Open is Open.
Posted Nov 13, 2005 8:31 UTC (Sun) by cventers
In reply to: Open is Open.
Parent article: Debian and Nexenta collide
>> A unilateral patent grant still does not do anything to try setup a
>> patent pool and patent "peace" around a software project, as the CDDL
Patent "peace"? The points I pointed out earlier leave me feeling as if
there is much less patent "peace" from Sun than IBM, especially given
that not only did IBM open their patents in a non-discriminatory fashion,
but are participating in other patent projects to defend Linux.
>> As I said in another post, be careful what you criticise the CDDL for,
>> when there's a fair chance the GPLv3 will try do similar tomorrow
>> (Eben Moglen has stated patent threats are something the GPLv3 may try
Anything at this point is pure speculation. There are a million ways to
address the patent issue. But what I will say is that given Stallman's
philosophy, if patent protection is somehow offered by GPLv3, it will be
unilaterally offered to all products derived from the original, something
that the CDDL *does not* do.
>> They can almost certainly dig up patents from their portfolio to sue
>> almost anyone they wanted to, regardless of those 500. So their grant
>> is not *that* meaningful either. So lets be honest: The primary
>> reasons big corporates involved fruitfully in Free Software, like IBM
>> and Sun, neither have nor likely will (in the short to mid-term at
>> least) sue any Free Software developers or projects is because they
>> have absolutely nothing to gain from it and a *lot* to lose.
I think IBM's grant, combined with their actions (such as participation
in the creation of the Open Inventions Alliance):
Means that they are demonstrating much more *tangible* friendship and
support of open source. Sun's licensing of their patents to OpenSolaris,
and perhaps the original version only, imply that Sun doesn't care one
lick beyond their own projects. They could freely license their patents
to any OSI-approved license as IBM has done, and their patents would
*still* be capable of instigating MAD against any party that threatens
>> Particularly when the objectionable result of this "hidden motive"
>> theory, incompatibility with the GPL, lies *not* in the CDDL but in
>> the GPL and can easily be fixed in the next revision of the GPL, which
>> is due in the next year or two.
I don't think any motives are hidden. I don't think Sun is about to go
after open source developers with their patents, be it Linux or
OpenSolaris - but it's clear to me that they didn't care to *yield* their
(legal) right to do so. They're not diving into this open source thing -
they're sticking a toe in and checking to see how the water feels, and
they'll probably be shivering all the way until the market finally shoves
Your assertion that the problem is with the GPL troubles me as well. The
GPL was intentionally designed to require that derived works be GPL as
well because that is simply the best way to ensure that no one can tamper
with the freedom of the system. No one can confuse the issue by
introducing new licenses. Given the GPL's massive adoption rate, and the
feelings of much of the community about the CDDL (including FSF's
suggestion to not use it), I think people understand this.
>> If you have suggestions on improving the CDDL, you are welcome to
>> discuss them on the opensolaris-discuss list, the CDDL *can* be
>> up-revved too.
It may be considered armchair punditry, but we simply don't have to. We
already have the GPL, LGPL, BSD license, etc, all of which suit our needs
The CDDL was written by a business with business concepts and needs in
mind. The GPL was written by a philosopher with the good of the people in
mind. If Sun wants to volunteer to become a better player in the open
source field, they're free to do so, but we should *not* have to drag
them into it kicking and screaming. IBM along with a slew of other huge
companies walked right into the party.
Taking this a bit further (and please don't consider this to be a troll,
because it's not intended to be), but myself and I assume a lot of other
GNU/Linux users with servers, desktops, laptops, phones, TiVOs, etc
loaded full of GPL software, don't feel like we *need* Sun. Sun will join
the game if and when they choose. Speaking personally, if Sun closed up
shop tomorrow and started making microwaves and toaster ovens, I wouldn't
even blink. Sun might be liked by more if they didn't seem to carry such
an ego, implying in the undertones of their behavior that they are a
necessity to the computing community.
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