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From: jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/22
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On Wed, 22 Sep 1999 11:13:55 -0400, chrism <chr...@FOUR.net> wrote:
>1. It is my understanding that IBM (who hired Rasmus Lerdorf, the lead
>developer and creator of PHP) has induced a situation where a leading
>web server scripting language, PHP, is being stripped of it's GPL'd license
>in all current development versions, specifically the new version: PHP4.

(IBM-bashing conspiracy theory snipped)

As I read it, the PHP license is much more free and open than the GPV
because it's not viral, while still providing for free and unlimited
redistribution in both source and binary forms. This can only be a Good
Thing.

People who contributed code to PHP since they added the PHP license have no
complaint coming unless they specifically limited that code to distribution
under the terms of the GPV, in which case the relevant code would have to be
removed from PHP before it is released under only the PHP license. The
authors of the code can change their minds and distribute it under any
license they choose; they cannot revoke any rights already granted, and so
previous versions of PHP can still be distributed under the GPV, but the new
version can be restricted as they please.

From: jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/23
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On Wed, 22 Sep 1999 14:14:49 -0400, chrism <chr...@FOUR.net> wrote:
>A fair chunk of the program has shifted not to the PHP license you mention
>above, but to the QPL.  Even to someone who uses the term GPV rather than GPL
>this surely is not a 'Good Thing'.

Okkay, I'll bite: Why is it a Bad THing? As I see it, you can take
QPL-licensed code and redistribute it just as you received it, optionally
with your own modifications in a form clearly and plainly distinguishable
from the original code (which is what they're trying to achieve: you can't
hack up their code and redistribute it as though it was the original). The
essential goal of Open Source is achieved: I still have access to the
program's source code, and can fix and enhance it to my heart's content. I
can even redistribute the code, and further, I can even redistribute it with
my patches to do whatever I feel should be done. If the author takes my
patches and incorporates them into his program, or not, that's his choice.
If my patches are so extensive as to be a major maintenance headache, then
either 1) perhaps I need to look at a different program, 2) I should
convince the maintainer to include them in his code, or 3) maybe the
functionality is best handled in some other form.

In none of this has anyone committed the unforgivable sin of attempting to
impose one's license conditions on another's code, as the GPV does. I
consider that to be a greater evil.

(Not only do I use the term GPV...I invented it, in 1990. As I posted on
Slashdot not long ago, I'll quit calling it a virus when it stops being
one.)

From: Ketil Z Malde <ke...@ii.uib.no>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/23
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jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:

> In none of this has anyone committed the unforgivable sin of
> attempting to impose one's license conditions on another's code, as
> the GPV does. I consider that to be a greater evil.

Where does the GPL impose any conditions of any kind on code you've
written?  Surely, it will impose conditions on code you release with
that license, but that's sort of the point of any license.

> Not only do I use the term GPV...I invented it, in 1990.

Among many other important contributions to humanity, I'm sure. 

> I'll quit calling it a virus when it stops being one.

That's a feature.  If somebody writes code, it's their decision how it 
is going to be used.  If the author decides he doesn't want it
extended and distributed in a closed, proprietary way, so be it.  I
don't quite see why you think this is a problem.

-kzm
-- 
If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants

From: jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/24
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On Thu, 23 Sep 1999 07:30:24 GMT, Ketil Z Malde <ke...@ii.uib.no> wrote:
>jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:
>> In none of this has anyone committed the unforgivable sin of
>> attempting to impose one's license conditions on another's code, as
>> the GPV does. I consider that to be a greater evil.
>Where does the GPL impose any conditions of any kind on code you've
>written?  Surely, it will impose conditions on code you release with
>that license, but that's sort of the point of any license.

Go back and read what I said again. The GPV, when placed on a piece of code,
attempts to impose its license conditions on code I write merely because it
was written in conjunction with that code. This is a blatant imposition of
another's morals on me, no different and no better than trying to force me
to live a Christian lifestyle merely because you think I should.

>> I'll quit calling it a virus when it stops being one.
>That's a feature.  If somebody writes code, it's their decision how it 
>is going to be used.  If the author decides he doesn't want it
>extended and distributed in a closed, proprietary way, so be it.  I
>don't quite see why you think this is a problem.

I believe it's an attempt to force his morals on me. To call that the only
way to ensure freedom is hypocrisy of the worst sort, and I am constantly
amazed at people who would fight long and hard against imposing morals in
other forms and yet defend the GPV to the bitter end.

From: Barry Margolin <bar...@bbnplanet.com>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/24
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Originator: bar...@bbnplanet.com (Barry Margolin)

In article <slrn7un3no.frb.jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx>,
Jay Maynard <jmayn...@texas.net> wrote:
>On Thu, 23 Sep 1999 07:30:24 GMT, Ketil Z Malde <ke...@ii.uib.no> wrote:
>>jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:
>>> In none of this has anyone committed the unforgivable sin of
>>> attempting to impose one's license conditions on another's code, as
>>> the GPV does. I consider that to be a greater evil.
>>Where does the GPL impose any conditions of any kind on code you've
>>written?  Surely, it will impose conditions on code you release with
>>that license, but that's sort of the point of any license.
>
>Go back and read what I said again. The GPV, when placed on a piece of code,
>attempts to impose its license conditions on code I write merely because it
>was written in conjunction with that code. This is a blatant imposition of
>another's morals on me, no different and no better than trying to force me
>to live a Christian lifestyle merely because you think I should.

This is a gross misrepresentation.  Your code was not just written "in
conjunction" with that code.  For the GPL to have any effect on your code,
your code must be derived from it.  It's your choice to derive from their
code, and you do so with full knowledge of the obligations.  No one is
forcing you to live their lifestyle, they're just not letting you use their
work if you don't propagate their values.

I'm having trouble coming up with a variant of your Christian analogy to
explain this, but I think a foreign aid analogy is useful.  The USA doesn't
generally force other countries to adopt democratic governments or human
rights laws like ours; however, we may make foreign aid or favorable trade
relationships contingent on such ideological changes.

In fact, the more that I think of this, the more I like this analogy.  Most
of the economy of the world is countrolled by democratic, capitalist
countries; as a result, some communist countries are converting to
democracy so that we'll share our wealth with them.  RMS's plan since the
beginning was to build up a large enough body of GPLed software that
everyone would voluntarily adopt his approach so that they could make use
of this software rather than having to develop their own from scratch.
We're slowly starting to see this happen, with companies like Netscape and
Sun adopting GPL-like licenses for certain programs.

Unfortunately, this analogy is too close.  As in the days of the Cold War,
the two factions have propaganda machines that paint the other side as evil
and dangerous.

-- 
Barry Margolin, bar...@bbnplanet.com
GTE Internetworking, Powered by BBN, Burlington, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.

From: "Mark Christensen" <wwwli...@mediaone.net>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/25
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Jay Maynard <jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx> wrote in message
news:slrn7un3no.frb.jmaynard@thebrain.conmicro.cx...
> On Thu, 23 Sep 1999 07:30:24 GMT, Ketil Z Malde <ke...@ii.uib.no> wrote:
> >jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:
> >> In none of this has anyone committed the unforgivable sin of
> >> attempting to impose one's license conditions on another's code, as
> >> the GPV does. I consider that to be a greater evil.
> >Where does the GPL impose any conditions of any kind on code you've
> >written?  Surely, it will impose conditions on code you release with
> >that license, but that's sort of the point of any license.
>
> Go back and read what I said again. The GPV, when placed on a piece of
code,
> attempts to impose its license conditions on code I write merely because
it
> was written in conjunction with that code.


You always have the option or re-implementing the GPLed code, rather than
using the products of other people's labor.   If you do this, the GPL will
not "infect" your work.  If, on the other hand you want to benifit from the
work of those who seek to build a coperative cammunity, then you'll have to
involve yourself in that coperative community and it's rules.


>This is a blatant imposition of
> another's morals on me, no different and no better than trying to force me
> to live a Christian lifestyle merely because you think I should.


There is nothing coersive about the GPL, you can ALWAYS choose to write the
code yourself, pay someone to write it for you, or to buy it from someone
who has already writen it.


> >> I'll quit calling it a virus when it stops being one.
> >
> >That's a feature.  If somebody writes code, it's their decision how it
> >is going to be used.  If the author decides he doesn't want it
> >extended and distributed in a closed, proprietary way, so be it.  I
> >don't quite see why you think this is a problem.
>
> I believe it's an attempt to force his morals on me. To call that the only
> way to ensure freedom is hypocrisy of the worst sort, and I am constantly
> amazed at people who would fight long and hard against imposing morals in
> other forms and yet defend the GPV to the bitter end.

What then is freedom?

Is it the right to do as you please whenever you want regardless of the
consequences?  I doubt you want to defend that position.

Is it the right not to be coerced?  If so who is more free, the man who
lives in a society which forbids theft, or the man who lives in a society
which permits theft?

Is it the right to live unencumbered by any moral law but the one you
choose?  What if your choices an mine conflict?   And, of course, in a
setting as multicultural and pluralistic as ours this kind of conflict is
inevitable.

The GPL forces nothing on those who want to live outside it's influence, and
who don't feel the need to take advantage of GPLed code.  However those who
want to live in and promote a community which values cooperation use the
GPL as a to a tool to protect what we  value.

And I  believe that we have a right to use that tool. We impose nothing on
you, and if we build software which you would like to use then all is well
and good.  But we also say, look if you want to take advantage of our work,
you aren't allowed to do certain things which will fragment our community.

By using our code you entered into our community, just as entering into a
foreign country obligates you to obey the laws of that country.  If you
don't like it, feel free to visit another country.

--
Mark Christensen

People understand me so little that they do not even understand me when I
complain of being misunderstood.
--Kierkegaard

From: jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/25
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On Fri, 24 Sep 1999 19:39:45 GMT, Barry Margolin <bar...@bbnplanet.com> wrote:
>This is a gross misrepresentation.  Your code was not just written "in
>conjunction" with that code.  For the GPL to have any effect on your code,
>your code must be derived from it.

For suitably small values of "derived". Why do you think there was such an
uproar over Tom Christiansen's anti-GPV condom? The ability to protect
oneself from a GPV infection that otherwise would happen because you gave
someone the option of linking in one GPVed routine removes that bit of
coercion.

>I'm having trouble coming up with a variant of your Christian analogy to
>explain this, but I think a foreign aid analogy is useful.  The USA doesn't
>generally force other countries to adopt democratic governments or human
>rights laws like ours; however, we may make foreign aid or favorable trade
>relationships contingent on such ideological changes.

There are those who see this as evil interference with others' cultures,
too..

>Unfortunately, this analogy is too close.  As in the days of the Cold War,
>the two factions have propaganda machines that paint the other side as evil
>and dangerous.

Sure. The existence of complete BSD-licensed systems stands in the way of
RMS' coercive utopian dream, since there are alternatives to using his
system and thus letting the virus into the bloodstream. Why else do GPV
zealots constantly paint the BSD license as non-free?

From: jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/25
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On Sat, 25 Sep 1999 04:51:14 GMT, Mark Christensen <wwwli...@mediaone.net>
wrote:
>You always have the option or re-implementing the GPLed code, rather than
>using the products of other people's labor.   If you do this, the GPL will
>not "infect" your work.

If I am forced to do this in order not to subscribe to RMS' utopia, then
it's hardly the major advance in freedom that it's made out to be...

>  If, on the other hand you want to benifit from the
>work of those who seek to build a coperative cammunity, then you'll have to
>involve yourself in that coperative community and it's rules.

Oh, I see. We'll help you only if you let us brainwash you.

>Is it the right to do as you please whenever you want regardless of the
>consequences?  I doubt you want to defend that position.

Freedom is the right to do as one pleases as long as nobody else is harmed
wtihout their own informed, freely given consent.

>Is it the right not to be coerced?  If so who is more free, the man who
>lives in a society which forbids theft, or the man who lives in a society
>which permits theft?

Theft is coercion: the thief coerces me to work for him with no
compensation.

>Is it the right to live unencumbered by any moral law but the one you
>choose?  What if your choices an mine conflict?   And, of course, in a
>setting as multicultural and pluralistic as ours this kind of conflict is
>inevitable.

So long as my rights do not involve coercing you to follow my beliefs, mine
are superior. So long as yours do not involve coercing me to follow your
beliefs, then yours are superior. If exercising my rights in a way that does
not harm you without your consent offends you, tough.

>The GPL forces nothing on those who want to live outside it's influence, and
>who don't feel the need to take advantage of GPLed code.  However those who
>want to live in and promote a community which values cooperation use the
>GPL as a to a tool to protect what we  value.

In so doing, you force a moral choice on others: either join your utopia or
don't play.

>By using our code you entered into our community, just as entering into a
>foreign country obligates you to obey the laws of that country.  If you
>don't like it, feel free to visit another country.

Fine. Don't flame me for making that choice, however...which GPV zealots do
daily to those who favor BSD and other truly unencumbered licenses.

From: Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/25
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Jay Maynard <jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx> writes:

> Sure. The existence of complete BSD-licensed systems stands in the way
> of RMS' coercive utopian dream, since there are alternatives to using
> his system and thus letting the virus into the bloodstream. Why else do
> GPV zealots constantly paint the BSD license as non-free?

I have no idea, but your explanation is also obviously incorrect given
that RMS states quite clearly that he considers software covered by the
BSD license to be free.

-- 
Russ Allbery (r...@stanford.edu)         <URL:http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

From: jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/25
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On 25 Sep 1999 13:13:55 -0700, Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote:
>Jay Maynard <jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx> writes:
>> Sure. The existence of complete BSD-licensed systems stands in the way
>> of RMS' coercive utopian dream, since there are alternatives to using
>> his system and thus letting the virus into the bloodstream. Why else do
>> GPV zealots constantly paint the BSD license as non-free?
>I have no idea, but your explanation is also obviously incorrect given
>that RMS states quite clearly that he considers software covered by the
>BSD license to be free.

If so, then why does he persist in painting the GPV as the only license that
preserves freedom?

From: Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/25
Message-ID: <ylzoyaen06.fsf@windlord.stanford.edu>#1/1
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Organization: The Eyrie
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss

Jay Maynard <jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx> writes:
> Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote:

>> I have no idea, but your explanation is also obviously incorrect given
>> that RMS states quite clearly that he considers software covered by the
>> BSD license to be free.

> If so, then why does he persist in painting the GPV as the only license
> that preserves freedom?

Because the BSD license doesn't *preserve* the freedom of derived works.
It grants full freedoms, including the freedom to make a derived work not
free.  You consider granting full freedoms to be more important than
preventing derived works from not being free, and RMS disagrees.  You
therefore use different licenses.  RMS does, however, believe that the BSD
license is free and has specifically said so every single time he's been
asked, at least that I've witnessed or heard about.

Frankly, your advocacy of the BSD license is considerably more obnoxious
than RMS's advocacy of the GPL in tone; RMS is generally at least
reasonably polite about it and doesn't accuse people who use the BSD
license of being immoral.  (Which is not to say that all GPL supporters
are like that.)

-- 
Russ Allbery (r...@stanford.edu)         <URL:http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

From: jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/25
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On 25 Sep 1999 13:48:09 -0700, Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote:
>Frankly, your advocacy of the BSD license is considerably more obnoxious
>than RMS's advocacy of the GPL in tone; RMS is generally at least
>reasonably polite about it and doesn't accuse people who use the BSD
>license of being immoral.  (Which is not to say that all GPL supporters
>are like that.)

I'd go so far as to say the vast majority of GPV zealots are more obnoxious
in tone than I am. RMS doesn't have to pound the table. He's got legions
doing it for him, and only a few of us dare contradict him and them, and
point out that the emperor's tailor is overpai. To hear the invective hurled
against those of us who disagree with the aims of the GPV and the moral
stand it forces on people, you'd think we're little more than Gates toadies
who would take away their hard-produced work and sell it for a profit at the
slightest opportunity. One Slashdotter accused me - on zero evidence - of
being a Windows shareware author wanting to do exactly that. If you'd had
that kind of accusation hurled at you for 9 years, you'd be a little bitter
about it too.

From: "Mark Christensen" <wwwli...@mediaone.net>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/26
Message-ID: <p9gH3.8314$Ud2.212394@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com>
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Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss


Jay Maynard <jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx> wrote in message
news:slrn7uqah3.h2p.jmaynard@thebrain.conmicro.cx...
> On Sat, 25 Sep 1999 04:51:14 GMT, Mark Christensen <wwwli...@mediaone.net>
> wrote:
> >You always have the option or re-implementing the GPLed code, rather than
> >using the products of other people's labor.   If you do this, the GPL
will
> >not "infect" your work.
>
> If I am forced to do this in order not to subscribe to RMS' utopia, then
> it's hardly the major advance in freedom that it's made out to be...
>
> >  If, on the other hand you want to benifit from the
> >work of those who seek to build a coperative cammunity, then you'll have
to
> >involve yourself in that coperative community and it's rules.
>
> Oh, I see. We'll help you only if you let us brainwash you.

No brainwashing.  But no transforming the fruit of my labor into propritary
software.

> >Is it the right to do as you please whenever you want regardless of the
> >consequences?  I doubt you want to defend that position.
>
> Freedom is the right to do as one pleases as long as nobody else is harmed
> wtihout their own informed, freely given consent.

First, I find that very little that I do has no consequences for others, and
I have no rational means to determine the end results of all of my actions.
And therefor this definition of freedom places impossible demands on those
who would like to act as rational moral agents. For example, am I free to go
an extra thousand miles before changing the oil in my car?  Even if that
will result (unknown to me in advance) in my engine giving out in heavy
traphic thus causing a major slowdown and a small pile up 20 or 30 cars
back?

Second, I believe that definitions ought to provide some sort of insight
into what a thing IS, not merely what it IS NOT.  Freedom is not coersion,
this seems to me to be largely true, but what IS freedom?

> >Is it the right not to be coerced?  If so who is more free, the man who
> >lives in a society which forbids theft, or the man who lives in a society
> >which permits theft?
>
> Theft is coercion: the thief coerces me to work for him with no
> compensation.

Theft is coersion, the prohibition on theft is coersion.  Freedom is not
simply about coersion, it must be related to the wider concepts of justice
and opertunity.

> >Is it the right to live unencumbered by any moral law but the one you
> >choose?  What if your choices an mine conflict?   And, of course, in a
> >setting as multicultural and pluralistic as ours this kind of conflict is
> >inevitable.
>
> So long as my rights do not involve coercing you to follow my beliefs,
mine
> are superior. So long as yours do not involve coercing me to follow your
> beliefs, then yours are superior. If exercising my rights in a way that
does
> not harm you without your consent offends you, tough.

But this is itself a form of coercion, you want me to place tolerance at the
top of the moral higherarcy.  For example if Bill murders someone I have
never met I nonetheless believe that I have the right to condemn Bill's
actions -- even though I have not been wronged.  Or, to turn things around,
if I sell my business to Microsoft to pay for medical expenses for my
daughter, even though I know Microsoft will lay off many of my employees,
and work the rest to the bone, I don't necessarily believe my actions (which
harmed others) are wrong.

This means that one  hand, harm of others is not required for me to claim
that you do not have the freedom to do something.  And on the other, the
fact that my actions may harm someone (even against their will) is not
sufficient to abridge my freedom.  This just brings us back to the root
question, which is "what is freedom?"

> >The GPL forces nothing on those who want to live outside it's influence,
and
> >who don't feel the need to take advantage of GPLed code.  However those
who
> >want to live in and promote a community which values cooperation use the
> >GPL as a to a tool to protect what we  value.
>
> In so doing, you force a moral choice on others: either join your utopia
or
> don't play.

No more than Microsoft forces a moral choice on me: either turn over your
money or you can't play.   And even then I don't get the source code.  In
the same way the GPL obligates those who would distribute (notice that use
is not limited in any way) to do certain things.

And the moral choice is there all the time, the GPL just brings it to the
front.  People are all the time faced with the choice to either play nice
with others, or to go away and play on their own.  The GPL just lets people
know which choice they are making.

> >By using our code you entered into our community, just as entering into a
> >foreign country obligates you to obey the laws of that country.  If you
> >don't like it, feel free to visit another country.
>
> Fine. Don't flame me for making that choice, however...which GPV zealots
do
> daily to those who favor BSD and other truly unencumbered licenses.

I will not flame you.  I don't flame anybody.  However I think you need to
do a bit of thinking... you claim that the GPL restricts freedom, but laws
against theft protect freedom.  In other words some coercion is good, and
some coercion is bad --I agree but why?  I take it that this is because
freedom has meaning only within the context of a family of related concepts
including justice, natural rights, and human moral agency.  Perhaps you do
too, if so I'd like to hear exactly how you put this all together.

From: "Mark Christensen" <wwwli...@mediaone.net>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/27
Message-ID: <6rBH3.8421$Ud2.223690@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com>#1/1
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Tim Smith <t...@halcyon.com> wrote in message
news:7sm49c$icm$1@52-a-usw.rb1.blv.nwnexus.net...
> Mark Christensen <Please.dont.spam.me.m...@digital-lighthouse.com> wrote:
> >No brainwashing.  But no transforming the fruit of my labor into
propritary
> >software.
>
> GPL lets me transform the fruit of your labor into proprietary software.
> E.g., I can take your GPL'ed code, and use it in a proprietary server, and
> distribute proprietary clients that do not use any GPL'ed code.  As long
as
> I don't distribute the proprietary server, but just run it on my machines
and
> make the services available over the internet, I don't have to distribute
the
> code.

Which is unfortunate, but unavoidable.  I'd hope that people would realize
that proprietary software does little more than raise the opportunity costs
of real wealth generating enterprises.  And therefore it slows the economy
by changing free goods into scarce goods and thereby creating unnecessary
economic trade offs.  And that's why I think Socrates was right both about
the sophists, who he knew, and the programmers, which he never dreamed
about.


--
Mark Christensen

People understand me so little that they do not even understand me when I
complain of being misunderstood.
--Kierkegaard

From: Ketil Z Malde <ke...@ii.uib.no>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/27
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jmayn...@thebrain.conmicro.cx (Jay Maynard) writes:

> I'd go so far as to say the vast majority of GPV zealots are more
> obnoxious in tone than I am.

But luckily, they're not in this newsgroup.

> RMS doesn't have to pound the table. He's got legions doing it for
> him, and only a few of us dare contradict him and them, and point
> out that the emperor's tailor is overpai.

One day, the world will thank you for performing the brave and noble
work of pointing out the subtle entanglements of GPL and copyright
law, I'm sure. 

> To hear the invective hurled against those of us who disagree with
> the aims of the GPV and the moral stand it forces on people,

It doesn't force anything on anybody.  If you accept the license, you
get the code.  If you don't, you don't.

> you'd think we're little more than Gates toadies who would take away
> their hard-produced work and sell it for a profit at the slightest
> opportunity. One Slashdotter accused me - on zero evidence - of
> being a Windows shareware author wanting to do exactly that. 

What?  Somebody at Slashdot being a bit rash?  You're kidding!

> If you'd had that kind of accusation hurled at you for 9 years,
> you'd be a little bitter about it too.

I suggest you take your bitterness elsewhere.  If you have a problem
with the GPL, don't use it.  There's a vast body of BSD and otherwise
licences code that may suit you better.

-kzm
-- 
If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants

From: pe...@medusa.nn.com (Steve Peltz)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/29
Message-ID: <7sth8a$s7r$1@harbinger.nn.com>#1/1
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<KETIL-86btaog83t.fsf@ketilboks.bgo.nera.no>
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Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss

In article <KETIL-86btaog83t....@ketilboks.bgo.nera.no>,
Ketil Z Malde  <ke...@ii.uib.no> wrote:
>It doesn't force anything on anybody.  If you accept the license, you
>get the code.  If you don't, you don't.

That isn't quite accurate. If not for a large body of GPL code, there
might well be a much larger and better body of public domain or BSD-ish
or similar code. That the existence of GPL code has that effect is right
in line with the FSF goals. Whether this is good or bad depends on your
viewpoint, but it has had a coercive effect overall, in the same way
that Microsoft has had a coercive effect on software development.

From: jch...@flex.com (Jimen Ching)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/29
Message-ID: <37f27316@coconut-wireless>#1/1
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Steve Peltz (pe...@medusa.nn.com) wrote:
>That isn't quite accurate. If not for a large body of GPL code, there
>might well be a much larger and better body of public domain or BSD-ish

This is a chicken and the egg argument.  Of all the GPL software, how
many of them are software derived from GPL software?  A lot of GPL software
are original code.  Thus, those software were _placed_ under the GPL by
the original authors, not forced to release under the GPL by agregation.

You are arguing for the virus effect.  But the only virus effect is the
one that converted many people to the FSF's way of thinking.  Is it really
that hard to believe that people might actually want to use the GPL, rather
than being forced to use it?

--jc
--
Jimen Ching (WH6BRR)      jch...@flex.com     wh6...@uhm.ampr.org

From: psm...@baynetworks.com (Paul D. Smith)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/29
Message-ID: <p5aeq5tolk.fsf@baynetworks.com>#1/1
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<37f27316@coconut-wireless>
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Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss

%% jch...@flex.com (Jimen Ching) writes:

  jc> Steve Peltz (pe...@medusa.nn.com) wrote:

  >> That isn't quite accurate. If not for a large body of GPL code, there
  >> might well be a much larger and better body of public domain or BSD-ish

  jc> This is a chicken and the egg argument.  Of all the GPL software,
  jc> how many of them are software derived from GPL software?  A lot of
  jc> GPL software are original code.  Thus, those software were
  jc> _placed_ under the GPL by the original authors, not forced to
  jc> release under the GPL by agregation.

  jc> You are arguing for the virus effect.

No, I think Steve's referring to the "good enough" theory.

That is, the GPL's software is "good enough" and "free enough" that no
one has bothered to write anything that's much better and/or even less
restricted... without the GPL, the argument goes, that might have
happened.

Of course, it may well _not_ have happened: typically I trot out the old
examples of NeXT and others who (grudgingly) agreed to free their code
only because of the GPL.  Where would we be, with no Linux for example?
Would FreeBSD have taken off like Linux did, if Linux hadn't been there?
Who knows.

-- 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Paul D. Smith <psm...@baynetworks.com>         Network Management Development
 "Please remain calm...I may be mad, but I am a professional." --Mad Scientist
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   These are my opinions---Nortel Networks takes no responsibility for them.

From: Barry Margolin <bar...@bbnplanet.com>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/29
Message-ID: <9MvI3.321$854.11162@burlma1-snr2>#1/1
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In article <p5aeq5tolk....@baynetworks.com>,
Paul D. Smith <psm...@baynetworks.com> wrote:
>%% jch...@flex.com (Jimen Ching) writes:
>
>  jc> Steve Peltz (pe...@medusa.nn.com) wrote:
>
>  >> That isn't quite accurate. If not for a large body of GPL code, there
>  >> might well be a much larger and better body of public domain or BSD-ish
>
>  jc> This is a chicken and the egg argument.  Of all the GPL software,
>  jc> how many of them are software derived from GPL software?  A lot of
>  jc> GPL software are original code.  Thus, those software were
>  jc> _placed_ under the GPL by the original authors, not forced to
>  jc> release under the GPL by agregation.
>
>  jc> You are arguing for the virus effect.
>
>No, I think Steve's referring to the "good enough" theory.
>
>That is, the GPL's software is "good enough" and "free enough" that no
>one has bothered to write anything that's much better and/or even less
>restricted... without the GPL, the argument goes, that might have
>happened.

Except that people *have* written other things, with varying degrees of
open sourcedness: the *BSD Unix releases and X Window System are the two
best examples of this.

And I think it is pretty insulting to refer to GNU software as just "good
enough".  In most cases, GNU software is far superior to other similar
software; in the case of Unix utilities, the GNU version almost always has
more features, fewer limitations, is more robust, and is frequently faster
than the proprietary equivalents that are bundled with proprietary Unix
systems.  Maybe it's possible that other efforts might have produced even
better versions, but people didn't bother because the GNU versions already
existed, but it's impossible to predict.  My gut feeling is that this
wouldn't happen -- there are enough people willing to improve GNU programs
that they tend toward the ideal, and other efforts probably couldn't have
done much better.

But maybe this is wishful thinking.  I can see a parallel with evolution
(creationists, please stop reading, and *please* don't reply).  Sometimes a
particular ability evolves in many different species -- flight is found in
birds, insects, and bats; there are many totally unrelated species that can
swim; etc.  However, there seems to be only one species that has developed
a level of intelligence capable of producing technology: homo sapiens (I'm
trying to be careful about how I say this, to distinguish us from
cetaceans, which are also considered to be highly intelligent).  It appears
that the introduction and spreading of homo sapiens effectively precluded
other species from evolving an equivalent degree of intelligence, which
might have evolved into even higher intelligence than we have.  To make the
analogy with the GPL, we can't tell whether such higher intelligences could
have evolved if we hadn't taken over the world, or if we're the ultimate in
intelligence that evolution can produce.

-- 
Barry Margolin, bar...@bbnplanet.com
GTE Internetworking, Powered by BBN, Burlington, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.

From: l...@Mercury.mcs.net (Leslie Mikesell)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/09/30
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In article <6rBH3.8421$Ud2.223...@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com>,
Mark Christensen <Please.dont.spam.me.m...@digital-lighthouse.com> wrote:
>

>Which is unfortunate, but unavoidable.  I'd hope that people would realize
>that proprietary software does little more than raise the opportunity costs
>of real wealth generating enterprises.  And therefore it slows the economy
>by changing free goods into scarce goods and thereby creating unnecessary
>economic trade offs. 

This is precisely why free software should encourage it's incorporation
into competitive proprietary works.  The 'scarce goods' you mention
can only come about as a result of a monopoly which can't happen
if everyone has equal access to a common code base.  What do
you think a Cisco router would cost if it were not relatively
easy for anyone else to sell you a box that will route IP packets?
I think the world is a much better place because of this effect
than the fact that no one can sell you a copy of GNU emacs with
proprietary improvements.

   Les Mikesell
    l...@mcs.com

From: "Mark Christensen" <wwwli...@mediaone.net>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/02
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Leslie Mikesell <l...@Mercury.mcs.net> wrote in message
news:7t1e0n$nf7$1@Mercury.mcs.net...
> In article <6rBH3.8421$Ud2.223...@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com>,
> Mark Christensen <Please.dont.spam.me.m...@digital-lighthouse.com> wrote:
> >
>
> >Which is unfortunate, but unavoidable.  I'd hope that people would
realize
> >that proprietary software does little more than raise the opportunity
costs
> >of real wealth generating enterprises.  And therefore it slows the
economy
> >by changing free goods into scarce goods and thereby creating unnecessary
> >economic trade offs.
>
> This is precisely why free software should encourage it's incorporation
> into competitive proprietary works.  The 'scarce goods' you mention
> can only come about as a result of a monopoly which can't happen
> if everyone has equal access to a common code base.  What do
> you think a Cisco router would cost if it were not relatively
> easy for anyone else to sell you a box that will route IP packets?
> I think the world is a much better place because of this effect
> than the fact that no one can sell you a copy of GNU emacs with
> proprietary improvements.

You might be right, it certainly is possible that we will all be better
served if I allow my code to be incorporated into a proprietary system.  But
there is little evidence that will really be the case.

In general I think that giving someone the right to hide my code from users,
as well as the right to modify it will actually produce negative
consequences which outweigh the benefits we might gain from the
functionality they add.  Not the least of these is that it allows essential
pieces of our information infrastructure (the knowledge which is necessary
for our essential corporate, governmental, and social enterprises to
function) to be "owned" by entities which have no legal responsibility to
serve the public.   We would never allow companies to build extra "value
added" lanes to our highway system and then charge for the use of that same
highway

The labor which is used to build an infrastructure ought to be protected
from the possibility that it will be co-opted by commercial (or
governmental) concerns.  The use of public highways, while it is free, is
governed by rules which make that freedom real for the public.  Traffic laws
are enforced, nobody is allowed to build accesways which will impede the
flow of traffic.  Likewise I think it sensible to impose some rules on those
who want to use the infrastructure the FSF and the "free software" movement
in general has worked to create.

But just like the rules which we levy on those who would drive on our public
roads, the limits on how our software is used ought to be designed to
preserve a certain kind of freedom.  And, of course, by freedom I mean not
just the ability to do what you want.  Total freedom of that kind would make
driving anywhere difficult and, more importantly dangerous.  Given that, we
need some criteria which will help us to determine what kind of rules will
advance the public good, and at the same time preserve the rights of the
small guy.  In my mind, this is exactly what the GPL sets out to do.  It
takes away some of my freedoms, the right to distribute sourceless code, in
order to preserve others, my right to access and modify all of the code on
my machine.

What do I loose by this? Not very much.

 Perhaps I could have sold my code for a few thousand dollars.  But in
return for what I have given up, I gain the right to learn from those around
me, as well as the right to share in the benefits of their work at little or
no financial cost.

And it is precisely this gain which is jeopardized by the kind of license
you advocate.  Because, companies with power will have the right to take
away my access to the code.  They will have the power to say "this, right
here, is something you can't know, this is something you can't do -- unless
you pay me a fee."  Now, as you say I may gain some kind of benefit from
this transaction, a company which may have charged me a thousand dollars to
do Z now charges me only 200$ to do Z.  Or they may even give away the
program which does Z, in return for the power to control the technology.
And if you assume that I need Z, and couldn't get it for anything like the
same cost under the GPL, it may be better that way.

Of course, there's a huge assumption hidden back there, which is that nobody
would provide Z under the GPL.   This may turn out to be true, but I want to
go on record as saying that I doubt it.  The GPL protects the rights of
those who need to do Z, they have the code, so they are not beholden to one
specific company.  This gives them the freedom to really depend on Z. And
this is just one kind of freedom protected by the GPL, and not by the
licenses you advocate.


--
Mark Christensen

People understand me so little that they do not even understand me when I
complain of being misunderstood.
--Kierkegaard

From: l...@Mercury.mcs.net (Leslie Mikesell)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/02
Message-ID: <7t446f$1do8$1@Mercury.mcs.net>
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Organization: Unknown
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss

In article <IDeJ3.8822$Ud2.261...@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com>,
Mark Christensen <Please.dont.spam.me.m...@digital-lighthouse.com> wrote:

>> This is precisely why free software should encourage it's incorporation
>> into competitive proprietary works.  The 'scarce goods' you mention
>> can only come about as a result of a monopoly which can't happen
>> if everyone has equal access to a common code base.  What do
>> you think a Cisco router would cost if it were not relatively
>> easy for anyone else to sell you a box that will route IP packets?
>> I think the world is a much better place because of this effect
>> than the fact that no one can sell you a copy of GNU emacs with
>> proprietary improvements.
>
>You might be right, it certainly is possible that we will all be better
>served if I allow my code to be incorporated into a proprietary system.  But
>there is little evidence that will really be the case.

I think there is a rather large body of evidence presented by the
vast number of useful devices that incorporate TCP alone.  You may
choose to ignore it or you might speculate that the same could have
happened with a GPL'd reference base, but I don't buy it.  Many of
the important devices also include code that can only be obtained
under restrictive licensing and thus cannot be combined with anything
under the GPL.  Thus the user base would have had to suffer through
independent re-invention and interoperability problems instead of
having a well tested implementation that everyone could use.

>In general I think that giving someone the right to hide my code from users,
>as well as the right to modify it will actually produce negative
>consequences which outweigh the benefits we might gain from the
>functionality they add.  Not the least of these is that it allows essential
>pieces of our information infrastructure (the knowledge which is necessary
>for our essential corporate, governmental, and social enterprises to
>function) to be "owned" by entities which have no legal responsibility to
>serve the public. 

You are missing the point: parts are "owned" by entities until someone
writes a version that they are willing to give away.   Giving something
away under the GPL still does not allow code to be used in the way
that is often necessary - combined with components that have not yet
been given away.  For example your router may need to handle SNA or
DECnet as well as IP.

>In my mind, this is exactly what the GPL sets out to do.  It
>takes away some of my freedoms, the right to distribute sourceless code, in
>order to preserve others, my right to access and modify all of the code on
>my machine.
>
>What do I loose by this? Not very much.

Suppose you have to interoperate with other people's code, write
a gif, match up with a patented encryption scheme, use the
client libraries for a commercial database program, etc.?
Why shouldn't you be able to give away the modifications you make
to accomplish any of these things to the other people who
have met the requirements imposed by the restrictions on the
other components?

> Perhaps I could have sold my code for a few thousand dollars.  But in
>return for what I have given up, I gain the right to learn from those around
>me, as well as the right to share in the benefits of their work at little or
>no financial cost.

You lost me here.  In what way might you have prevented anyone else
who wanted to give away their source from doing so?  

>And it is precisely this gain which is jeopardized by the kind of license
>you advocate.  Because, companies with power will have the right to take
>away my access to the code. 

Again, I don't understand.  No one has taken away the right to use
the base BSD code, nor can they.  You don't have the right to access
the code they write in addition unless they give it to you, which
should be their choice.  And history has shown that some will choose
to give back their changes.

>They will have the power to say "this, right
>here, is something you can't know, this is something you can't do -- unless
>you pay me a fee."  Now, as you say I may gain some kind of benefit from
>this transaction, a company which may have charged me a thousand dollars to
>do Z now charges me only 200$ to do Z.  Or they may even give away the
>program which does Z, in return for the power to control the technology.
>And if you assume that I need Z, and couldn't get it for anything like the
>same cost under the GPL, it may be better that way.

Yes, for the case where you need Z and no one is willing to give
away an implementation, it is much better.

>Of course, there's a huge assumption hidden back there, which is that nobody
>would provide Z under the GPL.   This may turn out to be true, but I want to
>go on record as saying that I doubt it.

Again, I don't understand.  Why would you assume that someone might provide
Z under the GPL but they would not be even more likely to provide it
under a more useful license like the BSD style?  There is at least an
equal set of examples for the latter.

>The GPL protects the rights of
>those who need to do Z, they have the code, so they are not beholden to one
>specific company.  This gives them the freedom to really depend on Z. And
>this is just one kind of freedom protected by the GPL, and not by the
>licenses you advocate.

But Z doesn't exist under the GPL until someone writes it and gives it
away.  Until then, even if there is a commercial Z, you can't get
it combined with *any* GPL'd code so you have to throw everything
out and pay the company that has the version of Z you need to also
re-write everything else for you. 

  Les Mikesell
   l...@mcs.com

From: Barry Margolin <bar...@bbnplanet.com>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/04
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In article <7t446f$1do...@Mercury.mcs.net>,
Leslie Mikesell <l...@Mercury.mcs.net> wrote:
>Yes, for the case where you need Z and no one is willing to give
>away an implementation, it is much better.

True.  But the GNU philosophy is that source code and sharability are more
important than functionality; RMS would rather do without than use
proprietary software (although I know he's had to compromise -- prior to
Linux, it was necessary to use proprietary Unix versions to develop GNU
tools).  If enough people stick to these principles and refuse to use the
proprietary version of Z, someone will hopefully provide a free version to
fill the niche.  This usually occurs when one of the people in that group
has the talent to produce it himself, but it could also occur if one (or a
consortium) of them had enough money to commission it.

This explains why it's often difficult to find free versions of niche
products, unless the niche is computer programmers themselves.

-- 
Barry Margolin, bar...@bbnplanet.com
GTE Internetworking, Powered by BBN, Burlington, MA
*** DON'T SEND TECHNICAL QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO ME, post them to newsgroups.
Please DON'T copy followups to me -- I'll assume it wasn't posted to the group.

From: "Mark Christensen" <wwwli...@mediaone.net>
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/05
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Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss

Sorry, my response is so slow in coming, but I have been out of town for a
while, and haven't had a good chance to reply to news group messages at
leisure.  And I think a late, but reasonably well thought out answer is
better than a quick point by point attack which misses the whole thrust of
the original post.

That said, I'm not going to give a point by point response to all of your
comments.  However, your overall argument (is worth considering in some
detail.

First, you claim that the GPL's restrictions are viral in nature.  This
claim seems to me to be fully justified in one sense, and completely absurd
in another sense.  As far as I can tell there is no such thing as a healthy
symbiosis between a virus and any other living organism.  A virus invades a
host cell, takes over the cell, and turns it into a mini-virus production
factory.  The original purpose of the host cell is forgone, the well-being
of both the cell and the larger organism are compromised, and the virus
inevitably kills off the host cell.  While the GPL is sometimes "infective"
I think the wider connotations of "virus" are wholly unfounded as far as the
GPL is concerned.

I think it has been shown quite clearly that the GPL cannot have any impact
on proprietary code unless the coder deliberately chooses to allow such a
thing -- by including GPLed code.  This is exactly the opposite of the
infection pattern of a virus, since a virus infects only "unwilling" hosts.

But our disagreement does not end there.  Rather you seem to me to claim
that the "infection" caused by the GPL is inevitably harmful to the "host"
code.   This seems to me to fly in the face of the evidence we see in the
world around us.  You claim that the use of TCP code is evidence that the
GPL is bad.  It is no such thing, it is merely evidence that "free" software
is good.  The fact that we have all received significant benefits from code
which is not licensed under the GPL does nothing to discredit the GPL.

At the same time that the TCP code is flourishing many GPLed applications
are flourishing.  And despite what you  seem to imply, GPLed code is
regularly used in interactions with proprietary code -- Samba is a good
example.

All of this is to say that I do not believe that the GPL in any way
undermines the purpose of the original code -- unless the purpose of that
code was to keep some knowledge secret.  Microsoft Office would be more
useful to me if it were GPLed than it is now (it'd be a LOT easier to
interoperate with other office apps...), so the GPL does not destroy all
that it touches, in fact it can enhance the utility value of proprietary
code.

All of that being said, I will delve into a few point by point comments,
which I think will illuminate the differences between your perspective an
mine.


Leslie Mikesell <l...@Mercury.mcs.net> wrote in message
news:7t446f$1do8$1@Mercury.mcs.net...

< In defence of the claim that the GPL's infection would have runed TCP you
write...>

>I think there is a rather large body of evidence presented by the
> vast number of useful devices that incorporate TCP alone.

As I said before the fact that free software which is unGPLed flourishes
does not, by itself, prove anything about the GPL.  It merely suggests that
free software is useful.

> You may
> choose to ignore it or you might speculate that the same could have
> happened with a GPL'd reference base, but I don't buy it.

I take it here, that your argument is that if TCP were GPLed, it would be
unsuccessful.  This argument is entirely speculative, and whether you buy it
or not is entirely dependant on your initial assumptions.  It is therefore
pretty useless to invoke it, since you think TCP would be crippled by being
GPLed, and I think a GPLed TCP/IP stack would have either done no harm to
TCP, or advanced the progress of free software by providing an incentive for
proprietary code to be released under less restrictive licenses.

And before you label my response as absurd, remember that proprietary code
could still use TCP/IP protocols, as long as used a re-implemented TCP/IP
stack.  This would leave some vendors using propritary stacks, and others
sharing the GPLed stack.  Those using the GPLed stack would have the
advantage of sharing the expense of developing and optomizing the stack, and
those who didn't would still be able to keep whatever code they wanted to
attach to the stack propritary.

> Many of
> the important devices also include code that can only be obtained
> under restrictive licensing and thus cannot be combined with anything
> under the GPL.

But this is the advantage of the viral nature of the GPL, it provides an
incentive for those companies to release their proprietary code under a less
restrictive license.

They are faced with a choice, use the GPLed stack, or re-implement the
TCP/IP protocol themselves.

They have a clear choice, and there are incentives on both sides.  I see
nothing wrong with this situation, and I think it a perfectly acceptable way
for me to leverage the work I do on free software.

If my code is valuable enough that proprietary software companies want to
use it, they may be enticed to release their code as free software...  If I
licensed my code under another "free" license which let proprietary software
companies use my code without any restriction, they would have no such
incentive.

I've got to go now, but I think there is also an interesting set of
questions brought up in you post about what we each mean when we say that
someone "owns" code.  And I'd like to hash those distinctions out a bit, and
see if we can't thereby see each of our arguments a bit more clearly.  But
that'll have to wait until tomorrow, since it's late and by brain is slowly
turning into oatmeal.


--
Mark Christensen

People understand me so little that they do not even understand me when I
complain of being misunderstood.
--Kierkegaard

From: l...@Jupiter.mcs.net (Leslie Mikesell)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/05
Message-ID: <7tdfhp$1b6t$1@Jupiter.mcs.net>
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In article <saeK3.9098$Ud2.289...@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com>,
Mark Christensen <Please.dont.spam.me.m...@digital-lighthouse.com> wrote:
>
>But our disagreement does not end there.  Rather you seem to me to claim
>that the "infection" caused by the GPL is inevitably harmful to the "host"
>code.   This seems to me to fly in the face of the evidence we see in the
>world around us.  You claim that the use of TCP code is evidence that the
>GPL is bad.  It is no such thing, it is merely evidence that "free" software
>is good.  The fact that we have all received significant benefits from code
>which is not licensed under the GPL does nothing to discredit the GPL.

I claim that the proliferation of affordable hardware that allows
tcp/ip interconnectivity would not be here today without the
vendor-friendly bsd license on the reference code.  That is speculation,
but if you want to refute it, please show the counterexample.  There
is a GPL'd postscript, but as I recall it was released under the
GPL precisely so it would not be competitive with the license-for-pay
version.  Has that proved to be wrong?  Are there printers using
the GPL'd base to include a no/low cost postscript option? 

>At the same time that the TCP code is flourishing many GPLed applications
>are flourishing.  And despite what you  seem to imply, GPLed code is
>regularly used in interactions with proprietary code -- Samba is a good
>example.

But samba is in an extremely risky position already and anyone would
be foolish to bet their business on it continuing to work under the
GPL.  The entire value of samba is that it works with the built-in
Microsoft client.  Suppose the next version of that client adds an
option feature that uses a patented encryption method if the server
also has it.  Then in the next version, after everyone has time
to install the service packs in their NT servers to match up,
the encryption becomes a requirement for the client to work at all.
Regardless of the licensing arrangement for the patented code, if
it's restrictions don't exactly match those of the GPL, they can't
be combined and redistributed.

>Microsoft Office would be more
>useful to me if it were GPLed than it is now (it'd be a LOT easier to
>interoperate with other office apps...), so the GPL does not destroy all
>that it touches, in fact it can enhance the utility value of proprietary
>code.

You act as though it is accidental that Microsoft Office exists
at all, or that it is not GPL'd.

>And before you label my response as absurd, remember that proprietary code
>could still use TCP/IP protocols, as long as used a re-implemented TCP/IP
>stack.  This would leave some vendors using propritary stacks, and others
>sharing the GPLed stack.  Those using the GPLed stack would have the
>advantage of sharing the expense of developing and optomizing the stack, and
>those who didn't would still be able to keep whatever code they wanted to
>attach to the stack propritary.

Here is where you are exactly wrong.  The is no mechanism for any
GPL'd development cost to be 'shared'.  Nothing specifically
prevents it, but there is really no way to do it.  Microsoft
Office exists because people were paid to write it.  Even if
people were willing to spend an equal amount on development
of a GPL'd version, there is no way to share that cost.


>> Many of
>> the important devices also include code that can only be obtained
>> under restrictive licensing and thus cannot be combined with anything
>> under the GPL.
>
>But this is the advantage of the viral nature of the GPL, it provides an
>incentive for those companies to release their proprietary code under a less
>restrictive license.

What does that mean?  Is IBM going to give up SNA so Cisco can build
a router that includes both a GPL'd tcp and other protocols?  The
concept just doesn't make any sense in terms of third party software
that must combine different things.  

>They are faced with a choice, use the GPLed stack, or re-implement the
>TCP/IP protocol themselves.
>
>They have a clear choice, and there are incentives on both sides.  I see
>nothing wrong with this situation, and I think it a perfectly acceptable way
>for me to leverage the work I do on free software.

They have *no* choice if they need any existing restricted components.
GPL'd parts just can't be used at all.

>If my code is valuable enough that proprietary software companies want to
>use it, they may be enticed to release their code as free software...  If I
>licensed my code under another "free" license which let proprietary software
>companies use my code without any restriction, they would have no such
>incentive.

If you were the only person in the world, they might deal with you.  
Or, if you could supply every possible component necessary under
the same terms, the position might be reasonable.  But, when other
necessary code exists, making an absolute requirement of not being
combined with that code just makes yours impossible to use.

  Les Mikesell
   l...@mcs.com

From: jer...@netcom.com (Jeremy Allison)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/07
Message-ID: <7tjarp$q3v@dfw-ixnews12.ix.netcom.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 534114358
References: <199909221814.OAA23378@FOUR.net> 
<IDeJ3.8822$Ud2.261507@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com> <7t446f$1do8$1@Mercury.mcs.net> 
<saeK3.9098$Ud2.289067@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com> <7tdfhp$1b6t$1@Jupiter.mcs.net>
Organization: Netcom
X-NETCOM-Date: Thu Oct 07  6:37:29 PM CDT 1999
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss
NNTP-Posting-User: jeremy

l...@Jupiter.mcs.net (Leslie Mikesell) writes:

>But samba is in an extremely risky position already and anyone would
>be foolish to bet their business on it continuing to work under the
>GPL.

SGI don't agree with you. VERITAS doesn't agree with you. Neither
does Cobalt, REALM, NetMax, Whistle (now IBM!), SCO or a host of other
Samba vendors. Please don't disseminate FUD about Samba.

>The entire value of samba is that it works with the built-in
>Microsoft client.  Suppose the next version of that client adds an
>option feature that uses a patented encryption method if the server
>also has it.  Then in the next version, after everyone has time
>to install the service packs in their NT servers to match up,
>the encryption becomes a requirement for the client to work at all.

This cannot happen due to the 200+ million MS clients out there.
Under the scenario you just described, about 180+ million
of them would stop working. :-).

MS understand this better than you do. MS *help* us to add features
to Samba when they want to do things like add extra security. It
is in their interest for Samba to have these features and they
know that.

Regards,

	Jeremy Allison,
	Samba Team.

From: l...@Mercury.mcs.net (Leslie Mikesell)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/08
Message-ID: <7tl84r$1vu1$1@Mercury.mcs.net>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 534386424
References: <199909221814.OAA23378@FOUR.net> 
<saeK3.9098$Ud2.289067@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com> <7tdfhp$1b6t$1@Jupiter.mcs.net> 
<7tjarp$q3v@dfw-ixnews12.ix.netcom.com>
Organization: Unknown
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss

In article <7tjarp$...@dfw-ixnews12.ix.netcom.com>,
Jeremy Allison <jer...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>But samba is in an extremely risky position already and anyone would
>>be foolish to bet their business on it continuing to work under the
>>GPL.
>
>SGI don't agree with you. VERITAS doesn't agree with you. Neither
>does Cobalt, REALM, NetMax, Whistle (now IBM!), SCO or a host of other
>Samba vendors. Please don't disseminate FUD about Samba.

So we disagree.  FUD is justified when something you rely on can
disappear at someone else's whim. 

>>The entire value of samba is that it works with the built-in
>>Microsoft client.  Suppose the next version of that client adds an
>>option feature that uses a patented encryption method if the server
>>also has it.  Then in the next version, after everyone has time
>>to install the service packs in their NT servers to match up,
>>the encryption becomes a requirement for the client to work at all.
>
>This cannot happen due to the 200+ million MS clients out there.
>Under the scenario you just described, about 180+ million
>of them would stop working. :-).

Microsoft has demonstrated that they don't mind changing this
client behavior with Service Pack upgrades and they require
a Service Pack upgrade periodically.  I'd venture a guess that
there is already patented code in there to interoperate with
a matching server even though the current servers don't require
it.  

>MS understand this better than you do. MS *help* us to add features
>to Samba when they want to do things like add extra security. It
>is in their interest for Samba to have these features and they
>know that.

Somehow, I just find it hard to believe that MicroSoft wants to
sell fewer NT Servers and client licenses.  And from what I've
read about Win2k there are lots of new client features that
will specifically require a Win2k server.

  Les Mikesell
   l...@mcs.com

From: jer...@netcom.com (Jeremy Allison)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/08
Message-ID: <7tlf56$27g@dfw-ixnews7.ix.netcom.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 534427484
References: <199909221814.OAA23378@FOUR.net> 
<saeK3.9098$Ud2.289067@typhoon1.rdc-detw.rr.com> <7tdfhp$1b6t$1@Jupiter.mcs.net> 
<7tjarp$q3v@dfw-ixnews12.ix.netcom.com> <7tl84r$1vu1$1@Mercury.mcs.net>
Organization: Netcom
X-NETCOM-Date: Fri Oct 08  2:03:02 PM CDT 1999
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss
NNTP-Posting-User: jeremy

l...@Mercury.mcs.net (Leslie Mikesell) writes:

>In article <7tjarp$...@dfw-ixnews12.ix.netcom.com>,
>Jeremy Allison <jer...@netcom.com> wrote:
>>
>>SGI don't agree with you. VERITAS doesn't agree with you. Neither
>>does Cobalt, REALM, NetMax, Whistle (now IBM!), SCO or a host of other
>>Samba vendors. Please don't disseminate FUD about Samba.

>So we disagree.  FUD is justified when something you rely on can
>disappear at someone else's whim. 

Unless all 200+ million Windows clients are upgraded
to a new, Samba-incompatible version of Windows, then
"something I rely on" *cannot* disappear at someone else's whim.

Now do you understand why I consider what you said to be FUD ?

>Microsoft has demonstrated that they don't mind changing this
>client behavior with Service Pack upgrades and they require
>a Service Pack upgrade periodically.  I'd venture a guess that
>there is already patented code in there to interoperate with
>a matching server even though the current servers don't require
>it.  

Of course they change client behavior with service packs.
They're trying to fix bugs ! Your guess about "patented code"
is sheer speculation I'm afraid. I could just as easily make
comments about "submarine" patents in the process of being
registered in the freely available FreeBSD code and be indulging
in similar idle, unproductive speculation (BTW: Not that I
believe that for a second - I'm showing you what FUD might look
like, similar to yours about Samba :-).

>Somehow, I just find it hard to believe that MicroSoft wants to
>sell fewer NT Servers and client licenses.  And from what I've
>read about Win2k there are lots of new client features that
>will specifically require a Win2k server.

Yes, but these do *not* prohibit interoperability with a
WinNT 4.x server, which to all intents and purposes Samba
appears to be to a Win2K client.

You also attribute a "single mind" quality to MS, which
everyone who has ever worked with them can attest simply
doesn't exist. They are more like a series of warring
tribes. Some of these tribes make alliances with external
agencies (the Samba Team) to further their own ends....

Regards,

	Jeremy Allison,
	Samba Team.

From: l...@Mercury.mcs.net (Leslie Mikesell)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/08
Message-ID: <7tlkbs$26bg$1@Mercury.mcs.net>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 534455371
References: <199909221814.OAA23378@FOUR.net> 
<7tjarp$q3v@dfw-ixnews12.ix.netcom.com> <7tl84r$1vu1$1@Mercury.mcs.net> 
<7tlf56$27g@dfw-ixnews7.ix.netcom.com>
Organization: Unknown
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss

In article <7tlf56$...@dfw-ixnews7.ix.netcom.com>,
Jeremy Allison <jer...@netcom.com> wrote:

>>>SGI don't agree with you. VERITAS doesn't agree with you. Neither
>>>does Cobalt, REALM, NetMax, Whistle (now IBM!), SCO or a host of other
>>>Samba vendors. Please don't disseminate FUD about Samba.
>
>>So we disagree.  FUD is justified when something you rely on can
>>disappear at someone else's whim. 
>
>Unless all 200+ million Windows clients are upgraded
>to a new, Samba-incompatible version of Windows, then
>"something I rely on" *cannot* disappear at someone else's whim.
>
>Now do you understand why I consider what you said to be FUD ?

No.  First, we don't know that those clients are not already
prepared to talk to an incompatible server.  Second, the
breakage doesn't happen until the next generation of clients
or service packs (that you need for some other reason) no
longer includes the current mode.

>>Microsoft has demonstrated that they don't mind changing this
>>client behavior with Service Pack upgrades and they require
>>a Service Pack upgrade periodically.  I'd venture a guess that
>>there is already patented code in there to interoperate with
>>a matching server even though the current servers don't require
>>it.  
>
>Of course they change client behavior with service packs.
>They're trying to fix bugs ! Your guess about "patented code"
>is sheer speculation I'm afraid.

Of course.  But even if getting hit by lightning is unlikely, you
don't see many people standing out in a storm inviting the damage.

>>Somehow, I just find it hard to believe that MicroSoft wants to
>>sell fewer NT Servers and client licenses.  And from what I've
>>read about Win2k there are lots of new client features that
>>will specifically require a Win2k server.
>
>Yes, but these do *not* prohibit interoperability with a
>WinNT 4.x server, which to all intents and purposes Samba
>appears to be to a Win2K client.

Just like using Word95 does not prohibit interoperating with
people that use Word97 - but it is intentionally inconvenient
enough that if one person in an office gets 97 you can bet that
everyone else that shares documents will have it in a few months
even if they need none of the new features.  I expect the same
from Win2K - it will be inconvenient if you don't switch everything
to Win2K even if you can't quite call it broken.

>You also attribute a "single mind" quality to MS, which
>everyone who has ever worked with them can attest simply
>doesn't exist. They are more like a series of warring
>tribes. Some of these tribes make alliances with external
>agencies (the Samba Team) to further their own ends....

Does that mean you agree that they are unpredictable?  I'd be
a lot more comfortable about the whole thing if you could
assure me that enough of samba was 'owned' by a person or
small group that the license could be altered if the need
arises to combine the code with something that has different
restrictions.  Otherwise, what is plan B?

  Les Mikesell
   l...@mcs.com 

From: jer...@netcom.com (Jeremy Allison)
Subject: Re: IBM's money thwarts the GPL.
Date: 1999/10/08
Message-ID: <7tlmf1$dqk@dfw-ixnews17.ix.netcom.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 534467316
References: <199909221814.OAA23378@FOUR.net> 
<7tjarp$q3v@dfw-ixnews12.ix.netcom.com> <7tl84r$1vu1$1@Mercury.mcs.net> 
<7tlf56$27g@dfw-ixnews7.ix.netcom.com> <7tlkbs$26bg$1@Mercury.mcs.net>
Organization: Netcom
X-NETCOM-Date: Fri Oct 08  4:07:45 PM CDT 1999
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss

l...@Mercury.mcs.net (Leslie Mikesell) writes:

>In article <7tlf56$...@dfw-ixnews7.ix.netcom.com>,
>Jeremy Allison <jer...@netcom.com> wrote:

>>>>SGI don't agree with you. VERITAS doesn't agree with you. Neither
>>Unless all 200+ million Windows clients are upgraded
>>to a new, Samba-incompatible version of Windows, then
>>"something I rely on" *cannot* disappear at someone else's whim.

>No.  First, we don't know that those clients are not already
>prepared to talk to an incompatible server.  Second, the
>breakage doesn't happen until the next generation of clients
>or service packs (that you need for some other reason) no
>longer includes the current mode.

I don't think you understand how many clients 200+
million *are*. For such a strategy to work, MS would
have had to embed code into DOS 3.x and above, all
in preparation for such a master plan.

This is paranoia (and FUD) of an *unprecedented* order :-).

Look - people *won't* upgrade their clients. They
just won't. Why do you think Win2K will still
run DOS apps. MS knows how important backwards 
compatibility is *in the OS space*. Note I don't
mean in the file format space - they know how 
important *breaking* backwards compatibility
is there :-).

An example - every new version of Word has a new
file format. But every single new version of Word
is carefully checked to make sure it runs on *all*
Win9x -> WinNT -> Win2K platforms.

>>Of course they change client behavior with service packs.
>>They're trying to fix bugs ! Your guess about "patented code"
>>is sheer speculation I'm afraid.

>Of course.  But even if getting hit by lightning is unlikely, you
>don't see many people standing out in a storm inviting the damage.

But you don't see them basing business decisions
on the number of employees they'll lose to lightning
strikes either ! This is a complete non-issue.

>>Yes, but these do *not* prohibit interoperability with a
>>WinNT 4.x server, which to all intents and purposes Samba
>>appears to be to a Win2K client.

>Just like using Word95 does not prohibit interoperating with
>people that use Word97 - but it is intentionally inconvenient
>enough that if one person in an office gets 97 you can bet that
>everyone else that shares documents will have it in a few months
>even if they need none of the new features.  I expect the same
>from Win2K - it will be inconvenient if you don't switch everything
>to Win2K even if you can't quite call it broken.

See above for why Word97 still runs on Win95 clients....

>Does that mean you agree that they are unpredictable?  I'd be
>a lot more comfortable about the whole thing if you could
>assure me that enough of samba was 'owned' by a person or
>small group that the license could be altered if the need
>arises to combine the code with something that has different
>restrictions.  Otherwise, what is plan B?

Ah, this is your *real* problem, the GPL, as usual.
No Les, we are *not* going to change the GPL on Samba
for you. No, it *isn't* a problem for business (ask
SGI, VERITAS, Realm Cobalt, RedHat, SuSE, TurboLinux,
CValdera, SCO... the list goes on, if you doubt this).
No, we are *not* going to allow free-loaders on the
Samba codebase, sorry.

Stop spreading FUD about Samba, when your real goal
is to attack the GPL. Spread as much FUD about that
as you like, people are used to that :-).

I know it hurts that Samba is an example of a 
successful *business-friendly* GPL product. I know
you'd rather there was no such example :-).

But remember (from the "Princess Bride") "Life
*is* pain, Princess. Anyone who says different
is trying to sell you something" :-) :-).
Cheers,

	Jeremy Allison,
	Samba Team.

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