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Debian Kicks Jörg Schilling

Hemos posted about 8 years ago | from the to-the-curb-baby dept.

473

An anonymous reader writes "Debian's cdrecord maintainers announced that they have had enough of Jörg Schilling and kicked his program suite cdrtools out of Debian, introducing a free fork of his no longer free cdrtools." I've put the message below, along with some other links.So, why the fork? CD/DVD burning is a complicated business that needs a lot of knowledge, so forking such a big collection isn't a step to be taken lightly. It requires a lot of development effort that could be put to better use elsewhere.

In the past, we, the Debian maintainers of cdrtools, had a good and mutually cooperative relationship with Jörg Schilling. He even commented on Debian bug reports, which is one of the best things an upstream maintainer can do. Naturally, there were occasionally disagreements, but this is normal.

Unfortunately Sun then developed the CDDL and Jörg Schilling released parts of recent versions of cdrtools under this license. The CDDL is incompatible with the GPL. The FSF itself says that this is the case as do people who helped draft the CDDL. One current and one former Sun employee visited the annual Debian conference in Mexico in 2006. Danese Cooper clearly stated there that the CDDL was intentionally modelled on the MPL in order to make it GPL- incompatible. For everyone who wants to hear this first-hand, we have video from that talk available.

Here is the FSF position about the CDDL. This thread contains statements on the issue made by Debian people; for more context also see the other mails in that thread. In short -- the CDDL has extra restrictions, which the GPL does not allow. Jörg has a different opinion about this and has repeatedly stated that the CDDL is not incompatible, interpreting a facial expression in the above-mentioned video, calling us liars and generally appearing unwilling to consider our concerns (he never replied to the parts where we explained why it is incompatible). As he has basically ignored what we have said, we have no choice but to fork. While the CDDL *may* be a free license, we never questioned if it is free or not, as it is not our place to decide this as the Debian cdrtools maintainers. However, having been approved by OSI doesn't mean it's ok for any usage, as Jörg unfortunately seems to assume. There are several OSI-approved licenses that are GPL-incompatible and CDDL is one of them. That is and always was our point.

For our fork we used the last GPL-licensed version of the program code and killed the incompatibly licensed build system. It is now replaced by a cmake system, and the whole source we distribute should be free of other incompatibilities, as to the best of our current knowledge.

Anyone who wants to help with this fork, particularly developers of other distributions, is welcome to join our efforts. You can contact us on IRC, server irc.oftc.net, channel #debburn, or via mail at debburn-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org. Here is our svn repository.

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473 comments

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Nothing to see here, please move along (0, Offtopic)

iced_773 (857608) | about 8 years ago | (#16038305)

Looks like they kicked Hemos, too.

I believe (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038324)

They told him to fork off.

Ouch (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038328)

I understand dropping his package, but kicking him? Man, I don't want to upset the Debian team.

Re:Ouch (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038645)

Better than kicking his package. Ouch!

Storm meet teacup (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038335)


does this (what seems to be personal) squabble needs Slashdot coverage ?
just replace the package with 1 of thousands of OSS cd tools and move on, sheesh way to drag it and this Shilling through the mud

why dont we get the pitchforks ready and pay him a visit

Re:Storm meet teacup (4, Interesting)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | about 8 years ago | (#16038367)

Because most of the thousands of OSS cd tools are merely front-ends to cdrecord.

Yes, and worse: (1, Informative)

Vo0k (760020) | about 8 years ago | (#16038634)

and worse off, a GPL software cannot be dependent on non-GPL software. The GPL requires that all components of the program are to be Free - you can't legally build a GPL'd frontend to a proprietary or otherwise non-GPL-compatibile backend.

Therefore all these thousands of the cd tools depending on cdrecord would either have to change the license (and abandonning GPL is not easy and in many cases just impossible) or be stuck with the old (last GPL'd) version of cdrecord.

Re:Yes, and worse: (2, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | about 8 years ago | (#16038690)

It depends how the front end is made. Is the front end linked to cdrecord?

If the front end is NOT linked (and invokes the tool via something like system()) then it doesn't matter what license the tool is written under - a GPL front end can still use it and be GPL, just as you can write non-GPL software that works on Linux.

Re:Storm meet teacup (1)

shoor (33382) | about 8 years ago | (#16038450)

How did they drag him through the mud? They say his new license isn't compatible, they offer evidence
to support their view, but they admit he's helped them a lot in the past.

I've wondered about Debian (4, Interesting)

Bombcar (16057) | about 8 years ago | (#16038337)

Won't the GPLv3 be incompatible with the GPL?

Re:I've wondered about Debian (0)

Aladrin (926209) | about 8 years ago | (#16038399)

There is no 'won't be'... It -is- incompatible.

From http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2005/09/22/gpl3 .html?page=2 [onlamp.com]
"Even small changes from version 2 of the GPL will result in an incompatible license. Two slightly different licenses, each saying that modified versions of a program must be distributed under the same license, are inevitably incompatible."

There are some software that say or 'gpl v2 or any later version' but if even 1 package (ie: the kernel) doesn't say that, then the whole distro can forget it.

Re:I've wondered about Debian (4, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | about 8 years ago | (#16038446)

if even 1 package (ie: the kernel) doesn't say that, then the whole distro can forget it.
Can forget what? Every distro that I know of contains software with many different licenses. The only thing it prevents is taking code from a GPL v2 (without the 'any later version' clause) and putting it in a GPL v3 package. It doesn't say anything about running GPL3 apps on a GPL2 kernel, or CDDL apps on a GPL2 kernel, or BSD apps on a GPL2 kernel.

Re:I've wondered about Debian (1)

Redlazer (786403) | about 8 years ago | (#16038640)

I dont understand... Why would a different licensing scheme make something incompatible? Isnt it just how the law looks at ownership?

Or am i missing something?

-Red

Re:I've wondered about Debian (4, Informative)

sydb (176695) | about 8 years ago | (#16038467)

There are some software that say or 'gpl v2 or any later version' but if even 1 package (ie: the kernel) doesn't say that, then the whole distro can forget it.

What are you talking about? A distro is "mere aggregation" which is allowed by the GPL. Debian includes software with GPL-incompatible licenses, such as Apache.

Re:I've wondered about Debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038429)

Yeah, but it mostly doesn't matter. At least for projects who have added the v2 or later clause.
Linux does not have that clause, although many contributions in Linux have the v2 or later clause in them. I guess people if people dual licence the code, eventually we will end up with a GPLv3 project. Go GNU! Go Linux!

Re:I've wondered about Debian (0, Flamebait)

RovingSlug (26517) | about 8 years ago | (#16038431)

Yeah, I didn't realize Debian was so pedantic about the GPL. Regardless of any ego issues, it sounds like cdrtools was still free, just under a different but still open source license. Just one that sounds like it says "you're allowed to keep your changes private and commericial, if you like". The potential for closed corporate forking is grounds for kicking and forking to GPL?

Re:I've wondered about Debian (4, Informative)

cduffy (652) | about 8 years ago | (#16038518)

Combining previously contributed 3rd-party GPLed code with your own (recently-relicensed-to) CCDL code is quite certainly a way to end up with a combined product which isn't legally redistributable.

Re:I've wondered about Debian (1)

Rashkae (59673) | about 8 years ago | (#16038528)

What about all the other programs that might need to link to to the tools,, oops, can't be licesensed under GPL anymore unless special exemptions are written/created.... not to mention the possible problems if someone borrows code (assuming most everything in Debian Free is ,, well, free) without verifying the details of the license.. yes, I realize that it's the person's own fault, and not that of cdrecord, but it still makes sense to try to keep the system as GPL compatible as possible.

Re:I've wondered about Debian (2, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | about 8 years ago | (#16038576)

The potential for closed corporate forking is grounds for kicking and forking to GPL?

WTF? They didn't fork to GPL, they forked the last GPL'd version, because new versions are released under the CDDL which is specifically incompatible with the GPL. And Debian is based on releasing only GPL'd or GPL-compatibly-licensed softwares.

Re:I've wondered about Debian (4, Informative)

julesh (229690) | about 8 years ago | (#16038699)

And Debian is based on releasing only GPL'd or GPL-compatibly-licensed softwares.

Er, no. Debian is based on releasing only software which conforms to the debian free-software guidelines [debian.org] . Says nothing about the GPL in there, other than that the GPL conforms to these guidelines. They also release software under the artistic license, which isn't even free software, according to the FSF's definition, let alone GPL-compatible.

Re:I've wondered about Debian (1)

jZnat (793348) | about 8 years ago | (#16038519)

The more interesting question is how long will it take for the GPLv3 to make it in Debian Stable.

Re:I've wondered about Debian (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038607)

Don't worry it will be in Debian Stable by the time GPLv4 comes out.

Is the MPL the Mozilla Public License? (2, Interesting)

bgfay (5362) | about 8 years ago | (#16038356)

They refer to MPL in the message and I wondered if that's that Mozilla license and if that is really incompatible with the FSF.

Re:Is the MPL the Mozilla Public License? (5, Interesting)

OmegaBlac (752432) | about 8 years ago | (#16038494)

Yes it is the Mozilla Public License. From the "GPL-Incompatible, Free Software Licenses" section of one of the links posted in the summary/article:

Mozilla Public License (MPL)

This is a free software license which is not a strong copyleft; unlike the X11 license, it has some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with the GNU GPL. That is, a module covered by the GPL and a module covered by the MPL cannot legally be linked together. We urge you not to use the MPL for this reason.

However, MPL 1.1 has a provision (section 13) that allows a program (or parts of it) to offer a choice of another license as well. If part of a program allows the GNU GPL as an alternate choice, or any other GPL-compatible license as an alternate choice, that part of the program has a GPL-compatible license.

Re:Is the MPL the Mozilla Public License? (1)

bgfay (5362) | about 8 years ago | (#16038564)

Thank you. I've got some reading to do on this.

Re:Is the MPL the Mozilla Public License? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038593)

Geeze. It's tough enough to write decent software, but we're saddled with these legalese of esoteric gotchas. This "copyright" business, at least as far as software is concerned, seems seriously broken. I hear it's not working too well for music/video, either.

Re:Is the MPL the Mozilla Public License? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038597)

They refer to MPL in the message and I wondered if that's that Mozilla license and if that is really incompatible with the FSF.

Yes and yes, but irrelevant. Mozilla dual (actually tri-) license their code these days.

Re:Is the MPL the Mozilla Public License? (3, Informative)

BrokenSegue (895288) | about 8 years ago | (#16038631)

Yep, MPL==Mozilla Public License. The MPL is incompatible with the GPL because MPL'd code can be combined with proprietary code. FSF [gnu.org] says that MPL has "some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with the GNU GPL." To get around this potential problem, Mozilla licenses all of their code under the MPL, GPL and LGPL (a so called tri-license [mozilla.org] ).
See MPL [wikipedia.org] for more details.
I wonder why Schilling doesn't just dual-license? (I did RFTA)

Jörg Schilling is just another developer... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038362)

... who got older and dropped the free software principles in exchange for the usual "let's get rich coding something obvious" philosophy.

Good luck on the new fork, Debian !

Re:Jörg Schilling is just another developer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038401)

Yep, and in the OSS world developers are the lowest of the low. They are to be trampled upon and their non-programming inputs ignored. Who needs those developers? There are plenty more where that came from! The lawyers for the FSF rule all.

Here we have on the front page of Slashdot a developer who has contributed years of free work whose name is being dragged through the mud. This should be a wake up call.

Re:Jörg Schilling is just another developer.. (1)

cyberon22 (456844) | about 8 years ago | (#16038588)

Hear hear.

Re:Jörg Schilling is just another developer.. (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | about 8 years ago | (#16038455)

So obvious that you did it yourself, eh?

Re:Jörg Schilling is just another developer.. (2, Insightful)

Down_in_the_Park (721993) | about 8 years ago | (#16038485)

... who got older and dropped the free software principles in exchange for the usual "let's get rich coding something obvious" philosophy.

I couldn't find that in the article, is this your personal inside information, did you talk to him or are you just asuming it, as it is so easy to interpret decisions in a way that fulfills your own prejudices.

Still squabbling I guess (1)

Spazmania (174582) | about 8 years ago | (#16038383)

I retract my comment from the other day (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=195649&cid=16 033548). The folks at Debian are still apparantly squabbling over how free is free enough.

Re:Still squabbling I guess (3, Insightful)

krmt (91422) | about 8 years ago | (#16038463)

Try "legal" and "illegal". If two licenses are incompatible, then it is illegal to distribute software written under both together. So it's illegal for Debian to distribute the CDDL licensed bits of cdrecord with the GPL licensed bits. This isn't squabbling about the definition of free, it's about protecting a volunteer project with no money from being sued.

MPL not allowed in Debian? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 8 years ago | (#16038384)

Do I read that message correctly as saying that MPL-like licenses are not allowed in Debian? If so, did Debian also not allow Mozilla back in the old days when it was MPL/NPL licensed, or is this a new decision?

Re:MPL not allowed in Debian? (1)

didit (820432) | about 8 years ago | (#16038395)

No. It's just that incompatible licenses are incompatible. CDDL (and MPL) are GPL incompatible.

Re:MPL not allowed in Debian? (2, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 8 years ago | (#16038480)

I understand that, but why is it grounds for a package to be removed from Debian?

Re:MPL not allowed in Debian? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038533)

I understand that, but why is it grounds for a package to be removed from Debian?

Because the package, according to the discussion linked to from the summary [debian.org] , contains both code that is licensed under the GPL and code that is licensed under the CDDL.

If all of its code was licensed under one or the other (or under licenses that are compatible with one another) then that would be fine. But according to the discussion, that isn't the case.

Re:MPL not allowed in Debian? (1)

cduffy (652) | about 8 years ago | (#16038547)

MPL-like licenses are certainly allowed.

Software projcets which include code licensed only under the GPL and code licensed only under the MPL, on the other hand, are not allowed -- because due to the incompatibility between those licenses, such projects are illegal to distribute.

Re:MPL not allowed in Debian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038663)

But as someone pointed out elsewhere in this thread, Debian includes other non-GPL compatible licensed software in its distribution like Apache, openssl, PHP for a few examples. Why be so specific about CDDL incompatibilty? Or is this just an issue about a clash of personalities?

CDDL (4, Interesting)

mrsam (12205) | about 8 years ago | (#16038385)

Anyone who kept track of Joerg Schilling, and his prominent ego, was able to clearly see the inevitable fork from quite a distance away. Schilling was another one of those types -- like the dude who was running some obscure piece of code known as xfree86 -- whose success and prominence as the author of a popular free software package went completely into his head.

No, this should not be suprising news to anyone who's been following LKML. You could've predicted this a long time ago. What is really interesting here is the revelation that Sun explicitly made CDDL intentionally incompatible with GPL. That is, what I think, the newsworthy fact, and should be a wake up call to all the Sun fan club who've been slobbering all over themselves on the account of Sun's promises of releasing Java as free software.

Reading this just underscores the fact that you just can't trust Sun, and nobody should hold their breath on account of Java.

Re:CDDL (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 8 years ago | (#16038460)

If Sun releases their VM under CDDL, it will still be free software.

Re:CDDL (3, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | about 8 years ago | (#16038503)

If Sun releases their VM under CDDL, it will still be free software.

Some pigs are more equal than others.

Re:CDDL (3, Insightful)

eviltypeguy (521224) | about 8 years ago | (#16038473)

Anyone who kept track of Joerg Schilling, and his prominent ego, was able to clearly see the inevitable fork from quite a distance away. Schilling was another one of those types -- like the dude who was running some obscure piece of code known as xfree86 -- whose success and prominence as the author of a popular free software package went completely into his head.

If that's all it was, then why has no one else been able to create an equivalent tool to Joerg's?

You make it sound like Joerg was all hot air, and not a extremely technically cable person.

No, this should not be suprising news to anyone who's been following LKML. You could've predicted this a long time ago. What is really interesting here is the revelation that Sun explicitly made CDDL intentionally incompatible with GPL.

It's only a revelation to those who believe it. Thankfully there are those who know better. Danese Cooper was no longer a SUN employee as of March 2005. Her words (from after that) are therefore not representative of SUN.

Reading this just underscores the fact that you just can't trust Sun, and nobody should hold their breath on account of Java.

Ah yes, let the conspiracy theories begin! The same sad old song. Despite the fact that SUN has released more code than any other company under *free* and *open source* software licenses they're to blame for everything.

It's funny because when the Apache Software Foundation has a license that is incompatible with the GPL, no one gave them grief, but SUN moves to one and suddenly they're evil...

The real problem here is NOT the CDDL, Apache License, etc. The real problem is the GPL. There are many licenses classified as *free software* by the FSF that are incompatible. What makes SUN's any more evil than the other ones? If Richard's (RMS) criteria for what is free software isn't good enough to make all *free software* licenses compatible, then perhaps his criteria is wrong?

Re:CDDL (4, Interesting)

krmt (91422) | about 8 years ago | (#16038511)

t's funny because when the Apache Software Foundation has a license that is incompatible with the GPL, no one gave them grief, but SUN moves to one and suddenly they're evil...
Debian actually quietly engaged the Apache Foundation about their license too and worked to resolve issues there as well.

Re:CDDL (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | about 8 years ago | (#16038515)

Danese Cooper was no longer a SUN employee as of March 2005. Her words (from after that) are therefore not representative of SUN.

If she spoke about a decision she is knowledgeable of that was made prior to her departure then her words are indeed applicable.

Re:CDDL (2, Informative)

Fordiman (689627) | about 8 years ago | (#16038542)

"If that's all it was, then why has no one else been able to create an equivalent tool to Joerg's?"

I don't know about most of the CDRTools, but Linux 2.6 doesn't need cdrecord; you can just dd an ISO file to /dev/cd or /dev/dvd (they dropped the SCSI hack).

Meanwhile, I've been working on an ISO editing lib for the Slax team. The requirements for the project are that 1) it creates no temporary files, 2) it uses no hard drive space other than the destination file (and swap space if the OS deems it), 3) it can add, delete, extract and duplicate files from the VFS to/from the ISO, 4) It can do this directly to a CD-RW.

Re:CDDL (4, Informative)

Wolfrider (856) | about 8 years ago | (#16038670)

> Linux 2.6 doesn't need cdrecord

--I beg to differ. Cdrecord has the ability to:

o Access remote SCSI devices
o Blank CDRW media
o Write "cloned" images created from ' readcd -clone '
o Write multi-session CDs
o Write Audio CDs
o Write using "burnfree" buffer-underrun technology
o Set different Write speeds
o Overburn

Re:CDDL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038560)

There are various tools and libraries which can replace most of cdrtool's functionality. They have just never reached the critical mass and the frontend people kept using cdrtools, and the user does not care anyway. The bad old Internet Explorer syndrome.

Re:CDDL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038613)

"It's funny because when the Apache Software Foundation has a license that is incompatible with the GPL, no one gave them grief"

Actually Debian did "give them grief" about their license. They also nearly pulled Firefox out of Debian because of issues trademark licensing. Both of those were resolved after some (I think initially difficult) discussions. Joerg evidently didn't make as good a job of resolving Debian's issues.

Re:CDDL (4, Interesting)

r00t (33219) | about 8 years ago | (#16038675)

"If that's all it was, then why has no one else been able to create an equivalent tool to Joerg's? You make it sound like Joerg was all hot air, and not a extremely technically cable person."

Who said anything about technical capability?

Well, I will: Joerg is moderately capable. His advantage is that he personally owns many expensive and out-of-production burners, and that his employer (the lovely MP3 patent holders) he has an unusual ability to get vendors to cooperate in giving out hardware information under NDA.

Joerg is a stubborn bone-headed idiot when it comes to user interface, hardware abstractions, and portability. He has the gall to claim that users actually like to specify all burners by a 1980s-style set of three numbers, and that users actually like running the -scanbus option instead of just using /dev/burner (or /dev/white-sony-drive, etc.) for the name. See the linux-kernel mailing list for some great flamewars, many involving Linus and many which lead to somebody catching Joerg in a lie.

So... are you Joerg, or are you his buddy the xcdroast author? That program too is a piece of shit. I've seen the code. It has buffer overflows. It doesn't abstract out the interface to the burner program. All over the code one can find ugly little bits of buggy cdrecord output parsing code, mixed right in with the GUI widgets. That's not how competant people write programs, excepting throw-away hacks.

Re:CDDL (3, Funny)

harmonica (29841) | about 8 years ago | (#16038678)

If that's all it was, then why has no one else been able to create an equivalent tool to Joerg's?

You make it sound like Joerg was all hot air, and not a extremely technically cable person.


Being a good developer and "letting success go to one's head" don't rule each other out.

Re:CDDL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038543)

Rock on.. that guys an ASS!

what is all of this device files are 'no good' for pointing to the cd device
and you have to use some ass-e-9 dev/target/lun crap even for an IDE device
(which admitedly emulates scsi over ide) but fercrissakes it still maps to the

SAME DEVICE FILE..

(if you read the stuff in the 2.4 days on the LKML about the 'scsi device emulation' option
and why his 'superior' tgt/bus/lun bidness is archetecturally superior you'll quickly
see thepoint. )

not to mention trying to figgure out which patchset of the damn thing to use
for which DVD/+-*^/(Single|Multi) Layer because he wouldn't just improve the codebase

I for one am glad he decided to fk off and go kiss sun's a*ss instead of FIXING HIS BROKEN
SOFTWARE

freakin weenie

enjoy playing with SchilliX d00d!

hopefully the debian guys will do a better job of making things work instead of being an ass.

(jaded guy who wasted 4 hours trying to decipher why cdburning stopped working one day,
and got fed up about reading about 'unresolved issues' in linux > 2.5ish)

But I admit, when it works, it works. So thanks for writing it.

Re:CDDL (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 8 years ago | (#16038606)

Couldn't agree more regarding the /dev/hd? support.

When I was still in linux learning mode I never did bother to get my cd-r to work - it was WAY too much of a pain. I didn't see the point in getting scsi emulation working on my cd-drive, when the think worked just fine as an ide drive with EVERYTHING by cdrecord. Isn't the whole idea of device files to shield the user from the low-level details? What if some cd-burner comes along and isn't even remotely scsi-based - shouldn't the low-level details be a matter of kernel drivers only?

Trouble was probably inevitable...

Re:CDDL (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about 8 years ago | (#16038662)

No, this should not be suprising news to anyone who's been following LKML.
This is precisely what I thought. I remember Jörg being a jackass on LKML for years and then he went on to put together OpenSolaris and occasionally blast the linux developers for [random percieved reason].

anything to do with matt garrett quiting? (1)

gladbach (527602) | about 8 years ago | (#16038412)

I wonder if this has anything to do with him recently quiting? It seems that debian has been taking one hit after another lately.

Re:anything to do with matt garrett quiting? (1)

krmt (91422) | about 8 years ago | (#16038529)

No, this has nothing to do with Matthew. And how is this a "hit" exactly? Debian is leading by example here.

Re:anything to do with matt garrett quiting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038581)

these events are absolutely unrelated

What Danese Cooper says is wrong (4, Insightful)

eviltypeguy (521224) | about 8 years ago | (#16038417)

What Danese Cooper says is wrong. I and many other members of the OpenSolaris project know for certain that SUN did not create the CDDL to be purposefully incompatible with the GPL. SUN even releases other software under the GPL and LGPL.

It is also important to note that Danese Cooper's employment with SUN ended in March of 2005 (http://blogs.sun.com/DaneseCooper/). This means that any statements made by her are not officially representative of SUN. Conspiracy theorists are free to believe what they wish.

In addition, what the maintainers have failed to mention is that they have repatedly introduced patches to the codebase that have broken or otherwise caused problems in the cdrtools codebase. They need help because they don't know how to maintain cdrtools properly.

In addition, there are currently problems with Debian's Free Software Guidelines. Notably that the project does not consistently enforce them because many rules are not explicitly written, instead each software is judged on a case-by-case interpretation making it difficult for upstream developers to comply and those interpretations themselves are not always consistent. If you want proof of this, just read the various flame wars on debian-legal, etc.

Re:What Danese Cooper says is wrong (1, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | about 8 years ago | (#16038534)

Why should we believe you, eviltypeguy? Dude, you're an eviltypeguy.

(probably Jorg in fact)

Re:What Danese Cooper says is wrong (4, Insightful)

rhizome (115711) | about 8 years ago | (#16038565)

I appreciate your comments explaining another perspective on this issue. It's always good to have as many angles represented on contentious issues. However, your points are not really germane to the story.

What Danese Cooper says is wrong. I and many other members of the OpenSolaris project know for certain that SUN did not create the CDDL to be purposefully incompatible with the GPL.

This does not contradict the stance holding that the CDDL is incompatible with the GPL.

In addition, what the maintainers have failed to mention is that they have repatedly introduced patches to the codebase that have broken or otherwise caused problems in the cdrtools codebase.

This has nothing to do with the license.

In addition, there are currently problems with Debian's Free Software Guidelines. Notably that the project does not consistently enforce them because many rules are not explicitly written, instead each software is judged on a case-by-case interpretation making it difficult for upstream developers to comply and those interpretations themselves are not always consistent.

In light of this, it would be an act in the name of consistency to further exclude other CDDL projects. It seems you are arguing for the inconsistency to be applied to cdrtools rather than fighting for greater consistency. A predictable reaction to the situation you describe could be to acknowledge the problems between the CDDL and the GPL and frame the controversy in this way, but when projects with incompatible licenses point to other problems in Debians inclusion choices in order to slip themselves through the gate it just poisons the well further rather than attempting to help satisfy Debian's goals.

What about dvdrtools? (4, Interesting)

grandmofftarkin (49366) | about 8 years ago | (#16038427)

I thought that someone already forked this long ago because of problems with Joerg Schilling mucking around with the license? Read the wikipedia entry on dvdrtools [wikipedia.org] . In fact, dvdrtools is already a debian package [debian.org] . Why did they need another fork?

Re:What about dvdrtools? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038502)

In fact, dvdrtools is already a debian package. Why did they need another fork?

This is just a wild stab in the dark, but maybe they needed it to burn CDs?

Re:What about dvdrtools? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038513)

This is just a wild stab in the dark, but maybe you didn't click the wikipedia link that explains what dvdrtools is.

Just an excuse (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038434)

I suspect that, as usual, the license issues are really just an excuse, and that the real reason is that the current maintainer of cdrtools hasn't been doing a very good job. What's up with IDE being deprecated? Why do they make us go through all that SCSI business, when at least 95% of the people who use it have no SCSI? Hopefully the debian fork will make the cdrtools better and more usable.

GPL incompatable now means not free? (2, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 8 years ago | (#16038453)

Not according to the FSF themselves, who list it under the heading 'The following licenses are free software licenses, but are not compatible with the GNU GPL'.

Re:GPL incompatable now means not free? (4, Informative)

drnlm (533500) | about 8 years ago | (#16038541)

GPL-incompatible means GPL incompatible, not non-free. This is really not hard to understand.

Combing GPL code with a GPL-incompatible license produces code that cannot be distributed. The GPL v2 specifies, you cannot add further restrictions, so if I combine this with code with a license that adds further restrictions, the code can no longer be distributed under the GPL. If I don't have permission from all the GPL contributers to relicense their code, I cannot legally redistribute the combined work. This is pretty much the entire point of copyleft.

Since the latest cdrtools packages look to be a combination of GPL'd code and incompatibly licensed code, Debian is removing crtools (not shunting it to non-free), because they feel they can no longer distribute the work.

Re:GPL incompatable now means not free? (2, Informative)

krmt (91422) | about 8 years ago | (#16038553)

Read the article. This has nothing to do with how free the license is. The cdrtools codebase has code licensed under the GPL as well as the CDDL. Becauase these licenses are incompatible, it is illegal to distribute them together because you will be violating the copyrights of at least one of the copyright holders, if not all of them. So Debian can not distribute cdrtools legally. That's why they went back to the original all-GPL version which can be distributed legally.

Re:GPL incompatable now means not free? (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 8 years ago | (#16038625)

GPL incompatable now means not free?

No, but mixing GPL-incompatible with GPL means that you have a work that is not distributable at all, since the licenses violates themself.

XV (1)

christurkel (520220) | about 8 years ago | (#16038482)

XV was booted because it could only be dustributed as source. And of course the fact the author still demands shareware fees for an app that hasn't been updated in seven years.

about time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038488)

Some of us grew tired of his rantings about:
  - why scsi emulation was better than native atapi/ide support
  - why the dvd patches were unofficial, and dangerous and you should buy his dvd modifications instead.
  - his insistance of clearly marking "unofficial" versions with warnings that tell you to use or buy his version
  - his sections of code that were not to be modified because he was afraid of answering questions about others instable patches.
  - his license change
  - ...

cdrtools is dead. long live cdrkit.

Good fork (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038498)

Thats a good thing to do.

And the other comments - read what they wrote. They have said they never judged the freeness of the CDDL, only its incompatibility with GPL. And thats simply true.

Now get rid of the delay... (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 8 years ago | (#16038500)

It made sense when CDs cost over a buck, and burns took an hour. Now the damned delay before you burn is a signifigant percentage of the total burn time. There should at least be a flag to skip it.

Re:Now get rid of the delay... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038555)

read the fine manual. There IS a way to set the delay to 1 second or none at all.

Re:Now get rid of the delay... (1)

Wolfrider (856) | about 8 years ago | (#16038692)

When's the last time you tried typing ' man cdrecord '?

gracetime=#
    Set the grace time before starting to write to # seconds.
    Values below 2 seconds are not allowed.

But it belongs to Schilling, does it not? (2, Interesting)

ishmalius (153450) | about 8 years ago | (#16038507)

If so, then he can use any license he wants. He could wrap it in the User Must Wear Chicken Suit License if he so desires.

The Debian side itself says in the message that Mr. Schilling's is the original upstream code, and that he has been very supportive of them in the past.

It almost sounds as if they wanted to dictate to him what the terms should be, and they are unhappy that he is not complying.

Re:But it belongs to Schilling, does it not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038626)

If I understand correctly, Jörg licensed parts of cdrtools (namely the build system) under the CCDL, which he believes to be compatible with the GPL. However, if, as the Debian maintainers believe, the CCDL and GPL are incompatible, then it's a violation of section 4 of the GPL:

"The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable."

Re:But it belongs to Schilling, does it not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038641)

It's unfair for the Debian maintainers to criticise Schilling, it's his software to license as he chooses although IMHO criticisms of the CDDL are entirely valid. It's unfair to attribute the CDDL to malice because Sun has been floudering and grabbing at straws for a decade. Good on Debian for forking, bad for critising.

Moving forward, the legal fun and games could be very interesting as patent holders try and force GPL software to be relicensed so they can /steal/ it!

Re:But it belongs to Schilling, does it not? (1)

Xouba (456926) | about 8 years ago | (#16038642)

He could wrap it in the User Must Wear Chicken Suit License if he so desires.

Man, I'm SO going to use that license if I publish any program in the future. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Re:But it belongs to Schilling, does it not? (1)

IvyKing (732111) | about 8 years ago | (#16038673)

Well put - it is his code and it is his decision to choose what license he wants to use.


I've read a lot of criticism about the way device names are handled in Joerg's 'scg' library, but Joerg does have a valid point in that the naming is consistent across platforms (and predates Linux by several years) - which is more than can be said about device naming/enumeration under Linux.


As for "Free Software" - the BSD folks have a point in that the various flavors of the GPL are more restrictive than the BSD license (which was adapted from the license terms for SPICE chosen by D.O. Pederson).

Go Debian! (0, Flamebait)

ajs318 (655362) | about 8 years ago | (#16038509)

Schilling became a traitor when he wrote his first piece of unFree software {a version of cdrecord which could handle DVDs}. Of course, an unofficial, DVD-ready fork was soon created ..... and remained Free.

My absolute respect to the Debian guys for doing this.

Re:Go Debian! (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about 8 years ago | (#16038657)

Just love to read this. No matter how much he contributed with debian, open source movement, the much needed cdrtools, etc. He watches with simpaty for a moment an open license that is not GPL compatible (for his own reasons, maybe he still have the right of have his own toughts) and became a traitor, someone that must be kicked, expelled and blamed all over internet.

If his new license is not compatible with Debian goals, ideals, etc, and they cant agree in a common point, ok, substitute his package for another with a more Debian-like license in that particular distribution, but is not like he became the evil lord of darkness and must be despised by everyone. We all have too much to thank to him for all what he did already.

Incompatibility (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038510)

Debian includes plenty of GPL-incompatible software. (Apache, anyone?) Incompatibility is not in and of itself an issue.

The issue is that part of cdrecord is GPL and part of it is CDDL. The GPL requires the entire package to be GPL-compatible; thus the license is self-contradictory, and Debian refuses to distribute it under these conditions. THAT is why they are forking.

Like XFree86? (3, Insightful)

Svenne (117693) | about 8 years ago | (#16038532)

So, does this mean Jörg's cdrtools will go the way of XFree86 4.4+?

I can see a lot of positive things coming out of this move.

Why Jörg, why ?... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038536)

It's true that Jörg Schilling contributed to OSS for many years and we should all thank him for that.
However, I was pretty disappointed the day I got to his site and saw that I had to pay for cdrecord if I wished to burn... a DVD ?! For crying out loud...

This kind of event is actually hindering for the OSS community in general. During years no one needed to create a set of cd-recording tools for Linux, because... there were already Jörg Schilling's ones ! Until one day, he decides to put a lid on further enhancement of his old "free" package and creates a semi-commercial product.
Now someone will have to start almost from "scratch zero" to create/evolve the new "free" cd/dvd burning tool for GNU-based operating systems.

Good for Jorg... (1)

target562 (623649) | about 8 years ago | (#16038558)

I mean really. I've always thought that Debian was a tad on the snobby side with the whole GPL thing, to the point of being rather unworkable. You can have software freedom, as long as it's a certain kind of freedom. All other forms of freedom are hereby determined not free by the arbiters of free! (doesn't that seem rather silly? Thought so.)

Good for Jorg to stick to his guns. He can choose whatever license he wants to release his code under.

Re:Good for Jorg... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038619)

Did you read what happened? He doesn't know anything about the license he is using now. Then he threw a hissy-fit when told about how his license doesn't do what he thinks it does.

He actually comes out of this looking like a little kid with his fingers in his ears screaming, "I can't hear you, lalalalala!"

Re:Good for Jorg... (4, Insightful)

frogstar_robot (926792) | about 8 years ago | (#16038620)

Good for Jorg to stick to his guns. He can choose whatever license he wants to release his code under.

Of course he is. This freedom extends to releasing code that nobody else can legally use. A CDDL build system+GPL codebase isn't legal for anyone else but Jorg to distribute. More power to him.

Re:Good for Jorg... (1)

Orgazmus (761208) | about 8 years ago | (#16038703)

Yes. As long as he doesn't release other peoples GPL'd code too. Like the code in the cdrtools codebase.

It wasn't just the license (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038559)

I think they forgot to mention all the other bullshit as well. The upstream cdrecord had many problems which lived on for a time in Debian's patched version, including;
- Not being able to burn via device node. You have to specify some cryptic sequence of numbers.
- Not being able to burn as a non-root user. WTF?
- Lot's of FUD in the program output about how you should use Solaris instead of Linux.
Any bug reports relating to this on Debian's bugtracker usually incited Joerg to long fits of counterproductive trolling. Hopefully they'll see sense and ban him from similarly messing up the cdrkit bugtracker.

Re:It wasn't just the license (1)

OmniGeek (72743) | about 8 years ago | (#16038660)

Funny, I've used cdrecord on both Linux and Solaris, and Solaris has always been MUCH more of a PITA; the Linux system "just works." (Now the GUI front ends are a different, smellier kettle of fish entirely...)

So it went something like this? (2, Funny)

eck011219 (851729) | about 8 years ago | (#16038562)

cdrecord dev=1,0,0 -eject schilling.iso

More freedom ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038615)

From the cdrecord tools site http://cdrecord.berlios.de/old/private/cdrecord.ht ml [berlios.de] :



Cdrtools are now available unter a OSS license that gives more freedom than the GPL


Question : how can a licence with extra restrictions provide more freedom than the GPL ?

Not the only controversy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16038622)

The way cdrecord accesses CD-RW drives in GNU/Linux is different from all other applications. Another one of those "I'll do it my way" ideas by Jörg Schilling.

404 Anyone got a working link for that video? (1)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | about 8 years ago | (#16038676)

The article says there is a video where "Danese Cooper clearly stated there that the CDDL was intentionally modelled on the MPL in order to make it GPL- incompatible", but the URL given (http://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-mee tings/2006/debconf6/theora-small/2006-5-14/tower/O penSolaris_Java_and_Debian-Simon_Phipps__Alvaro_Lo pez_Ortega.ogg [debian.net] gives me a 404.

Anyone got a working URL? Thanks.

The FOSS community way or else (1)

renrutal (872592) | about 8 years ago | (#16038685)

You go XFree86 on the FOSS community, the FOSS community goes X.Org on you.

Guess who wins... 6 months later you don't even hear about the former one anymore.

Joerg's position (3, Interesting)

Britz (170620) | about 8 years ago | (#16038689)

Why didn't the author include Joerg's position on this? He didn't even provide a link to his hompage:
http://cdrecord.berlios.de/old/private/cdrecord.ht ml [berlios.de]

He also seems to have problems with Suse and RedHat as far as his homepage goes (they also include older versions) and with the Linux kernel itself. There seems to be some stuff he dislikes about the SCSI subsystem. And he seems to prefer the way Solaris handles SCSI. Maybe someone with some insight (if there are any left on /.) could comment on that one, since I am not a kernel hacker.

Joerg Schilling is doing excellent work. But as some others have commented there seem to be personal issues. So it is a shame that they had to use such a lame excuse to boot him. I am pretty sure the fork will go nowhere or at best use patches from Joerg Schilling proving that there never were incompatible licences.

Note that I don't argue that he might be a difficult character. Comments on /. as well as his problems with other distros and the kernel suggest that he is. I simply don't know. But I also heard that Linux Torvalds can be a very harsh himself. Anybody want to fork the kernel because of that?

Good riddance! (3, Informative)

cpghost (719344) | about 8 years ago | (#16038700)

As FreeBSD user, I don't care much about Debian's specific decisions; but regarding cdrtools, I fully agree. The latest versions have become annoyingly FUD-dy and kind of ads for Joerg's commercial version. Fortunately, burncd (for CD) and growisofs (for DVD) work just as fine here. cdrkit will be a welcome addition to FreeBSD's ports system as well.

It's not the first time some developer's stubborn-ness resulted in a fork. That's the beauty of OSS (GPL and other OSS-compatible licenses): control freaks can't get away with it. Now let's hope some brave soul would adopt cdrkit and keep it up to date with the newest burning technology.

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