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CBC News Interprets GPL - Poorly

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the that's-a-new-one dept.

GNU is Not Unix 252

frankShook writes "The Canadian news service CBC has up an article entitled 'Linux distributors scorn Microsoft partnership'. Primarily, it looks to describe the ongoing licensing saga between Microsoft and Linux distributors. It also includes a highly unique interpretation of the GPL: 'Open-source software such as Linux, on the other hand, encourages individuals to add to or modify software without fear of legal repercussions, so long as they abide by the conditions of the general public license, which stipulates that the program must remain open and sharable.'"

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Well, it may be inaccurate... (5, Interesting)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632057)

...but at least it's coverage. They say no publicity is bad publicity.

Re:Well, it may be inaccurate... (1)

bobo mahoney (1098593) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632097)

At least they seemed to know what was happening in the Windows/Linux licencing debate even if they oversimplified the GPL.

Re:Well, it may be inaccurate... (4, Insightful)

Enselic (933809) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632683)

Indeed, and besides, they are not explaining it to lawyers, so it does not really need to be juridically accurate as long as their explanation captures the basic spirit of the GPL, which it did.

Re:Well, it may be inaccurate... (5, Funny)

mqduck (232646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632263)

They say no publicity is bad publicity.

I think that only goes for show business. "Saturday June 24, Linux Users Eat More Babies" just ain't good for Linux no matter how you interpret the meaning of the title.

Re:Well, it may be inaccurate... (5, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632449)

They say no publicity is bad publicity.

I think that only goes for show business. "Saturday June 24, Linux Users Eat More Babies" just ain't good for Linux no matter how you interpret the meaning of the title.

Yeah, but if you do a follow-up on June 25 explaining that they're terrorist babies, it's okay again.

Oblig. Dr. Who quote (2, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632603)

Leela: "They say the Evil One eats babies!"

Re:Well, it may be inaccurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632301)

They say no publicity is bad publicity.

Wait a minute.. I thought there was no such thing as bad publicity? Now I'm confused!

Inaccurate? Maybe if you misread it badly... (5, Insightful)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632505)

Just how is it inaccurate? The General Public License exists to protect the four freedoms of the software it covers [gnu.org] . It can't shield a person from all legal liability, of course, but I don't see any major inaccuracy. Are people reading that to say that the GPL shields one from all liability? That would be a horrible misreading of the article, not an inaccuracy. The GPL most certainly does shield people from legal liability for copyright infringement when modifying the software. You know, that whole clause in the GPL that says "You are not required to agree to anything to merely use software which is licensed under the GPL. You only have obligations if you modify or distribute" and the fact that the GPL works because modification and distribution would be copyright infringement without the permission granted by the GPL?

That's right. The GPL shields you against copyright infringement claims by the GPL'd software's authors so long as you follow the rules of the GPL. It's the very source of the GPL's power; without it the GPL could not be enforced. Anyone who doesn't understand that that is how the GPL works doesn't know a damn thing about the GPL or copyright law. Which is probably why we're seeing this article here on Slashdot, huh?

Re:Inaccurate? Maybe if you misread it badly... (2, Funny)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632687)

If only there was a way to mod Zonks "article" -1 troll or - 1 flamebait...

Second Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632059)

I ROCK, you BITCHES!

I'm not too sure I follow... (5, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632065)

"encourages individuals to add to or modify software without fear of legal repercussions, so long as they abide by the conditions of the general public license, which stipulates that the program must remain open and sharable" sounds like a pretty reasonable shortened form of the intent of the GPL for lay people. I'm not sure one should expect a news article in the mainstream press to contain the text of the license or an entire treatise on how it came about and how it is applied.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (5, Interesting)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632115)

I thought the same thing, so I was confused. But then I realized that if you read it, it can be interpreted to mean *any* software. That is, someone reading that part could believe that "Linux software" encourages users to freely distribute/modify proprietary software.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632205)

You mean like ndiswrapper?

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (4, Informative)

seaturnip (1068078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632207)

Actually no, the original article contains the word "the" before the word "software". This is a transcription error on the part of the submitter (unless they went and corrected the article without changing the update time).

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

nbehary (140745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632275)

good point.....realized after my post just below your's that the summary above was wrong.....people really do post w/o reading the article. (like I didn't know that....)

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

nbehary (140745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632245)

No, or at least I don't see that at all. I agree with the GP. The article doesn't expound enough on the GPL, but I think the simple explanation of it is accurate and doesn't confer the conotation you imply........I'm really not sure how this is bad, other than maybe being simplistic........

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632437)

That is, someone reading that part could believe that "Linux software" encourages users to freely distribute/modify proprietary software.

Yes, I agree. I see it from this angle as well. I should also point out that I am retarded.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (5, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632117)

You're missing the point of this headline, which is to generate page views, not to be accurate.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (4, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632171)

Ah, the old debate: is Zonk stupid or clever? Does he write lame headlines because he doesn't know any better or because it attracts attention? Is he Zippy the Pinhead or Bill O'Reilly?

Personally, I happen to think that Bill O'Reilly is Zippy the Pinhead, so it's a moot point.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (2, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632277)

Ah, the old debate: is Zonk stupid or clever? Does he write lame headlines because he doesn't know any better or because it attracts attention? Is he Zippy the Pinhead or Bill O'Reilly?

Personally, I happen to think that Bill O'Reilly is Zippy the Pinhead, so it's a moot point.
So you're saying "Zonk" is Bill O'Reilly's online pseudonym?

That explains so much.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632407)

No, I'm, saying Bill O'Reilly secretly dresses up as a clown.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632337)

Answer: Never attribute to marice, that which can be exprained by stupidity.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632369)

So Zonk's real name is Maurice?

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (5, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632475)

So Zonk's real name is Maurice?

Some people call him Maurice.

Some people call him the gangster of Love....

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632657)

Even if some people *do* call Zonk the gangster of love, I did *not* want to know about it.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (4, Insightful)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632375)

Sufficiently advanced malice is indistinguishable from stupidity.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

Ravear (923203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632367)

They're flushing out the lowlives who actually read articles. Can't criticize if you don't read, or at least that's the prevailing theory.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632395)

Journalists criticize without reading. Without reading sources, without reading history...

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632121)

One of the best neutral summarizations I've heard, actually.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632129)

Yes, and while it may be 'inaccurate', it is at least more accurate then the RIAA/MPAA saying that DRM "enables customer security with digital media products" allowing them to "not worry about whether their device will play the media license or not" by "preventing unauthorized players from entering the market and spoiling the reputation of legitimate digital works".

But really, its coverage that is pretty accurate, not perfect, but it summarizes the GPL well enough in one sentance, without going into all the legalize that causes the linux and the *bsd fanboys to start killing each other over.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632151)

No wonder you Linux-loving dweebs are so found of the GPL: apparently designed to obfuscate by overdone verbosity, it encourages misinterpretation. Christ almighty. Intelligence is GPL-incompatible; talent, as always, migrates to the BSD license.

breaking news (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632161)

frankShook and Zonk Interpret CBC News Piece - Poorly

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (3, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632165)

Yeah really. Or maybe we should we have RMS do a half-hour rambling infomercial on the legal details of the GPL? That would help people understand the GPL better.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632501)

As long as he doesn't sing.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632231)

Yeah, I had to re-read that sentence a number of times to see what was wrong with it. Finally I noticed: nowhere does the article say that open-source is about the source code being available. That's gotta be it, right?

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632435)

Yes it probably is, which presumeably means that frankShoook and Zonk think its a really good idea to explain the GPL by first explaining source code to an audience who have never heard of it before.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632679)

Just tell them source code is "the magic words" that make the computer work. I'm pretty sure most people have that concept down by now thanks to the idiots on television news so you probably don't even need to explain it.

Re:I'm not too sure I follow... (3, Insightful)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632241)

Anyone who would actually understand and appreciate the words that the GPL uses have probably already read it. They did a good job at dumbing it down.

Without fear of legal repurcussion? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632255)

Seems an odd bit to focus on, rather than the continued openness of the source code. Is that even true? I don't think anything in the license would give developers any reason not to fear legal repercussions if they might to begin with.

I've seen worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632069)

So they left off the "when you distribute it outside of your organization" part. For a random article on a news service, that's a pretty good interpretation of legalese as obscure as a software license.

Not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632075)

The interpretation doesn't seem that "unique" to me. Isn't that essentially what Open Source means? You can edit it and add to it just so long as you distribute the source code as well?

uh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632085)

A comparison between this and what it really is would make this post make a lot of sense to a lot of people who are sketchy on the details of the GPL themselves.

O Canada! (-1, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632099)

I understand that the slogan "O Canada" is very common up in Canada. But back to the topic, I wonder what thing Canadians as a people do well. Anyone?

Re:O Canada! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632107)

We're pretty good at ignoring trolls.

Watch as I demonstrate...

wrong name, but pretty accurate as these things go (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632103)

The called it the "general public license" instead of the "GNU Public License". And mixed open source, GNU, Linux, and Free Software all together. But as these types of articles go, it is better than average.

right name (4, Informative)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632169)

See: the GPL homepage [gnu.org] .

Re:wrong name, but pretty accurate as these things (4, Informative)

ispeters (621097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632175)

Actually, the only nit I could pick in calling it the "general public license" is the capitalization. If you go read the GNU page on the GPL [gnu.org] , you'll find they call it the GNU General Public License.

Ian

Re:wrong name, but pretty accurate as these things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632269)

"general public license" is to "GNU General Public License"

as is

"linux" is to ???

I'd say the average punter would be better served without the GNU to confuse them. Remember the CBC audience is not the slashdot crowd.

Re:wrong name, but pretty accurate as these things (1)

ispeters (621097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632561)

I'd say the average punter would be better served without the GNU to confuse them. Remember the CBC audience is not the slashdot crowd.

That's exactly why I called it a nit pick--my main point was that GPL stands for "General Public License" not "GNU Public License" and so TFA actually got it right. Although, to answer your question, I think the ??? might be something like "Free and Open Source Software", which is, again, something the "average punter" might be better served by leaving out.

Ian

What's wrong with that? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632111)

What's wrong with it? It glosses over a couple of things, but as a one-paragraph overview of the differences I'd say it's as close to perfect as you could get.

What it glosses over is that OSS is still protected by IP laws, but in a discussion like this it is the purpose of the license, not the machinery of it, that is going to get the attention. And it doesn't focus on distribution, but again, this is just an overview and distribution isn't a discussion that would mean much to their readers.

What interpretation? (2, Informative)

bshellenberg (779684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632113)

The article is hardly about interpreting the GPL as the title of this story claims. There was a one liner about an aspect of the GPL; no more.

Sounds reasonable to me (5, Insightful)

rmdir -r * (716956) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632127)

Linux is under the GPL, and that is an excellent high level interpretation of it. Yes, there are details- lots of open source software IS NOT under the GPL, for instance, and has different requirements- but it's reasonable, and the topic is Linux, not BSD.


What is so wrong, again? Why do we have editors?

Re:Sounds reasonable to me (4, Informative)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632235)

What is so wrong, again?

Nothing really - it's not a completely accurate description of the GPL, but it was never intended to be. In fact, like you, i think it's a darn good layman explanation.

Why do we have editors?

Hey, someone has to dupe this story next Wednesday!

/. Editors Edit Submissions -- Poorly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632339)

What is so wrong, again? Why do we have editors?

See subject....

Re:Sounds reasonable to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632621)

Why do we have editors?


Hmm, let's see...An wrong summary, a lot of slashdotters reading slashdot (and the article website), then commenting how the summary is wrong, and a lot of ads on slashdot...

Re:Sounds reasonable to me (1)

sidb (530400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632677)

Why do we have editors?

To troll the /. readership, of course. Although in this case, the summary's thesis just seems more ill-conceived than actually trollish given that there's no deliberately misleading information other than possibly the omission of a "the" in the quote. My stupidity/malice gauge inclines toward the former this time.

Of course, here I am still reading... I guess I'm easily entertained.

Why Isn't This Another iPhone Hype Piece? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632131)

Reason: You can type more than that for your comment.

Right idea (2, Insightful)

4of11 (714557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632143)

Sounds like a good summary of the goals of the GPL to me. Why should the average person care exactly how it implements its goals?

Looks like a pretty good summary to me (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632181)

The guy wasn't drafting a court opinion.
I'd say he got it pretty much right.

NB:A lot of Canadians can read and write english, some even know other languages.

Re:Looks like a pretty good summary to me (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632215)

That is definitely one up on those citizens of USA. Congratulations!

Re:Looks like a pretty good summary to me (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632313)

Hmm, a lot of Americans can read and write other languages - some even know English?

Re:Looks like a pretty good summary to me (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632563)

Surely not. We know American, a specialized dialect of English. We gave up on real English a long time ago.

Re:Looks like a pretty good summary to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632565)

No.

speaking of poor interpretations... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632185)

Now, I'm not one to get a stiffy over a file system, but damn ZFS is making me hard. Consider: you have the ability to take a snapshot of a directory and rollback at any time. You can take a snapshot of a volume and rollback or peek into the past.

# zfs create -V 10g tank/ufs
# newfs /dev/zvol/tank/ufs
# mount /dev/zvol/tank/ufs /ufs

# zfs snapshot tank/ufs@20070406
# mount -r /dev/zvol/tank/ufs@20070406 /ufs20070406

# zfs clone tank/ufs@20070406 tank/ufsok
# fsck_ffs -p /dev/zvol/tank/ufsok
# mount /dev/zvol/tank/ufsok /ufsok

ZFS is the future, and linux will become irrelevant if they can't quit pulling their pud.

Re:speaking of poor interpretations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632329)

Some boring technical Mumbo Jumbo (Sun 11:52 PM)
I hope you are not going to follow any advice posted between now and at least 10 AM.

Well (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632193)

The most important question is, who gives a fuck?

Huh? (3, Insightful)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632211)

Why is it "highly unique"? It sounds spot-on to me, as it captures the gist of it while being written in a lay language.

Re:Huh? (2, Funny)

fonik (776566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632431)

Well, it doesn't differentiate between different kinds of open-source. It makes it sound like all open-source licenses must conform to the GPL. Also, any license can be used without fear of legal repercussions related to the license as long as the abide by the license. It also doesn't mention that the software must be left open and shareable by placing it under the GPL. Has anyone mentioned that they called it the General Public License instead of the GNU Public License?

It may be obvious to anyone who reads slashdot, but people who have never heard of the GPL could get some very incorrect assumptions from that one sentence.

Re:Huh? (3, Interesting)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632523)

Holy shit. Your post embodies everything detestable about overpedantic geekery. The point is that nobody cares about all that shit you just mentioned; and in my opinion, the CBC did a great job focusing on the relevant, interesting aspects of all that shit without fifty thousand words of expository material (the entire contents of the GPL, say).

You're also wrong about the "GNU Public License" bit. It is in fact the General Public License (plus or minus a GNU).

Re:Huh? (1)

fonik (776566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632689)

Hey, the GP just asked why anyone would think that the article is a bad interpretation. This is what I could come up with. The article mentions more about how software patents work than like 99% of other articles on the whole FOSS vs. Microsoft thing, so I don't really see anything wrong.

Re:Huh? (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632525)

Well, you yourself got the name wrong, so perhaps your vitriol is better directed elsewhere.

Sounds fine (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632219)

I think what they wrote is just fine. It was meant to be a simple explanation of the license, not a verbatim copy. Besides, if they could 100% accurately describe the whole license in one or two sentences, then the GPL would only be one or two sentences long to begin with.

Re:Sounds fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632327)

You mean like BSD-style licenses? Fuck the GPL. It's complicated, ugly, and doesn't even accomplish its intent (c.f. TiVo et al.) You can't force people to buy into your political philosophy; by attempting just that, the GPL appeals to immature and condescending people.

BSD: Because intelligence is GPL-incompatible.

Re:Sounds fine (0, Troll)

fonik (776566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632345)

Yes, I hear that GPL lovers are so immature and condescending that they will announce that anyone who uses a rival software patent is an idiot.

Re:Sounds fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632415)

No, the BSD and the GPL aren't rival licenses. The GPL is for control freaks and petty dictators; for those who have achieved a higher understanding, BSD-style licenses present themselves as the only licenses worth considering. They appeal to two entirely distinct types of individual, you see, and so they do not compete.

Re:Sounds fine (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632503)

And we should care what you think because?
If I'm reading everything correctly BSD code can be
relicensed to GPL any ways... So where does that put you?

Re:Sounds fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632493)

n1

Looky looky what's on the hooky (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632295)

Yes, I think what we have here is wank bait. But none are bitting.

CBC News = Repeat Offender (2, Funny)

fonik (776566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632309)

Aww, not again. This is the same genius news source that posted the "SPEED OF LIGHT FINALLY EXCEEDED LOL" article a few months back. Old Slashdot Article. [slashdot.org]

They still don't seem very worried about their articles being accurate.

Re:CBC News = Repeat Offender (1)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632371)

Do you believe everything you read on Slashdot? You don't seem too worried about using your brain.

Re:CBC News = Repeat Offender (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632481)

Uh, did you ever bother reading the CBC article for that "speed of light is broken" story? It's not really inaccurate or misleading in any way. Another interesting thing was that the story was from the year 2000. The fact that it was posted to slashdot only a few months back says a lot more about slashdot, not the CBC.

Re:CBC News = Repeat Offender (2, Interesting)

fonik (776566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632593)

"Scientists have finally exceeded the speed of light, causing a light pulse to travel hundreds of times faster than normal. It raced so fast the pulse exited a specially-prepared chamber before it even finished entering it. The experiment is the first-ever evidence of faster-than-light motion."

Scientists have "exceeded" the speed of light in this manner many times. Hell, you could do it yourself by quickly changing the direction of a laser pointer as you point it at the night sky. The pointer "dot" could conceivably arc across some distant object at much faster than the speed of light. Saying that the experiment was the first ever example of this kind of motion is inaccurate, and that was just the first three sentences.

Now, I just finished reading this article and it actually does a passable job of explaining the GPL to everyday newsreaders. It's a bit ambiguous and vague, but anyone who becomes interested with GPL would be quickly set straight after looking it up. The focus was on the relationship between Microsoft and FOSS organizations anyway, not the GPL in particular. The old speed of light article was horrible because 1) most readers wouldn't look up group velocity 2) the speed of light was the focus of the article and they left out important information about their topic.

After re-reading the old article, I'm pretty sure every paragraph has some kind of major physical misconception.

Congradulations CBC! (3, Interesting)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632383)

I don't think I have seen the mainstream media do a better job of covering a topic in so few words. The fact that they even covered this topic, and it was on the main CBC page is AMAZING!

Slashdot Article Criticises CBC - Poorly (5, Funny)

cygonik (679205) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632385)

The Internet news service Slashdot has up an article entitled 'CBC News Interprets GPL - Poorly'. Primarily, it looks to describe the ongoing lack of capacity for Slashdot writers and editors to think outside of the IT world. It also includes a highly unique interpretation of summarization, and with great authority and sarcasm, classifies relatively succinct and accurate generalization as 'Unique'. ..which it seems to be, for the Slashdot crowd. :-p'

Re:Slashdot Article Criticises CBC - Poorly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632467)

What do you expect from a bunch of self-unaware aspies?

fuck open source snobs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632389)

yeah, god fucking forbid that every word and every revision of the gpl is not covered. open source snobbery has reared it's ugly head once again.
 
in all honesty, very few people care about your little open source pissing matches anyway. it's fine that you know it and what's going on but don't alienate people who don't have the spare resources that you devote time to. once again it's apparent the open source movement really doesn't understand the end user.

I think the problematic part is (3, Insightful)

rhendershot (46429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632403)

without fear of legal repercussions


as if modifying software were somehow inherently illegal, immoral, wrong, dangerous, something our legal system must take an especial interest in... and so on.

Re:I think the problematic part is (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632507)

...it is if it's proprietary, which is all most people have experience with.

Uh oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632441)

How dare you question the Mother Corp! The CBC will now unleash Peter Mansbridge on all you!

GPL isn't FREE or OPEN - GPL is Caged in a Jail (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632471)

GPL'd software comes with so many contractual terms that they bind the users into a knot of inability to make use of the software beyond any reason. No matter how you turn you're required to do this or that. That's not freedom, that's communism or legalise gone wild.

GPL'd software thus isn't free.

True free software is public domain which has zero restrictions.

When there are restrictions there isn't freedom; as more restrictions are added the greater the bondage. GPLv3 tightens the knot and stops the circulation, eliminating any sense in using GPL'd software.

As for "open", well, while you can look at the source code it's got so many legal restrictions upon the license it isn't open by any definitions except those that are Orwellian.

True open software is something like OpenBSD or FreeBSD or NetBSD or Apache.

Linux is caged by the GPL and is just as useless as Microsoft or any other commercial software.

Live free or die hard.

Re:GPL is FREE and OPEN - (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632619)

GPL'd software comes with so many contractual terms that they bind the users

So which is it, are you stupid or a liar? I suppose both is also possible.

The GPL isn't a contract -- nobody signs it -- it is a license.

It doesn't bind the user in any way at all. Anyone is free to use GPL'd software however they wish, within the limits of the laws of the society they live in.

It PERMITS copying and distribution where copyright law would not, if you agree to the license terms offered for such permission. Those terms are designed to ensure that whoever you provide copies to gets the same freedoms you were given when you received it.

Slashdot's summary more misleading (5, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632517)

Come on, you are complaining about how they left out all the exceptions and nuances of it? Do you seriously expect them to just regurgitate the entire thing? The basic spirit of it is captured pretty well in that one sentence which is far better than the summary I just read here on Slashdot. I cant even begin to count the number of times I have read a summary on here which was horribly misleading or flat out false. I think this is a pretty classis case of the pot implying that the kettle could be a little less black.

This is a very good summary (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632553)

Open-source software such as Linux, on the other hand, encourages individuals to add to or modify the software without fear of legal repercussions, so long as they abide by the conditions of the general public licence, which stipulates that the program must remain open and sharable.

As in, "you can add or modify the software and we, the original authors of the software, are not going to sue your ass, if you keep it GPL."

It's a good summary, which doubtlessly Microsoft is going to quote out of context again and again.

Which Linux Patents is Microsoft Infringing? (1)

okmijnuhb (575581) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632559)

"Microsoft has been actively pursuing deals with Linux distributors similar to the one it signed last November with Novell Inc., in which both companies agree not to sue each other for patent claims and to partner to make their operating systems more compatible."

Why would Microsoft seek protection from patent suits?

Is there open source code in Microsoft applications?
Or are they infringing on proprietary vendor code?

I'm missing something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632567)

That quote wasn't even in the article....

*highly* unique! (1)

SomebodyOutThere (904136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632583)

Wow! You can't get much more unique than that!

Nit picking? (4, Insightful)

james_moriarty (114305) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632607)

Meh, that's close enough. It conveys the spirit of GPL, even if it confuses a couple of things. The GPL is generally a difficult thing to explain to others.

Well, I for one am shocked! SHOCKED! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632681)

How dare they misrepresent linux and the FOSS movement? Everyone knows that linux and the GPL are a cancer! [slashdot.org]

You FaEiol It!? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632699)

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