Thursday, August 28, 2008
The Software Freedom Law Centre has put out a guide that tells software vendors how to make sure they're complying with the GPL (see link, above). It's not hard to comply, but there are some good tips in there.
An example is to make sure you don't have a build guru - someone without whom your organisation/team could not build your software. Because if you couldn't build your software without your build guru, then people you distribute it to don't have much of a chance.
It also talks about what your options actually are in terms of basic compliance. So for example one thing I didn't know is that in GPL v3, they made it much more explicit how you can distribute source code, and that technologies such as the Web or Bit Torrents are acceptible. For example, peer-to-peer distribution of source code is acceptible as long as that is the medium being used to distribute the (built) software.
There's more good stuff in there, and even though I'm no Free Software vendor, it's an interesting read just from the perspective of an insight into how Free Sofrware compliance really works.
(Hat tip: Roger Clarke)
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Anyway, the point is, it won't be getting to court because the defendants capitulated. According to Linux Watch, Monsoon Multimedia "admitted today that it had violated the GPLv2 (GNU General Public License version 2), and said it will release its modified BusyBox code in full compliance with the license."
This shows that the system works. The GPL must be clear enough that it is obvious what you can't do. (Okay, there's still some discussion, but on the day to day stuff, everything is going just fine).
Monday, September 24, 2007
More information is available here on the SFLC website and here on Arstechnica.
(Hat tip: Roger Clarke)
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
This announcement acknowledges that GPLv3 "is an improved version of the license to better suit the needs of Free Software in the 21st Century," saying "We feel this is an important change to help promote the interests of Samba and other Free Software."
Unfortunately, the announcement doesn't say much about how Samba made their decision or what swayed them.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
"You're acting like some Alice-in-Wonderland character, saying that your definition of words is the only one that matter. And that others are "confused". Read up on your humpty-dumpty some day."
Thursday, March 29, 2007
(Post script: See this piece on linux.com, with some views from Stallman, Torvalds and Novell
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Now Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life, has announced that it will release the code of Second Life's "viewer application to the open source software development community." (See the press release here .) The code will be available under the GNU GPL v2 (interesting that they chose not to wait until version 3 is out?) See Lessig's blog here, the Sydney Morning Herald here and then find the actual source code here, plus information about the licensing here. Interestingly, they have also included an additional FLOSS exception - see it here.
This is a big step for the company who seems to be one of the more user-friendly gaming companies when it comes to intellectual property issues. Second Life also seems to be a common international meeting place - Creative Commons had one of its many birthday parties in there and Judge Richard Posner gave a seminar there late last year.
So this is one small step for an avatar, one giant leap for the open source community.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
So will planes fall from the sky when GPLv3 is released and all software licensed ‘version 2 or later’ finally ticks over into GPLv3 mode? Is GPLv3 part of Richard Stallman's plan to launch a “dictatorship of the programmers”? This housemate thinks not. I was thrust into the world of GPLv3 as part of research for an upcoming symposium (see details below) and it became clear that GPLv3 is the subject of heated debate.
There are a few GPL ‘hot issues’ and DRM is one of the more burning of said issues (if you don’t believe me just look at how red it is on the GPL comments page). What is all the fuss about? The general idea is that DRM is being used to ‘evade’ rights/‘freedoms’ provided under the GPL and this practice is not acceptable. The FSF is sending the message that technical evasion of the GPL is not ok. The message is loud and clear but some have queried if such an endeavour is desirable or even possible. The thing is, not all DRM is necessarily bad (consider the use of DRM for medical equipment or security purposes). Some Kernal developers have questioned if a software license is a sensible place to put all these anti-DRM provisions and suggest that these provisions are included for the service of political ends.
What do I think? I understand that the FSF is concerned about protecting the core freedoms in the GPL however I not sure if protection should be at any cost. It is important to bear in mind that inserting Anti-DRM provisions to protect particular freedoms will always be at the cost of other freedoms. That being said I disagree with people who suggest that GPLv3 “has the potential to inflict massive collateral damage upon our entire ecosystem and jeopardise the very utility and survival of Open Source.”
Don’t forget to register to attend GPLv3 and