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Thread: PHP5 JSON Still In A Licensing Mess

  1. #1
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    Default 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. #2
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    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

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

  4. #4
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    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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    Quote 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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    Just... WTF?

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    Quote 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.

  8. #8
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    Quote 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

    Quote 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

  9. #9
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    Quote 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?

  10. #10
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    Quote 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.

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