[Sugar-devel] GPL non compliance? [Sugar-devel Digest, Vol 30, Issue 66]
mavrothal at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 27 09:56:51 EDT 2011
--- On Tue, 4/26/11, sugar-devel-request at lists.sugarlabs.org <sugar-
> 3. Re: [SLOBS] GPL non compliance?
First let me apologizes for my previous “loaded” post. Well... it was loaded.
Hopefully this one is not.
So I was wondering to what extend GPLvX applies to Sugar’s target users.
The *educationa*l goals of use, study, share and modify can be certainly fulfilled in the context of one or more activities.
But why is it a goal _one_ 8 year-old to be able to modify Sugar even if this means that 100.000 8year-olds will constantly break Sugar because of that?
Clearly there is no precedence of that scale and I doubt that when drafting a software license the “generic” 8-12year-old was even considered. Not that special 8-12year-old that went looking and landed in the computer/linux world, but the one that was “dropped” in it.
Is there any indication that actually GPLvX considered use by 8-12 year-olds or even that is consciously age-agnostic?
Do the license legal points apply/have authority over 10-year-olds?
Does anyone knows if they where ever tested in a court and found valid for kids?
But beyond legal terms, is it wise to give unlimited access to the software and hardware because using Sugar under GPLvX requires it/is a principle /is a political statement?
How many would trust their computer with root access to a 10 yead-old that never met before?
And if you do, would you do the same to the current 2 and hopefully future 20 million, Sugar users?
Specially with passwordless root access and selinux/bitfrost not fully implemented, inactivated or inactivat-able
What about if a malicious adult takes a hold of the machine directly or remotely?
Who would be responsible for any harm by/towards the kids/a third party? The 12-year-olds? The granting agency? SL? FSF?
There are probably mechanisms around these issues, but should an elaborate repair, security, safety, monitoring and probably policing system be setup because Sugar’s license/principle/political statement, demands 8-12 year-olds be treated as informed adults?
*Should 8-12 year-olds be treated as informed adults?*
If they are, or even capable of, what about labor, military, guns, crime, pornography or even just sharp objects and camping out alone?
(I do not think that the argument “if you can modify the code you are responsible enough” is valid. Any 10-year-old can type 3 or 30 commands that a hacker posted in a newsgroup and another kid said that “is cool”)
Sugar is *not* just as any other Linux software out there.
Is an educational platform aimed at (early) pre-adolescent and adolescent pupils in the context of an educational system.
Terms and conditions appropriate for this audience should guide its licensing principles and not the other way around.
I’m not advocating locked systems in general. What I’m saying is that the decision to fully unlock a system should not be a prerequisite to implement Sugar’s license.
If SL believes that fulfilling a GPLvX license is a major issue for 8-12year-old users, then Sugar should be implemented in a way that its license can be easily and fully fulfilled by the non-privileged user.
In general though I would think that if Linux is to take a hold in early education, should draft a license appropriate for this age group (for example stamp it PG-13 ;) or “tolerate” the violation. It is not coincidental that so far, I believe, all sugar deployments violate all GPL licensing and do not allow their end users to modify the bulk of the code in the machines (let’s wait and see when, to what extend and how, promises for the opposite will materialize)
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