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So much misunderstanding of the GPL...

I'm not hugely surprised by the lack of knowledge on this board about open source, free software, and GPL.  Such ignorance is totally justified if your not considering developing software using open source libraries or code.  But it sounds like a lot of people are interested or at least curious about it.

If your just using open source / free software like Linux or Apache then there isn't much to consider.  The GPL says you're free to use it anyway you wish and you're free to give it others.  Case closed, move on.

For developers, the GPL has alot more to say.  If you are trying to use GPL'd code or libraries in a commercial closed-source project then you should probably stop right now. 

Most people talk about the viral nature of the GPL and how it's going to infect your closed source software.  That's entirely the wrong way to think about free software!  Instead you need to think about this way: The code/library is copyrighted.  You have no rights to distribute that code/library unless you follow the license. 

In the case of the GPL, you can only use GPL licensed code in a project which is also GPL licensed.  If you codebase is not GPL licensed, then you can't use it.  Period.  If your codebase is "infected" by GPL code (say accidentally) that does not automatically force you to release your code; you can, alternatively, remove the GPL code from your codebase to make it compliant.

Dynamic linking does not get you around the GPL; the license makes no distinction on the type of linking.  If you are trying to use GPL code or libraries in your non-GPL project you're guarunteed to violate the license. 

However, another license related to the GPL and of the most of interest to commercial software developers is the LGPL.  This is called Lesser GPL but also goes by the name Library GPL.  In short, the LGPL lets you use an LGPL'd library in your commericial products without licensing your product under the GPL.  You only have to consider the LGPL if you make modifications to the library itself.  Lots of libraries are licensed under the LGPL and you should seek them out.  Often these libraries are used in lots of commericial products and are high quality (for that very reason). 

In conclusion, if you're developing commercial closed-source applications you should steer clear of GPL licensed code.  You just can't use it.  However, there are plenty of code/libraries licensed under other licenses (LGPL, BSD, etc) that might be very useful in your products.

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"That's entirely the wrong way to think about free software!  Instead you need to think about this way: The code/library is copyrighted.  You have no rights to distribute that code/library unless you follow the license."

Once there's a collision between a license and existing law, it doesn't really matter how you think about it. In Germany, if you give away your software under the GPL, law considers this as an agreement between two parties (called "Schenkung"). One party gives the software away for free, and the other one receives usage right, which does not touch copyright. See: copyright != right to use or distribute something.

If you give away something for free, you cannot easily force those who accept your gift to not give it away to someone else, or even sell it, unless you call a court, which eventually is an expensive path to follow. I guess not everyone is aware of this.

Johnny Bravo
Thursday, July 31, 2003

I just wanted to point out that Apache is not distributed under the GPL license.  It uses a license (http://www.apache.org/LICENSE.txt) very similar to the BSD license.

Anonymous
Thursday, July 31, 2003

The GPL with not an EULA (end user license agreement) like those you click on when you install Windows.  The GPL is distribution license.  All software is copyrighted (except what's in public domain) and without a license you cannot distribute that software beyond what is allowed by copyright.  The GPL is similar to the license that Microsoft has with computer manufacturers to include copies on the PC's they sell.  Just like that license, the distributor must follow the terms of the license for them to be able to copy/distribute the program.

BTW, just because you receive a copy of something for free does not mean you can copy it and give it to others (for free or not).  That is a violation of copyright, internationally.  I got a free copy of Win2k from Microsoft; that doesn't mean I can legally put it on Kazaa.

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, July 31, 2003

But only because Microsoft explicitly states that you are only allowed to make one (1) copy of your purchased software for backup reasons, and that you are not allowed to use the software without a purchased license (in the form of a serial number, or certificate).

Johnny Bravo
Thursday, July 31, 2003

If you dynamically link your own code to a GPLed library, is your own code constrained by the GPL? Maybe, maybe not.

The answer is not contained in the text of the license itself, because the lawyers who drafted it were very careful *not* to give the GPL license-holder any rights that they didn't already have by copyright law.  By contrast, if you consent to a Microsoft EULA, you're granting Microsoft rights above and beyond what copyright gives them, e.g., the right to forbid you to reverse-engineer their program.

If the question ever became the focus of litigation, the court would probably try to decide if your code qualifies as a "derivative work" based on the GPLed program, because copyright includes the right to prohibit derivative works.

Linus Torvalds has stated that as far as he's concerned, you have permission to dynamically link non-open-source code with the (GPLed) Linux kernel, *as long as* you stick to the published APIs. Oh, and if the closed-source module does something to make the whole kernel crash, that's your problem, not the Linux kernel developers' problem.

Seth Gordon
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Johnny,

Under international copyright law, you allowed to make copies only for backup / personal use (fair use).  In the case of Microsoft, their EULA is a bit more restrictive than that but even without it you wouldn't be able to freely copy Windows and give it away / sell it.

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Just what exactly is the difference between a copyright and a license?

My understanding of copyright is the dictionary version:  the right to production. 

If the GPL also specifies production rights, is it not a granting of limited copyright as well?  Can you grant a limited copyright?


Thursday, July 31, 2003

Its important to point out that the GPL makes a very clear distinction between "free" (as in free of charge), and "Free" (as in Libre, or Freedom). The GPL exists to garantee that software licensed under the GPL remains "libre". That no one is able to just take code, or link to it in any way, copyright it, and sell it as it if was his own.

A good example of this kind of (horrible) behaviour can be seen in the early 1920's in Rio de Janeiro, where artists would take colectively created Sambas, and copyright them as their own. History has shown, time and time again, that corporations could take such an action to garantee their profit. (Althought, this could be a personal point of view)

As I see it, the GPL is much more a "protection"  for the comunity than a "virus" aimed at destroying markets, as some have put it.

Lastly, its always nice to say that with GPL software, you CAN distribute over Kazaa. Althought why get it from someone if you can get it for free from the source?

PS: I never understood why Microsoft didn't sell windows at the bargain price of $20 a copy. After all, if it was so cheap, no one would hesitate to buy an original copy, instead of pirating. As it so happens everywhere, very few people have money to just update on demand.

Fabio
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Good points Seth,

The viralness of GPL only applies to "derivative works".  A derivative work isn't definitively defined in copyright law (note that the GPL just makes reference to derivative works as defined by copyright law).  It would be up to the courts to decide.

Creating an application that runs on Linux is not a derivative work of Linux.  Neither is creating a driver.  Linking to a library is derivative.  Taking code and putting it your code is derivative.  And so on...

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Copyright means you are the creator of a piece of art. Distribution right means you are allowed to distribute the original piece of art, or copies of it. Right to use means just what it reads. Reproduction right means you are allowed to make copies of the original art, or copies of reproductions. Do not confuse that with terms like patents, trademarks, brands, etc.

A brand is obtained by actually using a name or idiom. A trademark must be registered at an authority. A patent must be filed at a patent office.

If you file a patent, then again there's a copyright holder, which is the person who invented or created the original piece of art, and a patent holder, who normally is granted exclusive rights to decide who is allowed to use, copy, reproduce, distribute the original art.

Copyright can never be transferred, that's the reason why even in patents the original creator (as copyright holder) is preserved.

Johnny Bravo
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"The GPL exists to garantee that software licensed under the GPL remains "libre". That no one is able to just take code, or link to it in any way, copyright it, and sell it as it if was his own."

Here's the thing, though: If someone takes some freely available code and sells it, is the freely available code any less free? If someone takes a copy of Linux, changes the constants so on bootup it says "Ginux", and he sells his copy for $200, is Linux any less free? Is the community deprived of something somehow? Is anyone else any less free to spread, alter, or enhance the free Linux? Of couse not.

Indeed without some pretty good marketing, the only saleable derivative of a free software product would have to add enough value that it has commercial value to consumers -- If you compile a copy of gzip and sell it, forget it -- I'll buy my own. If you build a whole friendly GUI app with a well thought out user interface, and you've incorporated elements of the gzip libraries, well then the value is obviously what you've added (because I already have or can get the gzip libraries for free).

"A good example of this kind of (horrible) behaviour can be seen in the early 1920's in Rio de Janeiro, where artists would take colectively created Sambas, and copyright them as their own."

No, that's a horrible example for the reasons stated above.

The GPL is about a "virus"-like enlistment of new developers -- Come and use the code in the GPL, but now you're a member too.  Whether you see that as a good or a bad thing is up to personal opinion. If you want to talk about freedom, talk about the BSD license which truly is free.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Johnny, you are all over the map.

Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights are three completely different things, each deserving of a legal treatise on its own.

Trademarks protect brands and names - logos and individual words. They exist so when the consumer buys a PC that says "Dell" they know who made it and what kind of quality to expect. Trademarks exist at the state, federal, and international levels. Trademarks may exist without any action by the holder - they can "spring" from a company's name. Registering the Trademark gives additional protections and legal remedies.

Copyright protects creative works - books, paintings, websites, etc. Copyright exists to give the creative artist the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute their work, ensuring they may profit from it if they choose to. Copyright only exists at the federal and international levels. Copyright automatically vests when the work is created, registering the work with the Copyright Office grants additional legal remedies.

Patents protect inventions. Patents give the inventor the exclusive right to produce his/her invention. Patents exist only at federal and international levels. A patent does not exist unless filed for and granted.

At the US Federal level, Copyrights are handled by the US Copyright office, Patents and Trademarks are handled by the US Patent and Trademark office.

There is no such thing as "copywrite" and that makes me cringe. A copyright is the right to copy.

Philo

Philo
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"If someone takes a copy of Linux, changes the constants so on bootup it says "Ginux", and he sells his copy for $200, is Linux any less free?"

depends on the definition of free. 

Lets turn this around, if you had some code that you had written and owned copyright over, and you then released the code under certain conditions, and someone else then took the released code, broke the conditions under which you released it and went on to release a product based on that code which they then sold commercially, how happy would you be?


"The GPL is about a "virus"-like enlistment of new developers -- Come and use the code in the GPL, but now you're a member too. "

huh? I have no idea what you are trying to say here...the GPL 'brainwashes' developers?

"If you want to talk about freedom, talk about the BSD license which truly is free"

personally I prefer the BSD license for practical reasons, <g> Im a commercial developer and I like reusing code.

_but_ I dont agree with this statement.

The GPL'd software is free and is guaranteed to remain that way.
The 'freedom' you are asserting comes with BSD is the freedom to be locked away by someone else.
If you think about that, it means that only GPL'd software is guaranteed to be available to everyone, so long as its used by at least one person.
hrrm...this is a difficult point to make, but I guess what Im trying to say is that with the BSD style license, 20 years after the code is released, it would be perfectly possible for 20 different companies to be using it as a part of their products, but for _no one else to have access to it_, simply because those 20 companies have artibitarily decided not to make the original code available from their website, and somehow the other available copies have been misplaced or lost.
At which point the code released under the BSD license is no longer free, it has been lost to the public and is only of use to the private companies, and will very likely never escape again as it is in the interests of all of the companies to keep it under wraps.
The GPL is specifically designed to stop this from happening.

People releasing code under the BSD license are making the decision that they do not mind if this happens, and that is fine, but there is still a place for people to decide that they specifically want to avoid this happening, for them to decide that they specifically want the general public to have the option of using their code forever.
and _that_ is what the GPL is designed to do.

FullNameRequired
Thursday, July 31, 2003

'Trademarks may exist without any action by the holder - they can "spring" from a company's name.'

Not in this part of the world (a small country neighbouring to Germany).

'Registering the Trademark gives additional protections and legal remedies.'

Here, that is the *only* way to protect.

'Copyright automatically vests when the work is created, registering the work with the Copyright Office grants additional legal remedies.'

In Europe there is no such thing as a Copyright Office, the rights are vested by mere original creation.

Karel Thönissen
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Oh well...  so much for a non-trolled discussion about the GPL.  Might as well jump in:

Dennis,

"Here's the thing, though: If someone takes some freely available code and sells it, is the freely available code any less free? If someone takes a copy of Linux, changes the constants so on bootup it says "Ginux", and he sells his copy for $200, is Linux any less free? Is the community deprived of something somehow? Is anyone else any less free to spread, alter, or enhance the free Linux? Of couse not."

Linus released Linux under the GPL so other people's modifications would continue to be free and available to all.  You are right about the above statement,  but what happens when IBM adds all kinds of enterprise-class features into the Linux kernel?  Under the BSD license, they can turn that into IBM Linux and sell it for $500 a pop.  With the GPL, they must return their to community that gave them Linux.

Because Linux is under the GPL everyones changes are collectively added to the whole.  Increasing the value of the Linux.  The goal of the FSF is to increase the amount (and quality) of free (libre) software -- the GPL is more compatible with that goal than say the BSD license.

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"Oh well...  so much for a non-trolled discussion about the GPL.  Might as well jump in:"

Non-trolled... give me a break. Akin to a Godwin's law, the moment you've proclaimed any alternate opinion than your own to be a troll, you've admitted the utter fragility and nonsensical stature of your own position. I'm sick of every halfwit claiming any opinion contrary to their own is a troll.

Anonymous Skretch
Thursday, July 31, 2003

The biggest thing I've seen is the fact that lots of developers releasing things under the GPL don't actually know what they're doing. I think many would be happy to use the LGPL or an 'Artistic' style license if they thought about it, but just go for the 'GNU is cool' approach first.
In theory you could approach the author to relicense the component under LGPL or similar, has anyone here tried that?

Also, many laywers don't know much about the subject. I dealt indirectly with some who were super-paranoid about licenses, even though the licenses we were dealing with were written intentionaly in plain English. Then again, I think these lawyers goal was to maxmimize billable hours, not to provide clear advice.

mb
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"Non-trolled... give me a break. Akin to a Godwin's law, the moment you've proclaimed any alternate opinion than your own to be a troll, you've admitted the utter fragility and nonsensical stature of your own position. I'm sick of every halfwit claiming any opinion contrary to their own is a troll."

Ha!  I got you beat.  I'm sick of meta-discussions about discussions in the middle of dicussions! 

What I meant was I was hoping to have a factual discussion about the GPL and clear up the some misunderstandings about it and not get into a discussion about it's merits and not how it effects H1B visas, sending overseas jobs, Camel, and employee / employer conflicts. 

The posting was clearly trollish and my response was clearly a trollish response!  That is what I meant in the first place!  I guess since I called myself a troll all opinions contrary to mine are now fragile and nonsensical!  Sweet.

This meta-discussion is getting complicated (and I'm more sick of it now than ever).  Maybe we should get back to something simple to understand like the GPL...

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, July 31, 2003

People often say that only the BSD license is truly free.  Yet do people want to live in a society where people have the freedom to do anything they want to you?  Do you believe in BSD's anarchy, or a free nation that takes away enough rights to maximize each person's useful rights?

I'm not saying Gnu has found a great balance between giving and taking away rights, just that bringing up BSD's anarchy is a red herring that constrains our thoughts.

Greg
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"but what happens when IBM adds all kinds of enterprise-class features into the Linux kernel?  Under the BSD license, they can turn that into IBM Linux and sell it for $500 a pop.  With the GPL, they must return their to community that gave them Linux."

Exactly! IBM has no choice but to release the software as free, with all of the strings and conditions of the GNU, if in any way they derived from GPLd software. The point is that the GPL is _not_ about freedom, but really about the lack thereof, so I don't get the big moral position that a bunch of want-to-be fascists think it represents. Of course in the classic GPL-defending style, this'll be turned around to be "Well Microsoft gives you no more rights!", and I would agree: Microsoft is a big corporation out to make money, and I don't think anyone presents Microsoft producing software as a moral choice. Amazing how GPL fanatics propose it as all that is good in the world.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"I'm not saying Gnu has found a great balance between giving and taking away rights, just that bringing up BSD's anarchy is a red herring that constrains our thoughts."

BSD is a red herring? So let me get this straight: GPL cult members can actually spit up some verbal diahrrea about the great freedoms that the GPL represents (God bless RMS and ESR!), but it's a _red_herring_ to bring up the BSD? (an ACTUAL free license, which amazingly keeps having great success regardless of all of the unproven contentions that all of the commercial companies will steal it all from the community).

Give me a break. Earlier someone rightly contested the absurd "anyone but my opinion is a argumentative troll" message, and now it's claims that alternative options are red herrings. Geez.

Free software is a _great_ thing, however quit trying to sign up new cult members to the Praise of RMS by repeating the absolutely illogical ("they're stealing from the community!") and ridiculous ("GPL represents freedom!").

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Ok Dennis, I know you're angry, just please answer me:  Do you believe in anarchy, or do you believe that a free society has certain laws to restrict peoples' rights in order to preserve rights as a whole?

Greg
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"The point is that the GPL is _not_ about freedom, but really about the lack thereof"

?? GPL is a _copyright license_

It is a license that is designed to ensure that for the forseeable future 'the common man' will have access to the code that is covered by it, and will further more have the right to use, modify and copy that code as they see fit.

The 'freedom' GPL people talk about is exactly there, it is code that _cannot_ be swallowed by commercial companies.

I really do not understand your point here?
If you dont believe the GPL license is free enough for your use, by all means dont release your code under it.

FullNameRequired
Thursday, July 31, 2003

I don't buy that argument FullNameRequired.  You say the point of the GPL is to ensure that the code will live on and won't be swallowed up by a company.  But that's not what it ensures.  It ensures that other people's modifications to the code live on.  With a BSD license, nothing makes the original code go away.  If you want to make sure your code is always available... provide a place for people to get it.  You don't have to make everyone ELSE provide it for you

Mike McNertney
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Hi Mike,

"You say the point of the GPL is to ensure that the code will live on and won't be swallowed up by a company."

the point of the GPL license is to ensure that everyone who uses it has the right to make copies of it, to modify it and to use it however they like within the license rules, to ensure than anyone who wants to use it can, and to ensure that anyone who uses it and modifies it returns their improvements to the community and thereby enriches the entire community, as well as themselves.

<g> pretty much the same as any other copyright license.

"But that's not what it ensures."

yes it does :)

"It ensures that other people's modifications to the code live on"
yes...it does that as well...all good really :)


"With a BSD license, nothing makes the original code go away"

very true.

"If you want to make sure your code is always available... provide a place for people to get it."
which is fine so long as you can afford to provide a place for people to get it, or can persuade someone else to provide a place for everyone to get it.


"You don't have to make everyone ELSE provide it for you"
of course you dont.  you also do not have to release code under the GPL if you do not want to.
The point is, if you _do_ release code under the GPL it will be freely available to everyone so long as one person is still using it.
If you do not want the above statement to be true, then by all means release it under some other license.
From a personal POV  I prefer code that is released under the BSD, just because then I can use it however I want to without worrying.
OTOH if I ever do release open source code I wil use the GPL, because it balances freedom with responsibility.

FullNameRequired
Thursday, July 31, 2003

""You don't have to make everyone ELSE provide it for you""

you also do not have to use software released under the GPL, if you do so then you can hardly complain about the license, and if you dont, who cares what the license is.


Thursday, July 31, 2003

"you also do not have to use software released under the GPL"

Absolutely, positively true! However you can't repeat blatant falsehoods about the GPL (such as the old "it's necessary to protect free software from being non-free") just by proclaiming that people who question the absurd, literally cult-like, repetitions of pro-GPL falsehoods should just "not use GPL software". People who disagree with the utopian claims of GPL aren't all lining up for their right to rip it off: They're just disagreeing with what they see as idealistic distortions of the truth.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Hi Dennis,

wow, you really are mad aren't you :)


"However you can't repeat blatant falsehoods about the GPL (such as the old "it's necessary to protect free software from being non-free")"

something very similar to it _is_ necessary to stop free software from becoming non-free.

If I release code under the BSD license it is at least theoretically possible that over time the only people using it will be commercial companies who have locked it in a cellar somewhere and denying everyone else access.
I dont know what the odds of that are, but it _is_ a possibility you must admit, surely?

So, the question becomes "How can I ensure that code I want to release to the public, stays available to the public throughout its life?"
Follow that trial down to a reasonable solution and I suspect you will find you have created something with very similar provisions.
The requirement of returning any changes back to the community is not part of that solution, but it is a reasonable next step to take.  That requirement ensures that publicly released code does not stagnate but actively continues to improve so long as it is used.


So, far from being a 'blatant falsehood', I would consider the statement a literal (and rather obvious) truth :)

FullNameRequired
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Hi Dennis,

Ive tried to provide a translation of your earlier post for those who dont like hyperbole :)

I _think_ the first two sentences can be compressed to this:

"You cant repeat lies just by saying that anyone who questions them should not use GPL software."

Except that Im not sure it actually makes sense as a sentence?

The last sentence does though :)  well done.
"People who disagree with the utopian claims of GPL aren't all lining up for their right to rip it off: They're just disagreeing with what they see as idealistic distortions of the truth."

It does feel like a very _broad_ sentence however, perhaps you would like to be more specific about exactly which "claims" the GPL license makes which are "idealistic distortions of the truth"?

FullNameRequired
Thursday, July 31, 2003

I get a feeling that you're taking jabs at my sentence composition skills FNNR. If that's the case then firstly I'd say that pedantry is the bastion of those without a solid platform, but also that I think you're barking up the wrong tree. Should I be simplifying my sentences? I really don't think I require your mutated form of translation (is it some sort of "translation for those for whom English is a second language").

As far as my anger, while I enjoy that particular discussion cliche (we've seen them all in there. We need someone to mention "strawman" to really get a sweep), I have no anger about the GPL, or any alternatives. I make my living in a specialization unaffected by whether the GPL sweeps the globe and is government mandated, or Microsoft ensnares us all into zombie like monopoly pieces. Whatever.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"I get a feeling that you're taking jabs at my sentence composition skills FNNR"

just gently, pointed more at your full-throated use of gratuitous insults to make your point than anything else.

"Should I be simplifying my sentences?"
<g> maybe just a little.


"I have no anger about the GPL, or any alternatives. I make my living in a specialization unaffected by whether the GPL sweeps the globe and is government mandated, or Microsoft ensnares us all into zombie like monopoly pieces."

Yo uare indeed lucky.
I my livelihood is directly dependent on OSS _not_ killing paid-for software development.

So maybe Im just living in hope :)

FullNameRequired
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Hey Guys,

let's not get personal here, OK?

Fullnamerequired,

the problem I have with your argument is that you set up the GPL as a mechanism to ensure future availability. Fine, but unfortunately the GPL gooes way beyond that.
It does not say "if you use our code, please make our code available to others", it does not even say "if you use this, please make our code and the fixes for any bugs you might come across available to others". It does not even say "if you use this make it along with everything else you write available to others". It says "if you use this make it along with everything else you write available to others, and apply this same rule to everything that whole package".

To me at least, the "free" in OSS is more like "free" in the 1984 sense.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, August 01, 2003

Hi JustMe,

"the problem I have with your argument is that you set up the GPL as a mechanism to ensure future availability. Fine, but unfortunately the GPL gooes way beyond that."

of course it does.  The GPL _is_ a copyright license.  It fully covers the allowable useage of the software covered by it.

"To me at least, the "free" in OSS is more like "free" in the 1984 sense."

well, to you maybe.  A user can take GPL'd code and copy it to give to their friends, adapt it and use it however they wish, copy the source 500 times and study it for as long as they wish.
OTOH if that same user gets a solution from you, which of those freedoms do they have?

the freedom the GPL talks about is freedom for the _user_, not necessarily freedom for the programmer, and ensures the long term viability of the software, so long as one person is using it the software is available to everyone and still being worked on.  The BSD license is freedom for _everyone_, but at the possible expense of the long term viability of the software.

From a practical POV though I dont really see the problem.  If your solution relies so heavily on GPL'd software that you cannot rewrite those parts yourself then morally you do really owe them something for that usage, particularly if its being used to enrich yourself.

FullNameRequired
Friday, August 01, 2003

One hundred infidels committed suicide as they entered the world of free software. Their proprietary software will become their tombs. The closed-source programmers, they always depend on a method what I call ... stupid, silly. All I ask is check yourself. Do not in fact repeat their lies. Don't repeat the lies of the liars. I code better C than this villain Gates. I triple guarantee you, there is nothing wrong with the GPL. Closed-source software is not worth an old shoe.

Johnny Bravo
Friday, August 01, 2003

Hi Johnny,

<sigh>

I have nothing against bill gates, I can see plenty problems with the GPL (which is why I dont currently release any code under it) and I have no problem at all with closed source software.  its how I make my living in fact.

I am very interested in exactly what lies you believe I have told?

FullNameRequired
Friday, August 01, 2003

Fullname,
I just used some sentences from "Comical Ali" and replaced words with what I found appropriate for this discussion. Don't take it too serious.

On another note, I just found this:

http://www.mail-archive.com/license-discuss@opensource.org/msg06285.html

Larry Rosen, General Counsel OSI, concludes: "I'm sorry to say that the GPL's defense against the patent threat is
weaker than we can afford.  We need something stronger."

Johnny Bravo
Friday, August 01, 2003

<g> and that proves.....?

That is in the case that some OSS programmer writes code that steps on the toes of some other companies patents. 
That is illegal for a reason :)  <g> If the GPL somehow offered some magical defence against breaking the law then I suspect it would be even more popular than it is today.

The only defence for any company against being attacked by another for patent infringement (or whatever the term is) is not to infringe on any patents.

This has _always_ been the case :)

FullNameRequired
Saturday, August 02, 2003

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