Page 8 of 11 FirstFirst ... 678910 ... LastLast
Results 71 to 80 of 103

Thread: SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,459

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    Thanks. Now the real question is how Canonicals's lawyers have phrased their demand. If they tell Mint that they don't want the binaries to be used against them in the OEM market that would indeed be against the GPL. But I doubt that they are that dumb. It is much easier to do that in a different way: They restrict Mint's access to the binary servers, which is totally fine with the GPL. Canonical could say: We deliver you the service of building and storing binaries provided you don't compete in the OEM market against us. BAM, no GPL violation, since the binaries aren't even the subject, but the service is.
    You're a lawyer I take it? Because that's a pretty bold claim to make, and reeks of an attempt at exploiting a loophole in the license - I'm pretty sure that this would not fly in court if it were challenged, you can say all you want that "it's the service we're placing restrictions on" but that doesn't change the fact that the end result is placing restrictions on the usage of GPL software. Which is explicitly forbidden by the GPL.

    And again, Canonical is not "offering the service of building/storing binaries" - if they were, Mint could simply use any of the mirrors and simply blacklist Canonical's own server, and the only way Canonical could prevent this would be to demand the same terms from all the mirrors, which would pretty much be shooting themselves in the foot, since Ubuntu would not be able to function without all the free, mirrors which they don't pay for and which help distribute their packages for them.

    Canonical is instead attempting to argue that Mint needs to sign a license for the binaries themselves, this is IIRC mentioned in the Distrowatch article. Clem even states there that he doesn't consider Canonical's claim valid, but is willing to play along in order to maintain the peace. Which is, ok, his decision to make but I don't agree that it's a good course of action in the long term. If Ubuntu shuts down because of GPL violations, then Mint will have to rebase on something else, because there'll be no more Ubuntu.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    570

    Default Mint can tell Canonical to buzz off, nothing Canonical can do

    Quote Originally Posted by dyfet View Post
    No they are not simply locking them up behind a paywell, which indeed would have been valid and much like what RedHat does. They are instead telling Mint where they can and cannot re-distribute the files that they do receive, which is NOT legally permitted by the GNU GPL. RedHat does NOT tell it's customers what they can and cannot do with the software they receive, which markets they may use RHEL in for their own products and services, etc.
    Due to the terms of the GPL, Mint can redistribute all they want and Ubuntu can do nothing about it. They would have to block access to their repos to stop Mint, and that would just push Mint all the way to Debian while driving away existing Ubuntu users who had to "validate" in some way to connect to the repos. I doubt they would try. Mint has their own branding and their own imagery, all they would have to do is carefully strip out any remaining packages containing Ubuntu's name or artwork, Would be a good opportunity to kill dependencies on parts of Unity while they were at it. If Ubuntu is too big a pain in the ass, Mint already has a version based on Debian, surely that would cause a lot of Ubuntu PPA's to migrate to Mint.

    Don't forget, anything in an ubuntu PPA can be downloaded as source and compiled on anything supported by the upstream authors, Ubuntu patches can be reverted if needed.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    570

    Default How can Ubuntu block Mint from the binary servers w/o blocking their users

    Quote Originally Posted by dyfet View Post
    http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20131209#qa

    "...An e-mail to the Linux Mint project asking for details yielded much better results. Clement Lefebvre responded the following day and, while he wasn't able to go into specific details as talks with Canonical are still on-going, he was able to share a few pieces of information. When asked if Canonical was hoping to collect a fee for using their binary packages, Clem responded, "Money isn't a primary concern. Although the original fee was in the hundreds of thousands pounds, it was easily reduced to a single digit figure. The licensing aims at restricting what Mint can and cannot do, mostly in relation to the OEM market, to prevent Mint from competing with Canonical in front of the same commercial partners..."
    It seems to me that Mint could make their forked distro the exact same way I make mine: download one installer once only, install, hack, update from the same repos everyone else uses. If ubuntu tries to block them by IP address, fetch everything through Tor. If they block Tor nodes they will get REALLY bad press from Ubuntu users who run Tor exit nodes. Mint can give Ubuntu a choice: accept their rights under the GPL to redistribute, or shut down. I don't think Shuttleworth would be dumb enough to shut down just after gettingUbuntu phones into the huge Chinese market.

    What is he so upset about anyway? Mint does not have any DE's that are usable in phones and tablets, it is a desktop and laptop distro for all of us who don't like the new style UI's that look and act like phone UI's even if they are hard to use on actual touchscreen devices. Ubuntu and Mint should agree to split the market between each other: Mint being responsible for desktops and laptops, and Ubuntu for headless servers, tablets and phones.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,116

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    You're a lawyer I take it? Because that's a pretty bold claim to make, and reeks of an attempt at exploiting a loophole in the license - I'm pretty sure that this would not fly in court if it were challenged, you can say all you want that "it's the service we're placing restrictions on" but that doesn't change the fact that the end result is placing restrictions on the usage of GPL software. Which is explicitly forbidden by the GPL.
    No, I am not a lawyer. Nonetheless, the GPL is only valid for the software itself, not for services around the software. Regardless if Canonical uses third party mirrors or not, they are still the ones providing the build service. And they can restrict access to that service however they want without even touching the GPL, since it is not the software or its usage you restrict. If Mint doesn't want to play those rules they can just build the packages themselves.
    Actually, I am astonished that something like this didn't happen earlier, since Mint seems to be pretty big now, but still relies on Ubuntu's servers to function.

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,459

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    No, I am not a lawyer. Nonetheless, the GPL is only valid for the software itself, not for services around the software. Regardless if Canonical uses third party mirrors or not, they are still the ones providing the build service. And they can restrict access to that service however they want without even touching the GPL, since it is not the software or its usage you restrict. If Mint doesn't want to play those rules they can just build the packages themselves.
    Actually, I am astonished that something like this didn't happen earlier, since Mint seems to be pretty big now, but still relies on Ubuntu's servers to function.
    No, they can't. AGAIN, the GPL covers the binaries of the software as well as the source code. Building the binaries does not give Canonical a right to restrict how that software is used. Do I need to cite the relevant passages to you again, in case you've forgotten them since our last "discussion"?

    I'm fairly certain that your view is not shared by the FSF, or any lawyer who is familiar with the GPL and works with GPL software. Building a binary from GPL source code does not give the builder a right to add restrictions on the usage of that binary. That is clearly and explicitly forbidden by the GPL, both versions of it.

    They can restrict the access to their server, if they want. That is within their rights. They can say to Mint, "people using your distro are not allowed to access Canonical's servers", and they'd be within their rights. They do NOT have the right to tell Mint "people using your distro are not allowed to access mirrors that provide packages compiled by us", because that's against the GPL. And the problem, again, is NOT that they want to restrict access to servers. They are, like I said, wanting Mint to sign a license to use their binaries, and this license is meant to restrict how Mint is allowed to use the binaries. Like I said, even Clem himself has stated that he doesn't consider Canonical's copyright claim valid.

    I'm really getting tired of your intellectually dishonest debating style, Vim_user. You cherrypick parts of my posts to nitpick on and ignore other parts that prove your points wrong. I'm getting tired of telling the same things to you over and over again.

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    136

    Default

    So the ..heise.de article refers to Gabes presentation at CES however doesn't mention the source of
    Originally Ubuntu was provided as a basis, but because of legal issues were unclear to some additional components to be switched just before just to Debian. There you have some need to program yourself what Ubuntu would have already had it.


    Did i miss something? Because i hear no mention of legal issues

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,116

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    No, they can't. AGAIN, the GPL covers the binaries of the software as well as the source code. Building the binaries does not give Canonical a right to restrict how that software is used. Do I need to cite the relevant passages to you again, in case you've forgotten them since our last "discussion"?
    No, you don't, since they still don't apply. Again, I am not talking about restricting the use of the binaries, I am talking about restricting the service to build the binaries. The service to build those binaries has nothing at all to do with the license of the software that is built. Canonical can legally restrict their build service to be only available to projects that do not compete with Canonical in the OEM market. In other words, Canonical has totally the right to choose its customers and no part of the GPL prevents that. If Mint does not want to play that game the are of course entitled by the GPL to fork Ubuntu and do it themselves.
    I'm fairly certain that your view is not shared by the FSF, or any lawyer who is familiar with the GPL and works with GPL software. Building a binary from GPL source code does not give the builder a right to add restrictions on the usage of that binary. That is clearly and explicitly forbidden by the GPL, both versions of it.
    And again, that is irrelevant, since the restrictions don't apply to the software, but to the service of building binaries. They can't restrict the software, but they can dictate the conditions under which they provide the service.
    They can restrict the access to their server, if they want. That is within their rights. They can say to Mint, "people using your distro are not allowed to access Canonical's servers", and they'd be within their rights.
    Now you get it. And this includes "Remove any pointers to to our servers from your sources.list and do not by default allow usage of the PPAs that are hosted on our launchpad servers (which are all PPAs)", which would be more or less the end for Mint, regardless if they in the future load their packages from a different mirror. Canonical could even go so far and deny the installation of their own packages using an artificial dependency on a package that only is hosted on a specific Canonical server.
    They are, like I said, wanting Mint to sign a license to use their binaries, and this license is meant to restrict how Mint is allowed to use the binaries. Like I said, even Clem himself has stated that he doesn't consider Canonical's copyright claim valid.
    And this all do you get from a short article on Distrowatch with only a few sentences from Clem. That is why I stated already that your claims are baseless until we see what is actually going on between Canonical and Clem, in full detail. If Clem is accepting license terms from Canonical that are violating the GPL he is as intellectually dishonest as you claim me to be.
    I'm really getting tired of your intellectually dishonest debating style, Vim_user. You cherrypick parts of my posts to nitpick on and ignore other parts that prove your points wrong. I'm getting tired of telling the same things to you over and over again.
    That is your problem, not mine. If you don't want to discuss with me then don't do it, there is nothing forcing you to do so.

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    472

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    That is your problem, not mine.
    Actually, it is exactly *your* problem. You again skipped a part that counters your argument. This part:
    They do NOT have the right to tell Mint "people using your distro are not allowed to access mirrors that provide packages compiled by us"

    You're constantly mentioning the service of building binaries. But what you're missing is the distribution of said binaries, which is a different service. And that one Canonical cannot restrict - as soon as someone gets the binaries, they are free to redistribute them. And then Mint can get them from that someone. Which is very easy, because there are a lot of such "someones" already, all the mirrors that are out there. There's nothing Canonical can do about it, all they can mandate is that Mint's sources.list does not point to Canonical. But it can point to any of the mirrors.

  9. #79
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    570

    Default Ubuntu would have trouble controlling mirrors

    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    They can restrict the access to their server, if they want. That is within their rights. They can say to Mint, "people using your distro are not allowed to access Canonical's servers", and they'd be within their rights. They do NOT have the right to tell Mint "people using your distro are not allowed to access mirrors that provide packages compiled by us", because that's against the GPL. And the problem, again, is NOT that they want to restrict access to servers. They are, like I said, wanting Mint to sign a license to use their binaries, and this license is meant to restrict how Mint is allowed to use the binaries. Like I said, even Clem himself has stated that he doesn't consider Canonical's copyright claim valid.
    Mint could respond by using only mirrors of Ubuntu's servers and blacklisting the only servers Canonical actually owns by default. Any attempt by Ubuntu to control PPA access will cause PPA owners to move off of Canonical's machines due to the popularity of Mint. In addition, as I said before, Mint already has a Debian-only based version as insurance-Ubuntu cannot kill Mint.

    I am recommending Mint or UbuntuStudio, never default Ubuntu these days due to Unity's failure to separate online and offline by default. The day Uubntu attempt to prevent Mint users from updating from their repos OR using Ubuntu PPA's, I will switch my /etc/sources.list to use Debian unstable, purge lightdm, install mdm, and switch to whatever startup system Debian uses. From then on, I will pull binary updates from Debian unstable and compile my own kdenlive and Mesa debs from git. My video editing boxes can do that with ease. Over time, my OS install that dates back to Ubuntu Jaunty will then become a Debian based setup with Cinnamon and old UbuntuStudio themes. Ubuntu needs Mint, Mint does not need Ubuntu, as anything I can do Mint can surely do.

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,459

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    That is your problem, not mine. If you don't want to discuss with me then don't do it, there is nothing forcing you to do so.
    If you're behaving like an intellectually dishonest troll, that most definitely is not my problem. If you don't understand the GPL, that's not my problem either. If you insist on ignoring parts of my posts that already show you are wrong just so you can continue arguing and maintaining the delusion that you're right, because it's so horrible to admit being wrong on the internet - Guess whose problem that is not?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •