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GPLv3 Second Discussion Draft Released 242

Posted by Zonk
from the revisions-are-fun dept.
thppft! writes "The second discussion draft of the GNU General Public License version 3 was released, along with the first discussion draft of the GNU Lesser General Public License. Along with the text for the licenses , the GPLv3 website also includes an introduction by Eben Moglen along with markup changes to the rationale and the GPL itself."
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GPLv3 Second Discussion Draft Released

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  • by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:09PM (#15795067)
    People put code out under the GPL because they want changes to be redistributed. The fact that you could use the code as a webservice was never intended as a feature of the GPL, it was a loophole. It allowed a way for people to redistribute GPLed code as a service without releasing changes. If this change makes it into GPL3 it will be a good thing. IMO, its one of the two most important changes needed in the GPL (the other being patents).

    Your option, if you don't like this, is not to use GPLv3 code in your webservice, just like everyone else using GPLed code. You no onger get to have your cake and eat it too.
  • by kfg (145172) * on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:17PM (#15795126)
    TNSTAAFL?

    I may be an OSSer, but I have nothing against commercial code, per se. How about this?: choose the set of rules you wish to operate under. If you want to keep the code closed to make money, pay money for your code base. If you wish to use GPLed code, pay for it with GPLed code. And there's always BSD.

    The GPL does not exist to promote the development of new and innovate web applications. It exists to promote the development of new and innovate code available to The People. Nor is the GPL the source of Microsoft's FUD. It is not its duty to ammeliorate it, but to oppose it.

    Personally I don't really care whether you agree with it or not, but that is what the damned license is for.

    KFG
  • What about this... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:36PM (#15795233)

    So I haven't read through the entire draft just yet, but this section jumped out at me:

    The Corresponding Source also includes any encryption or authorization keys necessary to install and/or execute modified versions from source code in the recommended or principal context of use, such that they can implement all the same functionality in the same range of circumstances. (For instance, if the work is a DVD player and can play certain DVDs, it must be possible for modified versions to play those DVDs. If the work communicates with an online service, it must be possible for modified versions to communicate with the same online service in the same way such that the service cannot distinguish.) (emphasis mine).

    Should it really be fair to restrict some online service to have to treat all clients the same way just because one version was derived from another? Lets say I modify the source code of some browser that is covered by GPLv3. My version has some quirks that make it interpret css differently from the first browser. Would it then be illegal for a website to serve up different css based on my user agent string?

  • by rm69990 (885744) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:38PM (#15795243)
    Ummm, if you would learn to bloody read, you would know that the FSF TONED BACK the anti-drm provisions to state that DRM is completely fine, as long as the DRM doesn't impede on a licensees right to access to source code. In other words, if the DRM doesn't affect a licensees rights under the GPL, the DRM is fine, even if it restricts music files, video files, etc.

    As for the anti-patent stuff, please explain how YOU would word the license to allow people to distribute works covered by others' patents to all third-parties, royalty free, while giving them the right to do the same. It's simply impossible if the patent holder required royalties, the patent license and GPL would conflict.

    I love when people don't RTFA, and make themselves look like idiots in the process.
  • by Sixtyten (991538) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:41PM (#15795263)
    The irony is that the GPL is making restrictions in order to fight them.
  • by jrumney (197329) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:29PM (#15795524) Homepage

    Should it really be fair to restrict some online service to have to treat all clients the same way just because one version was derived from another?

    Should it really be fair to limit the definition of "linking" to its use in the 1980's long before the invention of SOAP, REST, CORBA, DCOM and other network protocols (OK RPC was around back then, but limited to very simple APIs). Should it really be fair that someone can circumvent the GPL by wrapping their "internal" modified code as a webservice and exposing it that way?

  • by rm69990 (885744) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @08:00PM (#15795673)
    Ummm, the old GPL allowed you to as well. In-fact, I was talking about the GPL v2, and it was the GPL v2 that I had open in-front of me when I wrote that comment. The GPL v3 increases the restrictions, but against the patent holding companies. Could you please actually read it (both 2 and 3)?

    Commercial software companies are unable to filter every single patent in the world to make sure they are not infringing any of them, what makes you think a 2 developer team would be able to? For the GPL to require anyone to do so would be impractical...hell, to require Microsoft to do so would be impractical. The patent system is broken, and it is impossible to do what you think the GPL should require developers to do. The FSF found a balance, only requiring a ceasing of distribution once the patent holder requires it.

    Do you honestly think every distributor of software, both proprietary and open source, knows every single patent in the world and whether or not they infringe it? If you do, you are incredibly naive.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @08:01PM (#15795677)
    That's really just wordplay.

    It's like how addition of a positive amount can be characterized as subtraction of a negative amount. Yes, Frank is removing -5 carrots by adding 5 carrots to the stock, but to accuse Frank of "removing carrots from the stock" is misleading. You make it sound like he's stealing carrots, when he's actually contributing carrots.

    In the same sense, saying "the GPL is making restrictions" is misleading, bordering on lying; the only "restrictions" the GPL is adding are restrictions on restrictions -- the opposite of restrictions.
  • by eliot1785 (987810) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @08:20PM (#15795744)
    "People put code out under the GPL because they want changes to be redistributed. The fact that you could use the code as a webservice was never intended as a feature of the GPL, it was a loophole. It allowed a way for people to redistribute GPLed code as a service without releasing changes. If this change makes it into GPL3 it will be a good thing. IMO, its one of the two most important changes needed in the GPL (the other being patents)." But does GPLv3 actually do anything about this? I juat gave it a couple of skims and couldn't find anything to that effect. It does seem to be just based on distribution.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:21PM (#15795959)
    Linux Watch has published some comments from Linus.
    Who cares? He has been wrong before on those issues (bitkeeper).
  • by Skreems (598317) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @10:45PM (#15796252) Homepage
    It will only alienate those companies that probably shouldn't be using GPLed code to begin with. The point of OSS is to build up a code base of "public" code that anybody can use, and that companies can pay for contractors to make minor improvements if needed. This only works if those improvements come back to the community, otherwise it's just hobbyist coders giving code away for free.

    Anyway, "service" software is the least likely thing to be damaged by this. If Google open sources some web services, nobody's going to come along and steal their thunder. The code returning some search results or whatever is second fiddle to the database it's running against; to use the GPL code "against" the originators, you'd have to be able to replicate the data associated with the service, and that's a very difficult problem.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28, 2006 @01:39AM (#15796773)
    "it must be possible for modified versions to" != "modified versions are obligated to"

    It merely says that if you distribute a DVD player under the GPL, anyone receiving it has the right -- but not the obligation -- to modify it and have it remain a functional DVD player. In other words, if the program includes a list of player keys, those keys are part of the source.

    That doesn't prevent you from taking code from the DVD player and turning it into a Web browser. And assuming the modified program no longer plays DVDs -- or even if it is capable of playing DVDs but the binary distribution doesn't include any keys for that purpose -- you are no longer obligated to include the keys along with the source distribution.

    Does that make any sense?
  • Remember, any GPLvX code can automatically be linked to any other GPLvX code (although not necessarily to GPLvX-1 code).

    OK, so linking is explicitly covered. What about distribution, though? If I want to combine project Foo with project Bar to make "Super FooBar", do I have to release the result with the union of the set of their extra clauses? If so, it seems imminently likely that every piece of GPLv3ed software will eventually come to carry every extra restriction available due to its integration with other packages. And should that come to pass, those "extra optional" clauses effectively become The GPL v3.

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