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GPL Kerfuffle Takes Xbian For Raspberry Pi Offline

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the oh-you-mean-that-was-a-license dept.

Operating Systems 154

tetrahedrassface writes "Rasbmc developer Sam Nazarko is reporting that Xbian had violated the GPL and stolen his installer code without providing attribution and not releasing their source. His breakdown of events is interesting, and currently the Xbian project has been taken offline with several tweets saying Xbian development is terminated."

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Dumb Link Award (1, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#41417977)

Someone posting a link to a project that "has been taken offline" needs their head examined.

http://www.cafe-hbal.com/vb/ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418045)

goood

Re:Dumb Link Award (0, Flamebait)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418077)

Re:Dumb Link Award (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418137)

That doesn't mean that we can't laugh at you based on the story we received.

Re:Dumb Link Award (0)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418189)

True. :) It's all good.

Re:Dumb Link Award (0, Offtopic)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418151)

Why has this comment been modded down? Seems like a reasonable, if not slightly abrasive -- but tolerable -- self-defense.

Re:Dumb Link Award (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419579)

Why has this comment been modded down? Seems like a reasonable, if not slightly abrasive -- but tolerable -- self-defense.

Because there are elegant ways and non-elegant ways to defend yourself. Also, he was being a dick.

Re:Dumb Link Award (4, Funny)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418155)

You can't fool us. This story is a giant troll to get your ridiculous username in front of as many people as possible.

Re:Dumb Link Award (5, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418183)

Well, to play devil's advocate here...

If the just came out and said "the xbian project is cancelled", and DIDN'T post the link for verification (yup! Its dead!), then there would be people denouncing the statement as FUD, and shouting [CITATION NEEDED].

Rather than take it as "Hey, Check out this TOTALLY AWESOME project that is so totally cancelled on their inactive website! Its a complete waste of time!" I would take it as the req. for the [citation needed] crowd.

*shrug*

Re:Dumb Link Award (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418719)

Well far be it from me to point out /. editors don't actually edit or anything, but would it have really killed either them or the dude that posted it to tell us WTF XBian was? Or why we should care?

I mean not everyone is in the pi builder community, so a couple of words telling what it was, or what its difference between it and the other one was, which again don't know WTF it is except it has something to do with the Pi, would have been nice.

Re:Dumb Link Award (0)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418935)

Probably would've come under assault for stating the "obvious" or being condescending. The 'perfect' /. post is a wild gambit, a tilting rook amidst a mired swamp of strange and temperamental creatures. It's like blindly striking a smoking electro-piñata filled by Alan Turing, Douglas Adams and Nietzsche -- and Gates, Torvalds and Jobs are screeching so loudly in the background, you consider striking yourself instead. In truth, such endeavors require a rare form of derangement, a harmonious blend of neo-technical madness and erstwhile sentiment; which is why ....shit, I need my meds; I'm done here. What have I done!

Oh, wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418217)

The server at www.xbian.org can't be found, because the DNS lookup failed.

They weren't kidding when they said it had been taken offline.

Re:Oh, wow. (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418297)

Nuked it from orbit.

Re:Oh, wow. (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418629)

any cached copies?

Re:Dumb Link Award (3, Funny)

Psicopatico (1005433) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419175)

It hasn't "been taken offline". It's simply slashdotted :-)

GOD DOES EXIST !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41417991)

And he's living in New Jersey !!

GPL Kerfuffle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418007)

Kerfuffle? What the fuck does that even mean?

If you have to google a term, DON'T FUCKING USE IT IN A POST TITLE.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (0)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418037)

Kerfuffle, kvetch, futz, meshugenah, etc are all yiddish.

Clearly you don't spend much time in New York, or around jewish people.

Either that or you have lots of hutzpah.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418099)

Clearly you don't spend much time in New York, or around jewish people.

Its a pretty common term in Australian English. No idea if it came to us via Australian or foreign Jews though.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

In hydraulis (1318473) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418371)

^ He speaks the truth.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418809)

Hell I'm in the middle of the deep south and even i knew those words and kerfuffle is used down here as well. I think some words just end up common language, like putz or schmuck.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418111)

Actually, it's of Gaelic/Scots origin and means "disturbance in the force"
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kerfuffle

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418633)

So, Han Solo was feeling a kerfuffle?

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419165)

I think you mean Obi Wan Kenobi.

Do you even have a geek card to hand in?

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

metallurge (693631) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419303)

No. You misheard. Indiana Jones seemed to have caught a bit of a sniffle . But it's easily misunderstood, what with the scots accent and all.

The reference [youtube.com]

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419549)

So, Han Solo was feeling a kerfuffle?

No, Obi Wan, Luke and Leia can as can all the Jedis and Siths, however Han Solo can cause a kerfuffle as demonstrated by his hasty departure from Tatooine :)

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419285)

There's an ancient Vulcan proverb: Only Nixon could go to China.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419291)

Scots, not Gaelic.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

The1stImmortal (1990110) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418115)

Actually from a quick google it looks like the term comes from Scottish Gaelic dialects.
I'm not going to bother linking because it was the first 5 results for kerfuffle :)

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (5, Funny)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418145)

OH NOES! I've been forced to expand my vocabulary! The pain in my head is killing me, please make it stop!

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418659)

OH NOES! I've been forced to expand my vocabulary! The pain in my head is killing me, please make it stop!

Amen, brother.

Re:Cromulent (5, Funny)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418239)

I don't see why Kerfuffle shouldn't be used in the post title. It's a perfectly cromulent word.

Re:Cromulent (2)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419527)

For your use of the word cromulent, may I offer you my most enthusiastic contrafibularities!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOSYiT2iG08 [youtube.com]

Re:Cromulent (2)

19061969 (939279) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419779)

I bet you're anaspeptic, phrasmotic, even compunctious to have cause such pericombobulation.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (2)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418263)

Much like the Jabberwocky poem, you don't need to know what it means to know what it means.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418407)

Maybe you are just trying to read at too high of a level?
Perhaps you should start with fox news and work your way up to coloring books, and tackle slashdot later on ;)

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419247)

Sound advice for anyone with liberal tendencies. Visit Daily Kos or Democratic Underground or Think Progress and you'll see scads of sensationalistic headlines all based on the poster's complete lack of reading comprehension.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418615)

Just because you needed to google the term does not mean that the poster did.

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419171)

maybe you should learn to english

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419189)

double posting for awesome: why should he take your ignorance into account?

Re:GPL Kerfuffle (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419767)

If I have to google a term, don't use it in a post title.

FTFY (Fixed That For You)

While I'm very against GPL violations (4, Interesting)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418123)

My guess is that they didn't want to release the code because, perhaps, they didn't have any, or perhaps because it was all chewing gum and bailing wire and they didn't even have it under source control.

And this reads a little like one developer trying to use the GPL to prevent a fork.

But, given the seeming quality of the distribution and level of response from the XBian people, I do not think that in this case it is any great loss.

Re:While I'm very against GPL violations (4, Insightful)

FrangoAssado (561740) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418465)

My guess is that they didn't want to release the code because, perhaps, they didn't have any, or perhaps because it was all chewing gum and bailing wire and they didn't even have it under source control.

If that had been the case, he could simply have tar'ed his whole tree and put it up in the same place he was distributing the installer. The GPL defines "source code" as:

The “source code” for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it.

I don't think anyone can argue that the exact tree that was used to develop the code is not the "preferred" form to make modifications to it -- it is the form he used to make his modifications.

Re:While I'm very against GPL violations (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418499)

Whether they were in the right or the wrong, the responses from some of the Xbian people are strikingly childish. The youtube analogy actually made me cringe.

Re:While I'm very against GPL violations (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418877)

I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps the xbian group has a lot of high school kids behind it?

Re:While I'm very against GPL violations (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419563)

Well, their project leader is like 17 or something. That might explain things.

Permission not needed (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418175)

You don't need permission to fork a GPL project and Nazarko is wrong to demand that he be asked.

Re:Permission not needed (3, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418211)

However, gpl code still has copyright ascribed to the author, which needs to remain. Eg, the author must be credited as the author under GPL.

The GPL permits reuse, repurposing, and redistribution, as long as the terms of the GPL are observed. One of therms of the GPL is the attribution of original authors.

Re:Permission not needed (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418605)

Stop spreading FUD.

The theme violated was failure to include complete source code. Attribution is a CC/BSD thing.

Re:Permission not needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418701)

GPLv3, Section 7 b) ...you may (if authorized by the copyright holders of that material) supplement the terms of this License with terms:...
Requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or author attributions in that material or in the Appropriate Legal Notices displayed by works containing it

Re:Permission not needed (3, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418749)

Uhm.. GPL is a hack on copyright law. In Berne convention signatory countries, the mere act of writing the software creates a copyrighted work, owned exclusively by its creator.

The spirit of the GPL is to do away with this, and permit rapid collaboration and joint authorship of complex computer programs that could not otherwise be performed realistically in the absence of a license like the GPL.

The employment of the GPL as a license does NOT negate obligations to copyright, in such countries. In fact, the GPL is enforcable *BECAUSE* of such copyright.

Unless the creators of rasbmc explicitly waived rights of ownership and declaired the work to be public domain (if so, why GPL and not BSD?) Then the additional contributors to that code (the person who modified the installer) needs to attribute proper ownership. The license to use that code as delivered by the copyright holder is the GPL. Failure to comply with the GPL results in forfieture of license, which means that xbian is comiting copyright infringement.

Claiming ownership of a copyrighted work so as to sidestep compliance with the license is a very big NoNo with GPLed codebases. If there is copyright, you MUST respect it, or you are defacto in violation of the license. (How can you caim compliance with a license created by someone you contest ownership of the code with?)

While not explicitly part of the GPL, (since it is covered by wider copyright law, and not applicable to the GPL itself, but very relavent to enforcement) observing correct attribution of ownership is paramount to proper compliance with the license.

The copyright holder can relicense arbitrarily. A GPL compliant user cannot, and must comply with the GPL license under law. Attribution is more than just a nicety. It is required for the GPL to function.

Re:Permission not needed (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419261)

Oh god no, that's wrong. Attribution is the most basic requirement in any license, and essentially every license does require it. The GPL certainly does.

Re:Permission not needed (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419409)

Please cite the clause in the GPL that requires attribution.

If you find such a clause and it's not taken out of context I'll eat my words.

Re:Permission not needed (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419583)

Please cite the clause in the GPL that requires attribution.

If you find such a clause and it's not taken out of context I'll eat my words.

I won't deny that the word "attribution" is missing in the GPL2 however it is in GPL3 (See 7b Additional Terms). From here [wikipedia.org] "Attribution (copyright), concept in copyright law requiring an author to be credited". Now look at the GPL 2 or 3 they mention copyright and one of the requirements of the GPL is the requirement of the author of said software to be credited.

Re:Permission not needed (3, Informative)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419621)

Clause 1 in GPL2 and Clause 4 in GPL4 require all extant license notices to remain in the files intact. Both define the minimum for the notices to contain " (c) Copyright Joe Soap Industries 2012"

For modifications, Clause 2 in GPL2 and Clause 5 in GPL4 requires the developer to adhere to the verbatim copying clauses as well as the conditions in the modification clauses.

To me that's pretty clear that the original copyright statements must remain prominent.

Re:Permission not needed (2)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419535)

Not sure what you mean by that. GPL v2 is incompatible with attribution requirements, v3 allows you to amend the terms to require attribution. It's not a requirement by default.

Re:Permission not needed (3, Interesting)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418305)

Also, all the supporting code was under GPL. The code that pulled everything together to make a distribution. And XBian wasn't posting that code. That's a hard requirement of the GPL. Attribution actually isn't a hard requirement of the GPL, it's just polite.

Re:Permission not needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418725)

The thing about that is... raspbmc isn't posting any of that code either. Their "source code" is just a set of scripts which run debootstrap to build a root filesystem image.

Re:Permission not needed (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419271)

Debian also can assert a compilation copyright, although I don't know if they've claimed one recently. They must be attributed for the distribution overall.

Re:Permission not needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418423)

He also demanded that all threads linking to it be removed from third party forums. While I think the GPL is a necessary evil, this type of control freak behavior isn't.

Re:Permission not needed (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419167)

You don't need permission to fork a GPL project

Correct. You can do whatever you like with it on your own private computer. But you do need permission to distribute it to *anybody*, whether you've made any changes at all or not.

The GPL happens to give this permission in exchange of making the full and complete source code available to all those who receive the binary from you. If you don't comply, then you have no permission at all to distribute it to anyone, whether you've made any changes at all or not.

mod 04 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418315)

In eternity...Romeo core team. They Time I'm done here, Creek, abys8al Argued by Eric polite to bring of the warring code.' Don't of an admittedly (7000+1400+700)*4 and that the floor AMERICA) might be long term survival another troubled which gathers one or the other

Re:mod 04 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418393)

In eternity...Romeo core team. They Time I'm done here, Creek, abys8al Argued by Eric polite to bring of the warring code.' Don't of an admittedly (7000+1400+700)*4 and that the floor AMERICA) might be long term survival another troubled which gathers one or the other

And me without mod points. Go figure.

NOT a GPL violation (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418373)

The disputed code is not licensed under the GPL. The actual License can be found here:

http://svn.stmlabs.com/svn/raspbmc/LICENSE

Re:NOT a GPL violation (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418439)

Debian distribution and its associated packages

Hmmm I wonder what debian think about their software being aggregated with software distributed under this license?

Re:NOT a GPL violation (2)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418645)

Well, according to the Open Source definition they really don't have anything to think about it...

9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software

The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software.

Re:NOT a GPL violation (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419179)

>Hmmm I wonder what debian think about their software being aggregated with software distributed under this license?

"Mere aggregation" is just fine and is spelled out in the GPL.

From 3.0

A compilation of a covered work with other separate and independent works, which are not by their nature extensions of the covered work, and which are not combined with it such as to form a larger program, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium, is called an âoeaggregateâ if the compilation and its resulting copyright are not used to limit the access or legal rights of the compilation's users beyond what the individual works permit. Inclusion of a covered work in an aggregate does not cause this License to apply to the other parts of the aggregate.

From 2.0

In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the scope of this License.

Which is why you can distribute work with various licenses including GPLed software on the same media.

--
BMO

Re:NOT a GPL violation (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419251)

They'd be fine if it was really aggregation. Want to bet the folks who wrote that crayon license can't tell when they're creating a derivative work?

Re:NOT a GPL violation (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419401)

Want to bet the folks who wrote that crayon license can't tell when they're creating a derivative work?

Yes that was my thought.

Re:NOT a GPL violation (2, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418573)

WE reserve the right to change the terms of this agreement at our discretion.

That is just an evil license agreement... something even Microsoft doesn't try to insert into their licenses. In other words they can change the terms at anytime to any other terms for any other reason and it can mean whatever they want it to mean when the time comes.

I don't know how that would hold up under an actual legal challenge, but it seems real slimy. Yes, I know the GPL does have the ability to use the "or later version" option, but that is an optional license upgrade that any end users or redistributor can apply or you can stick with the original terms and conditions. Not everybody trusts the Free Software Foundation and sometimes deliberately leaves that clause out of the license.

This sounds like somebody begging to have this software reimplemented in a clean room environment and released under a proper software licensing agreement... like the GPL.

That's a right copyright gives to the owner. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419617)

The reason why "Not even Microsoft does this" is because they don't have to SAY they do this. They just do it.

Every time you click "I agree" you're agreeing to a license that can, and often IS, different from the one you agreed to when getting the original.

It seems like you have a problem with copyright, not with the GPL.

Join the club with RMS.

Probably is a GPL violation (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419243)

The license text referred to indicates a poor understanding of licenses and law. It's what we generally refer to as a "crayon" license. The term "crayon" is referring to a Monty Python sketch about a dog license with the word "dog" crossed out and "cat" written in in crayon.

The bottom line is that the stuff you wrote is probably derivative of other code, which you say is "exempt" from your license, but that's not enough, you must use a GPL-compatible license. And I don't see from that license text that you would understand what was derivative and what was not.

Re:Probably is a GPL violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419395)

What I meant to say was that Xbian has not violated the license on any GPL code which raspbmc holds the copyright on, because all code which raspbmc holds copyright on is distributed under a license which is not GPL compatible. I agree that it is highly likely that both Xbian and raspbmc are violating the GPL license with regards to other software they both distribute.

Really a violation? (4, Interesting)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 2 years ago | (#41418795)

"The problem is that XBian doesn’t release any source code, claiming that it is all ‘available’ via Raspian’s archives and XBMC’s website."

I'm not sure XBian is wrong. All they did is take an installer from another project and use it for their own project. If they didn't functionally change the source, why can't they say "here's the code" and just point to where they got it from.

According to this site [raspbmc.com] "This doesn’t account for all source code however, such as their plugins, their method of building images or their updating scripts. Thus, XBian is not GPL compliant and does not release its entire source."

If these things are separate executables or modular plugins, why can't they be closed source? Maybe I don't know all the technical details or all the nuances of the GPL, but this sounds more like a project trying to badmouth a competing project than a huge GPL issue.

Re:Really a violation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418811)

Technically the GPL does not allow this, since it is possible that the upstream source may go offline in the future.. Of course, raspbmc is in violation too since they are not making available the source of the debian software that they distribute.

Re:Really a violation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419547)

You are wrong, for non-commercial use the GPL allows to just point to an upstream source if you used it unmodified.

Re:Really a violation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419775)

There is no such exemption.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#UnchangedJustBinary

Re:Really a violation? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418871)

Plugins are not always separate. It greatly depends on how the plugin system works but basically, if they are library based plugins like dll and so files, then yes, they must be gpl since it is still considered to be part of the program.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLAndPlugins

Arbitrary. (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419051)

That's sort of a silly requirement since any programmer can easily create a separate executable that interfaces with any DLL and then post messages between two executables, which does the exact same thing.

In other words, everything on a computer is at some level connected to everything else. Divisions between executables and DLLs are rather arbitrary, especially since with the source of both, it is trivial to make one into another. No program is an island.

Re:Really a violation? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419281)

To be covered under the GPL, it has to be a derivative work. If you can make a plugin that is NOT a derivative work (for example, a driver that was made for BSD then ported to Linux), then it won't be covered under the GPL.

Derivative work is a legal term, not a computer systems term. If someone can convince a jury that your plugins and dlls are not infringing, then they are not.

Re:Really a violation? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419425)

You interpretation that a plugin built as a dll or so file is must be GPL because they're built for a piece of GPL software is bollocks. That's not different than saying every single piece of software that runs on Linux must be GPL, since the Linux kernel is licensed under GPLv2 and all software calls the kernel at some point.

Re:Really a violation? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419709)

Congratulations, you are an idiot!

Linking (static or dynamic) indicates derivative work. This is why there is LGPL, a license identical to GPL that allows linking, and why Linux kernel has a mechanism for handling modules' licenses.

Re:Really a violation? (1)

lingon (559576) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419809)

Well, to be perfectly honest, Linus has explicitly stated that it is ok [linuxmafia.com] , no matter what the GPL says. Even though he doesn't have copyright on the entire kernel code, nobody who is doing mainline kernel development seems to be arguing with him. Legally, it's probably a grey area.

Re:Really a violation? (1)

lingon (559576) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419799)

I've been taught that the difference is static or dynamic linking: If you statically link your software with GPL'd software and distribute it, it's a derivative work and you need to release your software under the GPL. If you link dynamically, it's a legal grey area and nobody knows, but most people think it's ok.

WTF is Xbian supposed to be? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41418801)

A sentence stating that Xbian was supposed to be an XBMC port to the Raspberry Pi would probably have been too much.

WTF is XBMC supposed to be? (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419057)

I have no idea.

Re:WTF is Xbian supposed to be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419287)

Xbian and RaspbMC are competing distributions based off Crystalbuntu to run on a $35 Raspberry Pi board.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Crystalbuntu

Long story short (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419021)

Guy is butthurt over his precious little software being forked.

Re:Long story short (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419139)

Forked in the arse, and you're to blame!
You give FLOSS a bad name!

I will bite, WTF is xbian? (1)

ukoda (537183) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419151)

Am I the only person you wants to know what xbian is? A single sentence description would be nice, rather that lots of links to a single dead site. How can this be news if the xbian is so unimportant, what ever it is, that it doesn't even have a wiki page?

Re:I will bite, WTF is xbian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419277)

Xbain and RaspBMC are competing distributions based off Crystalbuntu to run on a $35 Raspberry Pi board.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Crystalbuntu

XBians Story (3, Informative)

eNORm (2736569) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419199)

This is the case from XBians side:
http://frambozentaart.com/xbian/sotu.html [frambozentaart.com]

To summarize:

1. XBian did NOT steal code.
2. XBian DOES live up to the LGPL license.
3. XBian is doing everything possible to get everything solved.

Re:XBians Story (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419279)

But if you are redistributing GPL code, even code that you have not modified, you must distribute the source for the GPL code too. You can't just say "get it from Debian".

Re:XBians Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419309)

Why not? If I download AOSP and compile it for a handset, and mode no changes, why can't I just link to google's AOSP site. I think git even works that way to link to other repositories. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Second, Xbian has said that a user on their forums was the one that uploaded this questionable installer. Raspbmc then asked for them to remove the dropbox link to the installer but they couldn't do that since it was not a release from xbian but from a user (if you believe the xbian side of the story.).

Also on raspbmc, Sam says that permission was needed to use the code, but if it's gpl'd then they do not need permission as the GPL license makes it free for everyone to use, distribute, and change.

Re:XBians Story (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419459)

Why not? If I download AOSP and compile it for a handset, and mode no changes, why can't I just link to google's AOSP site. I think git even works that way to link to other repositories. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Second, Xbian has said that a user on their forums was the one that uploaded this questionable installer. Raspbmc then asked for them to remove the dropbox link to the installer but they couldn't do that since it was not a release from xbian but from a user (if you believe the xbian side of the story.).

Also on raspbmc, Sam says that permission was needed to use the code, but if it's gpl'd then they do not need permission as the GPL license makes it free for everyone to use, distribute, and change.

that would be ok if you just provided patches and the end user would get them(or use a program) to combine them into a working binary.

but if you're redistributing the binary, you're responsible to redistribute the sources that went into making it(though, at least it used to be that you had to publish the license along with the binary and if someone _asked_ you had to provide the source??).

Re:XBians Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419557)

Yes you can as long as you are very careful to stay non-commercial.
Also a link to the souce code at yhe same place as the binary is considered distributing together, that should apply even when the source is on a different server.
Of course I don't really see the point of not just hosting the source, too.

Re:XBians Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41419627)

False; there is no such exemption for non commercial distribution.

see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DistributingSourceIsInconvenient

The story is crap (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419229)

The summary is two lines and doesn't explain what the referenced projects are about (and it's not something that you would know by default).

It's also factually wrong, since - reading the linked content - the dispute is specifically over XBian installer, which was packaged and posted by a forum member not otherwise associated with the project, and the offending bit is said installer. The post had a link to Dropbox where the actual installer file resides. The original author who claims LGPL violation demanded that the post be taken down, which it was.

Why this is even a front page story is beyond my understanding.

A cautionary tale... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#41419361)

Listening to the sides I'm left with an overwhelming feeling that someone (whose project starts with an 'X'), got lazy, took short cuts, rationalized a whole bunch of cheesy decisions as within the spirit of Open Source, if not in fact by the letter. This is a cautionary tale of how people find themselves in a tight spot by cutting corners. You start with 100% integrity and everything is plugging along like gangbusters. But its a lotta work, and you're a busy guy, so you shave a few points, because hell, who's gonna notice. So now you're running at 96%, but that's still great, you're playing with way more integrity than a lot of guys out there and you're proud that for the most part your work is solid. Only that 96%, becomes your new 100%, and before long, you figure hell it worked fine last time so I'll shave a few more points and cut a few more corners. Before long you running at 7% integrity, nothing is happening when you say it will, or if it does its because you lied, cheated and stole to do it. Worse when someone confronts what a sleaze you've been, you have to demonize them. because you've built this who complicated rational to justify all the cheesy crap you've been pulling.

By the way, any one of us could get all preachy, but this behavior is as human as squirting our young'ns. Common as dirt. So, at one level, our intrepid slacker can say, hey, everyone else is doing it, and he's pretty much right. Only its why things suck in the world. No integrity. Not even like integrity as a moral state, but simple integrity like functional, complete, workable. Our political leaders, corporations, school administrators, dedicatedly self devoted are all cutting corners. Pointing fingers and exclaiming, well I'm not as bad as he or she is, and only a tight-ass would care anyway, right?

Being a person of integrity is like being pregnant. You are or you aren't. Do whatever little monkey dance you want to camouflage your behavior to high heaven, what you did was cheesy, then you tried to cover it up, then you tried to work around it, and finally you white washed it with jailhouse lawyering, and still, not a bit of it washes, not a bit of comes clean. The answer is you stop and begin doing the right thing. You honor the GPL. You acknowledge the code author. You share your source. You do it straight by the numbers. Or you don't, but don't try to justify yourself, just be honest and admit you're lazy and a little bit larcenous. There are worse things. Right?

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