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Final Draft of GPLv3 Allows Novell-Microsoft Deal

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the and-we-all-go-forward-singing-together dept.

Novell 113

famicommie writes "All of Novell's fingernail biting has been for naught. In a display of forgiveness and bridge building on behalf of the FSF, ZDNet reports that the final draft of the GPLv3 will close the infamous MS-Novell loophole while allowing deals made previously to continue. From the article: 'The final, last-call GPLv3 draft bans only future deals for what it described as tactical reasons in a 32-page explanation of changes. That means Novell doesn't have to worry about distributing software in SLES that's governed by the GPLv3 ... Drafting the new license has been a fractious process, but Eben Moglen, the Columbia University law school professor who has led much of the effort, believes consensus is forming. That agreement is particularly important in the open-source realm, where differing license requirements can erect barriers between different open-source projects.'"

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Huge penis failure (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606891)

In your pants. [goatse.cz]

Tempted by the fruit of your la-hoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19606947)


Good morning fellow employee. You'll notice that I am now a model worker. We should continue this conversation later during the designated break period or after work. Sincerely, Homer Simpson.

i cant believe its not horsecock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19607145)

nt

TiVo (3, Interesting)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606901)

So does that mean TiVo can continue to sell their products because their deal was made before GPL3 was drafted?

Re:TiVo (4, Informative)

MadTinfoilHatter (940931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607029)

So does that mean TiVo can continue to sell their products because their deal was made before GPL3 was drafted?
The patent-deal issue, and the Tivoization issue are completely different topics. Furthermore TiVo can continue to sell their products for as long as they like, as long as they use GPLv2-licenced software - and the stuff that's already GPLv2 won't magically become v3 just because a new version is released. Only future releases will be affected for those projects that decide to go v3.

Re:TiVo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19615037)

Yeah, the majority of the linux population may decide GPL2 good, GPL3 bad, and steer clear of GPL3 distros. Novell may still have some difficulty proving to everyone that they are still a legitimate open source distro.

Re:TiVo (2, Informative)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607031)

TiVo should be fine unless the Linux kernel is relicensed, which is not going to happen any time soon, if ever. Even then, they could always just fork off at the last GPL2 kernel release, as its not like they desperately need most updates (are they even on 2.6 yet?). Any other libraries/interfaces they use outside of the kernel should be LGPL or MIT/BSD, so they should be fine unless some critical program/daemon they need to run becomes GPL3 only. I guess if that happens its time to adopt a BSD userspace.

Re:TiVo (2, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609585)

TiVo use a lot more than just the kernel.

Re:TiVo (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616559)

Right. And nothing that TiVo uses right now is GPLv3. Some will be before long, probably...

Re:TiVo (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19607295)

This will come as a huge shock to you: It costs money for each unit that Tivo produces. I know, you can't understand the whole hardware business model, but its true. Software and hardware are two different things. Believe it or not, when you have a license to free software it doesn't give you any rights to the hardware that it happens to run on. Amazing, isn't it? So here's the kicker, if you don't like Tivo, don't buy it - make your own hardware and provide your own services and run the Tivo software on that. You're free to do so. But don't try to claim that the hardware has to be open just because the software is.

To answer the troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19608095)

I quite understand that money is spent by Tivo for each device. However, I PAY money to Tivo for the device. Now, if that wasn't enough to cover manyfacturing costs, I could see them wanting to monetise my ownership as a form of subsidy. In that case, I could see a reason for Tivo to tell me they can update my system and take away finctionality BUT I CANNOT.

However, since the vast ammount of money I pay for the device covers costs, salaries and profit left over, what gives them the right to stop me doing what I want with the device I own?

Re:To answer the troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19608161)

"what gives them the right to stop me doing what I want with the device I own?"

Nobody is stopping you. Go ahead and do whatever you want with your Tivo.

P:rotection from MSFT patent suits (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606919)

Eben Moglen's (and FSF's) stance on this issue seems to be that the language of GPLV3 will automatically cause all GPLV3 software distributed by Novell in SLES to be protected by the Microsoft-Novell deal. Now, IANAL, but Eben Moglen is. I'm not sure he's 100% right, but I'm also not sure he's 100% wrong either. I wonder if that would hold up in court?

Re:P:rotection from MSFT patent suits (5, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606987)

There is the court of law, and the "court of public opinion". One data point, and you can argue the significance, is the number of reputable kernel hackers who've dropped Novell like a cheating sweetheart.
For all the sound and fury about GPLv3, I submit that it's really all good. Some strong ideas were expressed by the FSF, feedback came, and the wording was polished such that the final product may prove acceptable over time.
A gold star, a group hug, and a round of Koom Ba Ya for all my friends.

It doesn't matter to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19607647)

I still won't use SuSe.

Re:P:rotection from MSFT patent suits (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19614503)

It would seem like there's no need for grandfathering in anybody. After all, MS-Novell/linspire/xandros already have protection in the form of GPL2. As long as they keep that version of the code separate tehy can go on indefinitely. When the software is relicensed for a version upgrade, it is a new product with new license terms... they should understand that as these companies are experts at writing such terms for new versions of THEIR software. Expecting it to function in this fashion is no different than how Microsoft changes the license for the new version of Vista and makes you buy a new one instead of your old XP. Or how Microsoft changes the license in small ways for nearly every downloaded patch and expects that license to include the entire product even when you paid for said product years ago.

As a matter of principal there should be no exceptions. If Novell and Co. choose to use the new improved GPL3 versions of software they will have to abide like everybody else. I can't expect to get Suse 10 (with all the extras) for free just because I purchased version 7 3 years ago. Thre's no reason to grandfather any of these deals in. They accept the new terms from the INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS developing software or they fork the GPL2 and get drug down in bug fixing. That said, there are almost enough of them that they could pool their GPL2 work and not use GPL3 and still get product out.

Old news (4, Informative)

Cato (8296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606933)

This story is from 4th June... Another great bit of Slashdot editing.

Re:Old news (1)

ShorePiper82 (1027534) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608643)

depends. news can be relative... kind of like cars. this is new news, to some who did not come across the article previously. I think statistic-based news that becomes considerably more dated as the article ages is `not a good post`... but some things slip through the cracks and do add value.

not binding--some projects will probably strike it (2, Insightful)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606939)

This affects "GPLv2 or later" projects that can't be relicensed because some of the contributors can't be reached.

For new projects, or if all the developers agree, or for new contributions to existing projects, you can strike the clause permitting earlier deals if you like.

Re:not binding--some projects will probably strike (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607223)

What makes you believe that that particular license modification is allowed? Generally, modified versions of the GNU GPL are forbidden to reduce the ridiculous proliferation of just-different-enough-to-be-incompatible licenses.

the license is easy to effectively modify (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608429)

You can't change the text itself.

You can add a wrapper. You say the code is under the Foo Public Licence. In that, you refer to the GPL.

Re:the license is easy to effectively modify (1)

Stephen Ma (163056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19614815)

You can add a wrapper. You say the code is under the Foo Public Licence. In that, you refer to the GPL.

Right, you can distribute a new program under any license you choose, including a modified GPL. But to be clear, you can only do that if you are the author of the program in question. If you receive a GPL'd program from somebody else, then the only way you can redistribute the program is under the unmodified GPL; that is the really clever feature of the license.

Re:not binding--some projects will probably strike (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19614293)

That'd probably be an additional restriction, and if it's not one of those permitted by the GPLv3 which I don't think it is, then it's no longer GPLv3 licensed nor compatible with any other GPLv3 software like libraries, others can't use your code in other GPLv3 projects etc. and it'd be wrong to call it GPLv3 at all. The part which says that the work as a whole must be distributed with no other restrictions is of course at the core of the GPL, at the same time it doesn't allow for "good" restrictions. For example there are GPLv2-incompatible licenses with patent clauses, which RMS likes but you can't just say "well, that was smart so it's ok". In short, if the GPLv3 does something you consider "stupid" there's not really much you can do to make it more restrictive, unless you voice in now.

Divide and Conquer (4, Insightful)

davermont (1001265) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606949)

Good. Despite my displeasure with the MS/Novell deal, I think it's best not to create in-fighting within a community that has worked so hard to get where it is in the market. Divide and conquer is an old trick.

Re:Divide and Conquer (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609371)

One could also call it pruning of the old branches though.

Re:Divide and Conquer (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609755)

yes, it's probably a good move since otherwise, Novell, and the other losers who signed up with Microsoft, would only have been forced to fork their distro packages as they moved to GPLv3. That would have been bad and could very well been one of the expected results Microsoft wanted. They don't want licensing fees, they want Linux out of the picture and splitting the market with truckloads of forks would have soured businesses on Linux and OSS.

So good move by the FSF and I find it comforting that 'the council'( kernel hackers ) are also putting great import on the tricks up Microsoft's sleeves.

LoB

Re:Divide and Conquer (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#19611589)

The deal was allowed not to please Novell, Microsoft or even Novell's customers. The deal was allowed to get the patent protection from the Novell/Microsoft deal. Microsoft is expected to distribute GPLV3 software. As soon as it does so (don't forget the coupons already sold), M$ will effectively donate any patents theoretically covered by that software. If the kernel would be GPLV3, and M$ would distribute it (by coupons or otherwise), the kernel would gain patent protection from M$ patents. Why would anyone want to ban such deals like Novell/Microsoft when letting it is much more helpful.

Re:Divide and Conquer -- Mod parent up (1)

irenaeous (898337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19613711)

Microsoft is expected to distribute GPLV3 software. As soon as it does so (don't forget the coupons already sold), M$ will effectively donate any patents theoretically covered by that software.

This concisely explains the tactical reason for the exception. It is also why Microsoft will not distribute GPL V3 software. IANAL, but it may invalidate the Novell agreement anyway. I don't know that Novell can really breathe easier at all.

Re:Divide and Conquer (1)

Stephen Ma (163056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19615045)

Infighting within the free software community was probably a concern, but likely not the only one. Novell has leverage, you see: they have an overwhelmingly strong case in the SCO lawsuit, but they can cave if they choose. Worse, Novell can give the ownership of Unix to SCO -- and then the IBM/SCO case may possibly blow up.

Time limit? (1)

wetelectric (956671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606961)

So when the 5 year deal runs out... will Novell be able to renew it? I would presume not..good news, no?

Re:Time limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19607095)

Can't make a new deal, but can modify the old deal ad nauseum, providing much fodder for future slashdot articles.

Re:Time limit? (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608479)

Well we need something else to keep after reading about 360s and iphone all days, don't we?

Kudos ! (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606965)

All these stuff about free software, people acting together and stuff, are, despite the turmoil and bickering, maybe because everything moves forward in spite of the turmoil and bickering, filling me with much hope.

Foolish (2, Insightful)

ThePolkapunk (826529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19606971)

This seems a bit foolish to me. By not locking out the MS-Novell and other deals, it's as if they're being rewarded for weakning open source.

Re:Foolish (3, Informative)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607287)

It's actually an evil scheme on the part of the FSF to get Microsoft to distribute GPLv3 software, thus taking away their ability to make patent threats. Further, the Novell-Microsoft deal looks to be mostly harmful in practice - that sort of deal is horribly problematic in theory, but in this particular case it's worth more to the community to yell "Bad Dog" really loud rather than to sucker punch them.

Not gonna fly. (was Re:Foolish) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19614415)

>thus taking away their ability to make patent threats

I wouldn't put too much money behind that part of GPL3 because a judge is likely going to toss that right out as an being unconscionable. A contract that says "You must give me a license to all your patents if you distribute X" is about as conscionable as "You must give me everything you own if you distribute X". Not gonna fly.

Open Source is Stronger (Re:Foolish) (1)

apokryphos (869208) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608163)

Except open source is not weaker; if you think it is because of the deal, I'd like to see some evidence. What are the facts?

* Novell and SUSE has been consistently one of the biggest contributors to free and open source software and still is. While probably your distro X is packaging Linux software (a truly wonderful thing), let's not forget that Novell are the ones ensuring that developers can work on this free software. Countless developers to work and improve KDE, GNOME, the Linux Kernel, OpenOffice, Alsa etc.
* Novell have more money to hire more people to work on Linux (they have more Linux engineers now than back then)
* Adoption of Linux has increased with more SLE coupons being sold out. All the studies I've seen suggest that all of this is still the case without a detriment to Red Hat et al.

Who is making the community weaker? The same old poisonous people [google.com] who spread fear, uncertainty and doubt [opensuse.org] about deals such as these, constantly bickering without knowing the facts. Nonsense like "Novell are going away from ODF" (completely untrue), Novell admitted that Linux infringes any patents (which they've vehemently denied since the beginning of the deal, and before), or that Novell and Microsoft are real partners (while they're still fierce competitors, despite agreeing to work on some areas). Still, it surprises me.

Re:Open Source is Stronger (Re:Foolish) (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609665)

While probably your distro X is packaging Linux software (a truly wonderful thing), let's not forget that Novell are the ones ensuring that developers can work on this free software.

My distro is Red Hat. Anything else that you have to say? ;)

Re:Open Source is Stronger (Re:Foolish) (1)

apokryphos (869208) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609797)

> My distro is Red Hat. Anything else that you have to say? ;)

Nothing except I love RedHat, the developers there, and what they've done and keep doing for free and open source software. That doesn't mean I need to ignore SUSE/Novell's huge contributions as well. :)

Re:Open Source is Stronger (Re:Foolish) (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19610083)

one problem, Microsoft has no intention of helping spread Linux and OSS no matter how much they get for licensing fees. I'll say it again, that is not how Microsoft works. They make their money on Windows, by Windows, for Windows and anything else threatens the Windows gravy train. Therefore, there is another motive for what Microsoft is doing and the side-effect of more Linux systems must be looked at as a threat when those systems are tied to Microsoft's false IP claims. It is very likely that those customers will eventually be hammered out of the Linux market by moves Microsoft makes regarding those licenses.

Read up on how Microsoft hammered a good portion of the UNIX workstation application market by licensing Win32 source to a handful of companies and then pulled the rug out from under them all. Hint:
1) Microsoft licensed Win32 to handful of companies
2) Those companies sold libraries to UNIX workstation app developers promising a single source code tree for both UNIX and Windows platforms
3) Many UNIX workstation apps companies bought into the plan and ported their UNIX apps to Win32 APIs and these MS licensed libraries
4) When enough ported, Microsoft quadrupled the licensing fees for the Win32 source and very effectively terminated the ability of the UNIX apps versions to say current.
5) Massive increases in licensing fees also put all but one of the original Win32 licensees out of cross platform application libraries business. Only one survived and that could be attributed to the fact that Microsoft hired that company(MainSoft) to create worthless ports of a couple of Microsoft apps. The trick killed the market but kept a very small player alive to keep the DOJ and anti-trust people off their backs.

So what you THINK is good for Linux and OSS can only be bad for Linux and OSS when Microsoft is involved. After all, there is absolutely no proof that anything has changed at Microsoft. And even if you can make something up to justify the concept of change at Microsoft, the long 20 year history of Microsoft tricks would require a massive amount of proof there is really any real change there. IMO.

LoB
 

Re:Open Source is Stronger (Re:Foolish) (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616609)

Your five point comment is cool and all. Even cooler when you provide a few cites.

You said an awful lot with no attribution. Not saying you made it up or anything. But a few cites would strengthen your arguement.

Compromised (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607023)

It sounds like the process has been compromised. Since the FSF will release future versions of all their stuff under GPLv3, why allow the MS/Novell deal to use the newer code? Perhaps they're worried that those companies actually have the resources to maintain a GPLv2 fork that could come to dominance over their own? Maybe killing SUSE isn't a good idea? What's the tactical reason?

I've also been reading Linus comments on Tivoisation, and I agree with him in principle. However, I see the potential threat that FSF sees too. There will always be ways to lock down hardware unless you require them to provide all development tools - which could include hardware. That sounds unreasonable, so Tivo would probably not use the code. However, that means all projects would have to provide complete development environments to their users on request. I seriously doubt if Tivoization can be stopped by a software license without making the license useless for everyone.

Re:Compromised (3, Informative)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607323)

What's the tactical reason?

Tactics are exactly the answer here - the FSF has a history of making tactical compromises. The FSF's process has no more been compromised over this than it was when they decided to release the LGPL and license GNU libc under it.

Re:Compromised (1)

rkcallaghan (858110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608415)

gr8_phk wrote:

What's the tactical reason?
And somehow Chandon Seldon got a +3, Informative for:

Tactics are exactly the answer here - the FSF has a history of making tactical compromises. The FSF's process has no more been compromised over this than it was when they decided to release the LGPL and license GNU libc under it.
Personally, as an outsider on this particular issue; I am no closer to an answer to gr8_phk's question. What exactly is informative about answering "What's the tactical reason" with "The tactics"?

Can anyone provide an actual answer?

Thanks,
~Rebecca

Re:Compromised (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609399)

And somehow Chandon Seldon got a +3, Informative for:

It's only a +2 informative. I get an awesome karma bonus. =P

Can anyone provide an actual answer?

Three main reasons:

  1. Although agreements like the Novel / Microsoft deal are extremely dangerous, this specific agreement isn't that big a threat. Microsoft's empty threats aren't forcing everyone to license SuSE in order to use the GNU/Linux system.
  2. By allowing Novel and Microsoft to distribute GPLv3 software, the FSF hopes that Microsoft will end up distributing some GPLv3 software inadvertently and thereby provide patent licenses to the world.
  3. Preventing Novell from distributing SuSE doesn't actually help anyone here, and would hurt the free software community overall.

Re:Compromised (1)

rkcallaghan (858110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609589)

Thanks, That helps, hopefully someone will mod you up on this one.

On the "being pedantic" sidenote; I have karma bonus disabled, but you start at a base of 1, not zero. So the 2 positive mods you got give 2+1=3, it'd have been +4 with your bonus. But in either case, thanks for the answer :)

~Rebecca

Re:Compromised (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 7 years ago | (#19612619)

Now that I think of it, the MS/Novell deal apparently has a limited term (5 years?). So that particular deal becomes a non-issue at some point. If there are possible advantages like the other poster suggested (MS distributing Linux...) that would be outweighed by any disadvantages because those go away in 5 years - and a renewal would not be exempt.

...then, what's the point? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19607057)

I thought these changes were based on a principled stand. It appears principles are... flexible?

Has RMS backed down? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607073)

Does anyone know whether RMS has backed down on this? Or has he simply flip-flopped like politicians?

Re:Has RMS backed down? (1)

syntaxglitch (889367) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608243)

Does anyone know whether RMS has backed down on this? Or has he simply flip-flopped like politicians?

RMS is a pragmatic idealist, not a blind one. He is and always has been willing to "back down" on issues where that will, from what he sees, serve his ideals better in the long term.

Re:Has RMS backed down? (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608261)

Strategically, RMS has never wavered. However, he's very good at recognizing when tactical changes (which I believe this to be) are appropriate to achieving his strategic goal (which remains unchanged).

In the grand scheme of things, I don't think it matters one way or another whether the grandfather clause remains part of GPL3 or not. If RMS sees it the same way, then by allowing it, it disallows similar agreements in the future, but appears merciful to those who previously made agreements in "good faith" (we'll give them the benefit of the doubt here, just for argument's sake). Mercy is never a bad thing if it doesn't sabotage your strategic goals.

Re:Has RMS backed down? (1)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 7 years ago | (#19610283)

When did things like compromise, flexibility, willingness to be convinced by arguments, etc., become bad things? Equated with "backing down" or "flip-flopping"? I'm guessing probably around the time the Bush administration convinced Americans that thought and rational decision-making is a bad thing, and that being steadfast is better than being right.

FSF Says: Make your deals NOW! (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607147)


Here's a big clue-in as to why everyone and their mama has been discussing their decision to deal or not deal with MS.

I guess this means that GPLv3 really is closing in?

Re:FSF Says: Make your deals NOW! (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19616627)

Maybe Microsoft will hand out agreements like mad for a short while, hurrying before the GPLv3 is established. Kinda like coupons...

Fingernail biting? (1, Flamebait)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607153)

All of Novell's fingernail biting...

This was yet another of those deals where a company includes the usual collection of possible disasters in its SEC filings and the morons at Groklaw turned it into one of their "Company We Don't Like Trembles In Fear Of Teh Community!" fantasies, right?

Fale (2, Interesting)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607263)

Seriously, every day I'm more and more unhappy with the GPLv3. We have four big problems, which are digital restrictions management, patents, tivoization, and trap deals. The GPLv3 was about preventing these problems from happening, or at least, from affecting us. Yet right now it barely solves one of them. With every new revision, the GPLv3 got more and more fagged up, to the point it's now a stupid overhyped version of GPLv2 with little to no improvement, a pointless license.

Now I'll consider relesing my stuff with my own license that will address these issues, and I encourage others to do likewise. And, for the things where GPL will suffice, I'll stay with GPLv2, because GPLv3 is just not worth it.

Re:Fale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19608279)

On the contrary, I think that the initial implementation of many of its features, like the anti-DRM bit banning DRM outright, seemed a bit "You want this because it is copyleft, yeah? Well we think you should have this other stuff too and you will have to go along with it", whereas now they are still there, but have been rephrased into "You want this because it is copyleft, yeah? Well this bit makes that copyleft stronger" (as in, you can make DRM "features" just as before, but you can't get all DMCA on someone's ass if they remove it).

This kind of thing should keep the diverse users of the license happy, since it is now only emphasising copyleft and reinforcing that copyleft when faced with patents (although I admit this section is weak, but there is not much else a copyright license can do), DRM, "Tivoisation" and international laws. If people don't like the new features then they obviously aren't particularly in favour of copyleft as an idea (eg. they were just using the license because of other people's copyleft on their free lunch [Tivo], or just because it is the "standard" Free Software/Open Source license), and if someone is not in favour of copyleft then the GPL is not the license they should be using, either use a BSD/MPL/whatever license if you still want it to be Free Software/Open Source, or use a proprietary or custom one if not (which can always be submitted for approval by the FSF and OSI if desired)

Whilst I am in favour of the ideas in the GPLv3, such as stopping DRM and software patents and "Tivoisation", etc. I think the worst thing that could happen because of it would be for a large chunk of users and developers to fork GPLv2 code and maintain it themselves, and add new features. This is because those who, for example, want to use non-removable DRM, enforcable software patents and digitally locked-down hardware in their projects do not seem like they would bend over backwards for compatibility with other projects, and a world with two (or more!) incompatible forks of basic, low-level components of GNU would complicate many developers' (and therefore end users') lives vastly. If this was kept to embedded systems like Tivo then the damage would be minimised (since most would not bother making their software work with that fork of the GNU toolchain, but then anyone trying to port software to such devices would have to fiddle with EVERY such piece of software, from the lowlevel up to the interface level, seriously crippling any actual NEW work and thus discouraging many from attempting it), but a real blow would be if desktop distributors did such a fork. Imagine Suse, Xandros and Linspire using fundamental OS tools incompatible with the rest of the desktop world. There would be lots of software still made for these systems (Novell plays a large part in Mono, Evolution, Beagle, etc.) which would waste a lot of other distro developers' time.

That situation should be strongly avoided, and thus forming the new features of the GPL in such a way as to clearly show them as extensions of the old, main feature (copyleft) should stop major forks like that described.

Just my opinion anyway
Chris

Re:Fale (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608675)

Imagine Suse, Xandros and Linspire using fundamental OS tools incompatible with the rest of the desktop world.

Why would that be so bad? Solaris and *BSD have their own user space tools and they work just fine.

Re:Fale (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608323)

Now I'll consider relesing my stuff with my own license that will address these issues, and I encourage others to do likewise.
Sure you go do that since you seem to think that you are smarter then a ton of lawyers peer reviewing the GPL 3 license, but then I guess its a programmers fate to keep reinventing the wheel.

Re:Fale (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608377)

Could you please explain how you think GPL3 fails in the four goals? I don't see it.

DRM: GPL3 code is explicitly not covered by DMCA and therefore is legal to circumvent.

patents: already implicitly included in GPL2, now explicitly included in GPL3.

tivoization: did they remove this requirement?

trap deals: forbids new deals, but grandfathers in old deals that might have been made in "good faith". Always a good idea to avoid making people "criminals" after the fact.

Re:Fale (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608485)

Well, it appears that GPLv3 still addresses DRM by noting (legally of course) that the software licensed by it is not an "effective control mechanism" or anything like that, so if it does include DRM, it is explicitly allowed to remove said DRM system regardless of what the law (DMCA, EUCD, etc.) say.

Patents still seem to be almost fine; it even has compatibility with the Apache License v2, so that's pretty important. I heard that they were allowing the MS/Novell deal because as soon as Novell distributes GPLv3 software and someone uses a Microsoft coupon to get a copy of said distribution, Microsoft has officially distributed GPLv3 software and has thus given up their patents from the deal that cover said software. Basically, it'd be better to screw Microsoft over than to screw Novell over in the long run.

With Tivoisation, I still agree with RMS; either both the owner and seller of the device can modify the code, or neither can. Tivo (and companies like that) can't have their cake (free software) and eat it too (not allow anyone to modify it). I don't know if this issue is something worth worrying about in the business world (e.g., medical machines, other dedicated devices), but if it is, then RMS is making a huge mistake by not addressing that.

I think the GPLv3 is going much farther than the GPLv2 (or any other free software or open source license out there) with regards to the topics you mentioned, so if this draft is what becomes the official version, I will use it; GNU will use it; KDE will use it; Sun will use it; and many other high-profile FLOSS projects and individual developers will use it.

Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19610191)

I don't know about this article, but the reason behind allowing the deal is that the vouchers Microsoft gave out have no expiration date. What that means is, should someone redeem them for any software covered by the GPLv3, Microsoft's patents become moot because Microsoft has now "conveyed" GPLv3 software and is bound by the terms. In short, Microsoft will get caught in their own trap because of the strange way they did things.

As for the other issues, I suggest looking at the rationale documents. I don't think that the new terms will do "nothing" on those threats. I think rather that they'll do as much as a software license can do, while trying not to get in anyone's way. Unfortunately, the GPLv3 simply lacks the power to neutralize all threats and many were worried that it was trying to do way too much.

If it were that simple, I could do something like "in return for the right to read this copyrighted post, you agree to disclaim any and all patents and copyrights you own into the public domain" or better, get Google or someone to put a EULA like that on their home page and we could be done with this Imaginary Property nonsense once and for all.

Alas, it's just not that simple, and the FSF has worked hard to mitigate as many of these threats as possible. The rest we'll just have to deal with in the legislature or the courts. That said, if you do have any last minute ideas for how to do better, feel free to suggest them. I think the final draft will be published in a week unless there are any new revisions.

Re:Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19611209)

If it were that simple, I could do something like "in return for the right to read this copyrighted post, you agree to disclaim any and all patents and copyrights you own into the public domain" or better, get Google or someone to put a EULA like that on their home page and we could be done with this Imaginary Property nonsense once and for all.

Email disclaimers (unenforceable as they may be) are quite often that ridiculous. Kudos for using the phrase "imaginary property", I've never come across it before but it looks like a useful weapon in my ongoing war against the "IP" meme.

Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607289)

I've two open source projects that I'm working on, and both are either going to be released GPLv2 or maybe even BSD. I might even contemplate, gasp, Public Domain. Once you make the mental leap that you are going to be giving your software away, then, what difference does it make how you do so? I really don't want to spend too much time worrying that someone might make money with my stuff when I know that I won't.

The GPL is sorta irrelevant in a way. Any more, open source can mean any number of licenses. If people want to see the source code for my thing, they can always come to my web site. The odds of someone making a closed source product out of my code are probably rarer than the odds of me getting rich writing shareware for Windows, so what difference does it really make?

I just don't see the need for this license at all.

Re:Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (1)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607951)

I really don't want to spend too much time worrying that someone might make money with my stuff when I know that I won't.

Great, use the BSD licence, it will be perfect as a non-copyleft free software licence, which is what you're aiming for.

The GPL is sorta irrelevant in a way

For you, maybe. But you're assuming that everyone also "doesn't worry" in the way you do, and you are discounting the fact that other - apparently a large number - people have other reasons to use a copyleft licence such as the GPL. This is not a new discussion: people that dislike copyleft have their way of seeing things, ans use a BSD/MIT type of licence. Those that want to use the GPL have their specific reasons for doing so.

I just don't see the need for this license at all.

Again, the rational for the licence is an established thing; you can read here [gnu.org] the reasoning of the FSF. Other people have other reasons, but they generally gravitate around the fact that its usage guarantees that any improvement is made available to those that created the software. One might dislike this, in which case there are a plethora of non-copyleft licences to chose from. As is, I think it's a safe bet to say that the GPL seems to not be irrelevant to a large number of developers, considering it's widespread use. The rest of the this is a GPL vs BSD debate that doesn't bring anything new, all the arguments being already known to every part.

Re:Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (4, Insightful)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608043)

Once you make the mental leap that you are going to be giving your software away, then, what difference does it make how you do so? I really don't want to spend too much time worrying that someone might make money with my stuff when I know that I won't.

The the appropriate license for your projects is BSD or public domain, but that doesn't necessarily mean that others have the same perspective. Is it so hard to imagine that others would want to ensure their code and modifications to it remain open? That's what the GPL is for: ensuring that is getting more complicated as the older defitions of using code and distributing code and modifying code are getting blurrier, so a new revision of the GPL is going to clarify some of that.

I haven't made my mind up on the v3 stuff yet, but I'm a GPL supported more than a BSD supporter. But I can still understand why someone would want to follow the "more free" BSD policies for simplicity's sake to avoid a lot of the legal wranglings and to encourage more ubiquitous acceptance of the code into more markets/uses.

-N

Re:Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608217)

I think what I tried to speak to, but failed at, was that, at one time, the GPL was a rather revolutionary license, and had gotten a lot of mindshare.

The original GPL was essentially a rallying cry more than a license, and the GPLv2 was more sedately worded but just as radical in thought. Nowadays, free software is much more accepted as a thought, and so, GPL is becoming an important but not so dominant, flavor of free.

Re:Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608511)

I really don't want to spend too much time worrying that someone might make money with my stuff when I know that I won't.


It's not about making money. There's plenty of examples of companies making money off GPL code that they didn't originate (or write). The difference between the choices you've noted are the requirements and ownership of the code. GPL requires in-turn contribution of changes made and maintains copyright to the author. BSD requires credit and retains copyright. The public domain is simply abandonment of copyright and any associated restrictions.

Whether your requirements line up to any one of these particular models is up to you. However, in general, the GPL is still a very fundamental part of a growing software ecosystem. Obviously it encourages "share and share alike" behavior and thus participation in this ecosystem by commercial interests. But even more important is that it allows those interests to participate while protecting them from giving advantages away to their competitors (who in turn must contribute their changes - all cards on the table, if you will).

Re:Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (1)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608827)

I just don't see the need for this license at all.
There exists a multitude of licensing options because all this finite detail about exactly how and why and when and where you can use free software does matter to a lot of people. There are a good number of die-hard BSDers that believe that "as long as I get credit, do as you like". For many, more restrictions are important to them. For them GPL, Apache, or one of the other 53 OSI approved licenses exists so you can pin down exactly what rights you wish to maintain. It's not necessarily about whether or not you profit off of it.

Besides, lots of people profit off of free code. Just because it's not important to you doesn't mean it's not important.

Why GPL is popular with developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19608855)

Most people writing Open Source don't want to *give* their software away, in the BSD sense (i.e. give your hard-earned work to Microsoft so they can wrap it up in closed proprietary crap and sell it back to you).

What most Open Source authors want to do is *share* their software with others, in a basically fair way -- that if those others take the software and improve it, they should contribute the improvements back.

BSD is about giving away code to anyone who wants to use it for any purpose, without asking anything back. GPL is about sharing code and protecting important freedoms for the *end users* of the software (such as the freedom to modify it if they want to). In order for GPL to do its job, it requires developers to share back with the community any improvements they make that they want to distribute. That's why a lot of programmers like it--the fairness of the sharing. But that is not the explicit goal of the GPL, but more like a beneficial side effect. The goal of the GPL is really to ensure freedoms for end users.

Re:Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609335)

Look at it from a business standpoint. If I add a feature I need to a BSD-licensed project, for example, and contribute the code back so someone else can maintain and extend it and keep it integrated with new versions (so I don't have to keep updating and applying my own patches as new versions get released). Now a competitor can come along, extend my feature a bit, use that in their own product and never let me have access to their extension. But if I did the same with a GPL-licensed project, then although my competitor can still extend my feature they can't distribute it as part of their product without giving me access to their extension as well. That competitor can get a leg up on me by using my work as the basis for theirs, but only by giving me a leg up as well. It also means that competitor can't pull an MS-Kerberos stunt and make something based on my work that's subtly incompatible with my stuff in a way that gives that competitor an advantage. Or at least they can't without showing me exactly how they did it so I can respond.

Re:Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19610781)

It also means that competitor can't pull an MS-Kerberos stunt and make something based on my work that's subtly incompatible with my stuff in a way that gives that competitor an advantage.
Microsoft didn't use the MIT Kerberos code, they wrote their own, so the licence doesn't actually matter at all. They don't use a BSD-derived TCP/IP stack either, although Windows NT 3.1 did use a TCP/IP stack licensed from third party, which was indeed based on the BSD stack. That stack was a stop-gap until they finished their own, which shipped with NT 3.5.

It's a bit sad that GPL defenders have to continually spread FUD about Microsoft supposedly using BSD- and MIT-licensed code, as if Microsoft aren't capable of writing their own, and are somehow being sustained by naive universities that release code under licences less restrictive than the GPL. It's hard to believe all of these GPL supporters really believe this rubbish, but if they're intentionally lying to discredit the BSD and MIT licences, that's even worse.

The one clear example of Microsoft using open source code, apart from a few trivial BSD command-line tools like ftp, nslookup, etc., is in the userland tools for Interix, or the Subsystem for Unix Applications (SUA) as it's now known. These tools are largely from OpenBSD, except for the development tools which are from GNU. However, the Interix/SUA tools are distributed as a separate package from Windows itself, so the GPL doesn't do anything at all to stop them using the code.

Re:Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (1)

cparker15 (779546) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609925)

I really don't want to spend too much time worrying that someone might make money with my stuff when I know that I won't.
Hold it right there. Free software copyleft licenses don't exist to prevent capitalism. They exist to prevent turning free software into proprietary software. It has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with secrecy and control.

From Selling Free Software [gnu.org] :

Except for one special situation, the GNU General Public License (20k characters) [gnu.org] (GNU GPL) has no requirements about how much you can charge for distributing a copy of free software. You can charge nothing, a penny, a dollar, or a billion dollars. It's up to you, and the marketplace, so don't complain to us if nobody wants to pay a billion dollars for a copy.

The one exception is in the case where binaries are distributed without the corresponding complete source code. Those who do this are required by the GNU GPL to provide source code on subsequent request. Without a limit on the fee for the source code, they would be able set a fee too large for anyone to pay--such as a billion dollars--and thus pretend to release source code while in truth concealing it. So in this case we have to limit the fee for source, to ensure the user's freedom. In ordinary situations, however, there is no such justification for limiting distribution fees, so we do not limit them.

Sometimes companies whose activities cross the line of what the GNU GPL permits plead for permission, saying that they "won't charge money for the GNU software" or such like. They don't get anywhere this way. Free software is about freedom, and enforcing the GPL is defending freedom. When we defend users' freedom, we are not distracted by side issues such as how much of a distribution fee is charged. Freedom is the issue, the whole issue, and the only issue.

Re:Is the GPLV3 REALLY That Important? (1)

soulhuntre (52742) | more than 7 years ago | (#19611857)

I just don't see the need for this license at all.

RMS is looking for any excuse not to have to take a shower.

summary is wrong (3, Informative)

DJProtoss (589443) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607293)

The text the article is referring to is unchanged since the earlier drafts, and it certainly doesn't get novell off the hook wrt the linked article - Microsoft may still well have to lean on them to stop them shipping gplv3 code - since the use of the coupons, whilst existing as an effect of the patent agreement, will cause, when useed, a new contract between the coupon issuer [microsoft and novell] and the redeemer [joe bloggs] to be created at the date of redemption. If the code joe bloggs recieves contains gpl3'd code, then under the current draft (and as indicated in tfa) any patent protection indemities offered by that contract will automatically be extended to everybody. Thats why there was the fuss after poeple noted there isn't an expiry date on the coupons - up till that point it was thought they would all be gone by the time gplv3 was out and suse would be fine. Conclusion: either the summariser is misinformed or a turfer. for further info, go have a browse through groklaw [groklaw.net] . They have had pretty good coverage of it.

selling out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19607339)

"The final, last-call GPLv3 draft bans only future deals for what it described as tactical reasons

Oh, I see. They created a loophole specifically for Novell. Well, isn't that dandy. Who do I have to pay-off to get exemptions included in GPLv3 for myself?

Doesn't exempt, though (4, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607415)

All the GPLv3 language does is make merely having entered into the deal not per se a violation of the license. It does not exempt the company from any of the other terms of the license, including the requirement that all recipients receive not merely the protections resulting from any agreement but the right to pass along those protections in turn. So Novell is still on the hook there: as soon as they're faced with GPLv3'd software in their distribution they'll have to decide whether or not they can extend the agreement with Microsoft to cover all Linux users, not just those who got their software directly from Novell. If they can't, then distribution subject to the agreement would still be a violation of the GPLv3 even with the grandfather clause in there.

Re:Doesn't exempt, though (2, Insightful)

abaddononion (1004472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607611)

I hope your interpretation here is the right one, because this is the way I think things SHOULD be. I cant ever sort out legal mumbo jumbo for myself, though...

free (0, Troll)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607501)

free licence ehh? and it forbids people from doing stuff? and tells them they MUST do other stuff?

Re:free (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#19607819)

Correction: Copyright law tells people that they are not allowed to do certain things. The GPL is a license that guarantees people certain additional freedoms, on condition that they agree that everyone else gets those freedoms too. It's not that hard to understand why it is called a "Free Software License."

Re:free (1, Troll)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608009)

im forbidden to use gpl code in a closed application, i MUST release all my source code if i use gpl code in my application.

Re:free (2, Informative)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608489)

From the BSD licence:

* * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
* * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in thedocumentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
So, you must retain and must reproduce. Since you MUST do something, it isn't free, following the same logic.

Re:free (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608623)

Well duh, that's obvious to anyone who can read. Your point was?

Re:free (0, Troll)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608757)

gpl tells me what a MUST and am FORBIDDEN to do, with my own code. BSD tells me i must keep the licence... there is a vast difference

Re:free (2, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19610757)

You're either ignorant or trolling.

The GPL tells you nothing about what you have to do with your code. The GPL tells you what you have to do with other people's code. In fact, BSD-style licenses are the same way.

The GPL and BSD license are both distribution licenses. If you own the copyright on your code, you can distribute it however you like. You can GPL it, then close the source later, relicense, dual licence ... actually whatever the fuck you want. The GPL exists so that other people can distribute your code with certain limitations. The BSD license does the same thing, just with different restrictions.

Re:free (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608751)

Yes, the GPL forbids you from taking rights from others. Is a license that allows you to take rights from others more free? For whom?

Re:free (2, Informative)

TheCoelacanth (1069408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608769)

You're forbidden to use copyrighted code in any application.

Re:free (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609055)

This isn't actually true.

What you must do is release all your source code, IFF you elect to invoke the GPL as the instrument by which you are allowed to disseminate your program to others. No such invocation, no such obligation.

Of course, if you elect to disseminate your program to others, you may wish to verify that it is not an unlicensed derivative work belonging to someone else. If it is, you may find yourself at the nasty end of a lawsuit, ... or (mostly theoretically) a criminal investigation.

C//

Re:free (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609245)

im forbidden to use gpl code in a closed application, i MUST release all my source code if i use gpl code in my application.

Yes. That's because by using the code in a closed source application you'd not give to those receiving the closed source application the rights you got for the GPLed code. In short, you don't get the right to not pass on the rights you did get for the code you received.

In effect there are two things you have to differentiate. The first is things you actually do, like reading the code, changing it, compiling it, running it, distributing it, etc. The GPL allows you to do all those things. The second is things you permit or forbid, that is, telling others what they may do. That's a freedom the GPL does very explicitly not give you.

The BSD license obviously gives you personally more freedom (because you are not only allowed to do something, but you are also allowed to deny those same things from others). But that's because the GPL is designed to increase overall freedom. That's comparable to a law which disallows slavery: That law obviously reduces your freedom (by taking away your freedom to have slaves), but it does so in order to increase overall freedom (by denying you from restricting the freedom of others).

copyright says you must (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19609381)

not the GPL.

Copyright says "to use gpl code in a closed application, you MUST release all your source code under terms acceptable to the GPL license".

COPYRIGHT tells you you must. The GPL just says what it considers an acceptable payment for license.

Try copying patented algorithms in code and selling it. The patent owner will shoot you down like the damn dirty ape you are.

Re:free (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608621)

free licence ehh? and it forbids people from doing stuff? and tells them they MUST do other stuff?


You've confused "freedom" with "anarchy".

Obviously A Typo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19608007)

> ...what it described as tactical reasons...

It should had said "...what it described as practical reasons..." instead.

E4p? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19608273)

Raymond in his Foolowed. Obviously more gay than they some inteeligent to them...then engineering project well-known working on various this exploitation, free-loving climate

hmm (0)

UPZ (947916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19608481)

To some it seems like a sellout to Novell.........but its a smart move considering that the alternative is to let Novell drift which is not going to help Linux development.

epW? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19609251)

220 running NT [goat.cx]

Slashdot needs an NPOV tag. (2, Insightful)

BeProf (597697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19609977)

" In a display of forgiveness and bridge building..."

What are you willing to bet that it would read quite like that if it were Microsoft displaying the forgiveness?

Linus's Hand (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 7 years ago | (#19610821)

Am I the only one that sees linus's hand in this? I would think that it all came down to him pressing for this act of forgiveness just to try and stop distro balcanization (youd have three smaller, stupid distros -suse, linspire and xandros- only able to use GPL2 and the rest on GPL3), which wouldve played well for microsoft.

I say the FSF has not lost its edge and focus as to what the real intentions of Redmond are.

I, for one, welcome our new patent blasting, music playing and freedom catering GPL-III overlawrds.

GPLv3ng (1)

stites (993570) | more than 7 years ago | (#19613743)

The grandfather clause that Richard Stallman added to the latest draft of GPL3 allows Novell to distribute GPL3 code but disallows any similar deal after the Microsoft-Novell deal from distributing GPL3 code.

The grandfather clause acts as a flip-flop. Any developer who wants to allow their GPL3 code to be distributed by Novell under the Microsoft-Novell agreement will use GPL3 with the grandfather clause included. Any developer who does not want their code distributed by Novell under the Microsoft-Novell agreement will have to remove the grandfather clause (paragraphs 6 and 7 of section 11) from their version of the GPL3.

The rationale for the grandfather clause is that the coupons being distributed by Microsoft under the Microsoft-Novell agreement could be used in a court case to argue that Microsoft has extended its patent coverage to everybody. But in order for that to be effective then Microsoft must sue somebody. Since Microsoft is not going to sue anybody the coupon defense will never be used. Thus the grandfather clause gives Novell a free pass to distribute GPL3 code under the Microsoft-Novell agreement. Also Microsoft FUD will point to the grandfather clause as validating the Microsoft-Novell agreement.

I suppose if the FSF wants to release gcc, etc. under the grandfather clause and wait for the court case which never comes to prove their elegent legal theory that is OK. But it puts them in the weak position of validating the Microsoft-Novell agreement. I suggest that they remove the grandfather clause from GPL3 while leaving in the coupon defense. The coupon defense would still be usable in the unlikely case that Novell distributes GPL3 code in violation of GPL3 and that Microsoft is stupid enough to sue some open source user over a software patent.

For any developer who does not want to validate the Microsoft-Novell agreement I recommend that they release their code under a variant of GPL3 which does not contain the grandfather clause. A good name for this variant would be GPLv3ng

---------------------
Steve Stites

[

Re:GPLv3ng (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19614709)

I think it's more an acknowledgment that the courts tend to take a dim view of trying to bind anyone to terms they couldn't have known about beforehand. So the grandfather clause says that deals entered into before the relevant changes to GPLv3 were penned aren't, merely by existing, a violation of the license. But notice that the language of GPLv3 applies that grandfather clause only to the existence of the agreement. Distribution of GPLv3'd software under such an agreement is not grandfathered, and is still subject to all the GPLv3's requirements including the requirement that any protections given to direct recipients must be able to be passed along to indirect recipients too. Which means Novell is still on the hook if they ever try to include GPLv3'd software in their distribution. But that will happen after GPLv3 is finalized, so Novell will know before distributing that they'll be subject to those terms and the courts have no problem whatsoever with that.

SuSe-Microsoft deal (1)

djrsml (1118991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19615713)

I am a linux user and I am concerned about the in-fighting amongst our community! We all know that some (SuSe Linspire,Xandros)may have made a mistake by signing agreements with microsoft, If the linux community wants to be number one, the bickering about one another has too stop and stop now! All three of the above have been contributers of the linux community for quite some time now (especially SuSe) It is way past time for us to get over our differences and move on! I personally do not care what kind of agreement these people signed,I do not believe that it was for profit only! Everybody knows that we need more compatibility with microsoft,even if we do hate them,so what are we going to do about it? Bickering back and forth did not work for unix and it will not work for linux either,give the guys some credit and stop the crying already! If they have made a mistake,they will suffer,give them some credit,in the mean time can we work on some compatibility issues? Thanks Dan
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