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OpenOffice.Org Now Under LGPLv3

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-just-lip-service dept.

GNU is Not Unix 107

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Sun has moved OpenOffice.org to the LGPLv3 license. In his blog Sun's Simon Phipps cites worry over software patents as being one of their main reasons for this move: 'Upgrading to the LGPLv3 brings important new protections to the OpenOffice.org community, most notably through the new language concerning software patents. You may know that I am personally an opponent of software patents, and that Sun has already taken steps in this area with a patent non-assert covenant for ODF. But the most important protection for developers comes from creating mutual patent grants between developers. LGPLv3 does this.'"

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Software (5, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674514)

You may know that I am personally an opponent of software patents

Software is the only thing you can have both a patent AND a copyright on.

Re:Software (2, Informative)

aerthling (796790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674536)

Don't patents apply to the method and copyright to the implementation?

Re:Software (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674968)

Yes.

Re:Software (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675122)

No. The "method" is the implementation. It's a term that's used to describe the invention. The paperclip, for example, described in the patent, is "a method to fasten pages of paper together".

And the idea that copyright can protect the little metal clip from copying is one of the worst perversions of the patent [wikipedia.org] system I've heard.

Moreover, you can't copyright the patent claims, diagrams and descriptions. The basic point of the patent registration is that the contents of the patent are available to the public, so other inventors can't infringe, and potential licensees can see what they can get from the inventor.

But I guess there's no monopoly on answering patent questions wrong without citation.

Re:Software (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675164)

"Don't patents apply to the method and copyright to the implementation?"

That's the theory yes...
But software is still the only product where that's possible and it's a bad idea.

Re:Software (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678946)

Technically, but since every combination of primitive ideas seems to be patentable, all the company has to do is patent the entire class of software serving the specific function theirs does, and no one can create a competing implementation.

Re:Software (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674540)

Is that true? If so it defeats the argument that patents are good because they put information into the public domain after a certain time. I rather thought that patenting something removed your right to have copyright protection.

Re:Software (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22674592)

The idea is patented. The very specific implementation (the code) is copyrighted.
The patent on the idea will eventually expire. The exact specific code used in their specific implementation will remain copyrighted longer.

Imagine someone long ago patented the idea of the book when they wrote the first one and copyrighted it. The patent on the idea of books would long ago have expired, but each individual book can still be copyrighted for a certain period of time.

Re:Software (1)

timrichardson (450256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686302)

I think this could be a little misleading. There is no link between patents and copyright. A work of art is copyrighted: a computer program, being a work (source code) is copyrighted like a novel or song is copyrighted. The fact that the software may be a clever invention is not why it is copyrighted. It is copyrighted because someone wrote it (although an author can elect to forgo copyright). What I think is a little misleading is the term "specific implementation", because it may imply a link between the patent and the copyright.

Re:Software (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676914)

The MP3 format is patented, the LAME encoder is copyrighted. Even after the MP3 patent expires, LAME will still be copyrighted.

Re:Software (4, Interesting)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674878)

Unfortunately, plots of books and movies are also being patented by people like this. [plotpatents.com]

Re:Software (4, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675144)

Those people belong in prison.

About Us (1)

mbius (890083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677992)

Andrew Knight is the inventor of Storyline Patents.

The connection between patent law and unique fictional storylines necessary to conceive of Storyline Patents may never have been made if Andrew Knight did not occasionally dabble in fiction... Recognizing that fierce competition for publication and financial reward focused on the quality of storytelling, as opposed to the quality of the underlying storyline itself, and further recognizing that even the world's most skilled storytellers (of which he is clearly not) rarely turn a profit, his unique fictional storylines have matured into pending patent applications instead of novels or screenplays. He thus seeks reward on the true value of his innovations--the underlying storylines--instead of forced, sub-par expressions of these underlying storylines.

Hallelujah. Legal protection for the vague ideas of no-talent artists (cf. "storylines recognizing").

Isn't the form-and-function "expression," as opposed to an ill-defined goal, what patents are for? Say, the Salad Spinner, versus the true innovation of dry lettuce.

Re:Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22681522)

Just ask the Cheat.

Re:Software (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22682286)

Those people belong in prison.

Sounds like a plot for a movie...

Bah, all the plots are already prior art (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675738)

Everyone knows there are only so many plots [google.com] .

Almost any story can be glibly described in a few sentences. What makes a story good, or even great is in the telling, that's why a talented author would copyright his particular expression.

The only possible use of a "plot patent" is strictly to troll and whine "wah, he stole my idea, but made it better than I could!"

Re:Software (2, Informative)

skoch (238567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675452)

> Software is the only thing you can have both a patent AND a copyright on.

This is not true, Mechanical components have patents on the idea, and copyrights on the drawings of the machine that implement the idea. Software is the same way, patents on the idea, but copyrights on the source code and executables.

That does not make software patents a good idea however.

Re:Software (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676134)

With software, as you said, you can have copyright on the source ("blueprints") AND executables. With a new type gear you can only copyright the blueprint, not the gear itself.

Re:Software (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676824)

With software, as you said, you can have copyright on the source ("blueprints") AND executables.

It's a subtle point, but you can't have a patent on either the source or executables, only the ideas/mechanism they express.

Software *is* a fundamentally different construct than anything that came before it, and it's going to break a lot of these "software is the only thing that..." comparisons. It doesn't make any sense to be to allow someone to patent physical mechanisms but not software that has just as much complexity, innovation, and inter-dependent parts as that physical mechanism. Why is physicality so valued as to deserve patents when software is not?

I agree that a careful look should be taken at "obviousness". I also think that as the software industry (which only reached most consumers within the last 15 years or so-- so the first-generation patents are sometimes just expiring) and the internet industry (which is well within it's 1st generation patent frenzy) mature, the problem of "obviousness" will dissipate somewhat as all the low-hanging patents expire. In the meantime, I hope Congress doesn't take a "think of the children!" style reactionary response and throw the baby out with the bathwater. If we want someone in a garage to be able to create the next great thing, we really need software patents on true innovation, while preventing the minefield of software patents on the chaff.

Re:Software (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679778)

Software *is* a fundamentally different construct than anything that came before it

True, but it's been around for over half a century, and that's discounting Ada Lovelace [wikipedia.org] , the world's first programmer, who died in 1852 (the machine she wrote programs for, Babbage's Analitical Engine, wasn't actually constructed until the late 20th century).

Why is physicality so valued as to deserve patents when software is not?

Why should software deserve patents when music does not?

Re:Software (1)

timrichardson (450256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686314)

Does the software get the patent, or the algorithm?

Design patents and copyright (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675618)

Software is the only thing you can have both a patent AND a copyright on.
I agree that software patents are by and large a bad idea but your claim of exclusivity between patents and copyright is demonstrably
not true [wikipedia.org] . It's been possible for a long time to have both a design patent and a copyright on the same item. It's uncommon I'll grant you, but definitely possible.

Re:Software (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676660)

Software is the only thing you can have both a patent AND a copyright on.
But what's so special about that? Cartoon characters are among the things that you can have both a trademark AND a copyright on. Integrated circuits are something that you can have both a patent AND a mask work right on.

Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674520)

The LGPL is in no way "lesser" than its hideously deformed cousin the GPL. Where the second one takes and takes, the first one gives and gives. It promotes community through sharing rather than through vigorously tilting at windmills.

If the LGPL were a presidential candidate, it would be Barack Obama -- "Yes we can." The GPL would be Ron Paul -- "We need the gold standard and protectionist trade."

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22674558)

I guess there is a reason you are "BadAnalogyGuy"

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22674568)

Never before in Slashdot history have you so completely earned your screenname. I salute you, sir.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674612)

How can someone "take and take" by publishing free software?

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (3, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674650)

Because it takes as payment the entire work of someone who relies on the supposedly "free" software.

The LGPL only requires such payment if changes are made directly to the LGPL'd work itself.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (4, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674850)

So wait... How does that work? Chances are if someone relies on free software outside of free software projects (such as Debian, Mozilla, Ubuntu, Open Office, etc.) they work as a business and use free software to get the job done. Most of the time that software never leaves the company so the company could say that it will provide the source to anyone who requests it (being nobody) the company is in no way obligated to publish the modifications they made. They just can't prevent someone who has the source from uploading it to a server and having people download it.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (2, Insightful)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675158)

Because it takes as payment the entire work of someone who relies on the supposedly "free" software.

How so?

Entire work: you mean that, e.g., the entire product portfolio of IBM becomes copylefted as soon as they use GPl'ed software in one of their products?
supposedly "free": you mean that the GPL changes its clauses after you incorporated GPL'ed code into your product?

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684608)

Not their entire product portfolio, no. But if one product uses a GPL library, that entire product becomes GPLed. Even if that library was used without any changes.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22685610)

You are right of course, but GP said "the entire work of someone", and GP is not correct.

Also, what you write is true only when one uses the GPL code on purpose, and this is well documented in the license, no surprises. It's easy to avoid too, simply by not using code that the author only makes available under this condition. In case you meant that inadvertent use of GPL'ed code can lead to these consequences: this is pure FUD, it has never happened in practice and not judge will likely ever rule that way.

Generally, GPL violations are resolved amicably, and never by a judge order to open unproportional amounts of code. Look, e.g., at the case history here [gpl-violations.org] .

ugh, defination of "free" again... (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678768)

Look the GPL is "free" in that you can not catch a unicorn [GPL program]. The most you can do is feed it [add code] and take rides [use it].

Now would you stop playing the stupid "not free" game.

Re:ugh, defination of "free" again... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680734)

Then the unicorn fucks your prize poodle, which has little baby unicorns. Then it fucks your cat, which also has little baby unicorns, as does your assraped pet parrot.

Stupid analogy? Meh, I'm not the one that started babbling about unicorns.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674714)

They dont let companies take whatever they need and then bastardize it. Some people think that all free software should be like Kerberos, bending over handing the lube to the rapist. That way companies can take what they need giving nothing back.

Demanding someone elses work for free is just retarded, especially when you are a company selling your products for a hefty price-tag.

SUN+LGPL is strange.. (1)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674838)

Sun Refuses LGPL for OpenOffice; Novell forks [slashdot.org] ... One is starting to wonder what is happening...

You're talking about XOpenOffice, right? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676784)

Sun Refuses LGPL for OpenOffice; Novell forks [slashdot.org] ... One is starting to wonder what is happening...
This situation appears to parallel GNU Emacs vs. XEmacs [xemacs.org] . It's easier to defend a copyright in court if one entity owns copyright in the entire work. This is why copyright in GNU software is assigned to Free Software Foundation [gnu.org] . Sun wanted to make the same requirement in mainline OpenOffice.org, but one developer refused to assign copyright in his component and started a fork.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (2, Informative)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675586)

It depends on how you look at it :

In GPL , anything that is derived from that code , must also be published under GPL .
So all code use must be GPL .

Lesser GPL changes this , in that it allows the LGPL'ed software to be linked with non GPL'ed software ( ie it can use non gpl libraries)

This means that , if OpenOffice remains pure PGL , then there's a problem if someone wants to extends OpenOffice with properietary libraries . This problem doesn't present itself with LPGL.

Off course , there's a danger that the proprietary code becomes a main part of the application , making it basically a proprietary application.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675628)

with PGL i mean GPL offcourse ( dyslectic by lack of coffee)

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678064)

The GPL is off-course? Where was it going? It's not going there anymore? Dyslwhat?

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676278)

> If the LGPL were a presidential candidate, it would be Barack Obama -- "Yes we can."
> The GPL would be Ron Paul -- "We need the gold standard and protectionist trade."

I think I get it...
So the GPL is like a car with clear windows - pretty much anyone can drive one, and anyone can see inside.
The LGPL adds the "tinted windows" option so it still can be driven by pretty much anyone, but people outside can't see in.

I know it's a bad analogy, but I had to respond to BadAnalogyGuy with a car analogy, especially a bad car analogy.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680456)

If you want a car analogy, here you go:

The LGPL is like a car where anyone can make modifications to it or add after-market parts to it, but only has to allow that same right to people it distributes said car to for the original part of the car. The GPL, however, would be a car where any after-market parts added to it would also have to be modifiable and distributable in the same way the entire car itself was.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676398)

Where the second one takes and takes
The GPL takes nothing away. It grants you permission to distribute software licensed under it (a right you would normally not have due to copyright law) under a specific set of conditions.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676488)

(a right you would normally not have due to copyright law)

Just a nitpick - it's a right you wouldn't normally have due to a copyright holder not granting that right. The copyright law itself effectively says the copyright holder can determine the distribution rights. The GPL relies on this fact to work. Without that protection, the GPL would have no teeth at all.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678400)

The LGPL is in no way "lesser" than its hideously deformed cousin the GPL.

Actually, I've found the LGPL almost totally useless. It works OK for C link libraries, but it has too many situations where it devolves into the GPL. If you include any LGPL C++ templates, then your program must be LGPL. If you use any LGPL Ada generics, your program must be LGPL. Its debateable whether simple C macros and #defines render you LGPL. Lisp macros are debateable too [common-lisp.net] .

So LGPL really does not do what a lot of people seem to think it does.

You need to look at what you are trying to accomplish in picking a license. To keep things simple and within bounds I can understand, I only use one of three licenses (in order of restrictiveness):
  1. If I don't want anyone doing anything with my code and making it non-GPL (eg: for stand-alone apps): GPL
  2. If I don't want anyone doing anything with my code and making it non-GPL, but I want them to be able to *use* it as a library and release the product under any license they want (barring changes to my library): GPL with linking exception [wikipedia.org]
  3. If I want anyone to do anything they like with it, including possibly making trivial mods and re-releasing it as their own (eg: OS bindings that I don't want to support): Public Domain

I know other people have their own favorite licesnses, but those three I understand fairly well, the market understands fairly well, and they cover all my bases.

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680772)

Out of interest, how do you put copyrighted content into the public domain? Seriously, what's the statute or case law on that one?

Re:Ah, the LGPL, the "sane" GPL (1)

dh003i (203189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684398)

If you use software, you agree to the license under which it's sold. You have a legal AND moral obligation to abide by contracts that you agree to. No-one forced you to agree to those contracts. That's true of both GPL'ed software and of "EULA'ed" software.

If you use GPL'ed code in your application, you have a legal and moral obligation to license your app under the GPL. End of discussion. If you don't like it, don't use GPL'ed software. Maybe the only reason the software's there is because the owners wanted derivatives to be GPL'ed, and wouldn't have made it if not for that. If you don't like that, base your application on software that isn't GPL'ed; use BSD-licensed software.

PS: Your Obama / Ron Paul analogy is despicable and uncalled for. Ron Paul is the only candidate, along with Kucinich to some extent, who has any kind of integrity. He has principles, which include abiding by the constitution, freedom, free trade, free markets, and a non-interventionist foreign policy; and he supports the only monetary standard that provides some check against unlimited government spending, the gold standard (and that also prevents business cycles caused by monetary inflation).

Sun's lawyers "get it" (4, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674560)

I've always claimed that whenever Sun wrote a strange license, it was because their lawyers told them to.

You may recollect a small war between Sun and MS over the MS effort to "embrace and extend" Java.

I suspect we'll see more GPL3 and LGPS3 as it is shown in practice to provide the same patent potection as CDDL.

--dave

Market Fragmentation (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674576)

... Now, I don't know MUCH about GPL, etc. But the fragmentation of licensing agreements (LGPL, GPL, CC, CC2.5, ETC) is just going to confuse people

It is the SAME problem that most people have with linux - Linux is GREAT ... but most people don't care. It is too confusing choosing a distro, and a lot of people will just stick with the first or second distro they find, because they don't care about all the variations.

On the other hand, most people don't care about these things (GPL et al. doesn't mean much, people just ignore it anyways).

... okay, well most end users, anyways.

Re:Market Fragmentation (2, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674670)

It would be nice if people stuck to LGPL 2+, GPL 2+, Old X11/New BSD or multi-licenses that included them. This would allow for compatibility for the most part. Other licenses that are compatible but not multi-license are OK too, but really should just be one of those IMO (based solely on momentum, not quality).

CC is not a Free or Open license (as it is used for the most part anyway). So I think your post is just further muddying the waters.

Re:Market Fragmentation (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677176)

It would be nice if people stuck to LGPL 2+, GPL 2+, Old X11/New BSD or multi-licenses that included them.
What license would you recommend for (say) a Free video game, both the code and the assets-other-than-code such as sampled sound, music, models, textures, scripts, and the like?

Re:Market Fragmentation (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677326)

What license would you recommend for (say) a Free video game, both the code and the assets-other-than-code such as sampled sound, music, models, textures, scripts, and the like?

I don't think you can assume a single license is appropriate for both code and non-code to begin with.

Re:Market Fragmentation (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677940)

What license would you recommend for (say) a Free video game, both the code and the assets-other-than-code
I don't think you can assume a single license is appropriate for both code and non-code to begin with.

Not all video gaming platforms run Windows, Windows Mobile, Linux, or Mac OS X. In fact, some of them have no "file system" to speak of. This means that both code and data have to be placed in the executable and linked into the same address space. As I understand the GNU General Public License, that would put the data under the GPL if any of the code is under the GPL.

Even with a file system, the GPL doesn't make clear what counts as "separate and independent works, which are not by their nature extensions of the covered work, and which are not combined with it such as to form a larger program". In fact, this appears to have been left vague on purpose: "Where's the line between two separate programs, and one program with two parts? This is a legal question, which ultimately judges will decide." [gnu.org]

Even apart from video games, what license should be used for, say, icons used by GPL software?

Re:Market Fragmentation (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681856)


I would personally probably use a license that allowed GPL 2+ use for everything. And only accept submissions that were given to me as GPL and BSD so that I could later change it as I pleased. The Submitters would have to trust me not to close off their code. But even if I did, hopefully the part I released for Free would be enough not to receive too much spite.

I don't disagree with the GPL 3 in principal, I just don't want stuff closed off from v2 (or vice-a-versa).

If I was feeling generous I may perhaps also dual license some of the assets in a BSD style license too.

I really don't want to advocate a specific license though, I just think that compatibility (amongst FOSS) is important. I think for the most part the LGPL+ is probably the best compromise between computability and protecting the openess of the code. I think BSD allowing the non-creator to close off their improvements is bad, and the GPLs aggressive opening of code is perhaps to big a hindrance to other developers who don't want to go totally Free.

Of course with wrappers for binary code, it is kind of a non-issue.

Re:Market Fragmentation (4, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674788)

But the fragmentation of licensing agreements (LGPL, GPL, CC, CC2.5, ETC) is just going to confuse people

Different licences for different purposes. And remember that before these licences came along, individuals would often release software under their own (often poorly worded) licences, or sometimes not at all. Sometimes the licences are ambiguous, or the authors feel compelled to add in all sorts of arbitrary restrictions (I guess that's their right, but it's annoying when there's no logical reason). Indeed some people still do that. When I see something that's licenced under "GPL" or "CC", I know exactly what I'm getting, and don't have to worry if I can or can't do something, or if even though it's advertised supposedly "free" I'm going to download it and find it's crippleware, trialware, or has all sorts of licence restrictions.

Recently I was looking for free graphics to use for writing games, and I came across one from years ago that had some licence saying it was free, but only for Windows because he wanted to be the one to "port" it to another platform. Huh? I thought, why should the graphics need to be changed for a different platform? Thankfully I then found a later version of the graphics which he'd sensibly released under CC.

I'm not sure that comparing to Linux distributions makes sense. You might as well complain that having thousands of pieces of software available is "confusing", and this is comparable to Linux distributions. If people just choose the first licence they come across because the rest are too confusing, that's fine.

Re:Market Fragmentation (1)

sveinungkv (793083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675080)

Different licences for different purposes. Sure, but sometimes those purposes are compatible while the licenses are not. That is the problematic fragmentation. Take for example a look at Apache 2.0 vs GPL 2. GPLv3 fixes this, so now it is possible [fsf.org] to use Apache 2.0 code in GPLv3 projects.

Re:Market Fragmentation (4, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675272)

remember that before these licences came along, individuals would often release software under their own (often poorly worded) licences ... When I see something that's licenced under "GPL" or "CC", I know exactly what I'm getting, and don't have to worry if I can or can't do something
Furthermore, it's worth noting that when it comes to proprietary software, the licensing landscape is very confused and inhomogeneous. Each software package has its own custom EULA. Though they often share similar features (e.g. "no liability"), there are often all kinds of ridiculous clauses buried among the boilerplate legalese. Volume license agreements are no better: you have to be very careful when selecting them (are we talking per-user? per-installation? per-processor? per-active-instance?).

As you point out, at least with open-source licenses, there are only a handful of major ones that cover the vast majority of software. Once you know about them, you can very quickly know how much control you'll have over the code, and can confidently download/install/use/modify as required.

There is no proprietary equivalent to this kind of well-organized and relatively homogeneous licensing landscape. (Of course not! Having "named" proprietary licenses would make it too easy for a customer to compare different product licenses and select the less onerous ones.)

Re:Market Fragmentation (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674886)

It is too confusing choosing a distro, and a lot of people will just stick with the first or second distro they find, because they don't care about all the variations.


Thats not necessarily a bad thing though.... If someone who has never used the command line on Ubuntu before tried Gentoo.... I think there would be lots of headaches for the developers....

Re:Market Fragmentation (1)

sveinungkv (793083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674908)

But the fragmentation of licensing agreements (LGPL, GPL, CC, CC2.5, ETC) is just going to confuse people
LGPLv3 is a big step away from fragmentation. While LGPLv2 [opensource.org] was a separate license, LGPLv3 [opensource.org] is just an exception to GPLv3.

Re:Market Fragmentation (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674940)

Which people? GPL generally doesn't affect end users as far as I understand.

Right, because MS has a single EULA (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675012)

Oh wait, no MS has several, off the top of my head, the OS, directX, media player. Office offcourse as well, but that is a seperate product. Does IE still come with one? Silverlight?

In fact most windows software comes with a EULA all written differently.

So you claim that people have no problem understanding all these different EULA's but would be confused by the far simpler opensources licences of which only about a dozen are in actuall use?

Bad troll, no cookie for you! This is 2008, we expect more nowadays. Go on, mention soundcard drivers, why don't you.

Re:Right, because MS has a single EULA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675574)

nobody reads it faggot faggot faggot FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT

Re:Right, because MS has a single EULA (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676188)

The point wasn't that people need to read them. The point was that software developers, when searching for an applicable license, have TOO many to choose from, because everyone seems to think we need new, updated ones.

Too many choices is ALMOST as bad as not enough choices.

Re:Right, because MS has a single EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22680870)

While off topic, I find the license inflation in MacOSX quite annoying. with every update, there's a number of license dialogs, asking me to accept a separate license for each and every update. The worst part of this is that all Apple software that is installed on this box came from one single original Apple MacOS X 10.4 DVD.

Re:Market Fragmentation (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677308)

There is no confusion to the average user. Open Source means I can download and use it without anyone hassleing me, but I won't because it is free and therefore not as good as stuff I pay for. Closed source means that I can download and use it, and someone might hassle me, but probably not, so i won't bother to pay for it, but since I should have paid for it, it is better.

There are only two casses where I hear people claiming to be confused. The first is trying to close previously opened project. This obviously is not productive, as an open source project implicitely must be free to be used according to the license, and any investment that a firms makes in it's use must be protected. It would be quite detrimental to open source if at any moment a library of code could be pulled.

The second case is that open source means 'gratis'. It does not always. most of us know that under certain circumstances changes must be passed back to the community and source must be passed to customers. Open source is not public domain, and it is my undersatanding this is intentional. Open Source develepors do not want thier code hi jacked and repackaged as closed source projects, for which they can subsequently be sued.

For those who need such licenses, it is no different than any other project. There are always a number of options, and a rational person conducts suffecient due dillagence prior to commiting to a particular option.

Ironically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22674676)

This article about copyright backed licence restrictions was brought to you by "I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property" [endsoftpatents.org]

Great ... now what about ZFS? (0, Offtopic)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674852)

Sun still has an on-again, off-again relationship with open source. If they truly want to show that they are committed to open source, they would release ZFS under the GPL so that it can be integrated into Linux.

Re:Great ... now what about ZFS? (3, Insightful)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675006)

Let it go... Sun released ZFS on open source license. It already got integrated in few systems. Open source != GPL. Free software != GPL.
We, linux guys, want ZFS features. But we are not center of the universe. Let's just wait for btrfs to mature and Daniel Phillip's ddlink to take off.

Re:Great ... now what about ZFS? (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675434)

It already got integrated in few systems. Open source != GPL. Free software != GPL.

No, but Linux==GPL. Sun could release ZFS under a Linux-compatible license without affecting anything else (they could triple-license it).

The only reason Sun isn't releasing ZFS under the GPL or a GPL-compatible license is to prevent Linux from using it. And that tells you that Sun is lying when they are saying that they are supporting Linux; they are trying to hurt Linux and replace it with their shit.

Re:Great ... now what about ZFS? (1)

htd2 (854946) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676250)

Oh come on without Sun's donations to the OpenSource community Linux would be about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Sun is the largest commercial contributor to the code base which makes up a modern Linux distribution, the last stats I saw suggested that they had donated more code than the next two largest commercial supporters IBM and RedHat combined.

Hardly the actions of a company that is hell bent on destroying the OpenSource movement.

Linus needs to reconsider GPL V3 (2, Interesting)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676866)

No, but Linux==GPL. Sun could release ZFS under a Linux-compatible license without affecting anything else (they could triple-license it).

The only reason Sun isn't releasing ZFS under the GPL or a GPL-compatible license is to prevent Linux from using it. And that tells you that Sun is lying when they are saying that they are supporting Linux; they are trying to hurt Linux and replace it with their shit.


While I think you have a point, and I share (to a degree) your suspicion with regards to Sun's motivations, I would point out that Linus brought this upon himself in no small part as a result of "not trusting" the Free Software Foundation (or Richard Stallman personally, I suppose), and not licensing the Linux kernel under the GPL V2 "or any later version." As a direct result of this, it is impossible for Sun to release their product under a Linux kernel compatible license that also protects them from Software patent claims, as the GPL V3 and Sun's own open source licenses do.

I have been a Linux advocate since the mid nineteen-nineties, and remain so today, but Linus' stubbornness on the licensing issue may well have condemned Linux to the annals of history sooner than it otherwise might have been. Sun may be trying the accelerate this, but in point of fact, I supsect it will be Linux's incompatibility with GPL V3, V4, V5... that will push it away from the center of the Free Software and Open Source world in the coming decades, far more than any political maneuverings by Sun, Microsoft, SCO, or anyone else.

Why does this matter, when we're talking timeframes greater than any software's life cycle? Because free software, unlike proprietary products, tends to change, morph, fork, and become incorporated into new products. Emacs has reinvented itself numerous times. So too has the Linux kernel and a dozen other free software projects. But now, as the legal copyright/patent landscape changes and much of the world is forced to move to protective licenses such as GPL V3 as a matter of self-preservation, Linux will be left out. More and more code will be license-incompatible with the kernel, which over time may well become an insurmountable problem. There is no reason that fragments of Linux code wouldn't have been included in an operating system in 2050 ... perhaps one calling itself Linux ... except that it will be license incompatible, and the GPL V2 so hopelessly outdated with current law and legal precedents as to be nearly useless.

It is this kind of entropy that the Free Software Foundation's recommendation of "GPL V or any later version" was designed to address. Unfortunately, Linux doesn't have that option, so instead (most ironically) it will likely be a bit of FreeBSD, or perhaps GNU Hurd code, that we see floating around in the codebase of whatever free OS we're running forty-odd years from now, and much of that will be down to licensing as much as technical merit.

Umm... (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677628)

Actually, Sun said that they are going to GPL ZFS. Of course, they're in the middle of a patent lawsuit over ZFS right now, so it's probably not the best time.

From what they have released, I'm rather hopeful that they will release ZFS, given time. And I think you can already use it with FUSE (although I'm not sure how stable that is just yet).

True, Sun can be funny at times about these things, but I really hope that ZFS catches on, because the ideas behind it are great.

Re:Great ... now what about ZFS? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676752)

If they truly want to show that they are committed to open source, they would release ZFS under the GPL so that it can be integrated into Linux.

You mean the GPLv2, of course. It's my understanding that GPLv3 code isn't eligible for inclusion, either.

Re:Great ... now what about ZFS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22677420)

You mean the GPLv2, of course. It's my understanding that GPLv3 code isn't eligible for inclusion, either.

Last I heard, Linus said he'd consider moving to GPLv3 if it meant he could use code from OpenSolaris. Which is probably why Sun released it under the CDDL, rather than GPLv3 as they were supposedly considering at one point.

I'm happy but... (1)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674920)

I'm happy that Sun is taking the FLOSS movement seriously. I'm a Java developer working with Netbeans on Linux and OOo has been my main office suite since the StarOffice days. Sun seems to 'get' FLOSS, but I'm wondering how that's helping their bottom line? Are they doing this because it's helping them sell servers (or something else), or out of desperation?

In other words, I hope that they are doing this because they realize (and reap) a distinct business value and not just because they're desperate. Should the former be the case, I hope that it continues to send waves down the IT marketplace and continues to encourage organizations to provide free (libre) software.

Re:I'm happy but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675362)

Sorry hoss. It's desperation. Sun realized they suck at software so they're using OSS to try and sell the hardware. They don't drink you're kool-aid. They're just trying to make a dollar.

Oh and the 'wave' you refer to must be pretty small because the water in my IT shop is pretty calm.

Re:I'm happy but... (5, Insightful)

htd2 (854946) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676326)

Yawn, Solaris is probably the most capable server OS on the planet and it contains a number of technologies that even the most passionate Linux advocate would give their eye teeth to have in Linux. dtrace, ZFS, SMF etc etc.

Sun also developed Java still the most widely used application development and deployment platform for enterprise applications. It is also the largest single platform for Mobile Phones, way ahead of Symbian, Windows Mobile etc.

They have also developed the only credible alternative to MS's cash cow Office.

Not bad for a company apparently rubbish at Software development.

Re:I'm happy but... (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675472)

The only thing Sun is "getting" about open source is that it is killing their business.

And Sun's support of open source is pretty similar to Microsoft's "embrace and extend": they are trying to use open source as leverage for creating proprietary software businesses again. Fortunately, they are as inept at doing that as they were at selling proprietary software.

Re:I'm happy but... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686108)

Sun's business isn't about selling proprietary software...
It's about selling the complete package:

hardware, software, support

Their business is, and always has been, selling a complete package that works well together... The cost to them of producing the software was always quite high, with open source they can reduce that cost while encouraging new people to become familiar with their stuff. Sun's customers are large business/government and always have been, they want people to download their software for free at home and small businesses and run it on their self built systems, it increases mindshare. A large corporate won't run opensolaris on cheap hardware, they will buy a supported package from sun, and they're more likely to if their staff are familiar with it.
Microsoft do much the same, they've always relied on warez copies to increase mindshare so that when these people go to work, microsoft is all they know, and corporations are far more likely to consider the cost of buying software less than the cost of being caught running warez.

Re:I'm happy but... (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675506)

I hope that it continues to send waves down the IT marketplace and continues to encourage organizations to provide free (libre) software.
It will...FOSS is the way of the future for software. All the big software companies know it and are either 1.) embracing it and integrating it into their business model (RedHat, IBM, Sun), or 2.) casting it out and hope they can bury it with FUD and litigation (Microsoft, SCO). More and more proprietary companies are turning to the light side as they realize this. Some faster than others.

Re:I'm happy but... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686132)

There is a difference there tho...

Microsoft and SCO depend on the sales of proprietary software, software being available for free renders their business model obsolete, and they would rather fight tooth and nail to prevent that rather than have to reinvent themselves. If software sales dried up overnight, these businesses would become hugely unprofitable and face bankruptcy.

RedHat, IBM and Sun don't depend on selling software, they all make most of their money from selling support services, although IBM and Sun also sell hardware too. Software is a necessary evil for them, it's mostly a cost associated with providing the other services they make profit from. It makes sense for them to get the software they need to compliment their other services as cheaply as possible, and by collaborating with each other and other parties they massively reduce their own costs... (ibm contribute a lot to linux, redhat makes use of ibm's contributions etc).

NoeOffice (1)

charlie763 (529636) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675450)

With these changes in licensing and governance, can we expect to see a merger of the NeoOffice guys back into OpenOffice?

WTF? This guy again? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675474)

Who is "I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property" ?!?!?!

Has anyone else around here noticed that 6 out of 10 stories are from him?

He must have the highest acceptance rate of any story submitter on Slashdot.

I say we all call bullshit on this guy.

Re:WTF? This guy again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675674)

He does not believe in 'imaginary property' which I assume to be an attempted pun on intellectual property.

Pretty ironic that he is posting on a site that funded by displaying a Sun Microsystems advertisement (thousands of patents, thousands of trade secrets, thousands of copyrights, numerous trademarks) that contains a Microsoft logo (thousands of patents, thousands of trade secrets, thousands of copyrights, numerous trademarks) and an Intel logo (thousands of patents, thousands of trade secrets, thousands of copyrights, numerous trademarks).

About that patent non-assert covenant (2, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675898)

That patent non-assert covenant is almost identical (and the differences are in the parts that aren't important) to Microsoft's patent no- assert covenant for its XML formats. Many have said that the latter is unacceptable for use with free software. It's also interesting to compare those two non-assert covenants against the one IBM provides for their patents that cover OpenOffice, and for Microsoft's OSP. I've made a little page that lists all four of these non-assertion covenants [nyud.net] , side-by-side, with corresponding sections highlighted in matching colors.

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (2, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677816)

I rarely read MS EULAs, because I never use MS products. But I've read one of the patent non-assert agreements on a proposed OOXML standard. ("A", because they've continued to shift the proposal, and because they reserve the right to continue to change it after it gets approved, presuming that it does.)

The non-assert agreement only guaranteed that the patents would not be asserted against fully conforming implementations. But the specifications of the standard (at that time) were such that nobody, including MS, could actually build a fully conforming implementation. (Including such wonderful statements as "split the text layout in the same way that Word 95 did."(paraphrase. I'm *NOT* going to read that mess of garbage again!). Also the non-assert agreement named a particular version of the specifications to which it applied. Which didn't imply in any way that if some security fix was mandatory, that it would be legal to apply that fix.

Additionally, I have reasonable grounds based on past history of actions, for trusting Sun to not act maliciously towards folk who were not acting maliciously toward them. The case for MS is rather different.

Additionally the GPL3 and LGPL3 have been verified by lawyers that I trust to have good intentions. This is not true of ANY license offered by MS. Several of them have been roundly denounced by legal experts that I give reasonable credence to. "Nearly unconscionable" is a phrase that pops to mind.

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679818)

The non-assert agreement only guaranteed that the patents would not be asserted against fully conforming implementations.
That requirement is also in IBM's non-assertion covenant. (Well, IBM says fully compliant, not conforming, and Microsoft doesn't have the word fully in theirs).

But the specifications of the standard (at that time) were such that nobody, including MS, could actually build a fully conforming implementation. (Including such wonderful statements as "split the text layout in the same way that Word 95 did."(paraphrase. I'm *NOT* going to read that mess of garbage again!)

It never had anything like that in it. What it had was basically a set of flags, that someone importing documents from old versions of Word and WordPerfect (and a few others) could use to record the fact that those documents had formatting settings that OOXML does not handle, so that, for example, if you wanted to convert back to the old document format, you could preserve that. The spec also said that programs producing new documents should not use these flags.

Note that you can do the same thing in ODF, by using application-specific tags or metadata. The only real difference is that the OOXML spec reserves from names for this, so that if two different implementations want to write WordPerfect 5 importers/exporters, say, they have a chance of interoperating. In ODF, unless they talked to each other first, they would probably pick different application-specific tags or metadata, and so not interoperate.

Also the non-assert agreement named a particular version of the specifications to which it applied. Which didn't imply in any way that if some security fix was mandatory, that it would be legal to apply that fix.
Just like Sun's non-assertion covenant. You should actually look at the MS, Sun, and IBM licenses. I made it ridiculously easy to do so, and they are all quite reasonably sized, and the language isn't bad for legal documents.

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681656)

I didn't say I was comfortable with Sun or IBM EULAs...I said I was reasonably comfortable with the GPL family of licenses. Saying that Sun and IBM didn't make the same limitations that MS made doesn't mean that I trust or accept their pledges either. But I haven't had occasion to try to understand them. I've had occasion to try to understand MS' EULA, and that's when I decided to switch to Linux. And I've had occasion to understand the GPL, and the GPL3.

When Sun's license is the GPL3 or the LGPL3, then I'm comfortable with their patent pledge, and then is *doesn't* contain the kind of limitations that you say exist in the Sun and IBM patent pledges, and which definitely existed in the MS patent pledge that I read. (You may assert that "they are all quite reasonably sized, and the language isn't bad for legal documents.", but I generally feel that I'd rather debug Forth.)

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant, P.S. (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681728)

P.S.: From your comments I feel that we read very different MS patent pledges about OOXML. (Do you have any reason to believe that they only made one that became public?) The alternative is that we understood certain sentences as having very different implications. Admittedly, IANAL, and I tend to put the darkest reasonable interpretation on words that are represented as coming from MS. If they guarantee a right to do something, I tend to take the narrowest reasonable interpretation of what that covers. I'm told that this is the appropriate method of understanding what is meant by a legal guarantee.

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22686178)

It never had anything like that in it. What it had was basically a set of flags, that someone importing documents from old versions of Word and WordPerfect (and a few others) could use to record the fact that those documents had formatting settings that OOXML does not handle, so that, for example, if you wanted to convert back to the old document format, you could preserve that. The spec also said that programs producing new documents should not use these flags.
So what your saying, is that OOXML is not capable of representing the type of formatting used in these cases?
Surely that can be considered a shortcoming, and the format should be fixed so that it can represent these types of formatting.

In terms of backwards compatibility, these old apps will never open the OOXML files directly, another app will have to convert them. Surely this conversion app should be aware of how particular formatting can be represented in both formats while doing a conversion, and shouldn't need kludgy hacks like this.

Example (from memory, could be wrong):

Wordperfect 5 has a bug where "small caps" are displayed in a font size 2pt smaller than the rest of the text. When stored in a WP5.1 file the text is all stored at the same size, and the application bug renders the caps at 10pt.

Convert this to OOXML:

Conversion application is aware of the WP5.1 bug, and thus when opening a WP5.1 file it automatically marks the small caps as 10pt so they render properly.

Convert this (or any other file) to WP5.1:

Conversion application is aware of the WP5.1 bug, and thus when saving a WP5.1 file it marks the smallcaps at 2pt larger than they would be marked in any other format.

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (5, Informative)

WebMink (258041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22681042)

That patent non-assert covenant is almost identical ... to Microsoft's patent no- assert covenant

That's because Microsoft based their document on Sun's. I know that because the author of the Sun covenant is a colleague, because it was released at least a year before Microsoft copied it and because, after I pointed this out, Microsoft credited Sun for the original document.

(and the differences are in the parts that aren't important)

I disagree, and I have explained why before on my blog [sun.com] . Sun's covenant is intended to empower open source developers, and Microsoft has altered the parts that make that happen. Most notably, Sun's covenant grants all patents, Microsoft's is limited to "necessary claims". That is a very major difference since it means open source developers cannot be sure they have actually been given cover by Microsoft's covenant whereas they can be certain they have by Sun's. It is deeply regerttable that Microsoft added essential claims language in this way. For those who don't follow links, I also find the conformance requirements and the patent peace asymmetry poor in Microsoft's document.

Many have said that the latter is unacceptable for use with free software.

Indeed, and I am among them. However, your implication that the same applies to Sun's covenant is incorrect.

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683324)

You are right that Sun's doesn't have "necessary claims" language, and I'll agree that it is better for these kind of documents to not have such language. Sun's is better in that regard. Sun's is also better in that it covers future versions of ODF, unlike the MS and IBM covenants. However, they don't get full credit for the later, cause it does have that restriction to future versions that Sun participates in. Note that this means that if Sun pulls out of OASIS, future OASIS development of ODF is under a patent cloud. I think that to be really called open, whether it be software or a specification, development has to be allowed to continue even if the founders pull out, and the community should even be allowed to fork in directions that the founders might not like. But neither IBM now MS allow that either, so perhaps none of these specs should really be called open?

As far as the necessary claims language goes, note that IBM has it, too. Open source developers seem to have managed to deal with it there, so I expect they'll manage to deal with it in Microsoft's covenant, too.

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (1)

WebMink (258041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683952)

Note that this means that if Sun pulls out of OASIS, future OASIS development of ODF is under a patent cloud.

No, that is not the case. In the unlikely event of Sun pulling out of the ODF TC at OASIS (which it currently chairs), future versions of the standard would be covered to the extent they implemented the specifications published while Sun was still a member. Sun's unlikely withdrawal would not invalidate previous covenant protection. Additions to the standard made once Sun was no longer a participant would not be covered. That seems completely reasonable considering anyone could add anything in Sun's absence.

As far as the necessary claims language goes, note that IBM has it, too. Open source developers seem to have managed to deal with it there, so I expect they'll manage to deal with it in Microsoft's covenant, too.

IBM's decision to restrict patent protection to only "necessary claims" is deeply regrettable and makes their promises of little value in giving developers certainty. IBM came to the patent covenant table even later than Microsoft, and so far open source developers have had very little time to consider the implications of that deficiency, so I think you're a bit premature calling the all-clear.

The cause of software freedom is ill-served by the tired re-application of discredited ideas from the patent-encumbered world of standards. We should be demanding full patent safety from standards bodies as a routine part of their process. Both IBM and Microsoft do us all a disservice by perpetuating "necessary claims" language because it results in a situation where the only people able to gain certainty about their actions are those with access to legal advice. To remind you of what I said in my blog [sun.com] about "necessary claims":

Whenever I see this phrase my lawyer alarm goes off as it immediately involves a judgment call which is the subjective right of the patent holder. It comes accompanied by the question "was our patent really necessary for this implementation? Surely you could have done it this other way and thus not needed it. It's actually not necessary so here's the invoice." I'd like to see that phrase replaced with language to indicate that no patent claims will be made against source code implementing the standard, with no necessity test involved.

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684402)

Additions to the standard made once Sun was no longer a participant would not be covered. That seems completely reasonable considering anyone could add anything in Sun's absence

Would that be a bad thing?

Letting people add anything they want works fine with software. Why not for specifications, too?

Re:About that patent non-assert covenant (1)

WebMink (258041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684436)

Letting people add anything they want works fine with software. Why not for specifications, too?

Indeed. Any addition can be made freely, and that addition will be the sole responsibility of those making it. Just like with software.

But... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677952)

I wanted to use OpenOffice to control the DRM for my DVR... Damnit! Perhaps I should get IBM to do it for me. Then it is not against the GPL.

moWd down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22678848)

rivalry. While we don't sux0r as Do, or indeed what other members in time wholesome and pof FreeBSD Usenet here, but what is

We don't give a damn (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680480)

the vocal majority of Slashdot will do what ever they please because they equate access to ownership. Your silly ruled don't mean anything!
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