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digitalmars.D - Eric S. Raymond on GPL and BSD licenses. & Microsoft coming to Linux

reply Georg Wrede <georg.wrede iki.fi> writes:
Seems BSD should be Our Way:

[...] has a downside, the downside is that people, especially lawyers, 
especially corporate bosses look at the GPL and experience fear. Fear 
that all of their corporate secrets, business knowledge, and special 
sauce will suddenly be everted to the outside world by some inadvertent 
slip by some internal code. I think that fear is now costing us more 
than the threat[...]

http://osnews.com/story/21192/ESR_GPL_No_Longer_Needed

........................

Unrelated to this, but interesting, too:

Microsoft Server/Tools boss Muglia said that "at some point, almost all 
our product(s) will have open source in (them)." He went on to say that 
"if MySQL (or) Linux do a better job for you, of course you should use 
those products."

Well I'll be darned. I thought they'd get that like 5 years from now. 
(Hmm, maybe everybody should stick to the GPL, after all...)

http://osnews.com/story/21053/Muglia_Open_Source_To_Permeate_Microsoft
Mar 27 2009
next sibling parent reply Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 
 Seems BSD should be Our Way

If the attribution clause in the BSD license really does cover application binaries built containing a BSD-licensed library then it's pretty much not an option in most corporate environments. I've tried to get corporate documentation and legal teams to agree with this in the past and was unsuccessful, to say the least. On Don's recommendation I've switched the Druntime license to use the Boost license instead of BSD. It's about as permissive as possible without making the code public domain, and doesn't have any of the weird problems "public domain" licensed software seems to have both with US corporate lawyer paranoia and countries abroad with no legal support for "public domain" copyrights. It's nice to see ESR coming around about the GPL though. I don't know anyone that will go near GPL-licensed source code for exactly the reasons he mentions.
Mar 27 2009
next sibling parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Fri, 27 Mar 2009 11:58:03 -0400, Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org>  
wrote:

 Georg Wrede wrote:
  Seems BSD should be Our Way

If the attribution clause in the BSD license really does cover application binaries built containing a BSD-licensed library then it's pretty much not an option in most corporate environments. I've tried to get corporate documentation and legal teams to agree with this in the past and was unsuccessful, to say the least. On Don's recommendation I've switched the Druntime license to use the Boost license instead of BSD. It's about as permissive as possible without making the code public domain, and doesn't have any of the weird problems "public domain" licensed software seems to have both with US corporate lawyer paranoia and countries abroad with no legal support for "public domain" copyrights. It's nice to see ESR coming around about the GPL though. I don't know anyone that will go near GPL-licensed source code for exactly the reasons he mentions.

Interesting anecdote: Our company developed a Linux driver to one piece of hardware that our largest customer used. We did not release it under GPL terms but this is OK legally since the kernel doesn't require GPL'd drivers. The customer had a problem with one of the stock open source drivers in their OS. However, they couldn't get *any* support from the community because the community wouldn't even bother looking at a kernel that was "tainted" by a proprietary driver. So we were *forced* to relicense our driver under GPL terms (this customer has a lot of clout), just so the free software community would look at a problem completely unrelated to our driver. They probably never even looked at the source in our driver. This is the kind of mentality I think that completely goes against progress, and it's fostered by the GPL. I'm not saying the GPL is useless, but I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it unless they are forced to. And there's this holier-than-thou attitude from GPL supporters that completely sucks. Anyway, I agree that the world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe it was necessary in the beginning, but not any more. -Steve
Mar 27 2009
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
On 27/03/2009 19:17, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 Interesting anecdote: Our company developed a Linux driver to one piece
 of hardware that our largest customer used. We did not release it under
 GPL terms but this is OK legally since the kernel doesn't require GPL'd
 drivers.

 The customer had a problem with one of the stock open source drivers in
 their OS. However, they couldn't get *any* support from the community
 because the community wouldn't even bother looking at a kernel that was
 "tainted" by a proprietary driver. So we were *forced* to relicense our
 driver under GPL terms (this customer has a lot of clout), just so the
 free software community would look at a problem completely unrelated to
 our driver. They probably never even looked at the source in our driver.

How is this different from Walter, Andrei and co. refusing to look at Tango? Putting aside attitudes and ego, the community refused to look at the tainted kernel out of fear of potentially being sued for copy-right infringement and for the you have the draconian (and unconstitutional) US law to blame, not the FSF and its GPL.
 This is the kind of mentality I think that completely goes against
 progress, and it's fostered by the GPL. I'm not saying the GPL is
 useless, but I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it
 unless they are forced to. And there's this holier-than-thou attitude
 from GPL supporters that completely sucks.

 Anyway, I agree that the world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe
 it was necessary in the beginning, but not any more.

 -Steve

Both proprietary and free software have a place in the world since they serve different purposes. for instance, I wouldn't want military software to be available online with the risk of being exploited by terrorists but on the other hand I wouldn't want to use any non reasonably free COTS software. When you buy a car you are free to look under the hood and the same should apply to software. sure, the manufacturer can and probably should void any warranty if you mess with the internals of its product, but they shouldn't prevent you access to those internals. "I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it [the GPL]" how do you explain Red-Hat's success? there are many many companies that gain a lot by using GPL and they are certainly not forced to use it. I agree with you that there are zealots with that holier-than-thou attitude and that this really sucks. by saying - "I agree that the world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe it was necessary in the beginning, but not any more. " you just joined the group of zealots. As I already said, in reality, both proprietary and free software are useful since they fulfill different requirements. saying otherwise is stupid and wrong.
Mar 28 2009
next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Yigal Chripun" <yigal100 gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:gql5ou$2te1$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 27/03/2009 19:17, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 This is the kind of mentality I think that completely goes against
 progress, and it's fostered by the GPL. I'm not saying the GPL is
 useless, but I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it
 unless they are forced to. And there's this holier-than-thou attitude
 from GPL supporters that completely sucks.

 Anyway, I agree that the world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe
 it was necessary in the beginning, but not any more.

 -Steve

Both proprietary and free software have a place in the world since they serve different purposes. for instance, I wouldn't want military software to be available online with the risk of being exploited by terrorists but on the other hand I wouldn't want to use any non reasonably free COTS software. When you buy a car you are free to look under the hood and the same should apply to software. sure, the manufacturer can and probably should void any warranty if you mess with the internals of its product, but they shouldn't prevent you access to those internals. "I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it [the GPL]" how do you explain Red-Hat's success? there are many many companies that gain a lot by using GPL and they are certainly not forced to use it. I agree with you that there are zealots with that holier-than-thou attitude and that this really sucks. by saying - "I agree that the world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe it was necessary in the beginning, but not any more. " you just joined the group of zealots. As I already said, in reality, both proprietary and free software are useful since they fulfill different requirements. saying otherwise is stupid and wrong.

I think you've misunderstood him. Maybe I'm the one who's mistaken, but I interpreted what he said as being "BSD/zlib/etc > GPL" rather than "proprietary is better than free/open/whatever-you-wanna-call-it".
Mar 28 2009
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
On 28/03/2009 19:46, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 "Yigal Chripun"<yigal100 gmail.com>  wrote in message
 news:gql5ou$2te1$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 27/03/2009 19:17, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 This is the kind of mentality I think that completely goes against
 progress, and it's fostered by the GPL. I'm not saying the GPL is
 useless, but I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it
 unless they are forced to. And there's this holier-than-thou attitude
 from GPL supporters that completely sucks.

 Anyway, I agree that the world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe
 it was necessary in the beginning, but not any more.

 -Steve

serve different purposes. for instance, I wouldn't want military software to be available online with the risk of being exploited by terrorists but on the other hand I wouldn't want to use any non reasonably free COTS software. When you buy a car you are free to look under the hood and the same should apply to software. sure, the manufacturer can and probably should void any warranty if you mess with the internals of its product, but they shouldn't prevent you access to those internals. "I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it [the GPL]" how do you explain Red-Hat's success? there are many many companies that gain a lot by using GPL and they are certainly not forced to use it. I agree with you that there are zealots with that holier-than-thou attitude and that this really sucks. by saying - "I agree that the world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe it was necessary in the beginning, but not any more. " you just joined the group of zealots. As I already said, in reality, both proprietary and free software are useful since they fulfill different requirements. saying otherwise is stupid and wrong.

I think you've misunderstood him. Maybe I'm the one who's mistaken, but I interpreted what he said as being "BSD/zlib/etc> GPL" rather than "proprietary is better than free/open/whatever-you-wanna-call-it".

I'm not sure you're correct - in Steve's example the company used a closed source license and was "forced" to switch to GPL. those two approaches are obviously incompatible and I doubt very much that the closed source firm would prefer BSD over GPL over their previous closed source license. But even if you're right my argument still stands. BSD/zlib/whatever doesn't protect those basic freedoms that the current draconian laws try to remove and that some business models rely upon. to continue my example, Red Hat doesn't just provide the source code for its software out of good will alone, its business model relies on the fact that that source code and all its derivatives is open source and will remain so. there are many successful companies that use and rely on free (as in GPL) software. BSD does not provide this guaranty - for instance, MS didn't implement the network stack for windows from scratch, instead, they used the BSD code for that. they also closed it and all the changes they did to that code. For a company like Red Hat this is unacceptable - that means if Red Hat used the BSD license, MS could simply take their code, modify it and close it, putting Red Hat out of business. How many companies do you know that use the BSD for their products? BSD is used by universities and non-profit organizations not companies. claiming that BSD > GPL in a corporate environment is simply wrong.
Mar 28 2009
parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:


 
 How many companies do you know that use the BSD for their products?
 BSD is used by universities and non-profit organizations not companies.
 claiming that BSD > GPL in a corporate environment is simply wrong.

That's not the point. Plenty of companies use open source libraries in their code, even if they don't open source the end product. BSD is friendlier to them because they aren't forced to open up everything that touches it. GPL is viral. Use one GPL library and your whole project is tainted. Philosophically, GPL gives freedom to the end user. BSD leaves freedom with the developer. IMO, the latter is where it should be, as it is the developer who expends the resources to create the product in the first place.
Mar 28 2009
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
On 29/03/2009 08:26, Mike Parker wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:


 How many companies do you know that use the BSD for their products?
 BSD is used by universities and non-profit organizations not companies.
 claiming that BSD > GPL in a corporate environment is simply wrong.

That's not the point. Plenty of companies use open source libraries in their code, even if they don't open source the end product. BSD is friendlier to them because they aren't forced to open up everything that touches it. GPL is viral. Use one GPL library and your whole project is tainted. Philosophically, GPL gives freedom to the end user. BSD leaves freedom with the developer. IMO, the latter is where it should be, as it is the developer who expends the resources to create the product in the first place.

you contradict yourself. if a company uses open source libraries in their products than they are the *users* of the code, and the *developers* are those who *created* the library. what you meant to say is that many companies _exploit_ non free open source code (BSD and such) in their closed source products. You do all the hard work, give away your library for free, and those companies exploit that to enlarge their profit margins, after all they invested much less time/money in the product. if you really intended this outcome, you just robbed someone's job at that same company. The GPL gives freedom to both the developers and the end-users while the BSD doesn't give any freedoms at all, to no one. That is why there are many successful companies that base their business model on free licenses like the GPL and zero companies that use the BSD. and that is the point.
Mar 29 2009
next sibling parent Jussi Jumppanen <jussij zeusedit.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun Wrote:

 That is why there are many successful companies that base 
 their business model on free licenses like the GPL and zero 
 companies that use the BSD.

The Apple OS X is a BSD derivative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X "Mac OS X is based upon the Mach kernel.[7] Certain parts from FreeBSD's and NetBSD's implementation of Unix were incorporated in Nextstep, the core of Mac OS X."
Mar 29 2009
prev sibling parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 On 29/03/2009 08:26, Mike Parker wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:


 How many companies do you know that use the BSD for their products?
 BSD is used by universities and non-profit organizations not companies.
 claiming that BSD > GPL in a corporate environment is simply wrong.

That's not the point. Plenty of companies use open source libraries in their code, even if they don't open source the end product. BSD is friendlier to them because they aren't forced to open up everything that touches it. GPL is viral. Use one GPL library and your whole project is tainted. Philosophically, GPL gives freedom to the end user. BSD leaves freedom with the developer. IMO, the latter is where it should be, as it is the developer who expends the resources to create the product in the first place.

you contradict yourself. if a company uses open source libraries in their products than they are the *users* of the code, and the *developers* are those who *created* the library. what you meant to say is that many companies _exploit_ non free open source code (BSD and such) in their closed source products. You do all the hard work, give away your library for free, and those companies exploit that to enlarge their profit margins, after all they invested much less time/money in the product. if you really intended this outcome, you just robbed someone's job at that same company.

No contradictions here. When someone releases a library under a more generous license like the BSD, they know full well that anyone can use that source in closed-source, proprietary software. Companies who do so are not *exploiting* anyone or anything. They are given permission by the developers of the library, who consciously made that choice, to do so.
 
 The GPL gives freedom to both the developers and the end-users while the 
 BSD doesn't give any freedoms at all, to no one. That is why there are 
 many successful companies that base their business model on free 
 licenses like the GPL and zero companies that use the BSD. and that is 
 the point.

No, it gives no freedom to developers at all. Using any GPL code in your project /forces/ you to open your source. It takes the decision of whether to open or not out of your hands and puts it in the hands of whomever created the GPLed product you use. That's why you won't find bindings for any GPL libraries in Derelict, because then Derelict and any project that uses it would have to be GPL. You call that freedom? I think the GPL is a great choice for executables, particularly those that were formerly closed. For example, id software uses the GPL when opening their older games. For libraries, though, it severely limits the user base. I would never release a library under the GPL, because I don't want to restrict anyone in using it. As a library developer, I don't care what the end product is, or who the end users are. All I care about are those using my product. They are the ones I want to whom I want to give the freedom of choice.
Mar 29 2009
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
On 30/03/2009 04:42, Mike Parker wrote:
 No, it gives no freedom to developers at all. Using any GPL code in your
 project /forces/ you to open your source. It takes the decision of
 whether to open or not out of your hands and puts it in the hands of
 whomever created the GPLed product you use. That's why you won't find
 bindings for any GPL libraries in Derelict, because then Derelict and
 any project that uses it would have to be GPL. You call that freedom?

all I can say is: huh? Nobody forces you to use GPL code if you don't like it. Sorry to say that, but the above is bullshit. GPL *is a* license. if I write code and license it with my preferred license, no matter if it's GPL or NDAed proprietary license, if you want to use *my* code, you need to abide by *my* rules. I am a developer, I write code, *I* decide under what terms can you use it. that's as simple as that. don't like my terms? go write your own code or find someone else that will offer you terms closer to what you want. if I use some proprietary library in my project which I want to open source but can't because of that library's license, should I claim that that library authors are forcing me to have a proprietary license? that ridicules, I made the choice to use that library therefore I must abide by the conditions of that library. If I don't like it, I can always switch a vendor or implement my own.
 I think the GPL is a great choice for executables, particularly those
 that were formerly closed. For example, id software uses the GPL when
 opening their older games. For libraries, though, it severely limits the
 user base. I would never release a library under the GPL, because I
 don't want to restrict anyone in using it. As a library developer, I
 don't care what the end product is, or who the end users are. All I care
 about are those using my product. They are the ones I want to whom I
 want to give the freedom of choice.

nothing prevents you from using free software libraries with your closed source project, that's why we have the LGPL. again, no one is forcing you as a library writer to use the GPL, use whatever license you want. If you really want you can even send a 100$ bill personally by snail-mail with your picture to anyone that downloads your code, if you so wish.
Mar 30 2009
next sibling parent Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 On 30/03/2009 04:42, Mike Parker wrote:
 No, it gives no freedom to developers at all. Using any GPL code in your
 project /forces/ you to open your source. It takes the decision of
 whether to open or not out of your hands and puts it in the hands of
 whomever created the GPLed product you use. That's why you won't find
 bindings for any GPL libraries in Derelict, because then Derelict and
 any project that uses it would have to be GPL. You call that freedom?

all I can say is: huh? Nobody forces you to use GPL code if you don't like it. Sorry to say that, but the above is bullshit. GPL *is a* license. if I write code and license it with my preferred license, no matter if it's GPL or NDAed proprietary license, if you want to use *my* code, you need to abide by *my* rules. I am a developer, I write code, *I* decide under what terms can you use it. that's as simple as that. don't like my terms? go write your own code or find someone else that will offer you terms closer to what you want.

So, how is what I said bullshit? Where did I say anyone was forcing people to use the GPL? You are saying here the same thing I did. /If/ I use GPL code in my project, the terms of the license require that I GPL everything that touches it. At that point, the developer of the GPLed code is dictating that my project be open, not me. That's why the GPL is not business-friendly, which is the point of what ESR was saying.
 
 if I use some proprietary library in my project which I want to open 
 source but can't because of that library's license, should I claim that 
 that library authors are forcing me to have a proprietary license? that 
 ridicules, I made the choice to use that library therefore I must abide 
 by the conditions of that library. If I don't like it, I can always 
 switch a vendor or implement my own.

Sure, choosing to use the GPL is the same as choosing to open your source. Choosing to use any license, including your hypothetical proprietary license, is a conscious choice to abide by its terms. But it's still the license dictating the future of my software, not me. The key word here being 'abide'. By using BSD/MIT/ZLib-licensed libraries, the choice is entirely mine. These licenses do not dictate decisions about my software. I can open my source today and close it tomorrow without changing a thing. If I were using a GPL library in my app, I'd have to find, or create, a replacement before I could make the change to closed source. I would be restricted in the types of libraries I could use. If someone came along tomorrow with this great library that would enhance my product greatly, I would be unable to use it if it were not GPL compatible. That is not freedom, is not business-friendly, nor, IMO, very sensible. Freedom means I would be able to continue to develop, maintain, and make decisions about my software on my terms. The GPL does not allow that. Neither does your hypothetical proprietary license, which I would avoid like the plague.
 
 I think the GPL is a great choice for executables, particularly those
 that were formerly closed. For example, id software uses the GPL when
 opening their older games. For libraries, though, it severely limits the
 user base. I would never release a library under the GPL, because I
 don't want to restrict anyone in using it. As a library developer, I
 don't care what the end product is, or who the end users are. All I care
 about are those using my product. They are the ones I want to whom I
 want to give the freedom of choice.

nothing prevents you from using free software libraries with your closed source project, that's why we have the LGPL. again, no one is forcing you as a library writer to use the GPL, use whatever license you want. If you really want you can even send a 100$ bill personally by snail-mail with your picture to anyone that downloads your code, if you so wish.

Yes, I can and do use the licenses I prefer. I'm not debating that no one has freedom in choosing a license. Neither was ESR.
Mar 30 2009
prev sibling parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,

 On 30/03/2009 04:42, Mike Parker wrote:
 
 No, it gives no freedom to developers at all. Using any GPL code in
 your project /forces/ you to open your source. It takes the decision
 of whether to open or not out of your hands and puts it in the hands
 of whomever created the GPLed product you use. That's why you won't
 find bindings for any GPL libraries in Derelict, because then
 Derelict and any project that uses it would have to be GPL. You call
 that freedom?
 

Nobody forces you to use GPL code if you don't like it. Sorry to say that, but the above is bullshit. GPL *is a* license. if I write code and license it with my preferred license, no matter if it's GPL or NDAed proprietary license, if you want to use *my* code, you need to abide by *my* rules. I am a developer, I write code, *I* decide under what terms can you use it. that's as simple as that.

GPL says in effect to the client programmer: "If you use /my/ code than /you/ have to release /your/ code on /my/ terms." That works but reads as an ultimatum and leaves it unusable for many people. [...]
 nothing prevents you from using free software libraries with your
 closed
 source project, that's why we have the LGPL.

But we're not talking about LGPL (the fact the the LGPL exists sort of supports Mike's point).
Mar 31 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Sergey Gromov <snake.scaly gmail.com> writes:
Sat, 28 Mar 2009 15:38:45 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:

 When you buy 
 a car you are free to look under the hood and the same should apply to 
 software. sure, the manufacturer can and probably should void any 
 warranty if you mess with the internals of its product, but they 
 shouldn't prevent you access to those internals.

I hear automotive analogies here and there as "explanations" why open source is good. But automotive does not apply. Yes you can buy Ford, modify it and sell it at a higher price. But you cannot put Ford out of business this way because you must start from scratch on every single car you modify and that's a significant amount of work. And if you actually try to manufacture copies of Ford cars you'll be sued for patent infringement. Now, how would you make money on free, as in libre, software? How would you make a free, single-player RPG and still stay in business? All you can under GPL is take payment for distribution, as long as nobody else starts to distribute it for free. This means giving your hard work for free, as in gratis, not business.
Mar 28 2009
parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?=22J=E9r=F4me_M=2E_Berger=22?= <jeberger free.fr> writes:
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Sergey Gromov wrote:
 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 15:38:45 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:
 
 When you buy 
 a car you are free to look under the hood and the same should apply to 
 software. sure, the manufacturer can and probably should void any 
 warranty if you mess with the internals of its product, but they 
 shouldn't prevent you access to those internals.

I hear automotive analogies here and there as "explanations" why open source is good. But automotive does not apply. Yes you can buy Ford, modify it and sell it at a higher price. But you cannot put Ford out of business this way because you must start from scratch on every single car you modify and that's a significant amount of work. And if you actually try to manufacture copies of Ford cars you'll be sued for patent infringement. Now, how would you make money on free, as in libre, software? How would you make a free, single-player RPG and still stay in business? All you can under GPL is take payment for distribution, as long as nobody else starts to distribute it for free. This means giving your hard work for free, as in gratis, not business.

Ask RedHat, or any of the increasingly large number of companies that *do* make money on free, as in libre, software. Basically, you make your customers pay for specific developments and customizations. Once the software is released you still get paid for tech support and maintenance. Jerome - -- mailto:jeberger free.fr http://jeberger.free.fr Jabber: jeberger jabber.fr -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux) iEYEARECAAYFAknPI10ACgkQd0kWM4JG3k/YagCfecpRE+55iKAXYxXgO+Q0Vml+ KxIAoL7Yno0jCJvlgaZwnX6xOXYAa0ug =uTy5 -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Mar 29 2009
next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
""Jérôme M. Berger"" <jeberger free.fr> wrote in message 
news:gqn80v$17gk$1 digitalmars.com...
 Ask RedHat, or any of the increasingly large number of companies
 that *do* make money on free, as in libre, software. Basically, you
 make your customers pay for specific developments and
 customizations. Once the software is released you still get paid for
 tech support and maintenance.

Hmm, gaining income from "specific developments and customizations" is an interesting business model for a free software company (free as in "both", because really, how often is "free as in libre" software ever *not* available at no cost? Heck, how often is that even realistically possible?), I didn't realize Red Hat was doing that. But I've never been a big fan of the idea of using tech support as a business model for free (as in both) software. The way I see it, that creates a conflict of interest. The better a piece of software is (almost by definition of "better"), the less tech support it really needs. If I were creating a program that had enough tech-support-income-potential to support a whole company, I'd be ashamed to call myself a software developer.
Mar 29 2009
parent naryl <cy ngs.ru> writes:
Nick Sabalausky Wrote:
 how often is "free as in libre" software ever *not* available 
 at no cost? Heck, how often is that even realistically possible?), 

You can use GPL only for sources. http://www.planeshift.it developers released sources under GPL and content under proprietary license. They could sell it if they want to.
Mar 29 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Frits van Bommel <fvbommel REMwOVExCAPSs.nl> writes:
Jérôme M. Berger wrote:
 Now, how would you make money on free, as in libre, software?  How would
 you make a free, single-player RPG and still stay in business?  All you
 can under GPL is take payment for distribution, as long as nobody else
 starts to distribute it for free.  This means giving your hard work for
 free, as in gratis, not business.

Ask RedHat, or any of the increasingly large number of companies that *do* make money on free, as in libre, software. Basically, you make your customers pay for specific developments and customizations. Once the software is released you still get paid for tech support and maintenance.

And then, of course, there are the library developers that release their work as GPL, but sell commercial licenses to those who want to use it without GPL restrictions. Of course, one could argue they don't make money on the free (as in both) software, but on the non-free version of it (which may have identical code).
Mar 29 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Rainer Deyke <rainerd eldwood.com> writes:
Jérôme M. Berger wrote:
 Sergey Gromov wrote:
 Now, how would you make money on free, as in libre, software?  How would
 you make a free, single-player RPG and still stay in business?  All you
 can under GPL is take payment for distribution, as long as nobody else
 starts to distribute it for free.  This means giving your hard work for
 free, as in gratis, not business.

Ask RedHat, or any of the increasingly large number of companies that *do* make money on free, as in libre, software. Basically, you make your customers pay for specific developments and customizations. Once the software is released you still get paid for tech support and maintenance.

There's a market for customizations to, or customer support for, single player RPGs? -- Rainer Deyke - rainerd eldwood.com
Mar 29 2009
prev sibling parent reply Sergey Gromov <snake.scaly gmail.com> writes:
Sun, 29 Mar 2009 09:29:33 +0200, "Jérôme M. Berger" wrote:

 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
 Hash: SHA1
 
 Sergey Gromov wrote:
 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 15:38:45 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:
 
 When you buy 
 a car you are free to look under the hood and the same should apply to 
 software. sure, the manufacturer can and probably should void any 
 warranty if you mess with the internals of its product, but they 
 shouldn't prevent you access to those internals.

I hear automotive analogies here and there as "explanations" why open source is good. But automotive does not apply. Yes you can buy Ford, modify it and sell it at a higher price. But you cannot put Ford out of business this way because you must start from scratch on every single car you modify and that's a significant amount of work. And if you actually try to manufacture copies of Ford cars you'll be sued for patent infringement. Now, how would you make money on free, as in libre, software? How would you make a free, single-player RPG and still stay in business? All you can under GPL is take payment for distribution, as long as nobody else starts to distribute it for free. This means giving your hard work for free, as in gratis, not business.

Ask RedHat, or any of the increasingly large number of companies that *do* make money on free, as in libre, software. Basically, you make your customers pay for specific developments and customizations. Once the software is released you still get paid for tech support and maintenance.

Yeah, sure. How much support a single-player game needs? Or a 3D-modeling tool? I agree with Nick: to make a profit on support you must create something unusable in the first place, and then charge money for fixing it. I agree that support is sometimes a valid business model, like when you create customized Linux kernels for various hardware and requirements. But it's definitely not universal enough to apply to every software created out there.
Mar 29 2009
parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?=22J=E9r=F4me_M=2E_Berger=22?= <jeberger free.fr> writes:
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Hash: SHA1

Sergey Gromov wrote:
 Sun, 29 Mar 2009 09:29:33 +0200, "Jérôme M. Berger" wrote:
 Sergey Gromov wrote:
 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 15:38:45 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Now, how would you make money on free, as in libre, software?  How would
 you make a free, single-player RPG and still stay in business?  All you
 can under GPL is take payment for distribution, as long as nobody else
 starts to distribute it for free.  This means giving your hard work for
 free, as in gratis, not business.

that *do* make money on free, as in libre, software. Basically, you make your customers pay for specific developments and customizations. Once the software is released you still get paid for tech support and maintenance.

Yeah, sure. How much support a single-player game needs? Or a 3D-modeling tool? I agree with Nick: to make a profit on support you must create something unusable in the first place, and then charge money for fixing it.

just software. So you can make a free game engine and have proprietary data (of course, that would mean spending some time on gameplay and scenario and so on, which most game companies don't do anyway, they'd rather add some more useless special effects and use the same old script and gameplay). As for the 3D modelling tool, I hope you're kidding? Even though they use mostly proprietary tools a lot of the budget of films go to custom extensions to whatever tool they're using. There's a huge profit to be made there even if the base software was free. I agree that you can't make money with free software on the consumer market, but most proprietary software companies don't make their money there either (the main exception being games). Most software companies make money on the B2B market and they *always* sell additional support (whether it's help to setup the software, special customizations or formations for the users and admins), so they could put the software under a free licence and still make money (and more and more of them do so).
 I agree that support is sometimes a valid business model, like when you
 create customized Linux kernels for various hardware and requirements.
 But it's definitely not universal enough to apply to every software
 created out there.

apply to *most* (and your previous post stated that it couldn't apply to any). Jerome PS: making something unusable and charge for fixing it won't work with free software: if you were unable to get it right at first who will trust you to fix it right? They're much more likely to hire someone else to do it for them... - -- mailto:jeberger free.fr http://jeberger.free.fr Jabber: jeberger jabber.fr -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux) iEYEARECAAYFAknP3tsACgkQd0kWM4JG3k9KcwCff8prkElFXsw5WI45AZ+vnxfA BJgAoKtvsx9oqZyE2VwptZex6GMVV9pA =MGxL -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Mar 29 2009
parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
""Jérôme M. Berger"" <jeberger free.fr> wrote in message 
news:gqomss$1034$1 digitalmars.com...
 (of course, that would mean spending some time on
 gameplay and scenario and so on, which most game companies don't do
 anyway, they'd rather add some more useless special effects and use
 the same old script and gameplay).

Yay! Another like-minded gamer :) I could seriously go on and on about "what's wrong with games and the games industry these days". It's no coincidence I use an image of Cranky Kong for myself on gaming forums ;)
Mar 29 2009
prev sibling parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
On 30/03/2009 19:24, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 On Sat, 28 Mar 2009 08:38:45 -0400, Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com>
 wrote:

 On 27/03/2009 19:17, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 Interesting anecdote: Our company developed a Linux driver to one piece
 of hardware that our largest customer used. We did not release it under
 GPL terms but this is OK legally since the kernel doesn't require GPL'd
 drivers.

 The customer had a problem with one of the stock open source drivers in
 their OS. However, they couldn't get *any* support from the community
 because the community wouldn't even bother looking at a kernel that was
 "tainted" by a proprietary driver. So we were *forced* to relicense our
 driver under GPL terms (this customer has a lot of clout), just so the
 free software community would look at a problem completely unrelated to
 our driver. They probably never even looked at the source in our driver.

How is this different from Walter, Andrei and co. refusing to look at Tango?

It's different because prior to licensing the driver as GPL, they did not *have* the source to look at (and therefore could not be tainted by it). The annoying part of the story is that our driver had NOTHING TO DO with the error in the GPL'd code. But just because the kernel was touched by our code, they refused to fix a bug in their own driver, which would have made their driver better. That is really really stupid IMO.

means everything in it (including drivers) are one process. You already know that. usually when you want to find (and fix) a problem, you'd use a debugger which allows you to see the memory of the process. there's no way to make the debugger show only the memory belonging to the open source parts of the code. even if you just see the asm of that closed source driver, it'd be reasonable to assume there may be someone evil enough to sue you based on that. people in the US sued MacDonald's because their coffee was hot (and they even won the case!). other people sued a company since their peanuts contains nuts. why would a developer is free to assume he/she won't be sued for accidentally seeing the memory of that closed source driver in the debugger?
 Putting aside attitudes and ego, the community refused to look at the
 tainted kernel out of fear of potentially being sued for copy-right
 infringement and for the you have the draconian (and unconstitutional)
 US law to blame, not the FSF and its GPL.

Ah, you're one of those people :) I can't wait until the U.S. takes over your meager country and assimilates you into our capitalist ranks mwahahaha!

 And as I said, the community refused to look at THEIR source code in
 THEIR driver, not anything in OUR driver.

 I think the whole world could do with less people who are petrified of
 being sued, and more people who take responsibility for their own problems.

 This is the kind of mentality I think that completely goes against
 progress, and it's fostered by the GPL. I'm not saying the GPL is
 useless, but I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it
 unless they are forced to. And there's this holier-than-thou attitude
 from GPL supporters that completely sucks.

 Anyway, I agree that the world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe
 it was necessary in the beginning, but not any more.

 -Steve

Both proprietary and free software have a place in the world since they serve different purposes. for instance, I wouldn't want military software to be available online with the risk of being exploited by terrorists but on the other hand I wouldn't want to use any non reasonably free COTS software. When you buy a car you are free to look under the hood and the same should apply to software. sure, the manufacturer can and probably should void any warranty if you mess with the internals of its product, but they shouldn't prevent you access to those internals.

I never said that open source software isn't important or useful. I just don't think you need the GPL to protect the openness of the software these days. In the beginning, there were very few people working on open source software, so GPL protected them, and did a good job of keeping the movement alive. Now there are a ton of people doing open source under a ton of licenses (many not GPL-like). If the GPL all of a sudden went away, would open source developers stop developing open source software or would they just switch to a different license? Is it that horrible if a company uses your open source software together with closed source software but still gives you credit?

sometimes it is very horrible, and sometimes not. I'm not for generalizations and think that each project should use the best license for it. some projects should be GPLed , some not. GPL is not redundant as you may claim since there are projects that use it. as I already said, all kinds of licenses have a place in our world, and I strongly disagree with the notion that only the licenses that you (or me) like should exist.
 "I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it [the GPL]"
 how do you explain Red-Hat's success? there are many many companies
 that gain a lot by using GPL and they are certainly not forced to use it.

Red hat has good software, that is why they are successful. They also sell their services for updates, AND I believe they have some non GPL'd enterprise software, but I'm not sure, I don't buy their stuff anymore. But I think you are wrong about the "many many" part. There are only 2 companies selling Linux as fully open source software that I know of -- Red Hat and SuSe. All the others have gone (and there were a lot of them, especially after Red Hat's IPO). Selling open source, and particularly GPL'd software is difficult, I don't think it can sustain many companies. I would not be surpised if the number of closed source companies (those selling at least SOME closed source software) outnumber the number of open source companies by 1000 to 1.

Linux is hardly the only project that is GPLed nor is it the best example of the use of GPL. there are many GPLed projects that provide companies with various business models for free (libre) software. I just used Red Hat as an example.
 I agree with you that there are zealots with that holier-than-thou
 attitude and that this really sucks. by saying - "I agree that the
 world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe it was necessary in the
 beginning, but not any more. " you just joined the group of zealots.

I must be a zealot, I disagree with your opinion! I have no qualms working with GPLd or any other open source software. I'm probably the *least* zealous person when it comes to licensing. I just want to get work done, and stupid shit that gets in the way (such as refusing to fix your own bugs because of some political issue) annoys me.
 As I already said, in reality, both proprietary and free software are
 useful since they fulfill different requirements. saying otherwise is
 stupid and wrong.

If you mean free as in FSF's meaining of "free" (i.e. copyleft), I think you are probably wrong (and heck, I'll throw in stupid too). But neither of us can be proven right because GPLd software isn't going away. -Steve

Mar 30 2009
next sibling parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
On 31/03/2009 00:36, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 No, it would not be reasonable. In fact that would just be a nice fat
 paycheck for the plaintiff's lawyer (and probably the defendant's
 lawyer) and nothing else.

 Nobody can expect someone to glimpse at machine code and later recall
 how it was coded so they can use it in their own code. Not assembly,
 machine code. This so-called defendant would have to specifically go
 looking for code in random memory, then either disassemble it or
 hand-parse the machine code. I've debugged plenty of code on Microsoft's
 OS, and I haven't ever been sued, or had any worry of being sued,
 because I accidentally saw some of their disassembled code. My
 interpretation of the non-support from these developers was "we don't
 like non-GPL'd software, so we aren't going to help you," not "Oh, well
 if we look at this binary code someone might sue us." I think you are
 reading an issue into this that doesn't exist.

what if the defendant doesn't have/want to spend that money on lawyers? even if the chance is tiny, it is not zero. besides, even if I'm completely wrong on this and you're completely right (which I don't believe to be the case), you're forgetting that those developers are all volonteers working on the project on their spare time. They don't have to do anything at all. sure it sucks they don't want to help you out but they are not under any obligation to do so. That reminds me a phrase: "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".
 people in the US sued MacDonald's because their coffee was hot (and
 they even won the case!). other people sued a company since their
 peanuts contains nuts. why would a developer is free to assume he/she
 won't be sued for accidentally seeing the memory of that closed source
 driver in the debugger?

Anyone can sue you for anything. To say that they will win is another thing. Nobody's going to sue someone for seeing machine code in memory that happens to be of proprietary software, not because they are nice, but because they'd have no case. In the McDonald's case, the coffee was not just hot, the coffee caused 3rd degree burns, which required skin grafting. The jury awarded punitive damages in excess of 2.8 million *not* at the request of the plaintiff, but because they believed McDonald's would not change their policy (of making their coffee 20-30 degrees hotter than any other vendor) unless they did so. That is what punitive damages are for. The lady only sought to have her medical costs covered (which McDonald's refused). This case has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with copyright law, so I have no idea why you brought it up. People always point to this case as an example of ridiculous judgements, but this one actually strikes me as fair. Other examples of lawsuits are definitely frivolous. If that peanut case is true, I'd use that one instead (it sounds too ridiculous to be true, I'd appreciate a citation). But let's not forget you are citing a small number of bizarre cases in an ocean of lawsuits that actually make sense. To worry that someone might frivolously sue you is like worrying that you might trip over your shoelaces and so you don't ever wear shoes.

I don't have a citation for this, sorry. In British law and therefore our law in Israel (which was influenced by the British) there is a concept of "a reasonable man", I'm pretty sure this also applies to European law as well. The idea is that a reasonable man as understood by the law knows that peanuts are a kind of nuts. therefore these kinds of frivolous cases are dismissed and will never reach court and waste time/money. this is missing in the US where anyone can sue anyone else for anything. this concept can also aid people in their cases. for example, there was one case of a man suing his insurance company for not paying for an implant (heart I think). the company said in the policy that all implants are covered but in the small letters said it will not pay for a very specific equipment part that is essential to that operation. a reasonable man doesn't need a M.D to sign such a policy and therefore the company had to pay.
 My assertion is not that the GPL should be illegal or be forcibly
 removed, my assertion (and ESR's as I interpret it) is that GPL'd
 software doesn't foster as much productivity or usefulness as other open
 source licenses, and therefore should be avoided. Why should anyone use
 GPL when there are much less restrictive licenses available? The world
 is full of for-profit companies using open source software, and the vast
 majority of them don't touch GPL'd software unless they have to. Why is
 that?

you mix to separate things. a closed source company probably will not want to be a *client* of GPL-like source, sure. that's different from a company that uses GPL-like licenses for it's own products and code.
 Sure, it is not the only project that is GPL'd, but it is one of the
 only GPL'd projects out there that is the basis of a successful company.
 I don't really know of any others. So here is a challenge, name 10 of
 those companies.

products over less restrictive licenses as you say? Sun's products that are GPL'ed: Java, Netbeans, solaris, etc.. even the specs for their CPU are open sourced! that telephony project, asterix (IIRC), provides jobs for many consultant companies on setting up your own telephony solution based on that project. that's just of the top of my head without doing any search...
 -Steve

Mar 30 2009
parent Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 On 31/03/2009 00:36, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:

 Sure, it is not the only project that is GPL'd, but it is one of the
 only GPL'd projects out there that is the basis of a successful company.
 I don't really know of any others. So here is a challenge, name 10 of
 those companies.

products over less restrictive licenses as you say? Sun's products that are GPL'ed: Java, Netbeans, solaris, etc.. even the specs for their CPU are open sourced! that telephony project, asterix (IIRC), provides jobs for many consultant companies on setting up your own telephony solution based on that project. that's just of the top of my head without doing any search...

And notice that they actually used the Classpath Exception so that end users wouldn't be forced to GPL their products, which would have basically been a disaster. Makes one wonder why they chose GPL in the first place if they were just going to neutralize it.
Mar 30 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Sergey Gromov <snake.scaly gmail.com> writes:
Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:09:21 -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:

 On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:03:02 -0400, Bill Baxter <wbaxter gmail.com> wrote:
 
 On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 6:36 AM, Steven Schveighoffer
 <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote:
 On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 16:00:02 -0400, Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com>
 wrote:

 people in the US sued MacDonald's because their coffee was hot (and  
 they
 even won the case!). other people sued a company since their peanuts
 contains nuts.

Other examples of lawsuits are definitely frivolous.  If that peanut case is true, I'd use that one instead (it sounds too ridiculous to be true, I'd appreciate a citation).

Peanuts aren't actually nuts, you know. They're legumes. So there might well be a case where the lable said "100% peanuts" and someone allergic to nuts ate up, knowing that peanuts aren't in fact nuts.

If someone was allergic to nuts, and they are going around eating peanuts because technically they aren't nuts, I'd say they were in fact nuts :) I'd be hugely hugely surprised if any jury awarded a judgement based on that.

I'd expect an allergic person to be very well aware of what's dangerous to them, and therefore to know exactly the difference between nuts and peanuts. People tend to know a lot of things in the areas of their interest, for whatever reasons the interest is.
Mar 31 2009
prev sibling parent "Joel C. Salomon" <joelcsalomon gmail.com> writes:
Bill Baxter wrote:
 On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 7:09 AM, Steven Schveighoffer <schveiguy yahoo.com>
wrote:
 On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:03:02 -0400, Bill Baxter <wbaxter gmail.com> wrote:
 Peanuts aren't actually nuts, you know.  They're legumes.  So there
 might well be a case where the lable said "100% peanuts" and someone
 allergic to nuts ate up, knowing that peanuts aren't in fact nuts.

because technically they aren't nuts, I'd say they were in fact nuts :) I'd be hugely hugely surprised if any jury awarded a judgement based on that.

Yeh, I'm not saying I think they would, or even should win, just that the idea of someone suing over peanuts containing nuts is not quite as ridiculous, self-contradictory, and unbelievable as it first sounds. In the US at least all kinds of foods that aren't nuts contain the disclaimer "This product may contain nuts". I suspect the prevalence of such labels is because of some lawsuit at some point.

People allergic to (pea)nuts are sometimes so sensitive that the trace crumbs left in the processing machinery from a different run are enough to cause reactions. That said, in /Inferno/ and /Escape From Hell/, Niven & Pournelle have a lawyer in the Eighth Circle, Fifth Bolgia (Barrators and Grafters) who “enriched himself from those who did not put silly warnings on lawn mowers”. There is Justice to be had… —Joel Salomon
Mar 31 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Jarrett Billingsley <jarrett.billingsley gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, Mar 29, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Rainer Deyke <rainerd eldwood.com> wrote:
 J=E9r=F4me M. Berger wrote:
 Sergey Gromov wrote:
 Now, how would you make money on free, as in libre, software? =A0How wo=



 you make a free, single-player RPG and still stay in business? =A0All y=



 can under GPL is take payment for distribution, as long as nobody else
 starts to distribute it for free. =A0This means giving your hard work f=



 free, as in gratis, not business.

=A0 =A0 =A0 Ask RedHat, or any of the increasingly large number of compa=


 that *do* make money on free, as in libre, software. Basically, you
 make your customers pay for specific developments and
 customizations. Once the software is released you still get paid for
 tech support and maintenance.

There's a market for customizations to, or customer support for, single player RPGs?

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/4/5/the-zone-of-pure-breakfast/ Apparently so ;)
Mar 29 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Bill Baxter <wbaxter gmail.com> writes:
On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:07 AM, Jussi Jumppanen <jussij zeusedit.com> wro=
te:
 Yigal Chripun Wrote:

 That is why there are many successful companies that base
 their business model on free licenses like the GPL and zero
 companies that use the BSD.

The Apple OS X is a BSD derivative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X =A0"Mac OS X is based upon the Mach kernel.[7] Certain parts =A0from FreeBSD's and NetBSD's implementation of Unix were =A0incorporated in Nextstep, the core of Mac OS X."

That's more an example of just usurping BSD software for your own use. I think Yigal was talking more about companies using the BSD license on code they themselves write in-house. But there are various examples of that that come to mind: Apple's contributions to LLVM Adobe Open Source Labs ILM's OpenEXR image format and tools Enthought's contributions to NumPy/SciPy BSD-like licenses can work for companies in the case where the software is not the company's core business (like the first three), or where the core business is consulting services delivered on top of the software (like Enthought). --bb
Mar 29 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Sat, 28 Mar 2009 08:38:45 -0400, Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com>  
wrote:

 On 27/03/2009 19:17, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 Interesting anecdote: Our company developed a Linux driver to one piece
 of hardware that our largest customer used. We did not release it under
 GPL terms but this is OK legally since the kernel doesn't require GPL'd
 drivers.

 The customer had a problem with one of the stock open source drivers in
 their OS. However, they couldn't get *any* support from the community
 because the community wouldn't even bother looking at a kernel that was
 "tainted" by a proprietary driver. So we were *forced* to relicense our
 driver under GPL terms (this customer has a lot of clout), just so the
 free software community would look at a problem completely unrelated to
 our driver. They probably never even looked at the source in our driver.

How is this different from Walter, Andrei and co. refusing to look at Tango?

It's different because prior to licensing the driver as GPL, they did not *have* the source to look at (and therefore could not be tainted by it). The annoying part of the story is that our driver had NOTHING TO DO with the error in the GPL'd code. But just because the kernel was touched by our code, they refused to fix a bug in their own driver, which would have made their driver better. That is really really stupid IMO.
 Putting aside attitudes and ego, the community refused to look at the  
 tainted kernel out of fear of potentially being sued for copy-right  
 infringement and for the you have the draconian (and unconstitutional)  
 US law to blame, not the FSF and its GPL.

Ah, you're one of those people :) I can't wait until the U.S. takes over your meager country and assimilates you into our capitalist ranks mwahahaha! And as I said, the community refused to look at THEIR source code in THEIR driver, not anything in OUR driver. I think the whole world could do with less people who are petrified of being sued, and more people who take responsibility for their own problems.
 This is the kind of mentality I think that completely goes against
 progress, and it's fostered by the GPL. I'm not saying the GPL is
 useless, but I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it
 unless they are forced to. And there's this holier-than-thou attitude
 from GPL supporters that completely sucks.

 Anyway, I agree that the world could do just as good without GPL. Maybe
 it was necessary in the beginning, but not any more.

 -Steve

Both proprietary and free software have a place in the world since they serve different purposes. for instance, I wouldn't want military software to be available online with the risk of being exploited by terrorists but on the other hand I wouldn't want to use any non reasonably free COTS software. When you buy a car you are free to look under the hood and the same should apply to software. sure, the manufacturer can and probably should void any warranty if you mess with the internals of its product, but they shouldn't prevent you access to those internals.

I never said that open source software isn't important or useful. I just don't think you need the GPL to protect the openness of the software these days. In the beginning, there were very few people working on open source software, so GPL protected them, and did a good job of keeping the movement alive. Now there are a ton of people doing open source under a ton of licenses (many not GPL-like). If the GPL all of a sudden went away, would open source developers stop developing open source software or would they just switch to a different license? Is it that horrible if a company uses your open source software together with closed source software but still gives you credit?
 "I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it [the GPL]"
 how do you explain Red-Hat's success? there are many many companies that  
 gain a lot by using GPL and they are certainly not forced to use it.

Red hat has good software, that is why they are successful. They also sell their services for updates, AND I believe they have some non GPL'd enterprise software, but I'm not sure, I don't buy their stuff anymore. But I think you are wrong about the "many many" part. There are only 2 companies selling Linux as fully open source software that I know of -- Red Hat and SuSe. All the others have gone (and there were a lot of them, especially after Red Hat's IPO). Selling open source, and particularly GPL'd software is difficult, I don't think it can sustain many companies. I would not be surpised if the number of closed source companies (those selling at least SOME closed source software) outnumber the number of open source companies by 1000 to 1.
 I agree with you that there are zealots with that holier-than-thou  
 attitude and that this really sucks. by saying - "I agree that the world  
 could do just as good without GPL. Maybe it was necessary in the  
 beginning, but not any more. " you just joined the group of zealots.

I must be a zealot, I disagree with your opinion! I have no qualms working with GPLd or any other open source software. I'm probably the *least* zealous person when it comes to licensing. I just want to get work done, and stupid shit that gets in the way (such as refusing to fix your own bugs because of some political issue) annoys me.
 As I already said, in reality, both proprietary and free software are  
 useful since they fulfill different requirements. saying otherwise is  
 stupid and wrong.

If you mean free as in FSF's meaining of "free" (i.e. copyleft), I think you are probably wrong (and heck, I'll throw in stupid too). But neither of us can be proven right because GPLd software isn't going away. -Steve
Mar 30 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 16:00:02 -0400, Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com>  
wrote:

 sources are not the only issue here. Linux is a monolithic kernel. that  
 means everything in it (including drivers) are one process. You already  
 know that. usually when you want to find (and fix) a problem, you'd use  
 a debugger which allows you to see the memory of the process. there's no  
 way to make the debugger show only the memory belonging to the open  
 source parts of the code. even if you just see the asm of that closed  
 source driver, it'd be reasonable to assume there may be someone evil  
 enough to sue you based on that.

No, it would not be reasonable. In fact that would just be a nice fat paycheck for the plaintiff's lawyer (and probably the defendant's lawyer) and nothing else. Nobody can expect someone to glimpse at machine code and later recall how it was coded so they can use it in their own code. Not assembly, machine code. This so-called defendant would have to specifically go looking for code in random memory, then either disassemble it or hand-parse the machine code. I've debugged plenty of code on Microsoft's OS, and I haven't ever been sued, or had any worry of being sued, because I accidentally saw some of their disassembled code. My interpretation of the non-support from these developers was "we don't like non-GPL'd software, so we aren't going to help you," not "Oh, well if we look at this binary code someone might sue us." I think you are reading an issue into this that doesn't exist.
 people in the US sued MacDonald's because their coffee was hot (and they  
 even won the case!). other people sued a company since their peanuts  
 contains nuts. why would a developer is free to assume he/she won't be  
 sued for accidentally seeing the memory of that closed source driver in  
 the debugger?

Anyone can sue you for anything. To say that they will win is another thing. Nobody's going to sue someone for seeing machine code in memory that happens to be of proprietary software, not because they are nice, but because they'd have no case. In the McDonald's case, the coffee was not just hot, the coffee caused 3rd degree burns, which required skin grafting. The jury awarded punitive damages in excess of 2.8 million *not* at the request of the plaintiff, but because they believed McDonald's would not change their policy (of making their coffee 20-30 degrees hotter than any other vendor) unless they did so. That is what punitive damages are for. The lady only sought to have her medical costs covered (which McDonald's refused). This case has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with copyright law, so I have no idea why you brought it up. People always point to this case as an example of ridiculous judgements, but this one actually strikes me as fair. Other examples of lawsuits are definitely frivolous. If that peanut case is true, I'd use that one instead (it sounds too ridiculous to be true, I'd appreciate a citation). But let's not forget you are citing a small number of bizarre cases in an ocean of lawsuits that actually make sense. To worry that someone might frivolously sue you is like worrying that you might trip over your shoelaces and so you don't ever wear shoes.
 I never said that open source software isn't important or useful. I just
 don't think you need the GPL to protect the openness of the software
 these days. In the beginning, there were very few people working on open
 source software, so GPL protected them, and did a good job of keeping
 the movement alive. Now there are a ton of people doing open source
 under a ton of licenses (many not GPL-like). If the GPL all of a sudden
 went away, would open source developers stop developing open source
 software or would they just switch to a different license? Is it that
 horrible if a company uses your open source software together with
 closed source software but still gives you credit?

sometimes it is very horrible, and sometimes not. I'm not for generalizations and think that each project should use the best license for it. some projects should be GPLed , some not. GPL is not redundant as you may claim since there are projects that use it. as I already said, all kinds of licenses have a place in our world, and I strongly disagree with the notion that only the licenses that you (or me) like should exist.

My assertion is not that the GPL should be illegal or be forcibly removed, my assertion (and ESR's as I interpret it) is that GPL'd software doesn't foster as much productivity or usefulness as other open source licenses, and therefore should be avoided. Why should anyone use GPL when there are much less restrictive licenses available? The world is full of for-profit companies using open source software, and the vast majority of them don't touch GPL'd software unless they have to. Why is that?
 "I see little to no value in a for-profit company using it [the GPL]"
 how do you explain Red-Hat's success? there are many many companies
 that gain a lot by using GPL and they are certainly not forced to use  
 it.

Red hat has good software, that is why they are successful. They also sell their services for updates, AND I believe they have some non GPL'd enterprise software, but I'm not sure, I don't buy their stuff anymore. But I think you are wrong about the "many many" part. There are only 2 companies selling Linux as fully open source software that I know of -- Red Hat and SuSe. All the others have gone (and there were a lot of them, especially after Red Hat's IPO). Selling open source, and particularly GPL'd software is difficult, I don't think it can sustain many companies. I would not be surprised if the number of closed source companies (those selling at least SOME closed source software) outnumber the number of open source companies by 1000 to 1.

Linux is hardly the only project that is GPLed nor is it the best example of the use of GPL. there are many GPLed projects that provide companies with various business models for free (libre) software. I just used Red Hat as an example.

Sure, it is not the only project that is GPL'd, but it is one of the only GPL'd projects out there that is the basis of a successful company. I don't really know of any others. So here is a challenge, name 10 of those companies. -Steve
Mar 30 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Bill Baxter <wbaxter gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 6:36 AM, Steven Schveighoffer
<schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote:
 On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 16:00:02 -0400, Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com>
 wrote:

 people in the US sued MacDonald's because their coffee was hot (and they
 even won the case!). other people sued a company since their peanuts
 contains nuts.

Other examples of lawsuits are definitely frivolous. =A0If that peanut ca=

 true, I'd use that one instead (it sounds too ridiculous to be true, I'd
 appreciate a citation).

Peanuts aren't actually nuts, you know. They're legumes. So there might well be a case where the lable said "100% peanuts" and someone allergic to nuts ate up, knowing that peanuts aren't in fact nuts. --bb
Mar 30 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:03:02 -0400, Bill Baxter <wbaxter gmail.com> wrote:

 On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 6:36 AM, Steven Schveighoffer
 <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote:
 On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 16:00:02 -0400, Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com>
 wrote:

 people in the US sued MacDonald's because their coffee was hot (and  
 they
 even won the case!). other people sued a company since their peanuts
 contains nuts.

Other examples of lawsuits are definitely frivolous.  If that peanut case is true, I'd use that one instead (it sounds too ridiculous to be true, I'd appreciate a citation).

Peanuts aren't actually nuts, you know. They're legumes. So there might well be a case where the lable said "100% peanuts" and someone allergic to nuts ate up, knowing that peanuts aren't in fact nuts.

If someone was allergic to nuts, and they are going around eating peanuts because technically they aren't nuts, I'd say they were in fact nuts :) I'd be hugely hugely surprised if any jury awarded a judgement based on that. -Steve
Mar 30 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Bill Baxter <wbaxter gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 7:09 AM, Steven Schveighoffer
<schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote:
 On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:03:02 -0400, Bill Baxter <wbaxter gmail.com> wrote=

 On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 6:36 AM, Steven Schveighoffer
 <schveiguy yahoo.com> wrote:
 On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 16:00:02 -0400, Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com>
 wrote:

 people in the US sued MacDonald's because their coffee was hot (and th=




 even won the case!). other people sued a company since their peanuts
 contains nuts.

[...] Other examples of lawsuits are definitely frivolous. =A0If that peanut =



 is
 true, I'd use that one instead (it sounds too ridiculous to be true, I'=



 appreciate a citation).

Peanuts aren't actually nuts, you know. =A0They're legumes. =A0So there might well be a case where the lable said "100% peanuts" and someone allergic to nuts ate up, knowing that peanuts aren't in fact nuts.

If someone was allergic to nuts, and they are going around eating peanuts because technically they aren't nuts, I'd say they were in fact nuts :) I'd be hugely hugely surprised if any jury awarded a judgement based on that.

Yeh, I'm not saying I think they would, or even should win, just that the idea of someone suing over peanuts containing nuts is not quite as ridiculous, self-contradictory, and unbelievable as it first sounds. In the US at least all kinds of foods that aren't nuts contain the disclaimer "This product may contain nuts". I suspect the prevalence of such labels is because of some lawsuit at some point. --bb
Mar 30 2009
prev sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Tue, 31 Mar 2009 02:02:03 -0400, Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com>  
wrote:

 On 31/03/2009 00:36, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 No, it would not be reasonable. In fact that would just be a nice fat
 paycheck for the plaintiff's lawyer (and probably the defendant's
 lawyer) and nothing else.

 Nobody can expect someone to glimpse at machine code and later recall
 how it was coded so they can use it in their own code. Not assembly,
 machine code. This so-called defendant would have to specifically go
 looking for code in random memory, then either disassemble it or
 hand-parse the machine code. I've debugged plenty of code on Microsoft's
 OS, and I haven't ever been sued, or had any worry of being sued,
 because I accidentally saw some of their disassembled code. My
 interpretation of the non-support from these developers was "we don't
 like non-GPL'd software, so we aren't going to help you," not "Oh, well
 if we look at this binary code someone might sue us." I think you are
 reading an issue into this that doesn't exist.

what if the defendant doesn't have/want to spend that money on lawyers?

It's typical to counter-sue for attorney fees. That is generally what happens when a big fish goes after a little fish (and loses).
 even if the chance is tiny, it is not zero.

Ok, I guess you got me there :)
 besides, even if I'm completely wrong on this and you're completely  
 right (which I don't believe to be the case), you're forgetting that  
 those developers are all volonteers working on the project on their  
 spare time. They don't have to do anything at all. sure it sucks they  
 don't want to help you out but they are not under any obligation to do  
 so. That reminds me a phrase: "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".

Yeah, they can do whatever they want, I understand that, but that actually makes their project less attractive to companies because one of the huge benefits of open-source development is the community support. If they decide not to support you because of some reason unrelated to the problem at hand, then you are screwed. As it turned out, we had a solution, simply GPL our driver. Not the one I would have preferred, but it worked nonetheless.
 people in the US sued MacDonald's because their coffee was hot (and
 they even won the case!). other people sued a company since their
 peanuts contains nuts. why would a developer is free to assume he/she
 won't be sued for accidentally seeing the memory of that closed source
 driver in the debugger?

Anyone can sue you for anything. To say that they will win is another thing. Nobody's going to sue someone for seeing machine code in memory that happens to be of proprietary software, not because they are nice, but because they'd have no case. In the McDonald's case, the coffee was not just hot, the coffee caused 3rd degree burns, which required skin grafting. The jury awarded punitive damages in excess of 2.8 million *not* at the request of the plaintiff, but because they believed McDonald's would not change their policy (of making their coffee 20-30 degrees hotter than any other vendor) unless they did so. That is what punitive damages are for. The lady only sought to have her medical costs covered (which McDonald's refused). This case has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with copyright law, so I have no idea why you brought it up. People always point to this case as an example of ridiculous judgements, but this one actually strikes me as fair. Other examples of lawsuits are definitely frivolous. If that peanut case is true, I'd use that one instead (it sounds too ridiculous to be true, I'd appreciate a citation). But let's not forget you are citing a small number of bizarre cases in an ocean of lawsuits that actually make sense. To worry that someone might frivolously sue you is like worrying that you might trip over your shoelaces and so you don't ever wear shoes.

I don't have a citation for this, sorry. In British law and therefore our law in Israel (which was influenced by the British) there is a concept of "a reasonable man", I'm pretty sure this also applies to European law as well.

I don't know much about law theory, but I'm sure there are provisions like this in U.S. law. At the very least, you have a right to a trial decided by 12 "reasonable men."
 The idea is that a reasonable man as understood by the law knows that  
 peanuts are a kind of nuts. therefore these kinds of frivolous cases are  
 dismissed and  will never reach court and waste time/money. this is  
 missing in the US where anyone can sue anyone else for anything.

It's a bad trend I think that lawsuits have become so common. I think there are definitely problems with the liberal views that many judges have in our country, which fuels this kind of thing. Here is a good example: Two border crossing agents shot a man who was smuggling 800 lbs of marijuana into the US from Mexico. Those two agents got 12 years in prison for that, and the smuggler is suing the US government for 5 million (oh, he was given immunity for his smuggling activities). This kind of shit makes me feel like we have huge issues in our justice system. But I still would not be afraid of debugging code that had proprietary portions for fear of being sued. I don't think anybody who is not unreasonably paranoid is afraid in this way.
 My assertion is not that the GPL should be illegal or be forcibly
 removed, my assertion (and ESR's as I interpret it) is that GPL'd
 software doesn't foster as much productivity or usefulness as other open
 source licenses, and therefore should be avoided. Why should anyone use
 GPL when there are much less restrictive licenses available? The world
 is full of for-profit companies using open source software, and the vast
 majority of them don't touch GPL'd software unless they have to. Why is
 that?

you mix to separate things. a closed source company probably will not want to be a *client* of GPL-like source, sure. that's different from a company that uses GPL-like licenses for it's own products and code.

But isn't that the point of GPL? To make developers who use it GPL everything that touches it? I just think it's not a good move to GPL code unless you don't want it to be heavily used commercially, unless your project is the ONLY one out there that does what it does. However, as soon as something comes along that is open source and NOT GPL, I'd be surprised if your project lasted much longer.
 Sure, it is not the only project that is GPL'd, but it is one of the
 only GPL'd projects out there that is the basis of a successful company.
 I don't really know of any others. So here is a challenge, name 10 of
 those companies.

products over less restrictive licenses as you say? Sun's products that are GPL'ed: Java, Netbeans, solaris, etc.. even the specs for their CPU are open sourced!

The only one in this list (after doing some research) that is released under the GPL is Java. The others are under CDDL, which does not forbid linking closed source software with CDDL licensed software. It only requires that the CDDL software remain CDDL. I don't consider this to have the same issues as GPL. Why did sun release Java under GPL? Probably due to community pressure (been there). I wonder how much benefit Sun has gained from making Java GPL, they certainly did very well with Java when it was not GPL.
 that telephony project, asterix (IIRC), provides jobs for many  
 consultant companies on setting up your own telephony solution based on  
 that project.
 that's just of the top of my head without doing any search...

I'll give you that one, so that's 2 projects that make companies money, asterisk and Linux. However, I'm not sure it's the license that makes these companies money, another less restrictive open source license probably would suffice. -Steve
Mar 31 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Georg Wrede" <georg.wrede iki.fi> wrote in message 
news:gqiq8o$2b5m$1 digitalmars.com...
 Seems BSD should be Our Way:

 [...] has a downside, the downside is that people, especially lawyers, 
 especially corporate bosses look at the GPL and experience fear. Fear that 
 all of their corporate secrets, business knowledge, and special sauce will 
 suddenly be everted to the outside world by some inadvertent slip by some 
 internal code. I think that fear is now costing us more than the 
 threat[...]

 http://osnews.com/story/21192/ESR_GPL_No_Longer_Needed

Shoot, *I* look at the GPL and experience fear. Not fear of loosing secrets (I'm not usually real big on the idea of secret knowledge), but fear of that giant inscrutable wall of legalese (compare that to the BSD/MIT or zlib licenses) and fear of not being able to make a living writing code just because something might get "tainted" by the GPL. (The whole idea of "free as in freedom software" not also implying "free as in beer" (Side note: since when is beer free?) is complete bullocks.) (And yes, I just used the word "bullocks". I'm in a weird mood...)
Mar 27 2009
next sibling parent reply dsimcha <dsimcha yahoo.com> writes:
== Quote from Nick Sabalausky (a a.a)'s article
(Side note:
 since when is beer free?) is complete bullocks.)

I've explained this to people several times before because others have been confused by it, too. Free as in beer means free as in "Dude, I'm going to the frat party to get smashed because there's free beer." Yes, there is a cost associated with brewing that beer. Yes, the frat house had to pay for the keg. However, _you_ don't have to pay for it. To you, the fact that the beer cost _someone else_ money is an implementation detail. All you know/care about is that the interface to the beer keg does not require money, and thus you can get smashed for free.
Mar 27 2009
parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"dsimcha" <dsimcha yahoo.com> wrote in message 
news:gqj4a0$2smd$1 digitalmars.com...
 == Quote from Nick Sabalausky (a a.a)'s article
 (Side note:
 since when is beer free?) is complete bullocks.)

I've explained this to people several times before because others have been confused by it, too. Free as in beer means free as in "Dude, I'm going to the frat party to get smashed because there's free beer." Yes, there is a cost associated with brewing that beer. Yes, the frat house had to pay for the keg. However, _you_ don't have to pay for it. To you, the fact that the beer cost _someone else_ money is an implementation detail. All you know/care about is that the interface to the beer keg does not require money, and thus you can get smashed for free.

Oh, I realize that. I was just being a smart-ass. ;)
Mar 27 2009
prev sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 (The whole idea of "free 
 as in freedom software" not also implying "free as in beer" (Side note: 
 since when is beer free?) is complete bullocks.) (And yes, I just used the 
 word "bullocks". I'm in a weird mood...)

I always thought the "free as in beer" came from this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Froggy_Evening
Mar 27 2009
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Walter Bright" <newshound1 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
news:gqj7kh$ll$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 (The whole idea of "free as in freedom software" not also implying "free 
 as in beer" (Side note: since when is beer free?) is complete bullocks.) 
 (And yes, I just used the word "bullocks". I'm in a weird mood...)

I always thought the "free as in beer" came from this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Froggy_Evening

*shrug* For all I know it could have come from that. But one thing I do know: Chuck Jones is an animation god :)
Mar 27 2009
parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 "Walter Bright" <newshound1 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
 news:gqj7kh$ll$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 (The whole idea of "free as in freedom software" not also implying "free 
 as in beer" (Side note: since when is beer free?) is complete bullocks.) 
 (And yes, I just used the word "bullocks". I'm in a weird mood...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Froggy_Evening

*shrug* For all I know it could have come from that. But one thing I do know: Chuck Jones is an animation god :)

I attended a lecture by him once. He's also engaging and a very nice man. The crowd loved him, and he deserved it.
Mar 27 2009
parent reply Alix Pexton <alix.pexton gmail.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 "Walter Bright" <newshound1 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
 news:gqj7kh$ll$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 (The whole idea of "free as in freedom software" not also implying 
 "free as in beer" (Side note: since when is beer free?) is complete 
 bullocks.) (And yes, I just used the word "bullocks". I'm in a weird 
 mood...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Froggy_Evening

*shrug* For all I know it could have come from that. But one thing I do know: Chuck Jones is an animation god :)

I attended a lecture by him once. He's also engaging and a very nice man. The crowd loved him, and he deserved it.

My interpretation of the phrase "Free, as in beer" is that the beer is free, whenever it is not your round. When it is your turn to go to the bar, it's everyone but you that gets free beer. In this context, "Free Software" is that which is produced by a community where each member makes a contribution in turn, either trough creating or testing, and as a result everyone shares the benefit. A...
Mar 28 2009
parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Alix Pexton wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 "Walter Bright" <newshound1 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
 news:gqj7kh$ll$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 (The whole idea of "free as in freedom software" not also implying 
 "free as in beer" (Side note: since when is beer free?) is complete 
 bullocks.) (And yes, I just used the word "bullocks". I'm in a 
 weird mood...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Froggy_Evening

*shrug* For all I know it could have come from that. But one thing I do know: Chuck Jones is an animation god :)

I attended a lecture by him once. He's also engaging and a very nice man. The crowd loved him, and he deserved it.

My interpretation of the phrase "Free, as in beer" is that the beer is free, whenever it is not your round. When it is your turn to go to the bar, it's everyone but you that gets free beer. In this context, "Free Software" is that which is produced by a community where each member makes a contribution in turn, either trough creating or testing, and as a result everyone shares the benefit. A...

I think everyone is reading too much into it. The point is simply to distinguish between gratis and libre. There's no suitable adjective to distinguish them in English (other than the two words themselves, which aren't widely used), as "free" is used to mean both. Beer is a product that is often given /gratis/, and the phrase "free beer" is used often enough ("Sure I'll come to your party/dinner/barbecue/your-favorite-social-event. I'm not one to turn down free beer!") that it gets the message across quite effectively. You could substitute any product for beer to the same end, but the meaning wouldn't be as immediately obvious methinks. At least, that's always been my understanding. Of course, you'd have to ask Richard Stallman since, IIRC, it was he who first started using the idea of free speech vs. free beer to promote Free Software.
Mar 28 2009
parent Alix Pexton <alix.pexton gmail.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 Alix Pexton wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 "Walter Bright" <newshound1 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
 news:gqj7kh$ll$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 (The whole idea of "free as in freedom software" not also implying 
 "free as in beer" (Side note: since when is beer free?) is 
 complete bullocks.) (And yes, I just used the word "bullocks". I'm 
 in a weird mood...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Froggy_Evening

*shrug* For all I know it could have come from that. But one thing I do know: Chuck Jones is an animation god :)

I attended a lecture by him once. He's also engaging and a very nice man. The crowd loved him, and he deserved it.

My interpretation of the phrase "Free, as in beer" is that the beer is free, whenever it is not your round. When it is your turn to go to the bar, it's everyone but you that gets free beer. In this context, "Free Software" is that which is produced by a community where each member makes a contribution in turn, either trough creating or testing, and as a result everyone shares the benefit. A...

I think everyone is reading too much into it. The point is simply to distinguish between gratis and libre. There's no suitable adjective to distinguish them in English (other than the two words themselves, which aren't widely used), as "free" is used to mean both. Beer is a product that is often given /gratis/, and the phrase "free beer" is used often enough ("Sure I'll come to your party/dinner/barbecue/your-favorite-social-event. I'm not one to turn down free beer!") that it gets the message across quite effectively. You could substitute any product for beer to the same end, but the meaning wouldn't be as immediately obvious methinks. At least, that's always been my understanding. Of course, you'd have to ask Richard Stallman since, IIRC, it was he who first started using the idea of free speech vs. free beer to promote Free Software.

Who pays for the beer when it is you who hosts the party? A...
Mar 28 2009
prev sibling next sibling parent Brad Roberts <braddr puremagic.com> writes:
Alix Pexton wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 Alix Pexton wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 "Walter Bright" <newshound1 digitalmars.com> wrote in message
 news:gqj7kh$ll$1 digitalmars.com...
 Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 (The whole idea of "free as in freedom software" not also
 implying "free as in beer" (Side note: since when is beer free?)
 is complete bullocks.) (And yes, I just used the word "bullocks".
 I'm in a weird mood...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Froggy_Evening

*shrug* For all I know it could have come from that. But one thing I do know: Chuck Jones is an animation god :)

I attended a lecture by him once. He's also engaging and a very nice man. The crowd loved him, and he deserved it.

My interpretation of the phrase "Free, as in beer" is that the beer is free, whenever it is not your round. When it is your turn to go to the bar, it's everyone but you that gets free beer. In this context, "Free Software" is that which is produced by a community where each member makes a contribution in turn, either trough creating or testing, and as a result everyone shares the benefit. A...

I think everyone is reading too much into it. The point is simply to distinguish between gratis and libre. There's no suitable adjective to distinguish them in English (other than the two words themselves, which aren't widely used), as "free" is used to mean both. Beer is a product that is often given /gratis/, and the phrase "free beer" is used often enough ("Sure I'll come to your party/dinner/barbecue/your-favorite-social-event. I'm not one to turn down free beer!") that it gets the message across quite effectively. You could substitute any product for beer to the same end, but the meaning wouldn't be as immediately obvious methinks. At least, that's always been my understanding. Of course, you'd have to ask Richard Stallman since, IIRC, it was he who first started using the idea of free speech vs. free beer to promote Free Software.

Who pays for the beer when it is you who hosts the party? A...

I would have thought that was obvious in a discussion on open source metaphors.. you steal it. Sorry, Brad
Mar 28 2009
prev sibling parent dsimcha <dsimcha yahoo.com> writes:
== Quote from Georg Wrede (georg.wrede iki.fi)'s article
 Seems BSD should be Our Way:
 [...] has a downside, the downside is that people, especially lawyers,
 especially corporate bosses look at the GPL and experience fear. Fear
 that all of their corporate secrets, business knowledge, and special
 sauce will suddenly be everted to the outside world by some inadvertent
 slip by some internal code. I think that fear is now costing us more
 than the threat[...]
 http://osnews.com/story/21192/ESR_GPL_No_Longer_Needed
 ........................
 Unrelated to this, but interesting, too:
 Microsoft Server/Tools boss Muglia said that "at some point, almost all
 our product(s) will have open source in (them)." He went on to say that
 "if MySQL (or) Linux do a better job for you, of course you should use
 those products."
 Well I'll be darned. I thought they'd get that like 5 years from now.
 (Hmm, maybe everybody should stick to the GPL, after all...)
 http://osnews.com/story/21053/Muglia_Open_Source_To_Permeate_Microsoft

Been thinking about this, and I think one of the things that the GPL really does help with, for all its flaws, is resisting embrace, extend, extinguish tactics. I'm not sure how practical it would be to make a license like the following stand up in court and be unambiguous, but here's a very informal plain English version of a license that I think would in principle be a good compromise between permissive and copyleft: Anyone receiving this code may modify, redistribute it, etc. in both binary and source form without any except those mentioned below. All warranties are disclaimed. If you redistribute modified versions of this code in proprietary/closed source form, you must specify any information necessary to allow other similar software to interoperate with your product. This includes file formats, network protocols, etc. You do not need to provide an implementation, only a reasonably implementable specification. Any modifications that do not affect interoperability may be made and released with no strings attached.
Mar 29 2009