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Awww the GPL won't invalidate the MS/Novell/Distro patent

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  • User profile image
    blowdart

    *snicker*

    'The final, last-call GPLv3 draft bans only future deals for what it described as tactical reasons in a 32-page explanation of changes. That means Novell doesn't have to worry about distributing software in SLES that's governed by the GPLv3'

    Of course it's all moot anyway, if you tried to invalidate something after the fact that's rather fanciful legal nonsense. Funny how the FSF is desperately trying not to spin it as a climbdown. Or mention it would have screwed over other distros, and not just Novell/SUSE

  • User profile image
    cornelius

    i wonder what our resident linux trolls have to say...

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    Yes, the GPLv3 wont invalidate the Novell deal or any deals prior to March 28th 2007. Novell is very lucky but the other companies like Linspire and Xandros wont be. They may fork but its highly unlikely that anyone but their users will embrace the forked pieces.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    cornelius wrote:
    i wonder what our resident linux trolls have to say...


    *chirp, chirp.... .... .... .... chirp chirp*

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    Yes, the GPLv3 wont invalidate the Novell deal or any deals prior to March 28th 2007. Novell is very lucky but the other companies like Linspire and Xandros wont be.


    You see I have trouble working out how that is legally tenable. They're attempting to back date clauses once the license is set down. That simply doesn't seem "right" to me.


  • User profile image
    blowdart

    blowdart wrote:
    
    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    Yes, the GPLv3 wont invalidate the Novell deal or any deals prior to March 28th 2007. Novell is very lucky but the other companies like Linspire and Xandros wont be.


    You see I have trouble working out how that is legally tenable. They're attempting to back date clauses once the license is set down. That simply doesn't seem "right" to me.



    Oh and to answer my own question; it's only banning future deals.

    So Linspire and Xandros and everyone else that signs up before the GPL3 is finalised will be "fine"

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    blowdart, Well the FSF lawyers think so. They may seem like quacks to some folks but that doesnt mean they dont have a law degree. As for everything else. The FSF argues that when free software is bound by patents and royalities it simply becomes unfree to distribute and thus violates the biggest freedom the GPL wants to provide: the right to distribute the software for free. Under these patent deals only a company who signed these deals and turns over a running royality encourages that only they have the "real" right to distribute the software. Basically, what these companies are doing puts the free software movement in jeopardy. That isnt something that should be tolerated lightly.

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    blowdart, no. Only prior to March 28th (which also happens to be my birthdate, ironic). I believe the Linspire and Xandros deals occured after the fact.

  • User profile image
    Rich2k

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    blowdart, no. Only prior to March 28th (which also happens to be my birthdate, ironic). I believe the Linspire and Xandros deals occured after the fact.


    Ah that's my birthday too!

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    blowdart, Well the FSF lawyers think so. They may seem like quacks to some folks but that doesnt mean they dont have a law degree.


    Except the GPL hasn't been tested in court yet has it?

    Whilst I'm not saying they're quacks at all, the sour "Too late, we're revoking all your rights, and changing the name of the game in the past" sounds, to me, like an unenforcable clause.

    Of course no-one is forced to adopt it anyway. *shrug* I simply prefer BSD

  • User profile image
    julianbenja​min

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    blowdart, no. Only prior to March 28th (which also happens to be my birthdate, ironic). I believe the Linspire and Xandros deals occured after the fact.


    I still don't understand how it's possible for a license that's not completed yet to affect past deals.  I would think it would only affect deals that took place after the license went into use (and so far, it's still a draft, so it's not technically law).  And if it can affect past deals, why didn't they just say prior to June 2006 so it can invalidate MS-Novell as well?  I don't see it holding up in court, especially since it was in draft status when the deals were taking place.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    uriel wrote:
    
    I'm pretty sure the GPL has been tested in court internationally multiple times already: see here, here and here.


    The german one is the only really ontopic one, the israeli case is ongoing. The first link doesn't test the validity of the GPL at all, just that it's not a contract that introduces restraint of trade.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    uriel wrote:
    
    julianbenjamin wrote:
    
    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    blowdart, no. Only prior to March 28th (which also happens to be my birthdate, ironic). I believe the Linspire and Xandros deals occured after the fact.


    I still don't understand how it's possible for a license that's not completed yet to affect past deals.  I would think it would only affect deals that took place after the license went into use (and so far, it's still a draft, so it's not technically law).  And if it can affect past deals, why didn't they just say prior to June 2006 so it can invalidate MS-Novell as well?  I don't see it holding up in court, especially since it was in draft status when the deals were taking place.


    It doesn't effect currently produced software which is under the GPLv2, but the GPLv3 can effects deals going back 100 years if it so please. I can even write a clause in my licence, "you may distribute this software to everyone but julianbenjamin", that's pefectly legal. My copyright, my rules.


    And as such, you'll see very little meaningful adoption of this retarded ideal.

    Oh, sure, the couch-hopping, RMS crowd will love it, but all it takes is a few CIO/CTOs getting fired and the market for software using software licensed this way will disappear.

    In fact, since your average joe associates *nix with GPL and the FSF, even code that DOESN'T use v3 will lose marketshare.

    Which begs the question, how can free software have a market?

  • User profile image
    julianbenja​min

    uriel wrote:
    

    It doesn't effect currently produced software which is under the GPLv2, but the GPLv3 can effects deals going back 100 years if it so please. I can even write a clause in my licence, "you may distribute this software to everyone but julianbenjamin", that's pefectly legal. My copyright, my rules.


    So essentially, the "freedom" that the GPL is supposed to promote is effectively violated by the GPL itself. 

    I don't see this license being widely used either, or it'll be used as a "GPL2 or later" license so that the user has an option which license they want to use.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    uriel wrote:
     Oh, and even so, good luck using Linux without the GNU software.


    Oh that old argument? Simply using software doesn't create any problems as you know; but Linus's opinion is pretty clear (as is most of the kernel guys).

    Of course you could just wait for Mach/Hurd. It'll be along real soon now.

  • User profile image
    julianbenja​min

    uriel wrote:
    

    Well, the FSF will use it, as (likely) Sun Microsystems. Plus if you look at places outside of Microsoft-fanboy Channel9 people, like the actual people that develop open source software, they have wildy different opinions. Oh, and even so, good luck using Linux without the GNU software.


    I can use Ubuntu 6, SLED, Mandriva, etc now.  All without GPLv3 software.  Even after GPL3 is released, I can still use them without fear of falling under GPL3.

    Question for you:  By using GNU software (GPL3) in a Linux distribution that contains GPL 2 licensed code, what happens to the whole distribution?  I doubt the whole moves to GPL3 as the authors of the various packages (of which GNU is a small part) haven't moved to GPL3, or have given permission to do so.  So, can GPL2 Linux use GPL3 GNU software?  Or are they forced to use GPL2 GNU software until the whole distribution moves to GPL3?

  • User profile image
    julianbenja​min

    uriel wrote:
    

    Distributing software is. Companies who do patent deals will no longer be able to use gnu coreutils, glibc+, possibly openoficce (Sun), and gcc. Sure, they can kinda sorta get around that, hell they can write their own openoffice and gcc. Good luck to them.


    That's untrue.  They can't use newer versions of gnu libraries or openoffice.  They can still modify the source code to the ones that fell under GPL2 and release that with any modifications.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    uriel wrote:
    
    It's going to be develop for Linux or even FreeBSD and not agree to the terms of the GPLv3. No doubt.


    I assume you left out the phrase "HARD FOR" there

    And that's untrue. You don't have to agree to the GPL to use the GPL tools to compile. You don't have to agree to the GPL to write software for GNOME. Or software for Java, or using Java.

    The only thing that will be harder is linking, assuming there LGPL goes away or enforces the "toys out of pram" clause.

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