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Mir's GPLv3 License Is Now Raising Concerns

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  • #16
    Originally posted by seb24 View Post
    As always with this guy : FUD and FUD and FUD.... Pathetic.
    It's really good to see people from open source communty saying that putting a project in GPL is bad... Only to have reason to create some FUD against Canonical/Ubuntu.
    He did the same with lightDM ranting against the project and spreading some FUD...
    Had you took the time to read the actual message instead of, wait for it, FUD'ing like a troll, you'd notice the issue is *not* the GPLv3, but actually the copy right assignment (CA) which more-or-less means* "you can contribute as much as you like, but once you give the code - we own it, and can do with it what-ever we want.... and oh, we may decide to close source it, and its quite possible you won't be able to -fork you own code-. **

    - Gilboa
    * INAL, but I had some dealings in the past of CA.
    ** See second post.
    Last edited by gilboa; 06-20-2013, 03:18 AM.
    DEV: Intel S2600C0, 2xE52658V2, 32GB, 4x2TB + 2x3TB, GTX780, F21/x86_64, Dell U2711.
    SRV: Intel S5520SC, 2xX5680, 36GB, 4x2TB, GTX550, F21/x86_64, Dell U2412..
    BACK: Tyan Tempest i5400XT, 2xE5335, 8GB, 3x1.5TB, 9800GTX, F21/x86-64.
    LAP: ASUS N56VJ, i7-3630QM, 16GB, 1TB, 635M, F21/x86_64.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
      Unless you are a potential Mir contributor or a proprietary vendor who wants to use Mir, this doesn't really matter. Only thing from a foss perspective that would change is if Canonical would start keeping parts of the actual Mir code proprietary, but that's not the case here.
      As I said above, INAL (I'm not a lawyer), but it'll be nice if someone that's well versed on the subject, will be able to shed light on one nagging question: Does this (specific) CA means you won't be able to fork previous versions of Mir that includes community contributions if/when Canonical decides to go proprietary (E.g. MySQL)?

      - Gilboa
      DEV: Intel S2600C0, 2xE52658V2, 32GB, 4x2TB + 2x3TB, GTX780, F21/x86_64, Dell U2711.
      SRV: Intel S5520SC, 2xX5680, 36GB, 4x2TB, GTX550, F21/x86_64, Dell U2412..
      BACK: Tyan Tempest i5400XT, 2xE5335, 8GB, 3x1.5TB, 9800GTX, F21/x86-64.
      LAP: ASUS N56VJ, i7-3630QM, 16GB, 1TB, 635M, F21/x86_64.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by gilboa View Post
        As I said above, INAL (I'm not a lawyer), but it'll be nice if someone that's well versed on the subject, will be able to shed light on one nagging question: Does this (specific) CA means you won't be able to fork previous versions of Mir that includes community contributions if/when Canonical decides to go proprietary (E.g. MySQL)?

        - Gilboa
        No. If something is released as GPLv3, it stays as GPLv3, forever, and grants its users every right that GPLv3 grants, including forking. A license cannot be changed retroactively: if the license is changed to proprietary at some point, it only applies to new versions - any releases that have already been released as GPLv3 stay open and can be forked.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by dee. View Post
          No. If something is released as GPLv3, it stays as GPLv3, forever, and grants its users every right that GPLv3 grants, including forking. A license cannot be changed retroactively: if the license is changed to proprietary at some point, it only applies to new versions - any releases that have already been released as GPLv3 stay open and can be forked.
          Thanks.
          The implications of using GPLvX are more or less clear to me.
          Questions is: Can the CA be used to squash future development of the -old- GPLvX versions?

          - Gilboa
          DEV: Intel S2600C0, 2xE52658V2, 32GB, 4x2TB + 2x3TB, GTX780, F21/x86_64, Dell U2711.
          SRV: Intel S5520SC, 2xX5680, 36GB, 4x2TB, GTX550, F21/x86_64, Dell U2412..
          BACK: Tyan Tempest i5400XT, 2xE5335, 8GB, 3x1.5TB, 9800GTX, F21/x86-64.
          LAP: ASUS N56VJ, i7-3630QM, 16GB, 1TB, 635M, F21/x86_64.

          Comment


          • #20
            Instead you end up with a situation that looks awfully like Canonical wanting to squash competition by making it impossible for anyone else to sell modified versions of Canonical's software in the same market.
            IMHO GPL + CLA is an honest business model. Canonical invests their money on a product and releases it as a fully compliant open source project. All rights of the GPL are being honored. Then they additionally gain the ability to sell commercial licenses of their products. To do that you have to own the copyright in its entirety, so the CLA enables that.

            Canonical will not close down their open source projects. They would be idiots to do that, because the next day forks would pop like mushrooms (remember GPL is always in effect). They gain value by having the option to sell commercial licenses. In addition in a hypothetical company sell, having the copyright in its entirety also counts as an asset (see MySQL and Qt).

            Of course CLA also prevents a competitor from bypassing Canonical and sell commercial licenses on their own. This is plain honest and haters are going to hate that but such is life.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by zoomblab View Post
              IMHO GPL + CLA is an honest business model. Canonical invests their money on a product and releases it as a fully compliant open source project. All rights of the GPL are being honored. Then they additionally gain the ability to sell commercial licenses of their products. To do that you have to own the copyright in its entirety, so the CLA enables that.

              Canonical will not close down their open source projects. They would be idiots to do that, because the next day forks would pop like mushrooms (remember GPL is always in effect). They gain value by having the option to sell commercial licenses. In addition in a hypothetical company sell, having the copyright in its entirety also counts as an asset (see MySQL and Qt).

              Of course CLA also prevents a competitor from bypassing Canonical and sell commercial licenses on their own. This is plain honest and haters are going to hate that but such is life.
              Yes, Explaining that Canonical project to do a proprietary version of Mir is only FUD. But this guy doing each time the same things against Ubuntu/Canonical project. Nothing New. At the end for user and dev the important part is : the project is GPLv3 it's free/opensource.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by zoomblab View Post
                IMHO GPL + CLA is an honest business model. Canonical invests their money on a product and releases it as a fully compliant open source project. All rights of the GPL are being honored. Then they additionally gain the ability to sell commercial licenses of their products. To do that you have to own the copyright in its entirety, so the CLA enables that.
                But why is CLA so important for Canonical?

                Red Hat and Google (Android) make a very good business without a similar licensing (AFAIK).
                And they're also investing a lot. I'd say way more than Canonical.

                Comment


                • #23
                  GPLv3 is a bit of a scary license. Many companies and inviduals will not touch GPLv3 code with a ten foot pole. A permissive license would have made much more sense for an essential software, like a display server. But wasn't that clear from the start? Fortunately for Canonical they can still change the license.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by entropy View Post
                    But why is CLA so important for Canonical?

                    Red Hat and Google (Android) make a very good business without a similar licensing (AFAIK).
                    And they're also investing a lot. I'd say way more than Canonical.
                    GPL3 + CLA is simply awesome for Canonical:
                    - GPL3 is good in server space and stuff (customers know that they can support what they use even if you disappear)
                    - you can keep saying you do open source projects (copyleft, even!). That's important when you are building on Debian community (and community in general, e.g. for support).
                    - on the other hand, only few embedded vendors (phones, smart TVs, cars infotainment, etc..) will ship GPL3 code, because security / commercial warranty, locked bootloaders and stuff (and app stores, and drm, etc..).
                    - this means that for every vendor that won't ship GPL3 code, only Canonical can license them a closed source version. The CLA ensures that no other contributor can commercialize the project in most of the embedded space.
                    - By this, you ensure that no other commercial entity will contribute to your project, and you can even blame them for not playing nice with you.

                    Basically:
                    Commercial friendly open source (BSD, GPLv2 to some extent) => won't secure market share, but help expand the market itself (you don't have advantage on other market participant, but it reduces costs for all participants)
                    Closed source, or unfriendly open source (GPL3 + CLA) => will secure market share, but you are on your own.

                    Note that this is only the commercial/competition aspect. Amateurs/hobbyists/community obviously benefit from "GPL3 + CLA" over closed source, and may benefit even over BSD/GPL2 if it pushes some vendors to ship devices with the GPL3 licensed code.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by brent View Post
                      GPLv3 is a bit of a scary license. Many companies and inviduals will not touch GPLv3 code with a ten foot pole. A permissive license would have made much more sense for an essential software, like a display server. But wasn't that clear from the start? Fortunately for Canonical they can still change the license.
                      Imagine the FUD from the same guy if Canonical release project on another and more permissive Licence (less "moral" than GPLV3)...
                      The problem is not Canonical, Ubuntu or whatever... The problem is that some guy in the community think that they are like some moral elected people and have the right to judge everyone. Canonical actually is the "evil" and they try to discredit the company and the distribution based on some "biaised" moralistic arguments and FUD.

                      Exampple :
                      - Lot of people say Mir and Unity are proprietary but they are in GPLv3 Licence
                      - It's good to have 3000 different distribution 10 Desktop environment but not 2 different Graphic Server. (or you can do it but not Canonical)
                      - GPLv3 is good unless Canonical use it. In this case it's bad...
                      etc.

                      For me is really the wrong side of our open source community.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by erendorn View Post
                        - this means that for every vendor that won't ship GPL3 code, only Canonical can license them a closed source version. The CLA ensures that no other contributor can commercialize the project in most of the embedded space.
                        - By this, you ensure that no other commercial entity will contribute to your project, and you can even blame them for not playing nice with you.
                        By fact Ubuntu for Phone and Mir use yet some proprietary driver without needs to re-licence the project.
                        The Mir project is licenced in GPL and LGPL v3 Licence. The last one permit to use with proprietary project
                        Last edited by seb24; 06-20-2013, 05:53 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by seb24 View Post
                          By fact Ubuntu for Phone and Mir use yet some proprietary driver without needs to re-licence the project.
                          The Mir project is licenced in GPL and LGPL v3 Licence. The last one permit to use with proprietary project
                          No, the server is licensed with GPLv3. Only the client side is licensed under LGPLv3. If you want to link the server against a proprietary driver you'll need an extra license from Canonical.

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                          • #28
                            This is really a non-issue.

                            There is no substantial problem with GPLv3 software on phones. The only requirement is that you either sell it with an unlocked boot loader (like most vendors do) or hand out keys to unlock the boot loader on request (like HTC does).

                            The only problem comes when you want to sell the phone with a locked boot loader. This is something that only Canonical is allowed to do. If someone else wants to, they need to get permission from Canonical. But saying that this restriction makes it impossible for anybody else to sell phones with that code is simply FUD.

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                            • #29
                              That evil evil Canonical!!

                              They do not bend over to the licence wishes of some vendors who like to close their devices so the customers can't modify them. Now if that's not evil I don't know what is?!!

                              ...

                              I really don't get it.. we have seen this over and over again in the kernel and in many other places, that forcing hardware manufacturers to open their stuff works. Maybe it is a bit painful first and not all of them will get it, so they will pay for it. But I will not be surprised if this leads to devices with more freedom for the customer.

                              The writer of the article on the other hand seams to be quite happy with the current situation. Well I'm not, and if canonical at least tries to change something I'm happy they do so, no matter how much I dislike their distribution!

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by ZeroPointEnergy View Post
                                That evil evil Canonical!!
                                The writer of the article on the other hand seams to be quite happy with the current situation. Well I'm not, and if canonical at least tries to change something I'm happy they do so, no matter how much I dislike their distribution!
                                You've missed the point. The CLA mean that Canonical can sell proprietary licenses to hardware vendors without changing anything.

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