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  • #91
    Originally posted by alanc View Post
    X isn't going away anytime soon. We're watching Wayland, but for now, X is what we've got.
    Thank you for the information.

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    • #92
      Originally posted by jayrulez View Post
      You clearly do not understand this and you do not seem to be interested in understanding it so further correspondence regarding this is pointless.

      Regards!

      Going by what your understanding, If I author a piece of code, license it under GPL to Mark, license under BSD to Jim, and sell a proprietary piece of software based on the code to company X under a proprietary license, your claim is that I have violated the GPL. Now who will enforce compliance upon me for violating the GPL by distributing my work under another licence apart from the GPL? Will some random person I have violated the terms to use my code in the way I see fit? or will I claim violation against myself?
      As long as you comply with the terms of the GPL then it isnt a violation. As far as who enforces it, well that is the big problem. The FSF doesnt have the resources to enforce it, and there really isnt any case law on this matter to determine liability. Relicensing your code is not a violation of the GPL, but any code that is protected by the GPL that is used in the relicensed distribution still needs to comply with its terms.
      Last edited by duby229; 03-19-2013, 10:46 PM.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by duby229 View Post
        but any code that is protected by the GPL that is used in the relicensed distribution still needs to comply with its terms.
        No, the relicensed distribution does not need comply with the GPL. The relicensed distribution only needs to comply with the new license.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by duby229 View Post
          Relicensing your code is not a violation of the GPL, but any code that is protected by the GPL that is used in the relicensed distribution still needs to comply with its terms.
          Not if you own all of the code used, which the GPL does not weigh on one way or another. You still own the code even if you yourself originally license it under the GPL. The only thing that can change this is if the project receives contributions from outside contributors who in turn own their code, unless they grant the ownership to you through the use of a CLA. Why is this basic legal concept so hard for you to grasp?

          You are correct as so far as the fact that the originally owner can not stop other people from using code he released under the GPL under the license terms specified in the GPL. That does not apply to his re-licensed code however, and this does not stop him from taking all of his own code and re-licensing it, GPL or not. It is not some magic bullet that withdraws all ownership, unless they added a clause that removes a persons ownership over their own code in GPL4, which would cause it's own problems.

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
            Not if you own all of the code used, which the GPL does not weigh on one way or another. You still own the code even if you yourself originally license it under the GPL. The only thing that can change this is if the project receives contributions from outside contributors who in turn own their code, unless they grant the ownership to you through the use of a CLA. Why is this basic legal concept so hard for you to grasp?

            You are correct as so far as the fact that the originally owner can not stop other people from using code he released under the GPL under the license terms specified in the GPL. That does not apply to his re-licensed code however, and this does not stop him from taking all of his own code and re-licensing it, GPL or not. It is not some magic bullet that withdraws all ownership, unless they added a clause that removes a persons ownership over their own code in GPL4, which would cause it's own problems.
            Its not hard to grasp. Its what the GPL says. It does not protect the copyright holder. It protects the code. And it says so specifically. There is no wrong way to interpret it. It says what it says clearly.

            It doesnt say that it protects an "instance" (version? copy?) of the code or whatever it is that you think it says. It doesnt matter how the copyright holder relicenses it. If it is also protected by the GPL then its terms need to be abided by.
            Last edited by duby229; 03-19-2013, 11:35 PM.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by duby229 View Post
              Its not hard to grasp. Its what the GPL says. It does not protect the copyright holder. It protects the code. And it says so specifically. There is no wrong way to interpret it. It says what it says clearly.
              Yes, it protects the code that is licensed under it. But as soon as the copyright holder changes the license the code no longer needs to abide by it. This is true of any software license, or any copyright claim in general. It is a general principle of copyright law. If it did not work this way, there would be no way for proprietary code to be freed as the code would permanently need to abide by the original licensing terms, regardless of the choices of the current copyright holder.

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              • #97
                I am quite astonished how many people that are discussing licenses here or in other threads on Phoronix actually don't really have a clue of the licenses they talk about. At first, a license is not the only part that has to be considered, also the laws in the jurisdiction of the projects leadership, the articles on the blog of the VLC project are a good read for that: http://www.jbkempf.com/blog/post/201...source-project
                This shows also that it actually is no problem to re-license something away from the GPL (even if it is in this case only to LGPL, but nonetheless), as long as all code-contributors agree with that or a CLA exists that actually allows that directly, like Canonical's CLA. This has been done with VLC, it has been done with Sorcerer GNU/Linux (switching to a different license, which caused a fork to happen and the GNU/Linux to be removed from the name).
                There were absolutely no legal issues with that and the existing codebase had not to be re-written. You also can be pretty sure that Canonical's legal department has made the CLA waterproof in this regard.

                When I see the uncertainties and misconceptions here I can only recommend to anyone planning to contribute to an existing project (or planning to choose a license for a new project) to actually visit a lawyer and make sure that the licenses are really saying what you think they are and which copyright and author right laws are in place in the country where the main development takes place, this can make a significant difference.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                  Its not hard to grasp. Its what the GPL says. It does not protect the copyright holder. It protects the code. And it says so specifically. There is no wrong way to interpret it. It says what it says clearly.

                  It doesnt say that it protects an "instance" (version? copy?) of the code or whatever it is that you think it says. It doesnt matter how the copyright holder relicenses it. If it is also protected by the GPL then its terms need to be abided by.
                  Perhaps this will help. Assuming most recent version of licenses.

                  I create Library Demo. I create a codebase A for this. Then I create 2 more codebase's B and C that are a clone of A. I license B as GPL, and C as LGPL. A is still mine and currently unlicensed.

                  I can let company Z use codebase C (which is LGPL) to integrate by library Demo into their application.
                  I can compile codebase A and sell the binary only by itself.
                  I can improve codebase A, and clone the changes into B (GPL) and C (LGPL)
                  I can create a codebase D and license it with a BSD license.

                  Now I make codebase B (GPL) public, and contributor 1 adds new features.

                  The new features contributor 1 adds to codebase B (GPL) cannot be put back into my first codebase A (unlicensed), or copied into codebase C (LGPL) or D (BSD) as that would breach the GPL license.

                  Lets say company Z wants to use contributor 1's code in codebase B (GPL) within their application which is using codebase C (LGPL). If contributor 1 and I both agree, we can re-license codebase B (GPL) to a new license (LGPL) and use that as codebase C (LGPL).

                  This is allowed, as all copyright holders agreed to the relicense. The codebase B (GPL) would still be available in the same state it was before it was re-licensed. However changes can be made to codebase C (LGPL) without needing those changes to be made to codebase B (GPL) The GPL IS protecting the code that was licensed under it, however it does allow for re-licensing provided all copyright holders agree to it, and a new codebase can be created.

                  The reason the CLA's are used, is that I can get contributor 1 to sign a CLA before working on my codebase B (GPL). This means all code contributor 1 adds has its copyright assigned to me. That means I own copyright of all the code, and I can relicense this code when I want without needing contributor 1's explicit permission, as it is *my* code.

                  I hope that is clear enough for you duby229

                  Anyone else please let me know if I made a mistake. Thanks

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    I don't see how you could get that much convolution out of what the GPL actually says. It's quite clear and I don't see any other way to understand it then what it says. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I think you guys are stretching. The GPL doesnt say anything half as much as what you just wrote. It's a whole lot simpler then that if you8 take what was written literally.

                    EDIT: It's no wonder there are so many thousands of GPL violations. It seems to be a general agreement that the copyright holder doesnt have to abide by the license even though it addresses that specifically in simple terms. I'm stumped. I mean I just reviewed the GPL again just to look over it once more and I came out of it with exactly the same interpretation as before. My mind is not changed one tiny bit.
                    Last edited by duby229; 03-20-2013, 04:01 AM.

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                    • Let's let the people who wrote the GPL clear this up. From the Official gnu.org GPL FAQs (emphasis added):

                      Is the developer of a GPL-covered program bound by the GPL? Could the developer's actions ever be a violation of the GPL?

                      Strictly speaking, the GPL is a license from the developer for others to use, distribute and change the program. The developer itself is not bound by it, so no matter what the developer does, this is not a “violation” of the GPL.

                      However, if the developer does something that would violate the GPL if done by someone else, the developer will surely lose moral standing in the community.

                      I heard that someone got a copy of a GPL'ed program under another license. Is this possible?

                      The GNU GPL does not give users permission to attach other licenses to the program. But the copyright holder for a program can release it under several different licenses in parallel. One of them may be the GNU GPL.

                      The license that comes in your copy, assuming it was put in by the copyright holder and that you got the copy legitimately, is the license that applies to your copy.

                      I would like to release a program I wrote under the GNU GPL, but I would like to use the same code in non-free programs.

                      To release a non-free program is always ethically tainted, but legally there is no obstacle to your doing this. If you are the copyright holder for the code, you can release it under various different non-exclusive licenses at various times.

                      I hope that clears things up. And I hope nobody claims to know more about the GPL than the people who wrote it.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                        Its not hard to grasp. Its what the GPL says. It does not protect the copyright holder. It protects the code. And it says so specifically. There is no wrong way to interpret it. It says what it says clearly.

                        It doesnt say that it protects an "instance" (version? copy?) of the code or whatever it is that you think it says. It doesnt matter how the copyright holder relicenses it. If it is also protected by the GPL then its terms need to be abided by.
                        Taking in consideration the following example:
                        I release 10 lines of code in two license, GPL and BSD.
                        If you use my 10 lines of code under GPL in your project, then you are obliged to release your project with a GPL compatible license.
                        BUT, if you use the same 10 lines of code released under BSD (with the related BSD license file), even if the lines are exatly the same of the GPL version, if you use the BSD version then you are not under the GPL constrains.
                        Of course, if you want to license your code under BSD-like license and you use my codes released under GPL, you are an idiot and you are going to violate the GPL for sure.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                          I mean I just reviewed the GPL again just to look over it once more and I came out of it with exactly the same interpretation as before. My mind is not changed one tiny bit.
                          I hope TheBlackCat's post above changed your mind a tiny bit. You just seem to confuse copyright and license.
                          For a given piece of work, holding the copyright means owning the work. A license is a set of conditions through which owners let non-owners or a subset of them access and use the work.
                          The license doesn't apply to the copyright holder, because he owns the work. He doesn't need permission to use it (=> doesn't access the work through any license). He doesn't need permission either to let anybody use it in any given way he chooses.

                          The GPL only applies to GPL-licensed code, there is nothing to interpret there.

                          Comment


                          • Yes, Duby, you're mistaken here. The point of GPL, and copyleft in general, is that it works by harnessing the power, if in an unorthodox way, of copyright. Copyleft is not a legal term, copyright is. In a sense, copyleft does not exist. Just that if traditionally copyright is used to say "this is my code and you MUST NOT distribute it", copyleft (via copyright) instead is used to say "this is my code and you MUST distribute it". But the law is one and the same. The copyright owner can do whatever they please with their own code.

                            The GPL does not protect code - code is not something that needs protection, just like your fork or soup bowl. It's not sentient. What needs protection in the owner of the object - the person who wrote the code, or the person who bought the bowl, because they own it, and if something happened to the object, they would be the ones who feel the damage. They can use the protection in various ways, and the GPL just says that the copyright owner allows others to distribute or modify the code, provided that it stays under the same license.

                            From what I can tell, the copyright owner may create a license in which it is said that anyone who wants to modify the code needs to dance a jig for an hour before doing so. It would be nigh-impossible to tell if they did so, and most people would simply not modify the code to begin with, but it's technically a valid license as well. But it does not mean that the copyright owner themselves have to dance a jig every time they work on their own code, because the license only applies to those who are not the holders of copyright.

                            That's also one issue with works without license. If there is no license, the code is still copyright. If the copyright holder distributed it, then there is no problem, because it's their code. But nobody else can do anything with it, because it's still copyright code, and the copyright owner did not give permission to others to do anything with the code. However, if they waive their copyright ownership, then the code becomes public domain - so it's essentially "owned by everyone", and thus anyone can do whatever they please with it, because it's technically their code.

                            Also, the FSF does not enforce the GPL. The only thing that enforces it is the same institution that enforces copyright in general - the court of law. The FSF can just bring the offenders to court, that's all.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                              Its not hard to grasp. Its what the GPL says. It does not protect the copyright holder. It protects the code.
                              The LAW protects the copyright holder. The copyright holder has the right to do anything, period.

                              The GPL only GRANTS rights to people who are NOT copyright holders, and thus don't have any rights. If you receive a piece of GPL code, then you are allowed to redistribute it, if you comply with the license.

                              The copyright holder doesn't need a license to let him do this. He already has the right to do whatever he wants.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                                I don't see how you could get that much convolution out of what the GPL actually says. It's quite clear and I don't see any other way to understand it then what it says. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I think you guys are stretching. The GPL doesnt say anything half as much as what you just wrote. It's a whole lot simpler then that if you8 take what was written literally.

                                EDIT: It's no wonder there are so many thousands of GPL violations. It seems to be a general agreement that the copyright holder doesnt have to abide by the license even though it addresses that specifically in simple terms. I'm stumped. I mean I just reviewed the GPL again just to look over it once more and I came out of it with exactly the same interpretation as before. My mind is not changed one tiny bit.
                                That is because we are not talking about the GPL specifically but copyright, which is the framework that the GPL resides in and has to work with. You are the one stretching by assigning the GPL powers it can not possible hold as it would go against the grain of copyright law. No wonder you keep seeing all of these strange phantom violations of the license.

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