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FSF: New Apache License not GPL-Compatible

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the clashing-clauses dept.

GNU is Not Unix 405

__past__ writes "It seems that the XFree86 issue is not the only licensing battle currently fought in the FLOSS world: An update to the FSF's list of Free Software licenses lists the new Apache License, Version 2.0 (which has been discussed on Slashdot before) as not being GPL-compatible, due to a clause related to software patents." (Read on for more.)

__past__ continues "The new version of the Apache license will apply to all Apache projects, including the popular web server and many Java libraries like Xerces and Log4J, and making it easier to integrate Apache- and GNU-licensed code was one of the primary goals for its development. With the new license being GPL-incompatible (just like the older Apache licenses were), it is not possible to distribute programs that use libraries covered by under it and others covered by the GPL.

Apparently, the FSF does not actually consider the patent-related clauses a bad idea, let alone non-free - it is just that they impose a restriction that the GPL does not, and that makes the license automatically incompatible. It might even be that GPL Version 3 will include similar statements or at least allow them, as a message from FSF legal counsel Eben Moglen indicates. Additionally, prominent Apache hacker Roy Fielding claims that it doesn't really matter what the FSF thinks about the matter, because according to the Apache Software Foundation, derived works can just be distributed under the GPL."

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first! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319744)

first!first!first!first!

Re:first! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319926)

CONGRATULATIONS! You have achieved first post! Your reward: precisely nothing, except the satisfaction that you have prevented some lin_uh_x geek from obtaining an fp. Continue the good work.

WSL3

Ok (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319748)

Is this good or is this whack?

Is anyone else getting worried here? (4, Interesting)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319759)

Slightly concerned that we'll look back and say "Well, 2004 would've been the year Linux arrived in a big way . . . EXCEPT THAT WE TORE OURSELVES APART AT THE SEAMS."

I don't mean to panic-monger or scream that the sky is falling without due cause - but this is all starting to get a bit worrying. Open Source has enough problems right now without actively helping its opponents.

--Ryv

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319793)

I said it before, and I'll say it again...once the blood is in the water the sharks start circling, my friend. And once the feeding frenzy starts, there's nothing that'll stop it.

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (5, Insightful)

pheared (446683) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319866)

Who's tearing what? You can't say that you are "pro-OpenSource" and then say "Well, unless it's an important piece of software. We can always make exceptions."

Seems to me that everything is carrying on as it always has.

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320026)

You can't say that you are "pro-OpenSource" and then say "Well, unless it's an important piece of software. We can always make exceptions."

True, but we don't need to...

Both the change in the X license, and now this from Apache, do not in any way violate the spirit of the free/open source movement. X simply wanted a bit of credit (not unreasonable, considering that I've actually had people familiar with RedHat ask me what OS I used, on seeing my Slackware fileserver on which I never even installed X... People associate X as a critical part of Linux). And Apache... Well, I think most of us would agree that rejecting patented contributions seems more in keeping with the spirit of free software than allowing them.

Basically, we as a community need to come up with a bit of a modification to section 6 of the GPL, the part that prevents additional restrictions as terms of the license. These "problems" will only cause a real schism if we sphexishly stand by that clause.

Not that section 6 doesn't have merit - But allowing certain categories of additional requirements would not in any way hurt us, and may well benefit us in the long run (ie, this addition by Apache strikes me as so obviously good that it surprises me to realize that the GPL doesn't already mention it, since how can code under a nonexpired patent ever count as "free"?)

Vigilance is exactly how we got here (4, Insightful)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319929)

Testing the value we place in the idea of open source will not tear the community apart, it will strengthen and clarify.

And of course its a tempest in a teapot for practically everyone out there in the real world.

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319931)

"Open Source has enough problems right now"
Yeah, like sucking.

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (5, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319939)

The Free Software community is not in the business of making "Open Source" succeed.

Your bias is evident in your choice of words and implicit goals.

(Mine is evident in that I point yours out ;-)

-Peter

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (4, Informative)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319940)

Apache license has never been compatible with any GPL besides LGPL.

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (5, Insightful)

irix (22687) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319953)

Relax.

Notice how the FSF and the Apache group are discussing the license? They'll work things out - no need for panic mongering.

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (5, Insightful)

petabyte (238821) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319960)

Actually I'm not worried.

You tear things apart at the seems and stitch it into new things. Opensource seems to have always been about that. Projects will fork if there is a major issue that can't be worked around.

And who is tearing who apart?. As the post says derived works can be distributed under the GPL. The next version of the GPL will probably take into account patents and issues between these two licenses can probably be worked out then.

In the mean time, I'll still be using boa :).

Hey, take it easy. (5, Funny)

bad enema (745446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319997)

It's only February my friend. There's plenty of time to screw it all u-... err, fix things up.

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (1)

hikerhat (678157) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320022)

Well, according to the writeup, the apache licence will probably be compatable with the next version of the GPL, and doesn't restrict freedom at all. It is simply not compatable with the current GPL based on a technicality that doesn't sound too important. So I think the sky is doing just fine. Well, except for the ozone part of it I suppose.

Re:Is anyone else getting worried here? (5, Interesting)

orasio (188021) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320030)

RTFA
Nobody is fighting here.
The FSF wrote a letter explaining license incompatibility issues in Apache license 2.0, and they even say its not a bad idea, in the listing of licenses.
They state that the incompatibility exists, because it does, and they even imply that they might fix it themselves, so what's the problem?
Anyway, who cares about "Linux" arriving in a big way? What is important is that free software continues to advance, and most of all, continues to be _free_, and license incompatibilities are bad in that they dont allow the cooperation between the ASF and the FSF (and XFree people), who are probably the most important developers of free software.

Incompatible (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319761)

So since a good portion of XF86 is apparently GPL (right?)...Will they have to change the license back or be faced with dropping all of the GPL'd portion?

Re:Incompatible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319797)

Man I feel dumb, I read Apache but it registered as XF86...too many licensing problems lately!

Re:Incompatible (2, Insightful)

Zangief (461457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319913)

No. Whoever group/person who programs XF86/Apache OWNS it. This is not so clear, as those are big projects that have been maintained by lots of people, but the point is, the code is THEIRS.

If they decide to distribute its code under GPL, under BSD licenses, or to distribute it in binary form, they still own the code. They already distributed it under GPL before, so they cannot recall that code back home, but they still can do whatever they want with their code.

GPL (4, Insightful)

Gildenstern (62439) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319762)

I know this is will be Flamebait but with all these problems maybe the GPL should change.

Re:GPL (1, Insightful)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319788)

errr, didn't the article summary suggest as much? (at least for the apache case)

Re:GPL (1)

Trashman (3003) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319821)

No, it's not flamebait, But please expand on that. In what way should it change why?

Re:GPL (4, Insightful)

Gildenstern (62439) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319884)

Well I don't think that I'm qualified. I'm not a lawyer. I looked at the Apache license. IT seems like a good thing. If the GPL is so restrictive that it won't ever work with any other type of license then it should be changed. I believe in both types of free but with all these licenses fighting against each other it does nothing to help linux.

Re:GPL (1, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319843)

the FSF should change, not the GPL. The GPL is fine where it stands. The FSF is forcing this issue onto everyone else and creating drama.

Re:GPL (4, Informative)

__past__ (542467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319967)

No, it is about the GPL. Whether a license is GPL-compatible or not can be mechanically deduced by looking at its terms, and neither the FSF nor anybody else has the power to declare some license GPL-compatible because they think it is morally or politically good. The FSF doesn't seem to have much of a political problem with the new Apache license, but it is still not GPL-compatible.

This is not the first case when the FSF had to declare a license they actually liked GPL-incompatible, the Affero GPL is another.

Re:GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319996)

You have an odd use of the word "forcing" there.. if you don't like what the FSF has to say, ignore them.

No. (4, Interesting)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319869)

The problem is not one of the GPL being problematic, but rather people not thinking through what they're doing with their licensing. One of the GPL's purposes is to ensure that the code stays available to those that are interested in it as long as they are so interested. Pretty much only the GPL and LGPL do this of all the licenses out there. The other variants do this to some or no degree (MPL and APSL do some of this, but they're not as strong as the GPL is in this regard and the BSD/MIT/Artistic variants tend to not protect you from propritization of the code at all...).

In the case of the new XFree86 license, it's a stupid play on their part to try to get more recognition (there's other ways to do this, folks- not a single player in the FOSS community is claiming that they're the ones that produced XFree86 at this point in time.) and I'm sure that the Apache license is probably another example of something not being quite thought out in the ramifications department.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

Walterk (124748) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320033)

Is it that hard for GPL fanatics to understand that some people don't WANT protection against people using their code in proprierty projects? I love the BSD license, exactly because it doesn't limit my code. Everybody (except GPL users appearently) can use my code, which I create under the BSD license, because I enjoy coding. And no, I don't care if Sun, Apple or Microsoft uses my code. If they do, well, I hope they choke on it.

BSD style license give freedom, but no security. GPL gives limited freedom, but great security. Wasn't it one of the founding fathers of the US who said "those who are willing to give up a liberty for security deserve neither"?

Really, if you ask me, GPL is the problem here, since it wants all other licenses in the world to be GPL. GPL is the OSS platform independent virus, but on IP.

yeah GPL is a virus (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319943)

GPL your code to ensure it will not get used for anything meaningful.

gpl like religion ? (4, Funny)

ehack (115197) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319765)

Is the gpl a text that says "if you change a word of this text you shall be excommunciated from the religion of Free Software, Stallman prophet ?"

Re:gpl like religion ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319867)

If you don't value your freedom, you can make all sort of cases for changing the GPL.

You either understand the protections it was designed to offer, or you don't.

Re:gpl like religion ? (4, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319908)

Actually, here are some proposed additions for GPL Version 3:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the license of this code, If any man shall add unto these things, RMS shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this license.

And if any man shall take away from the words of the license of this code, RMS shall take away his part out of the license to this code, and out of the open bazaar, and from the things which are written in this license.

legal documents (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320000)

IIRC, legal documents cannot be copyrighted. Therefore you can make whatever changes you want to it, so long as you give it a different name. You would, of course, lose compatibility if you add any new restrictions.

Re:gpl like religion ? (2, Funny)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320042)

Is the gpl a text that says "if you change a word of this text you shall be excommunciated from the religion of Free Software, Stallman prophet ?"

DDOS the heretic!

Cast him into the flames of Redmond!

Retroactive... (3, Insightful)

BJZQ8 (644168) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319778)

One good thing about formerly GPL'ed software...companies can't retroactively go back and say that you have no right to use it...and, more than likely, the community isn't going to force you into using it (ala Longhorn circa 2008)...

if Apache doesn't care, what's the difference? (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319780)

They are compatible. Whether or not they are considered compatible by the FSF is an opinion only they can make, but given that a derivative work consisting of both Apache Licensed code and GPL code can be distributed under the GPL (according to *our* opinion), there really isn't anything to be discussed.

They obviously don't care if it is distributed under the GPL, which means that they won't fight anything having to do with it being distributed in that manner, so what's the difference?

Re:if Apache doesn't care, what's the difference? (1)

__past__ (542467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319857)

In the end, neither the opinion of the FSF nor the one of the Apache Foundation counts. Not only are both licenses used by others that might interpret them differently, in the end it is up to a judge to decide what they really mean.

But it's true, I wouldn't expect any lawsuits between ASL- and GPL-using free software authors any time soon.

Re:if Apache doesn't care, what's the difference? (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319888)

But it's true, I wouldn't expect any lawsuits between ASL- and GPL-using free software authors any time soon.

Why would they bother? They would lose a HUGE portion of their installed-base. People who use Apache do so from plenty of free OSs. Does anyone really think that someone from Apache is going to freak out and sue someone for distributing under the GPL? Darl, obviously, does not count.

GPL non-GPL compliant? (5, Funny)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319784)

What's next? The current GPL, version 2, will not be GPL version 3 compliant?

Re:GPL non-GPL compliant? (1)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319860)

only if microsoft is updating the license :)

Re:GPL non-GPL compliant? (2, Interesting)

jmv (93421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319881)

Probably. And that's exactly why the FSF suggests saying that you may redistribute under GPL version 2 *or later*.

bullshit i say (-1, Troll)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319795)

the GPL is not compatible with the Apache license

there are other licenses other than the GPL. it is not the best license for everything. Apache's license isn't compatible with it? tough shit. find another server that is

Re:bullshit i say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319920)

the GPL is not compatible with the Apache license

your point is absurd, it's a matter of perspective, fsf lists all non-gpl compatible licenses, and this happens to be one of them, they are not claiming the apache license is a bad thing for not being compatible, and its expected gpl 3 will be compatible with it.. so why bother?

Re:bullshit i say (0, Troll)

Triumph The Insult C (586706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320001)

no, my point is, why does the GPL have to be center of the universe? who cares what the FSF says? so long as you're on their side, or you've given the rights to your code to them, you're ok. the minute you aren't on their side, you're an outcast of sorts. who made FSF king?

Insightfull, I say. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319947)

Apache's license isn't compatible with it? tough shit. find another server that is

Exactly. Linux does not hinge upon the inclusion Apache. People can download and install Apache on their linux machines if they like to run a server.

I quite like how Debian makes this destinction between free and non-free.

What Indians say about outsourcing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319799)

http://www.navhindtimes.com/stories.php?part=news& Story_ID=021817 [navhindtimes.com]


Mr Bush feels shy of admitting the fact that his own people are not competent to compete in the international market and he also feels that he can do or undo any thing on the strength of the money. Basically this has been the reason that the American companies have been forced to discriminate against their own people and giving jobs to people from other countries. If at all intends to put a check on the process, he should evolve some alternate mechanism instead of resorting to the undemocratic measure. He is tending to be protectionist at the cost of others. Why this hypocrisy? Mr Bush must realise the harsh realities of the globalisation. He should realise that any move to ban the outsourcing would eventually bring in more perils for him and his country.

Re:What Indians say about outsourcing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319850)

Are you threating me, Abu? I will buy my Slushee from Mohommad at the 7-11, thank you very much.

What the heck? (3, Interesting)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319807)

I feel like i've been sleeping for months, all of a sudden this is all hitting the fan? What, will we all have to run some Hurd variant soon to be fully compliant?

CB

Crap! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319810)

Oh la la!

That's all? (2, Interesting)

Orien (720204) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319814)

Fielding claims that it doesn't really matter what the FSF thinks about the matter, because according to the Apache Software Foundation, derived works can just be distributed under the GPL.

1)Add some new comments to the Apache code
2)Recompile
3)...
4)Profit!!!

So that's the answer then, we just change a few comments, recompile, and call it a derived work? Surly it can't be that simple?

not bad (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319817)

at a first glance it sounds like a bad thing, but after rtfa it sounds pretty cool to me, it avoids problems

Wait for the new David E Kelly series. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319818)

Brock Manning: Code Shyster. All the existential angst of Ally McBeal with an air-tight reason the principal never gets laid, and more topical buzzword techology centered plots for all the disillusioned Star Trek geeks.

Who knows (4, Interesting)

barenaked (711701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319819)

I believe that you can distribute a program under the GNU General Public License and a seperate Trademark license. That is what AbiSource does with AbiWord. And I don't think it restricts the freedom of the user since it is still allowed to distribute derived works. What does not seem to be compatible with the GPL is trying put any further restrictions on the user by invoking normal copyright law. By trying to use copyright law in the Apache license to restrict the rights of recipient to use an arbitrary word in the use of their derived work doesn't seem to be compatible with the GPL. (That arbitrary word would of course be Apache in this case :) Although if you have a real trademark on that word then clause 4 and 5 could be seen as just stating that the Apache License does not grant someone the right to use the word Apache since it is a trademark. But if that is the case then you could easily take away all confusion by using something like the following instead of clauses 4 and 5: This license does not grant you the right to use any of the trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation. "Apache" is a trademark of the Apache Software Foundation and products derived from this software may not be called "Apache", nor may "Apache" appear in their name, without prior written permission of the Apache Software Foundation. I think that would make sure that the new Apache License is compatible with the GPL.

Re:Who knows (4, Funny)

SpamJunkie (557825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320014)

Thanks for writing your comment in Courier without using paragraph breaks. The paragraph is only the unit of composition [bartleby.com] .

Why did you bother to use periods?

oh no, rms doesn't approve! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319820)

RMS is a visionary and all but he's not a God. I don't deny that he's important, but, at the end of the day, if RMS doesn't like the license I use for my software, I don't really give a fuck. And neither should Apache.

The OLD license wasn't either... (4, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319824)

So why the hyperbolic headline?

I haven't read the new license, but so long as it allows derived works to be licensed under the GPL and still allows the source to be viewed, used and modified without fear of retribution... I don't have a problem with it.

Re:The OLD license wasn't either... (3, Informative)

__past__ (542467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319903)

Because GPL-compatibility was one of the reasons to develop ASL V2 in the first place (as the article states, by the way). That it didn't work out is kinda disappointing.

SLASHDOT KILLS... (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320053)

...another headline.

The headline the editors chose is very poor. Something more along the lines of "ASL V2 Fails to Deliver GPL Compatibility" would have been more appropriate.

Like most news outlets they get better results by overglorifying headlines.

GPL Evolution (3, Insightful)

Linus Sixpack (709619) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319826)

In this case it seems that the Apache license review is just in advance of the GPL license review process. A stance on Patents is an obvious license addition and the FSF should be examining this to make a clear position public PDQ IMHO.

I hope these licenses say things like:

Software Patents are bad and we support their abolition but if they are enforced in your area these are the rules you must follow regarding this software etc..... If you don't like these rules help abolish _all_ software patents.

LS

A Special Message from G. W. Bush: +1, Inspiring (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319828)


Courtesy of The White House [whitehouse.org]

N WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS, PRESIDENT CONDEMNS SAN FRANCISCO SODOMITES FOR HAVING RUINED VALENTINES DAY BY FALLING IN LOVE
Official Transcript: President's Radio Address

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This past week, in a shockingly impudent act of civil disobedience, San Francissyco Mayor Gavin Newsom gave the green light to open the gates of Hell and start marrying off pole-smokers and rug-munchers just as fast as his limp-wristed little lady paw could sign swishy John Hancocks on Fagtown wedding licenses. To add insult to injury, Mr. Newsom - a Democrat, naturally - intentionally kicked off this abomination on Valentines Day, a holiday invented by Hallmark specifically so normal people could look down on queers.

Well Mayor Felcher has another thing coming if he thinks I'm just gonna sit idly by with Laura's thumb up my ass while he repudiates California Governor Schwarzenigger's wholesomeness by sanctifying the unholy unions of pitcher and catcher, butch and dyke, village person and other village person, and so on down the mincing cunga line.

Now, don't get me wrong. When you're nine years old, it's perfectly normal behavior to, say, get a little frisky with your fellow Kamp Kayuga Kemosabe bunkmates - so long as it stays in the showers or the woods. But when you keep on playing "Doggy, Doggy, Where's Your Bone?" or "Fist the Tail of the Donkey" right into adultdom, you might as
STOLEN! TOP-SECRET!
ON SALE EVERYWHERE!
(book information)
Republican Lady Things:
Bumper Sticker Sale:
well paint a pentagram on the ground with fetus blood, piss on the bible, and cry aloud, "Are you there, Satan? It's me, Mary!" And no, I ain't talking about the Virgin Matriarch.

As President, it is my responsibility to confront any and all such enemies of the libidinal status quo. And so this morning, in addition to calling on Congress to pass my constitutional amendment, I want to deliver a brief message to any Bay Area sodomites who might be thinking of sashaying down to city hall to get themselves one of these novelty fake marriages. Here we go...

Attention all deviant abominations of San Francisco. This is your President you voted overwhelmingly against speaking. As you no doubt have been told, same-sex marriage is illegal in the state of California. That said, I know that many of you Adams and Steves believe that by breaking that law, you are being some kind of civil rights trailblazers. You think you're like that rude colored lady Rosa Parks, who suffered from delusions of non-inferiority. You think you're like that uppity broad Susan B. Anthony, who hallucinated that women are capable of having opinions. And yes, you probably think you're like Richard and Mildred Loving, who demanded that Virginia give them special rights to flaunt the unthinkable perversion of interracial marriage. Well guess what? You're right. You're just like all of those people - a sickening byproduct of liberalism. But just like my right-wing personal forefathers who fought tooth and nail against the aforementioned scum, I too shall do everything in my power to ensure that you remain second-class citizens: reviled, despised, and worthy only of being dragged for miles behind the pickup trucks of my most devoted ideological brethren.

In short, go ahead and try to marry your own gender. But know that when any man fucks with another man, he's also fucking with a Bush. And when you do that, a Bush gets nasty. And a nasty Bush is the last thing you wanna fuck around with. Just ask my dad.

Thank you for listening, and God Bless America.

Ok... (1)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319837)

So non-Apache products distributed under the Apache License cannot be redistributed under the GPL. This just doesn't seem like big news to me.

Important Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319838)

I wonder what they are going to think about Licensing 6.0. Is this going to be incompatible with the GPL? I've adapted some of these principles in the Gentoo-based network I admin!

Patent termination (4, Insightful)

mukund (163654) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319839)

We don't think those patent termination cases are inherently a bad idea, but nonetheless they are incompatible with the GNU GPL.

Patent termination is likely a good idea in these times although it is not technically compatible with version 2 of the GNU GPL license. This does not mean the ASF is in any way evil. It will make sense if you read the new Apache license. Maybe even the GNU GPL should adapt patent litigation based termination as a clause in the future.

Who gives a sh.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319846)

So what? not everything has to be GPL'd. It's still open source, so STFU...

GPL? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319852)

i'm excellennt at computers and can program in open source, but could somebody tell me what the application gpl does? don't patronise me 'cos i know open source and linux

~~~ladylover
carn't afford an account so i'll sign with this

Re:GPL? (-1, Troll)

Doomrat (615771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319957)

WTF troll?

i asked a civil question you fucking luser

~~~ladylover
carn't afford an account so i'll sign with this

Re:GPL? (-1, Redundant)

Doomrat (615771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319983)

Haha! I'm so busted.

Re:GPL? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8320002)

BWHAHAHAHAHA! Looks like someone forgot to check 'Post Anonymously'.

Re:GPL? (1)

sk1ppy (655481) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319986)

For the life of me I cant find any books on this programming language called open source. I can program in java, C++ and (forgive me) COBOL74. I would love to be able to program in open source.

Who can we blame? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319862)

Blame Canada, blame canada!

From the FSF site (4, Informative)

FuryG3 (113706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319870)

This is a free software license but it is incompatible with the GPL. The Apache Software License is incompatible with the GPL because it has a specific requirement that is not in the GPL: it has certain patent termination cases that the GPL does not require. (We don't think those patent termination cases are inherently a bad idea, but nonetheless they are incompatible with the GNU GPL.)

Re:From the FSF site (2, Insightful)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320044)

We don't think those patent termination cases are inherently a bad idea, but nonetheless they are incompatible with the GNU GPL

The obvious solution is to modify the GNU GPL, but the eyes of some this would amount to heresy of the highest order. We should be wary of such resistance to change; do we want an evolving license which suits our needs best, like the "amendable" US constitution, or a set-in-stone license like the "inerrant" bible?

For sure, the GPL has been allowed to evolve since its first penning by Eblen Moglen; we're up to v2.1 now, right? However, it is important to ask whether the ideas behind the GPL are also being allowed room to evolve; or whether they are stagnating under the orthodoxy fetish of RMS.

Meanwhile... (2, Redundant)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319872)

... certain people in Redmond and Lindon are screaming with laughter and crying out of excitement with their respective goons, while celebrating the fact that the tides are turning in their favour.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

lambent (234167) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319978)

Were the tides ever not in their favour?

The old license was incompatible too (5, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319882)

From the FSF page linked in the article:

The Apache License, Version 1.1.

This is a permissive non-copyleft free software license with a few requirements that render it incompatible with the GNU GPL.

We urge you not to use the Apache licenses for software you write. However, there is no reason to avoid running programs that have been released under this license, such as Apache.

No falling sky here. Move along.

Re:The old license was incompatible too (1)

FuryG3 (113706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319935)

Wrong license, this is about the 2.0 license.

Re:The old license was incompatible too (1)

thebatlab (468898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320019)

And he was pointing out that the last licence was incompatible as well so that this isn't a completely new issue.

Re:The old license was incompatible too (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320027)

Wrong license, this is about the 2.0 license.

That's right. Take a look at the subject of this post: "The old license..."

Everyone's freaking out over the new license being incompatible as if it's some horrible change. But the old license was already incompatible. Therefore, as far as GPL compatibility is concerned, nothing has changed.

What gives? (1, Insightful)

Supp0rtLinux (594509) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319889)

So, Linux spends years dominating the server market and finally starts to make it to desktop acceptance. And what happens? The rug starts to get pulled out from under us and the licensing that makes Linux distributions so *free* and *open source* start to be more restrictive. First Xfree86. Now Apache. What's next? Samba? Or maybe Gnome? Or, heaven forbid, the Linux kernel itself? Why don't we all jump on the bandwagon and use licensing to take Linux apart one app at a time. Let's shoot ourselves in the foot and give more dominance to M$.

The only thing necessary for Micro$oft to triumph is for a few good programmers to do nothing". North County Computers [nccomp.com]

Stage in life (2, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319893)

Has OSS reached a stage in the lifecycle that few siblings are big enough to branch out now?

In the early days, all everyone cared about is making OSS, and the whole model is the production of best software based on peer-review.

Nowadays, some OSS distributors are gaining enough cash reserve, support and momentum and it's sad to see other agendas come into play.

These few weeks we have seen enough incidents already.

Re:Stage in life (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319937)

Please clarify OSS.

You talking GNU, BSD, MIT, etc all lumped together? Or something else.

Re:Stage in life (1)

lambent (234167) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319998)

I believe he's talking about the Open Sound System, which has been deprecated in the linux kernel 2.6 branch.

/sarcasm

*Linux is DYING (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319910)

Who knew? They'll be ripping out X, and Apache, and OpenSSL, and god knows what else because the GPL says it's sinful. Meanwhile, no problem in *BSD land.

Upset of the century, I tell you.

Cry me a river (-1, Offtopic)

Oz0ne (13272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319914)

you damn commie bastards.

SCO? (1)

big_groo (237634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319925)

Surely this isn't related to SCO and what they've stated about the GPL, is it? XFree86 and now Apache?

Motivation? (3, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319936)

To understand what is going on and possibly even how to approach a resolution it's important to understand the motivation for such apparent shifts.

So to those people "in the know" or those with a pretty good idea, I ask you what is the motivation for these two (XF86 and Apache) free software icons to shift away to GPL-incompatible licenses?

I'm not even going to jump to "Microsoft conspiracy theory" though the timing is pretty interesting...

Re:Motivation? (2, Informative)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320051)

Apache was never GPL-compatible. The only shift _away_ from GPL was XFree86. Apache is actually shifting _towards_ GPL-compatibility, but the news story is that it still has terms that prevent that compatibility.

Headline: GPL Found Incompatible With Open Source (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319942)

That should be the real headline here. The GPL is much more of a limiting factor in Open Source software code sharing than almost any other OSS approved license. I don't mean this as flame bait, either. It's just a simple fact because of how restrictive the GPL is.

I don't hate the GPL at all, and would even consider using it on my own projects if I wanted the features that the GPL offers.

Another bump in the road (4, Interesting)

hoegg (132716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319952)

Many developers have strong convictions about which license they wish to use when releasing their code. However, I think that they'd often rather reuse and extend an existing library that does not use their license of choice than be burdened with re-implementing that functionality within their products or creating a new project with their license-of-choice. These kinds of incompatibilities encourage duplication of effort and discourage collaboration on many projects.

I often wonder whether this problem could be mitigated or even solved by some creative license language. I'd like to license my software in such a way that it could be reused by projects using any of a majority of the other open source licenses. Also, I'd like to modularize it so that it could take advantage of high quality software released under otherwise incompatible licenses.

not exactly a new problem (4, Informative)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319959)

Incompatiblity between the Apache licence ver 2.0 and the GPL is nothing new. The FSF cites other problems with the 1.x Apache licences. They also say that "there is no reason to avoid running programs that have been released under [the 1.1 Apache] license".

The question of GPL compatibility becomes a problem only when a package contains links directly to GPL code, as seems to be the case with XFree86. If the packages are distinct enough, any "free" licence (which is the term the FSF uses for Apache's) is OK for the two to coexist in a distro.

Patents are the biggest threat to free/open source (4, Insightful)

dmeranda (120061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319961)

Back when the GPL1 and later GPL2 were written, free software was a very foreign philosphy. Those carefully composed licenses have been remarkably important and comprehensive at advancing the general goals of free software. Of course other licenses like the FDL for documentation have come along to address issue that the GPL didn't do very well.

So today the idea of free software is more mainstream and many of the past threats relatively diffused. But the recent intellectual property [sic] madness has caused a new unignorable threat to emerge...patents. This is why a new revision of the GPL is needed, to more forcibly address IP issues. This is also a big issue with standards bodies, governments, other open source projects like Apache, and yes even many commercial proprietary software vendors. So perhaps this is one case where the Apache folks actually leapfrogged FSF in trying to address this modern problem.

I believe patents to be the most credible threat to free/open source. The SCO stuff is tiny in comparison as it can have no long-lasting permament effect, even if SCO is absolutely correct [grin].

I thank you 7or your time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8319969)

the reaper In a raise or lower the ASSOCIATION OF Had become like schemes. Frankly Completely before things in but now they're and arms and dick Its corpse turned lesson and interest in having implementation to ooficers. Others is also a miserable confirmed that *BSD under the GPL. committerbase and diseases. The AMERICA) might be

What if Stallman bitched about licensing (4, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319977)

And nobody cared?
Is this the beginning of market forces affecting the open source movement? Practical realities asserting themselves over floating abstractions?

wow .. who rebooted apache ? (-1, Offtopic)

x31forest (130841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8319989)

Slashdot was down for at least 10 seconds with a Error 590.

Tsk tsk.

I thank you fo8 your time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8320004)

out of lbed iN the IS DYING.THINGS

Shared objects GPL / Apache legal question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8320007)

I'm developing a game the uses SDL (via GPL/LGPL) (for graphics) and Xerces (via Apache) (for config files, save state files, etc...). I plan to release my game under the GPL. Both SDL and Xerces will be linked dynamically on Linux, Win32, etc... I have no interest in using a different license for my own project.

Does this license issue now mean that I can't legally use Xerces with my project?

I read the FAQ about the GPL and its 'freedoms' and 'restrictions' on the GNU web site, but I'm still a bit baffled. It seems that I am able to use Xerces from a GPL program [1], but I'm not sure. This whole fuss seems a bit anal.

[1] Can I write free software that uses non-free libraries?
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.ht ml#FSWithNFL ibs

Tower of Babel (3, Insightful)

stuffduff (681819) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320008)

I think that the Open Source movement is approaching a crossroads where the failure to have reached a viable consensus over what a proper license should be will seriously impede the future of software synergy and integration that the OS world so desparately needs.

When the licenses prohibit the joining to two pieces of code that have been designed to work together (and do work together) then it's pretty obvious to me that we've all missed the point as to what this is all about. Since we can't afford to "kill all the lawyers" maybe it's time to let them "cooperate" (yes they can do this) on using the methodology by which Open Source software is constructed as a model for a process to construct modular licenses that can interoperate and integrate with one another in a cooperative and constructive manner. There is alot to be learned now vis-a-vis the SCO case, and a history to be gleaned from BSD.

If Linus, and his crew, can build a kernel; then the folks at the FSF should be able to build a licensing agreement that we can all live with.

And it starts... (1)

Xensus (754032) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320015)

I'm getting worried about this, start getting sloppy on the licenses, and we'll eventually have ourselves a problem.
What I mean is, if the FSF and Apache start to get a little sloppy with the licenses, it will get to a point where some lawyer will take advantage of this. Microsoft is a big company to worry about, I'm sure they are trying to find ways to shut down OpenSource projects like Linux 'cause it poses a big competition against them.
The OpenSource world is getting bigger and harder to manage, try to keep up.

Unrealistic example (4, Funny)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8320048)

(Quoted from Eben's message)

Such a situation is particularly troublesome where A is in no way acting to threaten the freedom of free software, but B *is* doing so (perhaps, for example, by bringing not patent claims but trade secret and contractual claims against A with the specific intent of harming the freedom of free software)

As if that would ever happen ... what did you say? Darl Mc-who?

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