Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

GPL Violations On Windows Go Unnoticed?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-in-my-back-yard dept.

GNU is Not Unix 445

Scott_F writes "I recently reviewed several commercial, closed-source slideshow authoring packages for Windows and came across an alarming trend. Several of the packages I installed included GPL and LGPL software without any mention of the GPL, much less source code. For example, DVD Photo Slideshow (www.dvd-photo-slideshow.com) included mkisofs, cdrdao, dvdauthor, spumux, id3lib, lame, mpeg2enc, and mplex (all of which are GPL or LGPL). The company tried to hide this by wrapping them all in DLLs. There are other violations in other packages as well. Based on my testing of other software, it seems that use of GPL software in commercial Windows applications is on the rise. My question is how much are GPL violations in the Windows world being pursued? Does the FSF or EFF follow up on these if the platform is not GPL? How aware is the community of this trend?" This new method of detecting GPL violations could help here.

cancel ×

445 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FIRST ASCII DICK 8===D FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410491)

(_*_)

prety much (1)

zeridon (846747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410495)

At least to my knowing this kind of violations is prety common. One simple example ... utorrent. At least i think it uses almost directly libtorrent (cannot guarantee on that).
On the other side i cannot offer any proof that can be considered serious on my thinking

libtorrent is BSD licensed (2, Informative)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410705)

libtorrent uses the BSD license. It says so right on their page: http://www.rasterbar.com/products/libtorrent/featu res.html#license [rasterbar.com]

Re:libtorrent is BSD licensed (3)

zeridon (846747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411153)

my fault, acknoledged

Richard Stallman... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410497)

When asked for comment, Richard Stallman stroked his beard lovingly and said, "Soon, my friends. Soon the world shall be ours."

Re:Richard Stallman... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410723)

yes, if by "stroked his beard" you meant "nibbled his toenails"

Bill's response (2, Funny)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410505)

Bill Gates issued a response, but it was already issued by SCO under the LGPL, so it's wrapped in a DLL. Good luck interpreting it.

Re:Bill's response (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410763)

It shouldn't need interpretation if it's in a DLL, that should've been compiled.

Though... it would explain the speed of the average Windows executable...

Re:Bill's response (2, Informative)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410895)

Well, if it's a .NET DLL, then technically it's CLR, which is a mix of interpreted/compiled.

Well.. (5, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410515)

Did you try to contact the company? If not, that would be the first step.

Re:Well.. (5, Informative)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410681)

I sent an email yesterday telling them that they were in violation of the GPL and that the story reached slashdot, didn't say much else and don't know much, but decided to inform them before they get a bunch of "OMG j00 r copyright n00b" emails.

Re:Well.. (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410693)

Which company are you talking about? The violator or copyright holder? I'm no lawyer, but I would think notifying the copyright holder about the violation is the most appropriate thing to do.

Re:Well.. (4, Informative)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410787)

Or at least asking them for the source. It's a common misconception that a GPLd app must be accompanied by source code. The company only has to make it available upon request.

Re:Well.. (2, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410889)

More than that really as they aren't giving you the code outright, they need to offer (in writing) to give it to you if you ask... from the sounds of it neither is happening here.

Re:Well.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410911)

Yes, GPL software does not need to be accompanied by the source, but it does need to be accompanied by an offer to give you the source. The original article suggests that there was no such offer.

Re:Well.. (3, Informative)

Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410919)

That is all very true...selling GPL'd code is perfectly legal. If they refuse to provide sourcecode to their sw upon request, that is illegal, but that hasn't happened, yet.

The violation comes in stripping the GPL off the code....definitely illegal.

Re:Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410951)

They do have to provide the license text, though.

Re:Well.. (4, Informative)

petard (117521) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411195)

Or at least asking them for the source. It's a common misconception that a GPLd app must be accompanied by source code. The company only has to make it available upon request.

It needs to be accompanied by a written offer for the source if it isn't accompanied by source.

Re:Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410799)

Companies don't care or somehow think they're not subject to the rules. For example, I contacted a DVR manufacturer of a Linux-based DVR asking about GPL compliance and do they make the source available upon request? Their response was they are exempt from that requirement because it's an embedded system; an appliance not intended to be modified. I sent replies explaining the GPL but they continued to insist that the GPL does not apply to them - so I forwarded the exchange to the GPL violations list. They weren't interested in pursuing the matter. Oh well, it's not MY copyrights they're violating, so. . . *shrug*

Misleading summary (4, Interesting)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410531)

So, its a software violation on windows, but really its just one program thats not terribly popular that happens to have broken the GPL. I really don't think this is a "windows specific" issue at all. They can, and likely do, violate the GPL on linux or mac all the time. Infact, said company sells software for the iPod.

Re:Misleading summary (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410773)

I don't think the summary is misleading at all. The implication is that free software writers are less likely to notice when their code is used in violation of the license when the violation occurs in a Windows application instead of in an application written for an OS such an author is more likely to use him/herself.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

jmyers (208878) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410903)

Is it a violation in the first place? You don't have to provide the source code by default. If you ask them for the source and they don't provide it then you have a violation. I don't think the GPL has a nag clause where you have to advertise that you are using the GPL like the BSD license does.

So from the summary I don't see where there is a violation, just a misunderstanding of the author.

Re:Misleading summary (3, Insightful)

Mark J Tilford (186) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411147)

Part of the GPL says that they must "give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program." (section 1 at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.h tml [gnu.org] ). If the program did "included GPL and LGPL software without any mention of the GPL", it's a violation as far as any GPL software is concerned. I looked over the LGPL briefly, but didn't see any problems. ( http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html [gnu.org] if anybody else wants to look.)

Re:Misleading summary (3, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411157)

Several others have pointed these things out:
  1. They must include a copy of the license.
  2. They must provide a written offer with the package to provide the source on request.
  3. They cannot strip attributions in what they provide
I don't know that they've done the last one, but it makes sense along with the other violations

Re:Misleading summary (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411231)

I don't think the summary is misleading at all. The implication is that free software writers are less likely to notice when their code is used in violation of the license when the violation occurs in a Windows application instead of in an application written for an OS such an author is more likely to use him/herself.


I would expect that software authors (free or not) are more likely than most people to use multiple operating systems, and free software authors probably as likely, or nearly so, to use Windows as the general public (far less likely to use it exclusively, but that's not really relevant.)

Sure, some free software authors may also be free software zealots that refuse to use non-free systems at all, but then there are plenty of those that aren't software authors of any kind, too.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410859)

but really its just one program thats not terribly popular that happens to have broken the GPL. I really don't think this is a "windows specific" issue at all...

I think this is Windows-specific. Companies who write software that works on Windows usually write non-GPL, non-Open-source, proprietary stuff... and it is reasonable to expect the GPL violations on Closed Source code would be harder to detect.

Software written for Linux generally tends to be GPL / Apache / MPL licensed... very few firms write proprietary code for Linux. Yes, I know there are exceptions... but I'm generalising. Even these proprietary offerings generally allow customers to inspect code, protocols etc. , unlike in the Windows world.

I think this is definitely a Windows specific issue, and this incident proves that GPL code allows firms to go to market quicker; and create vibrant, utilitarian applications. It demonstrates that the GPL is quite popular amongst the developer community, whatever folks from Redmond would have us believe.

Re:Misleading summary (2, Insightful)

gray peter (539195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411123)

First of all, you forgot the Mac, which as someone else pointed out probably has just as many 3rd party apps using GPL code.

Second of all, there are PLENTY of firms writing proprietary code for linux, most of it VERY expensive. Besides the obvious (Oracle, BEA, IBM) there are a huge number of high end scientific analysis, manufacturing and financial companies doing so.

Re:Misleading summary (0, Flamebait)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410953)

>"windows specific" issue at all.

Hello. Welcome to slashdot. Anything can be turned into a criticism of MS. Its childish and stupid but the kiddies looking for their daily outrage seem to like it.

welcome! (-1, Troll)

DezKnife (1142935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410543)

i for one welcome our new GPL-violationg overlords.

Re:welcome! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410659)

Oh, let it rest, fer chrissakes!!!

Is it a new rule on /. that EVERY article has to include a comment featuring the tired, stale "overlords" joke?

If you can't be bothered to put a twist on it, or show even an ounce of creativity, then you are just aping other Slashdotters... you're like the annoying kid brother who keeps jumping up and down hoping to get noticed so he can "be part of the club." The answer is: NO. Go away.

Re:welcome! (2, Funny)

McNihil (612243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410937)

Yeah agree these posters seem to be like a beowulf cluster to me. Ow my karma... my karma is hurting... ow ow ow.

Re:welcome! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410947)

Sorry, I tried to resist, I really did, but:

In Soviet Russia, Christ's sake rests you.

Again, I apologize.

Re:welcome! (1, Funny)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411133)

I, for one, welcome our anonymous over-reacting cliche-enriching overlords!

GPL or LGPL (1)

trondotcom (1148541) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410579)

If it is GPL all the application should have same licence and be open source.

Probably common (5, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410597)

I hate being a pessimist, but packaging OSS in binaries without mentioning it is probably being incredibly common.

Re:Probably common (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410699)

I could not concur more. This kind of behavior is just not the done thing in polite society.

Mister Darcy and I simply do not approve.

Re:Probably common (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410783)

I love being an optimist, and it seems to me that the distribution of GPLed works without the source code or the GPL license itself is becoming incredibly common.

What's wrong with a world where many people pay money for something they can get (better, even) for free? By buying 'SuperMKisoFS++' for 49$, I don't lose the rights to tweak and distribute mkisofs, I'm just giving money to someone who did hardly anything beyond repackage a free and open product as a closed binary.

Life is good.

(Are you bewildered? better people running well-built binaries than crappy ones where no one ever reviewed the source code)

Re:Probably common (0)

Ximogen (1033274) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410789)

Re your SIG:
DRM can and does provide a useful set of tools for the protection of sensitive data that needs to be validated to ensure it's integrity and helps to reduce the likelihood of it leaving the corporate domain. DRM as in 'something that restricts my rights to copy media' is merely one of many applications for DRM. I could use AutoCAD to design a dirty bomb but does that make AutoCAD 'evil'?

Re:Probably common (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410853)

It's extrodinarily common. Especially in the custom software market. Small programs rip off GPL software all the time. If pushed, a lot of them could find free* alternatives, or find a cheap commercial product to license, but why bother. (*note, I don't use free in the RMS manner, but in the literal, truly free public domain manner)

Re:Probably common (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411051)

I hate being a pessimist, but packaging OSS in binaries without mentioning it is probably being incredibly common.

Quite common actually. I estimate at least 50% of I/T purchases today contain some amount of open source and do not disclose it. Worse yet, many deny it slamming open source. I often run "strings" on it, or compare outputs. ldd for which binaries it is linked to. It is often surprising what you can find.

Question to your Question: (3, Insightful)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410621)

Here's the question to your question about whether violations are followed up on or being investigated:

Who's going to follow up on it and why?
Who's going to pay for the lawyers to do so?
Is there *any* money to be made? Even enough to pay for those lawyers?
Are you just penalizing the "spirit" of the GPL by making it a legal battle rather than letting the code proliferate?

Re:Question to your Question: (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410715)

Yeah, there is money to be made. LITIGATE the BASTARDS out of their PANTS.

Re:Question to your Question: (1)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410781)

The problem is that copyright penalties are usually monetary "damages". Its kind of hard to prove in court that you've suffered "damages", when the original work is not earning you money due to it being given away for free.

Re:Question to your Question: (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411125)

The spirit of the GPL is that if they've got any improvements at all (such as packaging them in a dll - nice) they *have* to offer to make them available on request and follow through on that offer. That is the whole point of the GPL - guarantee that distributers of improved versions don't devalue the versions that are more generally available by letting them fall behind.

Re:Question to your Question: (1)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411259)

That "penalizing the spirit" part is very important... most GPL violations (around 90% IIRC) are not made on purpose, but stem from sheer lack of knowledge. I would think that this would be even more the case with freeware Windows developers. Generally a simple conversation with the authors fixes things (the termination clause in situations of non-compliance was made more lenient in GPLv3 due to this).

In any event it's the copyright owners job to fix this... one should of course drop them a mail. One important point is that the FSF is *not* responsible from following up GPL violations in code they don't own, although I'm sure they could advise if it comes to that.

This reminds me of an unfortunate phenomenon that I've witness: people constantly complaining in some closed-sourced (or even "open source", but with a license that doesn't appeal to some) program mailing lists with "Gimme the code!!! Release the code!!!", especially since many of them don't actually plan to do anything with it, or even use the program.

Be sure to report it. (5, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410623)

At a minimum, document everything and send a report to the GPL-violations homepage [gpl-violations.org] (in particular, refer to contact info [gpl-violations.org] ). That website tracks GPL violations and is in contact with the FSF. They will probably pass the information along to those whose copyright is being infringed, so that they can take direct action.

The normal course of action is that the authors of the GPL code will send friendly "please comply with the license" messages. Usually the infringing party will comply with the GPL before threat of lawsuits are mentioned.

It's definitely unfortunate that consistent policing of proprietary vendors is necessary (they, of all people, should know better!)... but ultimately I think most projects can be made to comply with the GPL without too much trouble, once they are uncovered.

So, in short, document your findings and notify the appropriate people!

Re:Be sure to report it. (5, Informative)

Vulva R. Thompson, P (1060828) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410805)

This snippet from the FAQ is probably worth posting for others that run into this issue (before posting on Digg or Slashdot). Note the last paragraph, emphasis mine:

"How can I help gpl-violations.org ?

Firstly by not reacting to a technical GPL violation in an extreme fashion. Secondly by checking the violation is indeed a violation.

Join the mailing lists, discuss issues there first. Be polite but firm when dealing with companies and remember that the goal is to ensure a company stops violating the GPL and does not violate it again, rather than to leave a smoking crater at the location of their HQ... at least not on the first offence.

Keep records of conversations with companies. Co-ordinate with others. A company faced with eight different stories will find it hard to deal with. A company faced with a single accurate information source can respond better.

Beware the "public shaming" bomb. It's easy to let off, but very hard to defuse if you made a mistake or the issue turned out to be minor and is rapidly resolved. In addition companies may become very defensive in such cases and decide to "tough it out". We want to build bridges and giving a company no way to avoid losing face hinders that, especially in certain cultures."

Misleading Title (-1, Troll)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410629)

Nice try at trying to accuse MS of violating the GPL while being able to come back later and say you didn't actually accuse them of it.
This is about applications that happen to run on Windows that may be violating the GPL. There are plenty of other potential GPL violators out there too (especially in the embedded space), and there can be violations in closed-source software on Linux too. It's a good way to get more page hits and foam up the usual 2 minutes of anti-MS hate on Slashdot though.

If I wrote an article talking about how a bunch of movie "sharers" used Linux and tried to accuse Linux of copyright infringement there would be about 10,000 screaming Slashdotters talking about how wrong I was. I somehow doubt the same level of intellectual integrity will go towards MS.

Re:Misleading Title (1)

Curien (267780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410679)

It's not their fault you can't tell the difference between the words "on" and "in".

Re:Misleading Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410719)

Nice try at trying to accuse MS of violating the GPL
Not his fault you didn't read the headline. It says "on Windows," not "in Windows."

Re:Misleading Title (1)

quenda (644621) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410743)

> Nice try at trying to accuse MS of violating the GPL

The title says "on" Windows, not "in", which is clear enough. Learn your prepositions.

Re:Misleading Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410753)

It clearly says ON windows, not IN windows. The fact that you find that confusing leads me to think you are a moron.

Re:Misleading Title (2, Insightful)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410777)

Hey, I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this but the title actually says "on" Windows, rather than "in" it. Just in case no one else replies to tell you. :)

Re:Misleading Title (-1, Flamebait)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410851)

Read the first sentence of my post again. I know that they technically don't actually accuse MS of violating the GPL. However, the title is written in a way that would lead the casual reader to that conclusion anyway. Yes I am more than capable of reading the "actual" meaning vs the "subtle implied" meaning.
      If you don't like my analysis, then you lose the right to complain about Bush & Co. before the Iraq war. You'll never find a quote where anyone in the Bush administration actually said Saddam caused 9/11 (really you won't, even Moveon.org doesn't have one). However, you will see lots of quotes about Saddam & terrorism (which aren't entirely wrong, he was involved with terrorism, just not Al-Quaida). The exact same principle applies in both cases.

Re:Misleading Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20411215)

Read the first sentence of my post again. I know that they technically don't actually accuse MS of violating the GPL. However, the title is written in a way that would lead the casual reader to that conclusion anyway.

You seem to be the only one mislead and you're even too stupid to admit it.

Re:Misleading Title (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410985)

Nice try at trying to accuse MS of violating the GPL while being able to come back later and say you didn't actually accuse them of it.
This is about applications that happen to run on Windows that may be violating the GPL.
Nice try about.... oh, yeah, what the other 50 people dumped ON the moron Windows Fanboi..... Though he obviously knows what IN means, 'cause he has a bug in his ass.

FSF pursues all violations (5, Informative)

Brett Smith (1081153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410635)

The FSF investigates and pursues GPL violations on its software on all platforms. I've handled violations on Windows, MacOS X, GNU/Linux, and embedded devices. We provide complete instructions for reporting violations [fsf.org] on our web site; if you're finding any kind of violation on FSF-copyrighted software, please don't hesitate to contact us.

-- Brett Smith, FSF Licensing Compliance Engineer

On its software (3, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410747)

They won't pursue shit unless they own the copyright being violated, which is as it should be.

Your code, your responsibility to look after it, not some third party organization's responsibility. (yes, I know submitter isn't complaining about HIS code being used)

Re:On its software (2, Insightful)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411043)

OP wrote:
The FSF investigates and pursues GPL violations on its software on all platforms.
Its software - software owned by the FSF, such as the GNU project. The article is incorrectly tagged 'gnu' but this is not a GNU issue. Just because someone used the GPL for their software, doesn't make it part of the GNU project or owned by the FSF and the FSF have no obligation to do anything about this. (dsclaimer: I havent checked to see whether any of the software listed actually is part of the GNU project but it doesn't look like it at first glance)

Re:FSF pursues all violations (-1, Troll)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411207)

Compliance Engineer ? LOL

fsf is a fair weather friend (5, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410639)

The FSF will only work to enforce the GPL if the GPL code in question is signed over to the FSF. While I can understand that legal logic, I have a hard time with the concept of creating something, keeping a copyright in force, and then signing the copyright away for no benefit to myself. The only benefit would be that the FSF would then fight when someone uses it in an "unauthorized" manner. If I'm not going to hold my own copyright, why not just specifically disavow copyright and let it enrich everybody via the public domain?

This is the root of my problem with GNU in general: why show everybody how you achieved and developed a certain technological capability, without letting people actually use that method? If you only want certain people to be able to use that method, then only show those certain people how it's done. I think it's just a bit petty to show the code but not authorize its use. The "unauthorized" user can't steal it because you will always have it. The "unauthorized" user can extend it and keep those extensions hidden, but I fail to see how that really hurts me: I can extend my copy too. If I give an ice cream cone to my brother, I can't dictate to him how he eats it.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410749)

The purpose is so that people can modify programs to suite themselves. However, if you want to repackage and redistribute the code, then you need to include the source code and the license, I don't think that's too much to ask.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410893)

Actually, you can extend GPL software and keep those extensions hidden. You can make your own modified version and use it for whatever you want. The only requirement is that if you give that modified version to others then they must have the same rights you received.

If I'm not going to hold my own copyright, why not just specifically disavow copyright and let it enrich everybody via the public domain?
That is often a good strategy (tho' some people don't believe that works can be released into the public domain; since IANAL I have no idea why, but it's why using a permissive licence is often preferred). You might decide that it benefits society more to require that any work derived from yours (e.g. a modified version of your computer program) must also be free. If you think that, you can use the GPL.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411003)

If the next guy "steals" the code for his own purposes, it may or may not hurt you. Assuming you really did give it away, then presumably you don't care about compensation, so no harm done. Unless he does something really stupid and blames you for it.

But it harms the third person in line. That guy is getting your good stuff, the second guy's questionable stuff, and has no way to distinguish the two. Or to give credit where credit (or blame) is due. The second guy in line took that opportunity away when he wrapped your stuff in his and made it all closed.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (0, Flamebait)

alienw (585907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411015)

My god you are a fucktard. First, you obviously don't have to sign copyright over to the FSF. Many people choose to do it, and it guarantees that the code will never be made proprietary again. Most people who write free software want it to remain free, and want to prevent anyone from turning it into a proprietary product and making money selling their work. If you choose to enforce your own copyrights, that's your own decision -- it just takes money and lawyers to do that, and you may have problems keeping the software free.

Second, I don't get your retarded argument that anyone should be able to use your code. You can use any GPLed code for any purpose -- you just have to ABIDE BY THE LICENSE. The license says you can't make GPLed code proprietary -- it has to stay free. What exactly is your problem with that? Is it the fact that you are one of those retards that writes shareware crap and hopes someone sends him $20 for a shitty program that took 5 minutes to write? Yeah, I suppose the GPL presents certain obstacles to profiting off that crapware -- that's exactly the point.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (0, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411253)

Wow, you really embody the zeitgeist of the Free Software movement. I guess you posted your catechismic response before bothering to read what you were responding to. Or you simply didn't care. Either way, I give you top marks for scaring more of us towards Open rather than Free licenses.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (2, Insightful)

Aram Fingal (576822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411059)

The point of the GPL is to keep the project, which you wrote code for, going in a publicly available form. The main complaint of TFA is that these people using GPL code aren't making their snapshot of code (with any modifications they made) available to the public. Without the GPL, public domain code for a project can be taken, modified and close-sourced. If some people start using the closed source version, then you have development forks which can't be synced and your version of the project can suffer as a result. Then, when the company maintaining the closed source version looses interest and lets the project languish, people aren't making use of your work anymore.

So, if all you want to do is make a chunk of code available for use, however people want to use it, then the BSD license or just public domain, are good choices. In other words, I agree with your comment, in this case. On the other hand, if you want to design a project to fill a specific need and want that project to survive in the public space, then the GPL is the way to go.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (1)

00_NOP (559413) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411131)

Parent is more than a little unfair. FSF has no locus in the case unless it is assigned the copyright. And something in the public domain has no copyright and so cannot be protected or kept free/open.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (4, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411173)

I have a hard time with the concept of creating something, keeping a copyright in force, and then signing the copyright away for no benefit to myself
No benefit to yourself? If you're putting code under the GPL, it's usually because you believe in the principles of the GPL (keeping code open source, encouraging freedom, etc.). In such a case, the benefit of signing copyright over to the FSF is that they will take care of enforcement on your behalf.

If I'm not going to hold my own copyright, why not just specifically disavow copyright and let it enrich everybody via the public domain?
If you want your code to be public domain, then you would release it to the public domain in the first place (or use a BSD license). Using the GPL is not a substitute for public domain: it is a license which guarantees certain things, namely it guarantees that the code will remain open and shareable ("free"). If you don't care about code remaining open and shareable, then don't license it under GPL. If you do care about it being open and shareable, then license it under GPL. If you further don't want to deal with the hassles of protecting said license, sign over the copyright to the FSF, who have much experience in such matters.

This is the root of my problem with GNU in general: why show everybody how you achieved and developed a certain technological capability, without letting people actually use that method? ... I think it's just a bit petty to show the code but not authorize its use.
You are basically saying that you prefer BSD to GPL. That's fine. (So, go ahead and license your code that way.) However, understand that the purpose of the GPL is to encourage all code to be "free," where free means: open source, shareable, and guaranteed to remain so.

You appear not to care about the "guaranteed to remain so" part. That's fine. But understand that many among us find closing the source of code that was freely distributed to be rather unfriendly... and we're using copyright law as a tool to help guarantee that the code remains free. This guarantee helps encourage more people to create and to release (because many people would not release their code if they knew that others would commercialize/extend it without giving back). That is, copyright law is achieving, in this case, its stated goal: to encourage the production and dissemination of content.

That, in my mind, is the brilliance of the GPL: it co-opts copyright law, uses it in an unconventional way, and thereby achieves the fundamental purpose of copyright law: to give an incentive for creation and free distribution of creative works.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20411285)

"This is the root of my problem with GNU in general: why show everybody how you achieved and developed a certain technological capability, without letting people actually use that method?"

You are letting ALMOST ANYONE use that method. The *ONLY* people it's denied to are those who will then make some additions to your method and then deny people the use of the new hybrid method. The only thing you are preventing is your work being exploited.

"If you only want certain people to be able to use that method, then only show those certain people how it's done."

Someone licensing something under the GPL wants *everyone who doesn't want to exploit their work* to "know how it's done" (and be careful when using a word like method- the GPL works with copyright, meaning that someone else can use the same technological process as you, but as long as it isn't a copy of your work and can't be shown to proceed from it, they didn't break a law- it's not like a patent). Because this group is self selecting, it's not feasible to ask everyone personally, do you plan to try to integrate my work into your product and then make the resulting combination not freely modifiable, shareable, viewable? In effect, the license states, you are free to use this code how you like, as long as you don't do that.

"I think it's just a bit petty to show the code but not authorize its use. The "unauthorized" user can't steal it because you will always have it. The "unauthorized" user can extend it and keep those extensions hidden, but I fail to see how that really hurts me: I can extend my copy too. If I give an ice cream cone to my brother, I can't dictate to him how he eats it."

No, you can't. But you might want some protection if giving that icecream to your brother somehow makes it so that he can turn around and ensure no one else eats icecream without his permission, to use a point as streched as yours.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411299)

I have a hard time with the concept of creating something, keeping a copyright in force, and then signing the copyright away for no benefit to myself.

The entire point of the GPL is that you use the terms of your copyright to ensure that all the users of your software have the same rights to it that you do. You (the creator) have the right to use, and the right to modify. With the GPL your users have the same rights. The GPL goes farther than that, though. It also says that neither you nor none of your users may take away any of those rights, by redistributing the program in a closed-source manner.

The "unauthorized" user can't steal it because you will always have it. The "unauthorized" user can extend it and keep those extensions hidden, but I fail to see how that really hurts me: I can extend my copy too.

The problem that GPL is trying to address is the situation of a user taking community code, extending it, and selling it in a closed-source fashion. In that sense, the user is profiting from the community's work, but isn't giving anything back in return.

If I give an ice cream cone to my brother, I can't dictate to him how he eats it.

Bad analogy. You aren't giving your code itself to the user. There is no transfer of ownership. You're simply giving your users a right to use the code, extend the code, and redistribute the code in your name. Think of it as the loan of a tool. If I loan you my lawnmower, I have the right to say how you use the lawnmower (use the code), whether you can modify my lawnmower (extend the code), and whether you can also loan the lawnmower to someone else (redistribute the code). Further, if I grant you the right to loan the lawnmower to others, I also have a say in the loan agreement that you use to do that because, in the end, its still my lawnmower. I can say that you have to grant the person that you loan it to the same rights that I granted you.

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (1)

greedyturtle (968401) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411301)

GPL is NOT FREE. I think it's a mistake to keep on calling it such. The license outlines very specific requirements. You are NOT free to do whatever you want with it. Even BSD requires a few small things.

One of the tenets in GPL is you have to return what you have added on. It does hurt you if someone else extends your program and doesn't return the favor you gave them in creating the program. A better description of the reasons behind Stallman's thinking comes from Free as in Freedom by Sam Williams, quoted below. The book is CC, and you can read the rest at O'reilly's open book. [oreilly.com]

The project's new name, Emacs, came courtesy of Stallman. Short for "editing macros," it signified the evolutionary transcendence that had taken place during the macros explosion two years before. It also took advantage of a gap in the software programming lexicon. Noting a lack of programs on ITS starting with the letter "E," Stallman chose Emacs, making it possible to reference the program with a single letter. Once again, the hacker lust for efficiency had left its mark.6

In the course of developing a standard system of macro commands, Stallman and Steele had to traverse a political tightrope. In creating a standard program, Stallman was in clear violation of the fundamental hacker tenet-"promote decentralization." He was also threatening to hobble the very flexibility that had fueled TECO's explosive innovation in the first place.

"On the one hand, we were trying to make a uniform command set again; on the other hand, we wanted to keep it open ended, because the programmability was important," recalls Steele.

To solve the problem, Stallman, Steele, and fellow hackers David Moon and Dan Weinreib limited their standardization effort to the WYSIWYG commands that controlled how text appeared on-screen. The rest of the Emacs effort would be devoted to retaining the program's Tinker Toy-style extensibility.

Stallman now faced another conundrum: if users made changes but didn't communicate those changes back to the rest of the community, the Tower of Babel effect would simply emerge in other places. Falling back on the hacker doctrine of sharing innovation, Stallman embedded a statement within the source code that set the terms of use. Users were free to modify and redistribute the code on the condition that they gave back all the extensions they made. Stallman dubbed it the " Emacs Commune." Just as TECO had become more than a simple editor, Emacs had become more than a simple software program. To Stallman, it was a social contract. In an early memo documenting the project, Stallman spelled out the contract terms. "EMACS," he wrote, "was distributed on a basis of communal sharing, which means that all improvements must be given back to me to be incorporated and distributed."

Not everybody accepted the contract. The explosive innovation continued throughout the decade, resulting in a host of Emacs-like programs with varying degrees of cross-compatibility. A few cited their relation to Stallman's original Emacs with humorously recursive names: Sine (Sine is not Emacs), Eine (Eine is not Emacs), and Zwei (Zwei was Eine initially). As a devoted exponent of the hacker ethic, Stallman saw no reason to halt this innovation through legal harassment. Still, the fact that some people would so eagerly take software from the community chest, alter it, and slap a new name on the resulting software displayed a stunning lack of courtesy.

Such rude behavior was reflected against other, unsettling developments in the hacker community. Brian Reid's 1979 decision to embed "time bombs" in Scribe, making it possible for Unilogic to limit unpaid user access to the software, was a dark omen to Stallman. "He considered it the most Nazi thing he ever saw in his life," recalls Reid. Despite going on to later Internet fame as the cocreator of the Usenet alt heirarchy, Reid says he still has yet to live down that 1979 decision, at least in Stallman's eyes. "He said that all software should be free and the prospect of charging money for software was a crime against humanity."

Re:fsf is a fair weather friend (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411341)

The FSF will only work to enforce the GPL if the GPL code in question is signed over to the FSF. While I can understand that legal logic, I have a hard time with the concept of creating something, keeping a copyright in force, and then signing the copyright away for no benefit to myself. The only benefit would be that the FSF would then fight when someone uses it in an "unauthorized" manner.

So hire your own lawyer and keep that gigantic statutory damages award for yourself. Of course, there is a risk that the defendant will go out of business or that you will lose, and then you get to pay your lawyer out of your own pocket instead of letting FSF foot the bill for you.

If I'm not going to hold my own copyright, why not just specifically disavow copyright and let it enrich everybody via the public domain?

Because the public domain does not preserve it as open source. If you don't care about that, then by all means give it away to people who will make it proprietary and give you none of the profits from the sale of their now closed source program that used to be yours. Not sure why you would be ok with that, but that's your prerogative.

This is the root of my problem with GNU in general: why show everybody how you achieved and developed a certain technological capability, without letting people actually use that method? If you only want certain people to be able to use that method, then only show those certain people how it's done. I think it's just a bit petty to show the code but not authorize its use.

You must have never read the GPL. It allows whatever use you like and prohibits none. You can use GPLed code to build bombs, torture small animals or manufacture robotic sex slaves if you like. The only restrictions come into play when you redistribute the code (or a derivative work) to someone else.

The "certain people" that you refer to is anyone who complies with the license. You are trying to make it sound like the GPL is discriminatory. There is no basis for that at all.

The "unauthorized" user can't steal it because you will always have it. The "unauthorized" user can extend it and keep those extensions hidden, but I fail to see how that really hurts me: I can extend my copy too. If I give an ice cream cone to my brother, I can't dictate to him how he eats it.

That's nice, but coding is hard work. You may give someone a quarter or an ice cream, but are you going to give them the product of years of man hours with no strings attached? Sometimes maybe as charity. But the world doesn't turn on charity, it turns on markets, interactions between people, negotiated terms by which the meaning of "fair" is agreed upon in advance. Charity is all well and good, but the GPL is not about charity. It is about fairness between people who are sharing the source of their livelihood, their labor.

The GPL allows you to share resources among many people while preventing any one person from unfairly taking advantage of your generosity. If you would prefer to give your work away absolutely free, with no restrictions, you can. If you would prefer to keep your work secret and keep it to yourself (even if you use someone else's GPLed code), you can. But if you want to leverage the skills and manpower of people all over the world under fair terms for a common goal, then the GPL can be a great tool for accomplishing that goal.

I ignore copyrights, and I ignore the GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410641)

I really don't care about things like that.

Payback's a bitch! (-1, Flamebait)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410655)

For years the big trend was to "steal" Microsoft software... was your copy of Windows 98 legit? I don't think so! (who would actually pay for that shit software?) In any case, it's time for payback... how do YOU like someone violating YOUR copyrights and using YOUR software without YOUR permission? Not to pleasant, eh?

Re:Payback's a bitch! (1)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410717)

Watch your mouth, Bill!

Re:Payback's a bitch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410769)

Good point! The OSSers don't like it up 'em!

Re:Payback's a bitch! (0)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410795)

Yes, my copy of Windows 98 is legitimate, I hold it in my hand this very moment, there's the CD key and all. And I'm not going to like anyone taking my GPL code (not much of it exists, but still...) and using it that way. With my full, legal and moral alike, rights to not like that. Then, again, who were you talking to? Your dear, invisible friend, or who? I hope he doesn't mind generalising him in a very rude and childish way...

I'm not sure if that was intended to be something funny - but it isn't anyway - or a flamebait - a quite lousy one, that is - but I'd have doubts about you signature...

Re:Payback's a bitch! (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410867)

hehehe, I think you hit a nerve :) Though I feel bad for people who are legit all the way that end in those situations, you're right that its pretty ironic how many will scream fool if THEIR stuff is used without permission, and the curse them out loud while going back to their pirated games and softwares.

Re:Payback's a bitch! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410921)

Yes, a conservative on slashdot CAN have an Excellent karma!
After that comment you made fucktard, you won't have much longer. Shit, you'd be lucky to have neutral karma once we get done mod bombing your whole account into oblivion. WOOOOOOOOOOOT!

I hope GPLv3 lawsuit from the FSF goes through and I hope the FSF demands for Micro$haft to lose all of their rights to their code and specs.

Actually, it was (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411243)

For years the big trend was to "steal" Microsoft software... was your copy of Windows 98 legit?


Actually, it was. And so was my copy of NT 4.0. (I must be the only dolt who bought NT for a gaming computer at home, but there you go.) So is my XP on my current gaming machine, and the Windows 2000 the other computer dual boots to. (Well, it used to be my gaming machine back then. How fast they go obsolete...)

Linux? Well, any download is legit there, but I like to buy boxed versions anyway. I'm writing this on a SuSE 10.0 installation. (And anyone feeling like splitting hairs along the lines of "no, you're writing it in Mozilla" is cordially invited to go fuck themselves;) The bought DVD and manuals are over there. I still have a stack of previous versions of it too.

Why? Because I believe in paying for stuff I use and find some value in. That's how capitalism is supposed to work. Even the issue of testing what works with what library version, and with which compiler options, is actually worth paying for, because my time is more valuable than that. Some people compile everything by hand, kudos to them, I don't.

Plus, hey, I've been raised to be the stereotypical D&D Lawful Good kinda guy. If I started pirating stuff, I might get my alignment adjusted by the GM ;)

Now seriously, I don't know where everyone is getting their ideas that everyone is a pirate. Whether used pro-MS or anti-MS, the notion that everyone runs a pirated copy of Windows is just false. Even BSA's statistics for most of the western world don't put estimated piracy percentaces anywhere _near_ high enough for that to be the case.

And, hey, the BSA are the guys paid to cry wolf. Plus, you should look how those statistics are calculated. They don't actually measure a sample, they pull some numbers out of the ass as to how many copies should have been sold, and anything less is counted as piracy. If their numbers say every 1 computer sold should have 1 OS copy sold with it, then even if you only install an otherwise legit downloaded version of Gentoo or Ubuntu on it, you still count as a pirate because that's 1 less copy sold than their tables say. Plus other questionable assumptions. So their numbers are already inflated a lot as it is.

If even those don't say piracy is that high, you know, you can cut it out with repeating that falsehood already. If you're talking China or Russia, those pirate a lot, yes. (Partially, due to not being able to afford that stuff otherwise.) But in the western world it's just a bizarre axiom pulled out of the arse.

It happends... (0, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410739)

There is a good chance that some of this software is written by a 13 year old in his moms basement, who has little understanding of the GPL for him is just seems like Free Software, and is probably confusing it with the BSD style license, if they indeed care. I would understand Screaming "YOU ARE BREAKING THE GPL!!" for larger packages where people are making a lot of money and/or the program widly distributed and used by a lot of people. But for silly application that are probably used by less then a thousand people in the world and if it is no longer supported next week no one would care then I wouldn't bother.

Am I am the only one who finds it funny for a group of people who Demmand to confront the Evils of DRM, Protect the rights of Pirates, Abolish the legal system for computers and let us just do our work freely, when peope violate a licence made by this group they basicly do the same as the evil companies do...

Create Software to find violators.
Want to send lawers to make the violators Pay (doesn't matter if is a 13 year old kid who writes software like kids use to have paper routes 30 years ago.)
Try to spread propraganda to make the overall comunity feel sorry for the poor GPL creaters whos work is violated and somehow hurts of the children (Wont someone please think of the children!!!)

Face it Open Source Closed Source kinda in the middle source.... It doesn't matter people are still jerks.

Just think of it as piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410761)


Just think of it as piracy and accept it as the way it is. Scum will be scum; it knows to be nothing else. Besides, it's not like everyone isn't making it so easily. GPL may as well be stampled, "Steal Me".

GPL or LGPL? (1)

Eponymous Bastard (1143615) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410825)

First of all, separate out the LGPL software. It's perfectly OK to distribute these as a library. At most you have to give a written offer for source code, or include a text file with the license. Did you check their "About" dialog? The directory? Even if they're missing that, having the original author contact the company should get them to include this, as it's trivial for them. Just remember, ask for compliance, not money.

GPL'd software is more complicated. the license/offer for source code also applies, but on top of that you have to see if they are linking with the program. If they are calling an executable, they are probably OK. If it's statically linked, they have to GPL their code. If it's a dll it's a gray area. The FSF says their code is derivative, some people argue otherwise. Maybe the threat of a lawsuit would be enough to get them to open their sources but it's not as cut and dried.

Windows devs don't know much about GPL (4, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410931)

I used to work for a very large (not software) company (somewhere in fortune 20) that was using GPL stuff left and right without complying to the terms and redistributing.

I personaly don't care much for the GPL, but I do care for complying with licenses and copyright, so I mentionned it to them. Their answer was "GPwhat? No, its free code people give away on the net!". My reply was a long explaination of the difference between "free to do whatever" and the GPL, and even repeating several time, I'd literaly get the same answer: "But...its free! What conditions could there be?".

Eventually I got through by explaining to a project manager, who essentially said that the day someone asks for the source, we'll give it, and that will be that. I still don't think they realised what it meant considering the amount of trade secrets that were in the code, but...

Re:Windows devs don't know much about GPL (1)

teidou (651247) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411217)

"Eventually I got through by explaining to a project manager, who essentially said that the day someone asks for the source, we'll give it, and that will be that. I still don't think they realised what it meant considering the amount of trade secrets that were in the code, but..."

Hey Cool! What's the name of the app, then?

People getting all fired up about GPL violations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410933)

I wonder how many of them are posting their comments from computers running illegal copies of Windows, copies which they themselves downloaded and installed?

Here's how to deal with it: (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 6 years ago | (#20410961)

1.) Contribute something critical to one of the projects.
2.) Add a GPL violations fee notice for commercial exploitation of GPL violation for code you commited. Something like half a million dollars or something.
3.) Wait till they update their product with your code.
4.) Sue them into next wednesday.
5.) Profit.

If you get a lawyer with some advice to join you before you rev up your code contributions you could easyly prep a lawsuit that kills of the entire company and leaves you both with a nice mound of cash.

Re:Here's how to deal with it: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20411177)

You forgot:

4.5) ??? ;-)

GPL is too dangerous - stay away! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20410987)

to protect my freedom, I'm going to stick with proprietary software. The legal risks of being pursued by an angry, self-righteous group of nerds is just too great.

A few years ago I started exploring GPL software like apache, and it offers certain technical advantages.

However, in the recent climate, it is simply too dangerous in a legal sense to use or deploy any GPL. patents, signing keys, restrictions on what you can do with the software -- it's all a mess.

These are not benign hippie programmers -- they are a software house that uses the threat of litigation to compel the behavior of others. Watch out or end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit or injunction by the FSF or some kid trying to make a name for himself in GPL violation hunting circles.

So my advice is, keep your nose clean and avoid using anything connected to the GPL, especially if it's related to software development.

FSF will be the next SCO, just look at the legal arsenal they are assembling.

Re:GPL is too dangerous - stay away! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20411273)

Oh, hi Steve, hey Steve what are you doing with that chair...put the chair down Steve.

Rentacoder & others (3, Interesting)

drspliff (652992) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411033)

I've noticed that on a lot of the rentacoder style sites where people are asking for clones of this or that or just a general program (e.g. I want a DVD writing application), in order for developers to remain profitable they cannot write everything from scratch - like Nero and others have have done (just an example).

On a few occasions when I used to freelance, I've warned people that in order to deliver something on time they'd need to buy-in external components, and to deliver something on budget they'd need to use existing GPL/LGPL or BSD licensed components along with some suggestions and a full rundown of the licensing requirements.

In response to atleast one of these I was just told to strip the copyright from a GPL component and hide it in the application.

The problem isn't really in the violations themselfs, but in the commercial commodity software ecosystem (mostly Windows) where people build up software portfolios as fast as possible for the lowest cost just to try and get market share (and profit). In this desparate effort to get products to market most are just a re-branded combination of existing software, which usually end up violating source code licenses.

Basically when consumers start caring about ethical software the industry will start changing. Until then we still have a problem :)

fa1lzorS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20411037)

, a proud 8ember transfer, Netscape the reaper In a To decline for reasons why anyone

Who owns the shares ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411115)

  1. Really make sure that you are right, ie something much better than "this has the same name as a GPL bit of code"
  2. Write to the company - write to the Managing Director or CEO
  3. If they do nothing, write and tell them what you will do next
  4. Write to their auditors and the stock exchange were they are listed; point out that there is a big risk that their flagship product may need to be pulled because of copyright infringement. Say that you have told the company and that they are hiding this important information from the stock exchange.

Keep a copy of all correspondence, better still post it on a web site with the companie's name plastered all over it (so that the search engines find it).

Are you sure these are violations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20411121)

They sure don't sound like violations to me. Especially since they're "hidden in DLLs", it sounds a lot more like they're simply being used in their pristine forms. The GPL only requires that any modifications to the source be freely available under the same license as the original code. It says nothing about requiring you to convert to Free Software and attend church once a week.

But it is only a copyright violation. (-1, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411135)

No one is being hurt and no one is loosing anything. Isn't that the claim so many people make when it comes to violating the copyrights of the RIAA/MPAA?

Or is copyrights only a good thing when it works for you and only a bad thing when it works against you?

What's the issue here? (0)

sheldon (2322) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411311)

Isn't the point of open source to be able to use it? Most of the apps you list here are command line tools. The ones that aren't command line tools are licensed under the LGPL. Are you seriously saying that if I bundle mkfsiso with my app and shell out to call it, I have to release my source code too?

I encourage you to go pester all these people using GPLed tools. Really, go for it. Prove the critics right, and that using GPL'ed software in your solutions is a legal nightmare.

Sheesh. This reminds me of the big argument the founder of Slackware got into, when he announced he was going to sell distributions. Yes, sell! Oh my god, the horrors of actually charging for somehthing!

As last we see the truth - no teeth, no guts (0, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#20411317)

So the Free-as-in-Speech crowd finally has a whipping boy, or many, if you RTFA, and whats happening? NOTHING. Why is that? Because the classic 'intellectual' response kicks in - hand-wringing, hints that the folks doing this are 'evil', that they have a License which prohibits this, etc. Will they go to court? No. Will they do anything? No.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>