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PHP5 JSON Still In A Licensing Mess

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  • PHP5 JSON Still In A Licensing Mess

    Phoronix: PHP5 JSON Still In A Licensing Mess

    Debian-based Linux distributions are in a bit of a mess with their support for JSON over what appears to be a bit of a silly license issue...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQ0MTY

  • #2
    wth, this is so stupid, my brain can't believe what my eyes are reading. Such a simple clause would require a full rewrite :S ohhh boy silly gpl purist's

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    • #3
      every software should come with that clause. There should be laws that state that is implied. wth.

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      • #4
        That license text is a classic in the IP world :

        http://wonko.com/post/jsmin-isnt-welcome-on-google-code

        Read the whole post. The best stuff is near the end.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TheOne View Post
          wth, this is so stupid, my brain can't believe what my eyes are reading. Such a simple clause would require a full rewrite :S ohhh boy silly gpl purist's
          It's not a problem with people being license purists - it's that the GPL itself has such strong restrictions about co-existence with other licenses. Trivial as this extra clause is, it *is* an extra condition being imposed, and that *is* contrary to the GPL. It's silly, but when you're dealing with legal issues, nobody wants to take chances on matters of interpretation.

          Really, I'm surprised they haven't just solved it by getting upstream to remove the offending condition. "The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil" is a fine concept, but it's just stupid putting something so subjective into a legal document... it's not something that can possibly be enforced in court...

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          • #6
            Just... WTF?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Delgarde View Post
              It's not a problem with people being license purists - it's that the GPL itself has such strong restrictions about co-existence with other licenses. Trivial as this extra clause is, it *is* an extra condition being imposed, and that *is* contrary to the GPL. It's silly, but when you're dealing with legal issues, nobody wants to take chances on matters of interpretation.

              Really, I'm surprised they haven't just solved it by getting upstream to remove the offending condition. "The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil" is a fine concept, but it's just stupid putting something so subjective into a legal document... it's not something that can possibly be enforced in court...
              As the article clearly states, they've tried contacting upstream to get the offending condition removed. They haven't been able to make contact with upstream.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Delgarde View Post
                It's not a problem with people being license purists - it's that the GPL itself has such strong restrictions about co-existence with other licenses. Trivial as this extra clause is, it *is* an extra condition being imposed, and that *is* contrary to the GPL. It's silly, but when you're dealing with legal issues, nobody wants to take chances on matters of interpretation.

                Really, I'm surprised they haven't just solved it by getting upstream to remove the offending condition. "The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil" is a fine concept, but it's just stupid putting something so subjective into a legal document... it's not something that can possibly be enforced in court...
                It's also DFSG thing:
                http://www.debian.org/social_contract.en.html

                Originally posted by dfsg
                No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

                The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

                No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

                The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.
                And problems with definition of evil and good.

                BTW. You can't force upstream to change the licence. If author doesn't want to do it, there is no other option but to use other software. https://wiki.debian.org/qa.debian.org/jsonevil


                IBM have the licence to do evil from author.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hCimLnIsDA

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TheOne View Post
                  wth, this is so stupid, my brain can't believe what my eyes are reading. Such a simple clause would require a full rewrite :S ohhh boy silly gpl purist's
                  There is no legal definition of the words "good" or "evil", and the common understanding it so convoluted and shifting that a court would take it to mean much at all. At most it might mean that the program should not be used to commit torts (of the criminal or civil variety), but that is of no greater obligation than anybody has anyways. And if it's no greater obligation than anybody has anyways, why would it make it GPL incompatible?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WorBlux View Post
                    There is no legal definition of the words "good" or "evil", and the common understanding it so convoluted and shifting that a court would take it to mean much at all. At most it might mean that the program should not be used to commit torts (of the criminal or civil variety), but that is of no greater obligation than anybody has anyways. And if it's no greater obligation than anybody has anyways, why would it make it GPL incompatible?
                    Because it's not a "free" license.

                    I actually am somewhat sympathetic in some ways. If I wrote some code and wanted it to be open-source, I wouldn't necessarily be thrilled if it was being used to cause harm.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WorBlux View Post
                      And if it's no greater obligation than anybody has anyways, why would it make it GPL incompatible?
                      Because however vague and meaningless it is, it's still an extra condition restrict the rights of others to use the code, and that's incompatible with the GPL. It doesn't matter what that condition is or how ineffectual it is - that it exists at all is a problem.

                      Of course, personally I'd suggest that the use of PHP is already in violation of the "don't be evil" clause...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by johnc View Post
                        Because it's not a "free" license.

                        I actually am somewhat sympathetic in some ways. If I wrote some code and wanted it to be open-source, I wouldn't necessarily be thrilled if it was being used to cause harm.
                        Lol, do you think that when the us goes into war against afghanisthan, iraq, etc... they consider themselves EVIL ? If they were to put some php-json code in their drones (poor drones), they would be the first to say : "look, not only we don't use your software for evil, but we use it AGAINST evil, for thy Greater Goode!"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by doom_Oo7 View Post
                          Lol, do you think that when the us goes into war against afghanisthan, iraq, etc... they consider themselves EVIL ? If they were to put some php-json code in their drones (poor drones), they would be the first to say : "look, not only we don't use your software for evil, but we use it AGAINST evil, for thy Greater Goode!"
                          Well, the particular clause here is obviously non-binding. I'm just saying that if I released code, while I'm sympathetic to the open source concept, maybe not as much to the "free" part. So I wouldn't be completely opposed to having some kind of barriers in my license.

                          edit: Put another way, what does Stallman think about the fact that a lot of GNU code is being using to restrict liberties around the world?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnc View Post
                            Well, the particular clause here is obviously non-binding. I'm just saying that if I released code, while I'm sympathetic to the open source concept, maybe not as much to the "free" part. So I wouldn't be completely opposed to having some kind of barriers in my license.

                            edit: Put another way, what does Stallman think about the fact that a lot of GNU code is being using to restrict liberties around the world?
                            Just my personal opinion here....

                            I really hate the term "Free Software"..... BSD can have their free software. GPL isnt free. The copyleft explicitly makes it not free. Permanently OSS yes, but not free.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Delgarde View Post
                              It's not a problem with people being license purists - it's that the GPL itself has such strong restrictions about co-existence with other licenses. Trivial as this extra clause is, it *is* an extra condition being imposed, and that *is* contrary to the GPL. It's silly, but when you're dealing with legal issues, nobody wants to take chances on matters of interpretation.

                              Really, I'm surprised they haven't just solved it by getting upstream to remove the offending condition. "The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil" is a fine concept, but it's just stupid putting something so subjective into a legal document... it's not something that can possibly be enforced in court...
                              It doesn't matter if that particular clause can't hold up in court. It's like the old "sundown" laws in rural America, where it's illegal to be non white after dusk. If a cop arrested you for being black at night the cop would be arrested for being a racist moron.

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