I am very, very glad the GPL v3 will be released tomorrow and extremely grateful
    to RMS, the FSF and all those who have contributed into making the GPL v3 a

    Thank you one and all.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    iPhone restricts users, GPLv3 frees them
    Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 08:49 PM EDT
    This press release I received in e-mail from FSF this evening:

    "iPhone restricts users, GPLv3 frees them

    BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, June 28, 2007 -- On Friday, June 29, not everyone in the continental U.S. will be waiting in line to purchase a $500 iPhone. In fact, hundreds of thousands of digital aficionados around the globe won't be standing in line at all, for June 29 marks the release of version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GPL). Version 2 of the GPL governs the world's largest body of free software -- software that is radically reshaping the industry and threatening the proprietary technology model represented by the iPhone.

    The author of the the GPL is Professor Richard M. Stallman, president and founder of the Free Software Foundation, and creator of the GNU Project. With his first revision of the license in sixteen years, version 3 of the GPL fights the most recent attempts to take the freedom out of free software -- most notably, version 3 attacks "Tivoization" -- and that could be a problem for Apple and the iPhone.

    Now, from China to India, from Venezuela to Brazil, from Tivos to cell phones: Free software is everywhere and it is slowly building a worldwide movement of users demanding that they have control over the computers and electronic devices they own.

    Tivoization and the iPhone?

    "Tivoization" is a term coined by the FSF to describe devices that are built with free software, but that use technical measures to prevent the user from making modifications to the software -- a fundamental freedom for free software users -- and an attack on free software that the GPLv3 will put a stop to.

    The iPhone is leaving people questioning: Does it contain GPLed software? What impact will the GPLv3 have on the long-term prospects for devices like the iPhone that are built to keep their owners frustrated?

    Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF said, "Tomorrow, Steve Jobs and Apple release a product crippled with proprietary software and digital restrictions: crippled, because a device that isn't under the control of its owner works against the interests of its owner. We know that Apple has built its operating system, OS X, and its web browser Safari, using GPL-covered work -- it will be interesting to see to what extent the iPhone uses GPLed software."

    The GNU GPL version 3 will be released at 12:00pm (EDT) -- six hours before the release of the iPhone -- bringing to a close eighteen months of public outreach and comment, in revision of the world's most popular free software license."

    Thought it was worthy of this topic on Groklaw. :-)

    I was disappointed that Eben Moglen was not credited by name in the e-mail.

    "While world domination is a nice fantasy, a Free computer is essential." 
      --artp, Groklaw, 2007-06

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Kevin = troll
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 08:57 PM EDT
    So why are we being forced to respond to it? Isn't this site above such idiotic

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Another common element to these MS deals
    Authored by: ikh on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 09:11 PM EDT
    Some thing I found strange, each of these MS patent deals also includes an
    element that requires the Linux distributor to create yet another ODF to OOXML

    The only reason I can think of why MS would want these is to claim that they are
    each interoperable independent implementation of OOXML for presentation to ISO.

    Does anyone else have any thoughts.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: Latesigner on Thursday, June 28 2007 @ 11:54 PM EDT
    You don't have to be principled; you just have to have enough vanity to avoid
    looking like a moron.
    Ubuntu has no competition from this.

    The only way to have an "ownership" society is to make slaves of the rest of us.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The GPL is still a political document.
    Authored by: jbn on Friday, June 29 2007 @ 03:46 AM EDT

    And it's not a religion or a political document. It's a license. That's all it is.

    From early on in the GPLv3 process 2 years and 20 days ago, the FSF has claimed:

    The GPL is the Constitution of the Free Software Movement

    The Free Software Foundation has never been reluctant to point out that its goals are primarily social and political, not technical or economic. [...]

    Also, "The GPL is the Literary Work of Richard M. Stallman" and I think we all know that Stallman's work has been political from the moment he began the GNU project if not before when he learned of the power of non-disclosure agreements or saw the effect proprietary LISP machines had on the community of hackers where he did his work with the MIT AI lab.

    So it would appear that the GPL has always been more than just a license.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    You were on a GPL3 committee? YOU?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 29 2007 @ 05:10 AM EDT
    Given that you're never put anything under the GPL2 and won't even use the GNU
    Free Documentation License for your own work, I think that's pretty Goddamn

    Do as you say, eh?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Affero GPL 3
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 29 2007 @ 10:44 AM EDT
    Anybody have any idea if the Affero GPL 3 will also be released today ?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • Affero GPL 3 - Authored by: PJ on Saturday, June 30 2007 @ 12:11 AM EDT
    Media Patents
    Authored by: mattflaschen on Friday, June 29 2007 @ 11:02 PM EDT
    Actually, Carmony is right that some distributions do openly violate patents.
    For example, Ubuntu doesn't include MP3 software on their CDs but they still
    distribute it through their website, which is illegal (Fraunhofer-Thompson owns
    MP3 patents). I do avoid patented software when possible (even though I don't
    think software patents are legitimate), but that's not true of everyone.

    But what Linspire is doing is not justified. Instead of avoiding patented
    software or questioning the patents, they are paying roytalties for their
    customers and their customers alone, casting a shadow on everyone else's

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Once GPLv3 is Released
    Authored by: moz1959 on Saturday, June 30 2007 @ 12:20 AM EDT
    I have to wonder, how long afterward the next version of Samba will be

    As we have previously seen, the samba development team have already stated that
    samba will move to GPLv3, and once it does, the writing's on the wall for any
    and all distros, embedded devices etc. that distribute samba as a part of their
    content while holding patent deals with proprietary software companies.

    The pigeon coop is full and the cats are on standby!


    [ Reply to This | # ]

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