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Toward healthy paranoia

Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 12, 2013 22:17 UTC (Thu) by pizza (subscriber, #46)
In reply to: Toward healthy paranoia by khim
Parent article: Toward healthy paranoia

I don't disagree with anything you've said, but I do have a few comments.

>Today even projects which are explicitly developed by large coalitions are not using GPL. Think Android, LLVM, Tizen, etc. Old non-GPLed projects are raised to the forefront (think EFL) and large projects are relicensed (think AOO).

Those may be coalitions technically, but in every case there is a single mammoth player driving/steering/gatekeeping most of the work.

Android in particular is an interesting case as it's responsible for the vast majority of the anti-GPL push. Far more often than not the various device makers don't give anything back, layering their own crap on top of the core AOSP and keeping their changes private in an attempt to differentiate themselves, creating incompatibilites deeper into the system. We're *still* fighting binary-only driver (kernel and userspace) messes, and that doesn't even touch on the higher-level stuff.

If not for Google's continued patronage (and driver of most new development), Android would have completely fragmented by now in a mess that would have made the BSD wars look like a schoolyard spat. Google recognizes and embraces this, and is attempting to layer *another* set of (completely proprietary) APIs on top of "Open" Android.

I fear that the folks leading this mad rush towards Apache/BSD have forgotten the lessons learned from the BSD wars, and that we're heading towards another BSD bubble/cliff. When that (inevitably?) happens, the pendulum will swing back towards favoring Copyleft.

Why do I strongly come down on the side of copyleft? Because, simply, if you don't have source code (and the means to run/install/use it) then you don't have jack.


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Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 13, 2013 7:33 UTC (Fri) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

I fear that the folks leading this mad rush towards Apache/BSD have forgotten the lessons learned from the BSD wars, and that we're heading towards another BSD bubble/cliff.

BSD bubble/cliff was just a sideshow. The real winner of Unix wars was Windows—and the only reason for that was the fact that AT&T stopped developing UNIX.

Yes, if Google will stop developing Android then someone else may pick up the slack. But I doubt it'll be copyleft. More likely it'll be Tizen or even Windows (again).

When that (inevitably?) happens, the pendulum will swing back towards favoring Copyleft.

May be. But this will need to be different, non-FSF-driven copyleft. May be it'll be CC-BY-SA, or may be it'll be something else. But GPL… it has the perception of “spoiled goods” and I don't see how that trend can be reversed. This affects FSF first (things like GnuTLS or GUILE), but all other GPL projects are affected, too.

Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 16, 2013 15:53 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

But this will need to be different, non-FSF-driven copyleft.
Ah, I love the smell of argument-by-assertion in the morning.

Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 16, 2013 17:15 UTC (Mon) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

Every single anti-GPL (v3, v2 or whatever) argument I have seen (here or outside) is possible to be distilled to "I don't like RMS". It was so twenty years ago, ten years ago, and it still is nowadays.

I suspect (and I have probably mentioned this before) that we'll see a real GPL comeback (v3 and all or even v4, if needed) some years from now, once the NSA-like surveillance take an unbearable toll on the economy or on the social structures. We'll see.

Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 17, 2013 9:26 UTC (Tue) by renox (subscriber, #23785) [Link]

>Every single anti-GPL (v3, v2 or whatever) argument I have seen (here or outside) is possible to be distilled to "I don't like RMS". It was so twenty years ago, ten years ago, and it still is nowadays.

Apparently, you didn't look very thoroughly.. The 'anti-tivoization' clause of the GPLv3 is quite controversial, for example Linus Torvalds doesn't like it, would you claim that he "doesn't like RMS"?

Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 17, 2013 12:39 UTC (Tue) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

I am a strong defender of many things Torvalds, but, yes, he is harshly anti-RMS, albeit one of the most rational ones.

For instance, Linus says that the GPL and the LGPL are more or less the same, because linking does not make a derivative work, and AFAICT he is absolutely right.

OTOH, the "tivoization" stance was a pragmatic one -- Tivo was one of the first all-out many-consumers device and the use of locking bootloaders killed the possibly thriving modifications market. So, while Linus was right (because Tivo could, at any moment, choose to go with some BSD or even with XNU) he was also anti-RMS and anti-software-freedom.

One can be "I don't like RMS" for pragmatic reasons. It does not make it good for software freedom. Apple does not like RMS because Apple likes to maintain control, and RMS/FSF/GNU/GPL is all about relinquishing control downstream AND guaranteeing that control would stay downstream.

Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 17, 2013 19:13 UTC (Tue) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

hmm, I've been running modified tivos for over a decade now

Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 18, 2013 0:14 UTC (Wed) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

recent-model tivos with modified kernels?


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