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GPLv3 Released

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the clarity-for-the-sake-of-it dept.

GNU is Not Unix 278

A GNU Dawn writes "The GPL v3 has just been released. Among other things, the released version grandfathers in the Novell deal so that Microsoft's SLES coupons will undermine their patent threats, replaces references to the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act with more specific language, and clarifies that using BitTorrent to convey a GPLed work is not a breach of the license (it might be one, technically, in GPLv2). The GPL FAQ has been updated to cover the new changes." Commentary is available over at Linux.com (which is owned, along with Slashdot, by Sourceforge).

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278 comments

Yeah, but (4, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692165)

Does it run on an iPhone?

Re:Yeah, but (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692267)

No....YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!

IT's: Does it run linux? I would like to know because I am a stupid, greasy, /. open source loving faggot who has nothing to do all day but right really biased blog entries about things that aren't open source, such as M$. I want to suck Richard Stallman's hairy smelly cock!

8=================D~~~~~

FUCK YOU /.

DEATH TO SLASHDOT!!

Re:Yeah, but (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692337)

I'd love to see the GPLv3 on my iPhone! In fact, I'm reading this on my iPhone right now! The AT&T network is so gr39jf9,2c0mnklzpsp][/l/9 56(%*^

[CARRIER LOST]

Damned Typosquatters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692645)

I try to reference my favorite online comic and I get a damn typosquatter by mistake!

The submitter link should've been A GNU Dawn [xkcd.com] (now with a link to the comic in question).

More importantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692739)

Does it run linux?

This will kill Linux (0, Troll)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693041)

No wonder Linus T. is dead set against GPL v3.

It won't take long before Microsoft makes it illegal to download and run copies of Linux if this goes ahead. At least in the US...

For one thing, the GPL v3 does not address the 235 Microsoft patent violation present in Linux.

Oh well, it had a good run. RIP.

Just in time!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692167)

I was looking for a suitable license for all the iPhone apps I'm going to write.

Has anyone elses life been completely revolutionized yet? If not, I feel sorry for you!

is this the license that bans DRM? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692233)

Because if it is then I can't use it ;-)

Sorry guys, but I operate in the real world.

Re:is this the license that bans DRM? (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692363)

Well, that's too bad for you. See, what you view as "the real world" will soon become "the corporation-dominated world". But we'll live in whatever's left of the free world.

Farewell.

Re:is this the license that bans DRM? (-1, Troll)

TheGreek (2403) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692495)

See, what you view as "the real world" will soon become "the corporation-dominated world". But we'll live in whatever's left of the free world.
Do you use spydermann.slashdot@gmail.com [mailto] to bemoan the "corporation-dominated world" to all of your friends?

The G in Gmail doesn't stand for GNU, by the way.

Re:is this the license that bans DRM? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19693409)

pffff.

A corporation pays me to code. All that the GPL V3 does is make GPLing my code that much less attractive.

Your 'free' world strikes me as delustional. I'll take the real world over a child's fantasy any day.

Nobody will use GPL V3 because everybody knows better.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19693619)

It doesn't ban DRM. It bans suing someone for cracking your DRM.

iRonic (2, Insightful)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692237)

That it should be released on the same day as a device that teased otherwise, but was virtually closed to 3rd party development.
Cheers!

Re:iRonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692805)

What's REALLY ironic...

Reading the GPLv3 on my iPhone. It's like being in Martha Stewart's prison cell, looking out the window, and seeing a working commune.

Yeah, okay, I suck with analogies...

Re:iRonic (2, Informative)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692965)

Well, ironic, but perhaps not just a coincidence...

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Thursday, June 28, 2007 -- On Friday, June 29, not everyone in the continental U.S. will be waiting in line to purchase a $500 (370) iPhone. In fact, hundreds of thousands of digital aficionados around the globe won't be standing in line at all, for June 29 marks the release of version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GPL). Version 2 of the GPL governs the world's largest body of free software -- software that is radically reshaping the industry and threatening the proprietary technology model represented by the iPhone. (...) The iPhone is leaving people questioning: Does it contain GPLed software? What impact will the GPLv3 have on the long-term prospects for devices like the iPhone that are built to keep their owners frustrated? Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF said, "Tomorrow, Steve Jobs and Apple release a product crippled with proprietary software and digital restrictions: crippled, because a device that isn't under the control of its owner works against the interests of its owner. We know that Apple has built its operating system, OS X, and its web browser Safari, using GPL-covered work -- it will be interesting to see to what extent the iPhone uses GPLed software." The GNU GPL version 3 will be released at 12:00pm (EDT) -- six hours before the release of the iPhone -- bringing to a close eighteen months of public outreach and comment, in revision of the world's most popular free software license.

Irony - I love it (3, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692243)

The cute saying of the minute at the bottom of the page is:

An effective way to deal with predators is to taste terrible.

I think that says it all.

Re:Irony - I love it (3, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692761)

But it's only effective for your relatives. Maybe you've been spit out, but you're still dead.

At this point the analogy to OSS breaks down, because in this case the predator is after the kill, not the meal.

Re:Irony - I love it (1)

farmkid (15226) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693365)

True, but that's the way evolution works: it tends to preserve the gene, not the individual. If your relatives survive as a result of lessons learned by your death: success.

Glad I sat in line (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692251)

I've been sitting at my computer eating nothing but hot pockets and red bull waiting for this. I got up only for bathroom breaks.
It's been worth it. Now I have to print it out so I can fall asleep with it.

To all those complainers (3, Interesting)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692295)

For all those out there that are going to complain about certain parts of it, let me be the first to say that if you don't like it, DON'T USE IT! Write your own damn license.

Re:To all those complainers (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692539)

"Write your own damn license."

Because the world needs yet another open source license. In the world of Idealists someone needs to be pragmatic. Find an existing license that gives you 99% of what you want. You'll find that you don't need the other 1%.

Re:To all those complainers (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693147)

There is no fit all license. Every program is different, designed to be used differently and by a different group of people, and has a different business structure. So yeah, most pieces of software could use their own one.

Let me be the first to say... (4, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692303)

Let me be the first to say: GPLv4 - it's going to be terrible, it's unnecessary and unwanted, probably will destroy linux and maybe the world too. GPLv4 will eat babies!

tivoisation (4, Interesting)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692309)

I don't understand the furor over Tivoisation, and think it's a really bad move on the FSF's part to ban it. In all the other articles I've seen tons of comments along the lines of "well if Tivo doesn't want to give back, then they can't use my code!" The thing is, Tivo does give back - they contribute any source code they add. And there's nothing preventing you from using that code on another system (with similar hardware, of course). I don't see the benefit in forcing them to open up their hardware just because they want to use GPLv3 software on it. For most devices like this, it's important to the proper functioning of the network for the servers to be able to trust the clients, and so there have to be limitations to the software you can run on that device. GPLv3 won't convince Tivo (or others) to open their hardware, it will just force all of them to stick with GPLv2 code. That hurts adoption of Free Software.

The irritating part is that the FSF has the business products exception, where Tivoisation is okay for hardware sold for business use. Stallman et. al. recognize that in some cases it's ultimately beneficial to the user to be unable to run modified software (e.g. a business that has to have accountability, or a console gamer who wants to know that no one is running a hacked game in multiplayer), but they think they can somehow figure out where that line is for everyone.

Re:tivoisation (5, Insightful)

zellyn (692627) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692439)

That's fine if it were just Tivos. However, what would happen if every piece of hardware you bought was Tivoised? Only properly signed binaries would run at all. I can think of several companies that would love that situation.

Re:tivoisation (1)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692595)

That's fine if it were just Tivos. However, what would happen if every piece of hardware you bought was Tivoised?

Then I wouldn't be able to run the FSF's software on any of it, by their design!

But, let's be realistic. It would be absolutely impossible to Tivoise all general-purpose computers. And it's not like you couldn't build your own.

Re:tivoisation (5, Informative)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693145)

But, let's be realistic. It would be absolutely impossible to Tivoise all general-purpose computers.

That is exactly what the likes of Microsoft and Sony want to do for anything consumer-available.

And it's not like you couldn't build your own.

They want to stop you from doing that too (or at least make it economically infeasible).

Re:tivoisation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19693233)

Allow me to make some introductions: Peter, meet BSD. BSD, meet Peter.

Oh yes, GPL3 anti-Tivoisation clause, meet irrelevance and backlash.

Re:tivoisation (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692571)

I dont like it either and I think in the long run its going to hurt oss adoption, but at the same time its almost trivial for manufacturers to 'tivoise' all their equipment. If this happens en masse it would hurt oss quite a bit. I'm not sure who wins in this scenario, but the neckbeards have decided to shoot back and declare hardware as theirs. This is something to consider before releasing anything under v3.

Re:tivoisation (4, Insightful)

UtucXul (658400) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692655)

I don't see the benefit in forcing them to open up their hardware just because they want to use GPLv3 software on it.
No one is asking them to open up their hardware. As far as I'm concerned they can do anything they want with their hardware. The problem is that they want to lock MY hardware and won't give me the key. I purchased a series 2 TiVo. I understand that software has licenses so I don't own the software when I buy it in a way. But the TiVo box is a physical item that I gave a store money for. The only owner of that box sitting under my TV is me (and I guess my wife).

Re:tivoisation (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692765)

Don't kid yourself - your wife is the only owner - she just pretends otherwise.

Re:tivoisation (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692671)

The spirit of the GPL is that of freedom for the user. Tivoisation, the restriction of actually modifying the code on the hardware, was an unforeseen issue when GPLv2 (which guarantees that right) was written and thusly had to be corrected in GPLv3.

If you don't understand the significance of that then I invite you to a thought-experiment of what it would be like in a world where you can see the source, but not modify it, even though that right is guaranteed by the license of the software. Oh, and in regard to your comment of using the code on similar hardware. What if said hardware was proprietary and only available through the systems provider? What then?

As an aside, where does it state that GPL licensed software must "give back?" As I read it, it merely states that you must pass on the code and the same rights to your clients. If the clients are public, "at large" then I can understand the concept that the source is released publicly and considered to be giving back. But, this concept of upstream patches that is constantly heralded on Slashdot I just don't understand. Who is espousing this misinformation? Heck, even the concept of forking would be moot if upstream patches were mandatory.

Re:tivoisation (4, Interesting)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692787)

The spirit of the GPL is that of freedom for the user. Tivoisation, the restriction of actually modifying the code on the hardware, was an unforeseen issue when GPLv2 (which guarantees that right) was written and thusly had to be corrected in GPLv3.

And yet the FSF went to great lengths to permit it in some cases (the business use exception), recognizing that Tivoisation isn't a restriction on fundamental freedom, and in fact in many cases is beneficial to the user. That's why they have the convoluted definition of "consumer device" so that they can distinguish between consumer and business products - because lots of businesses have an interest in devices that will only run signed code. And I gave an example of where the consumer wants the same thing - games, where the user wants to know that everyone is running the same version in multiplayer. In general, it's often good for networked devices (other than general-purpose computers) to only run signed code, because it makes it significantly easier to guarantee network stability. So even if we accept that there are cases where Tivoisation is bad, and that the FSF ought to try to prevent them, we're left with the fact that it can only do so with a broad brush, eliminating a lot of good uses along with a lot of bad ones. They're taking away as much freedom for the user (freedom to use GPLv3 on their trusted platform while maintaining that trust) as they're giving.

Re:tivoisation (3, Interesting)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693221)

In general, it's often good for networked devices (other than general-purpose computers) to only run signed code, because it makes it significantly easier to guarantee network stability. So even if we accept that there are cases where Tivoisation is bad, and that the FSF ought to try to prevent them, we're left with the fact that it can only do so with a broad brush, eliminating a lot of good uses along with a lot of bad ones. They're taking away as much freedom for the user (freedom to use GPLv3 on their trusted platform while maintaining that trust) as they're giving.

Surely having code signed by the owner achieves the same results in this case as having code signed by the vendor, assuming that the owner is not stupid enough to keep the private key for the signing process on the box which they are requiring to run signed code?

I challenge you to provide me with one example of a case where using the user's key to sign the code running on their box is inferior to the same box running the same software signed by a vendor key which the user does not have access to.

Re:tivoisation (3, Insightful)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693493)

Jesus Christ, I've mentioned it twice already: networked multiplayer games. Because I can't run a modified executable on my machine, I can't cheat, and neither can anyone else.

Re:tivoisation (5, Interesting)

Evets (629327) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692855)

It's pretty simple. If I buy a product, let's say it's a PDA and the PDA interface uses software I developed. I find a major security hole in my software, so I want to patch it.

Tivoisation prevents me from patching it. It prevents me from adding features. It prevents me from fixing bugs.

It's my software. I want to update it, and the only thing preventing that is licensing. That and a hardware based security system enforcing the licensing. When I wrote the software originally, I did not intend for products to be developed using my software that I could not update. In fact, I licensed my software in order to prevent that kind of a thing. Unfortunately, the PDA manufacturer found a loophole that stuck to the letter of my license, but not the spirit of it.

This is pretty much what Tivo did. The anti-Tivoisation language in the new GPL effectively closes that loophole.

Now, if Tivo wants to do the same thing in the future, they can either utilize software who's authors don't mind (and it's widely available for what Tivo wants to do), or they can contact the original author team for alternative licensing. In the case of large scale community projects where no such licensing option exists, they can either stick to the license or they can develop their own similar project in-house.

All the FSF is doing is ensuring that software licensees abide by the spirit of what the original authors intended. They recognized that business enterprises were taking advantage by using loopholes and they've attacked that problem - pretty effectively.

---
I can't think of a single instance where Tivo actually contributed code back to the community as you state.

Regardless, they are not without free options. All they need to do is shift to BSD licensed products - which they should have done in the first place given their long term strategy.

Re:tivoisation (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692901)

For most devices like this, it's important to the proper functioning of the network for the servers to be able to trust the clients, and so there have to be limitations to the software you can run on that device.

Then they should pick a software product based on a license that lets you do that. To oversimplify, but in a way that most people can grok, the BSD line maximizes the rights of the individual user(developer-sense) of software. The GPL has always been about maximizing the rights of the community, at the expense of what the user wants (to keep his changes secret, e.g.). GPL3 just clarifies some of the loopholes found in GPL2 that minimize community rights.

TiVo clearly takes rights away from the end-users of the hardware they've purchased, and this is contrary to the spirit of the GPL.

Re:tivoisation (2, Insightful)

TrueJim (107565) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692985)

It's like a restaurant chef refusing to tell you what's in your dinner. Sure, it's the chef's recipe...but it's your dinner. You're the one about to put the mystery food into your belly. You have a right to know what's going to go into your stomach. That doesn't mean you intend to steal the chef's recipe, but daggumit...it's your stomach! You have a right to know what's going in'it!

Likewise, my Tivo is my computer. It's running in my house. It's connected to my network. I have a right to know what it's doing. Would you be as forgiving of a builder who wouldn't let you keep a copy of the plans to your house? Would you tolerate a car dealer who's welded your hood shut? It's your house. It's your car. You have a right to know where the plumbing goes. You have a right to look at the engine.

I'm not saying I entirely agree with this philosophy...but I fully understand it's impetus. GPL aside, how do you balance the chef's right to keep his recipe a trade secret, against the diner's right to know what's a'goin' into his own belly? It's a thorny question. Anybody who claims the answer is "obvious" isn't giving due consideration to the counter-arguments. Both sides have a valid point.

In the case of Tivo, the chef is saying, "You won't eat without knowing my recipe? Well, I guess you'll have to go to a different restaurant!" The diner is saying, "But we had a deal...you built your recipe on mine." In this case, I have to side with the diner. We had a deal. Tivoisation is wrong.

To go with your analogy... (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693183)

It's like a restaurant chef refusing to tell you what's in your dinner. Sure, it's the chef's recipe...but it's your dinner. You're the one about to put the mystery food into your belly. You have a right to know what's going to go into your stomach. That doesn't mean you intend to steal the chef's recipe, but daggumit...it's your stomach! You have a right to know what's going in'it!

And if you don't like the fact that the good chef won't tell you what's in your dinner, then you have every right to leave and not purchase dinner.

In my opinion, that's where tivoization should be fought. with the pocketbook, not a license.

Re:tivoisation (4, Insightful)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693387)

Likewise, my Tivo is my computer. It's running in my house. It's connected to my network. I have a right to know what it's doing. Would you be as forgiving of a builder who wouldn't let you keep a copy of the plans to your house? Would you tolerate a car dealer who's welded your hood shut? It's your house. It's your car. You have a right to know where the plumbing goes. You have a right to look at the engine.

Actually, this is a poor analogy. In defense of Tivo, they are very good about complying with the letter of GPL v2 in that they distribute the sources to all of the GPL software that they use.

This explanation [slashdot.org] is much better, in my opinion.

Another way of looking at it is this (I don't have a Tivo, but hopefully my argument will make sense). Suppose you have a great idea for a way to improve the way the Tivo interface works for you, and you see that the modifications you need to make to the code which Tivo distribute to you are quite trivial. However, when you send the patch to Tivo they tell you they won't implement it because the business case doesn't support it -- you're the only one of their customers likely to use such a change. Then you're left hanging: as you mentioned, you own a more or less generic computing device and now you also have some code to run on said computing device, but you're at the whim of a third party (non-enforceable EULAs notwithstanding) as to whether or not you can put those two components together.

As many people have pointed out, the right to make modifications and improvements and to use said modifications and improvements is pretty fundamental to the whole point of Free Software, and that's exactly what Tivo have been trying to get around.

I agree that they need to be stopped, and I support the GPL v3 in its strategy to deal with this.

Re:tivoisation (2, Interesting)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693509)

The irritating part is that the FSF has the business products exception, where Tivoisation is okay for hardware sold for business use. Stallman et. al. recognize that in some cases it's ultimately beneficial to the user to be unable to run modified software (e.g. a business that has to have accountability, or a console gamer who wants to know that no one is running a hacked game in multiplayer), but they think they can somehow figure out where that line is for everyone.

The other irritating part is that this is discriminatory licensing, and I therefore don't see how it can properly be considered "Free".

MS SLES Coupons (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692313)

Is it really true that they're "distributing" Linux by selling the SLES coupons?

The way I read this, it's a pretty high-risk maneuver. They've essentially given Novell a free pass, hoping that they can undermine Microsoft with the SLES coupons thing. But if Microsoft can argue that they're not really distributing Linux by selling the coupons, then the whole thing, I think, unravels -- Novell gets a free pass for nothing and can continue on its merry way, remaining in the death-pact with Microsoft and using GPL3 code.

Given that Microsoft isn't screaming bloody murder about this, I think they must not see it as a big risk, and that to me isn't a good thing. It means they think they can avoid having their patents undermined, and if that's true, then excepting Novell will be for nothing.

Re:MS SLES Coupons (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692905)

"Given that Microsoft isn't screaming bloody murder about this, I think they must not see it as a big risk, and that to me isn't a good thing. It means they think they can avoid having their patents undermined, and if that's true, then excepting Novell will be for nothing."

The reason that Microsoft isn't screaming bloody murder about this is because if they gave any impression that this would be a major impact to their IP Licensing and bottom line, share holders will start to dump stock.

I'm not saying that GPL3 is a huge hole is MS core business, just that IF IT WAS, they'd sure as hell wouldn't scream about anything if they were in a tight spot, drawing attention to themselves during a bad time.

Re:MS SLES Coupons (4, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692931)

Not quite a free pass. Notice that the grandfather clause only includes the bit about distributing GPLv3'd software while a party to such an agreement. It doesn't extend to failing to pass along any patent license (which includes things like covenants not to sue) or rights to pass along such a patent license in turn. So Novell can distribute GPLv3'd software because of the grandfather clause, but they can't distribute any of it subject to the agreement with MS without violating either the agreement or the software's license (license requires that they pass that coverage to all indirect recipients, agreement prohibits doing so).

"Getting in is easy. Getting out, that really isn't hard either. Getting out alive, that's the tricky part."

Why is this under "Linux" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692345)

Linux is under the GPL v2, not v3.

Apache Licence (2, Interesting)

smartr (1035324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692405)

So is the GPLv3 compatible with Apache License v2 style licenses, or has that idea been abandoned?

Re:Apache Licence (5, Informative)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692851)

Yes,it's compatible. I don't see it explicitly in the final documentation, but it was mentioned in a previous comment (GPLv3 Final Discussion Draft Rationale [fsf.org]:

We are pleased to report that the Final Draft makes the Apache License, version 2.0, fully compatible with GPLv3. We are grateful to the Apache Software Foundation for working with us to achieve this long-sought goal. The concerns we stated in the Draft 3 Rationale were based on varying literal readings of section 9 of the Apache license that diered from the interpretation of section 9 held by the ASF itself. During the course of productive discussions with the ASF following the release of Draft 3, we ascertained that, to the ASF, the words \by reason of" in the section 9 upstream indemnication clause meant nothing broader or vaguer than \directly as a result of." Read in this light, section 9 seems to us a reasonable and fair approach to protecting upstream developers, even though we do not wish to adopt such a provision in our own license. The Final Draft makes the Apache indemnication clause compatible with GPLv3 by adding a new category of additional conditions in section 7 that may be applied, with appropriate copyright authorization, to material added to a covered work. Subsection 7f allows terms that require indemni- cation of upstream licensors and authors of the material by a downstream distributor who conveys with contractual assumptions of liability to the recipient, for any liability that such assumptions directly impose on those upstream parties.


Also, from the Why Upgrade to GPL Version 3 [fsf.org] document:

Further advantages of GPLv3 include better internationalization, gentler termination, support for BitTorrent, and compatibility with the Apache license. (For full information, see gplv3.fsf.org.) All in all, plenty of reason to upgrade.

OpenSolaris (3, Interesting)

starseeker (141897) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692415)

Now the interesting part - will this license prove to be one Sun feels they can use for OpenSolaris?

If so, and the copyright holders for the parts of the Linux kernel of use to Sun are willing to license their code under GPLv3 as well, we may begin to see some major impacts on the open source OS landscape.

Fingers crossed.

Re:OpenSolaris (2, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692699)

Linux relicensing won't happen. It pretty much can't happen. Any contributor to any file that does not have "or later version" (and there are many) in the license would have to sign off on the change. Some of them are dead, so you'd probably have to track down their descendants / executors.

Of course, OpenSolaris may use GPL3 for exactly that reason.

Re:OpenSolaris (1)

pinky0x51 (951042) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692875)

>Linux relicensing won't happen. It pretty much can't happen. Any contributor to any file that does not have "or later version" (and there are many) in the license would have to sign off on the change. Some of them are dead, so you'd probably have to track down their descendants / executors.

That's not quite correct. Sure it's would be hard to relicense Linux. Especially if you want to do it at once. But it can happen like Mozilla managed to relicense their code.

Probably the easiest way would be to ask any known (GPLv2 only) developer for permission, accept from now on only "GPLv2 or later" and wait some years. In 3-5 years almost 100% of Linux would be "GPLv2 or later" so that you could relicense relatively easy.

Re:OpenSolaris (1)

starseeker (141897) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692891)

Not as a whole, true. But Solaris doesn't NEED the whole kernel - they just need some key parts they don't have. Drivers are an obvious one, and the usual list of ZFS and dtrace - I wonder what dtrace would be able to do as far as improving drivers imported from the Linux kernel. There are probably other parts, but I'm not up on the details enough to know what they would be - anybody have a list?

Of course, incorporating any of Linux into Solaris would probably mean instrumenting it and/or other non-trivial work, but I'm guessing it would still be easier than working from scratch.

Re:OpenSolaris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19693465)

Most people are far more interested in seeing parts of Solaris (ZFS and dtrace) make it into Linux.

Do what now? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692429)

over at Linux.com (which is owned, along with Slashdot, by Sourceforge).
Does Slashdot (or Linux.com or Sourceforge for that matter) no longer welcome their OSTG overlords?

Re:Do what now? (2, Informative)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692701)

Because you missed it the first time .....

http://web.sourceforge.com/news_archive/2007/1799. php [sourceforge.com]

VA Software Corporation (Nasdaq: LNUX), the online media and e-commerce leader in community-driven open source innovation, today announced it has changed its name to SourceForge, Inc. The change reflects the company's strategic focus on its network of Web properties following the disposition of its enterprise software business. The company's Nasdaq ticker symbol will remain the same.

Pretty good (1)

katterjohn (726348) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692445)

But I generally place my works under the MIT license, or possibly some other (really!) free one.

But, then again, I contribute to Nmap regularly (and am now an SoC student for it this summer), and I have no problem that my contributions are placed under the GPL, because it's not a bad license...

And least not that I can see yet anyway :)

note nice! (2, Funny)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692513)

From http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html [gnu.org]

What if the work is not much longer than the license itself?

If a single program is that short, you may as well use a simple all-permissive license for it, rather than the GNU GPL.


Hey, that's not nice! Some pretty remarkable software has been written on T-Shirts that are much shorted than the GPL.

Re:note nice! (1, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692899)

Then release them under a simple all-permissive license! Think about it. Don't put it under the GPLv3 if you're not planning on suing the shit out of people who "exploit" the code on the tee-shirt.

I would say the same about many larger pieces of software as well. GPLv2 and v3 are legal clubs you use to whack people over the head. They may not have rusty nails in them like a Microsoft EULA, but they are still clubs. If you have no intention of suing people over possible misuse of your code, then use an unrestricted license.

Re:note nice! (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693637)

If you have no intention of suing people over possible misuse of your code, then use an unrestricted license.

Reallly? i mean if I release some code under the GPL, I would probably not sue someone over it. But does that mean that I want people to ignore the license i gave it? no I wouldn't. I guess it's similar to saying someone is on the 'honor' system.

Re:note nice! (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692941)

Those small yet pretty remarkable programs could easily be rewritten under a new license. At that length, it's in the thinking that all the work lies.

bah, lawyerese, td;lr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692529)

The nice thing about GPLv2 was that it was just about readable by the average human, written by people with fairly clear ideals wanting to get across a message. Now it's the culmination of special interests, reading like something designed by committee, dealing with such contemporary minutiae as to confuse anyone coming to Free software development after a few months from now, while completely turning off any of the "Just click Next until the damn software installs" crowd. GPLv3 will have nothing like the staying power of GPLv2.

This is what happens when people become so involved in a process to the exclusion of the average Joe over a number of years that every aspect seems "clear and obvious" to them; witness the horribly non-standard conventions of the Gnome UI causing every new user to doubt whether he's actually made a setting or not, the bureaucratic arguments in your local town planning office determining how many inches excess determine whether a building should be demolished for contravening some law, the toilet-roll length of the rejected European Constitution vs the easy-to-read US Constitution, etc. - I like to think of this phenomenon in terms of a group of people sitting in a room with wall-to-wall mirrors.

Idea for GPL v4 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692559)

How about for GPLv4, GNU adopt a mascot that isn't a turd in tricorn hat?

Make it an ideology (2, Interesting)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692605)

"The educational aspect of GPLv3 has, in my opinion, been the greatest success," he says.

I agree. The open source movement has always wanted a focal point, a figure like Mao or Roosevelt, who can champion its ideal and point out its obvious implications. It's slightly anarchistic. It's anti-ownership. It's Darwinistic (let the best code win). All that is now clear, and many people agree.

The real question to me, as an observer of "current history," is whether people will take this to logical conclusions outside the world of the net. Will the Wal-Marts burn, and Paris Hilton be forced to do her own laundry? Will the morons of the world be forced to dwell in antartica? Or will this be a pithy statement like those of forgotten rock stars, "changing the world" inside a few minds separated by vast spaces of time, distance, economic instability and doubt?

AW SHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692629)

Fucking shit! Shitty shitty shit! Shit is as shit does. Shit happens. All over your FACE! satan

Holiness Unto the Prophet (2, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692745)

There is no God but FOSS and Stallman is its Prophet. Peace be upon him. The writ of holy scripture GPL shall burn into the souls of the infidel. If they do not submit, as the Prophet, holiness is his name, to the will of God, then we will force governments to ban the infidels. We will use the holy war of antitrust on the infidel. God wills it, we are the followers of God and its Prophet, paradise awaits him.

There is not God but FOSS.

Stallman is its Prophet.

The Holy Writ of God is GPL.

Re:Holiness Unto the Prophet (3, Funny)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692915)

Heathen!

There is no system but GNU, and Linux is one of its kernels. [stallman.org]

Sainthood in the Church of Emacs requires living a life of purity--but in the Church of Emacs, this does not require celibacy (a sigh of relief is heard). Being holy in our church means installing a wholly free operating system--GNU/Linux is a good choice--and not putting any non-free software on your computer. Join the Church of Emacs, and you too can be a saint!

Re:Holiness Unto the Prophet (1, Troll)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693107)

Please, allow me to correct you, you apostate sectarian:

GNU/Sainthood in the GNU/Church of Emacs requires living a GNU/life of GNU/purity--but in the GNU/Church of Emacs, this does not require GNU/celibacy (a sigh of relief is heard). Being GNU/holy in our GNU/church means installing a wholly GNU/free GNU/operating GNU/system--GNU/Linux is a good choice--and not putting any non-free software on your computer. Join the GNU/Church of Emacs, and you too can be a GNU/saint!

The GNU/Holy Writ proclaims that you are GNU/Free to accept the Prophet's, Holiness Issues From His Orifices, version of GNU/Freedom. That is, you become GNU/Free from GNU/Choice.

Jihad on apostates and infidels.

Re:Holiness Unto the Prophet (1)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693197)

Pfff. That GNU prefix is for the non-initiated. The ones that are in the Inner College know, from the grade of Adeptus Exemptus onward, that they don't need to use it, it's implied in everything per secula seculorum.

Re:Holiness Unto the Prophet (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693337)

RMS proves to me that If there there were no religion. We would still be killing each other, follow cults that hate the other cults, fanantics will still go about risking their lives for some worthless cause. Just because right now "real" religions have a dominance in this place, FOSS and other groups have been peaceful, because if you want to go killing someone there are better groups to join. But I wouldn't be supprised that in the distant future there will be the Open Source Wars. GPLites vs. BSDims.

Stop and say to yourself people. It is only a license. There are more important things in life.

Re:Holiness Unto the Prophet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19693507)

You silly rabbit... the GPL isn't a license...

The GNU GPL is used by developers with various views, but it was written
to serve the ethical goals of the free software movement. Says Stallman,
"The GNU GPL makes sense in terms of its purpose: freedom and social
solidarity. Trying to understand it in terms of the goals and values of
open source is like trying understand a CD drive's retractable drawer as
a cupholder. You can use it for that, but that is not what it was
designed for."

Re:Holiness Unto the Prophet (1)

psyburn (790106) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693527)

The internet is serious business.
Check the link and read the line above the hard rule.
Get the joke already... XP

Re:Holiness Unto the Prophet (2, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693559)

Stop and say to yourself people. It is only a license. There are more important things in life.

By definition, there is only one thing for which there are no more important things in life. This may not be that thing (whatever it is), but it's still important - for many of us it has a significant impact on several facets of our professional lives.

(also, I'm pretty sure Stallman hasn't actually killed anyone)

Time for Sun to Shine (5, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692793)

OK, now it's time for Sun to grab the bull by the horns. They've been waiting for GPL3 for a year and a half - and just recommitted [bfccomputing.com] to it a couple weeks ago, pending final language - if Java and OpenSolaris get released with GPL3 things are going to get *very* interesting.

Everybody please join me in exhorting Jonathan to take the bungee jump.

Botched Link (1)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692865)

The link on 'A Gnu Dawn' points to xkdc.com [xkdc.com]; I'm going to take a not-so-wild guess here and say it was supposed to be the geeky comic xkcd [xkcd.com].

Yup! My bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19693621)

I posted the same anonymously below the first post if you look. You're absolutely correct.
Stupid typosquatters.

(I am the original submitter.)

I updated to version 3 today (3, Interesting)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 6 years ago | (#19692871)

This was an easy decision for me - I agree with the new license terms.

I did not originally use the "or later version" verbage, and I decided not to this time, not that it matters: I write what could best be called "small market" OS projects :-)

A bit off topic, but it continues to frustrate me that my customers don't take more advantage of the GPL. I have been an independent consultant for a decade, and I almost never get customers to support open source development. I went so far as to offer a 30% discount for work on GPLed projects - no bites, but lots of offers to work on proprietary systems. My take is that there is too much emphasis on protecting intellectual property and not enough on reducing costs and improving quality by building on top of existing GPLed projects. From my experience, and a bit of opinion thrown in: most value in intellectual property is in unique data sources and human knowledge. I would bet that most companies would do better on financial and quality metrics by having a few proprietary systems for specific data processing, application of unique algorithms, etc. - and use GPL (or Apache, BSD, etc.) for as much infrastructure software as possible.

Linus is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19692943)

I am with Linus on this one. His arguments just make sense. For those who disagree should ask themselves where open source would be without Linus. In my opinion without Linus there is no open source to talk about.

Re:Linus is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19693085)

What's that? I can't hear you with Linus's shriveled cock in your mouth.

So... how long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19693601)

Were people waiting in line at the FSF offices? Who was the lucky person first in the door to get their copy? :-)

Microsoft has nothing to fear (1)

paulpach (798828) | more than 6 years ago | (#19693639)

They did not change the language from the last draft.

If Microsoft wants to engage other companies into Microsoft-Novel kind of deals in the future, all they have to do is give the patents to a proxy company that is not "in the business of distributing software", and the proxy company can do the deals for them. I don't think it would be hard for them to find the proxy patent troll for a reasonable fee.

The license leaves the door open not only for Microsoft proxies, it also leaves the door open to any patent troll to do the same, so long they are not "in the business of distributing software"
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