Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software GNU is Not Unix Sun Microsystems

Sun Exec Backs GPLv3 94

Posted by Zonk
from the friends-in-high-places dept.
Hyperbeth writes "Sun's chief open-source officer Simon Phipps said that existing work towards GPLv3 had been 'extraordinary and effective' and he said he is 'frankly amazed by the criticisms'. The article notes that Mr. Phipps' comments are somewhat surprising, given that the recent open-sourcing of Java went forward with GPLv2." From the article: "I am frankly amazed by the criticisms that have [been] levelled at the GPLv3 process. They seem to ignore the incredible and positive way it is evolving and just find fault with things that are already the subject of work... I would be very surprised if the final GPLv3 was not an effective tool for some of the communities Sun sustains or will initiate in the future."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sun Exec Backs GPLv3

Comments Filter:
  • He's Amazed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jazman_777 (44742)
    Because all smart people think just like he does, he's amazed at how many stupid people there really are out there.
    • by AuMatar (183847)
      I have the same problem. I've just ceased to be amazed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by s20451 (410424)
      Hooray for believing that everyone who disagrees with you is stupid. It's like intellectual elitism for the lazy.
  • No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J.R. Random (801334) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @05:49PM (#17154078)

    The article notes that Mr. Phipps' comments are somewhat surprising, given that the recent open-sourcing of Java went forward with GPLv2

    There is nothing surprising about this. GPL v3 in final, legally binding form doesn't exist yet, so of course any GPLed software released now will use GPL v2. It will only be surprising if future releases of Java don't use GPL v3 after it is finalized.

    • by Adelbert (873575)
      Exactly. To hear this from the horse's mouth, listen to the latest [lugradio.org] LUGRadio episode.
    • by samkass (174571)

      It will only be surprising if future releases of Java don't use GPL v3 after it is finalized.

      What would be most surprising to me is if Sun stops making it available in GPLv2 form, whether or not they also make available the GPLv3 license. It's hard to argue that adding a new incompatible, more restrictive open source license is going to improve the acceptance of such software, and I think Sun is wise enough not to fork their codebase. My guess is they'll require submissions to be able to be made available under either license (ie. no copying in GPLv3 code from external sources.)

    • by Esteanil (710082)
      I think it's referring to the fact that Sun chose a v2 license without the "any later version" clause.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LurkerXXX (667952)
        Probably because that's a really really really dumb clause, when you don't know what versions will look like, or whether you will agree with them.
        • by aquabat (724032)
          Which is why the clause says "at your option".
          • by chromatic (9471)

            That clause has no binding on the copyright holder of the software, only on recipients who wish to distribute the software under the terms of the GPL.

            • by aquabat (724032)
              Isn't it true, though, that the entire license has no binding on the copyright holder? I mean, if it's all my work, I don't have to license it to myself, right?
              • by chromatic (9471)

                Yes, that's completely correct. The copyright holder always has the option to relicense the software under any license. Adding the "at your option" clause to the GPL v2 only affects people who receive the software and want to redistribute it under that license, or subsequent versions of the GPL.

        • If you don't use the "or later version" language, your project will be incompatible with GPLv3 until you contact all the copyright holders and get permission to relicense.

          What if you hate v3 when it is finished? You can change "v2 or later" to "v2 only", and the older versions with the "or later" bit will bitrot away.

          What if you love v3 when it is finished? You do nothing, or you change "v2 or later" to "v3 or later". No need to track down all the copyright holders.

          So "or later" isn't perfect, but it's a
    • You can read his explanation on his blog: http://blogs.sun.com/webmink/date/20061130 [sun.com] (under "Why GPL v2 Only?")
    • by toby (759) *
      Thankyou for pointing that out.

      It's amazing that a tech journalist would be unaware of this. Isn't it? :-/
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by weicco (645927)
      Errr.. Wait a minute. GPLv3 isn't legally binding? So if I release something now under current version GPLv3, tomorrow I can revoke your rights to use my stuff because license wasn't legally binding? I don't think so. GPLv3 is legally binding if you accept it in the form it is now but when they release the final version of it you probably can't call your version of the license GPLv3 (or could, but that would be little bit confusing). So what I'm trying to say, license doesn't need RMS' approval to become va
      • You're right, it is legally binding as a licence, but it is not an official version of the GNU GPL.

        It is asked that you don't use it in the current draft form, and because it does not qualify as a "later version" of GPLv2, it will still be incompatible with GPLv2 and GPLv3, even if you've used the "or later versions" wording in your copyright notices.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why is that amazing to anyone? The GPLv3 isn't a finalized document yet so there's no reason to publish any source code under it.
  • They will not use it so if it helps destroy Linux it will be great for them.
    Of course he says this. It will mean something when Solaris us placed under it.
    • Re:Great for Sun. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @06:03PM (#17154316)
      It will mean something when Solaris us placed under it.

      Why does this have to be the case? Why does it have to be black and white, all or nothing? Why can't open source be the right answer for some of Sun's projects and not the right answer for others? This seems perfectly sensible to me.
      • by AuMatar (183847)
        Solaris is already open source, under another license. The OP meant his support of GPLv3 will mean something when SOlaris (or Java, or other high profile code by Sun) uses it.
        • Same question, really. Why does GPLv3 have to be the correct license for everything?
          • by muuh-gnu (894733)
            > Why does GPLv3 have to be the correct license for everything?

            Since almost any other free software licence tries to accomodate developers of unfree software, which is a Bad Thing for preserving the freeness of the software for future users.
            • Re:Great for Sun. (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @09:28PM (#17157114)
              If Sun's goal is assumed to be freedom, sure, that's true. Probably their goal is the best interest of the company and to some degree its customers. A lot of times free software will serve that, but I don't think it necessarily best serves it in all cases.

              I think there's great things to be found, even for businesses in free software -- I just wish people saw it as more an option and less a religion.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by squiggleslash (241428)

            It's not so much that it has to be GPLv3 (though the latter is an attempt to create a copyleft license that addresses all of the concerns that, currently, mean we have several totally incompatible copyleft licenses), it's more that there has to be a common license that people, for the most part, consider usable.

            Right now, we have a situation where because, for example, Solaris is licensed under the CDDL, and Darwin is under the APSL, you can't put code from one in the other. Because of similar licensing

            • That's all well and good. But I for one won't write code under GPLv3, ever. It's not a license that does what I want. DRM restrictions should not be in a software license. I specifically do NOT care about the DRMing of other people's stuff--it's theirs to DRM, I won't buy it if they do but it's still their right to do it--and I don't DRM my own. Linus's objections to the GPLv3 drafts are largely similar to my own.

              And there are a lot of people who feel the same way. "Consensus" for GPLv3 is a long time off,
              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward
                Its NOT about you DRMing other peoples stuff, its about other people DRMing YOUR stuff. They (TIVO for example) are taking all of our work adding a little bit of their own and then making us unable to use their work as they used our work.

                Sure, YOU won't buy DRMed hardware but other people will or, more likely, they won't even know about it and without the GPL3 its possible all of our collective work will be used yet we will not be free to do anything with our work on that hardware. The GPL is about freedo
                • If Linus doesn't buy the idea, it's not going to fly. I am well aware of what you allege it to be; the GPLv3 is, in my view, simply an attempt by rms and the FSF to restrict freedoms as a developer.

                  See...I prefer the BSD license. I don't care what other people do with the code. If I choose to release it as truly Free code (and not GPL-encumbered), I acknowledge that some people might not use it in a way I like--but that's their right.
            • Hey, I'm happy that you can't put Java into Apache.

              Ups, wrong religion war.
          • It doesn't, and nobody in this conversation was claiming that anyway.

            What LWATCDR was trying to say (and AuMatar was trying to clarify) is that the Sun exec (Simon Phipps) claims to like the GPLv3, but we won't know for certain whether he really likes it until he licenses Java or Solaris or or OpenOffice or something under it.

            In other words, the issue under discussion is the truthfulness of his statement, not the merits of the GPLv3.

            • by LWATCDR (28044)
              That is pretty much it. I question his motives for claiming that he thinks GPLv3 is a good thing and until he puts some major code under it I will keep questioning it. Many people in the OSS community including Linus don't think GPLv3 is a good thing. I think it is has the potential to do more damage than the SCO case or the Microsoft/Novell deal.
              The thing that gets me is that they keep pushing Tivo as an example of the problem.
              I don't know how many times I have ran into people that told me that Linux is t
      • by zotz (3951)
        "Why does this have to be the case? Why does it have to be black and white, all or nothing? Why can't open source be the right answer for some of Sun's projects and not the right answer for others? This seems perfectly sensible to me."

        You are asking the wrong question. if you sunstitute Free Software for open source (software) you might get better answers.

        all the best,

        drew
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by QuantumG (50515) *
      I don't know if you're trolling or if you actually believe this, but it really shows how ignorant you are about Sun and their approach to the market. Sun doesn't knife babies like Microsoft. They actually try to serve customer needs instead of crushing opposition.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by GigsVT (208848)
      I don't think Sun stands to gain much from destroying Linux at this point. The damage that Linux did to Sun is done, destroying it won't help matters now.

      I'd believe you more if this story was about a company that really wants to destroy Linux, like Novell or MS.
    • by microbee (682094)
      How much code you GPL'ed over the years?

      I am no fan of Sun, but they did make a lot of contributions (not just open source but things like NFS, NIS, and many other things they invented in the early days).
  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @06:01PM (#17154300)
    If future versions of java are released under GPLv3, does this mean that you won't be able to use those versions of java to implement DRM?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, 2006 @06:16PM (#17154536)
      There is nothing anti-DRM about what the GPLv3 does, at least in that manner.

      You can use GPLv3 software to impliment DRM all day and night if you feel like it. Play DRM'd music, use it on DRM'd operating systems, etc etc etc.

      What is anti-DRM about the GPL is that you can't use DRM to remove the ability for people to modify software and then be able to run those modified versions.

      the GPLv3 only cares about the program. It doesn't care about the hardware or any DMR'd media or anything like that.

      Anyways DRM is a failed technology. I give it another 3-5 years then nobody is going to give a shit anymore, at least anybody that matters. (repeat after me children: failed business model = irrelevent)

      Nobody has yet to come out with a effective DRM and it is only used to be abused by companies like Apple and Microsoft so that people have a harder time moving away from using Ipods or Windows, because your file formats that are DRM'd are locking you into a paticular hardware (ipod) or software (future versions of Office).
      • by Kjella (173770)
        There is nothing anti-DRM about what the GPLv3 does, at least in that manner. You can use GPLv3 software to impliment DRM all day and night if you feel like it. Play DRM'd music, use it on DRM'd operating systems, etc etc etc. What is anti-DRM about the GPL is that you can't use DRM to remove the ability for people to modify software and then be able to run those modified versions.

        Dude, if you can put in a "void dumpContentDecryptedAndUnprotectedToDisk();" and still have the program work, how is that not fu
    • I don't believe the Java license terms constrain software written in Java in any way. You can still write proprietary software in Java and release it under your own commercial license, or do whatever you want with it. The Java GPL license only relates to the internal implementation of the Java language itself.

      It would be unusual to say the least for a language to constrain programs written in that language to obey a certain license. I'm not even sure that copyright law would give language developers the pow
  • by DARKFORCE123 (525408) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @06:01PM (#17154310)
    Why would it be a shock that Java is not licensed under the GPLv3? GPLv2 is well understood now in the legal community, and GPLv3 is going to be examined under a fine toothed comb for a long time even after it is published. It could be a long time before you see major software from large companies published under GPLv3 if at all.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07, 2006 @06:29PM (#17154722)
      GPLv3 IS being examined.

      Suns praticipating, IBM praticipating, HP is praticipating. Anybody that has any stake in Free and Open source software is praticipating. They have their lawyers all over it.

      when it gets released it WILL the most well reviewed open source license in history. Maybe even the most well reviewed software license ever.

      It will eliminate the need for a whole class of licenses. Licenses that desire to be 'more free' then the GPL, but want to stay GPL-compatable.
      The GPLv3 + exceptions is beuatfull and it is flexible in what sort of additional restrictions it can take. It will make it more compatable with Apache licenses, Mozilla licenses, and dozens of others. It may even be CDDL compatable.

      It will help standardize licenses and make them easier to deal with and have less legal questions cloading the Linux arena.

      The Patent language has long been needed and it is much more liberal and easier for companies to deal with then what is already used in MPL, CDDL, or the modern Apache licenses. Much more well designed then those supposwdly 'more corporate friendly license'. The Novell-Microsoft deal highlights the need for reform in this area of the GPL, there needs to be a intellegent and standard way to deal with this stuff and GPLv3 should provide it.

      • by LoveMe2Times (416048) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @07:02PM (#17155256) Homepage Journal
        If I had mod points, I'd mod you up. This is one of the very few intelligent posts about GPLv3 that I've seen. So many people are parroting the same bullshit negativity that it's refreshing to see someone point out the many positives of the new license. I'm still stunned by the furor created by this whole thing. Why do most people focus on incompatibility with GPLv2 rather than the great improvements in compatibility with most everything else? Another oft-overlooked element is the internationalization--making the license more resilient to different countries' laws. I think you are entirely correct that this will be the most reviewed license, and that alone will be a good reason to go with it: predictability and a reasonable assurance that it does what you think it does. I predict that 3 years from now, GPLv3 will have become the most used FOSS license, and that we will see a decrease in the number of different licenses in common use. I think that's a good thing.
        • Not to be too negative, but I think there's been enough FUD about the GPLv3 from the likes of Torvalds and slashbots that I think it will be a long time before it's as widely accepted as GPLv2. The main reasons it will be so widely accepted are probably going to be (a) FSF has the copyright to so much and (b) GPLv2-or-later is compatible with GPLv3, but GPLv3-or-later isn't compatible with GPLv2.

          This is a sad thing. The GPLv3, like almost everything RMS has done in his free software fight, will be great. RMS is strange and one of those people who always seem wrong and way out, but time and again events have shown that when it matters—there's no-one I'd rather trust on matters he talks of.
      • I don't mean this as a positive or negative comment about GPLv3 itself, but there is one thing that should be noted about licensing in general... Even though the license as you point out is getting quite a bit of publicity and as a result you are probably right in that it has already received a great deal of review, that is only one aspect. Until the license is actually tested in the courts, the effectiveness and legality questions of the license in different parts of the world is not a given.
      • by Kjella (173770)
        It will eliminate the need for a whole class of licenses. Licenses that desire to be 'more free' then the GPL, but want to stay GPL-compatable.

        That sentence really requires some explaination, because it's very non-obvious what you mean. The GPLv2 accept licenses that are "more free" in the BSD sense - which do not put any more restrictions on the distributor. What the GPLv2 doesn't allow, are restrictions that intend to make it "more free" in the GPL sense, for example patent clauses, which it terms of lice
  • by Eric Damron (553630) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @06:15PM (#17154508)
    It is no surprise that Sun put Java under the GPL2 for now. Sun didn't want to wait for the GPL3 license to become final. The Novell/Microsoft deal puts a dark cloud over Mono (The Linux implementation of .Net) which is in direct competition to Java. If ever there would be a better time to free the Java code, I don't know when.

    I think the entire OSS community owes Sun a big thank you.

    We should now embrace Java and incorporate it into Linux. We should push away from ASP.net and move toward making Java the defacto standard for web applications and Java script the standard for dynamic web pages.
    • by hritcu (871613)
      Nice thoughts. However, I fail to understand why Javascript comes in this picture (Javascript is not directly related to Java or Sun).
      • LiveScript (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Eric Damron (553630)
        You are correct. JavaScript aka LiveScript is not Java. However its syntax is very close to Java which makes it a natural.

        The important thing is that Mono and .NET needs to die. Microsoft has already beat the patent war drums while pointing to Mono. Novell claims that there is no patent infringement in Mono and they're probably right but the deal they made with Microsoft will cast doubts.

        Microsoft has shown over and over that they aren't interested in playing fair or giving any quarter so the OSS communi
  • Original Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by WebMink (258041) <slashdot AT webmink DOT net> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @07:55PM (#17156058) Homepage

    To see what I actually said, rather than relying on the ZDNet extracts, you'll find the original blog posting here [sun.com]. It's linked from the article but clearly from some of the comments above some people haven't spotted the link.

  • Then clicked through to the article, it was fluff, too. Finally, I clicked through the original blog entry, and it still says nothing but that Phipps has some vague warm fuzzy feelings about the way the GPL v3 process is working: not anything he likes about the license, not any arguments against the criticism (just that he is "amazed" that people are criticizing things that people are still working on: apparently he hasn't figured out that the things people are working on are being worked on particularly be
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by WebMink (258041)

      In fact my amazement stems from the fact that intelligent people who I respect are criticising things (like the DRM language) that have already been substantially altered, but arguing as if there has been no change to them. Sorry you find the whole thing "vacuous", you are clearly a Higher Intellect.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cycoj (1010923)
      Actually I find most of the critizism of the GPLv3 "empty, content-free" attacks. In particular Linus has not really shown any argumentation skills. I challenge you to go back and have a look at the discussion on Groklaw, he was only making personal attacks at the "FSF zealots" accusing them of not listening to any critizism. The most funny point was that he was upset that he had not been given a version of the (first?) draft upfront to comment. I mean who does he think he is?! Why should he receive any spe
  • The article notes that Mr. Phipps' comments are somewhat surprising, given that the recent open-sourcing of Java went forward with GPLv2

    First of all, GPLv3 isn't out yet, so Sun can't release under it. And it's understandable that many people are reluctant to release under "GPLv2 or later".

    Furthermore, you can't judge licenses just by what they say, you have to judge them in context. Sun is not releasing Java under GPLv2; if they did, that would have been open-source hostile. What they did is announce th
  • If Sun likes a license, it must be terrible :)
  • It's about time somebody else publicly came out strongly on the side of RMS, who is clearly and obviously in the right here.

    Now if only Sun made some worthwhile software that I could actually use so I could help support them....

    rhY

BASIC is to computer programming as QWERTY is to typing. -- Seymour Papert

Working...