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Thread: Phoronix Test Suite Exploring GPLv2 License

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by brosis View Post
    And if the court forces an independent research of the specified software piece on the matter of license misuse?..
    If you mind that there is no real advantage, what real advantage from your own viewpoint would it be? (Apart from the "Don't worry, take it easy", aka "prepare to be sued" method). The EULAs that I know all use or base on non-copyleft (BSD etc) are not becoming less restricting, so they must know and believe in what they are claiming.
    There is no real advantage, I'm sorry there just isn't against anyone that has a wee bit of knowledge if they wish to use open code and disguise it. Again it is a false sense of security. First of all you would have to be able to come up with some appreciable evidence that a violation occurred. Without that, no court is going to force "independent research" without any such evidence. It becomes increasingly harder to prove as well if someone was to take some simple steps as, utilizing only part of the code, using a different compiler with different compilation options, changing string names, flipping a routine or two, etc.

    Restrictive licenses only tie the hands of the honest person and may give some ammo for some really stupid code thief that takes the code and uses it in a verbatim manner if you have the time and patience and financial ability to chase after them (and hopefully they are in your court jurisdiction).

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    There is no real advantage, I'm sorry there just isn't against anyone that has a wee bit of knowledge if they wish to use open code and disguise it. Again it is a false sense of security. First of all you would have to be able to come up with some appreciable evidence that a violation occurred. Without that, no court is going to force "independent research" without any such evidence. It becomes increasingly harder to prove as well if someone was to take some simple steps as, utilizing only part of the code, using a different compiler with different compilation options, changing string names, flipping a routine or two, etc.

    Restrictive licenses only tie the hands of the honest person and may give some ammo for some really stupid code thief that takes the code and uses it in a verbatim manner if you have the time and patience and financial ability to chase after them (and hopefully they are in your court jurisdiction).
    Perhaps it would be good to look at the Mozilla Public License then, it's basically the same as the LGPL except it allows static linking without making linked code part of the greater work and it's compatible with the entire *GPL family of licenses.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    There is no real advantage, I'm sorry there just isn't against anyone that has a wee bit of knowledge if they wish to use open code and disguise it. Again it is a false sense of security. First of all you would have to be able to come up with some appreciable evidence that a violation occurred. Without that, no court is going to force "independent research" without any such evidence. It becomes increasingly harder to prove as well if someone was to take some simple steps as, utilizing only part of the code, using a different compiler with different compilation options, changing string names, flipping a routine or two, etc.

    Restrictive licenses only tie the hands of the honest person and may give some ammo for some really stupid code thief that takes the code and uses it in a verbatim manner if you have the time and patience and financial ability to chase after them (and hopefully they are in your court jurisdiction).
    And yet I can name at least a couple of cases where closed-source apps became open-source due to GPL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    And yet I can name at least a couple of cases where closed-source apps became open-source due to GPL.
    And yet many GPL projects have a "hall of shame" but don't bother to do anything more then to put up a web page.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    And yet many GPL projects have a "hall of shame" but don't bother to do anything more then to put up a web page.
    How does that have anything to do with the license itself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    How does that have anything to do with the license itself?
    Has it stopped those projects from using the code? Nope. Have those projects contributed back? Nope. Has it ensured that their code is also free. Nope.

    Seriously, there are literally thousands of projects out there utilizing free code out of compliance with their license. Then there other situations as well. The only one that can take action about the violators is the Copyright owner. If that owner for example passes away it is then up to the estate inheritors to police and search for violators in the faint hope they can do something about it if they wish. That is very unlikely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    Has it stopped those projects from using the code? Nope. Have those projects contributed back? Nope. Has it ensured that their code is also free. Nope.

    Seriously, there are literally thousands of projects out there utilizing free code out of compliance with their license. Then there other situations as well. The only one that can take action about the violators is the Copyright owner. If that owner for example passes away it is then up to the estate inheritors to police and search for violators in the faint hope they can do something about it if they wish. That is very unlikely.
    Still nothing to do with the license. It ensures all this, and it is enforced when necessary. If the copyright owners are unwilling to protect their own code, that's their own fault. It doesn't mean that those projects would have been better off being BSD licensed.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    Has it stopped those projects from using the code? Nope. Have those projects contributed back? Nope. Has it ensured that their code is also free. Nope.

    Seriously, there are literally thousands of projects out there utilizing free code out of compliance with their license. Then there other situations as well. The only one that can take action about the violators is the Copyright owner. If that owner for example passes away it is then up to the estate inheritors to police and search for violators in the faint hope they can do something about it if they wish. That is very unlikely.
    Of course it haven't, licenses by themselves mean nothing if the copyright holders don't enforce them. But contracts neither, nor laws. If the one with the authority doesn't enforce something, it will never do anything, that's no news.
    But if the license or contract doesn't explicitly states something, then you have no case if you try to enforce such thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    Restrictive licenses only tie the hands of the honest person and may give some ammo for some really stupid code thief that takes the code and uses it in a verbatim manner if you have the time and patience and financial ability to chase after them (and hopefully they are in your court jurisdiction).
    One prime example is routers, without GPL, we would not have open router firmware. It was through enforcement of the license that openwrt and dd-wrt came about. Actually, multiple enforcements, the Linksys WRT router being the first target. Another important example is webkit. Apple forked khtml to make webkit, and it was only after prolonged pressure from copyright holders that the code was released. These days, Apple is going out of their way to avoid having to release code any more. Moving over to linux and the open drivers, you have more examples, remember the exfat driver from Samsung? This is not about honesty, it is about business and what you want to accomplish. Moreover, forcing offenders to comply is a small part of the picture. The big picture is getting contributors. The copy-left in linux has ensured that we have open drivers for just about anything under the sun. Nvidia is just about the only hold-out, and they are really starting to feel the pressure. If AMD had went all in on open drivers, then I am pretty sure they would be a clear choice for the steam machines. Hope they are able to step up one more notch the coming year.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Del_ View Post
    One prime example is routers, without GPL, we would not have open router firmware. It was through enforcement of the license that openwrt and dd-wrt came about. Actually, multiple enforcements, the Linksys WRT router being the first target.
    That is about really the biggest win the GPL had. But then again, DD-WRT falling into compliance has been questioned as well. OpenWRT pionts fingers as Sveasoft for violating GPL and Sveasoft points fingers at OpenWRT for distributing non-GPL components of their software as GPL so it hasn't proven all that effective there either.

    Another important example is webkit. Apple forked khtml to make webkit, and it was only after prolonged pressure from copyright holders that the code was released.
    These days, Apple is going out of their way to avoid having to release code any more.
    KHTML was licensed in Lesser GPL and Apple was not in violation. When Apple released Webkit it was licensed under BSD and LGPL. Despite of the less restrictive license however, Webkit has become the most used engine. Apple still contributes, Google has joined in and many others. Again all done without GPL 2 or 3. As far as Apple going out of it's way to avoid releasing more code goes, Apple these days releases more code into the FOSS system then it ever has and it isn't because of a restrictive license. Quite the opposite, it is releasing it under a BSD / Apache like license so in Apples case they are more then they ever had under a GPL license.


    Moving over to linux and the open drivers, you have more examples, remember the exfat driver from Samsung?
    Yup sure do, many drivers are still not free of closed firmware. The means of which the Samsung exfat driver came about was also due to an unauthorized release happening sloppy security practices on Samsungs part. Had that not happened, chances are that the exfat driver never would have seen the light of day. Once the cat was out of the bag however then it became open source (and still in question to the legality of it in several aspects).

    This is not about honesty, it is about business and what you want to accomplish. Moreover, forcing offenders to comply is a small part of the picture. The big picture is getting contributors. The copy-left in linux has ensured that we have open drivers for just about anything under the sun. Nvidia is just about the only hold-out, and they are really starting to feel the pressure.
    There is a ton of hardware that is still not supported by linux, or if it does have any support, it has been done through reverse engineering (and often with just base functionality available). Heck a good example is the linux driver for the hauppauge colossus. Funny thing is that the people that run the company used to be regular contributors to the kernel and v4l.

    http://www.kernellabs.com/blog/wp-co...ssusDriver.pdf

    Try to get that or the source from them and they ask you for thousands of dollars despite it hooking into several GPL/MIT licensed code. So despite their driver being derived work from those projects any request for code gets you a polite "Go pound sand" reply. Since they are not using my code, I am powerless to do anything about it.

    If AMD had went all in on open drivers, then I am pretty sure they would be a clear choice for the steam machines. Hope they are able to step up one more notch the coming year.
    I wouldn't go that far. Intel has been going all out for their drivers and they are still not the clear choice. Plus there is a matter of driver track records. From my understanding, there is very little resemblance between the free and blob drivers and there is still areas where there is a legal "gray area" such as texture compression. Because the codebase is so different, it really would take a development team of at least equal size to keep current with the hardware and capabilities. There is also the matter that there is a shared code base that has to be maintained on the free drivers for the multiple vendors. One area falls behind and the rest could be waiting. Not having to rely on shared code does have its advantages at times and that often is being to release a fully capable driver from your own "walled garden" where you do have more control.
    Last edited by deanjo; 01-09-2014 at 08:09 PM.

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