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European Commission Support of FRAND Licenses Hurts Open Standards

timothy posted about a year ago | from the but-it-felt-so-fair-and-reasonable dept.

EU 137

jrepin writes "While the UK has seen the light, the EU has actually gone backwards on open standards in recent times. The original European Interoperability Framework required royalty-free licensing, but what was doubtless a pretty intense wave of lobbying in Brussels overturned that, and EIF v2 ended up pushing FRAND, which effectively locks out open source — the whole point of the exercise. Shamefully, some parts of the European Commission are still attacking open source."

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137 comments

So much for democracy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42442061)

Many European citizens still think Europe will bring more democracy but it mostly brings more power to corporate lobbies.

Re:So much for democracy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a year ago | (#42442137)

That's often true, but on the other hand, look at something like ACTA, where national governments were lining up to back the Big Media position, and it basically died because of a European-level grass-roots campaign.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any way of knowing which level(s) of government will actually side with their people and which will side with their corporate sponsors these days, particularly with all the conveniently indirectly elected "representatives" throughout the system now.

Re:So much for democracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42442297)

But this is about Democracy. Democracy must also represent the interests of corporate citizens. You know, the ones who contribute to the elections of all those who recognize and favor said corporate citizens. Democracy is truly the best government money can buy.

Corporations like FSF, Mozilla Fnd., kernel.org .. (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#42442569)

I'm glad we are able to be pool our resources to be represented by corporations like the Free Software Foundation, which had two representatives speaking at the workshop. I'm also glad the Mozilla Foundation Incorporated (Firefox) has a voice, as does kernel.org, a California corporation.

Given Red Hat Inc.'s investment of BIILIONS of dollars toward OSS investment, I think that corporation also deserves a voice. Why exactly should people who invest billions and hire thousands of people NOT be allowed to speak out about government policies that put all of those jobs at risk? Why should we NOT be allowed to express our views by donating to FSF and sending FSF representatives on our behalf?

Re:Corporations like FSF, Mozilla Fnd., kernel.org (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#42442793)

Because they are outnumbered by about 50 to one by the supermegacorps and the lobbyists working for supermegacorp, who can outspend them something like 100 times over when it comes to buying politicians?

I mean you have exactly ONE, and only one, billion dollar corp and they are just barely over the billion dollar mark. Now look at how much Apple and the big media corps have by way of comparison and then realize thanks to all the tax dodges you are only looking at probably a third of how much they REALLY have. You think kernel.org, Moz,and RH along with the FSF can stand in the room with those guys and not get outbid by several orders of magnitude?

The reasons corps shouldn't be allowed to "speak" with money is because their "speech" quickly drowns out the people. it is SUPPOSED to be one man one vote but with corps being allowed to be treated as people suddenly some people are simply worth more and therefor better than everybody else, and that is just fucked up. Just because you can name a couple of corps that aren't complete douchebags doesn't magically tip the scales in favor of corps, because for every one FSF you have a dozen Goldman Sachs and *.AAs.

Re:So much for democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42442421)

I suspect the issue is that EU is a house divided. There is a "executive" (commission) that draws up the regulations and makes the deals, and then there is a parliament that usually rubber stamp those regulations. The commission is not elected in any democratic sense, but instead appointed by the heads of state of the various nations making up EU. Note that this is a "recent" change. Until 2007 the parliament held the ability to check the commission by withdrawing their powers. But since 2007, this ability has been lost or at least greatly reduced. End result is that there is no real connection between the people and the leaders, unless there is enough of a shit storm raised that the parliament actually takes a glance at whatever they are about to rubber stamp.

ovo -hoot

Re:So much for democracy (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about a year ago | (#42442423)

That will last til we pretend that the European Commission is a "technical" institution and, as such, doesn't need to be voted.

Re:So much for democracy (4, Informative)

Freultwah (739055) | about a year ago | (#42444999)

The Commission *is* a technical institution. Its business is to draw up legislation based on general principles and guidelines agreed upon in the European Council (consisting of democratically elected heads of state). Said legislation is usually amended or shot down in either the Council of the European Union (consisting of democratically elected ministers from member states) or the European Parliament (consisting of democratically elected representatives from member states), the latter of which has a final say. It is a damn shame that the European people do not realise how much power the Parliament really has and therefore do not participate at its election nearly as enthusiastically as they should, participation hovering around the 30% mark and if you ask me, such detachment from the matters of the continent is borderline autistic.

The Commission does not decide anything. All it can do in that regard is present its case well enough in front of the Council of the EU and the EP. All those controversial EU regulations that domestic governments sell their people as coming from the Commission (‘and sorry, there's nothing we can do, Barroso told us to stick our heads in the oven’) have actually been then ratified by the governments themselves and by consensus, often because they would not dare pass such legislation at home because it would render them unelectable for quite some time. And most of them have also been called into life by the same local elected officials.

I realise that there is no direct counterpart for the Commission in any of the member states for a direct comparison, but I liken them to the technical and unelected staff at the ministries who nowadays provide most of the legislation in most countries according to the guidelines from elected officials. You don't elect all the administrators and the various specialists and the lawyers who work at ministries. Likewise, you don't elect the Commission. It should remain an independent technical tool to provide legislative proposals that the elected officials could then shoot down if necessary.

Re:So much for democracy (1)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42445279)

It is a damn shame that the European people do not realise how much power the Parliament really has and therefore do not participate at its election nearly as enthusiastically as they should, participation hovering around the 30% mark and if you ask me, such detachment from the matters of the continent is borderline autistic.

+1. It is, though note that there's an interesting side effect: minority groups such as ecologists, extreme right- and left-wing groups, and regionalist or independentist groups (e.g. the UKIP and their ever-so-colorful Nigel Farage) have a lot more clout at the EP than they typically do in national parliaments. They're under-represented at the national level; they're over-represented at the EU level. For better or worse, they end up having a say on things that they otherwise wouldn't. In a sort-of weird manner, it's democracy at work.

I realise that there is no direct counterpart for the Commission in any of the member states for a direct comparison, but I liken them to the technical and unelected staff at the ministries who nowadays provide most of the legislation in most countries according to the guidelines from elected officials. You don't elect all the administrators and the various specialists and the lawyers who work at ministries. Likewise, you don't elect the Commission. It should remain an independent technical tool to provide legislative proposals that the elected officials could then shoot down if necessary.

+1 too. It would arguably be better if, in the future, the EU president were directly elected and presented his EC to the EP for approval. But it's not a given whether such a thing would be accepted anytime soon.

Re:So much for democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42442447)

The democratic instance in the EU is the Parliament, not the Commission. It's not black and white, but it seems the Parliament tends to represent the people more while the Commision mainly represents big corporations. So it's not unexpected the Comission would support FRAND over open standards.

Re:So much for democracy (1)

Freultwah (739055) | about a year ago | (#42444821)

You're forgetting the European Council and the Council of the European Union, both consisting of democratically elected individuals, both even more directly responsible to the domestic electorate (as the electorate doesn't usually bother with EP election very much) and both yielding enormous power.

Re:So much for democracy (1)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42445291)

Adding to this, the Commission's members must be approved by the European Parliament.

Re:So much for democracy (1, Insightful)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about a year ago | (#42442525)

Many European citizens still think Europe will bring more democracy

Can you point at a single citizen that still thinks this way? Oh, sorry, I misread. You wrote "will", as in, perhaps one day in the future... Yeah, maybe there's still some people with hope, but I believe the number of such people is getting smaller and smaller.

Seriously, Europe is all but about democracy. In fact, it has stolen democracy from once sovereign states. And when the people vote no for Europe, it still goes forward with more Europe. What's even more sad, is that despite people's discontent, in a country like France, absolutely zero party are proposing that this stops. (Well, in fact, there's one, called UPR, but nobody heard about them as there is not a single mass media that let them talk, and they were not allowed to run for presidency, so it's almost as if there were none.)

Re:So much for democracy (-1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#42442945)

You must be one of these idiotic leftwing frenchies.
Go back to your village and live in a wooden cabin with no modern equipment, just your dreams of "décroissance" and other anarcho-communist stupidities.

Re:So much for democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42444535)

To be fair, it is the right-wing which has used EU-scepticism as a weapon in recent elections cross Europe as a part of their nationalistic and mono-cultural agenda.

Re:So much for democracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42443275)

WTF? This is democracy in action. Do you really think that there are more people out there that care about the fate of (or even know about) open source software than there are companies and people working for those companies who depend on these products and the revenue generated by them?

Just because you didn't get your way, that doesn't mean the people didn't get theirs. Whether that's actually better for society is another matter entirely.

Re:So much for democracy (1)

overmoderated (2703703) | about a year ago | (#42443747)

I second that. Corporate owned, corporate operated. No more democracy that in the United States, just more liberals.

The Europe Union is ALL about democracy (4, Insightful)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42443813)

Methinks you've no idea of what you're talking about. Only the most uninformed American, British and Continental European could possibly have anything to say about EU democracy -- and that would be if, and only if, they followed Anglo-Saxon news.

Get real. Seriously.

The parliament is elected in very much the same way as the US congress is. The EC officials are suggested by elected heads of state, and must be approved by the EU parliament [wikipedia.org].

When new directives and regulations are in the pipe, the entire process is entirely transparent. They publish pretty much everything they do in no less than 23 languages. Consider that for a moment. 23 languages. If you've got anything to say about whatever the EC and the EP are working on, you merely need to read up and participate. And you can. And some do. At all levels. It's grass-root stuff, really. And grass-root movements actually get their way every now and then (e.g. ACTA), contrary to what occurs in the US congress.

The EU's key issue, if any, is this: When local parliaments transcribe a directive into local law that relates to improving air quality, they'll readily take credit for it. But when heads of States agree to pass a tough but much needed reform as an EU treaty, directive or regulation, they'll instantly blame the EU for it.

A case in point would be France's latest president, Hollande. He campaigned saying he'd renegotiate the stability pact. Anyone with an ounce of clue knew that he was full of shit. But even his key opponent, Sarkozy, didn't call him out on it, because the EU is far too convenient a scapegoat to lay bare. Hollande went on to lick Merkel's feet and promptly enact the actual treaty. And he'll need it, to pass further legislation down the road to axe the public sector. Want you to bet that he won't place part or all of the blame on the stability pact when he does?

Its other key issue would be the UK press' Euro-skepticism at large. Which, I assume, is your main source of information -- directly or not.

Re:The Europe Union is ALL about democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42444051)

All very good but you forget about the Directives that can be issued by the Commission without the oversight of the Parliament. Said directives MUST be enacted by the member states. End of.

Now how is that Democracy?

Re:The Europe Union is ALL about democracy (3, Informative)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42444203)

All very good but you forget about the Directives that can be issued by the Commission without the oversight of the Parliament. Said directives MUST be enacted by the member states. End of.

Now how is that Democracy?

Nope. ALL directives must pass through the EP [wikipedia.org].

Re:The Europe Union is ALL about democracy (1)

Freultwah (739055) | about a year ago | (#42445049)

I would mod you up, but I already commented slightly less eloquently than yourself, so I must just applaud a bit here.

Another Stitchup in Secret, Tax the participants ? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42442129)

Whats the betting that the rich closed source US software venders that managed to secretly get this through
pay either no tax or just a gesture contribution like starbucks etc yet somehow sell billions of pounds/euros/dollors worth
of mostly crap software into the EU, So sell here then pay tax here!, As for patents on software in general these MUST
be abolished either completly OR have a very short life say 2 years with no extensions.
As for copyrights thats another area that desperatly needs to be re-thought.

No software patents in the EU right? (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#42442203)

According to the article, there are [still] no software patents in the EU. So theoretically, any FRAND claims of software patents should be ignored. Of course, software patent holders never say "these are software patents." They just say "patents." It'll be interesting how initial claims of this sort will work out.

Re:No software patents in the EU right? (1)

zzyzyx (1382375) | about a year ago | (#42445265)

Well, you know the drill. Software patents are not legally allowed but this doesn't stop the European patent office from issuing them. And having a patent invalidated is a long and expensive judiciary process.

Logic worse than the tinfoil hat crowd (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42442271)

The author starts with the assertion that because he saw the promos for the workshop "only" weeks beforehand, it was therefore a secret plot :
... organise something in the shadows, so that the open source world would be caught hopping. The fact that I only heard about it a few weeks beforehand ... shows how quiet the Commission kept about this. This secrecy ..."

He knew about weeks ahead of time, yet claims a shadowy plot to keep the workshop secret, then his logic only gets worse from there. Triple tinfoil hat for that author.

He says the panel was rigged, but it includes the founder of FSF Europe and a FSF attorney as well as representatives from specific open source projects/products like PloneGov and Kolab.

FRAND excludes Open Source? (1, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42442419)

If FRAND patents exclude OSS, then there's something wrong with OSS.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42442491)

FRAND patents include per-unit license fees.
How do you pay those on a product you want freely copied by as many people as possible?

Ask the Arabs (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42442625)

FRAND patents include per-unit license fees.
How do you pay those on a product you want freely copied by as many people as possible?

Let me introduce you to my friends the Arabs and a little something they've cooked up called "zero".

If per-unit license fees are zero why do you need to pay anyone?

Re:Ask the Arabs (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#42442821)

You seem to be confused as to what FRAND stands for: fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory

Zero is not mentioned nor implied.
And the "non-discriminatory" part means that everybody pays about the same.

Re:Ask the Arabs (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42442823)

Were you trying to make a point here?

If per-unit license fees are zero why do you need to pay anyone?

And if the per-unit license fees are non-zero, who pays for the patent license? Who gets sued by the patent holder?

Re:Ask the Arabs (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42443969)

GPL doesn't mean you have to make software available for free to everyone. You just sell it with sources included, if your clients decide to redistribute without paying fees, they will get sued by original patent holder.

Re:Ask the Arabs (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42444549)

GPL doesn't mean you have to make software available for free to everyone.

Correct.

You just sell it with sources included, if your clients decide to redistribute without paying fees, they will get sued by original patent holder.

The FSF thought of this abuse and made sure that doing so would be a violation of the GPL. You can't redistribute in that situation.

Arguments from ignorance are so wonderful.

Re:Ask the Arabs (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42444619)

Yeah, someone pointed that already to me. Hmm... GPL is contradictory then, as you can sell your copies of the program, but cannot prevent anyone from re-selling them at lower price. Essentially, it's never "free as in speech", it's always "free as free beer" ;/

Re:Ask the Arabs (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42444717)

GPL is contradictory then

No it isn't. The GPL is entirely consistent.

you can sell your copies of the program, but cannot prevent anyone from re-selling them at lower price.

Capitalism at its finest, right? The cost of the product itself drops to zero and vendors have to compete on other things.

Essentially, it's never "free as in speech", it's always "free as free beer" ;/

It is always "free as in speech." That just happens to bring the "free as in beer" part along with it. This is why many FOSS developers find other ways to earn an income, many of whom are quite successful.

Re:Ask the Arabs (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42444859)

GPL is contradictory then

No it isn't. The GPL is entirely consistent.

I was under impression that it tried not to imply "free as in beer" and clearly separate the concept. Probably was wrong on that account.

you can sell your copies of the program, but cannot prevent anyone from re-selling them at lower price.

Capitalism at its finest, right? The cost of the product itself drops to zero and vendors have to compete on other things.

Well, that is essentially to say that there's no value in producing the software. I strongly disagree with this: not everyone is able to program, and from those who can, not everyone has enough discipline to produce an usable result; thus software price cannot drop to zero in nowaday's world (maybe in future, when everyone becomes a programmer...).
The issue seems to be completely orthogonal to the fact whether or not software is FOSS or proprietary.

Essentially, it's never "free as in speech", it's always "free as free beer" ;/

It is always "free as in speech." That just happens to bring the "free as in beer" part along with it. This is why many FOSS developers find other ways to earn an income, many of whom are quite successful.

That is to say that FOSS developers should abandon the software development industry and thus cease to be FOSS developers; again, that is a wrong way to develop software. Only full-time activities yield good results.

Re:Ask the Arabs (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42444963)

I was under impression that it tried not to imply "free as in beer" and clearly separate the concept. Probably was wrong on that account.

It dismisses the notion that you can't sell GPL'd software, but does not go into detail as to how. That's not its scope.

that is essentially to say that there's no value in producing the software.

No. There's value in producing it. My time and expertise are worth a pretty penny.

not everyone is able to program, and from those who can, not everyone has enough discipline to produce an usable result

I don't follow. The ability of people to program has no connection to any per-copy licensing schemes.

That is to say that FOSS developers should abandon the software development industry and thus cease to be FOSS developers

Empty pablum. You too suggest that FOSS developers are hobbyist, part-time developers who are incapable of delivering a good product. A slur and a lie if there ever was one.

Re:Ask the Arabs (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42445113)

you can sell your copies of the program, but cannot prevent anyone from re-selling them at lower price.

Capitalism at its finest, right? The cost of the product itself drops to zero and vendors have to compete on other things.

that is essentially to say that there's no value in producing the software.

No. There's value in producing it. My time and expertise are worth a pretty penny.

I don't follow. The ability of people to program has no connection to any per-copy licensing schemes.

If something has 0 price, it has no value. If you cannot prevent redistribution of your program with zero price that means that you aren't selling the software. You may sell subscriptions to your server where you run some essential part of the software that you don't redistribute, you may sell consulting services on how to use your software better, support, advertisements etc - but still, you aren't selling the software itself. That means that your programming time and expertise aren't getting rewarded, the monetary feedback is indirect.

This is why many FOSS developers find other ways to earn an income, many of whom are quite successful.

That is to say that FOSS developers should abandon the software development industry and thus cease to be FOSS developers

Empty pablum. You too suggest that FOSS developers are hobbyist, part-time developers who are incapable of delivering a good product. A slur and a lie if there ever was one.

I did not suggest that. You told yourself that FOSS developers need to leave software development business and earn income somewhere else.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42442949)

The money system have three enemies: freedom, sustainable growth and democracy.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42442671)

No, there's nothing wrong with F/OSS software. FRAND is simply incompatible with F/OSS due to its nature of burdening arbitrary "methods" with monetary fees.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42442701)

Open Source doesn't imply no fees.

Is the truth that OSS is all about getting something for nothing?

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42442733)

Open Source doesn't imply no fees.

Imposing mandatory royalties on standards makes it impossible to comply with the standard in FOSS projects. You end up with patent holders capable of dictating who can and cannot use the software. That defeats the purpose of FOSS, particularly the stuff that falls under licenses like the GPLv2 and GPLv3.

Is the truth that OSS is all about getting something for nothing?

This is you simply being a troll. Stick to white knighting for Apple.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42442841)

Imposing mandatory royalties on standards makes it impossible to comply with the standard in FOSS projects. You end up with patent holders capable of dictating who can and cannot use the software.

That's incorrect. The ND of FRAND is for non-discriminatory. Everyone can use it, so long as they pay.

Again there is nothing intrinsic to open source that means no cost. If the OSS community has munged those two dissimilar things together, then that's how it's broken.

This is you simply being a troll.

No, it's me pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42442901)

Everyone can use it, so long as they pay.

So for a program covered by the GPLv3, who pays? The developer? The person who redistributes it? The end user?

there is nothing intrinsic to open source that means no cost.

FRAND on software (and software patents in general) imposes costs that are little more than rent-seeking, and impinge upon the ability to redistribute as many legal landmines are laid regarding who would be in violation of the patent license once distributed.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42443025)

So for a program covered by the GPLv3, who pays? The developer? The person who redistributes it? The end user?

So your saying there's a problem with GPL v3. So blame RMS.

FRAND on software (and software patents in general) imposes costs that are little more than rent-seeking

Landlords are entitled to collect rent. Patent holders are entitled to collect royalties. If the OSS can't cope with that reality, then again it's the fault of the person(s) who wrote the license so many OSS projects use.

Either that or the whole concept of OSS is broken.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443095)

So your saying there's a problem with GPL v3. So blame RMS.

The only way there could be a "problem" with the GPLv3 (or GPLv2) is that you can freely redistribute it and cannot impose additional costs on those who receive it from you. But what happens if they redistribute it? Who pays? How do you track the number of distributed copies and pay?

Landlords are entitled to collect rent.

It's a poor phrase, unfortunately. Software patents are nothing like actually collecting rent because they provide no utility to the one paying.

If the OSS can't cope with that reality, then again it's the fault of the person(s) who wrote the license so many OSS projects use.

I understand you're pro-patent and anti-FOSS, and this is coloring your perspective. The problem here is with FRAND and software patents, not the licenses.

Either that or the whole concept of OSS is broken.

If you're Microsoft, Apple, or a proprietary software vendor of any, or a holder of software patents, then yes Open Source and Free Software are "broken" to you.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

JimCanuck (2474366) | about a year ago | (#42443373)

It's a poor phrase, unfortunately. Software patents are nothing like actually collecting rent because they provide no utility to the one paying.

If it provided no utility to the one paying, then the one paying wouldn't be using it and instead would do something else.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443479)

Bullshit. The fact that "innocent infringement" exists with patents blows away the whole "novel and unique" nature of patents. Never mind that many patents are rammed through simply to plant landmines in the paths of others.

This implicit assumption that using a method covered by a patent validates the patent is utter crap.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1, Troll)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42443385)

Who pays? How do you track the number of distributed copies and pay?

Perhaps that's what the FSF should be working out, instead of pushing GPL v3.

Software patents are nothing like actually collecting rent because they provide no utility to the one paying.

I often chuckle when people justify torrenting movies on the basis that Hollywood movies are so bad these days it's not worth paying for them. The irony that if they were so bad, why are they downloading seem lost on them.

Likewise, if the patented idea has no utility, then don't use it. If it does then pay for it.

If you're Microsoft, Apple, or a proprietary software vendor of any, or a holder of software patents, then yes Open Source and Free Software are "broken" to you.

I'm a proprietary software developer. More to the point, I believe that when people labour towards something that is consumed by others, they should be paid. I don't understand why people here are so desperate to devalue computer programmers so their work is worth nothing.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (3, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443461)

Perhaps that's what the FSF should be working out, instead of pushing GPL v3.

Why should the FSF spend its time working out how to co-exist with something that they object to?

I often chuckle when people justify torrenting movies on the basis that Hollywood movies are so bad these days it's not worth paying for them.

Ok so opposition to software patents == piracy now?

if the patented idea has no utility, then don't use it. If it does then pay for it.

This makes the assumption that the patent is valid and actually provides use. Never mind all the crap patents used by patent trolls, ones that get invalidated after long court battles. Never mind patents that are violated without even being aware of it.

Putting patent "methods" into standards is something good exclusively for proprietary software vendors as a way to exclude FOSS solutions.

I'm a proprietary software developer.

And, quite obviously, opposed to Free Software. It's pretty obvious.

I believe that when people labour towards something that is consumed by others, they should be paid.

You also are defending the status quo. Unsurprisingly, there are people who disagree with it.

I don't understand why people here are so desperate to devalue computer programmers so their work is worth nothing.

That's not at all what is happening here. This is you trying to paint FOSS developers in a bad light and stump for the pro-patent status quo.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#42443585)

I believe that when people labour towards something that is consumed by others, they should be paid.

You also are defending the status quo. Unsurprisingly, there are people who disagree with it.

Clearly not people that need work to put food on the table.

That's not at all what is happening here.

Really and truly, it is.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443627)

The complete and utter dishonesty in your argument is astounding.

Clearly not people that need work to put food on the table.

Don't worry, you still have copyright. You can also earn money in ways other than per-unit licensing.

Really and truly, it is.

No, it's you waging a war against Open Source Software of all kinds.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42444175)

I believe that when people labour towards something that is consumed by others, they should be paid.

You also are defending the status quo. Unsurprisingly, there are people who disagree with it.

The status quo reflects a natural phenomenon: the inequality among people. The creators constitute a tiny part of the population [nngroup.com].

The ideas behind FOSS should not be understood as an attempt to change that rule, or it will end up in a catastrophic failure like communism, where it was also assumed that everyone wants to work [wikipedia.org] (which turned up not being the case in practice, most people prefer not to work if there's a possibility).

So, FOSS should somehow recognize the observed inequality and should find a way to proportionally reward the 1% of creators.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42444533)

FOSS should somehow recognize the observed inequality and should find a way to proportionally reward the 1% of creators.

What, by acquiescing to the demands of patent holders (who aren't necessarily the people who created them)? Your argument makes no sense, unfortunately.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (2)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42444767)

Well, there are two arguments:

1) FOSS not rewarding "creative 1%" proportionally.
2) Whether patent authors should be rewarded at all.


I think #1 is self-evident, as there are few GPL software authors (be them individuals or corporations) who accrued significant wealth by selling their GPL'd software.

Regarding #2: as I said in other posts, I cannot generalize here. I know personally two people who applied and were granted a patent, both work in rather successful, but not omni-potent companies (gamedev industry). The things patented were indeed non-obvious [intercon.ru] and I think they do deserve reward for making their work public. There are also obvious patent trolls, who patent bullshit and then sue; however, we may try to fight those separately without abandoning the whole concept at all.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42445089)

1. FOSS not rewarding "creative 1%" proportionally.

But who are the creative 1%? are they not the people who created the FOSS in the first place? How are they not being rewarded?

I think #1 is self-evident, as there are few GPL software authors (be them individuals or corporations) who accrued significant wealth by selling their GPL'd software.

What is "significant wealth?" What about having a good job that pays decent wages and benefits, making money not off licensing the software but making the software fill a role, capitalizing on one's expertise? There are a great many who work on the Linux kernel doing this, among other FOSS projects.

2. Whether patent authors should be rewarded at all.

Be specific. The authors of a patent may not be the people who hold the rights to the patent. And they deserve to be compensated, but the bar for patents needs to be way higher. And I don't believe software should be patentable material.

Regarding #2: as I said in other posts, I cannot generalize here. I know personally two people who applied and were granted a patent, both work in rather successful, but not omni-potent companies (gamedev industry).

Rest assured they do not own those patents. Their employers do.

The things patented were indeed non-obvious

Subjective, sadly.

I think they do deserve reward for making their work public.

And chances are their employer gave them a small bonus. What their employer does with the patent will say more about the company than the patent, though.

There are also obvious patent trolls, who patent bullshit and then sue

Or are sold patents from other companies and sue. Like Apple selling patents to a patent troll shell firm. Or IV and their legion of shell companies.

we may try to fight those separately without abandoning the whole concept at all.

I don't readily see how.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42445367)

But who are the creative 1%? are they not the people who created the FOSS in the first place? How are they not being rewarded?

What is "significant wealth?" What about having a good job that pays decent wages and benefits, making money not off licensing the software but making the software fill a role, capitalizing on one's expertise? There are a great many who work on the Linux kernel doing this, among other FOSS projects.

I think that 1% is defined separately for each area. E.g. in game development business, 1% is the game developers themselves + people around them (publishers, etc). All the above hardly number a thousand for any specific game, whereas the games are usually sold in at least hundreds of thousands (and this is considered failure nowadays), often millions of copies.

In FOSS world, 10% are probably the people who ever committed any single change to the project's repository and 1% are the project's real authors. E.g. I heard that gimp was being developed by de facto 5 people as their commits consitute 90% of changes, the rest of committers only commited once.

Let's assume that gimp is being used by millions of people worldwide (I think it's a reasonable number). For me, if its 5 authors were millionaires it would be fair - that's actually the value they bring to all those millions of people (don't think that anyone would say that gimp is not worth at least a dollar). However, this does not happen in FOSS world, there's no mechanisms in place to allow this (donations are hardly a substitute).

As for Linux kernel, I think that IBM, Google, Red Hat etc are de facto ripping all those kernel author's asses by not paying them much while selling Linux-based products and services for big money. That is not fair IMO, but as long as everyone's happy they probably value their non-monetary compensation more (or way of life, or whatever else). After all, as a former Soviet citizen I can understand how people can disregard money if their work is truly rewarding (e.g. Soviet space industry employed mostly space enthusiasts, the salaries were laughable compared to the West).

Be specific. The authors of a patent may not be the people who hold the rights to the patent. And they deserve to be compensated, but the bar for patents needs to be way higher. And I don't believe software should be patentable material.

Well, here we enter the area which caused a lot of confusion in the past. For Marxists, true authors of any product were the people who made it, while business owners were "leeches". I think that we should respect the rules for property ownership (doesn't matter whether it's material or intellectual) and not question whether A who paid B to produce something is the actual owner, because disregarding that rule created an unhealthy society where people of type A completely disappeared and Bs lost the incentive to produce anything.

As for my friends in question, it goes without saying that they don't get royalties. They did receive one-time bonus though, I don't know how big or small it was.

we may try to fight those separately without abandoning the whole concept at all.

I don't readily see how.

Probably by involving more independent (from the USPTO itself, that is) experts in USPTO.

Therefore patents pose no problems? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#42443423)

Software patents are nothing like actually collecting rent because they provide no utility to the one paying.

If it has no utility for you, you wouldn't license it and wouldn't be missing out on anything, right? Of course there's some benefit being conveyed to the licensee (user). Specifically, the useful result of someone's research and development efforts. If it weren't beneficial, you'd have no interest in it and not care if it were patented or not.
The problem isn't that things patented aren't useful, the problem is that inter-operability standards should avoid patented methods so that implementations can be compliant without paying license fees.

Re:Therefore patents pose no problems? (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443521)

Where'd all the pro-software-patent types come from?

If it has no utility for you, you wouldn't license it and wouldn't be missing out on anything

What if I infringed on the patent without realizing it? What if the patent is part of a critical standard? What if, a few years down the line and millions of dollars later, the patent is invalidated? What have we gained, except to make some lawyers richer?

there's some benefit being conveyed to the licensee (user). Specifically, the useful result of someone's research and development efforts.

Like the EOLAS patents? The patents trotted around by trolls?

If it weren't beneficial, you'd have no interest in it and not care if it were patented or not.

Bullshit. It's entirely possible to get patents on things that have no business being patented.

the problem is that inter-operability standards should avoid patented methods so that implementations can be compliant without paying license fees.

The problem is what you say AND the fact that our patent system is utterly broken.

Re:Therefore patents pose no problems? (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42444397)

Where'd all the pro-software-patent types come from?

Apparently Slashdot started to be visited by people who live off of creating software, i.e. professional software developers. Myself being one, I'm divided in patents case: when I think about it from "weekend programmer"'s point of view, the patents are certainly bad. When I think from my professional point of view, they are a mixed bag: sometimes we have to give up certain tech to avoid unnecessary payments, sometimes we license, sometimes we benefit from what few patents we have...

I wouldn't call patents unreasonable. They have both good and bad sides, they motivate people to engage in organized work (i.e. not as a single individual programmer, but as a part of larger business entity). Whether this is bad or good thing, is another matter. Software produced by large organized groups tends to be more reliable (benefit of established QA practices) than products of the individuals, OTOH I like to have pet projects that I can self-publish [pouet.net] without much hassle...

Re:Therefore patents pose no problems? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42444505)

Apparently Slashdot started to be visited by people who live off of creating software, i.e. professional software developers.

Being a "professional software developer" does not require unwavering support for software patents. I do find it amusing that the whole "free software developers are amateur, unprofessional developers" lie is leaking into Slashdot.

When I think from my professional point of view, they are a mixed bag: sometimes we have to give up certain tech to avoid unnecessary payments, sometimes we license, sometimes we benefit from what few patents we have...

Except none of this applies to software patents, which are demonstrably used exclusively as weaponry against other companies and by patent trolls.

I wouldn't call patents unreasonable.

I'd call software patents unreasonable. Particularly seeing as how software is covered by copyright and how much patents are abused.

Re:Therefore patents pose no problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42444639)

Where'd all the pro-software-patent types come from?

Have you read your own comments thus far? Your zealotry far outweighs anything posted by the other commenters thus far. Not to mention that you have a habit of attacking the person instead of their arguments. You need to cool off.

Re:Therefore patents pose no problems? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42444683)

Your zealotry far outweighs anything posted by the other commenters thus far.

Zealotry? I'm opinionated, not a zealot.

Not to mention that you have a habit of attacking the person instead of their arguments.

I attack their arguments, then point out they're a tool.

You need to cool off.

By which you mean, "stop disagreeing with the pro-software-patent postings," right?

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42443065)

So for a program covered by the GPLv3, who pays? The developer? The person who redistributes it? The end user?

At least one of the above.

This is really not that complicated.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443189)

If it's any of them you're still opening up a massive can of worms and burdening the use/redistribution of the program for no other reason than to pay leeches.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42443649)

Its not me opening up that can of worms... its the insistence on a license and distribution model that cannot easily handle various real burdens which creates the can of worms out of thin air.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443719)

its the insistence on a license and distribution model that cannot easily handle various real burdens which creates the can of worms out of thin air.

Artificial burdens. At this point software patents don't exist in the EU and hopefully they never will. Of course, if you think that insisting upon the distribution model the GPL (or any FOSS license) allows is a flaw, then you're pretty much anti-FOSS and should just admit it.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42443743)

if you think that insisting upon the distribution model the GPL (or any FOSS license) allows is a flaw, then you're pretty much anti-FOSS and should just admit it.

My distaste for the GPL is because its not FOSS.

GPL is not free. BSD is free.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443765)

My distaste for the GPL is because its not FOSS.

Your distaste for the GPL is arbitrary.

GPL is not free. BSD is free.

Let me guess, you're a proprietary software developer that copies liberally from BSD projects.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42444495)

I'm not the GP, but decided to chime in. I'm not anti-FOSS, although I like BSD more than GPL. However, neither of those licenses forbids you to sell the software. What's wrong in selling a GPL'd program? That way you can pay for per-unit costs. Whoever decides to redistribute must also include the said costs (IIRC, GPL includes provision for distribution costs) or they may get sued by the original patent authors - it's up to them. Looks fair and GPL-compliant to me.

P.S. Calling people "leeches" is not a good way to negotiate. Someone created something and wants to put a price on it; that is reasonable. You should either argue about the price, or about the methods used to collect the payment, but calling people names for the very desire of getting reward for their work is plain wrong.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42444609)

I'm not anti-FOSS, although I like BSD more than GPL.

You sound anti-FOSS.

What's wrong in selling a GPL'd program? That way you can pay for per-unit costs.

But what if you don't sell it? What about people who download the sources from you and then redistribute it?

Looks fair and GPL-compliant to me.

It's not. It's a GPL violation.

Calling people "leeches" is not a good way to negotiate.

So patent trolls who sue to extract licensing fees aren't leeches? How do they contribute to the industry in any way? Well, you might think they contribute by keeping the market clear of competitors and startups, particularly if you're a company like Microsoft or Apple.

calling people names for the very desire of getting reward for their work is plain wrong.

Ah, so lawyers representing a shell company are doing such valuable work. Or do you suggest that by eliminating software patents that developers would suddenly find themselves unable to be paid for their work?

This entire thread is filled with poor, dishonest arguments, attacks on FOSS, and pro-software-patent drivel.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42444013)

Every time you decide to redistribute GPL program that you bought or obtained from someone who paid for patent license you need to include per-unit costs in your price (and pay it to a patent owner). If the said per-unit cost was non-zero, you cannot redistribute the program for free, but actually GPL does not mandate you to redistribute software for free; it allows to include whatever costs you take for redistributing it (this time it means patent costs).

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#42444385)

Every time you decide to redistribute GPL program that you bought or obtained from someone who paid for patent license you need to include per-unit costs in your price (and pay it to a patent owner). If the said per-unit cost was non-zero, you cannot redistribute the program for free, but actually GPL does not mandate you to redistribute software for free; it allows to include whatever costs you take for redistributing it (this time it means patent costs).

Wrong, wrong, wrong. This is actually spelled out quite clearly even back in the GPLv2:

For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

Directly or indirectly basically means it is your responsibility to license the whole downstream for a potentially infinite number of copies. Since no patent owner is going to give you such a license - it's basically permission for everyone, anywhere to use their patent - you can't distribute the software at all. This in intentional so that patent owners can't use their patent to "sell" copies of GPL code.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42444581)

Thanks for correction, never read it carefully. Well, that part of GPL is unreasonable, it basically equates free as in free speech with free as in free beer. Isn't it contradictory with the intent of GPL to allow you to sell copies of your program?

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42444661)

that part of GPL is unreasonable

Not at all. It ensures the software stays free and not leashed to the creator. What happens if they sell the patent to a company with a vested interest in killing the software?

it basically equates free as in free speech with free as in free beer.

No, it doesn't. It establishes the GPL for what it is: a way to keep users of FOSS independent of 3rd party entities should they choose to be.

Isn't it contradictory with the intent of GPL to allow you to sell copies of your program?

No, you still can. You can't yank people's chains by attacking people downstream over it. It's pretty obviously not Free Software if everyone who gets it has to come back to you for a patent license.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (1)

RCL (891376) | about a year ago | (#42444977)

Not at all. It ensures the software stays free and not leashed to the creator. What happens if they sell the patent to a company with a vested interest in killing the software?.

No, it doesn't. It establishes the GPL for what it is: a way to keep users of FOSS independent of 3rd party entities should they choose to be.

The above means effectively a requirement for GPL'd software to be "free as in beer". GPL should state it clearly that it sees no value in software and that "beer" part is a pre-requisite to "freedom" part: No "freedom" without the "beer". The entire concept of "Free Software" is moot, it is essentially Public Domain in disguise.

Re:FRAND excludes Open Source? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42444523)

No, there's something wrong with software patents. I use both proprietary and FOSS software and appreciate the principles behind both methods of development and distribution. Existing copyright protection even supports the existence of both models

Say we need software to decode a popular video format. The proprietary developer writes said software and then distributes it in binary form for a fee. If people want to use this software they can do so by purchasing a license to use it and then can continue to use that software as they please. The license prevents them from distributing copies of that software to other people so that the developer doesn't miss out. The developer will likely keep the source code to themselves. End result: developer makes money on their hard work and can put food on the table, and the users get software that does what they want. Everyone is happy.

The FOSS developer writes their own software as well. It can't copy any functionality directly from the proprietary software above as the proprietary developer hasn't released the source code. The FOSS developer must write it from scratch, or perhaps reuse code from another FOSS project. Either way, a similar amount of effort goes into writing it as the proprietary developer has faced. This software is then released as source code with no restrictions on its end use. It may be released in compiled binary form too, or somebody else might choose to do this part. End result: users get software that they can use how they like and have the ability to study and modify it too if they wish (i.e. freedom). They can also distribute the software to others.

So everyone is happy; both models work nicely.

Then someone discovers that both of these software products infringe on a software patent. Now, the third party holding a patent can dictate or restrict both of the above situations despite not having contributed to the actual real work involved in either resulting product. In order to continue, the proprietary developer might negotiate a royalty fee that is deducted as a portion of the fee that users pay for the software.

Things get a little more complex for FOSS. Does the developer have to negotiate this, or those distributing binary copies of the software. Does that mean that every end user who compiles their own copy technically have to stump up a fee to some third party? Where do they pay? How can this be monitored to ensure that everyone who should pay, does? If the unit license cost is very low (e.g. a few cents), is it even feasible? No matter what, this process breaks the entire FOSS model.

So FOSS itself isn't broken, the system is. It should be able to legitimately cater for both proprietary and FOSS software models and it seems that we can better achieve this without software patents.

"secret" meeting advertised weeks in advance? (4, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#42442615)

The author starts with the premise that it's a shadowy, secret plot, evidenced by the fact he saw the promos for the workshop only WEEKS in advance. I know I always advertise MY secret plots weeks in advance of sitting down to discuss them. He then proceeds to say that the panel, including two representatives from the Free Software Foundation Europe, was a bunch of anti- Free Software shills. The FSF is against free software? Really? Triple tinfoil hat territory.

Re:"secret" meeting advertised weeks in advance? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42442989)

I don't see where the FSFE is mentioned, can you highlight it?

Open Source (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year ago | (#42442739)

Why is paying fees incompatible with Open Source, unless Open Source is the same as free as in beer.

Re:Open Source (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42442915)

You mean, paying per-copy royalties for software patents. Tell me who pays with "open source" or, more critically, Free Software.

Re:Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42442955)

Because Open Source means giving other people the right to copy freely, without checking in with you.
You can't and don't keep track of total units "sold", and therefore can't pay the license fees.

Re:Open Source (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42443079)

Because Open Source means giving other people the right to copy freely

This cannot be true because its never free to copy something.

Re:Open Source (0)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443217)

Please come back when you learn the meaning of the word "implied context."

Re:Open Source (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42443401)

Please come back when you learn the meaning of the word "implied context."

Please come back when you figure out why it doesnt end at context.

Re:Open Source (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443543)

Oh great, a moron.

No, when they say "copy freely" they mean without restriction. Patent fees impose restrictions via cost, this is why FRAND (and software patents in general) is bad, particularly for standards.

Re:Open Source (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42443725)

No, when they say "copy freely" they mean without restriction.

Most of the OSS licenses that I am aware of impose restrictions on copying on purpose, such as the various GPL's. You can't send me a copy of a GPL'd binary without following some rules.

Re:Open Source (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443821)

The GPL does not impose restrictions on redistribution. You are, by default, not allowed to redistribute. You can copy all you want, personally. The GPL grants you permission to redistribute it so long as you comply with the terms.

Re:Open Source (0)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year ago | (#42443857)

Oh great, a moron.

No, when they say "copy freely" they mean without restriction. Patent fees impose restrictions via cost, this is why FRAND (and software patents in general) is bad, particularly for standards.

I can copy open source code without restriction?

Cool! I'll roll some of that fancy GPLv3 code into my new product. It's a Tivo box. Awesome.

Oh you want my changes? Those are mine! You can buy my Tivo box though, it's cool.

See, I can overgeneralise and oversimplify too.

Re:Open Source (0)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#42442971)

Free as in freedom implies free as in beer. Having to pay a fee to obtain freedom is completely incompatible with open source.

So a large % of Linux is incompatible w/OSS (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#42443557)

A large chunk of the GUI systems you see on modern Linux distributions, as well as things like the Red Hat cluster suite, were developed by or in conjuction with paid distros like Red Hat. Are they completely incompatible with open source? Red Hat isn't free as in beer, but it's GPL. Someone has to buy it before they can distribute it under GPL. Seems to be working just fine.

Re:So a large % of Linux is incompatible w/OSS (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42443645)

So you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about.

Someone has to buy it before they can distribute it under GPL. Seems to be working just fine.

"Buying" RHEL is buying a support contract and access to the RHEL binary repos. You don't need to "buy" RHEL to get the sources.

Re:So a large % of Linux is incompatible w/OSS (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year ago | (#42443997)

As soon as you obtain a copy of it, you can copy, modify and use Red Hat's stuff without paying. It's free as in beer. It's completely compatible with open source.

In less free countries, Red Hat can not distribute patented code under the GPL license. Try to play an MP3 file on your Red Hat-developed Fedora distribution, you're in for a surprise.

Re:Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42443009)

Because they're large overhead in small projects that is easily ignored in large projects. With patents, exchanging software in small group with usb sticks would be infringement. That, and it's kind of a weasely way to get around copyleft. Most of those licenses weren't made when there was such a thing as software patents.

Those projects that are lead by maybe one or two people should be shut down if our government actually enforced its laws. Forcing everyone to operate in a gray areas is the lead in to a police state.

Article is wrong (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#42443435)

The article claims that going from royalty-free licensing to FRAND licensing hurts FOSS. That's wrong. Royalty-free licensing can be just as incompatible with GPLv3 for example as FRAND licensing. GPLv3 requires that you need a patent license that allows you to distribute the software directly or indirectly without any restrictions.

Here's a GPLv3 incompatible license: "I allow you and everybody else to use my patent in your software and any derived software and distribute it under the GPLv3 or a later license, as long as you send me a copy of the source code, and everyone creating and distributing a derived version also sends me a copy of the source code".

Note that all these people have to send me a copy of the source anyway if I ask them, so there is no hardship involved at all, but this license means they have to send a copy without me even asking. That makes it incompatible with GPLv3.

well now (2)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year ago | (#42444313)

Realistically there's a lot of money behind closed source, not just the company producing it but the countless lawyers and political institutions that maintain and write patents. What about the big box stores that sell it and promote it, advertisers won't be left out in the cold either! Free and open source will continue to fight this uphill battle, not that it necessarily can't or shouldn't, but a company that could commercialize this and genuinely play nice with the community and markets would do quite well.
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