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Mir's GPLv3 License Is Now Raising Concerns

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  • Mir's GPLv3 License Is Now Raising Concerns

    Phoronix: Mir's GPLv3 License Is Now Raising Concerns

    Taking a break from blogging about UEFI and Secure Boot, Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett is now writing about how Canonical's choice of license for their Mir Display Server is a bit scary. It's not the GPLv3 license alone that's raising eyebrows, but the GPLv3 combined with the Ubuntu Contributor's License Agreement that is unfortunate in the mobile space...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM5MjI

  • #2
    grrr

    And the hits just keep on coming. You know, they say when there's no clear option, the best thing is to do nothing. I think I will just sit back with some Popcorn for the next year since it's clear we are not at the end of the street yet.

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    • #3
      Well, that much was obvious from day one. And it isnt just a problem with Mir. We've already been through all of this with Nexuiz. I would have thought people would learn their lessens when that mess happened.

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      • #4
        "Now" raising concerns?

        I'm pretty sure a lot of people pointed this out the very day Canonical announced Mir, and they've been doing so ever since then.

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        • #5
          I'd be astonished if they get any vendors to sign up with this thing. And if they do, I'd have to ask what they're smoking.

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          • #6
            maybe they're trying to avoid fragmentation.

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            • #7
              ???

              what the real world problem?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by phoronix View Post
                Phoronix: Mir's GPLv3 License Is Now Raising Concerns

                Taking a break from blogging about UEFI and Secure Boot, Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett is now writing about how Canonical's choice of license for their Mir Display Server is a bit scary. It's not the GPLv3 license alone that's raising eyebrows, but the GPLv3 combined with the Ubuntu Contributor's License Agreement that is unfortunate in the mobile space...

                http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM5MjI
                ... Now... raising concerns?

                Good hopping hoppy things that hop Michael, where have you been? The CLA has been an issues since the whole #MirGate debacle started. Cases in point:
                The level... of ... lack of attention is astounding. Did you really have your head buried so far up Mark's Ego ya didn't figure out the CLA was kind of an issue till NOW?!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Andrecorreia View Post
                  what the real world problem?
                  GPLv3 requires users be able to replace GPLv3 code if they would like... thats an issue on mobile and is considered VERY anti-carrier. If they can get hardware manufacturers on board thats fine, but few carriers will like the idea of their users screwing with the software.

                  The CLA is very anti-opensource because it means that if you submit a patch to Unity or Mir that you have to assign copyright to Canonical. Since Canonical is the only copyright holder it means they can release, for example, version 1.6 of Mir, and then make 1.7 and forward closed source. They can never take away the sources for 1.0 -> 1.6, but they can make any future development closed source.

                  This is anti-developer because many open source devs will only submit to projects that they know ARE open source and will REMAIN open source, the CLA makes it so it IS open source now... and it MAYBE will be open source in the future.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johnc View Post
                    I'd be astonished if they get any vendors to sign up with this thing. And if they do, I'd have to ask what they're smoking.
                    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTM5MTM

                    You could ask these large telecoms what they are smoking... But I don't think corporations are as paranoid as those who feel that the existence of a competitor to wayland is the cardinal sin of our age.

                    Yet more FUD leveled at Canonical, mere speculation on possible worst case scenarios without any real basis in fact. Yawn. I look forward to running Mir with proprietary driver support soon.

                    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTM5MjE

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                    • #11
                      hm

                      Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                      GPLv3 requires users be able to replace GPLv3 code if they would like... thats an issue on mobile and is considered VERY anti-carrier. If they can get hardware manufacturers on board thats fine, but few carriers will like the idea of their users screwing with the software.

                      The CLA is very anti-opensource because it means that if you submit a patch to Unity or Mir that you have to assign copyright to Canonical. Since Canonical is the only copyright holder it means they can release, for example, version 1.6 of Mir, and then make 1.7 and forward closed source. They can never take away the sources for 1.0 -> 1.6, but they can make any future development closed source.

                      This is anti-developer because many open source devs will only submit to projects that they know ARE open source and will REMAIN open source, the CLA makes it so it IS open source now... and it MAYBE will be open source in the future.
                      hm i see now ty

                      i dont imagine canonical make mir closedsource, its one of this flags counter ios and others, but we never know.

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                      • #12
                        In reality though, are there any external developers actually contributing to Mir (or Unity for that matter) ?

                        It seems to me that Canonical wants to develop their whole user-facing 'stack' in-house, as such I doubt Canonical expect or even hope for external contributors.

                        Meanwhile, dual licencing under copyleft and a proprietary licence is nothing new, and I don't see anything inherently bad about it as long as any potential contributors are made well aware of this, which is hardly something they can miss given the copyright assignment.

                        As for Mir's future, I think it will remain in the domain of the 'buntu's, with Wayland becoming the de facto standard amongst the rest of the distro world once it has matured enough to replace X.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                          GPLv3 requires users be able to replace GPLv3 code if they would like... thats an issue on mobile and is considered VERY anti-carrier. If they can get hardware manufacturers on board thats fine, but few carriers will like the idea of their users screwing with the software.

                          The CLA is very anti-opensource because it means that if you submit a patch to Unity or Mir that you have to assign copyright to Canonical. Since Canonical is the only copyright holder it means they can release, for example, version 1.6 of Mir, and then make 1.7 and forward closed source. They can never take away the sources for 1.0 -> 1.6, but they can make any future development closed source.

                          This is anti-developer because many open source devs will only submit to projects that they know ARE open source and will REMAIN open source, the CLA makes it so it IS open source now... and it MAYBE will be open source in the future.
                          This is not exactly the point of Matthew Garrett's rant. He said

                          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.
                          The concern is that Canonical, unlike e.g. Google, will not enable competitors to sell modified, close-source versions. As vendors are usually unhappy about disclosing source code, that leaves Canonical as the sole beneficiary from the code you contribute. This is so because only Canonical can allow vendors to sell closed-source products, since only Canonical owns all of the necessary copyright.
                          Last edited by amehaye; 06-20-2013, 02:44 AM.

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                          • #14
                            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...
                            Last edited by seb24; 06-20-2013, 02:51 AM.

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                            • #15
                              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...
                              Apart from Micheal trying to frame the article title as something bad with GPL (no surprise there), the actual blog entry by Garret is really about the copyright assignment and how it means that Canonical can distribute Mir in a proprietary fashion, while that option isn't available to any external contributors as they hand their copyright over to Canonical.

                              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.

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