[Sugar-devel] [IAEP] ANNOUNCE: Moving Sugar to GPLv3+
martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Sat Apr 23 03:38:27 EDT 2011
On Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 6:14 PM, Bernie Innocenti <bernie at sugarlabs.org> wrote:
>> I sure wish that GPLv3 was limited to those bugfixes, and the
>> anti-tivo wording was segregatd to a new license; a bit like some
>> clauses were split off to the Affero-GPL.
> The GPL always has been about protecting the famous Four Freedoms. Back
> when the GPLv2 was created, nobody had yet figured out that tivoization
> could be used to game the license and effectively deny users the freedom
> to modify the software.
That is the position of the FSF. However, a very wide community of
practice has adopted the GPL for its "share and share alike"
In that sense, I stand squarely on the same position as Linus and
other kernel hackers. I have always used and liked the GPLv2 because
it ensures the sharing of the code.
What is done with said code was never the business of GPLv2. GPLv3
starts getting its nose into the "how it is used" side.
> There's even explicit wording allowing employers to have workers or
> contractors use GPL'd software without automatically transferring them
> any rights:
Can you point me to the relevant section on this?
> Those thus making or running the covered works for you must do so
> exclusively on your behalf, under your direction and control, on terms
> that prohibit them from making any copies of your copyrighted material
> outside their relationship with you.
Is that the wording? So for this to stick employees using a
locked-down machine can't copy binaries to a removable disk?
> A few years ago, a large American publisher of schoolbooks asked us to
> implement features for "copyright control", so they could sell their
> books to students ensure they couldn't exchange copies. In Paraguay, a
> local publisher came up with another scheme involving Adobe Flash to
> limit what users could do or not do with books.
> With the GPLv2 alone, any deployment or hardware vendor could make a
> deal with a publisher and turn Sugar into a Kindle full of DRM.
Well, I don't much like the above, and wouldn't personally do it.
However, GPL never gave me any rights upon how users use of my
software, or in which direction developers may develop it.
Get the hang of this: licensing software GPL, any version, I am
allowing many dictators to use it to do, coordinate, automate and
organize the most horrid actions you can think of. Torture? Check.
Murder? You bet! And this isn't hard to get over.
(And I don't say this lightly, having grown up in a country blighted
by a nasty civil war, with family members on both sides.)
GPLv2 is a humble instrument. Licensee, do whatever you want, but
share the source when you distribute.
>> - At what point do we say "hey, this has scant upside, and negative
>> controversy around it, let's spend our time in productive things
> Which negative controversy, the one you're personally fueling? This is
> kind of a circular argument :-)
In what *planet* do you live? Honestly, GPLv3 is controversial amongst
anyone whose work is possibly tivoized. It was so all through the
> You've expressed some valid concerns and I believe I've responded
> satisfactorily to all of them. If not, I'm glad to hear a
> counter-argument from you.
No -- there is no upside I can see. Sugar's license hasn't been in the
business of restricting usage, and it should not get there.
martin.langhoff at gmail.com
martin at laptop.org -- Software Architect - OLPC
- ask interesting questions
- don't get distracted with shiny stuff - working code first
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