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Sun Exec Backs GPLv3

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the friends-in-high-places dept.

Software 94

Hyperbeth writes "Sun's chief open-source officer Simon Phipps said that existing work towards GPLv3 had been 'extraordinary and effective' and he said he is 'frankly amazed by the criticisms'. The article notes that Mr. Phipps' comments are somewhat surprising, given that the recent open-sourcing of Java went forward with GPLv2." From the article: "I am frankly amazed by the criticisms that have [been] levelled at the GPLv3 process. They seem to ignore the incredible and positive way it is evolving and just find fault with things that are already the subject of work... I would be very surprised if the final GPLv3 was not an effective tool for some of the communities Sun sustains or will initiate in the future."

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94 comments

He's Amazed (2, Insightful)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154046)

Because all smart people think just like he does, he's amazed at how many stupid people there really are out there.

Re:He's Amazed (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154072)

I have the same problem. I've just ceased to be amazed.

Re:He's Amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154394)

Because all smart people think just like he does, he's amazed at how many stupid people there really are out there.
So, Linus is stupid, now?

Re:He's Amazed (3, Insightful)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154748)

So, Linus is stupid, now?

In questions of licensing and use of unfree software if it scratches his itch? That's at least debatable.

Re:He's Amazed (2, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17158016)

The OP characterized anyone who disagrees with him as stupid. He didn't say that they were just unqualified to comment on it, or something like that.

Regardless of whether the GPLv3 is good or not, claiming that everyone who doesn't like it is stupid is ... well, stupid.

Re:He's Amazed (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164642)

I guess my point was badly made and mostly missed. I'm wondering why he's amazed. So I did a mind-read on him: "Why, I'm so smart, and don't I know it! And smart people out there think just like me!" He's amazed at smart people not agreeing with him. Hmm, they must be stupid, yeah, that's it. Or worse: wicked!

Re:He's Amazed (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165284)

OK, that's reasonable. My sarcasm detector must have been broken this morning.

Re:He's Amazed (1)

WebMink (258041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170462)

No, I got it, and I disagree with you. My amazement stems from the fact that some very smart people who I respect (the Linux kernel developers) are criticising the GPLv3 for things the discussion committees and the FSF are already addressing. I actually think that's clear from the original blog posting [sun.com] .

Re:He's Amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155002)

So, Linus is stupid, now?

No, far worse: he's deliberately ignorant.

Re:He's Amazed (2, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154458)

Hooray for believing that everyone who disagrees with you is stupid. It's like intellectual elitism for the lazy.

Re:He's Amazed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17159232)

The whole open source, linux community is like watching Einstein at a train station. They cant agree on where they are going or how to get there..

No surprise (4, Insightful)

J.R. Random (801334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154078)

The article notes that Mr. Phipps' comments are somewhat surprising, given that the recent open-sourcing of Java went forward with GPLv2

There is nothing surprising about this. GPL v3 in final, legally binding form doesn't exist yet, so of course any GPLed software released now will use GPL v2. It will only be surprising if future releases of Java don't use GPL v3 after it is finalized.

Re:No surprise (1)

Adelbert (873575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154222)

Exactly. To hear this from the horse's mouth, listen to the latest [lugradio.org] LUGRadio episode.

Re:No surprise (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154698)

It will only be surprising if future releases of Java don't use GPL v3 after it is finalized.
What would be most surprising to me is if Sun stops making it available in GPLv2 form, whether or not they also make available the GPLv3 license. It's hard to argue that adding a new incompatible, more restrictive open source license is going to improve the acceptance of such software, and I think Sun is wise enough not to fork their codebase. My guess is they'll require submissions to be able to be made available under either license (ie. no copying in GPLv3 code from external sources.)

Re:No surprise (1)

Esteanil (710082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155110)

I think it's referring to the fact that Sun chose a v2 license without the "any later version" clause.

Re:No surprise (2, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155324)

Probably because that's a really really really dumb clause, when you don't know what versions will look like, or whether you will agree with them.

Re:No surprise (1)

aquabat (724032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156062)

Which is why the clause says "at your option".

Re:No surprise (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156104)

That clause has no binding on the copyright holder of the software, only on recipients who wish to distribute the software under the terms of the GPL.

Re:No surprise (1)

aquabat (724032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162352)

Isn't it true, though, that the entire license has no binding on the copyright holder? I mean, if it's all my work, I don't have to license it to myself, right?

Re:No surprise (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165616)

Yes, that's completely correct. The copyright holder always has the option to relicense the software under any license. Adding the "at your option" clause to the GPL v2 only affects people who receive the software and want to redistribute it under that license, or subsequent versions of the GPL.

"or later version" is best of 2 imperfect options (1)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17160000)

If you don't use the "or later version" language, your project will be incompatible with GPLv3 until you contact all the copyright holders and get permission to relicense.

What if you hate v3 when it is finished? You can change "v2 or later" to "v2 only", and the older versions with the "or later" bit will bitrot away.

What if you love v3 when it is finished? You do nothing, or you change "v2 or later" to "v3 or later". No need to track down all the copyright holders.

So "or later" isn't perfect, but it's a solution and the problem is worse.

quite so (1)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17158810)

Thankyou for pointing that out.

It's amazing that a tech journalist would be unaware of this. Isn't it? :-/

Re:No surprise (2, Informative)

weicco (645927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17159132)

Errr.. Wait a minute. GPLv3 isn't legally binding? So if I release something now under current version GPLv3, tomorrow I can revoke your rights to use my stuff because license wasn't legally binding? I don't think so. GPLv3 is legally binding if you accept it in the form it is now but when they release the final version of it you probably can't call your version of the license GPLv3 (or could, but that would be little bit confusing). So what I'm trying to say, license doesn't need RMS' approval to become valid :)

Re:No surprise (1)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17160010)

You're right, it is legally binding as a licence, but it is not an official version of the GNU GPL.

It is asked that you don't use it in the current draft form, and because it does not qualify as a "later version" of GPLv2, it will still be incompatible with GPLv2 and GPLv3, even if you've used the "or later versions" wording in your copyright notices.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17160074)

fair enough. i think it would be better to describe it as "not completed", not that it wasn't legally binding. the point about not releasing under an incomplete licence is that all the ramifications etc have not been thought through yet - so there could be massive loopholes, or whatever other problems inside it. better to have released under a "tried and tested, even if imperfect" GPLv2.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17159540)

this is another "slanted" ZDnet article where they try to cast a "doubtful" tone on something without actually having done their homework where they would realise there is an answer to the aspersion they're trying to cast. i've been getting increasingly disturbed by their writing. it's not as bad as fox news yet, but it's the same kind of thing.

... went forward with GPLv2 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154082)

Why is that amazing to anyone? The GPLv3 isn't a finalized document yet so there's no reason to publish any source code under it.

Re:... went forward with GPLv2 (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17159004)

The "WTF?" part is that they licensed Java *only* under GPLv2, not with the "or any later version" clause.

Great for Sun. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154094)

They will not use it so if it helps destroy Linux it will be great for them.
Of course he says this. It will mean something when Solaris us placed under it.

Re:Great for Sun. (4, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154316)

It will mean something when Solaris us placed under it.

Why does this have to be the case? Why does it have to be black and white, all or nothing? Why can't open source be the right answer for some of Sun's projects and not the right answer for others? This seems perfectly sensible to me.

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154356)

Solaris is already open source, under another license. The OP meant his support of GPLv3 will mean something when SOlaris (or Java, or other high profile code by Sun) uses it.

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154450)

Same question, really. Why does GPLv3 have to be the correct license for everything?

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156634)

> Why does GPLv3 have to be the correct license for everything?

Since almost any other free software licence tries to accomodate developers of unfree software, which is a Bad Thing for preserving the freeness of the software for future users.

Re:Great for Sun. (3, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17157114)

If Sun's goal is assumed to be freedom, sure, that's true. Probably their goal is the best interest of the company and to some degree its customers. A lot of times free software will serve that, but I don't think it necessarily best serves it in all cases.

I think there's great things to be found, even for businesses in free software -- I just wish people saw it as more an option and less a religion.

Re:Great for Sun. (2, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17158052)

It's not so much that it has to be GPLv3 (though the latter is an attempt to create a copyleft license that addresses all of the concerns that, currently, mean we have several totally incompatible copyleft licenses), it's more that there has to be a common license that people, for the most part, consider usable.

Right now, we have a situation where because, for example, Solaris is licensed under the CDDL, and Darwin is under the APSL, you can't put code from one in the other. Because of similar licensing issues, you can't put Java into Apache, despite the synergies, the two have to be kept separate.

If the essence of software freedom is that you should be able to do whatever you want with code, short of preventing others you pass that code on to from also having that freedom, then incompatible license fragmentation harms software freedom. If I can't build something on top of two free software projects because the two have licenses that conflict, then my freedom to do that is curtailed. Which is exactly the opposite of what most people who believe in software freedom want.

The GPLv3 needs to be created to be the consensus choice of those who want to develop and release Free software. If it isn't, it fails. Not because it'll not be a good license, but because it'll fail to prevent the biggest problem free software is suffering right now.

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17159144)

That's all well and good. But I for one won't write code under GPLv3, ever. It's not a license that does what I want. DRM restrictions should not be in a software license. I specifically do NOT care about the DRMing of other people's stuff--it's theirs to DRM, I won't buy it if they do but it's still their right to do it--and I don't DRM my own. Linus's objections to the GPLv3 drafts are largely similar to my own.

And there are a lot of people who feel the same way. "Consensus" for GPLv3 is a long time off, if ever.

Re:Great for Sun. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17159610)

Its NOT about you DRMing other peoples stuff, its about other people DRMing YOUR stuff. They (TIVO for example) are taking all of our work adding a little bit of their own and then making us unable to use their work as they used our work.

Sure, YOU won't buy DRMed hardware but other people will or, more likely, they won't even know about it and without the GPL3 its possible all of our collective work will be used yet we will not be free to do anything with our work on that hardware. The GPL is about freedom, it can't stop people from making DRM, but it will stop people from taking our free works and saying "no freedom here".

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17172650)

If Linus doesn't buy the idea, it's not going to fly. I am well aware of what you allege it to be; the GPLv3 is, in my view, simply an attempt by rms and the FSF to restrict freedoms as a developer.

See...I prefer the BSD license. I don't care what other people do with the code. If I choose to release it as truly Free code (and not GPL-encumbered), I acknowledge that some people might not use it in a way I like--but that's their right.

Java? (1)

Nicolay77 (258497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17161502)

Hey, I'm happy that you can't put Java into Apache.

Ups, wrong religion war.

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17158418)

It doesn't, and nobody in this conversation was claiming that anyway.

What LWATCDR was trying to say (and AuMatar was trying to clarify) is that the Sun exec (Simon Phipps) claims to like the GPLv3, but we won't know for certain whether he really likes it until he licenses Java or Solaris or or OpenOffice or something under it.

In other words, the issue under discussion is the truthfulness of his statement, not the merits of the GPLv3.

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17162818)

That is pretty much it. I question his motives for claiming that he thinks GPLv3 is a good thing and until he puts some major code under it I will keep questioning it. Many people in the OSS community including Linus don't think GPLv3 is a good thing. I think it is has the potential to do more damage than the SCO case or the Microsoft/Novell deal.
The thing that gets me is that they keep pushing Tivo as an example of the problem.
I don't know how many times I have ran into people that told me that Linux is too hard to use. I ask them if they have a Tivo? If they do I ask them is it hard to use? When they say no I tell them that they are already using Linux. I do the same thing using Google for those that don't have a Tivo.
What GPLv3 will do is benefit BSD.
You will see embedded development moving away from Linux to BSD. In fact I expect to see a lot of development moving away from Linux to BSD or Minix3.
I would much rather work under GPLv2 than BSD but I will take BSD over GPLv3 any day.

I feel in the end that GPLv3 with it's extra restrictions will push development of BSD. Or just destroy the progress that has been made in FOSS. RMS will once again be the king of his small realm.

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154868)

"Why does this have to be the case? Why does it have to be black and white, all or nothing? Why can't open source be the right answer for some of Sun's projects and not the right answer for others? This seems perfectly sensible to me."

You are asking the wrong question. if you sunstitute Free Software for open source (software) you might get better answers.

all the best,

drew

Re:Great for Sun. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155114)

One problem with that little snide remark. Even the Free Software Foundation considers OpenSolaris under the CDDL to be "Free Software."

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156396)

It wasn't a snide remark. It was trying to bring up the thought that perhaps the "Open Source' people might be ok with it and it might be the "Free Software" people who wouldn't.

I think that is a reasonable avenue to persue. I hope you see this response AC...

BTW, I am generally a Free Software guy and that is not necessarily my position. (That is that the GPL is the one and only proper license.)

all the best,

drew

Re:Great for Sun. (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154324)

I don't know if you're trolling or if you actually believe this, but it really shows how ignorant you are about Sun and their approach to the market. Sun doesn't knife babies like Microsoft. They actually try to serve customer needs instead of crushing opposition.

Re:Great for Sun. (1, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154334)

I don't think Sun stands to gain much from destroying Linux at this point. The damage that Linux did to Sun is done, destroying it won't help matters now.

I'd believe you more if this story was about a company that really wants to destroy Linux, like Novell or MS.

Re:Great for Sun. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155130)

Are you kidding? If they COULD destroy it they would gett heir market back!

Sun has every reason to want to see the very thing that has virtually destroyed them to vanish.

Re:Great for Sun. (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155262)

How much code you GPL'ed over the years?

I am no fan of Sun, but they did make a lot of contributions (not just open source but things like NFS, NIS, and many other things they invented in the early days).

Surpise! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154174)

The article notes that Mr. Phipps' comments are somewhat surprising, given that the recent open-sourcing of Java went forward with GPLv2."

How is that surprising? GPL3 doesn't exist as a final license yet. Sun apparently like the draft and expect to like the final version but they'll make a decision on whether to use it when it exists. Obvious, no?

Java and DRM on GPLv3 (3, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154300)

If future versions of java are released under GPLv3, does this mean that you won't be able to use those versions of java to implement DRM?

No that's not what the GPLv3 does.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154536)

There is nothing anti-DRM about what the GPLv3 does, at least in that manner.

You can use GPLv3 software to impliment DRM all day and night if you feel like it. Play DRM'd music, use it on DRM'd operating systems, etc etc etc.

What is anti-DRM about the GPL is that you can't use DRM to remove the ability for people to modify software and then be able to run those modified versions.

the GPLv3 only cares about the program. It doesn't care about the hardware or any DMR'd media or anything like that.

Anyways DRM is a failed technology. I give it another 3-5 years then nobody is going to give a shit anymore, at least anybody that matters. (repeat after me children: failed business model = irrelevent)

Nobody has yet to come out with a effective DRM and it is only used to be abused by companies like Apple and Microsoft so that people have a harder time moving away from using Ipods or Windows, because your file formats that are DRM'd are locking you into a paticular hardware (ipod) or software (future versions of Office).

Re:No that's not what the GPLv3 does.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17156038)

Nobody has yet to come out with a effective DRM and it is only used to be abused by companies like Apple and Microsoft so that people have a harder time moving away from using Ipods or Windows, because your file formats that are DRM'd are locking you into a paticular hardware (ipod) or software (future versions of Office).


Microsoft has succeeded (thus far) with the Xbox 360's DRM system. I have not heard about anyone successfully pirating games on an Xbox 360. I would not be surprised if the PS3 and the Wii were similar.

Re:No that's not what the GPLv3 does.. (1)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 7 years ago | (#17157504)

Nobody has yet to come out with a effective DRM and it is only used to be abused by companies like Apple and Microsoft so that people have a harder time moving away from using Ipods or Windows, because your file formats that are DRM'd are locking you into a paticular hardware (ipod) or software (future versions of Office).


Microsoft has succeeded (thus far) with the Xbox 360's DRM system. I have not heard about anyone successfully pirating games on an Xbox 360. I would not be surprised if the PS3 and the Wii were similar.


The last wave of consoles was strong enough, CPU-wise, that it got people talking about emulation of older systems. For me, personally, the news that the Wii will eventually have an entire back catalog going back about 10 years or so is sweet enough to me that I won't shed any tears if the internals are never really probed. On top of that, this generation's consoles all use (more) standard architectures: The Xbox 360 has its custom IBM setup, the PS3 uses the Cell, and the Wii uses a PPC-based chip, the Broadway.

Re:No that's not what the GPLv3 does.. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163034)

There is nothing anti-DRM about what the GPLv3 does, at least in that manner. You can use GPLv3 software to impliment DRM all day and night if you feel like it. Play DRM'd music, use it on DRM'd operating systems, etc etc etc. What is anti-DRM about the GPL is that you can't use DRM to remove the ability for people to modify software and then be able to run those modified versions.

Dude, if you can put in a "void dumpContentDecryptedAndUnprotectedToDisk();" and still have the program work, how is that not fundamentally incompatible with DRM? Unless you mean it's enough that it runs, so that you can have useful software like "music player that doesn't play music" or "movie player that doesn't play movies" because they fail the DRM check.

Re:No that's not what the GPLv3 does.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17164586)

Anyways DRM is a failed technology. I give it another 3-5 years then nobody is going to give a shit anymore, at least anybody that matters. (repeat after me children: failed business model = irrelevent)

That's one of the most concise, insightful statements on that topic I've seen on /. I wish I could mod you up to 6.

Re:Java and DRM on GPLv3 (1)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165130)

I don't believe the Java license terms constrain software written in Java in any way. You can still write proprietary software in Java and release it under your own commercial license, or do whatever you want with it. The Java GPL license only relates to the internal implementation of the Java language itself.

It would be unusual to say the least for a language to constrain programs written in that language to obey a certain license. I'm not even sure that copyright law would give language developers the power to control language users to that degree.

Does anyone know of any languages that force people who write in that language to release their code as open source, or put similar restrictions on language users?

Why is this a shock? (2, Insightful)

DARKFORCE123 (525408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154310)

Why would it be a shock that Java is not licensed under the GPLv3? GPLv2 is well understood now in the legal community, and GPLv3 is going to be examined under a fine toothed comb for a long time even after it is published. It could be a long time before you see major software from large companies published under GPLv3 if at all.

GPLv3 is going to be examined?! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17154722)

GPLv3 IS being examined.

Suns praticipating, IBM praticipating, HP is praticipating. Anybody that has any stake in Free and Open source software is praticipating. They have their lawyers all over it.

when it gets released it WILL the most well reviewed open source license in history. Maybe even the most well reviewed software license ever.

It will eliminate the need for a whole class of licenses. Licenses that desire to be 'more free' then the GPL, but want to stay GPL-compatable.
The GPLv3 + exceptions is beuatfull and it is flexible in what sort of additional restrictions it can take. It will make it more compatable with Apache licenses, Mozilla licenses, and dozens of others. It may even be CDDL compatable.

It will help standardize licenses and make them easier to deal with and have less legal questions cloading the Linux arena.

The Patent language has long been needed and it is much more liberal and easier for companies to deal with then what is already used in MPL, CDDL, or the modern Apache licenses. Much more well designed then those supposwdly 'more corporate friendly license'. The Novell-Microsoft deal highlights the need for reform in this area of the GPL, there needs to be a intellegent and standard way to deal with this stuff and GPLv3 should provide it.

Re:GPLv3 is going to be examined?! (4, Insightful)

LoveMe2Times (416048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155256)

If I had mod points, I'd mod you up. This is one of the very few intelligent posts about GPLv3 that I've seen. So many people are parroting the same bullshit negativity that it's refreshing to see someone point out the many positives of the new license. I'm still stunned by the furor created by this whole thing. Why do most people focus on incompatibility with GPLv2 rather than the great improvements in compatibility with most everything else? Another oft-overlooked element is the internationalization--making the license more resilient to different countries' laws. I think you are entirely correct that this will be the most reviewed license, and that alone will be a good reason to go with it: predictability and a reasonable assurance that it does what you think it does. I predict that 3 years from now, GPLv3 will have become the most used FOSS license, and that we will see a decrease in the number of different licenses in common use. I think that's a good thing.

Re:GPLv3 is going to be examined?! (3, Insightful)

zsau (266209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17158528)

Not to be too negative, but I think there's been enough FUD about the GPLv3 from the likes of Torvalds and slashbots that I think it will be a long time before it's as widely accepted as GPLv2. The main reasons it will be so widely accepted are probably going to be (a) FSF has the copyright to so much and (b) GPLv2-or-later is compatible with GPLv3, but GPLv3-or-later isn't compatible with GPLv2.

This is a sad thing. The GPLv3, like almost everything RMS has done in his free software fight, will be great. RMS is strange and one of those people who always seem wrong and way out, but time and again events have shown that when it matters—there's no-one I'd rather trust on matters he talks of.

Re:GPLv3 is going to be examined?! (1)

AVonGauss (1001486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156888)

I don't mean this as a positive or negative comment about GPLv3 itself, but there is one thing that should be noted about licensing in general... Even though the license as you point out is getting quite a bit of publicity and as a result you are probably right in that it has already received a great deal of review, that is only one aspect. Until the license is actually tested in the courts, the effectiveness and legality questions of the license in different parts of the world is not a given.

Re:GPLv3 is going to be examined?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17163166)

While I agree with the content of your post, I can't help but be amused and impressed by the fact that you managed to spell the same word incorrectly four times in just two sentences... Ok, I'm drunk, so I'm easily amused...

Anyway, a friendly hint in case it isn't just your typing: It's p-a-r-ticipating.

Re:GPLv3 is going to be examined?! (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163946)

It will eliminate the need for a whole class of licenses. Licenses that desire to be 'more free' then the GPL, but want to stay GPL-compatable.

That sentence really requires some explaination, because it's very non-obvious what you mean. The GPLv2 accept licenses that are "more free" in the BSD sense - which do not put any more restrictions on the distributor. What the GPLv2 doesn't allow, are restrictions that intend to make it "more free" in the GPL sense, for example patent clauses, which it terms of licensing are additional requirements for the distributor.

Remember, that's just one exec (1)

CensorsAreBadPeople (1034980) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154464)

One guy has seen the light, but what about the rest of them? Sun has a checkered past as a company. See here: http://malfy.org/ [malfy.org]

No surprise at all... (4, Insightful)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17154508)

It is no surprise that Sun put Java under the GPL2 for now. Sun didn't want to wait for the GPL3 license to become final. The Novell/Microsoft deal puts a dark cloud over Mono (The Linux implementation of .Net) which is in direct competition to Java. If ever there would be a better time to free the Java code, I don't know when.

I think the entire OSS community owes Sun a big thank you.

We should now embrace Java and incorporate it into Linux. We should push away from ASP.net and move toward making Java the defacto standard for web applications and Java script the standard for dynamic web pages.

Re:No surprise at all... (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155260)

Nice thoughts. However, I fail to understand why Javascript comes in this picture (Javascript is not directly related to Java or Sun).

LiveScript (1, Insightful)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17157354)

You are correct. JavaScript aka LiveScript is not Java. However its syntax is very close to Java which makes it a natural.

The important thing is that Mono and .NET needs to die. Microsoft has already beat the patent war drums while pointing to Mono. Novell claims that there is no patent infringement in Mono and they're probably right but the deal they made with Microsoft will cast doubts.

Microsoft has shown over and over that they aren't interested in playing fair or giving any quarter so the OSS community along with all IT companies that have management worth their weight in salt need to come to the realization that it's time to stop trying to deal with Microsoft and simply make them irrelevant. The only way to deal with bully is to punch him square in the nose.

Microsoft wants to control standards and the Internet. We must take those away from them. Any standard that Microsoft (or any company) encumbers with patents we should avoid. If they feel that they own the .NET technology then fine let them alone have it. We should create and push real open standards. The time for being nice guys is over.

We should also put the Justis Department to bring another anti-trust suit against Microsoft. God knows they haven't changed and continue to break the law. This time we need follow through and bust them up into at least three companyies.

Yes I typoed Justice so sue me... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17157460)

Probably not the only error... I do that when I get on a roll...

Re:No surprise at all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155500)

Didn't these folks come out swinging against Linux and OSS development long ago and far away? Didn't they make some deal with Microsoft RE: OpenOffice? Weren't they somehow implicated in the SCO debacle as someone backing the lawsuit?

Look, man, I'm glad they've "finally seen the light" and opened up their stuff (still CDDL for most of the code though, right?) but they've done it when it was convenient and when they've got something to gain now, not because it was the right thing to do. Many thanks and all, and definitely a company to consider an ally -- but it's not like we shouldn't be watching just in case they go all "Novell" on us.

Re:No surprise at all... (4, Insightful)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17157270)

I'm not sure why this keeps coming up, but let me feed the trolls a little bit and take this one point by point:

Didn't these folks come out swinging against Linux and OSS development long ago and far away?
Not that I'm aware of, although Linux has been a competitor to Solaris (in Sun's eyes) in the past, they didn't actively try to sabotage it, they just acted indifferently at times; although now they fully support it (All Sun hardware is certified Linux compatible, etc.).

Didn't they make some deal with Microsoft RE: OpenOffice?
Umm... No, they sued Microsoft, and won, settling for $2 billion for the dirty tricks MS played trying to embrace and extend Java. And by the way, why in the hell do people keep ripping on Sun for stupid shit like this? Sun FUCKING GAVE YOU GUYS OpenOffice, out of pure generosity and to contribute to Free FUCKING Software. I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

Weren't they somehow implicated in the SCO debacle as someone backing the lawsuit?
Again FUCK NO! Sun has licensed Unix System V from Santa Cruz Operation for several years now, as they are the proxy that licenses the original AT&T Unix code to companies like HP (HP-UX), IBM (AIX), SGI (IRIX), and Sun (Solaris). Every one of those companies pays licenses to SCO in order to legally be able to sell UNIX. Looks like everyone that runs commercial Unix funds SCO to some degree... Guess we're all guilty.

Look, man, I'm glad they've "finally seen the light" and opened up their stuff (still CDDL for most of the code though, right?) but they've done it when it was convenient and when they've got something to gain now, not because it was the right thing to do. Many thanks and all, and definitely a company to consider an ally -- but it's not like we shouldn't be watching just in case they go all "Novell" on us.
I can't believe you're such a loser that you still give Sun a hard time after all they have done for the Free Software community. Richard M. Stallman himself said that Sun had released more lines of free software source code than any other single entity (paraphrasing because I can't find the quote right now). So why can't you just forgive them and say "good job, cheers" for a change?

Disclaimer: I currently work in an environment with all HP hardware and RHEL 4. But I have worked on a lot of Sun's and we still have a lot left in our data center.

Re:No surprise at all... (2, Interesting)

Dunkirk (238653) | more than 7 years ago | (#17159166)

I was at a conference about 6 years ago. It was devoted to big engineering database applications, and most of us were either using Sun or thinking about it. So McNealy was on hand to give the keynote address. (It wasn't a large conference, but it was in San Francisco, so I guess he thought, "Hey, I won't have to drive far," or something.) Anyway, Sun had *just* released bought and released StarOffice. He made a comment about that in his speech. It went something like, "So, we just bought StarOffice and released it for free, because, well, because we could." And he had this really sneaky grin on his face while he said it, and it was understood that, while there were lots of really cool things going to come of this, he was really enjoying the fact that they were sticking it to Microsoft with the move. (IIRC, it only cost them a couple of million.) It was really funny.

Re:No surprise at all... (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17160208)

IIRC, it only cost them a couple of million.
Maybe buying StarOffice was cheap. However, many Sun engineers have been maintaining and improving OpenOffice for the last 6 years. There are still a lot of things that could be better with OpenOffice, but the progress from 1.0 to 2.0 was amazing, and Sun must have payed for most of it. I am really curios whether doing all this development in the open was overall beneficial for Sun (it surely was beneficial for the community). I remember they had their hard times, for example everybody was flaming Sun when they started using Java for some OpenOffice components. They were also flamed for the (bloated) architecture of OpenOffice, which I think was inherited from StarOffice anyway.

Re:No surprise at all... (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17161758)

Well, in fairness to the OP, Sun has made some very Microsoftish moves in the past. I forget where I read the post, but someone once described Scott McNealy as Bill Gates with a smaller company. Personally, I thought that was a little harsh. I've always thought of Sun as a schizophrenic company; one that wanted to be Microsoft, and one that wanted to be Red Hat (before Red Hat existed, too).

For example, Sun and Microsoft were the only two companies who spent tens of millions of dollars to buy additional licenses from SCO after SCO initiated the lawsuit against IBM. Sun then trumpeted to the world that made them the only company that had a free and unfettered license to do what they wanted with Unix.

Novell, in their position as the purported rightful copyright holder for Unix (what little there is, anyway), is still trying to; (a) get their money for these questionable deals from SCO, (b) find out what the terms of the deals were so they can determine whether or not SCO was even authorized by the terms of their contract with Novell to make the deal, (c) depending upon what they find out, decide whether or not Microsoft and Sun actually have anything worth the paper that it's printed on.

Think about this for a second: If Novell determines that SCO acted in bad faith, it may turn out that Sun never had the right to release Solaris as FOSS. Further, Sun may have done so knowing this fact. (That's not to say that doing so was necessarily a bad thing, but it should be done by the true copyright holder.) If /that's/ true, then Sun may be guilty of misappropriating Novell's property. I doubt that Novell would bother to go after Sun for this, but you never know.

Another example of Sun's need to abuse their customers was their absolute refusal for years to use or ship the GNU utilities. Worse was when they abruptly decided to no longer ship a C compiler as part of the standard OS installation. Instead, they wanted to charge what I regarded as an exorbitant price for something that was a standard offering in every other Unix of the day.

I remember that there was a lot of speculation at the time that they had done so only because Scott was pissed that so many sysadmins were dumping the use of Sun utilities in favor of the GNU ones. The thinking was rather than admit that the FOSS ones were better, Sun as a company had decided to discourage the use of other people's software by keeping the tools necessary to deploy them as difficult to get as possible. It was a speculation that made a kind of weird sense at the time (early '90s). That was about the time the company I was working for got rid of our last Sun (for reasons that had nothing to do with their support or lack thereof of FOSS), so I lost track of much of they were up to after that.

I'd have to say that from my experience, Sun has donated a lot of software to the FOSS movement over the years and continues to do so. They have also made some moves over the years to maintain or create vendor lock-in that would make Microsoft proud over that same period of time. They definitely look like a schizophrenic company to me.

Re:No surprise at all... (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163152)

"Umm... No, they sued Microsoft, and won, settling for $2 billion for the dirty tricks MS played trying to embrace and extend Java."

There's a bit more to it than that. SUN didn't win. SUN and Microsoft settled. Part of the agreement was a patent truce protecting Star Office, but not protecting OpenOffice.org, and $2B from Microsoft to SUN. SUN took a lot of heat for not including OpenOffice.org in the patent protection agreement, though it's understandable that they couldn't get patent protection for something Microsoft desperately wants to destroy.

"Sun has licensed Unix System V from Santa Cruz Operation for several years now..."

No. SUN has 100% autonomous rights to Solaris, like IBM has 100% autonomous rights to AIX, and hasn't owed royalty payments to anyone for many years. SUN paid SCO millions of dollars that SUN was not obligated to pay, and to which SCO was not entitled to receive. At the time, several SUN executives were on an anti-Linux, anti-GPL, anti-IBM rampage. It was widely seen (and I agree 100%) as SUN giving SCO money to harm Linux.

"Sun [gave us] OpenOffice, out of pure generosity and to contribute to Free...Software."

SUN bought and freed Star Office as a strategic move against Microsoft. Period. EVERYTHING McNealy did in that era was to counter Microsoft. It was a great move, and should always be remembered as one of SUN's rare moments of cognitive clarity.

More to it than that even. (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166962)

"There's a bit more to it than that. SUN didn't win. SUN and Microsoft settled."

There is a bit more to it than that also. They didn't settle because they believed that they wouldn't win big if the carried the lawsuit out to its end. They settled because it was becoming too much of a financial burden. The 800 pound gorilla used its enormous wealth to broker a deal it didn't deserve. Just one more example to prove that illegal activities are not off the table for Microsoft if they are profitable enough. Yet another reason to break Microsoft into three separate companies so they can't ignore the law.

Re:No surprise at all... (1)

WebMink (258041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168566)

"Sun has licensed Unix System V from Santa Cruz Operation for several years now..."
No. SUN has 100% autonomous rights to Solaris, like IBM has 100% autonomous rights to AIX, and hasn't owed royalty payments to anyone for many years. SUN paid SCO millions of dollars that SUN was not obligated to pay, and to which SCO was not entitled to receive. At the time, several SUN executives were on an anti-Linux, anti-GPL, anti-IBM rampage. It was widely seen (and I agree 100%) as SUN giving SCO money to harm Linux.

There's even more to it than that actually. First, the rights Sun has to Unix are far more extensive than those IBM has to AIX. In 1994, Sun bought an outright perpetual copyright license giving it non-exclusive ownership of the Unix source code. That's the basis on which Sun has been able to open source Unix in the OpenSolaris community. Sun has been fastidious in constantly acquiring all rights to Unix so that there could never be another party with a claim over Sun's core business.

However, that doesn't mean Sun (or any other Unix licensee) has had constant access to updates and new features. Whereas in the world of open source we all share enhancements with each other, in the world of Unix all the licensees retained their enhancements. The Unix copyright owner (originally AT&T, then Novell, then SCO) had the practice of buying enhancements (including drivers) from the licensees and then selling then to other licensees. This "clearing-house" role was what allowed Unix features to flow between the licensees without an open source community.

What Sun and all the rest of the licensees did was trade code with the Unix Licensor, usually for a net payment to the Licensor. That last payment was a confidential transaction like all the previous ones made by Sun, IBM, HP and others, but was a pretty routine transaction to secure updates and maintain a full license to the Solaris source. While I recognise that plenty of folks view that last transaction as "funding SCO", it was at its heart unexceptional apart from being the final rights acquisition before open sourcing the whole code-base. And having seen how SCO behaved since then, it was the last.

Re:No surprise at all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17163484)

The fact that some party often does the right thing doesn't mean you can't criticize them when they don't.

The world doesn't consist of "good guys" and "bad guys" (as much as most people would like to think that way), it consists of individuals, organizations, corporations and governments who are all far from perfect. You shouldn't judge an action based on who did it, but by its merits.

I've been a big fan of Sun for quite some time, but when they do things I don't like, I'm willing to call them on it.

I'll also admit when people and organizations I don't like do things right. I don't like most of Microsoft's products or their business practices, but I do like some of the things Microsoft Research has come up with - much of which sadly has not made it to the mainstream - as well as many of the charitable things Bill Gates has done with his wealth.

Oh how much more peaceful the world would be if people realized that the things they like aren't all good and the things they dislike aren't all bad...

Re:No surprise at all... (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164500)

Richard M. Stallman himself said that Sun had released more lines of free software source code than any other single entity (paraphrasing because I can't find the quote right now).

Here's your quote: FSF president and founder Richard Stallman said, "I think Sun has contributed more than any other company to the free software community in the form of software. It shows leadership. It's an example I hope others will follow."

http://www.fsf.org/news/fsf-welcomes-gpl-java.html [fsf.org]

Re:No surprise at all... (0, Flamebait)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17157918)

> Didn't these folks come out swinging against Linux and OSS development long ago and far away?

Not only did sun come out swinging, they were a major financer of the scox scam. Sun has flip-flopped on linux more times than I can remember: first they love linux, then they hate linux, then they say that linux is only good for desktops, then they say that only sun can legally distribute linux, then they say that linux is java.

> Look, man, I'm glad they've "finally seen the light" and opened up their stuff (still CDDL for most of the code though, right?) but they've done it when it was convenient and when they've got something to gain now, not because it was the right thing to do.

That's sun for 'ya. They are as scitzo as any company can be. They were equally scitzo about the x86 architecture. Now they are scitzo about the GPL.

Proprietary software company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155448)

strongly endorses GPL v3. Hmmm.

Re:Proprietary software company (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17155784)

Of course, by Proprietary software company you mean Proprietary software company which has recently GPL'ed what it's probably its most valuable software asset, right?

er... GPLv3 isn't finished yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17155576)

How could we have used GPLv3 for Java when it isn't finished yet??? Doesn't the head of this posting put an unreasonable burden on Sun?

Original Article (5, Informative)

WebMink (258041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156058)

To see what I actually said, rather than relying on the ZDNet extracts, you'll find the original blog posting here [sun.com] . It's linked from the article but clearly from some of the comments above some people haven't spotted the link.

Perfect license for OpenOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17156112)

Sun might not elect to use GPLv3 for every project, but one project that could certainly benefit from its protections would be OpenOffice. Novell can sign any kind of pact with MS that they want; but if OpenOffice is GPLv3, Novell may find themselves on the wrong side of a legal fence. Personally, I want to know that I will always have a Free application I can use to edit my open document format documents. The GPLv3 can help ensure this, by protecting the project from patent landmines.

Thought the summary was vacuous... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156118)

Then clicked through to the article, it was fluff, too. Finally, I clicked through the original blog entry, and it still says nothing but that Phipps has some vague warm fuzzy feelings about the way the GPL v3 process is working: not anything he likes about the license, not any arguments against the criticism (just that he is "amazed" that people are criticizing things that people are still working on: apparently he hasn't figured out that the things people are working on are being worked on particularly becuase they have been the target of criticism in earlier drafts.)

Complete, empty, content-free fluff the whole way back up to the source.

Re:Thought the summary was vacuous... (2, Informative)

WebMink (258041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17156184)

In fact my amazement stems from the fact that intelligent people who I respect are criticising things (like the DRM language) that have already been substantially altered, but arguing as if there has been no change to them. Sorry you find the whole thing "vacuous", you are clearly a Higher Intellect.

Re:Thought the summary was vacuous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17157782)

Is there much cheerleading in your shop to make solaris gpl3 if and when?

Re:Thought the summary was vacuous... (3, Informative)

WebMink (258041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17158908)

It's a hot topic and there are plenty of voices for and against. It was like this discussing the use of the GPL for the Java platform though, extensive and passionate debate right up to the last minute. In the end GPL v2 with the Classpath exception was clearly preferable, but every possible option was explored.

One key difference with Solaris though is that the base source code is already open source Free software and is in the care of the OpenSolaris community [opensolaris.org] , so while Sun obviously gets a big say in what happens it's not just down to us, the community will also need to discuss it.

Re:Thought the summary was vacuous... (2, Interesting)

cycoj (1010923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17157106)

Actually I find most of the critizism of the GPLv3 "empty, content-free" attacks. In particular Linus has not really shown any argumentation skills. I challenge you to go back and have a look at the discussion on Groklaw, he was only making personal attacks at the "FSF zealots" accusing them of not listening to any critizism. The most funny point was that he was upset that he had not been given a version of the (first?) draft upfront to comment. I mean who does he think he is?! Why should he receive any special treatment just because he wrote Linux. The other thing that really stood out in that discussion is that he was never really answering to any of the other peoples arguments. I find this really typical of the "anti-GPLv3" camp. They mainly accuse the FSF of not listening, but refuse to take part in the draft process. They also act like the GPLv3 is being pushed onto people, it is not. You still have the free choice to use the licence you want.

stop oversimplifying (1)

idlake (850372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17159312)

The article notes that Mr. Phipps' comments are somewhat surprising, given that the recent open-sourcing of Java went forward with GPLv2

First of all, GPLv3 isn't out yet, so Sun can't release under it. And it's understandable that many people are reluctant to release under "GPLv2 or later".

Furthermore, you can't judge licenses just by what they say, you have to judge them in context. Sun is not releasing Java under GPLv2; if they did, that would have been open-source hostile. What they did is announce that they will release Java under GPLv2 with linking exceptions on some parts; that's something very different. And even when GPLv3 comes out, specific open source projects may still benefit from GPLv2 because the terms of the license fit them better.

On the other hand, plenty of commercial companies are using the GPL as a nuisance license on their software, without actually running an open source project (many "dual-licensed" products fall into that category).

Well let's see (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17160494)

If Sun likes a license, it must be terrible :)

Thank God! (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164094)

It's about time somebody else publicly came out strongly on the side of RMS, who is clearly and obviously in the right here.

Now if only Sun made some worthwhile software that I could actually use so I could help support them....

rhY
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