The Industry choice
bulba at bulba.com
Thu Jan 6 18:11:51 EST 2005
On Thu, 06 Jan 2005 09:27:49 -0500, Steve Holden <steve at holdenweb.com>
>>>I'd go further. It's not possible to force anyone to share, but the
>>>GPL aims to remove software from a system that instead aims to force
>>>people NOT to share.
>> Nope. IMHO, GPL attempts to achieve the vendor lock-in. For different
>> purposes than another well-known vendor, but it still does.
>Well you are entitled to your opinion. But *my* opinion is that the GPL
>attempts to ensure that if you re-use code by an author who so desires,
>then redistribution of your code is only possible by making your own
>extensions to it available on the same terms. This gives you a clear choice.
I agree with you. However, I don't see how your statement contradicts
>To put it another way, it allows an author to specify that their code
>can't be hijacked for proprietary purposes *in distributed programs*.
How can the source code that is _guaranteed to stay as public
availability_ be _hijacked_?
If it's hijacked, it's not available anymore.
Making derived work proprietary in no way implies that the base
work is publicly unavailable anymore.
>will specifically point out that there is *nothing* in the GPL that
>requires you to reveal the source of program you write but do not
>distribute, even when such programs incorporate tons of GPL'd code.
Again, I don't see why that negates my thesis of vendor lock-in:
whatever software that uses GPLed code crosses inter-organizational
or inter-personal border, it has to be released with source.
>> It's actually even worse: the only thing you can't share on a
>> well-known vendor's platform is the software written by that
>> well-known vendor -- you can choose to share or choose not to
>> share whatever you or other people write on this platform.
>Well that's way over-simplified. And if you mean Microsoft, *say*(
Oh can't you take a little joke, why do we have to be so serious..
If my allusion was not funny, well, sorry.
>The GPL folks are quite happy to have you "share" anything that *you*
Oh absolutely, and I would be happy with them washing my car
for free. ;-)
>Their simply-stated and elegantly-achieved intent is that you
>don't "share" anything that *they* create except on the terms they have
>required for their creations.
But their base work is available anyway, regardless of whatever
I do or don't do.
>So, it seems to me, you are whining because the authors of GPL'd code
>don't want you to release *their* code except under the GPL.
If that was limited to _primary_ effects, that would be
understandable. Which is why I'm rather fine with LGPL for
However, an openly stated goal is an indirect effect: achieving
the goal of "all the software in the world being free" (as in
their definition of freedom).
Which means that indirect, _economic_ result they hope to
achieve is precisely creating a practical context when this author
would have hard time to release his work under license other
Why do they call "library GPL" a "lesser" GPL, Steve, and
do not really like it? Is it not for the sake of this goal?
Watch this carefully: if what you claim was ALL they
care for, there would be no big difference for them between
LGPL and GPL. And yet for them it is quite a big deal.
>*you* the right to dictate to them?
Conversely, what gives them the right to dictate the authors
of derived works of what they do with THEIR part of work?
>How would you like it if Richard
>Stallman insisted that you release your code under the GPL? Which, of
>course, he doesn't.
Oh but he does - just indirectly. He's attempting to create such
context. GPL is a sort of wolf in a sheep's skin, while Stallman
pretends it's not really a wolf, and then preaches how wonderful
it will be when we will sit with millions of such sheep at the
table and vote what's for lunch.
>>> As the MPAA knows, people do want to share, and
>>>forcing them not to do so is impossible without turning the world into
>>>a police state.
>Socialism is unpopular for many reasons, and many of them are indeed to
>do with maintaining the separation between individuals and thereby
>retaining the ability to treat them as separate economic units. But we
>aren't going to change that by insisting on particular software
>licenses. Realize this is a very small part of a very large debate.
Absolutely. I have discussed intellectual property rights issues with
friends to great lengths, not just regarding the software.
>And that is their choice. They should realize, however, that some
>licenses (including the more recent Python licenses) are cleared as
>"GPL-compatible". I believe this means that if I receive software
>licensed under a GPL-compatible license, I am at liberty to distribute
>it under the GPL.
>I suspect that this point is far too infrequently stressed.
I really don't find it very important: where the main battle
is, and where some vendors achieve domination and some
fail are precisely indirect economic effects of what they
>> Actually, I get the impression that GPL-ed software is written by
>> programmers for programmers, not really for end users.
>Not at all. It's written to be redistributed under specific terms, and
>anyone who doesn't like those terms has the option of redeveloping the
>functionality for themselves.
But they won't. And most of the time they never do. That is the very
It's a subtle game: what you are _allowed_ to do intertwines with
practical situations and what you would _will choose_ to do
given how many factors influence your decisions.
>You can't insist that people give you their intellectual property on
God forbid! This certainly not what I meant, ever, and if
anybody suggests that, I have this rabbit right here that I
will release to get them. :-)
>That would be like insisting that the music industry bring
>down the price of their clearly-overpriced products, or that the
>Baltimore Orioles stop the concession stands from charging $4.50 for a
>one-dollar beer. If you want a vote in such situations then your feet
>are the appropriate instrument. Walk away, and stop whining :-).
>Insisting will do you no good.
However, what you present is very partial picture: there's much
more to it.
>> It's a man's life in a Python Programming Association.
>Since I'm taking issue with you, I will end by gently pointing out that
>there's a substantial minority (? - my impression) of people who might
>find your tag line (which I am sure is intended to be supportive of
>Python and the c.l.py ethic, such as we might agree exists),
>gender-biased and therefore just as unacceptable to them as the GPL
>appears to be to you.
You haven't seen the episode of "Owl Stretching Time" by MP I see.
:-) No worries, you just need a little re-education. ;-)
It's a man's life in a Python Programming Association.
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