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369 comments

Get real... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502627)

Sony could end up having to release the source code for the entire game!
Not going to happen.

Re:Get real... (5, Informative)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502757)

Sony has to cease distribution of the game. Which they already have done. Because of the way licenses work GPL gives you the choice of cease distribution or release the source. Obviously the easiest route for a now defunct game that you no longer publish is to cease distribution.

You can go after ever used game shop and stop them from redistributing the binaries without source too, if you'd like.

Re:Get real... (5, Insightful)

RupW (515653) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503061)

Sony has to cease distribution of the game. Which they already have done. Because of the way licenses work GPL gives you the choice of cease distribution or release the source.
Given this isn't FSF code, there's a third way: contact the original author and negotiate a commercial licence to distribute the code. If this was going to be a problem I expect that's the cheapest solution.

Re:Get real... (4, Insightful)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503117)

Or you could not accept the GPL, and let the lawyers loose on the poor unsuspecting copyright holder that dares to take you to court. Sony are in the wrong, but it's unthinkable that a judge would order them to release the source to their entire game.

Re:Get real... (2, Informative)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502765)

Exactly. Tag the story "notheydont" or "FUD". This is classic anti-GPL FUD.

The result of breaking any license is that you have to stop breaking the license and pay compensation. You have the choice between removing the offending code, or start obeying the license. In this case Sony has no reason to not just remove it.

Old News.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502633)

Sony has been playing this game for quite some time. [google.com]

Re:Old News.... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502677)

Goatsex redirect.. Nice touch.

Could Would Should (2, Informative)

pavel_987 (839726) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502635)

The key word in there is "could". I doubt anything will actually happen. Never underestimate the power of bureaucracy.

I got an idea (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502639)

Sony could end up having to release the source code for the entire game!"
Rather than go to the all the hassle with lawyers and all, why don't we mail a CD with a Sony rootkit to the Sony CEO and get the source code that way?

Re:I got an idea (5, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502665)

You had to label it "Private: Employee X Wedding/Honeymoon Pictures". Then just leave it near the coffee maker...

Labelling it otherwise, like "FY 2007 PSP Sales Report" then leaving it at his desk/sending it via mail is not recommended.

Re:I got an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502685)

*gasp* But that would be a violation of the DMCA!

Re:I got an idea (2, Interesting)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502855)

surely that guys disassembly of the file was in breach of the DMCA too? :)

Where? (2)

DeeQ (1194763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502645)

I'm kind of confused where you get the idea that they could have to release all of their source code. It doesn't seem to mention that in the link at all, also its very doubtful that sony would do that regardless. I could be missing something though so if thats the cause I apologize.

Re:Where? (5, Informative)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502711)

I'm kind of confused where you get the idea that they could have to release all of their source code. It doesn't seem to mention that in the link at all, also its very doubtful that sony would do that regardless. I could be missing something though so if thats the cause I apologize.

You are not missing something. Sony does not have to release the source code unless someone who owns a copy of the game ICO asks for that code. If Sony is infringing then that would need to be the scenario. If they do not want to do so then it would lead to a court case the results of which anyone would be guessing at this stage. And unless they do lose such a court case then no code gets released.

Of course the big question in my mind is are they infringing? In order for them to be infringing they need to have compiled into their game some source code that is licensed under the GPL. It is not totally clear from the article that this is the case it just appears to be so at the moment.

Re:Where? (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502823)

If they have included GPL code, they would also be infringing just for not showing the GPL text at the execution of the game. If that is the case, there would be no need to wait until a client asked for the source code.

Re:Where? (2)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502897)

If they have included GPL code, they would also be infringing just for not showing the GPL text at the execution of the game. If that is the case, there would be no need to wait until a client asked for the source code.

No it would not have to be so discreet it can be hidden away in the menu. It just has to be there. I use many GPLed apps and none of them display any such message at startup, it is always in the help or manual e.g. in Knode Help->About Knode->License Agreement(tab)

d) If the work has interactive user interfaces, each must display Appropriate Legal Notices; however, if the Program has interactive interfaces that do not display Appropriate Legal Notices, your work need not make them do so.
From GPL 3

I also note that many others have pointed out that stopping distribution of the code stops the GPL enforcement clauses. And this game is no longer sold by Sony, so they have to disclose zip :)

Re:Where? (0)

klingens (147173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502987)

If you own a copy of ICO, sourcecode for it has to be provided for at least 3 years after selling it to the buyer. If you buy a copy from ebay it's more complicated: you ask the guy who sold it to you and this that one asks the one he bought from ad almost infinitum until SCEI/game maker is reached (the corporation who ran the compiler that made the game). Then the whole ladder goes down again until it reaches the one that requested the source in the first place.

Hopefully one can have some power of attorney or such to cut out the intermediate stages to ask Sony/game maker directly.

Sony won't have to release source code to game.... (-1)

Manip (656104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502647)

Pretty much in the title.

The GPL specifically separates libraries from a program and thus allows a program to implement a series of GPL-ed libraries while using any licence they want. There is no grey area unless Sony decided to try and implement the library directly into their code base (which would be a huge waste of man power and would entirely defeat the point of using a library).

The GPL does do to things which might apply in this case:
1) Require you to show the GPL licence in some form
2) Require you to publish any changes you made to the GPL-ed code base (if there have been any)

All this talk about releasing code to the entire project is why so many programming houses are so scared of using GPL libraries etc even if it could save them thousands and as a result create better products.

You're confusing General license with Lesser (4, Informative)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502663)

The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the "Library" GPL) has the terms you describe, but the GNU General Public License (without the "Lesser") requires one to release full source if any covered libraries are used.

Re:You're confusing General license with Lesser (2, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502733)

The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the "Library" GPL) has the terms you describe, but the GNU General Public License (without the "Lesser") requires one to release full source if any covered libraries are used.

So when I use GlibC to compile my C program I always have to release the source? Or if my Linux program makes use of a Library avaliable in Linux I have to release full source?

I has a doubt, there is a limit you know.

Re:You're confusing General license with Lesser (2, Informative)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502745)

You know, it was formerly called the Library GPL because it was used in things like glibc...

Re:You're confusing General license with Lesser (4, Informative)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502763)

No, because Glibc is licensed under the LGPL not the GPL.

Re:You're confusing General license with Lesser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502829)

So when I use GlibC to compile my C program I always have to release the source?
No, because the glibc is under the LGPL, not GPL.
Or if my Linux program makes use of a Library available in Linux I have to release full source?
Depending on the library, yes. Most basic infrastructure libraries however are LGPL, or GPL with a linking exception (like libc++ or classpath)
I has a doubt, there is a limit you know.
Depends on the libraries you use. LGPL have the limit, GPL don't. And thats on purpose, not by oversight or chance, see for a (gnu biased) reasoning behind the two [gnu.org]

Re:You're confusing General license with Lesser (5, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502915)

No. As the GP pointed out, there are two licenses, the LGPL and the GPL. GLIBC is licensed under the LGPL, therefore you don't have to release the source to your own C program, just any modifications you might have made to GLIBC. As for the library of libarc, erm, I'm not sure what's going on here but I can't see any evidence it's licensed under either the GPL or LGPL. From http://libarc.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]:

License
Copyright © 2004 Basis Technology Corp.
All Rights Reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

* Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

* Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

* Neither the name of Basis Technology Corporation nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

Looks like a permissive free software license (*BSD, MIT) to me, not copyleft at all.

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (1)

SmackedFly (957005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502697)

Not true, that is the function of the LGPL, the GPL however has no such limitations. If you link part of a GPL library into your software, that software must be GPL. In effect you are actually including parts of the GPL code into your own program, and therefore this is viral. (And no, viral isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is the best way to describe it)

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502701)

I'm not sure I get you here, but the GPL "infects" even through dynamically linked code. So yes, they may have to release the entire game.

There is no distinction in the GPL between "integrating into their code base" and linking. Because there really is no difference technically (it's all just object files linked together at build time or at run time).

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503007)

Stallman wants you to believe that. Think about it for a minute. The GPL is about distribution. What if you dynamically link (or dlopen) your closed-source app to a GPL library? When you distribute the binary, you are not distributing GPL library code.

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (2, Insightful)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503081)

At no point can they be forced to release the sourcecode. The legal system just doesnt work that way.

Assuming it is a GPL(not LGPL) library then yes, to legally distribute the game they have to release the source to all of it. But that doesnt mean that they have to retroactively comply to the license after they broke it, it just means that continuing to distribute it is illegal, and the software authors could sue for financial compensation.

Whether or not its easier to just release the sourcecode (which they may or may not even legally be able to do -- What if it contains restrictively licensed code that conflicts with the GPL?

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (5, Informative)

pmontra (738736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502713)

I think you are confusing the GPL with the LGPL [wikipedia.org]. If a library is licensed under the GPL, the program that uses it is GPLed too. You have to link a library licensed under LGPL if you want to keep your software proprietary. That's exactly what the LGPL has been made for.

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502717)

Mod parent wrong. Compiled in GPL libraries definitely make it a derivative work.

The copyright owner is the only one who can act though so if they can't be found or they accept settlement from Sony the source code can stay private.

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502731)

How do these libraries save time and money if you have to hire a lawyer first to see what you can actually do with it?

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (2, Funny)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503033)

I'm 15 and I know exactly what the difference between GPL and LGPL is (not word for word of course, but in general what can be done with them), if you need a lawyer to make sense of it then I'd advise you to just stay clear of it altogether

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (2, Insightful)

orasio (188021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503051)

How do these libraries save time and money if you have to hire a lawyer first to see what you can actually do with it?
You are the one who says they do that. Some of us use free software because it's the ethical thing to to. Some other people use it because of technical reasons.

Aside from that, non-free software libraries also have legal issues, and if you wanted to be safe, you would have to hire a lawyer in every case, because you have to deal with redistribution issues, plus in some cases EULAs.
In the case of the GPL you could hire a lawyer once (provided you don't understand the terms after actually reading them) and then reuse that knowledge forever. Also, there are lots of texts explaining the GPL available everywhere.

For other licenses, such as MIT or BSD, the Free Software Foundation can provide you with some pointers. The are biased toward the GPL, and they say so, but they provide all the information you actually need, and do a good job explaining the other licenses implications.

If you compare that situation with alternatives such as buying the distribution of non-free libraries, free software has fewer legal costs. Licenses have legal ramifications. Just because you pay the guy, it doesn't mean he will let you do whatever you want. And if you can't read a free software license alone, of course you will need a lawyer, but then you will need a lawyer to read your EULAs for you.

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503073)

I know, I was just exaggerating for effect. This is /. you know.

But seriously, do we need so many licenses? They don't do themselves any favours.

MOD PARENT DOWN: Talking out of his ass (1, Insightful)

Alphager (957739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502747)

The parent has no clue and is confusing the GPL with the LGPL.

Re:Sony won't have to release source code to game. (2, Interesting)

xquark (649804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502985)

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. The GPL is indeed viral and does require the full release
of any source dependent or otherwise that is coupled with GPL code.

That said finding the definition of derivative and derivative works on the FSF's GPL FAQ page is quiet
interesting - they've gone to a lot of trouble hiding it towards the end, one would think such an
important FAQ would be say the 1st or 2nd listing.

reverse-engineering (3, Interesting)

TwistedSpring (594284) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502651)

Isn't reverse engineering with the tools used in this article disallowed by the license agreement for the game? I know little about law, so who has the trump card here?

Re:reverse-engineering (-1, Troll)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502787)

That was what I was thinking as well - surely the EULA says not to reverse engineer the code.

Now, do the people on slashdot agree with breaking a legal(ish) contract to find a GPL violation when they don't agree with breaking privacy laws to catch criminals/terrorists? Interesting dilemma :)

Re:reverse-engineering (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502803)

Even if you assume that the EULA is binding (and there's no act of acceptance here), there is a difference between breaking a contract and breaking a law. And also a difference between a petty law violation and a breach of human rights.

Re:reverse-engineering (3, Insightful)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502797)

Isn't reverse engineering with the tools used in this article disallowed by the license agreement for the game? I know little about law, so who has the trump card here?

Probably yes. But if a criminal broke into your house and found a drug lab and then phoned the police about it you are sunk. You are confusing the law that stops the police from doing this (entrapment) with the non-existent law that stops normal people from doing this.

Re:reverse-engineering (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502837)

I don't know the answer to your question, but it raises an interesting point. Sony's claim could easily be, 'You find out we were doing something wrong by doing something wrong.' Two wrongs not making a right and whatnot. Same concept as in law enforcement (sorry, I don't know legal terms). They've still broken copyright which discovery process wont excuse, but it will be interesting to see if Sony tries to hide behind such a claim. As an aside, it's hilarious to watch huge companies that like to swing copyright like a club, bludgeoning those who dare not take it seriously enough turn right around and ignore it when it suits them.

Depends on the legality of RE (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502875)

Isn't reverse engineering with the tools used in this article disallowed by the license agreement for the game? I know little about law, so who has the trump card here?

That depends on the validity of the license. In theory, at least, a license is only required if you want to do something that you wouldn't otherwise be allowed to do; for example, the GPL allows you to distribute software (otherwise a violation of copyright) if you follow its terms. So the question here is, is reverse engineering prohibited by law? If not, Sony can say "prohibited" all they want, but such terms would be legally meaningless--though, of course, they can still sue you and make you spend money to defend yourself.

This is all in my non-lawyerly opinion, of course.

Re:reverse-engineering (4, Informative)

Seahawk (70898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502925)

Well - in most sane countries reverse engineering is specifically allowed - no matter what the EULA's say. :)

They don't have to release the code (5, Informative)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502653)

And I quote [gnu.org]:

8. Termination.

You may not propagate or modify a covered work except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to propagate or modify it is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License (including any patent licenses granted under the third paragraph of section 11).

However, if you cease all violation of this License, then your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated (a) provisionally, unless and until the copyright holder explicitly and finally terminates your license, and (b) permanently, if the copyright holder fails to notify you of the violation by some reasonable means prior to 60 days after the cessation.

Moreover, your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated permanently if the copyright holder notifies you of the violation by some reasonable means, this is the first time you have received notice of violation of this License (for any work) from that copyright holder, and you cure the violation prior to 30 days after your receipt of the notice.

Termination of your rights under this section does not terminate the licenses of parties who have received copies or rights from you under this License. If your rights have been terminated and not permanently reinstated, you do not qualify to receive new licenses for the same material under section 10.

What that means is that they have to stop shipping the game entirely.

Now, the FSF, often acting on behalf of the copyright holders, have often allowed infringers to comply by releasing the source under the GPL. But I recall reading here at Slashdot recently that they are starting to play hardball with violators, and not allowing them to comply simply by shipping source. The copyright holder would be fully within his rights to get a permanent injunction against the sale of the game.

Re:They don't have to release the code (2, Insightful)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502659)

And, as our trusty friend Amazon.com tells us, the game has already been discontinued by the manufacturer.

Re:They don't have to release the code (2, Interesting)

bombastinator (812664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502825)

This would imply that Sony has to do precisely squat. While I have no reasonable authority to hold forth on this, I do think it might still have a few repercussions.

For one thing it could make the game legal to run on an emulator. The other I can think of is it might possibly allow people to tear apart their binaries. "Legal" reverse engineering requires a lot of rigmarole that may not be necessary here. That might still be a lot more trouble than it's worth. The game is pushing 6 years old after all.

Re:They don't have to release the code (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502699)

Wouldn't simply stooping to use that library get them out of hook?

Re:They don't have to release the code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503025)

Wouldn't simply stooping to use that library get them out of hook?

No, for the same reasons that if I made 1000 copies of their game and sold them it wouldn't be OK if I just promised to stop.

Please stop spreading FUD. (4, Insightful)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502683)

As numerous other posters have pointed out, this will not result in Sony having to release the source code for their game. The myth of the 'viral GPL' is already going strong enough without /. fuelling it by posting articles like this.

Oh well, time to sit back and watch the trolls have a field day...

Re:Please stop spreading FUD. (2, Interesting)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502853)

The myth of the 'viral GPL' is already going strong enough without /. fuelling it by posting articles like this.
What's this "viral GPL myth"? I thought the GPL was viral (and proud of it). Is there some confusion out there?

Re:Please stop spreading FUD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502957)

The myth is that the GPL can be viral against your (the infringer's/copyright holder's) will.

In this particular example, the myth is that Sony could be forced to release the game under the GPL against their will; that's simply not the case. They can be required to cease infringing on the copyrights of those whose copyrights they apparently are infringing on; and they certainly could get out of the whole thing[1] by deciding to voluntarily release the game's code under the GPL, but that's a different story: they don't have to. All they are REQUIRED to do is cease infringing.

So the GPL is not viral - it doesn't "infect" you or your products against your will. Even if you infringe on someone's copyright by using GPL'ed code without abiding by the terms of the license, your code will not be or become GPL'ed unless YOU decide to make it so.

However, that's the myth.

1. In practice. It won't magically make the past infringement disappear, but most copyright holders would probably be happy with this outcome and wouldn't press further charges.

Re:Please stop spreading FUD. (3, Informative)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503069)

That is close but not fully it

This alleged infringement is not part of the myth. The myth goes like this "if you use any GPL type software to develop your code then you lose all rights to your code". The myth is wrong because it ignores the fact that a GPL complier does not make your code GPL and most libraries you would ever link about are LGPLed not GPLed and you don't have to release the code if you don't distribute etc etc. This Sony case would still be a copyright problem if the code was say copyrighted by Microsoft and Sony just put it in their code, which is theft. People get confused because they don't understand both how copyright works and how the GPL works. The GPL just ensures that people who link to GPL code and pass it on also pass on the freedoms that they have in the first place to use that GPL code.

That is what the GPL is, an enforced system of passing on freedom. It is not there to steal your Intellectual Property.

Re:Please stop spreading FUD. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503101)

You fucking loser.

Pieces of shit like you are no better than the garbage currently occupying the US executive branch.

Take your bullshit and get the fuck off of Slashdot. Even though this is another non-story it is thankfully another warning sign for every commercial company to stay the fuck away from the shitty viral GPL and the bearded scumbag nutcases like you who try to defend it.

Re:Please stop spreading FUD. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503011)

Apparently there is, and it's based on the definition of 'viral'. The word viral seems to imply that it spreads without the target having any choice, which is simply not true.

Yes, if you plainly include GPL code into your project, the freeness must transfer when you distribute it, but nowhere in the process does the GPL code move itself into your project. It's always your decision.

If you don't want that, don't use it. If you don't want the users of your own code to have to make that decision, don't use the GPL, there are great alternatives like BSD. There's no magic here, 'viral' is a bad description.

Re:Please stop spreading FUD. (1, Insightful)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502881)

No, the GPL is viral. They would have to supply the source code to people that bought the game. They don't have to supply it everybody, but they do have to supply it to people who bought the game and ask for the source. They can charge for the source, but no more then they charged for the game itself.

Now, the above holds true ONLY if the libarc is true GPL. If it's LGPL then it's non-issue. The below quote is straight from the GNU site:

Q: You have a GPL'ed program that I'd like to link with my code to build a proprietary program. Does the fact that I link with your program mean I have to GPL my program?
A: Yes.

So, yes..if they linked to libarc then they would have to GPL ICO as well.

The LGPL is a good license. BSD is a good license. GPLv2 is a maybe license, the GPLv3 is shit.

Taking somebodies code and making is disappear sucks, but taking someones code and giving credit while using it in a closed app..I don't get why this is such a big deal? Some companies make money selling support for open apps while others make money selling closed apps. Let the market decide vs. forcing the GPL and it's uber linkage pawnage down everyones throat. Software should stand on it's merits, not on it's license.

Re:Please stop spreading FUD. (5, Insightful)

Tet (2721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502953)

The LGPL is a good license. BSD is a good license. GPLv2 is a maybe license, the GPLv3 is shit.

Errrr.... no. They're all good licenses, with different goals behind them. Choose the one that's right for you. But don't criticize others because they happen to have different goals to you.

Taking somebodies code and making is disappear sucks, but taking someones code and giving credit while using it in a closed app..I don't get why this is such a big deal?

How about because the author doens't want that to happen? If you don't care about that, then BSDL or LGPL would seem to be good choices for you. Others do care, and hence the GPL is more appropriate for them.

Let the market decide vs. forcing the GPL and it's uber linkage pawnage down everyones throat.

No. Let the author decide. The author of any given bit of code is under no obligation to release it to the public at all. When they choose to do so, they get to release it on the terms they decide. For some that will be "take my code, do what you want with it", while for others it will be "take my code, but any changes you make to it have to be available to all". Different people have different views on it, and there are a range of licenses to choose from that cater for that. Simple, really...

Re:Please stop spreading FUD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503059)

The problem is that the libarc code may have been compiled together with the game and not just binary linked, then it's the GPL that dictates what happens and not LGPL. If that's the case it means Sony is screwed.

People sometimes doesn't understand that a LGPL component's code is GPL'd, so you can't pick and chose code from it and claim it's LGPL.

What is it? (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502693)

Why have I never heard of this game? And in a related question, why do I want the source code for a game I have never heard of?

Re:What is it? (1)

samurphy21 (193736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502841)

I suspect its because you either are not a gamer, don't read gamer publications, or live under some sort of gamer rock. I am a mild to non gamer myself, and have heard of this game, though I have never seen it or played it nor was I sure what platform it was for or who had created it. Penny Arcade had several comics regarding it, and many times I've seen gamers nerdgasm over it's puzzles and gameplay on forums.

But yes, your point of "I don't care about this, so why should I care" is well taken.

Re:What is it? (5, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502863)

The game is an excellent (but now dated) adventure/puzzle game (with minor action elements), that was something of a sleeper hit in the early-ish days of the PS2, before its software library became the unstoppable juggernaut it eventually turned into.

The basic concept of the game is that the player, who takes the role of a boy with horns, left in a mysterious castle as a sacrifice, must guide a mute girl around and eventually out of said castle, fighting against shadowy enemies and solving increasingly complicated puzzles. The game was notable for a number of reasons.

First, it had a striking visual and aural style. Unlike many early PS2 games, it turned away from bright colours and fancy coloured lighting effects, adopting a colour scheme that verged on monochrome at times, with a heavy emphasis on contrasting light and dark areas. The music was distinctly minimalist, but fitted the game well enough that the soundtrack went on to sell well in its own right.

The game-play was also notable. By contrast with the excess of button-mashing titles that dominated the PS2 scene at the time, Ico had a slower, more thoughtful pace. Combat elements were largely perfunctory - the real challenge was in defeating the puzzles posed by the game environment. In some respects, the gameplay had many parallels to that of the 3d Zelda games, although Ico placed higher degree of emphasis upon artistry than almost anything else around at the time on any platform. There was no enthusiastic voice-over urging you on to rack up big combo attacks, or to rush to the next objective before the bomb went off. Instead, the player experienced a mix of trepidation and a genuine sense of exploration as he made his way through the game world.

Ico never became a huge seller and never got a huge mainstream following. Nevertheless, it's an important part of gaming history. It was the first game to really use the power of its console generation to deliver something other than fancy special effects. It set new standards for story-telling, that remain influential even today. It spawned a "spiritual successor", in the form of "Shadow of the Colossus" (released relatively late in the PS2's life-cycle), which took many of Ico's concepts and developed them further, with greater technical expertise, to deliver an experience which was simultanously substantially flawed and deeply engaging.

So yes, we should care about Ico.

Re:What is it? (4, Funny)

The Evil Couch (621105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502927)

why do I want the source code for a game I have never heard of?

Because you're tired of playing Tux Racer and the other two GPLed games? :p

No they won;t have to release the source (2, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502703)

Other code is covered by other licences. These licences most likely explicitely restrict them from releasing the code. The GPL doesn't superscede these other licences.

This is a simple case of copyright infringement. Sony will be obliged to pay damages, and possibly withdraw the game from sale.

How can this happen? (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502707)

I've always thought that knowing the origin of all code is standard procedure. Where I've worked, hiding such a thing is reason enough to fire someone.

Didn't they check? Or they knew perfectly well what they were doing but didn't care. I suppose it's the second.

They didn't care because they are incompetent? Or simply their lawyers told them it didn't matter. I suppose it's the second.

Sony has three options (4, Informative)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502719)

1) release the code for ICO under a GPL compatible license (and thereby conforming to the GPL)
2) license the library under different terms (might be difficult depending on the fact if all copyright holders agree to do this)
3) violate copyright (and thereby enter the usual legal road for copyright violations)

They don't have to release the code if they don't want to.

Confused: libarc doesn't seem to be GPL (4, Interesting)

renoX (11677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502735)

Looking at libarc website http://libarc.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]: the license indicated here isn't the GPL..

So either it's not the same libarc or its license has changed or the website is incorrect or the issue happen in some other file but not in libarc..

Re:Confused: libarc doesn't seem to be GPL (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502793)

In all claims, you should be looking at the header files on the individual source files, not what a project source claims. At any rate, all we've really found out thus far is that the code appears to be duplicated. It's possible that they both plagarized the same third source. But unlikely.

Re:Confused: libarc doesn't seem to be GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502827)

The Slashdot article freely admits that the libarc is simply a relicensing of the BSDL zlib, with very few modifications.

Re:Confused: libarc doesn't seem to be GPL (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502939)

Are you telling me that the license file could be incorrect, and that to know for sure I would need to manually inspect every last line of source code to see if a different license file is specified?

1. I cannot see that hold up in court, but I'm not a lawyer.

2. That means using Open Source software has just become about a thousand times more expensive. Rather than just send the license file down to our lawyers, now we need them to read the entire source code? That will be an easy answer then: "buy some commercial library instead".

But in this case I happen to agree with the first poster: libarc appears to be covered by a NON-GPL license and therefore Sony is not going to have any problems. Even if libarc itself turns out to be in violation of GPL'ed code, then it is the problem of its author, rather than Sony.

On the other hand, if people do sue Sony over this, I fully expect it to become a Microsoft slide entitled "risks of open source software - even if you comply with the license you are at risk..."

Re:Confused: libarc doesn't seem to be GPL (2, Informative)

KanjiMonster (1016616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503021)

Are you telling me that the license file could be incorrect, and that to know for sure I would need to manually inspect every last line of source code to see if a different license file is specified?
But in this case I happen to agree with the first poster: libarc appears to be covered by a NON-GPL license and therefore Sony is not going to have any problems. Even if libarc itself turns out to be in violation of GPL'ed code, then it is the problem of its author, rather than Sony.
You are still thinking of the wrong libarc. The article talks about this library [onicos.com]called libarc, and if you open the archive for the source [onicos.com] you find a file COPYING that contains the GPL licence.
And that is the only licence given for this library, no other is mentioned elsewere.

Re:Confused: libarc doesn't seem to be GPL (5, Informative)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502843)

Looking at libarc website http://libarc.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]: the license indicated here isn't the GPL..

So either it's not the same libarc or its license has changed or the website is incorrect or the issue happen in some other file but not in libarc..

Yeah I found that libarc too. But the article appears to be talking about another libarc from Link to articles libarc [onicos.com] It is written in C the libarc you found is written in C++. Not the same program, confusing names, how many libarcs are there?

Re:Confused: libarc doesn't seem to be GPL (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502943)

I looked at this earlier, but it has a different developer and is listed as pre-alpha, so I think it's a different thing. The correct one (linked from TFA) is a japanese language page that I couldn't view, much less read ;-)

J.

GPL Violations (0, Troll)

CalicoDreams (1159251) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502755)

Hi, this is an information post; in that I would like some information.

I do a little bit of programming (for my own personal systems, mainly embedded) and I understand that for personal use the GPL and its lawyers will NOT prosecute me and chase me across the outback as I am one single person.

However, I would like to know (and I am asking on slashdot because I am confused not because I dont understand how to use google) how I can use GPL'ed code and libraries within my own work and NOT have to release my code.

Thanks in advance

Re:GPL Violations (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502809)

Don't distribute your work, in source or binaries. You're free to modify as you deem fit. But if you distribute to others, you're supposed to do so under the license. That's the terms of the GPL deal, you're free to reject them but usually the only alternative is not using the software.

But is the source code work of a single man something to be hoarded so? The GPL was also designed to protect your clients, who perhaps you only ship binaries to. Because someday the author might be a client, and wishes to receive the rights as well.

Re:GPL Violations (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502839)

Easy one: don't give your binaries to anybody, then you won't have to release your source code. Not joking, the GPL works that way.

OTOH, if you release your compiled code without the source, the authors of the GPL code you included COULD go after you, even if you "are one single person".

(This looks like IHBT, but anyway)...

Re:GPL Violations (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502851)

So, you want to use some libraries, but don't want to pay for them?

Fair enough, but why stick to the GPL? There are a lot of high quality commercial licences you can pirate as well.

Re:GPL Violations (1)

CalicoDreams (1159251) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503023)

Why do i need to pirate something?

I have very limited needs that pertain to me; my issues concerning the GPL is not to do with not recognising someone elses work (I am more that happy to). My issue is that I want to keep my work, as a deriviate of their work (or more precisely, my code uses their code to do a specifc function and I use what it spits out ) entirely my own.

Am i better off just writing all of my own code from scratch?

Re:GPL Violations (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502861)

The reason you're safe is not that you're small fry -- the GPL says that if you distribute derivative programs or systems, these have to be under the same license. Personal use is not distribution.

Many web companies are thought to have been taking advantage of this for years. It is claimed that many of the web services we receive are based on in-house improvements of open source code. As their in-house version is never distributed, there is no requirement to distribute the source code (which would help their competitors.

If you wish to distribute something incorporating GPL/LGPL/[insert-name-of-license-here] code without adopting the license, you have to contact all named contributors in the version history for their permission (it is, after all, their work).

HAL.

Re:GPL Violations (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502963)

Even worse than that...
GPL is non-revokable.

You can dual-license a program you wrote from scratch. Legally it looks like this: you have 'root' version which is 'closeware' - "Nobody but me is allowed to use it, and I am allowed to change the license", and two 'branches' - GPL and the other license. Practically you don't but that's somewhat moot. You're allowed to develop the 'root' and upgrade the 'branches' according to your changes to 'root' but you're not allowed to backport users' changes to the GPL branch into the 'root' and Commercial branch.

You can't dual-license a program that has GPL components in itself. Your root is GPL and you can't relicense it. And even if the original author of the program you based your own on releases a second version under some license you need, your own 'root' is based on the GPL branch and is GPL. You can't change it. You may at best write a second version, a total rewrite from scratch, using the commercial version of the library as basis.

Re:GPL Violations (1)

MortyKnox (699810) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502867)

The key word is distribution, whatever you do with GPL'ed code is up to you, if you distribute it to others, with or without payment, you have to obey by the GPL by releasing the source. I.E. you can not sell/take credit for other ppl's work.

Re:GPL Violations (1)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502949)

Hi, this is an information post; in that I would like some information.

I do a little bit of programming (for my own personal systems, mainly embedded) and I understand that for personal use the GPL and its lawyers will NOT prosecute me and chase me across the outback as I am one single person.

However, I would like to know (and I am asking on slashdot because I am confused not because I dont understand how to use google) how I can use GPL'ed code and libraries within my own work and NOT have to release my code.

Thanks in advance

I have code that I have put under the GPL and NONE of you can have it (because it shows how crap I am at C++). The reason I can do that is because under the GPL I would have to distribute this code to someone else for the re-distribution of code clauses to have any effect. Even then only those I have given the code to can ask for it from me, then the code is out of my hands and they have the freedom to re-distribute it with the same freedoms as given under the GPL

The GPL is not about stealing peoples code and making it public. It is about ensuring that the freedom you get from the code is passed onto those who you give the code to.

Besides you will rarely encounter GPL'ed libraries most are LGPL and that freedom thing does not apply to that. If you have any real further questions I suggest that you send an email to the FSF and ask them about it.

Re:GPL Violations (1)

dovgr (935487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502971)

There actually are a couple of other ways that may be considered loopholes of the GPL, and these are:
  • Run the GPL code as a separate process, i.e. fork() and exec() the program with whatever parameters you want to pass it in the command line, and collect the output.
  • If you need more complex interaction, then wrap the GPL code within a server architecture, and communicate with this server from your program e.g. through tcp/ip. You still have to release your server code under GPL, but that might not be a problem. This is the loophole that the new license GPL variant (whose name I forgot at the moment) is trying to close.

oh the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502775)

of slashdot readers caring about software licenses, in-between downloading photoshop from thepiratebay...

Good luck Masanao Izumo (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502781)

"Copyright (C) 2000 Masanao Izumo "

I wish him all the best luck in chasing down Sony and enforcing his license. If this copyleft were held by FSF then maybe there would be some arm twisting.

(also making a library GPL instead of LGPL, how annoying)

If I was starting a business (2, Interesting)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502795)

If I were starting a business, I'd just go on and bright-line and outright abuse the GPL. I would go into business (such as PS2 games or whatever) where any "outrage" by the OSS community would go unnoticed and would simply ignore the empty threats of lawsuits and what-have-you. Heck, many companies are doing this already. it's a very legitimate and none too risky business strategy. For all its good philosophical points that would encourage good hearted individuals to contribute to my bottom line, I would benefit from the fact that enforcement of the GPL is ultimately toothless.

Please, do go on and tell me how, exactly, I'm wrong in this.

Re:If I was starting a business (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502967)

Leaving the moral aspects aside (after all, they don't mix with "business"), you still need to create some because you'll be competing against a free product with people who know your code better than you do. If you just plan to freeride, I wouldn't bet on your survival unless you find very stupid clients first.

Re:If I was starting a business (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503087)

It is sort of like a bunch of weak kids sitting around discussing what the bully should spend their lunch money on after he has stolen it. The bully could listen to them but nine times out of ten they won't.

Re:If I was starting a business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21503095)

If I were starting a business, I'd just go on and bright-line and outright abuse the GPL. I would go into business (such as PS2 games or whatever) where any "outrage" by the OSS community would go unnoticed and would simply ignore the empty threats of lawsuits and what-have-you.

The mistake is here: "empty threats of lawsuits". The GPL does not fall under contract law, it falls under copyright law. You can of course distribute a GPL'ed program without permission - just like you can distribute Microsoft Office without permission. It is not breach of contract (since there is no contract), but plain copyright violation. Nowadays, in most countries, copyright violation is criminal, and especially when - like in your case - we are talking about copyright infringement for profit.

Thus, we are not talking about a civil lawsuit, but a criminal case. It won't be the developer who presses charges, but the District Attorney. And you may consider yourself lucky if you get a fine with a lot of zeroes. Basing a company on copyright infringement could easily land you in jail.

And in the case of companies like Sony... How do you think Sony Music would see it if Sony Computer Entertainment was convicted of copyright infringement? "Hey look, we at Sony don't think copyright infringement is bad" would be a pretty bad signal to send.

And the favicon of that site? (0, Offtopic)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502845)

Funny, that favicon of the linked site (http://astrange.ithinksw.net/ico/) is a direct use of the Japanese shoshinsha (aka wakaba) mark to denote a unexperienced driver: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wakaba_mark [wikipedia.org]

I would not be surprised if this mark was trademarked or copyrighted in some way.

(And yes, this is a semi-hearted attempt to point out that it's easy to fall into such traps.)

Not GPL (1)

vininim (1110871) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502901)

From the site [sourceforge.net]

License

Copyright © 2004 Basis Technology Corp.

All Rights Reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

* Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

* Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

* Neither the name of Basis Technology Corporation nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

No mention to the GPL

Premature to think that they'll release the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21502931)

What if Sony had already got permission from the author of libarc? The author of libarc could have relicensed the code to Sony. It is obviously very premature to think that Sony is going to release all its game code; they can very well strike a deal with the author who has all the copyrights.

Mr. Hankey Senior? (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502935)

Does anyone else see the resemblance between the GNU icon used as a label on this story and a piece of poo? I know this is waaaaaay off topic (mod me down if you must) but it looks like a big whistling cartoon turd. Some long lost relative of Mr. Hankey's? Anyway, that is all.

Imagine this (2, Insightful)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502977)

The CEOs for all the create IT companies are in a room. A big room.

Suddenly someone screams "Hey, look at the news, it says here that PlayStation 2 Game ICO Violates the GPL!"

And then everyone laughs and cries out "who doesn't?"

It's already beyond common practice.

Tip of an iceberg (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21502979)

This is only the tip of an iceberg, you will find a lot of GPL source or extracts of GPL source almost everywhere. Maybe not complete libraries, but some snippets may be found now and then.

The problem lies in the possibility to identify all those parts.

Viral License (1)

sam.haskins (1106069) | more than 6 years ago | (#21503029)

And people wonder why there is opposition to the GPL? I remember recently someone saying that the GNU GPL is far less restrictive than corporate EULAs; I think examples like this show that it *can* be more restrictive in some cases. It doesn't *always* help the users (especially when the end users are people who don't give a flying ... anything about the source code).
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