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Re: Re: OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL

by mdupont (Scribe)
on Jun 20, 2002 at 12:06 UTC ( #175972=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL
in thread OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL

Yes I agree with you, but this is prevent the use of compiler modules in creating non-free extensions.

I have gotten into too many fights on the level of people in the gcc group worrying about my project allowing access to the parse trees and people making non-free backends to the gcc.

That is why I am proposing this, to find some middle ground in the free versus non-free debate.

Mike


Comment on Re: Re: OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL
Re: Re: Re: OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL (EDITED spelling)
by mdupont (Scribe) on Jun 20, 2002 at 12:19 UTC
    Also Remember that the GPL does not copyright the output of the program.

    This is basically a hole in the gpl

    mike

      Also Remember that the GPL does not copyright the output of the program.

      That's not entirely true. We're currently involved in persuing a GPL investigation/case against what was originally one company, but now has turned into three companies (the latter two being customers of the first). When/if the GPL is removed from the equation, the licensing becomes more restrictive, and all rights fall back on the copyright holder. The copyright holder owns the copyright to anything he creates. This includes a custom application which has a custom output data format, which was created using code that was covered under the GPL (such as a document format or a file format). The file is not covered under the GPL, but the process which created the data it contains, is. Subtle difference, but still enforcable.

      Here's an example (which models our current investigation very closely): Company X downloads a GPL piece of software, removes the developers names and license files, replaces them with their own, updates the code a bit and produces a derivitave binary which they then sell to two of their customers. At this point, they are directly in violation of the GPL for:

      1. Not providing source to these customers or to third-party persons who independantly request it (GPL::3a), and
      2. Not providing a 'written offer' to those customers (GPL::3b)
      3. Illegally re-licensing the application without consent of the copyright holders.

      Now, since this is a clear violation of the GPL in both license and spirit, their rights to continue to use that code are immediately revoked (GPL::4) and every copy they continue to sell or redistribute from that point forward is now an illegal copyright violation, which also allows the copyright holder to persue them under:

      1. US Copyright violations
      2. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
      3. Lanham Act violations ("mis-representation of origin")

      Once the GPL is violated, the amount of restrictions and "laws broken" increases. This is important to get across to people who wish to license their code under the GPL. People consider this a viral license, not because it "infects" code it touches, but because once you violate it, it brings with it a whole truckload of other infractions to be considered.

      Our "parser" is GPL'd, our "viewer" is GPL'd, and our "output file format" is also GPL'd. Changes to any of the above require that they be released back to the community under that license. Failure to do so removes your right to continue using them, and now makes it harder to do so.

      I'm glad our FSF-appointed attorney in our particular case is well-versed in these issues. I would never have known about this if it wasn't for her skill and perserverence.

        >The file is not covered under the GPL, but the process

        >which created the data it contains, is.

        Now in the case that I am dealing with, the data is from the memory of the GCC.

        That means there is not any copyright on it. Therefore anyone can use that data!

        Not via the RGPL.

        All the ouput of the data is licensed only for usage by GPLed software or other RGPL software.

        This is a free software end user license agreement and requires a complete new software distribution model

      How is this a hole? The copyright for the output of a program is owned by the person running the program and the owner of the copyright for the data that is being effected by the program.

      For instance: if I sing a song into a recorder on my computer and use a program to save it as an mp3, I own the copyright for the data that the program created. Now if the program has patents for the methods that it uses to create the file based upon my music, I may owe the patent owner a licensing fee, but that is different than copyright.

      Copyright for software only deals with the code that created the software, not with what the software creates or changes.

      ()-()
       \"/
        `                                                     
      
      p.s. I am not a lawyer... these are only my stupid opinions... yadayadayada
        Look at the current fears of the GCC of a non-free backend.

        There are tools that can dump the source code and then process it outside of the GCC, thus creating a non-free plug in.

        That is the whole I am talking about.

        mike

Re(3): OT: A Modest Proposal for a GNU infrastructure license RGPL
by FoxtrotUniform (Prior) on Jun 20, 2002 at 15:36 UTC
      Yes I agree with you, but this is prevent the use of compiler modules in creating non-free extensions.

    The GPL is not the only "free software" license out there. As far as I can tell, your proposed RGPL prevents code under other free licenses (the Artistic License, for example, which includes all of my code; or the BSD License, which includes my operating system's code) from being used as input to RGPLed programs -- like gcc, if you get your way. Or would you like to fork the gcc development tree? This proposal protects the interests of the GPL, not of open-source software.

    Never mind that this would seriously undermine the real-world influence of any GPLed tools to which it was applied.

    Please tell me that I'm horribly misunderstanding your point.

    --
    The hell with paco, vote for Erudil!
    :wq

      Right now, you cannot use GCC code without linking to it statically.

      The GCC group has asked everyone not to dynamically link it.

      You cannot use it under any other license at all.

      So I am trying to license the output of it, to put in an XML gateway, and to protect that gateway from anyone else using it other than GPLed code, just like is provisioned under the GPL.

      My point is that with the RGPL you can use shared libs and XML and all these funky tools, even GPLEd perl scripts, if you use the compiler via an RGPL interface.

      Right now there is NO way to do any of that forseen by the gcc team,and the try an squash anyone who tries.

      The introspector is a PATCH to the gcc, not a branch.

      I would not distribute that patch, only the data output from it via an RGPL licence via a web service, only to GPLed projects.

      Have I explained myself?

      Mike

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