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Old 2011-10-25, 21:42   #34
Christenson
 
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Stallman is a radical...and I will criticise his version of make as making a meaningless distinction between tabs and spaces when most of us freely exchange them.

I think I can write a perfectly unethical piece of software, with or without the GPL...lets see, just a script to see how many of my neighbor's computers I can break into...

Now, our author is finding that there's a bunch of companies that depend on his software, and don't want to give any kind of political credit...not even to the extent of admitting that he is expert. This last, this schizophrenic state of either totally disrespecting experts or worshipping them as gods, is becoming a mark of our society as a whole...I see the same thing at work and at my wife's job, in which computers are basically an intrusion because some idiot thinks they will make things better. (She does social work, and a simple spreadsheet tracks the clients just fine, thank you....massive boondoggle database programs seriously waste everyone's time).

Good software is unique, in that it is intellectual capital, but easily copied. The question as to what to do when the "awful green things" from outer space show up is a universal struggle.
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Old 2011-10-26, 07:47   #35
Brian Gladman
 
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I am not impressed by the linked commentary from Zed Shaw, which, in essence, says "my software was abused when I used a BSD style license so I am now using a GPL one".

But he never explains why he believes that a company that abuses a BSD style license would not be equally willing to abuse a GPL one. Is the prospect of action by the FSF against the hundreds of small start-ups that he complains about sufficient to get them to behave? I really don't think so.

The reality is that licenses only constrain companies with ethics or those that are large enough to be worth suing.

Personally I don't like the GPL for a whole host of reasons and only ever use it when I am contributing within a community where its use is the settled norm. It is certainly not a license that makes any sense for anyone who wants to publish software with the aim of obtaining safety or security improvements in both free and proprietary software.

I also reject the definition of 'open source' that is now widely in use, one which effectively undermines what this phrase means in common English usage.
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Old 2011-10-26, 09:22   #36
Mr. P-1
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Gladman View Post
I am not impressed by the linked commentary from Zed Shaw, which, in essence, says "my software was abused when I used a BSD style license so I am now using a GPL one".
His point was that he was abused, not his software. He does not allege that anyone violated the terms of the license.

Quote:
But he never explains why he believes that a company that abuses a BSD style license would not be equally willing to abuse a GPL one. Is the prospect of action by the FSF against the hundreds of small start-ups that he complains about sufficient to get them to behave? I really don't think so.
The FSF would have no standing to sue, unless he assigned his copyright to them, or incorporated code copyrighted by them in his product. Rather, he would have standing to so.

Quote:
The reality is that licenses only constrain companies with ethics or those that are large enough to be worth suing.
In general, those who threaten or take legal action against GPL violators are seeking compliance, not monetary damages. A small company can be enjoined as effectively as a large one.

Quote:
Personally I don't like the GPL for a whole host of reasons and only ever use it when I am contributing within a community where its use is the settled norm. It is certainly not a license that makes any sense for anyone who wants to publish software with the aim of obtaining safety or security improvements in both free and proprietary software.
This would be why Linux is so unsafe and insecure.
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Old 2011-10-26, 09:52   #37
Brian Gladman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. P-1 View Post
His point was that he was abused, not his software. He does not allege that anyone violated the terms of the license.
Either he used a license that didn't require them to admit that they were using his code or he used a license that did require this, in which case it was abused.

In the first case, he may dislike the fact that they didn't acknowledge his input, but if this was important to him (as he now suggests it was), he should have used a license that required this.

And in the second case, changing from a BSD style license to a GPL style one would not have changed anything.

Quote:
In general, those who threaten or take legal action against GPL violators are seeking compliance, not monetary damages. A small company can be enjoined as effectively as a large one.
And we have no evidence to suggest that they were approached or that they refused to comply after any such enjoinder in respect of whatever license he used. The implication is that they acted unethically but we are only hearing one side of the story

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This would be why Linux is so unsafe and insecure.
At least we agree on this.

Last fiddled with by Brian Gladman on 2011-10-26 at 10:09
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Old 2011-10-28, 01:04   #38
Christenson
 
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Go visit Groklaw, and find the stories there about successful suits against some companies that did violate the GPL.

Zed Shaw's idea was that had he GPL'ed his stuff, instead of BSD licensing it, he would have a bunch of small companies using his stuff that would have been forced to acknowledge it and his expertise. Given the general disrespect of expertise I see around me, and not only in my technical life, I have to wonder if that's not a basic human trait...anyone remember the story of the engineer, the three pings with a small hammer, and the itemised bill?
Does anyone remember who invented the "phasor" we all use when analyzing AC circuits?

In general my experience of corporate life (even small corporate life) is that "fitting in" is often more imporant than whatever it is you can do for the company. I have lots of stories in that vein, from a variety of places I have worked large and small. I'm betting that Zed is a very smart guy, but he fits in like a sore thumb......and probably has signs written all over him of intellectual independence, which is not a trait normally desired by employers.
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