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Resolution of BSD-GPL Wireless Code Dispute?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.

GNU is Not Unix 215

An anonymous reader writes "The highly publicized debate between Theo de Raadt and the Software Freedom Law Center seems to have come to an amicable end. SFLC has published its research on the lineage of the ath5k driver and determined who owns which changes. In the end, everyone agreed to license their modifications to the Linux driver under the BSD license, and OpenBSD developers can now reincorporate those improvements into the original code (with the exception of one historically GPL-licensed branch)." The article notes that Theo de Raadt has not responded publicly to this development but that comments on the issue in an OpenBSD Journal forum have been generally positive.

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215 comments

Great. Can we move on now? (4, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828133)

I, for one, am glad that this huge shitstorm over a minor licensing issue has been resolved amicably (or at least until Theo has his say...)

Re:Great. Can we move on now? (5, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828283)

There is one good thing that comes out of this: collaboration between BSD and Linux developers on wireless drivers. The licensing issue was bound to happen sooner or later on some piece of code. It's good that it happened early on in a project and with only bruised egos to show for it.

Wireless support in OpenBSD is outstanding. You can use ifconfig to manage your wireless devices just like you can for wired interfaces. I don't know a whole lot about OpenHAL, but if it works the way wireless does in OpenBSD, common libraries are simply reused so that developers can get new drivers up and running quickly. This will be a good thing for Linux, and the additional attention will improve wireless support for both platforms.

Reasonable People (4, Insightful)

allthingscode (642676) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828491)

Isn't it horrible that reasonable people came together, worked things out, and decided on the best course of action? Now, the people who will obviously continue to rant will look like all they have is an agenda.

Re:Reasonable People (1)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828549)

Isn't it horrible that reasonable people came together, worked things out, and decided on the best course of action?
I know, it's so stupid. I have no idea why they just didn't fork both licenses and come up with a 3rd.

Re:Reasonable People (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830385)

It is odd that without the rants and people with agendas, this would have never been worked out. So while I admire your point, I have to inject that we are where we are today because of these rants with agendas. It isn't something that should be discouraged.

Re:Great. Can we move on now? (1)

yo_tuco (795102) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829377)

"There is one good thing that comes out of this: collaboration between BSD and Linux developers on wireless drivers."

Let's hope. I'd like to see 802.11g in host AP mode and better performance in lossy and long range conditions in the OBSD ath(4) driver. Maybe the Linux guys can improve this and it gets back to OBSD.

STATEMENT FROM ARTICLE + QUESTION MARK != HEADLINE (0, Flamebait)

originalnih (709470) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829879)

Get back to serving fries, 'editors'.

Re:Great. Can we move on now? (1, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828557)

I am waiting for RMS to way in on how they are don't care about freedom.

BSD license confussion. (3, Insightful)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828729)

This stems, mostly, from confussion over the BSD license I think. It's accepted that you CAN just take BSD code and build it into your own code without returning anything back. It seems the major issue was the lack of credit given and that the changes from the BSD version to the GPL version were really minor.

It seems kind of petty to whine about someone stealing your code if you're releasing it under the BSD license though. By using the BSD license instead of the GPL you're choosing to let people take from you without giving back. I frequently hear the argument that BSD licensed code is really free, and the GPL isn't, over exactly this issue.

Specifically... (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829883)

The copyright clause. Which is really possibly the most tangible thing the BSD license insists on (so I get that they would be unhappy) aside from open. As for the hypocrisy claim vaulted at the GPL community I am of two minds 1) sure, I personally wouldn't mind giving back 2) wtf?

The BSD is a permissive license and getting bent out of shape over the "Linux" community adhering to it but relicensing their own work under a more restrictive license makes it clear that there is just as much misunderstanding in the BSD community as this made clear existed in the GPL community: BSD is permissive, GPL is restrictive (in a very forcefully open way). Claiming that it's hypocritical to benefit from permissively open software, altering it and redistributing it with a more aggressively open license really shows some people are missing the boat. GPL !=BSD. Different motives, different politics, etc. Just like BSD != [insert company] proprietary license. The only difference is that sometimes GPL developers, out of the kindness of their collective hearts, will BSD or dual-license their work. Which is probably a little confusing, particularly when they don't (but that is kind of the point of the GPL, protectivism) and the GPL developers do have a right to license their own modifications as they like (just like the BSD developers, it just happens the GPL restricts some of what can be done).

That said I'm glad this came up because I do have a more rounded appreciation of the expectations of someone releasing code under the BSD and some of the misunderstanding on both sides (and a much more RMS-like view of Theo, which is kind of amusing after thinking we were the crazy ones for all these years). Ciao!

This is way simpler than that. (4, Informative)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830163)

It seems kind of petty to whine about someone stealing your code if you're releasing it under the BSD license though. By using the BSD license instead of the GPL you're choosing to let people take from you without giving back.

If I release my code under a BSD-style license, the fact that I allow you to use my code in nearly any way you want doesn't mean that I allow you to steal the credit for my work. This is really what this issue boils down to, which people repeatedly seem to miss.

The OpenBSD side's legal allegations are that first that their code was taken without attribution (stripping the original author's copyright notices), that somebody who doesn't own their code acted as if they did (by changing the license notice to GPL only), and then that even when the original notices were more or less restored, there was a claim to owning part of the work in question (by adding additional copyright and license notices), when there were (by their allegation) no original contributions, and thus, no part of the released work that was owned by anybody other than the BSD folk.

Re:This is way simpler than that. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20831105)

Yes, but Theo did ignore the dual license code being able to be licensed exclusively under GPL since the dual license says you can do this ("Alternatively, ..."). And that ignorance caused many of the problems here. No one said you can re-license BSD code under GPL without author permission. The single coder who made that mistake immediately repudiated his changes when his mistake was pointed out to him by the community. So BSD code stays BSD. It is the dual license stuff where Theo and a lot of his supporters failed it. And pretending straight BSD code cannot be incorporated into GPL projects so long as the BSD license is retained is part of that. BSD code can be incorporated into GPL projects. Why some still persist in claiming otherwise, I still do not understand.

Re:BSD license confussion. (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830245)

First, I am glad that this came to a reasonable resolution that benefits all parties. Nothing is really to be gained by splitting effort in the way things were going.

However, I think that this does go to show that there are real questions whether the BSD license actually does follow the copyrights of the code in question, and if it does, then it would seem to limit what one could do to included pieces under the GPL v3, section 7, paragraph 2 (removal of additional permissions). This might make the BSDL incompatible with the GPL v3. If that section of the GPL means what it says, then it is a real shame because it means that more of these issues will come up in the future.

We ought to remember that our greatest strength lies in not forcing everyone to reinvent the wheel over and over. If we band together and stop fighting over whether the BSDL is helping commercial competitors, etc. we can beat everyone. Together. BSD, Linux, and the like.

Re:BSD license confussion. (0, Troll)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830599)

First, I am glad that this came to a reasonable resolution that benefits all parties.

Has it? All I see is SFLC pronouncements.

Yes, it seems like Theo is using the wrong license (0, Flamebait)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830635)

If you're going to release your code to the public under a license specifically allowing reuse and extension without releasing the source for the extensions, then get annoyed when people do exactly that -

You're doing it wrong!

What he wants is the GPL, that way people can't just take it and put it under other, incompatible licenses.

BSD licensed code really is 'free', or as near to free as you can get whilst not being PD, sure, but if you're going to sing its praises then shut the hell up when people use it exactly as intended.

Also I find it disheartening the number of folks saying "Well the Linux guys should just release their work under both". Why? That's entirely pointless. If you want your code under the GPL, you specifically don't want people to be able to take it and not fulfill their obligations, releasing under BSD as well would just allow anyone to circumvent that.

Here we go again. (-1, Troll)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830705)

If you're going to release your code to the public under a license specifically allowing reuse and extension without releasing the source for the extensions, then get annoyed when people do exactly that - You're doing it wrong!

Unless you judge that the disadvantages of doing what you recommend outweigh the advantages of using the more permissive license. In that case, then, using the permissive license and getting annoyed when people do something bad is exactly the right thing to do.

Why do you insist in seeing this in such absolute terms? Why do you insist in assuming that the people you're criticizing haven't thought about their alternatives carefully? Is it because it allows you the convenience of assuming that you're always right?

Mod parent troll (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830861)

"Is it because it allows you the convenience of assuming that you're always right?"

Get of your high horse, asshole.

"Unless you judge that the disadvantages of doing what you recommend outweigh the advantages of using the more permissive license."

There only "advantage" to the BSD license is the freedom for anyone to take it and use it for whatever they like. That's why you choose it, to get pissy when people use it is ridiculous.

It's like standing on a street corner shouting "free money" and then being annoyed that people come and ask you for it.

I know what you're driving at, vaguely, that BSD licensed code encourages propagation of standards a nnd interoperability, but for most that doesn't come close to outweighing the idea that they don't want their effort to be able to be taken and sold for profit by others. Asking them to change it (as if they hadn't even considered their license choice in the first place) is ridiculous, and having a pissed of rant is hypocritical. "I don't like you relicensing my code so you'd better relicense yours to my license that specifically allows relicensing". Idiocy.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe most open source devs don't think further than "GPL GOOD!", but somehow I doubt it. Most software folks I've ever met have been extremely clued in on the main two (GPL and BSD) licenses.

Re:BSD license confussion. (1)

Ruliz Galaxor (568498) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831067)

You are correct in the fact that you don't have to give back modifications when using the BSD license. However, you cannot change/remove the original copyright and that was what all the fuss was about in this case.

Re:Great. Can we move on now? (3, Insightful)

mok000 (668612) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829077)

Does anyone else think that this whole affair is Theo de Raadt's payback for the Broadcom Driver dispute earlier this year? Then, de Raadt vehemently accused the Linux developers of "ganging up" on one guy from his OpenBSD team, who had copied code GPL'ed from the Broadcom Driver project and removed the GPL clause.

See here: http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/85224/index.html [lxer.com]

Re:Great. Can we move on now? (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830825)

I, for one, thought for a moment that you were going to say that you, for one, welcome your huge shitstorm-over-a-minor-licensing-issue-resolving overlords.

Re:Great. Can we move on now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20830995)

I, for one, welcome our new BSDL-embracing overlords.

So uh.. (0)

valkabo (840034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828161)

You guys can mod me down for this.. but umm.. ... .. . Who cares? I never even heard about this stupid argument before. I wasn't even aware people still were fighting over wifi "stuff". P.S. No I did not RTFA.

Re:So uh.. (3, Insightful)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828853)

but umm.. ... .. . Who cares?
I care - my laptop is using Madwifi and it runs like ass with Gnome NetworkManager. It's been an open case with Ubuntu for over a year now. Atheros cards can't handle the scan requests and disconnect after the scan request.

It'd be nice to get better collaboration with the Atheros drivers.

Wireless is the big hole with Linux. Its support is dodgy at best.

Re:So uh.. (1)

cockroach2 (117475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831089)

Well, this highly depends on your card. I do agree that the madwifi driver tends to be a PITA, my laptop's Intel chip works flawlessly, though...

Theo is not a lawyer (1, Insightful)

cdn-programmer (468978) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828193)

While Theo is very intelligent and opinionated it is important to mote he is not a lawyer. His understanding of law should be taken with a grain of salt.

Re:Theo is not a lawyer (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828349)

The same could be said of a lawyer who only knows US Laws when dealing with things that are outside of said country.

Re:Theo is not a lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828567)

Your statement would be true except that many legal systems have the same origins.

Re:Theo is not a lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828423)


While Theo is very intelligent and opinionated it is important to mote he is not a lawyer. His understanding of law should be taken with a grain of salt.


And of course the same applies to RMS.

Re:Theo is not a lawyer (2, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828797)

Look, I like the GPL and prefer it as a license, but he actually had a valid complaint in this case.

So whilst it is true that he is not a lawyer, bringing that up is completely irrelevant. He was correct nonetheless.

Re:Theo is not a lawyer (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830583)

I don't understand why you thought it was necessary to inject the fact that he isn't a lawyer. It was his interpretations of the situation the led him to believe he was wronged, it was his determination on pressing the issues that finally got some resolve. It was his right to make the claims he made simply because that is how anyone redresses issues against the laws that are broken in ways that effect them.

So it doesn't matter if he is or isn't a lawyer. He was making claims he knew to be true based on the laws governing him. If you need to be a lawyer to understand what you can and cannot do then we are in worse shape then I thought. Bring up the fact he isn't a lawyer seems kind of petty and unneeded.

Licensing conflict? (1)

Diakoneo (853127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828205)

Excuse my ignorance, but this open source licensing still confuses me. Can a distribution have both BSD-type and GPL-type licenses bundled together? Could there be a potential conflict in the mechanics of how both are used?

Re:Licensing conflict? (1, Informative)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828397)

Can a distribution have both BSD-type and GPL-type licenses bundled together?

No. That's why they were asking the developers to dual-license the code. Except their version of "asking" was to throw a hissy fit.

Re:Licensing conflict? (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829265)

Oh for the love of god. Yes, you can use BSD code inside a GPL program, that's the whole bloody point of the BSD license. It let's the code be used anywhere and everywhere.

Re:Licensing conflict? (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830489)

Yes, you can use BSD code inside a GPL program, that's the whole bloody point of the BSD license.

I was under the impression we were talking about GPL code in a BSD program. Could be wrong though, I wasn't paying all that much attention to the whole mess.

Re:Licensing conflict? (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830633)

The mess came around when the GPL peope begged for dual licensing to they could develope GPL style on the code in question. They ended up just taking the code, changing a few lines and claiming it as their own without attributing the copyright or anything the BSD license requires. They then relicensed the entire package under the GPL so it couldn't be used in a BSD program again. What brought the situation to light was when a GPL programmer attempted to call the BSD guys on using their GPLed code.

So yes, it is a mess. And it started with some serious misguided individuals who might have had good intentions but lacked enough information at one time to discern what was really going on.

Re:Licensing conflict? (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830639)

Yes, you can use BSD code inside a GPL program, that's the whole ... point of the BSD license. It let's the code be used anywhere and everywhere.

Provided you maintain the BSD license text, which is an additional restriction on distribution that a reasonable interpretation of the GPL might not allow. You can certainly combine GPL and BSD code, but the intersection of the two licenses might not let anyone distribute the result.

Which version of the GPL? (IANAL) (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830541)

I see no reason you can't have BSD files in a GPL v2 application, or a GPL v2 application which depends on BSDL components. After the GPL2 does not appear either grant rights not granted by the BSDL, nor does it require that you violate the BSDL.

The GPL v3 is a far more interesting question. The key questions involve applicability of Section 7, Paragraph 2 to BSDL portions of the application. What does it mean to remove additional permissions from these portions? And is that a right that the BSDL gives absent the enforcement of additional copyrights? If the BSDL does not allow you to change the license when you have not added copyrights, and if the GPL3 means what it says in this section, then I would answer "no" in terms of a single copyrighted work. Mere aggregation would be a different question (i.e. only applies tothe single atomic copyrighted work, not to the larger distro where these could be mixed).

Re:Licensing conflict? (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830787)

Oh. And here I thought it was because Jiri Slaby removed the BSD license from code that was BSD only licensed.

Re:Licensing conflict? (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830889)

Wrong. You can _bundle_ any code with any other code. You can stick gnu tools on MSDN CDs that contain originally-BSD network stacks. Bundling's mere aggregation, and is unimportant licence-wise.

Re:Licensing conflict? (2, Informative)

debilo (612116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828569)

Excuse my ignorance, but this open source licensing still confuses me. Can a distribution have both BSD-type and GPL-type licenses bundled together? Could there be a potential conflict in the mechanics of how both are used?
I'm not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean on an application level? If so, the answer is yes. It's what FreeBSD does (so do the other BSDs), they also ship some GNU utilities alongside the BSD kernel and userland, which obviously are under the GPL.

Re:Licensing conflict? (1)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829141)

You can distribute BSD code inside of a GPL project. When the SFLC published the results of its efforts in the wireless driver dispute [softwarefreedom.org] , they simultaneous published a guide for using BSD code in GPL projects [softwarefreedom.org] .

That was last week and there were about 5 submissions in the firehose about it. The Slashdot editors in their infinite wisdom chose to ignore this when it was new and instead waited a week and then published a summary with no link to the original SFLC article and no mention at all of the guide.

Interview with Theo (-1, Flamebait)

packetmon (977047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828319)

Self: So Theo seems like things are progressing as far as drivers are concerned
Theo: You're mistaken and wrong. Its obvious you're an idiot
Self: I'm sorry it was just...
Theo: A bumbling idiot at that
Self: but...
Theo: But nothing I'm never wrong
Self: its just that
Theo: I refuse to associate with you anymore
Self: but Theo I'm your brother
Theo: hush you're just wrong

Re:Interview with Theo (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828497)

How odd. I had the exact same conversation with my wife over her spending habits.

Re:Interview with Theo (1)

semiotec (948062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828565)

you married your brother?

Re:Interview with Theo (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828619)

Fool! I'm not from Georgia.

Re:Interview with Theo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828629)

Your wife is your sister? That's awesome. Currently I'm dating my cousin, but my sister is so much hotter.

Later y'all.

Re:Interview with Theo (1)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828685)

I had the exact same conversation with my wife over her spending habits.
Your wife is your brother?

Re:Interview with Theo (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828865)

You've made it quite clear who the idiot is. Whilst I disagree with his choice of license, Theo de Raadt has done wonderful things for Free Software in general.

Um, is this a "resolution" at all? (5, Interesting)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828333)

Ok, they are indeed announcing that supposed changes by the Linux Wireless folks involved in this dispute will be released under a dual GPL or ISC license. But the last time I heard about this dispute, Reyk and Theo's most pressing claim was that the Linux Wireless developers in question illegally put their own copyright and license notices on work that they did not own; i.e., their position is that the Linux Wireless folks, in more than one instance, hadn't done enough original work for their release to qualify as a derived work of Reyk's code.

I don't see anything in TFA that directly addresses this. There is a link to a new document about originality requirements under the law [softwarefreedom.org] (which I haven't read yet, I'll admit), but I would hope that this issue was addressed explicitly.

Oh, I found it. (4, Interesting)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828579)

Reading quickly, the real meat of this is code analysis document [softwarefreedom.org] , where the SFLC seems to argue, contrary to Theo and Reyk, that the files with the added copyright notices do qualify for derived work. (Still reading it.)

Another observation. (4, Interesting)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829671)

The SLFC's document about originality requirements [softwarefreedom.org] spends nearly all of its time citing USA court decisions, whereas any action would be brought in Germany, not the USA. Yes, the very last section of the document (section 7) handwaves away this critical issue, by saying that we can use American copyright law as a guideline as to whether requirements of E.C. copyright law are met.

IANAL, but isn't this a pretty bad idea?

This is a good debate to have... (0, Flamebait)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828351)

NOTE: NOT FLAMEBAIT! There's often an assumption of moral superiority of the GPL from the GPL camp. The GPL spreads software "freedom" by way of sword, whereas BSD asks that derived works keep with the spirit of BSD (but you are free to walk in peace if you choose not to).

I'm glad Theo de Raadt is challenging the moral superiority of the GPL in a public way and not giving these guys a free pass. He has much more credibility than say, Steve Ballmer, and so people are more willing to listen to his points without dismissing them out of hand (though this still happens).

At the very least, his challenges will teach people that the GPL isn't the only "free" license (don't laugh: for many, the GPL is all they know) and consequently educate people so that they might choose the right license for themselves.

Food for thought: Maybe it's in a lawyer's best interest to support the spread of complicated licenses like GPL? Not trying to say Eben or anyone else is being deliberately underhanded, but there is at least an unintentional conflict of interests.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828437)

Companies will not give the code back unless they're forced to by sword. Any belief otherwise is a fluke or delusion.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828623)

You're an idiot.

"NOTE: NOT FLAMEBAIT! ... whereas BSD asks that derived works keep with the spirit of BSD (but you are free to walk in peace if you choose not to)."

But then, when I "chose not to", you wage the whinny bitchfest spam campaign rather than let me be "free to walk in peace".

Re:This is a good debate to have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828675)

Bollocks. When openBSD stole Linux code and incorporated it, Theo deTwat went ballistic when the code owner found out and tried to work out a solution for this code theft. When a patch submitted to LKML, which wasn't accepted, almost did the reverse, Theo deTwat went ballistic, even though the submitter owned the code. Notice a theme here?

BSD license all about vanity, companies like it because they can take the code and do nothing in return. GPL please infinitely more developers because it offer some protection that their efforts from this happening. Not that companies don't steal GPL code, it just takes a while before they get caught. End users don't give a shit about either, they just don't want to pay for software.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828681)

here's often an assumption of moral superiority of the GPL from the GPL camp. The GPL spreads software "freedom" by way of sword, whereas BSD asks that derived works keep with the spirit of BSD (but you are free to walk in peace if you choose not to

That seems to be only true if one wants to relicense it under a non-free license, but if one is willing to license it under a license with a different sense of freedom, they obviously get their panties in a wad.

credibility? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828753)

> I'm glad Theo de Raadt is challenging the moral superiority of the GPL in a public way and not giving > these guys a free pass. He has much more credibility than say, Steve Ballmer, and so people are more > willing to listen to his points without dismissing them out of hand (though this still happens)

Maybe more people wouldnt dismiss Theo out of hand if he started talking like a normal person instead of going on manic depressive tangents he usually prefers.

When it comes to conflict management/resolution and anything dealing with interpersonal dynamics, Theo can pour gasoline as good as Ballmer. Maybe even more so.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (4, Insightful)

allthingscode (642676) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828779)

Other than the fact that this is a flamebit, you seem to have missed the obvious moral superiority that BSD developers believe they have. If they didn't, Theo wouldn't be yelling about how wrong the GPL is.

The GPL is a militant license. I totally agree. It's just as militant as the companies it was designed to fight against. It was designed to make sure that no company could take GPL'd code and use it without returning the favor. Most companies would not do that without being forced. Look at Microsoft use BSD code in its operating system, not provide access to it, and at the same time try to destroy free software with the money it makes. Look at the trouble it is having doing this with GPL software.

As I have said before, when the only two ways to release software are BSD and GPL, the GPL will no longer be necessary, but we are not there.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (3, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828891)

[The GPL] was designed to make sure that no company could take GPL'd code and use it without returning the favor.

The GPL only covers redistribution, not use.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830469)

While that's true, I've come across an increasing number of Windows open source software that requires you to "agree" to the GPL at install time, just as though it were a more traditional EULA.

If nothing else, that's going to start confusing the issue.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (1)

MotorBheaded (1156281) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830613)


>> [The GPL] was designed to make sure that no company could take GPL'd code and use it without
>> returning the favor.

> The GPL only covers redistribution, not use.

The original poster didn't mean "use" as in "using the gpl'd software as a user" but "using the code" in the sense of taking portions of code form a gpl program and "use" (or copy) it in derivative work.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830729)

The original poster didn't mean "use" as in "using the gpl'd software as a user" but "using the code" in the sense of taking portions of code form a gpl program and "use" (or copy) it in derivative work.

The GPL allows that too. It's only redistribution that requires the release of source code, modified or not, under the same terms.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (2, Insightful)

semiotec (948062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828869)

He has much more credibility than say, Steve Ballmer
Does he? I don't know Theo, have never met him or communicated with him, but he does have certain "reputation". Same with Steve chair-throwing-"I'll-bury-them" Ballmer, but while Ballmer seems to be able to control his tantrums in public, Theo does not appear to be able to do so.

Many people still put great store by public demeanor, that they will prefer having a business relationship with someone who appears reasonable (even knowing that they will probably stab you in the back tomorrow) over someone who cannot control their temper to have a discussion.

Having said that, I have to make it clear that in no way do I think Ballmer's contributions (if they can be termed as such) towards IT is anywhere close to Theo de Raadt. And just in case you want to bring up RMS, I really don't know much about him, but while GPL is his baby, I don't think he represents programmers who adopt GPL for their codes.

There's often an assumption of moral superiority of the GPL from the GPL camp.
And there isn't such an moral superiority assumption from the BSD camp?

I understand Theo does not represent the whole of the BSD camp, but if Theo really thinks their "philosophy" is "morally superior" to GPL, then he should stop complaining in interviews about how companies don't give them money.

Re:This is a good debate to have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829315)

So, are you saying that Ballmer put him up to it, since more people would listen to Theo?

Re:This is a good debate to have... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829853)

Please. BSD users have an absolutely sky-high sense of superiority (OpenBSD users being the prime examples). You just apparently can't see it because you already agree that the BSD license is superior. This is a common problem: people take a stance, and assume that it is "neutral"; that is, the way things simply are. To you, it's a foregone conclusion that the BSD license is great. You simply can't understand that someone might feel about the GPL as you do about the BSD license. It's almost as though you feel that GPL advocates see that the BSD license is better but choose to follow a worse path. Once you learn to see things from other people's perspectives, however, the world becomes an interesting place.

And Theo has credibility? He is a truly reprehensible human being. It's sad that other OpenBSD users see him as an example and follow how he acts. OpenBSD mailing lists/forums are truly sad to read.

Hmm, helpful documents (3, Informative)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828453)

I mention in an earlier post an SFLC document about originality requirements [softwarefreedom.org] . They've also put together a set of guidelines for using permissively-licensed software in a GPL project [softwarefreedom.org] .

These are both in TFA, but it seems that most people here will find them more interesting than what the writeup actually says. Of course, important caveats: if this is really important to you, consult an unbiased lawyer.

Re:Hmm, helpful documents (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830837)

On the latter paper, the SFLC didn;t answer a key question on GPL v3/BSDL compatibility. The basic question surrounds whether and how the permissions granted by the GPL v3, section 7, paragraph 2 could be meaingfully applied to BSDL software.

This paragraph requires that GPL v3 compatible licenses be written in such a way that they can be reduced to the GPL v3 by anyone who merely distributes the softwre, adding no copyrights of his/her own Since the GPL v3 applies to the Corresponding Source as well, this means that any GPL v3 application that uses PostgreSQL could only do so without license modifications if the distributors could take the Libpq source and change the license without otherwise changing the code. I don;t believe it is possible, and the SFLC seems to advise not going this route.

IANAL, etc.

Loud, Public Dispute As Usual (1)

Crazy Taco (1083423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828653)

What ordinarily might have been an issue barely worth noticing became a loud, public dispute in Linux and BSD circles.

Seriously, is there anything that doesn't turn into a large, public dispute when the open source community (and their overly large egos) are involved? Whether its constant squabling over scheduler FUD, Linus Torvalds saying that security professional are just running around "wanging opinions", people freaking out about GPLv2 vs GPLv3 vs BSD, or this latest issue, it seems like we have several large, ridiculous disputes a day. Why can't people in the FOSS movement just get along? They like to bash Microsoft and talk about how it is attacking other developers/companies/3rd party groups, but FOSS can't even get along within its own movement. At least Microsoft doesn't attack itself.

Re:Loud, Public Dispute As Usual (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828851)

Seriously is there anything that doesn t turn into a large public dispute when the open source community and their overly large egos are involved Whether its constant squabling over scheduler FUD Linus Torvalds saying that security professional are just running around "wanging opinions" people freaking out about GPLv2 vs GPLv3 vs BSD or this latest issue it seems like we have several large ridiculous disputes a day. Why can t people in the FOSS movement just get along They like to bash Microsoft and talk about how it is attacking other developers companies 3rd party groups but FOSS can t even get along within its own movement. At least Microsoft doesn t attack itself.
What makes you think such behavior only applies to specific groups? Have you been to a Windows forum lately? I visit a DSRL forum regularly, and the Nikon and Canon camps jump down each others' throats regularly. Have you watched a political discussion on TV lately? It's just the way it is. Bigger movements sometimes gain too much momentum, interest groups sometimes get too emotional, fanboys tend to yell a lot. It's a lamentable fact of social life, but it is hardly specific to F/OSS.

Re:Loud, Public Dispute As Usual (1)

Crazy Taco (1083423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829325)

Bigger movements sometimes gain too much momentum, interest groups sometimes get too emotional, fanboys tend to yell a lot.

Granted, all that is true. However, the difference I see is that FOSS is supposed to be striving for a higher calling. People like Richard Stallman pretty much elevate it to a religious/moral level. This isn't just some XBox fanboy telling a Nintendo fanboy how much better his console is than the Wii. Supposedly, FOSS is bigger/higher than those sorts of things. Yet we see these arguments over even the slightest issues.

Issue number 2 is that FOSS is supposed to be more of a scientific/engineering/technological group as well. I understand 14 year old gamer fanboys getting up in arms about things, but these participants are supposed to be scientists critically and logically examining issues. Instead, their debates usually turn into shouting matches with lots of red herrings and poisoning the well type attacks (such as the security professionals "wanging opinions" remark), and often aren't inherently logical debates at all. Maybe I shouldn't expect anything of them, but I really would expect a group that markets itself the way FOSS does to be above a lot of the pettiness I see day to day from the leaders.

Re:Loud, Public Dispute As Usual (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829015)

Each project is a different group of people. There's hundreds of thousands of projects. Of course there will be disputes.

Re:Loud, Public Dispute As Usual (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829425)

Why can't people in the FOSS movement just get along? They like to bash Microsoft and talk about how it is attacking other developers/companies/3rd party groups, but FOSS can't even get along within its own movement. At least Microsoft doesn't attack itself.

Obviously not a Vista User.

Re:Loud, Public Dispute As Usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829937)

but FOSS can't even get along within its own movement.


FOSS is a "grand coalition" of many camps under the banner of providing access to code. The problem is that the coalition disagrees on the How and the Why.

The why side of things involves two major camps, the free software advocates and the open source advocates. The free software advocates tend to believe that freedom is an end in itself, whereas the open source advocates tend to believe that freedom is beneficial for some other reason (typically technical, and an example of this is resistance to binary blobs for security/portibility reasons).

The division of the How is mainly divided into permissive vs. copyleft licensing.

Given the current balance of issues, the difficulties of certain parties are definitely understandable. Take someone like Linus Torvalds, he has stated that he believes in open source and copyleft. He has chosen the GPL for his main projects (linux and git). And he feels that the GPLv2 suits his needs.

So what happens when the FSF (free software + copyleft), who determine the direction of new revisions of the GPL, decide to update the license to reflect their beliefs of free software better (which is understandable) at the expense of those copylefters who believe in open source? If the changes are drastic enough, a schism between the two copyleft camps will grow. And could possibly fracture them.

Thus, the GPL 2v3 issue isn't ridiculous, it is about the future of a very large and important branch of the FOSS community.

The good news is that if a split does occur, then there will be fewer issues to be argued (because the camps will no longer need to interact with each other, and will hopefully have licenses that suit them perfectly). The bad news is that the split itself will be very painful.

It worked? (1)

Edward Kmett (123105) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828781)

I for one am quite pleased, and I rather surprised that the matter was able to be resolved successfully in a manner that didn't completely screw over the BSD folks.

Heretofore I had held the opinion that one random unaccepted patch inappropriately removing a license notice wasn't worth the resulting furor. But by conflating that general non-issue with the root cause of the GPL borg consuming BSD code, the events here did reveal to a lot of folks whom hadn't previously paid much attention the cause of a lot of frustration on the behalf of the users of more open licenses.

I also had honestly not expected Moglen and company to be able to track down and get the GPL code contributors to relicense their code to appease the BSD crew, or even really suspected that they would do so. Bravo! I had largely taken the 'we're working on resolving the issue' statements as empty rhetoric.

In general I expected this to resolve with de Raadt and company stomping off, legally outmaneuvered by the GPL once again, without access to the improvements that had been made to their code by GPL contributors that they could see but not use. At least closed source corporate improvements are typically locked away behind closed doors and you don't have the code staring you in the face and you can rely on your larger development community to catch you up over time. With the GPL it seems so much more personal and tedious.

I had come to see that scenario as part of the genius (or bedeviling nature) of the GPL: its ability to co-opt the code of less opinionated. In essence doing the very thing it tries to prevent other legal entities from doing to it.

Neither the GPL nor the BSD licenses are perfect. The BSD license doesn't have a way to prevent GPL 'lockout', and the GPL doesn't play nice with others.

While I'm a little leery that this sets an awkward precedent that GPL developers on high profile projects will bend if people scream loud enough, overall, I think this was a remarkable feat of diplomacy on the part of the SFLC. Moreso given that it was done in the face of so much overt hostility.

Good job.

Resolved? (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830543)

I for one am quite pleased, and I rather surprised that the matter was able to be resolved successfully in a manner that didn't completely screw over the BSD folks.

Has the matter been actually resolved successfully? All I see is a set of pronouncements by the SFLC, some of whose staff apparently work as legal counsel for the parties in one side of the dispute.

I think the tagline from AvP is oddly appropriate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20828859)

Whoever wins... we lose

It should be this simple (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828887)

Cant the BSD people get together with Linus and his guys and agree to relicense every derived work in the other license?

For example:
1) Linux dev dl's spiffy-superdrivers from openbsd
2) Linux dev ports it and makes changes to it
3) Linux dev branches resulting code with the original license BSD and points the bsd guys there
4) Linux dev submits driver to linus (or whomever) in the GPL license
5) Should work the other way arround (s/Linux/BSD)
6) Even in the future, should anyone from the BSD camp request a particular piece of Linux kernel-world, they should be able to get it under the BSD license IF and ONLY IF, the BSD guys are willing to do the same with THEIR stuff.

Proprietary companies make cross-licensing deals all the time. We should be able to do the same.

Re:It should be this simple (1)

Epsillon (608775) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830389)

It won't work. The BSD licence (I'm going to get modded down to oblivion and flamed from several directions for this) is completely open. Anyone, including large corporations, can take it and use it for whatever purpose they like providing they leave the copyright header and however many clauses of the license intact in the source, binary and documentation. The GPL, on the other hand, is open with the proviso that it does not end up in proprietary software. You can take BSD code and put it into Windows. You can't take GPL code and put it into Windows without opening and providing source for everything that it touches and everything that links with it [1].

Now, here's the problem: The proponents of the GPL, quite rightly and legitimately, want to keep their software and source both available and out of closed source software, which is their right as copyright holders. Under no circumstances will a binary based on GPL source be distributed in a form that is unalterable and without source. However, if the developers of, say, the Broadcom driver allow one of the BSDs to relicense under the BSD two or three clause licence, this protection no longer applies. Broadcom could then quite legitimately drag any changes they think are more elegant or effective than their in-house methods and use them without a thought to giving back to the community that wrote them. This is why it is a one-way street. I don't necessarily agree with it, being a BSD user, but I certainly understand the objections of the GPL developers.

[1] The LGPL is slightly different in this respect.

What about "information wants to be free"? (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20828907)

Here is a juicy flamebait for you all...

A large number of Slashdotters reject any right of music- and movie-creators to tell us, what we can do with the music. The licensing of the entertainment media files are rejected by both the vocal minority and the moderating majority. In addition to the juvenile (and Communist) "rob the robbers" (il)logic (applied to the **AA members, who are "large corporations" [slashdot.org] or "rich and powerful" [slashdot.org] ), all sorts of other arguments are put forward, including how copyrights are a fairly recent [slashdot.org] (only a few centuries old) fenomenon, and how creators should be encouraged by fame [slashdot.org] , etc. instead of by keeping full control of their creations.

Why should not the same logic apply to software? Why are we even looking into the intricacies of GPL vs. BSD licenses, instead of denouncing them altogether like we (or most of us, anyway) do with entertainment licenses?

If, as is the prevailing view on Slashdot, any curbs on entertainment are wrong, why are we supporting curbs on software use — by, for example, cheering the GPL-enforcement litigation [slashdot.org] ?

Re:What about "information wants to be free"? (3, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829385)

Here is a juicy flamebait for you all...
Sorry, but your flaimbait is hardly novel. This gets mentioned on just about every story that deals with copyright in some way. The counter-arguments have been exhaustively delineated in previous slashdot discussions. Briefly:

1. There is not a single "Slashdot mind." Despite the groupthink that moderation may encourage, varied and even dissenting views frequently arise. Thus the preponderance of highly-moderated "current copyright law is bad" posts and the preponderance of "pro-GPL" posts are not necessarily posted by the same people. Also note that moderators should (and probably frequently do) mod-up things they don't agree with. So even if the average opinion were that the GPL was bad, it's possible to see highly-modded "pro-GPL" posts.

2. It is not inconsistent to say "status quo copyright is bad" and "the GPL is good." It may be that the person's consistent viewpoint is that a scaled-back version of copyright would be best. Such a scaled-back version of copyright could be consistent with both the GPL and broad fair-use (e.g. non-commercial private copying of music).

3. Many posters may agree with the spirit of the GPL, and even the spirit of copyright law, but believe it is immoral to use great force in enforcement. Put otherwise, they do not see anything wrong with copyright per se, but they decry the abusive measures utilized by entrenched monopolies such as the RIAA and MPAA represent. Thus it is the tactics they are unhappy with. This stance is not hypocritical because, at present, the tactics used in GPL enforcement are rather more reasonable as compared to the tactics used in the widescale "fight against piracy."

4. Many slashdotters actually don't agree with the GPL. You'll notice many highly-moderated posts that describe why the BSD license is better (even "more free") since it imposes effectively no burdens on other's use of the code. Such a stance is entirely consistent with a similar stance with respect to music: that everyone should be able to freely use/modify/redistribute intellectual works.

5. People can have nuanced views or see a continuum of options. For instance, a person may believe that status-quo copyright is terrible, that a no-copyright world would be better (but not ideal), and that a medium-copyright world (with protection arising only in cases where source material is released: i.e. copyright applies to BSD, GPL, Creative Commons, but not to closed-source works) is best. If a person holds such a view, it is not inconsistent to say "the GPL is good and should be honored" but to also say "status-quo all-rights-reserved copyright is bad and should be ignored."

And so on... I'm not necessarily defending any of these particular viewpoints, by the way. I'm merely pointing out that it doesn't require much imagination to come up with a consistent viewpoint that matches the highly-modded rhetoric seen on Slashdot.

Basically it is a fallacy to believe that Slashdot is a single mind that you can argue with. If you are attempting to point out some hypocrisy, then find a particular user who you think is espousing contradictory viewpoints in different posts. Beyond that, any cry of hypocrisy is actually a failure on your part to understand the inherent variability among the Slashdot readership, and the subtlety in the opinions being expressed.

Re:What about "information wants to be free"? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829623)

Why should not the same logic apply to software? Why are we even looking into the intricacies of GPL vs. BSD licenses, instead of denouncing them altogether like we (or most of us, anyway) do with entertainment licenses?

For personal, non-commercial use, it should.

For large-scale, commercial work -- like the Linux kernel -- it should not.

Re:What about "information wants to be free"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829995)

Is it the same people making these arguments?

GPL no more. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829115)

I'm beginning to dislike the GPL more and more. I don't think it's the right way to go about things. While I'd prefer all software to be Free Software, I don't think of proprietary software as evil. If people don't want to use proprietary software, they don't have to. They have the freedom to say no. The FSF seems to think that nobody should have the right to say yes to proprietary software. Not as users nor as developers. I don't agree with that.

What I think is more important is freely available documentation. Join that fight instead. If FOSS is so superior as the advocates claim, then proprietary software will eventually go away, GPL or no GPL (unless, ofcourse, people actually /want/ proprietary software).

Tivo(ization)? Really, what's wrong with it? People have the freedom to not use it. They also have the freedom to use it, and many do. Why? Because it's a cool product and 99.9% doesn't give a crap about having access to source code and being able to modify the product. The FSF seems to imply that you do not have the freedom to not care about these things. "No! That's not freedom! You'll be dominated by your software, handcuffed!". What? I'm watching TV!

"But without the GPL, software won't /remain/ free!" Nobody can make your ISC/BSD/MIT/whatever-non-GPL licensed code non-free. They can make their modifications to your work non-free, but so what? Your code is still free, and people still have the freedom to choose.

Now, this wasn't exactly what the article was about, but I just felt like having a little rant ... Carry on.

Re:GPL no more. (2, Insightful)

renehollan (138013) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830305)

Nobody can make your ISC/BSD/MIT/whatever-non-GPL licensed code non-free. They can make their modifications to your work non-free, but so what?

Yes, but they can't redistribute the combined work of "your" code and "their" modifications, in binary form, without redistributing the source to their modifications. That's very significant if their goal is to profit from the combination via redistribution.

The argument goes like this: "Why should you freely benefit from my hard work when I can't benefit from yours?" the BSD camp doesn't care (as far as commercial lockup is concerned) where the GPL camp does.

The argument that the GPL is "restrictive" or "non-free" in the sense that it does not permit the "freedom" to make derived works "non-free" is simply semantic bull feces. Without a license, copyright (at least in the U.S. and similar places) would grant NONE of the freedoms the GPL does. The fact that it does not grant ALL freedoms instead does not make it "restrictive". The fact that it grants many makes it "free" (though "liberal" might be a better adjective).

GPLv2 had a number of weaknesses and I think GPLv3 retains some of them. For example, I once was employed by a company that took much GPL code, made significant enhancements (particularly to the Anaconda installer, and SYSLINUX), redistributed the result, but did not share the enhancements with the "community"... all in accordance with the GPL.

How?

Simple. We DID distribute source to all our recipients of the combined work, some half-dozen of them, for millions of dollars each. Each of them had absolutely no interest in further redistribution, having paid the high price, and so the enhancements effectively stayed "locked up". Pity that: I thought some of them were useful.

As far as a GPL-hijacking of BSD code is concerned, it seams to me that the combined derived work can be licensed under the GPL, so long as the original BSD bits (including bits that were deleted) can be extracted and taken private. What part of "Portions licensed under the BSD license" is so hard to understand? Of course, I'm muddying the difference between derived work and aggregated works here, but if I combine A and B to produce C, and can yet recover A and B from C, who's to say it isn't an aggregate? I fact, if I simply aggregate A and B, and provide the recipient the mechanism to produce C from them for his own use, the aggregation argument is even stronger (another potential weaknes of GPLv2).

A court might not see that "hack" in a positive light, and argue that the combined work is a derivative of BSD-licensed code and therefore has to be redistributed as such, but even that can be overcome: imagine I have a box into which I download A, and B. I can ask the box to produce A or B. The box, however, can use A and B in an interesting way. Who's to say the box does not aggregate A and B? Who's to say that C is not a compressed version of the aggregate of A and B? I think that if something has all the properties of an aggregate, a strong argument can be made for treating it as an aggregate.

Of course, that wouldn't be playing nice with the BSD folks, but it strikes me as possible.

Re:GPL no more. (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831023)

"We DID distribute source to all our recipients of the combined work, some half-dozen of them, for millions of dollars each."

That's not in accordance with the license. What company was this?

Re:GPL no more. (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830441)

Nicely stated AC.

Re:GPL no more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20830649)

If people don't want to use proprietary software, they don't have to. They have the freedom to say no.
And if people don't want to contribute to proprietary software, they don't have to. The have the freedom to say no - by releasing their own code under the GPL.

The FSF seems to think that nobody should have the right to say yes to proprietary software.
Reference? Of course, there are plenty of times when they have advised people not to use proprietary software, but I'm not aware of any statement from them that people shouldn't be allowed to do so if they choose.

Re:GPL no more. (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20830751)

The FSF seems to think that nobody should have the right to say yes to proprietary software.

Citations, please.

Re:GPL no more. (0)

smash (1351) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831087)

Hurrah, another person "gets it".

If DNS, NFS, etc was all originally GPLed and commercial devs couldn't use some example code as a starting point, you can bet dollars to donuts that they wouldn't be standard protocols...

Largely positive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829247)

The OpenBSD Journal article states

"Note that the issue of authorship has been conveniently glossed over"

  It appears from the posting there that while the issue of which licence to
use may have been resolved, the issue over when you claim you have made a significant
contribution to the work and put your name on it has not been. - Which was a large
part of what the BSD people were complaining about in the first place (well, at
least the people who write any code, as opposed to people bleating about dual
licensing on slashdot)

"Glossed over"? No; deemphasized, certainly. (1)

Estanislao Martínez (203477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829361)

I wouldn't go as far as calling it "glossed over," but there is sure as hell a lot of talk about the issue being "resolved" without waiting for Theo and Reyk to chime in.

The real meat of the whole thing is in this analysis [softwarefreedom.org] , where the SFLC argues in some detail that the changes made by the Linux Wireless folks do qualify for a derived work of their authorship. Do Theo and Reyk agree with this? We don't know. The licensing concession might be enough to get them to settle, independently of the authorship dispute, or then again it might not.

Certainly calling this "resolved" is very, very premature. You don't get to call this "resolved" until the other guy agrees not to sue.

Re:"Glossed over"? No; deemphasized, certainly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20830945)

Indeed, it's surprising how few people are actually paying attention to these matters while at the same time jibbering about them.

Why I'm using Vista right now (0)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829445)

Because Linux wireless support sucks. I mean why should I have to hack the latest Ubuntu to get WPA-PSK? Thats ridiculous. And to make it worse, I have to use a PCMCIA Atheros card and not the internal Intel one as there is no driver.

Re:Why I'm using Vista right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829667)

I'm using a sony vaio, which uses the built in intel wireless with ubuntu no problem.
Maybe you need to choose to install proprietary drivers ?

Err? iwl4965 works fine (4, Informative)

Krischi (61667) | more than 6 years ago | (#20829791)

The Intel cards are among the best-supported wireless cards on Linux. The new one has been supported for a while now by the iwl4965 driver. It is in Ubuntu Gutsy (which is quite stable already, btw), and Gentoo, just to name two distributions.

Oh, and I am typing this on WPA-PSK with the native iwl4965 driver on x86-64, without any hacks or tweaks.

Re:Why I'm using Vista right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829895)

"I have to use a PCMCIA Atheros card and not the internal Intel one as there is no driver."

Because the majority of American wireless hardware companies don't have selling their hardware as their number one priority. They have a long-standing tie with a leading American software vendor and they won't release specs so drivers can be written on free operating systems without someone crossing their palm with lots of greenback and signed restrictions for use.

Pop Quiz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20829763)

Theo said:

It may seem that the licenses let one _distribute_ it under either
license, but this interpretation of the license is false -- it is
still illegal to break up, cut up, or modify someone else's legal
document, and, it cannot be replaced by another license because it may
not be removed. Hence, a dual licensed file always remains dual
licensed, every time it is distributed.

Which makes this [openbsd.org] kind of hard to explain, doesn't it?

Share and win, or so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20830769)

I do not question personal motives, but while some/most openbsd guys did not and do not want to relicense their code, linux guys agreed to do so this time.
This rounds goes to Linux.
(Cf. bcm43xx debate).

Aw, come on guys (1)

ignavus (213578) | more than 6 years ago | (#20831005)

Aw, come on guys!

Where's the multi-million dollar law suit? The lawyers versus the lawyers? The court room drama?

How can you have any commercial credibility if you resolve things like rational human beings. Where's your greed, your lust for power, your ruthlessness?

That's why Linux and BSD are not ready for business - no socially destructive tendencies. No underhandedness.

Not even a little dagger in the back. Come on guys!
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