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Thread: Two examples why GPL brings more freedom into world than BSD

  1. #11
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    It is an interesting thought process. But I think the thing that makes more sense is that usually the people who use Linux at the core for embedded systems is because someone works there that is a Linux person and also suggested they provide a client. Just a guess, but it's because Linux users are far more 'community' driven due to the nature of the GPL, whereas BSD users are more "I get stuff for FREE!" type of people.

    That's really what makes the most sense to me.

  2. #12
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    Companies aren't providing BSD versions because there's not enough commercial demand from users of BSD operating systems. Linux has enough desktop users that supporting Linux has some financial incentives via sales/subscriptions. BSD does not have that clout.

    It's that simple.

    Every company exists to make money. Linux is popular enough to make them money. BSD is not. License is irrelevant. The Linux IPTV programs aren't released because the GPL made them. They're released because the authoring company decided that there's a decent number of Linux users who'll pay for the service. If they were convinced that there were enough BSD users, they'd release on their too. Or for Haiku or QNX or FreeDOS or whatever else.

    GPL didn't do anything in terms of these specific (proprietary) programs. You may argue that the GPL is what helped Linux rise to the top vs the older BSD, but it is simply illogical to claim that the GPL affected something that a distribution license has literally zero power over (like the distribution of a completely separate piece of software).

    The same goes with Valve. If all the nerds were raving about BSD and pooing on Linux all the time, Steam would have a BSD client and people would be whining about how Linux is left out in the cold. Valve exists to make money. That's it. Any and every claim about "supporting users' freedoms" is glorified marketing. It's utterly meaningless other than to get more users and developers to buy into Valve's proprietary products and services on the Linux platform. If Valve valued Freedom that much, Steam would be GPL'd, the Steam SDK would be GPL'd (the full SDK, like profiles/friends and SteamCloud and achievements and so on ), and developers would be able to put games up on it without paying Valve a cent over raw bandwidth/operations costs. Oddly that's not happening; it's almost like Valve is a for-profit corporate entity and puts their profits ahead of the precious Four Freedoms. Weird. The freedom that Valve sees in Linux has nothing to do with users; it has to do with Valve's freedom to profit being protected from Microsoft's freedom to embed the Windows Store in its OS. If Microsoft pulls off the Windows Store right (I have my doubts given how horrendously bad Live for Windows turned out to be, but maybe they'll pull it off) then Valve will in time be relegated to a legacy/niche player on Windows. That would be bad for Valve's profits. If on the other hand Valve can get a large chunk of their customers switched over to an OS with no proprietary game distribution competition then their profits are safe. Valve gives zero shits about you; it cares about your money. It's a for-profit corporation. Money is the only reason it exists. It's the only reason my company exists, it's the only reason Red Hat exists, it's the only reason any for-profit corporation exists.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    Companies aren't providing BSD versions because there's not enough commercial demand from users of BSD operating systems. Linux has enough desktop users that supporting Linux has some financial incentives via sales/subscriptions. BSD does not have that clout.

    It's that simple.

    Every company exists to make money. Linux is popular enough to make them money. BSD is not. License is irrelevant. The Linux IPTV programs aren't released because the GPL made them. They're released because the authoring company decided that there's a decent number of Linux users who'll pay for the service. If they were convinced that there were enough BSD users, they'd release on their too. Or for Haiku or QNX or FreeDOS or whatever else.
    Thatīs a valid standpoint, but why would BSD have less marketshare than Linux and why would anyone bore himself about releasing it as free software when it gets major marketshare? Since Gabe explicitly stated he wants more freedom for the users for his console, it is logical what role GPL played.

    But it is not direct conclusion and not verified either. Hence I am looking for IPTV and content distribution software that has a+b+c=true:
    a) of acceptable client quality (no CLIs, text configs etc; an application, not utility)
    b) BSD licensed or uses BSD-licensed subsystem
    c) runs on untainted BSD

    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    The same goes with Valve. If all the nerds were raving about BSD and pooing on Linux all the time, Steam would have a BSD client and people would be whining about how Linux is left out in the cold. Valve exists to make money. That's it. Any and every claim about "supporting users' freedoms" is glorified marketing. It's utterly meaningless other than to get more users and developers to buy into Valve's proprietary products and services on the Linux platform. If Valve valued Freedom that much, Steam would be GPL'd, the Steam SDK would be GPL'd (the full SDK, like profiles/friends and SteamCloud and achievements and so on ), and developers would be able to put games up on it without paying Valve a cent over raw bandwidth/operations costs. Oddly that's not happening; it's almost like Valve is a for-profit corporate entity and puts their profits ahead of the precious Four Freedoms. Weird. The freedom that Valve sees in Linux has nothing to do with users; it has to do with Valve's freedom to profit being protected from Microsoft's freedom to embed the Windows Store in its OS. If Microsoft pulls off the Windows Store right (I have my doubts given how horrendously bad Live for Windows turned out to be, but maybe they'll pull it off) then Valve will in time be relegated to a legacy/niche player on Windows. That would be bad for Valve's profits. If on the other hand Valve can get a large chunk of their customers switched over to an OS with no proprietary game distribution competition then their profits are safe. Valve gives zero shits about you; it cares about your money. It's a for-profit corporation. Money is the only reason it exists. It's the only reason my company exists, it's the only reason Red Hat exists, it's the only reason any for-profit corporation exists.
    As stated in GPL preamble, GPL is for freedom of speech, not beer.
    There are at least three things that prevent Valve from publishing Steam Client as opensource: VAC, DRM of titles that preferred to have DRM enabled and payment.

    I don't understand how vendors are going to evade Valve? Granted Valve publishes Steam SDK, will they be opening their own forks of Steam? For what reason and how are they going to pay its maintenance? How about loss of value due to the loss of integration? This won't happen. They also are free to publish their works outside of Steam. People prefer Steam versions for certain benefits that Steam provides, but that only exist due to Valve input.

    Clearly freedom of users was one of Valve criteria, but another one was evading the extinction at face of monopoly of MS Store as a second foot. Because they actively work with developers to make cross-platform (here in form of Steamplay) publishing possible, then they don't loose anything regardless which platform develops how. Especially because players already heavily invested into Steam, plus that is now crossplatform, not only dependent on one OS - hence seamlessly following the player, it is clear that Steam is many times better than locked-in MS Store.

    Valve also cares about its users, for example it has refunded money to unsatisfied customers.
    This is because being all-for-profit actually damages more in reality, than being mostly-for-profit. This is same with Red Hat.
    Last edited by brosis; 01-22-2014 at 02:44 PM.

  4. #14
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    nice post.........

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by brosis View Post
    I was searching for an IPTV box today, and the research itself has given me some infos, I'd like to share with who ever finds it relevant.

    We know Netflix and PS4 use BSD to broadcast IPTV/access internet, yet BSD itself can't use Netflix or PS4 content.
    This means, with any BSD-based OS it is impossible to get PS4 content or watch Netflix correspondingly.

    The real-world example why GPL brings more real freedom into the world than BSD license in regard to consoles is obviously - SteamOS & Steambox - with ability to install Steam on Linux and access Steam content on "normal" Linux machine, as well as complete separation of software. Thus whole ecosystem can profit from Valve and Valve can profit from Linux. Win-win.

    Now the Netflix issue is still open. But today in a search of IPTV, I discovered that most IPTV providers of at least russian TV use Linux-based boxes. Aaand -..

    Linux is supported standalone. That means, you can take "normal" Linux box, install their program and watch IPTV. Or you can buy their Linux-based box and watch the same IPTV. Choice is yours. Funny enough, BSD is not supported by them. This is a direct link to the FAQ of one of the providers via g translate.

    Which means, I can directly purchase a subscription ignoring purchase of extra-unnecessary box, then get software and enjoy IPTV on any Linux box I have.I save the unnecessary equipment (++ to flexibility and my wallet) and they purchase a happy customer. And the DRM is not spread everywhere. Win-Win.

    Would it be done with BSD ... its unlikely to happen, as they won't be obligated at all, .. and BSD market share is.. I think I can predict what bosses would say to that, as they tend to cut costs.

    That leads me into the theory that other IPTV providers, like Sky (previously Premier) use BSD on their boxes. That would explain why there is simply no Sky client for BSD-OS, or in fact any other OS.

    So is it good to deny right to close software code as a necessity to have right to freedom of it? I think it really proves it, in a real world.
    Several questions here:
    - How does the license of the kernel impact the support of userland programs?
    - Are these IPTV software GPL licensed?
    - Are steam games GPL licensed?
    - Is there more obligation to release userland code on linux compared to BSD?
    - Windows is proprietary and has more support of games. Does it means that proprietary brings more freedom than GPL?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by leech View Post
    It is an interesting thought process. But I think the thing that makes more sense is that usually the people who use Linux at the core for embedded systems is because someone works there that is a Linux person and also suggested they provide a client. Just a guess, but it's because Linux users are far more 'community' driven due to the nature of the GPL, whereas BSD users are more "I get stuff for FREE!" type of people.

    That's really what makes the most sense to me.
    This seems significantly disjoint with my observations. Most Linux users I know don't care at ALL about the GPL or free (as in free speech) software; they only care that Linux is free (as in free beer) -- though they do seem to form strong community ties, as you have stated. On the other hand, the subset of Linux users I've encountered who are GPL-aware are generally antagonistic and exist outside of any major community, preferring instead to sit on the sidelines harassing people for using Ubuntu. I don't think I can honestly make any assertions regarding BSD-types, since I've only ever met them here on Phoronix, but I don't think it makes any sense for a user to prefer BSD over Linux for the sake of "free stuff." Maybe that logic holds for a corporation, but not on an individual or personal level.

  7. #17
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    The GPL is no different to the Patriot Act - taking away your rights and freedoms with weak justifications based on outside "threats".

    Take the usual Patriot Act/NSA/TSA shill justifications and replace all occurrence of the term "terrorists" with proprietary and bam, you just wrote the GPL.

    The GPL is a crime against humanity - anyone that says otherwise is a anti-freedom slut.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truth View Post
    The GPL is no different to the Patriot Act - taking away your rights and freedoms with weak justifications based on outside "threats".

    Take the usual Patriot Act/NSA/TSA shill justifications and replace all occurrence of the term "terrorists" with proprietary and bam, you just wrote the GPL.

    The GPL is a crime against humanity - anyone that says otherwise is a anti-freedom slut.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kite View Post
    This seems significantly disjoint with my observations. Most Linux users I know don't care at ALL about the GPL or free (as in free speech) software; they only care that Linux is free (as in free beer) -- though they do seem to form strong community ties, as you have stated. On the other hand, the subset of Linux users I've encountered who are GPL-aware are generally antagonistic and exist outside of any major community, preferring instead to sit on the sidelines harassing people for using Ubuntu.
    Oh so true indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kite View Post
    I don't think I can honestly make any assertions regarding BSD-types, since I've only ever met them here on Phoronix, but I don't think it makes any sense for a user to prefer BSD over Linux for the sake of "free stuff."
    I don't think it makes any sense for a user to use BSD over Linux at all, at least not at its current state. I was trying out PC-BSD 10 just yesterday on a machine with an ancient Radeon 3XXX series card which is 'supposed' to be supported, but all I got was a lovely, shiny black screen with nothing on it for me to check my face with.

    If users want a BSD-based operating system I'd much rather they take the OS X route. At least that OS actually, like, you know, works. And conforms to the Single UNIX Specification.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kite View Post
    This seems significantly disjoint with my observations. Most Linux users I know don't care at ALL about the GPL or free (as in free speech) software; they only care that Linux is free (as in free beer) -- though they do seem to form strong community ties, as you have stated. On the other hand, the subset of Linux users I've encountered who are GPL-aware are generally antagonistic and exist outside of any major community, preferring instead to sit on the sidelines harassing people for using Ubuntu. I don't think I can honestly make any assertions regarding BSD-types, since I've only ever met them here on Phoronix, but I don't think it makes any sense for a user to prefer BSD over Linux for the sake of "free stuff." Maybe that logic holds for a corporation, but not on an individual or personal level.
    Sadly, the reasoning behind harassing Ubuntu users is because they are indeed the ones who only use Ubuntu Linux (not any others) because it is free to download, and rarely do they actually give anything back to the community. I used to fully support Ubuntu until a few years ago when it'd randomly have issues that other Linux distributions wouldn't. It's become much like OpenSuse where if you start to add outside repositories, everything breaks. Or just simple updates break things they shouldn't.

    But most DEVELOPERS, which is what I'm referring to, are going to be keenly aware of the GPL license if they're porting / developing their software with Linux. I know it sounds elitist, but basically Ubuntu brings mostly a group of morons into the community. But then most of the true morons leave Ubuntu and go back to Windows. Some end up learning enough to go onto more advanced/stable distributions.

    I do find it funny that a guy I worked with for a short time kept telling me that Ubuntu was developed as a 'Hacker's distribution.' I told him that nope, I saw the original mailing list posts announcing Ubuntu from Mark Shuttleworth, and he had clearly stated his goals were to make a Debian based release with a 6-month schedule, and always have the latest Gnome. The third goal was to make it easy to install to hope to get some market share from Microsoft. None of these have anything to do with making a 'Hacker distribution' so I have no idea where he got that from. If anything the 'hacker' ones would be something like Fedora (for hacking on new code / features for RHEL), Arch (or really any of the rolling releases, since you'll have to hack away at the OS to a certain extent to get it running correctly) and/or the other definition of 'hacker' which would be ones like KaliOS. Ubuntu has, and will always be the 'user friendly desktop replacement' distribution. Well, okay, maybe not always, seems like they're going for Mobile as well. They haven't even especially targeted the server.

    Honestly, if someone created a preseed file for Debian that has a plymouth bootup, an easy installer for nvidia/fglrx, and enable contrib, non-free and backports by default, and enable sudo, then you'd have the equivalent of Ubuntu LTS, but with much more stable base.

    This is way off topic, my apologies. I do always find the GPL vs BSD arguments interesting. I look at them this way, GPL is for the user's freedom. BSD is for developer freedom. By this I mean that with GPL, the user gets source code and can distribute the source code as well as binaries. With BSD, the developer can take that source code and release just binaries, or binaries and source. That's probably the simplest that I can describe them.

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