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"Very Disruptive" Change Hurts ARM Linux Support

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Ishayu View Post
    That clause has a stark resemblance to:


    THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE PROGRAM “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE PROGRAM PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION.


    FSF is being a bunch of nitwitty asshats here, without a freakin' shadow of doubt.
    USE OF THIS SOFTWARE IS RESTRICTED TO
    PERSONS AND ORGANIZATIONS WHO CAN AND WILL TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL
    LOSSES, COSTS, OR OTHER PROBLEMS THEY INCUR DUE TO THE SOFTWARE, AND WHO
    FURTHERMORE EFFECTIVELY INDEMNIFY JOHN HAUSER AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER
    SCIENCE INSTITUTE (possibly via similar legal warning) AGAINST ALL LOSSES,
    COSTS, OR OTHER PROBLEMS INCURRED BY THEIR CUSTOMERS AND CLIENTS DUE TO THE
    SOFTWARE.
    They're not the same, not even close. The first one from the GPL says the software comes with no warranty to the point where permitted by law for the user's country...

    The second one says you can't use this software in countries that have laws which require somebody else to be held responsible if the user is victimized..

    So the second one is more restrictive and so the FSF is perfectly right in saying it's not GPL compatible and it is more restrictive than the GPL.

    I *really* hate it when people try to go and screw around with licenses because they always screw it up. This ranks right up there with the other guy who snuck something into the license that said the software could not be used for "evil". Leaving "evil" to be undefined, it meant that opressive countries could block free software for legal reasons because it was "evil" in going around the government's Internet censorship...

    If you want to mess with a license, you need to consult a decent legal team first.. Too many programmers think they're geniuses at everything when they're not. Have mercy on the poor distro packagers who have to deal with situations of manipulated licenses. Don't touch the license.
    Last edited by Sidicas; 04-11-2013, 05:43 AM.

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    • #32
      ARM = cheap

      Considering ARM chips are cheap (no pun intended), what's the problem ? Most phones ship with ARMv7 or higher these days. Floating point emulation ? Come on, we are in 2013.

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      • #33
        The mailing list claims that Linus does not approve of the removal of the features and is prepared to fight his way to prove that there is no license incompatibility.

        Good luck with that Torvalds. As much as I see the FSF as a bunch of luddites and foggies, i doubt he's going to win this.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Ishayu View Post
          That clause has a stark resemblance to:



          FSF is being a bunch of nitwitty asshats here, without a freakin' shadow of doubt.
          There is a difference. The GPL says, you can't sure us for damages arising out of this software.

          The soft-point readme says, you gotta pay us back if any of your customer of clients sue us successfully. Though converting it to the GPL could be enough to satisfy the requirement.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Kamikaze View Post
            Damn, I run a Globalscale Dreamplug as my main fileserver.
            ...
            I'm on the same boat and the dreamplug is a pretty nice device for what it does despite been armv5. I guess we are stuck with kernel 3.8 unless some one distributes newer kernels with necessary modifications. This sucks, is like been left behind in the dust.

            Not only the dreamplug is affected but almost all these devices based on the kirkwood armv5 chip: http://www.plugcomputer.org/development-kits/
            Last edited by TheOne; 04-11-2013, 08:21 AM.

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            • #36
              So please stop the anti-fsf-flaming. Nobody forced linus to use this lisence. If he would not have used this lisense, today Linux would not be that big thing, if he would have used bsd lisense it logicaly would be where bsd is today, and we would have something similiar to linux maybe hurd that would have its relevance.

              Yes Yes I know you primary users or some propriatary software developers here, dont care or would want to have it under bsd, but that are not the people that made linux to that what it is.

              90% of the linux developers build there stuff drivers... for linux because of the lisence. If the lisence would not have mattered why else? They could have all worked on bsd and today bsd would be the big "kernel".

              So most linux developers like(d) the freedom idea behind gpl more than the idea behind bsd, you can have here a different opinion but it stays what it is most linux devs did vote for that type of freedom, because they worked on linux instead of on bsd.

              So back to the concrete problem. Its a very small problem, because only on very old machines it slows them down, and its no real big problem because they have several options, 1. use old kernels, 2. there will shure be some patched kernels 3. I think there will be a rewrite or something out soon.

              So even if linux would want a bsd or a own-lisense like gpl2 but without that, the work if it even would be possible to relisence the gpl would be way more work than just rewriting this bit of code.



              What I find a bit disturbing is more the fact that its really a big problem, if you have a gpl that forces you to use gpl if you use it for distrubtion with changes or no changes... it sounds good, at least for me but the lisense text cant be the at least nearly best solution to keep the freedom of people forever.

              Because the wordl and the technologie changes. So maybe you think gpl3s changes are not importent, but lets say its 2015 and we have gplv7 and some good stuff did get targeted with that updates, with the gpl-v2 without the + you cant at all switch to that.

              So no matter what you find good maybe you think it should be more free in the sense that bsd things it... you could not change it in this direction.

              So for both sides it gets extremly hard to get something changed... I mean no matter what if you are a free software guy, if you really want a really free system, and want maybe also only upload your source code under the gplv3 PLUS lisense you have to completly write a new kernel, and cant se code parts from linux. The same for the industrie that wants bsd fork. <- but that last one was the goal behind the gpl lisense. the first one not.

              So my question is then, is the development into the linux kernel a kind of black hole, so we have to rewrite everything from 0 in 10 or 20 years, because gpl2 will be completly annuled?

              The only idea I would have that a complete rewrite could be more step by step would be that you fork the linux kernel under its gpl v2 lisence, and then part by part put stuff into userspace, till only the most important performence critic stuff would be in the kernel itself, and then rewrite a replacement of this linux-"lite" kernel under a gplx+ lisense. Or replace it with something like hurd.

              or am I wrong and it would be easy, when lets say 5000 people would want to make hurd the new thing, port over radeon + network drivers nouvou intel drivers?

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                Good luck with that Torvalds. As much as I see the FSF as a bunch of luddites and foggies, i doubt he's going to win this.
                Win what? The 'gpl-violations' project (which is not part of the FSF) brought up this licence issue. They can't sue anyone or bring this to court because _they are not the copyright holders_ understand!?!?

                The only way this would become an issue is if anyone of the Linux copyright holders (aka Linux kernel developers) would complain and say they want this licence incompability 'fixed'. The FSF (which hasn't said anything in this matter from what I can tell, if so can someone point me to their statement) and/or 'gpl-violations.org' which brought this to light has nothing to say about how/if this licence incompability should actually be dealt with.

                So unless a kernel dev (copyright holder) contacts Linus and tells him that he wants this licence incompability resolved then nothing will happen as Linus (if the mailing list post iks to be believed) doesn't think there is a licence compability problem.

                So if Linus is ok with it not being a licence conflict, and the developer who holds copyright to the actual code in question and submitted it is ok with it not being a licence conflict, and no other Linux copyright holder complains and wants this resolved, either by removing the code or deciding in court if this is a licence conflict, then nothing will happen.

                Also given that the code in question is likely being deprecated (unless I misunderstood the mailing list exchange) then this issue will probably 'resolve' itself.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
                  So if Linus is ok with it not being a licence conflict, and the developer who holds copyright to the actual code in question and submitted it is ok with it not being a licence conflict, and no other Linux copyright holder complains and wants this resolved, either by removing the code or deciding in court if this is a licence conflict, then nothing will happen.
                  I am not so shure about that, I am no laywer but here in germany 3rd people can sue people for copyright stuff. So maybe in usa nobody but the developers can sue somebody else, but here in germany 3rd people can sue whoever they want if they dont respect the lisenses of a organisations.

                  Maybe I am wrong but I think I heared from such cases.

                  And the other thing is that you think that a copyright holder have to say something to linus first and do than stuff after that if nothing happens, again I think thats wrong, theoreticly one of the devs could without even talking to linus directly sue this other developer or maybe linus for mixing that stuff together...

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
                    He did this because he thinks GPLv2 is a perfect licence as is, which is fine.
                    Not true. The "or later" clause is removed, because really, that's a pretty dangerous thing to have in a legal document. It requires you to trust that the FSF will *never* release a future version of the GPL that includes conditions you're not willing to accept. Plenty of people seem to be happy with that, but it's hardly surprising that not everyone does.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                      If you want to mess with a license, you need to consult a decent legal team first.. Too many programmers think they're geniuses at everything when they're not. Have mercy on the poor distro packagers who have to deal with situations of manipulated licenses. Don't touch the license.
                      Agreed. The GPL family aren't perfect, but they *were* written by legal experts with the knowledge and time to go over every single word and thoroughly analyze it for loopholes and unintended consequences. That's not something that should be undertaken by someone without legal advice or background.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Delgarde View Post
                        Not true. The "or later" clause is removed, because really, that's a pretty dangerous thing to have in a legal document. It requires you to trust that the FSF will *never* release a future version of the GPL that includes conditions you're not willing to accept. Plenty of people seem to be happy with that, but it's hardly surprising that not everyone does.
                        You can still use it under GPLv2, as it says '_or_ later', it can also be dangerous to assume that there won't be some unforseen problems with a licence which can't be fixed in later revisions due to the removal of 'or later'.

                        That said, Linus (and the rest of the kernel devs apparently) seem very happy with this choice of license and I haven't seen him second-guess himself at any time (again, quite the opposite) which given that Linux has been around for ~20 years it likely means GPLv2 a perfect fit for this project, else the 'warts' would have appeared by now.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by blackiwid View Post
                          I am not so shure about that, I am no laywer but here in germany 3rd people can sue people for copyright stuff.
                          Do you have any example of a 3rd party suing over someone elses copyright being infringed against that infringed copyright owner's will? That sounds totally outlandish to me?

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                          • #43
                            The danger, when violating a license, is not whether the current copyright owner currently does not mind you violating his license's terms. The danger is what will happen if the current owner decides to sell the rights to someone else, or decides to change his business strategy.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
                              You can still use it under GPLv2, as it says '_or_ later'
                              Sure - but my concern wasn't that I can't keep using v2, it's that by leaving the "or later" in there, people will in future gain the ability to use the code under GPLv4 or v5, under conditions not foreseen when the code was written under v2+, and which I might not approve of. Hence, removing that condition.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
                                You can still use it under GPLv2, as it says '_or_ later'
                                To be fair it says "or (at your option) any later version." - the "at your option" is important, cause that doesn't mean you as copyright holder, it means 3rd parties (the one reading the license text).

                                Now look at this (extremely unlikely) scenario:
                                1) Microsoft overtakes the FSF.
                                2) Microsoft brings out GPLv4, which is just this text: "All codes belong to the Microsoft corp.".
                                3) They download your GPLv2 source codes and decide to let GPLv4 apply cause, in their option, it's better than v2.

                                //EDIT: On the other side if some hole in the GPLv2 gets found and you want the new GPLv4 to apply cause it fixes that hole, who would win in court? You that chooses the option of GPLv4 or some evil company that chooses the option of GPLv2 (cause they simply don't want a later version) to exploit that hole?
                                Last edited by V10lator; 04-11-2013, 10:35 PM.

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