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Brian Aker Responds To RMS On Dual Licensing

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the up-close-and-personal dept.

GNU is Not Unix 212

krow (Brian Aker, long-time MySQL developer) writes "Richard Stallman's comments on the Oracle Acquisition of Sun left me scratching my head over his continued support of closed-source licensing around open source software. Having spent more than a decade in the MySQL community, I feel that his understanding of the dual-license model is limited, and is at odds with his advocacy of free software. For this reason, I believe his recent statements concerning it need to be addressed. By pushing for the right to turn GPL-licensed software into the heart of a proprietary business model, he is squandering an opportunity for advocacy of open source within the European Union."

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212 comments

That's a new one (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839255)

Did someone just accuse RMS of supporting commercial licenses anywhere near Free Software?

Re:That's a new one (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29839451)

Left me sacratching my head as well.

Who cares though.. more reasons to bash RMS, yay!

Re:That's a new one (2, Insightful)

nullchar (446050) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839495)

Yeah, apparently as long as [some of?] the source remains GPL, RMS seems okay with dual licensing.

Stallman's quote:

This approach was able to provide (1) an attractive platform for developers looking to use FLOSS, and secured MySQL enormous mind share, particularly in supporting content rich web pages and other Internet applications, and (2) the ability for paying clientèle to combine and distribute MySQL in customizations that they do not want to make available to the public as free/libre software under the GPL. With excellent management and considerable trust within the user community, MySQL became the gold standard for web based FLOSS database applications.

Re:That's a new one (4, Insightful)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840243)

But, but I though RMS was an insane rambling ideologue who wants all software developers to be homeless? /s

Flamebait? Trolling? Maybe, but what I'd like to point out is that some people come to hate the person from a single statement attributed to them at some point (regardless of whether they actually said it, or it was taken out of context, etc) that anything they say is automatically hated as well. This is no better than the opposite, worshiping someone such that anything they say is loved without considering the merits. I just wish people would pay attention to why they feel the way they do, rather than just associating the emotion with a person and leaving it at that.

Sorry, not a single statement (4, Insightful)

pem (1013437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840509)

From http://fsfe.org/projects/gplv3/bangalore-rms-transcript [fsfe.org]

Audience member: [...] in this new World, and you're talking about GPL going over to the next version, how do you see proprietary software businesses making a profit?

Richard Stallman: That's unethical, they shouldn't be making any money. I hope to see all proprietary software wiped out. That's what I aim for. That would be a World in which our freedom is respected. A proprietary program is a program that is not free. That is to say, a program that does respect the user's essential rights. That's evil. A proprietary program is part of a predatory scheme where people who don't value their freedom are drawn into giving it up in order to gain some kind of practical convenience. And then once they're there, it's harder and harder to get out. Our goal is to rescue people from this.

So, I'm an unethical evil person because I make money writing proprietary software. However, it's a requirement that MySQL be sold to a different big evil corporation that doesn't already have a database offering and that can make money off it, else they might not support it.

Sorry, my brain isn't big enough to hold the cognitive dissonance that is Stallman -- he gives me a headache.

Re:Sorry, not a single statement (4, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841229)

If I understand him right, it seems that RMS doesn't have a problem with companies selling their software, he has a problem with companies that sell software and refuse to tell people how it works. Or maybe I'm just giving him too much credit.

Re:Sorry, not a single statement (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29841465)

Proprietary != commercial, especially in Stallman's head. He was asked, specifically, about proprietary software, and yes he believes it's unethical. In the same way that a vegetarian might deem a butcher unethical. This is by no means the same thing as a statement that no software developers should make money at it.

Re:That's a new one (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840321)

Yeah, apparently as long as [some of?] the source remains GPL, RMS seems okay with dual licensing.

With the GPLv3 and its differential treatment of B2B vs. B2C software, its pretty clear that the FSF has decided to aggressively leverage the GPL's more restrictive nature, compared to other Free licenses, as a way to push business adoption of the GPL over other Free licenses, and a willingness to restructure where those restrictions cut to meet the preferences of big vendors.

Stallman's praise of the MySQL dual licensing model seems perfectly consistent with this more tribal, less ideological approach of the FSF.

OTOH, I think ultimately the fact that this restrictiveness, which creates a structurally-preferred-vendor for GPL software even if others are theoretically free to create GPL, but not proprietary, alternatives, is a big selling point of the GPL to vendors is also, in the long-term, going to turn into more of a market liability for the GPL than a strength, since its a negative from the point of both downstream developers and non-developer users, since it incorporates the same kind -- though a lesser degree -- of copyright-owner vendor lock-in to GPL-licensed products that exists with proprietary products.

Re:That's a new one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840375)

developers looking to use FLOSS

Are developers should be using FLOSS, it helps with the bad coffee breath.

Re:That's a new one (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841185)

(2) the ability for paying clientèle to combine and distribute MySQL in customizations that they do not want to make available to the public as free/libre software under the GPL.

Umm. Isn't this exactly the reason GPL was born in the first place?

If you want to modify open code, but not contribute back, you either don't use code under GPL or you don't distribute the modified version. Did they talk this through with all the people whose code was merged under the GPL? There is a reason why FSF could move to GPL3 and why the Linux kernel can't possibly do so.

Someone tag this story "religiouswar" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840763)

I don't care about religious wars.

Re:That's a new one (4, Insightful)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841483)

Yes, but I don't think that RMS in his letter actually wanted to promote dual licensing.

The letter states his opinion on a very specific issue: the acquisition of Sun by Oracle. RMS thinks this is bad for MySQL and one of the reasons is that a source of funding, namely dual licensing, that used to be re-invested in the development of MySQL will probably stop being used that way. The point is that, if Oracle holds the copyright, sells licences, but doesn't give back to the community in terms of development of the GPL version, this will be worse than the current situation. RMS prefers that MySQL stays away from Oracle, this doesn't mean that he likes dual licensing (after all, none of the GNU software is dual licenced).

The letter was sent to the European Commission in support of blocking the acquisition. It's not the usual RMS speech.

Forgive me if I'm wrong but (1)

rwarfield (27024) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839295)

Isn't there already an open source fork of MySQL? Is anybody actually paying for Sun's?

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29839387)

Just one random examples - I believe these guys' hardware uses licensed MySQL technology for internal databases in their hardware: http://arubanetworks.com/ [arubanetworks.com]

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (4, Informative)

Predius (560344) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839431)

Yes, there is. The problem RMS is pointing out, is if Oracle basically shutters MySQL after acquiring it, as the owners of the primary license they can prevent MySQL from ever having a GPLv3 release, or any further closed source releases to fund further development. MySQL forks at that point will be locked into GPLv2 without the option of closed source releases to help fund further development.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (4, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839533)

Shouldn't they have that right? If I develop something and license it under GPLv2, I should be able to decline to ever relicense it to GPLv3.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29839693)

Sure unless you licensed it under "GPLv2 or later", or if you as the copyright holder decided to relicense it (for whatever reason). GPLv3 is a much better license though (it's expressed more clearly in a legal sense and closes some patent loopholes) so there's usually no good reason to avoid it. I release my software under GPLv3

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (3, Informative)

nullchar (446050) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839823)

What about this clause that is attached to the GPL in the MySQL code?

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840119)

From what I understand MySQL is distributed under a modified GPLv2 license. The principle modification being the removal of the "any later version" clause.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (4, Informative)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840507)

The principle modification being the removal of the "any later version" clause.

Just checked a fresh download of the MySQL 5.1.40 source. This statement is correct – the random sampling of source files I checked do not contain the "or later" clause in the licence notification.

Mod parent up, GP down (0, Offtopic)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840913)

Mod parent UP as informative
Mod GP DOWN as worng

Re:Mod parent up, GP down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29841197)

Mod parent DOWN as overrated
Mod GP UP as informative

Re:Mod parent up, GP down (0, Offtopic)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841255)

Mod parent as
Mod GP as overrated

Re:Mod parent up, GP down (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29841329)

We can think for ourselves, thank you.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (1)

pem (1013437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840537)

Yes, and the MySQL licensing exception already allows you to link it with GPL v3 stuff. But that sticks in Stallman's craw, because it's not pure v3.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (1)

mrvan (973822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839629)

But any FOSS software for which IP ownership is not concentrated (ie all developers kept their own copyright) is impossible to relicense, right? So MySQL is the exception because one party has IP rights, and the worst that can happen is that it becomes a normal FOSS project.

The real argument is that MySQL is developer with money acquired through the dual licensing, so that could go away. But admitting that is basically admitting that FOSS does not have a valid business model (in this case), so that's not opportune to say...

Isn't the IP of the kernel spread over all developers?

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (2, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839707)

Quite a lot of the GNU software is owned by the Free Software Foundation. Apache, Mozilla, X.org and Samba are owned by their respective foundations. OpenOffice.org and MySQL are owned by Sun.

The only major project on a typical distro I can think of that is owned by the individual contributors is linux.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (1)

krow (129804) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840677)

Perl, php, python, postgres, memcached, and many others have copyrights which are shared among multiple copyright owners. Apache is in the same boat (Rasmus continues to not sign over his rights). Mysql itself, do to Oracle owning Innodb, is in part owned Oracle as well as Sun.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841501)

> The only major project on a typical distro I can think of
> that is owned by the individual contributors is linux.

Off the top of my head?
xscreensaver, perl, ruby, cdrtools, vim, joe, fontforge, wesnoth, freeciv, ...

And quite aside from that, in the context of an entire distribution, you can view organizations like Sun and the FSF as individual contributors who hold the copyright only on the code that they (or their members or whatever) developed.

You can't put together what I would call an entire working operating system based on the open-source contributions of any one such organization. For example, if you limit yourself to only the code held by the Free Software Foundation, then to the best of my knowledge you've got no GUI, among other things.

So in a very real sense the whole thing is based on code owned by many contributors, although yes, a number of those contributors, including some of the most prominent ones, are companies and organizations.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839659)

Wow. What an incredibly weak argument. Surely someone could have suggested to separate the (legitimate) concern of Oracle's burgeoning database monopoly from Stallman's (irrelevant) interest in pushing all GPL2 software to GPL3.

I mean, I couldn't begin to guess what the EC might be inclined to do, but anti-trust regulations usually exist in order to prevent anti-competitive monopolies, not to make all software meet an extremely narrow definition of free (libre). If there is a succinct method of connecting the two, nothing linked to in the summary managed to accomplish it.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (2, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839737)

The EU could make it a condition of the takeover that they sell either the Oracle Database or the MySQL Database to a third party. That sort of thing quite often happens in anti-trust investigations.

They won't be directly concerned about keeping MySQL free and open source, but they may be concerned that having two major database servers owned by the same company reduces competition.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (-1, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839895)

Sun's MySQL page states ( http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/5.4.html [mysql.com] ) that it is licensed under GPL and refers you to the following URL:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html [gnu.org]

Which clearly states it can be licensed using any newer version of GPL by anyone who wants to do so.

I'm sorry, you were claiming something about what RMS was stating? I lost track after realizing you had no idea how it was licensed.

Re:Forgive me if I'm wrong but (2)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840195)

Wrong. You made the same mistake with the Linux kernel ( http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1406005&cid=29765325 [slashdot.org] ). The GPL states that:

"If the Program specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation."

The MySQL source is released explicitly under version 2 of the licence and *not* "any later version". Let's pick a random MySQL source file and read the copyright notice at the top:

From ./storage/myisammrg/myrg_rkey.c

"/* Copyright (C) 2000-2003, 2005 MySQL AB

      This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
      it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
      the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.

      This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
      but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
      MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
      GNU General Public License for more details.

      You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
      along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
      Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA */"

Older versions of MySQL weren't tied to the GPL2. You can read the statement from when this was changed at http://blogs.mysql.com/kaj/2006/12/22/mysql-refines-its-gpl-licensing-scheme-under-mysql-50-and-mysql-51/ [mysql.com]

It's reasonable to make mistakes, but to make them repeatedly in such a condescending, impertinent tone is outrageous. Please stop telling people that you can re-licence something under the GPL3 by virtue of the fact that it is released under the GPL2 - you can only do so if the copyright holder adds the "and any later version" statement.

This isn't the first time this has happened. (5, Insightful)

brennanw (5761) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839505)

Ghostview used to have (and may still have) a dual-licensing setup -- the most up-to-date version of Ghostview was under a non-free license that could be purchased by companies that wanted Acrobat support on platforms Adobe wasn't interested in supporting, and the older versions of Ghostview were released under the GPL. I remember RMS commenting on this at the time, and his comment was "I'd rather it be all GPL, but if that's what the creator needs to do in order to support his work so be it."

Perhaps I misunderstand the article, but I don't see this as a new position or a deviation on RMS' part. I also personally disagree that it's "anti Open Source" -- first, on a pedantic level, RMS would say that the issue had nothing to do with "Open Source," rather it was about "Free Software." ;-) Second, and probably a lot more relevant, if software is licensed under the GPL, then it's licensed under the GPL. You're free to hack on it, distribute it, improve it, modify it, as much as you wish under that license, and any new work you add to that software under that license stays under that license as well. So what exactly are you losing?

Re:This isn't the first time this has happened. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29841003)

s/Ghostview/Ghostscript/g

s/Acrobat/Postscript/g

Yeesh.

Re:This isn't the first time this has happened. (3, Informative)

christurkel (520220) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841343)

People also forget he champions free as in speech software. He's never been anti commercial.

So what (-1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839555)

To call Stallman a kook and crackpot would be overly flattering. He isn't concerned with "freedom", he is only interested in pushing a personal agenda. That's what the GPL is really all about. If you truly believe in software freedom then you absolutely reject the entire notion of software licensing.

Have you ever bought a book? Furniture? Clothing? A toaster, microwave or television? Did you have to agree to a license before you could use any of these items? NO. If you want software freedom, then there is only one license -- no license at all. Here's the software, you are free do do what you want.

The makers of proprietary software force you to agree to a massive, complicated license before you can use their products because they want to control and restrict what you can do. Let's not pretend that GPL software is any different.

Re:So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29839653)

what's the point of saying something i.e. "Let's not pretend that GPL software is any different" that's obviously false?

Re:So what (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29839655)

To call Stallman a kook and crackpot would be overly flattering. He isn't concerned with "freedom", he is only interested in pushing a personal agenda. That's what the GPL is really all about. If you truly believe in software freedom then you absolutely reject the entire notion of software licensing.

Have you ever bought a book? Furniture? Clothing? A toaster, microwave or television? Did you have to agree to a license before you could use any of these items? NO. If you want software freedom, then there is only one license -- no license at all. Here's the software, you are free do do what you want.

The makers of proprietary software force you to agree to a massive, complicated license before you can use their products because they want to control and restrict what you can do. Let's not pretend that GPL software is any different.

Ah yes, the WTFPL [zoy.org] .

Re:So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840203)

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim or modified copies of this license document, and changing it is allowed as long as the name is changed.

That last part is the deal breaker. I was looking for a truly free license, but this still doesn't quite cut it.

Re:So what (5, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839663)

Your trollish demeanor aside, the GPL is nothing like a standard EULA.

In fact, using GPL software is much like reading a book. The issues of copyright never come into play until you get it in your head that you wish to redistribute the work in question. Copyright says "no you can't, go talk to the copyright holder" while the GPL says "yes, under these terms. If you don't like them, Copyright says no you can't, go talk to the copyright holder."

Whereas proprietary software requires you read and accept a license before using it. Completely unlike a book.

Hopefully you will understand Stallman and the GPL better now, or I will have to apologize for feeding a troll.

You're confused. (5, Informative)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839679)

The GPL is not an EULA. In your book example, you can buy, read, resell, etc, the book in question. Exactly what you can do with any software, barring (possibly) an EULA.

You can certainly do all that with GPL software without ever reading or agreeing to the GPL. Agreement is not required for use.

Other actions, such as making and distributing copies, are restricted by copyright law, and apply to books as well as software regardless of license. The GPL happens to be a license which allows copying and redistribution, actions which are otherwise forbidden by copyright. You only must agree to GPL when you take action that bumps against copyright law.

Re:So what (5, Informative)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839685)

You are conflating a "usage" license with a "distribution" license. I agree that the former is completely inane. But the latter is a necessary extension of the concept of copyright, and the basis of the GPLv2.

Re:So what (4, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839699)

While I agree that RMS is an ideologue of the worst kind, you're completely off base here:

Have you ever bought a book? Furniture? Clothing? A toaster, microwave or television? Did you have to agree to a license before you could use any of these items?

No. But guess what? The GPL doesn't require that, either.

The GPL, like all copyright licenses, is a *redistribution* license. ie, when you *redistribute* the software, at *that* point you are bound by the terms of the GPL, as it is under those terms that you are granted the right to redistribution.

What you're talking about is a EULA, and I don't believe it's clear that those are even enforceable (and whether or not they are almost certainly depends on the state/province/country you live in). And certainly EULAs have absolutely no grounding in copyright law (which, as I say, is concerned with redistribution).

Re:So what (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29839949)

RMS is an ideologue of the best kind

Fixed that for you.

Re:So what (3, Informative)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839703)

Did you have to agree to a license before you could use any of these items? NO.

Are you serious? Maybe you should read the GPL before passing public judgment on it.

Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not covered by this License; they are outside its scope. The act of running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the Program (independent of having been made by running the Program).

      -- GPLv2 [gnu.org]

Re:So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29839747)

Idiot. GPL software restrictions are on redistribution, not usage. That's a massive different to the license shit you mentioned.

Things don't work the way you think (2, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839767)

Did you have to agree to a license before you could use any of these items? NO.

Things don't work the way you think. The book you bought had a license, you simply did not have to agree to it. You're bound to it anyway.

Re:Things don't work the way you think (4, Informative)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840213)

You don't buy a license for a book, you buy a physical copy of a book's content. Copyright law says you can't make copies of a protected work and distribute them.

Re:Things don't work the way you think (2, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840523)

Although copyright is the most significant law providing protection of the book's content, it is not the only one. There is an implicit license in the publication of a book and the lawful offer of that book for sale. Without it, you'd have no right to either purchase or read the book, and could, for example, be prosecuted under trade secret law.

Re:Things don't work the way you think (1)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840659)

Bruce, normally I find you enlightening, but could you provide a link that backs up that statement? Because it seems pretty counterintuitive that a there is any sort of "license" involved in the sale of books.

Re:Things don't work the way you think (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840933)

What I have is mostly legal theory. Appropriation of an unpublished manuscript would be prosecuted under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in most states. You can look that up. Publication and lawful sale provide you an implicit license to no longer consider that material as a secret. If you divulge the ending of Harry Potter 8 before it's published, expect to be sued, even though you bought the book and a copyright applies to it, and you never signed an NDA.

Re:Things don't work the way you think (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29841125)

That's utter nonsense! As soon as an author publishes his manuscript, or reveals it to the public, such as by holding a public reading, it is no longer a secret, BY DEFINITION! It has absolutely nothing to do with "an implicit license to no longer consider that material a secret". You are talking total rubbish, Bruce.

Re:Things don't work the way you think (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841007)

I think he's just saying that there's an implicit understanding between you and the copyright holder (or whomever) that they are willfully distributing the work to you (i.e. you didn't acquire it via underhanded tactics, which might bring trade secret [wikipedia.org] law into the equation).

IANAL.

Re:Things don't work the way you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840761)

Mr. Perens, as far as I know, you are not a licensed lawyer in any jurisdiction, therefore I strongly doubt the validity of your bold and sweeping assertions. Do you have any black-letter law references whatsoever to back them up?

Bruce Perens on crack? (4, Interesting)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840549)

The book you bought had a license, you simply did not have to agree to it. You're bound to it anyway.

WTF? You're bound by copyright law when you buy a book. Nothing more, nothing less. What is this license you speak of? Where do I find it? What makes it binding? How do I violate it?

Re:Bruce Perens on crack? (0)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840823)

Copyright law is the main law that protects books, but not the only law. How can you show that you have a right to posess the book at all, and that you had a right to purchase it? Because it is published. That creates an implicit license. Without it, you could be prosecuted, not under copyright law but under trade secret law.

Re:So what (5, Insightful)

gdshaw (1015745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839783)

The makers of proprietary software force you to agree to a massive, complicated license before you can use their products because they want to control and restrict what you can do. Let's not pretend that GPL software is any different.

Er, have you actually read the GPL? From section 9 (GPLv3):

"You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a copy of the Program."

Re:So what (2, Informative)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839791)

Erm, the GPL is a distribution license. You are free to run, modify, print and use as toilet paper, or do whatever as long as you do not distribute. If you wish to distribute the code, you need to follow the license and include your changes with it. I think even the biggest FLOSS zealots understand this. Why can't you?

As for this:

Have you ever bought a book? Furniture? Clothing? A toaster, microwave or television? Did you have to agree to a license before you could use any of these items? NO.

You don't have to with GPL code either. If you were to copy the book, or make knock-off furniture or clothing and then sold or distributed, you could likely be sued for it. If you sell or distribute GPL code, you just have to follow the license.

Re:So what (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839955)

To call Stallman a kook and crackpot would be overly flattering. He isn't concerned with "freedom", he is only interested in pushing a personal agenda.

Huh? By that definition the same thing could be said about Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, or any person involved in politics that was considered "radical" where they really don't even believe in their own ideas.

I mean seriously... Say what you will about RMS ideas and disagree with them if you don't like them, but to say he only does the FSF and GPL for the ladies and money is retarded at best.

I mean if he's got an agenda what is is for? To get attention from forum nerds? The lulz?

Re:So what (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839965)

The GPL places restrictions on distribution of derivatives of the work. It does not restrict in any way shape or form what users can do with the software, or even derivative works, so long as those never leave their hard drives.

Further, FOSS licenses grant you ownership rights over the work.

Proprietary software licenses on the other hand (I assume you're talking about EULAs and such) place restrictions on usage and distribution, and they only grant you licensee (not ownership) rights, which can be revoked at any point for any reason by the company you're getting the software from.

I might not be a big fan of Stallman and his philosophies, but if you're going to make a point like this about him, at least get the basic legalese right.

WTFPL (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839995)

> If you want software freedom, then there is only one license -- no license at all.

Nope. You could license under the WTFPL [wikipedia.org] , which is a recognized Open Source license, fully compatible with the GPL [gnu.org] .

> Let's not pretend that GPL software is any different.

It is. There are absolutely no conditions imposed in order to use GPL licensed software, as long as you don't distribute it in any way. However, as you correctly point out, the average proprietary software's EULA has gobs of conditions which you have to fulfill to be allowed to even use the software as it was meant to be used. Probably one of the reasons why no one is actually sure if EULAs are enforceable.

Re:So what (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840155)

You don't agree to the GPL license to use or modify a GPL product. It is only concerned with redistribution, which would be blatantly illegal without the GPL.

Re:So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840211)

Another MS fanboi gets schooled. LOL.

Re:So what (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840425)

You're confusing EULAs with distribution licenses. Consider:

EULA: Microsoft produces Office. Before I can use it I have to agree to certain conditions of use. Copyright law restricts me from re-distributing (or creating new works from) it without permission getting permission from MS.

GPL: Sun produces Java. They give it to me and I can use it without agreeing to any conditions limiting my use of the software*. Copyright law would restrict me from re-distributing (or creating new works from) it, but Sun has already given me permission to do this through the GPL.

Doesn't Stallman claim to want freedom for "recipients" of software to be able to use it and modify it, and not a free-for-all for developers and distributors? If those are his goals, then whether you agree with them or not presumably people who produce and distribute software under the GPL either agree with them, or don't understand the point of the license.

* I'll acknowledge that plenty of software presents a copy of the GPL and asks you to acknowledge it before installing the software. This doesn't change the fact that the GPL does not take any rights away from you, it only grants you certain rights (with regards to redistribution and modification) that you would not have otherwise. In fact the GPL itself says that "You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a copy of the Program"

groklaw's take on this (4, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839573)

Groklaw has an interesting take [groklaw.net] on this, full of conspiracy theories.

See, for example, this comment [groklaw.net] , where PJ is talking about Monty, and says:

I have come to suspect he's a double agent. And I believe the beneficiary will be Microsoft.

Wow

Re:groklaw's take on this (3, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839687)

That is because everything wrong in the world is the fault of Microsoft according to PJ.

Re:groklaw's take on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29839755)

And anything Apple does is fine, even if it's the same as what SCO did or MS did or...

Monty's laboring under a misconclusion (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840045)

I met with Monty a few months ago and could not convince him that he could carry out his business although the MySQL server was under the GPL. He appears to be locked into some GPL FUD that MySQL got from a lawyer in service of selling the commercial license even though - IMO - you've never needed one to run the server, just a few of the client libraries.

So, Monty is now attempting to rebel against the GPL unnecessarily because of this false conclusion.

Or perhaps his real strategy is to kill the Sun/Oracle MySQL business, leaving him and his company in an advantageous position.

What makes this doubly strange is that Monty has been paid. Something around USD $100 Million for about 10 years work - a pretty good rate, IMO. Whatever he put into MySQL, he got compensated for. And thus I don't see that he has much moral standing on this issue.

Bruce

Re:Monty's laboring under a misconclusion (4, Interesting)

krow (129804) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840569)

Hi Bruce!

Please note that I say nothing about the effectiveness of dual licensing as a business model. Pay-day loans exist as a business model, but I do not find that they are healthy for the communities that they exist in.

Richard is choosing to ignore the overall health of community interaction in order to favor a business model that is in direct conflict with "free software". This is what I find to be sad in his actions.

The fact that he is squandering his opportunity to further the cause of free/open source is shameful.

-Brian

Re:Monty's laboring under a misconclusion (1, Interesting)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840767)

I've read both the links, and it sure seems like both you and RMS came to exactly the same conclusions. You appear to be disagreeing on the justification of that if I understand it correctly. I'm not trolling, I'm honestly confused, and think that understanding would be enlightening. You appear to be saying: "Oracle should not be allowed to own MySQL" (or at the very least, it's bad for Free Software/Open Source for that to happen). From the open letter RMS signed:

Defenders of the Oracle acquisition of its competitor naively say Oracle cannot harm MySQL, because a free version of the software is available to anyone under GNU GPL version 2.0, and if Oracle is not a good host for the GPL version of the code, future development will be taken up by other businesses and individual programmers, who could freely and easily "fork" the GPL'd code into a new platform. This defense fails for the reasons that follow. MySQL uses the parallel licensing approach to generate revenue to continue the FLOSS development of the software. If Oracle acquired MySQL, it would then be the only entity able to release the code other than under the GPL. Oracle would not be obligated to diligently sell or reasonably price the MySQL commercial licenses. More importantly, Oracle is under no obligation to use the revenues from these licenses to advance MySQL. In making decisions in these matters, Oracle is facing an obvious conflict of interest – the continued development of a powerful, feature rich free alternative to its core product. ...

I think RMS is over the top, but generally follows his principle to a fault. So the assertion that he's failing the Free Software Principles strikes me as odd. You've got plenty of credibility as a major MySQL (and derivatives) developer. If I keep getting the source code, I'm not sure I see the problem. Now that somebody who isn't Free Software friendly owns the copyright seems like a crying shame (in order to upgrade to GPLv3 will take a total re-write). The fact that only Oracle will be able to sell a commercial license doesn't seem like a bad thing for Free Software. It seems like a really bad thing for all the folks that wanted to buy a commercial license to avoid being a part of the free software community. Again, I'm just trying to understand your perspective. I think you have a salient point, but I'm not able to see what the significant difference in yours and RMS's opinion is. From what I can tell, you both clearly agree on the outcome, just not the justification. I think if you can clarify this it would be enlightening to me personally, and many others.

Re:Monty's laboring under a misconclusion (1)

krow (129804) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840771)

Oops, wrong comment to post on.

Btw I assume you are referring to the non-sense that gpl follows protocol. Notice that with drizzle we have bsd drivers, and that many others drivers exist that are not gpl. The concept that gpl infects via protocol is absurd.

Re:Monty's laboring under a misconclusion (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840801)

Please note that I say nothing about the effectiveness of dual licensing as a business model.

Hi Brian,

You do, you just don't couch it in those terms. Many - certainly not all - of us need a business model to justify the production of Open Source software. Certainly that was the case for MySQL AG while Monty and you worked there. I very strongly doubt that you would have been able to operate the company while paying yourselves without the dual licensing paradigm which you and the company espoused at the time.

So, what you said was:

Dual licensing is anti-open source.

Actually, it isn't anti-Open-Source at all. It's pro-proprietary-software. You're confusing the two. It is also pro-Open-Source in that it effectively funds its development.

I am really scratching my head regarding your moral position here. It's the license model you promoted. You got paid a salary. You produced a work-for-hire and the company had all rights to it. You sold the company, and you got paid again through your stock.

IMO, what you should do is let Sun and Oracle do what they wish with the ownership of MySQL, as the GPL copy will persist forever and you have freedom to continue its development, and your customers can use that server with their proprietary software without a problem. Sun/Oracle can develop or sink their MySQL version as they like, and we don't care because our version lives on. Ignore politics on a mailing list, everybody has a right to carry it out and you can have another, moderated, list if you don't like it.

And please stop promoting the FUD that the GPL and Sun's rights block you and are somehow unfair to your business. It doesn't, and isn't, and you've been compensated so far beyond the merely "fair" that your protests sound inappropriate.

Bruce

Re:Monty's laboring under a misconclusion (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841371)

You do, you just don't couch it in those terms. Many - certainly not all - of us need a business model to justify the production of Open Source software. Certainly that was the case for MySQL AG while Monty and you worked there. I very strongly doubt that you would have been able to operate the company while paying yourselves without the dual licensing paradigm which you and the company espoused at the time.

Based on...what? There are certainly companies that do business around F/OSS (and even F/OSS databases) that don't rely on the "we control the copyright and use the GPL so only we can dual license" MySQL model. Both the "open source + paid support" and the "open source + enhanced proprietary version" models (and often a mix of both, as, e.g., is done at EnterpriseDB) exist in the market. While MySQL surely did use the particular model it used, I can't see any evidence from which one can conclude that that is the only model they could have used.

Re:Monty's laboring under a misconclusion (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841467)

Although many small companies claim to have made money from an Open Source based business, there is no evidence that they actually have because they haven't published their financial information. We have actual evidence that only two companies have made money from an Open Source based business, MySQL, and Red Hat. Thus, MySQL accounts for 50% of the profitable companies that we have proof for.

Re:groklaw's take on this (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840069)

Groklaw has an interesting take [groklaw.net] on this, full of conspiracy theories.

See, for example, this comment [groklaw.net] , where PJ is talking about Monty, and says:

I have come to suspect he's a double agent.
And I believe the beneficiary will be Microsoft.

Wow

Groklaw is turning into the Troofer site for the realm of technology law.

PJ did great work on shining the light of day on SCO, but damn, Groklaw is turning into the professional athlete that played about a decade too long in a futile search for former glory.

Re:groklaw's take on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840519)

PJ as a professional athlete? Is pie-eating a sport? Seriously, she's morbidly obese. And she fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

RMS doesn't care about open source (3, Informative)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839635)

By pushing for the right to turn GPL-licensed software into the heart of a proprietary business model, he is squandering an opportunity for advocacy of open source within the European Union.

RMS could not care less about open source. He only cares about free software. There's a difference and he will go to great pains to point out the difference if you engage him using the term "open source." If you are going to respond to him, the least you can do is use the terminology correctly. Otherwise he'll interpret what you say differently than what you probably meant.

Re:RMS doesn't care about open source (5, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840015)

RMS could not care less about open source. He only cares about free software.

Well yeah... What is the use of have access to the source code when the license forbids you to modify it?

That's the different between Open Source Software and Free Open Source Software. I mean Microsoft releases source code to 3rd parties all the time but the strings attached to the code are pretty brutal.

Re:RMS doesn't care about open source (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840237)

MS-PL is pretty nice though... But most of their "Shared Source" is far from MS-PL.

Re:RMS doesn't care about open source (0)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840091)

Correction, RMS hates what he thinks of as open source almost as much as he hates proprietary software.

To me, open source software (OSS) seems like a clear superset of "free" software (FS). The former can be GPLed, or BSDed, or public domain, or whatever. The latter can only be licensed under the GPL or other RMS-approved-with-extra-freedom-license (TM).

To RMS there isn't a whole lot of difference between OSS and proprietary. Neither one is "free."

Re:RMS doesn't care about open source (4, Informative)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840645)

Wrong. The BSD license and its ilk *are* Free Software licenses, they're just not "copyleft" which is a desirable but not vital quality as far as RMS is concerned. The ones that are OSS-but-not-Free are those like the license of Pine which disallows redistribution of modified works, or some of Microsoft's Shared Source licenses which disallow commercial redistribution at all.

If you wish, you can educate yourself further here [fsf.org] , and the FSF's definition of Free Software here [fsf.org] .

Re:RMS doesn't care about open source (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841389)

First off, I didn't say the BSD license was not "free." Read my post again. I'll admit there was a very weak implication there, but not a statement of fact. Certainly one one justifying your condescending post. Secondly, perhaps YOU should educate yourself: the original BSD license is not considered "free" (by the FSF) because it is incompatible with the GPL. The revised license is more or less acceptable to RMS:

"In the GNU project, we use copyleft to protect these freedoms legally for everyone. But non-copylefted free software also exists. We believe there are important reasons why it is better to use copyleft, but if your program is non-copylefted free software, it is still basically ethical." http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html [gnu.org]

So yeah, if you use the revised BSD license you're "still basically ethical."

Here's what Stallman, et al, said (3, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839721)

The letter from Stallman and the others discussed two ways in which forking MySQL would be hard. One was because it is under GPLv2 without the "or later" option, so cannot mix with GPLv3 code. That a pretty irrelevant point, though, because the problem lies entirely with GPLv3's lack of compatibility wity other free licenses, such as GPLv2.

The other problem the letter mentions, though, has nothing to do with GPLv3 vs GPLv2. Here is how they describe the problem. I'll include the GPLv3 argument for completeness:

Defenders of the Oracle acquisition of its competitor naively say Oracle cannot harm MySQL, because a free version of the software is available to anyone under GNU GPL version 2.0, and if Oracle is not a good host for the GPL version of the code, future development will be taken up by other businesses and individual programmers, who could freely and easily "fork" the GPL'd code into a new platform. This defense fails for the reasons that follow.

MySQL uses the parallel licensing approach to generate revenue to continue the FLOSS development of the software. If Oracle acquired MySQL, it would then be the only entity able to release the code other than under the GPL. Oracle would not be obligated to diligently sell or reasonably price the MySQL commercial licenses. More importantly, Oracle is under no obligation to use the revenues from these licenses to advance MySQL. In making decisions in these matters, Oracle is facing an obvious conflict of interest – the continued development of a powerful, feature rich free alternative to its core product.

As only the original rights holder can sell commercial licenses, no new forked version of the code will have the ability to practice the parallel licensing approach, and will not easily generate the resources to support continued development of the MySQL platform.

The acquisition of MySQL by Oracle will be a major setback to the development of a FLOSS database platform, potentially alienating and dispersing MySQL's core community of developers. It could take several years before another database platform could rival the progress and opportunities now available to MySQL, because it will take time before any of them attract and cultivate a large enough team of developers and achieve a similar customer base.

Yet another way in which Oracle will have the ability to determine the forking of MySQL relates to the evolution of the GNU GPL license. GPL version 2.0 (GPLv2) and GPL version 3.0 (GPLv3) are different licenses and each requires that any modified program carry the same license as the original. There are fundamental and unavoidable legal obstacles to combining code from programs licensed under the different GPL versions. Today MySQL is only available to the public under GPLv2.

Many other FLOSS software projects are expected to move to GPLv3, often automatically due to the common use of the "any later version" clause. Because the current MySQL license lacks that clause, it will remain GPLv2 only and it will not be possible to combine its code with the code of many GPLv3- covered projects in the future. Given that forking of the MySQL code base will be particularly dependent on FLOSS community contributions - more so than on in-company development - the lack of a more flexible license for MySQL will present considerable barriers to a new forked development path for MySQL.

I'm assuming that hell has frozen over, because the first argument is that forking won't work because the GPL does not let the forker use the dual licensing model to make money, and that letter [keionline.org] is signed by Stallman.

Re:Here's what Stallman, et al, said (1)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840151)

One was because it is under GPLv2 without the "or later" option, so cannot mix with GPLv3 code. That a pretty irrelevant point, though, because the problem lies entirely with GPLv3's lack of compatibility wity other free licenses, such as GPLv2.

in what way does that make the point irrelevant? the problem still exists. just because you see a way of apportioning blame does not make the problem go away.

Re:Here's what Stallman, et al, said (2, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840377)

It's irrelevant because the same objection could be raised for any pair of incompatible license. E.g., if MySQL were under GPLv3, you could object that a fork could not bring code that is GPLv2-only. There is a plenty of free software under GPLv2, and other free non-GPL licenses, that can be used with a forked MySQL.

In fact, most, if not all, significant open source databases are under licenses that, if compatible with GPLv3, are also compatible with GPLv2, and these are the most likely outside places code would come into a MySQL from.

Dual Licensing is a good business model (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29839733)

Some of us would like to be able to support our development of Free Software directly through the software. Many of us support ourselves in other ways and don't care about this. But for those who want to get the support from the software, dual-licensing is a good way to do it.

It satisfies the folks who don't like the GPL, because it gives them a different set of rights in exchange for some cash. Both the contributions by other developers who follow the GPL and cash are ways of providing a quid-pro-quo for the original developer.

What it doesn't satisfy is the folks who want a free ride instead of Free Software, because you have to pay for a commercial license. And IMO that strikes a good balance.

Even RMS sees this. I think Brian's accusing him of being too moderate. :-)

Bruce

Re:Dual Licensing is a good business model (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840409)

What it doesn't satisfy is the folks who want a free ride instead of Free Software, because you have to pay for a commercial license.

Dual licensing under the GPL also doesn't satisfy the folks who want to maximize the primary benefit to software users of F/OSS: the guarantee that no matter what the copyright owner, original vendor, or any other single market actor does, maintenance and further development to meet the users evolving need will be viable for either the user's organization itself or third parties.

Re:Dual Licensing is a good business model (2, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840557)

Yes. And this applies entirely to the MySQL server, and a TCP/IP client of that server is not a derivative work. So, I think that Monty's confused about the GPL and the MySQL server. Now, he could have a valid point regarding some MySQL client libraries, but IMO they are very easily replaced and appropriately-licensed replacements already exist.

Re:Dual Licensing is a good business model (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840871)

If the copyright holder chooses to license the software under a different license to a third party, the GPL'd code is still freely available under the terms of the GPL.

If the licensee then makes some modifications, they may choose to keep them proprietary. This only directly impacts those that use the modified version of the code.

The viability of the GPL'd version is in no way impacted by changes to the proprietary version. Everyone still has all the rights that they did before--it's just that the proprietary licencee now has additional rights.

Re:Dual Licensing is a good business model (1)

krow (129804) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840731)

Hi Bruce!

Please note that I say nothing about the effectiveness of dual licensing as a business model. Pay-day loans exist as a business model, but I do not find that they are healthy for the communities that they exist in.

Richard is choosing to ignore the overall health of community interaction in order to favor a business model that is in direct conflict with "free software". This is what I find to be sad in his actions.

The fact that he is squandering his opportunity to further the cause of free/open source is shameful.

-Brian

Btw I originally replied to the wrong comment from you , hence this post. The iPhone is not the greatest interface to slashdot :)

Re:Dual Licensing is a good business model (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840979)

Please note that I say nothing about the effectiveness of dual licensing as a business model.

Hi Brian,

You do, you just don't couch it in those terms. Many - certainly not all - of us need a business model to justify the production of Open Source software. Certainly that was the case for MySQL AG while Monty and you worked there. I very strongly doubt that you would have been able to operate the company while paying yourselves without the dual licensing paradigm which you and the company espoused at the time.

So, what you said was:

Dual licensing is anti-open source.

Actually, it isn't anti-Open-Source at all. It's pro-proprietary-software. You're confusing the two. It is also pro-Open-Source in that it effectively funds its development.

I am really scratching my head regarding your moral position here. It's the license model you promoted. You got paid a salary. You produced a work-for-hire and the company had all rights to it. You sold the company, and you got paid again through your stock.

IMO, what you should do is let Sun and Oracle do what they wish with the ownership of MySQL, as the GPL copy will persist forever and you have freedom to continue its development, and your customers can use that server with their proprietary software without a problem. Sun/Oracle can develop or sink their MySQL version as they like, and we don't care because our version lives on. Ignore politics on a mailing list, everybody has a right to carry it out and you can have another, moderated, list if you don't like it.

And please stop promoting the FUD that the GPL and Sun's rights block you and are somehow unfair to your business. It doesn't, and isn't, and you've been compensated so far beyond the merely "fair" that your protests sound inappropriate.

Bruce

read between the lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29839821)

I don't read here that Stallman advocates dual licensing. He is merely stating the historical situation of the mysql licensing model. Acutally, you can read between the lines of his letter to EU. His argument is that the dual license of mysql is going to kill mysql development. He says that only Oracle can hold a commercial license for mysql, and due to Oracle's conflct of interest, mysql will languish.

So, between the lines, I see a warning from Stallman to those who use dual licensing. You may get the benefit from developers contributing for free to the product, but in the end, you will be screwed if someone with big bucks becomes the one and only holder of commerical license.

Dual Licensing ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840113)

Sorry, but I just really don't get what the problem is either... ?

No way to prevent dual licensing? (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840281)

If I'm the author of a GPLed piece of software I still own the software I wrote so I can decide to make a closed source fork. Did I get it wrong? If I got it right, dual licensing is a pretty normal consequence of my ownership of the code. The only way to prevent it would be to surrender the ownership of the code, but if I don't own it, how can I license it? Without an owner the code would be in the public domain where anybody can take it and use it for closed source projects. So what's the way out? Maybe a license that binds me to use the code only under its terms?

Re:No way to prevent dual licensing? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840829)

To prevent dual licensing, you can:
1) Give the copyright to someone else
2) Release it into the public domain
3) Release it under the BSD license, so even if you dual license it everyone will simply sue the BSD version

Re:No way to prevent dual licensing? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841109)

If different parts of the code are copyrighted by different contributors (like the Linux kernel) then any particular contributor cannot dual-license.

m2od down (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29840363)

denad. It is a dead

Why should the EU have power to stop the merger? (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 4 years ago | (#29840893)

I get that since the companies want to do business in Europe, they have to follow the regulations and be approved and such.

However, they are US companies. Not EU companies.

So what can the EU actually do? If the US OK's it, surely the resulting company can be barred from doing business in the EU or whatever..., but even that more than likely would not hold.

I understand the practicalities, but I just wonder what actual power the EU has to stop US companies from joining.

open source? (2, Insightful)

Jessta (666101) | more than 4 years ago | (#29841403)

By pushing for the right to turn GPL-licensed software into the heart of a proprietary business model, he is squandering an opportunity for advocacy of open source within the European Union.

umm...RMS doesn't advocate Open Source. RMS advocates Free Software

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