Misunderstanding GPL's terms and conditions as restrictions (was: Re: Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?)
olivares14031 at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 28 01:30:45 UTC 2008
> > I have gotten more of an insight on this issue and I
> have to say that
> > although you have many good points, Les has very good
> points as well.
> > I have gotten some input regarding issues with GPL.
> > /* name withheld to protect the identity of this
> previous GPL author
> > */
> You mean someone *other* than Les?
> > As a GPL developer, he tried to sue some GPL violators
> and found that
> > you cannot succeed. The majority of GPL violations
> is/was done by
> > small companies that cannot be threaten by forbidding
> them to sell
> > their products that are based on the violation.
> That's exactly what copyright law offers. If someone
> is distributing
> your software in violation of the license, the court can
> order them to
> stop distribution. The GPL, specifically, will also
> terminate their
> rights to distribute as a result of their violation. If
> they want to
> continue to distribute the software, they must negotiate
> with the
> copyright holder to restore that right.
> > As you in general cannot sue people for GPL
> violations, why should we
> > add restrictions to software that just hit the users
> but not the
> > abusers?
> That is a ridiculous assertion that has no foundation. The
> GPL does not
> "hit" users in any way. They don't even have
> to accept its terms unless
> they want to distribute the software.
> If the GPL were ineffective against abusers, then it
> wouldn't affect
> anyone at all. Portraying users as innocent victims of the
> GPL is an
> outright lie.
> > The logical result from this question is to put
> software under a
> > license that does not restrict collaboration in the
> OpenSource area
> > (like the GPL unfortunately does).
> That result is also illogical. If your supposed GPL
> developer couldn't
> enforce the GPL against companies that violated its terms,
> then I don't
> see any reason to believe that he could enforce any other
> either. He might as well put his software in the public
> domain and
> ignore licenses completely.
Here's an example of a case that the GPL has not helped the original author
The case is still pending :(, but pretty much the abusers or bad guys can get away with a great deal. This is unfortunate to the original authors despite having the copyright(s).
> > In the early 1990s we probably needed the GPL, but now
> it is no
> > longer needed because it does not allow collaboration
> > different OpenSource communities.
> More nonsense. Nothing significant has changed since the
> 1990's. If
> anything, there are now even more companies which would use
> code that is
> currently GPL licensed in proprietary products.
> > The GPL is an "universal receiver"
> > of software from other licenses but it does not allow
> GPL code to
> > move towards other projects.
> That's not a fair characterization, either. The GPL is
> not a "universal
> receiver". It can only include software that is under
> licenses. Furthermore, the license itself does not prevent
> GPL code
> from moving into other, more permissively license projects.
> It does not
> do so by default, certainly, but if there is good cause to
> code to a project under a more permissive license (such as
> in the case
> that the GPL project used some code from the other, more
> licensed project), then the authors of that project can ask
> for a copy
> of the software under a suitable license.
> Negotiating. We can all do it. Licenses don't change
We can negociate, the hard part is being in agreement :(
More information about the fedora-list