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Toward healthy paranoia

Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 19, 2013 20:02 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
In reply to: Toward healthy paranoia by Wol
Parent article: Toward healthy paranoia

But to anyone who bothers to understand RMS, it's pretty clear the FSF is not altering the bargain. GPLv3 is pretty much ALL BUGFIXES.

You are preaching to a choir here. Yes, that's what I said seven years ago. Sure, for RMS it's just a bugfix since he clearly considers GPLv2 weapon in the fight for the software freedom and clearly stated: Change is unlikely to cease once GPLv3 is released. If new threats to users' freedom develop, we will have to develop GPL version 4..

But I also said back then that it's dangerous ground to play with—exactly because others perceived (and still perceive!) GPLv2 differently. In effect switch from GPLv2 to GPLv3 folks highlighted difference between “Free Software” and “Open Source” folks. For “Free Software” camp it was just a bunch of bugfixes but for “Open Source” folks it was fundamental change of the status quo. As Linus put it: To me, the GPL really boils down to “I give out code, I want you to do the same.” The thing that makes me not want to use the GPLv3 in its current form is that it really tries to move more toward the “software freedom” goals.

Stallman expected to see that people will embrace “Free Software” and go with GPLv3 but most embraced “Open Source” and rejected it. Linus rejected it outright, some others guys did that later (for example GnuTLS parted way with FSF and went back to GPLv2).

In effect FSF showed us that RMS is right once again and that most “Open Source” folks are not ready to join Church of Emacs—Saint IGNUcius.

Okay, we may disagree, but the anti-Tivoisation clause simply prevents the manufacturer reserving to themself the right to update the software.

Sure, but FOSS is increasingly used in places where such lock-down is expected and sometimes needed (==mandated by law). Mobile phones are locked because carriers want to sell simple thing like tethering support for $$, car software is locked because there are fear that someone will alter it and car manufacturers will be declared responsible for death of people despite all these NO WARRANTY claims and so on. Apple just wants to control both software and hardware on the devices it sells. For all of them new, altered bargain is totally unacceptable.

Another bugfix for a bug I didn't even realise existed - if you put a GPLv2'd BINARY on your website, then even if you put the source right next to it you trigger the "make the source available for three years" clause. You have to FORCE people to download the source.

Why? GPLv2 clearly gives you another choice: Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange. In today's world web is a medium customarily used for software interchange and it's pretty clear that if source and binary are near each other on the same server one accompanies the other. It's the same as when you offer Debian DVD with binaries and Debian DVD with sources—it's clearly up to recipient do decide if s/he wants to grab second DVD as well, you are not required to see if s/he'll actually take it with him or her.

GPLv3 clarifies things like use of torrents for the software distribution, and makes it clear that you are not losing your right if you fix accidental violations fast enough, that's true, but these minor improvements are overshadowed by much, much larger of changes in other places.

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Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 26, 2013 17:34 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

GnuTLS has gone back to (L)GPLv2+, not GPLv2. The license change is because a number of projects couldn't use newer versions of GnuTLS because they were using GPLv2 only. i.e., this is allowing for those annoying projects, not becoming one of them.

Toward healthy paranoia

Posted Sep 26, 2013 17:50 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

GnuTLS has gone back to (L)GPLv2+, not GPLv2.

Well, yeah, that's true, but it's not that important. The important fact is that is stopped participating in the FSF's jihad and instead have chosen to stay relevant.

Only time will tell if they'll succeed or if it's case of “too little too late”.

The license change is because a number of projects couldn't use newer versions of GnuTLS because they were using GPLv2 only. i.e., this is allowing for those annoying projects, not becoming one of them.

The important fact is not that it can be used in conjunction with GPLv2 programs, the important fact is that now it can be used by various vendors and linked with GPLv2, Apache, or even proprietary programs.

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