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"There is no license but GPL, and RMS is it's prophet" Usenet SIG
A Spectre is haunting multinational capitalism--the spectre of free information. All the powers of ``globalism'' have entered into an unholy alliance to exorcize this spectre: Microsoft and Disney, the World Trade Organization, the United States Congress and the European Commission.
Where are the advocates of freedom in the new digital society who have not been decried as pirates, anarchists, communists? Have we not seen that many of those hurling the epithets were merely thieves in power, whose talk of ``intellectual property'' was nothing more than an attempt to retain unjustifiable privileges in a society irrevocably changing? But it is acknowledged by all the Powers of Globalism that the movement for freedom is itself a Power, and it is high time that we should publish our views in the face of the whole world, to meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Free Information with a Manifesto of our own.
Posted (not here) by Shlomi Fish on Monday April 01.
A recent press conference of the Free Software Foundation confirmed the rumors that the GNU General Public License was found to be incompatible with itself. This newly discovered fact may actually cause a lot of disorder in the free software world in which most programs and libraries are licensed under this license.
Richard Stallman, chairman of the FSF, called upon developers to immediately exempt GPL-licensed software from the GPL, as far as linking them with GPL programs is concerned. "We have already made sure all GNU software and every other software that is licensed to the Free Software Foundation would be ad-hoc compatible with itself. However we need other developers to do the same for their software", Stallman said.
Eben Moglen, the FSF's attorney outlined the subsequent steps that his organization will take to overcome this crisis. The first step would be releasing a Modified General Public License (or MGPL for short) that will be compatible with the GPL and with itself as well as with all other licenses that the GPL is already compatible with. It will be labeled the GPL version 2.1, thus allowing developers to convert their software to it. He noted that care would be taken to make sure the upcoming GPL version 3.0 will be compatible with itself, as well as the MGPL.
For the time being, though, there is an explosion of commentary, confusion and otherwise bad temper about the newly formed situation. Eric S. Raymond, the famous Open Source Guru notes: "This is one of the greatest blows to the Open Source world, I have yet encountered. I have already exempted all of my own software from the GPL in this regard, but there is a lot of other software out there, and many of its authors are not very communicative.
Bill Gates, Microsoft's co-founder, on the other hand, seems to find the situation very amusing: "I said times and again, that viral licenses such as the GPL are a bad idea, and many open-source advocates disagreed. Now they see that even making sure one's license is compatible with itself, is hard to do when you open that can of worms."
The integrity of many software projects whose license is the GPL and yet contain works licensed by several developers is in jeopardy. The Linux kernel is a prominent example of such a case. In a post to its mailing list, Linus Torvalds commented that, in their case, it was not an issue. "My interpretation of the GPL is already quite unusual, so I'll simply rule that I also interpret the GPL as compatible with itself."
The License Police, as dogmatic as they can get... The License Police, they'll come and judge your code Oh nooooooo......
Well I can't write code 'cause they're lookin' at me... And when I fall asleep bet they're griping 'bout me... (tonight...TONIGHT!)
'Cause they're yelling at me, unbundling me... ...GEE..PEE..ELLL! They're driiivin' me insane..... ...Those men at Deb-i-annnn....
(with apologies to Cheap Trick)
Re:If you gave the code away for Free (Score:1)
by pantycrickets (694774) on Thursday January 15, @09:15PM (#7993836)
...if you intended to give away the code for free in the first place, why are you so concerned that someone is taking it and profiting off of it?
I think the Rap Dictionary would call that a case of "Playa' Hatin'"
Kiss that sucker goodbye (Score:2, Funny)Did anyone actually LOOK at the libraries???? (Score:4, Interesting)
by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday January 16, @08:33AM (#7997141)
by humblecoder (472099) on Friday January 16, @12:15PM (#7999362)
I went to the original posters website to look at the libraries in question, and they appear to be trivial little code snippets. Here are some examples:
1. Lanuching a browser window
2. Creating a password dialog box
3. Base64 encoding of text
I find it hard to believe that any commercial company would expose themselves to liability by stealing pieces of code that any code monkey worth their salt can write in less than a day. It is more likely that they happened to develop the similiar libraries in parallel. Since these tasks are so trivial (and examples of them appear in many places, both in print and on the web), I can see how two programmers would code up these tasks in the same way. In fact, given how widespread the implementation of, say, Base64 encoding is, I wouldn't be surprised if the original poster's libraries are nearly identical to a previous implementation of the libraries.
It would be akin to someone trying to copyright a musical chord and then suing everyone for trying to use it in their music!
Two example letters: (Score:2)
by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Friday January 16, @12:52PM (#7999789)
(http://slashdot.org/ | Last Journal: Thursday December 04, @09:24PM)
... ... ...
For immediate release
GPL Coder, a private individual, sues GPL Violator, a multi-billion dollar multinational corporation, for the theft of one hundred lines of code. No evidence of any kind will be presented, but we're telling the truth about the wrongdoing. Honest!
THE BASTARD PUBLIC LICENSE
"Protecting OSS Developers from the GPL Commies Since 1999"
Version 0.3, Third Public Release 6/19/2001
This license ("license") entitles those who obtain the software ("Program") covered by license to use this software in any way providing the following conditions are met:
Section 1: Modifications and Additions
You may modify functionality of the original Program as well as add functionality to the original Program provided that you agree to the following conditions:
- All modifications and/or additions to the original Program are to be submitted back to the original Program's author within 14 days from completion, inclusion, or production of said changes for use by the original Program's author at his or her discretion.
- All modifications and/or additions to the software that are currently or have been parts of other works will, retroactively, concurrently, or speculatively, be licensed under the terms of the BPL.
- Inclusion of all credit and acknowledgement for submitted modifications and/or additions to the original Program are optional by the original Program's author.
- Credit for modifications and additions to the original Program can be attributed to the original Program's author at his or her discretion.
Section 2: Integration and Inclusion
- Integration of original Program into a larger work or works of programs is allowed assuming the following conditions are met by new Program's author, publisher, or manufacturer:
- Full credit to original Program's author is included within the new Program's internal Credit, About, or Thanks screen where applicable.
- Full credit to original Program's author is included within the new Program's documentation, both on-line and in print where applicable.
- A thank you note is signed by each developer of the new Program and a notarized letter stating the fact that original Program's author's specific works are included in the new Program is to be delivered to the original Program's author.
Section 3: Redistribution
- Redistributed of a modified version of the final new Program for profit or via open source is preemptively approved as long as the following conditions have been met:
- You have fully complied and agreed to the terms set forth in section 1 of this license, if applicable.
- You have fully complied and agreed to the terms set forth in section 2 of this license, if applicable.
Finally, if you are one of those morons who takes News of the Weird text, pastes it onto your own work (after deleting the name News of the Weird and my copyright notice), and sends it to people as if you or someone else created it, may you rot in hell but before that, may you be tied face up somewhere on an African plain and may every animal on the continent sidle up to you and drag his ass over your face.
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