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Corel

Corel Beta now GPL-compliant 57

SilentReproach writes "According to Bruce Perens at Technocrat.net, the latest version of the Corel beta license is up to par - victory declared for the GPL!"
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Corel Beta now GPL-compliant

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  • And neither do you hear of motorists who are pulled over by police to congratulate them on staying below the speed limit, indicating before changing lanes, stopping at stop signs and having their tail lights intact. Positive reinforcement should be reserved for actions which go above and beyond doing The Right Thing.

    Corel fixing their license-violating beta distribution certainly does not go above and beyond doing The Right Thing.

  • well if you're only going to use Corel Linux and Corel's office products it will be easy. But if you want other apps-especially those designed for the gnome environment that Redhat is pushing (or just plain x apps), then you can't expect everything to be so consistent.

  • Looks like it was an honest mistake, honestly corrected. Those of you who were calling Corel names a few weeks ago ought to be ashamed now.
  • Then why not set up a test? One of us can purposely violate the GPL and be hauled into court for it, then we will see if it holds up or not.

    I'd prefer not to test this by taking a nice company, like Corel, and hitting them with a lawsuit because they made a mistake that they quickly corrected.

  • Gee, then maybe its for me :)

    I have never sat down to figure Linux out just because I have no time, just so much other shit to do, so all 5 of my machines have been running Win9x/2k (Not to mention, I don't like partitioning my drives).

    Another positive is I just bought a new HD and I got a hard drive rack....now, who needs partitions ??? :)
  • I beleive it has to do with Corel targetting the home users not geeks.....

    i.e. easy to install, better interface, etc
  • Wrong. Everything under GPL is able to be redistributed. About 25% of Corel Linux from what I have heard was written in house and is NOT GPLed. What does this mean? Try distributing an operating system where a quarter of it is missing.....it just doesn't work like that.
  • Who said BSD is dead? That's the current problem. At least the way I see it it is. Just because Linux is in the limelight right now doesn't mean it'll be there forever. And while it is nice that these companies are going IPO and their stock is going up, I've not seen an IPO'd linux company that's making more money than it's losing (If you wish to, let me see them). The point is that BSD isn't dead at all, and more and more people use it everyday :)

    As for testing the GPL? Why? Why do we need to test it? I for one think it won't suceed in court because it forms a pseudo-trust, in which all entities work together against its' competitor (Closed source.) But that's my personal opinion.

    Corel's on the ropes as is. Let's not ruin them.. their stock already took a beating for what we did a couple weeks ago (And what their CEO did.. that will affect their stock when it starts actively trading again.)

    Magnwa

  • Why don't I want the GPL tested now?


    Because if it gets tested, it will scare a LOT of potential supporters who are on the edge away. If it gets tested and fails, then Linux will spiral down and BSD will skyrocket. Why? Cause businesses will see the legal trouble, the same way they did with the BSD/AT&T stuff, and they'll jump ship as fast as they did with BSD. Once Linux gets more market penetration, maybe then it'd be a good time for a test. But in the middle of Microsoft's antitrust suit (They are the ones more than likely to try to subvert GPL), in an upswinging economy, with over valued Linux stock making everyone who jumps on it rich? Nuh-uh. That's not the business way. Once the Linux stocks begin to collapse, and the major computer companies buy out the floundering Linux companies.. then it'd be time to have the GPL tested.


    Magnwa

  • Yes indeed - so how come we have lots of different ways of slagging them off all marked up as "insightful" and various other things, and yet we're no good at praise where it's due?
    Sure it was the wrong thing to start with, but at least Corel listened to the community, or something, and have now rectified it. This is not bad - it's not necessarily as good as it could be, but it *does* show "something stirs", or whatever.

    It's a misfeature of slashdot, IMO, that there is neither room for duplication of feeling nor for going that far off-topic.
  • If you want the gpl'd part, go download Debian. For the rest you'll have to wait.
  • I asked that question at the Corel booth at ALS. They said the next Beta will be out in about a week and a half. There will be a limited number of formal testers who will be able to submit bug reports, but anybody will be able to download it to try it out.
  • Last post (it's a new trend).
    -russ
  • Nobody wants to ruin Corel - Corel's a pretty nifty company and they showed respect for developers in the manner they handled this issue. However, how can you say "Why?" to testing the GPL? Especially since you don't think it will hold up. Don't you think that we should know what about it isn't legally binding before we continue releasing software under it?

    To your other point: BSD, of course, is not dead. BSD is just now picking up some very major momentum, as you've said. But they'd be a lot farther along now if they hadn't been put through so much legal crap with AT&T.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Okay, is ANYONE else out there sick of /.'s lovely point-by-point rebuttals? If we're going to have an argument, at least do it in such a format to use your own words. Having said that:

    You mistake me - Bruce had just about 100% support from /. (and me). I think what he did was very appropriate and he has my grattitude. I was simply saying that he did most of the work.

    Are you trying to say that a fire department shouldn't be tested? If you can think of a way to test one without using fire, I'd be glad to hear it.

    You are right, of course - I don't know that it wasn't intentional. I also don't know that it was. To be fair to Corel, I make the assumption that it wasn't and give them the benefit of the doubt.

    You go on to say that when a company tries to test limits we push them back onto the "straight and narrow" - If a company isn't willing to cooperate then the only way to do that is through legal action. I am not suggesting that the OSS should've taken legal action against Corel. What I am saying is that we might have been better off if legal action had been necessary. Corel did the right thing - good for them. The GPL still hasn't been tested in court and that's something that needs to be done. Yes, I'm willing to set fire to my house - if only to keep the town from burning down.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • That's not a precedent. Well, it is, but it's only a precedent for Corel backing down. The kind of precedent we need is a legal one. A court (not just legal advice) decision saying that the GPL is indeed an enforceable copyright. That's a test, nothing else offers insurance.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Well to be honest, I couldn't care less about whether or not Linux gets market penetration. I've been using Linux since well before it became "viable" to businesses and if they get scared off I'll continue to use it. Moreover, if BSD should become a better choice, I'll switch to it in a second. I've already considered moving to OpenBSD, but Linux hasn't failed me yet. See, I have no particular attachment to Linux as an operating system and I've got no truck with leaving it for another UNIX system. It's the applications that are important. I think you'll find that most /.ers tend to feel this way - we all love Linux, but the applications come first. And, with this in mind, I want the GPL (which most of my apps are written under) to be tested now, before developers waste time and effort into writing more code under a bad license.

    So if Linux doesn't get accepted by businesses? Fine, they can jump through hoops for all I care. Let them go back to NT or Solaris, but I'll stick with an OpenSource OS regardless. And I'll be damned if the code that I write, and the code that others write, will be taken advantage of down the road because the GPL was never put to task.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • problem with that is - when it comes to crunch time and the GPL doesnt hold out - youre in deep shit. witness the AT&T BSD thing that basically killed BSD by killing its license.
  • I installed redhat 6.1 and it was massively easy. Though the kde workstation install was screwed, I tried again and chose gnome-only and it was splendid. Give it a try. Just remember to type 'startx'
  • If you can prove all the pieces to be incorrect, then the whole must be incorrect... yes?

  • Point-by-point rebuttals work better and are easier to understand than any of the more difficult to wright alternitives.

  • It wouldn't make much difference if they did, because all the ones just saying "jolly good show" would be marked "-1 Redundant", I'm afraid.

  • >Obviously, if you find entire subroutines copied from the GPLed product and just pasted in,
    But what if they sit with 2 monitors and re-type the GPL code from one monitor to the other? Is that still GPLed code?
    Yes, it is - the question here is, how much of a block of code can be reasonably considered to be "common discovery", "common progenitor" or simply "read it once, and forgot where you got it". If it is a technique you read, and later on think "Ah, I *know* how to do this" are you a monster for forgetting where you learnt it? Block copying (by whatever method) of other people's code is theft.

    And exactly HOW will the GPL help you if you never see the closed source product sourcecode?
    It won't - but then, that wasn't the question asked. The question I replied to stated it as "if someone steals their source".

    >This means they are wrong, but does not prove they are the Bad Guys.
    If they are wrong, arn't they 'bad guys'?

    Nope - you are wrong occasionally, and that doesn't make you a bad guy. People make mistakes, misunderstand instructions (particularly those in foreign languages) or make assumptions without reading the manual, based on what other people have told them. To be wrong isn't bad - to LEAVE things wrong after they have been gently pointed out to you is.

    What I see it boiling down to is this: The GPL falls under the same concept of 'locks keep honest people honest'. If you are going to STEAL source, consider it gone. Because, to date, nothing is being done to 'stop' the 'thiefs'. (because there is nothing that anyone is willing TO do.)
    And if people can take GPL code and do what they want with it, what good is the GPL?

    The GPL is enforcable (I hate to think how much money it would take in the US courts though) but that isn't the point. The point is, taking ANYONE else's source code is a crime - even the GPLed source, so a firm must balance the risk of doing so with the financial and possibly criminal penalties if someone with a little integrity or an axe to grind in their company, at ANY time in the future, decides to leak the information to the world - Quite possibly the entire profit of the product would be forfeit to the Licence holder, and I can't see the GPL being an exception to this.
    --

  • Okay, is ANYONE else out there sick of /.'s lovely point-by-point rebuttals? If we're going to have an argument, at least do it in such a format to use your own words.
    Not really (and this is a point-by-point rebuttal <Grin>). One of the things most complained about in responses from companies with Marketing Divisions is that they DON'T ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. They make up their own questions, biased towards the things their product or service is good at, and blandly ignore the ones that make them look bad. The only way to correctly answer a set of statements is to go down each and say "yes, this is correct" or "no, this is wrong, for these reasons". the "for these reasons" bit is important, though :+)

    Having said that: < Schnipp > You go on to say that when a company tries to test limits we push them back onto the "straight and narrow" - If a company isn't willing to cooperate then the only way to do that is through legal action. I am not suggesting that the OSS should've taken legal action against Corel. What I am saying is that we might have been better off if legal action had been necessary. Corel did the right thing - good for them. The GPL still hasn't been tested in court and that's something that needs to be done. Yes, I'm willing to set fire to my house - if only to keep the town from burning down.
    I half-agree - It does no-one any good if we jump into legal action when a newcomer to the OS arena makes a newbie-style mistake - This will get the Lawyers rich, and just maybe a few legal precedents set (and if the case is borderline, maybe even the wrong ones). The correct response is to start with a switch, and work your way up to the heavy grenades - Start with a polite letter, then a polite letter in legalese, then... well, you get the idea. at least then, if it does make it all the way to court, you can show intent to break the GPL, not just a technical breach. I think it would be a really bad idea to come down hard on firms that are making mistakes, in order to try and prove your weapon works - particularly with one as expensive and inefficient as the courts - this is "send a message" philosophy, not correct treatment of the case in hand.
    --

  • Here on Slashdot, in one of the discussions of CodeWarrior, someone made a claim that they used GPL code in their closed-source product.
    It depends on the licence (LGPL, for example, is a lot more lenient on closed-source packages, as are things like OS compilers - would you use GCC to compile your code if it automatically became Open Source by doing so? Making or not making a project Open Source should be a decision available to the company - along with encouragement to make the right choice, of course :+)

    Are they a bad guy? Are they a bad guy if someone steals their source and shows GPL code?
    It depends on the code - if you look in the source , and here are a few lines that remind you of lines that do a similar job in a GPLed product you have seen - then the programmer may well have seen how the process was done in that product, or even both projects may have drawn on a common methodology (I can remember when four students were pulled up for "cheating" by a lecturer, because two subroutines were identical in each submisson. Turns out they were supplied as standard "example" routines with the compiler the students used, and as it was just a GUI routine (rather than fundimental to the problem) the students had just cut-and-pasted it from the helpfiles...) Obviously, if you find entire subroutines copied from the GPLed product and just pasted in, they should be hung from the yardarm.

    That chinese Linux release that was claimed to not follow the GPL, are they a bad guy?
    It still hasn't been shown they are intentionally violating the GPL - iirc, this is their first distro and it is almost entirely unmodified OS software, but with Kernel Patches for chinese localisation. Yes, they should have supplied and / or placed on their website the source (or diff files) of the modifications; Certainly, they should be sending out to each user a letter telling them how to obtain the source for themselves. This means they are wrong, but does not prove they are the Bad Guys. If they continue to be wrong because being wrong is profitable for them, then they should be joining the previous offender on the yardarm :+)

    Or, are they un-touchable because of international copywite issues?
    No idea - but here in the UK, you can claim back all the profits from the violating products - a fairly effective remedy :+)

    Or, is the only bad guy Microsoft?
    No, just the usual target - Mostly because as it IS so big, it's lawyers should be better able to check that a given event (like the Stak Technologies thing) is well beyond the pale before it ever makes it to the door. Of course, those PERFORMING those acts may well not bother asking the lawyers first....
    --

  • Why is their distro going to be any better than the others out there?

    Anyways, if it is that much better, it will encourage the others to grow more, even if they have to borrow the code.

    EC
  • It would be analogus to quoting another usenet post...

    Or, dare I say, a slashdot article? Trust no one. Learn for yourself.
    --------------------------------------- ----
  • >Obviously, if you find entire subroutines copied from the GPLed product and just pasted in,

    But what if they sit with 2 monitors and re-type the GPL code from one monitor to the other? Is that still GPLed code?

    And exactly HOW will the GPL help you if you never see the closed source product sourcecode?

    >This means they are wrong, but does not prove they are the Bad Guys.

    If they are wrong, arn't they 'bad guys'?

    What I see it boiling down to is this: The GPL falls under the same concept of 'locks keep honest people honest'. If you are going to STEAL source, consider it gone. Because, to date, nothing is being done to 'stop' the 'thiefs'. (because there is nothing that anyone is willing TO do.)

    And if people can take GPL code and do what they want with it, what good is the GPL?
  • You are clearly confused. Compliance with the law is not a Good Thing, just general good sense. Violation of the GPL is a violation of copyright law against somebody else's copyrighted code (just because code is GPLed doesn't mean it's not copyrighted still). Patting somebody on the back for not breaking the law is not something that intelligent adults should need. The reward of not getting their asses hauled in front of a judge should be sufficient. Sorry, but ultimately that's the only sort of GPL (one with teeth) that's gonna work to keep software truly Free.

  • (A) It's "Your" (B) It's not misquided,
    (Emphasis added)

    Those who are the quickest to flame for speling andt gramatik erors...

    - -- --- Rene --- -- -

  • finally they learn it. well, everybody makes mistakes... can happen.
  • yeah.. nice
  • I have no problem with being reality-checked and approve of the "see for ourselves" spirit in your comment. The text of the applicable portion of the agreement is in the comments following the Technocrat article. You might also ask some of the beta-testers.

    Thanks

    Bruce

  • I did my best to praise them. It got moderated to 5. Hopefully people will see it.

    Bruce

  • You're not going to get a court test until you have a certifiable bad-guy. I suggest you not agonize about the lack of bad-guys to date! If we need to test the GPL in court, it will happen.

    Thanks

    Bruce

  • First, perhaps next time before flaming a company everybody could wait a couple of days to see how they respond to complaints, and consider their intentions.

    Second, everyone keeps commenting that we need a big court battle to uphold the GPL, and every time some big company messes up everybody goes "This is it!" No matter how sure they are that they can win no big company is going to go about it like that. If I were say MS, and I wanted to get the GPL ruled worthless I would take some little tiny subsidiary I don't care about, and have them try to redistribute "Tom's Tetris" or something of the sort. The GPL specifically states that if you violate it you lose all rights to the software whatsoever, including useing it. No large company is going to risk losing the right to use Linux ever, just in case it gets big.
  • Graphical frontend to apt? I'm going to assume it's not gnome-apt (as the system is KDE based), so that's something I'd like to see.

    And yes, dselect is (mostly) evil. I only use it for package management over 'apt-get update, apt-get dist-upgrade' because I like to see what's new in packages and get an interactive look at dependencies.. But the learning curve of dselect cost me my first 2 install attempts of Debian. I hope that gets sorted out.

    I also wonder, if it's KDE, there aren't any main official debs for it.. *ponders if the distro will use the mainstream package archives much, mostly because of dependencies that would arise from off-stream KDE packages*
  • Here on Slashdot, in one of the discussions of CodeWarrior, someone made a claim that they used GPL code in their closed-source product.

    Are they a bad guy? Are they a bad guy if someone steals their source and shows GPL code?

    That chinese Linux release that was claimed to not follow the GPL, are they a bad guy? Or, are they un-touchable because of international copywite issues?

    Or, is the only bad guy Microsoft?
  • by J. FoxGlov ( 2910 ) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @12:02PM (#1609150) Homepage
    ...but wasn't it ESR that gave the initial notice that Apple's Public Software License was "open source"?

    It's nice that Bruce Perens thinks Corel's being GPL compliant, but how about a second opinion?

    J.
  • by stevew ( 4845 ) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @04:37AM (#1609151) Journal
    Most likely YES. Technocrat.net is edited by Bruce Perens. Perens was the author of the Open Source Definition amongst other things. He was in contact with Corel about the GPL violations in their beta test agreement earlier. Makes sense that he'd know doesn't it? Steve
  • by SurfsUp ( 11523 ) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @05:40AM (#1609152)
    Is it really a victory?

    Yes it is.

    I'm as glad as anyone that Corel saw the error in their ways and fixed it when we (read: Bruce) asked them nicely.

    Hmm, putting it that way makes it sound like Bruce didn't necessarily have the support of the communittee. That is just plain wrong IMHO - to convince yourself of that, look here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org] - the original slashdot discussions.

    But part of me thinks that a trial-by-fire would have been useful. We need the GPL to be tested.

    You could also test the efficiency of the fire department by burning your house down.

    We need legal precedents to establish a secure position.

    Yes, but we don't need to get them by entrapping those that are supporting us.

    Corel wasn't intentionally trying to steal rights,

    You don't know that. My take on it is that it is natural enough for a corporation, as it is for an individual, to try and carve out a little extra turf for itself wherever it can. Children do it, Corel does it, even you and I do it. It's called testing. When testing happens, with children and friendly corporations, the correct response is a gentle push back to the straight and narrow.

    but what if a larger company tried something like this (not mentioning any names: Sun, AOL, MS) - maybe it would've been easier to take Corel to task.

    In other words, you're suggesting that we collectively beat up on the weakest guy out there. I for one wouldn't support that - that is the kind of tactic we despise when those big bad corporations use it on little tiny corporations and private individuals. Not something to be emulated. When the time comes for the fight, we will fight fairly. I sincerely hope.
  • by Awel ( 28821 ) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @06:46AM (#1609153)
    When the news first came out about Corel`s beta violating the GPL [slashdot.org], everyone fell over themselves to lambast and denigrate it. Now they`ve done the necessary and amended the licence - and where are all the comments commending their actions? It seems that now that they`re doing the Right Thing, people aren`t interested any more. We ought to be pulling out all the stops to let Corel know that we appreciate what they`ve done. Can you say "positive enforcement"?

    On that note, I wish to say, Well done Corel!
  • by Foogle ( 35117 ) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @04:46AM (#1609154) Homepage
    Is it really a victory? I'm as glad as anyone that Corel saw the error in their ways and fixed it when we (read: Bruce) asked them nicely. But part of me thinks that a trial-by-fire would have been useful. We need the GPL to be tested. We need legal precedents to establish a secure position. Corel wasn't intentionally trying to steal rights, but what if a larger company tried something like this (not mentioning any names: Sun, AOL, MS) - maybe it would've been easier to take Corel to task.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by brokeninside ( 34168 ) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @04:24AM (#1609155)
    Nowhere does the GPL state that a GPL product has to be freely distributed to every one. An entity can be entirely selective about who it distributes the product to, but retstrictions are not allowed to be place on further distribution.

    Maybe one or more of the beta testers will upload the distribution somewhere. But they will more than likely have to first remove the non-GPL portions such as WordPerfect.
  • by orangecat ( 98507 ) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @10:21AM (#1609156) Homepage
    Yes, definetly targeted at the home user who hasn't used Linux before. I saw the demo at LinuxWorld back in August, and its been very much Windowsified.

    The desktop is KDE, which looks rather windowsish to begin with. They seem to have configured it so that by default it appears as much like Windows as possible :) The configuration looks like windows, as well. All crucial configuration can be done graphically, as far as I know (though the files are still there, so you can do them manually). The install is also streamlined - likely overly so for people already familiar with linux, but if it actually works even semi-reliably it really will make Linux significantly easier to install than windows (which isn't saying much...when I set up my computer at work, the linux setup took approx. half an hour, and the windows closer to 3). They've also created a nice graphical front-end for apt.

    My first instinct was to hate it - I like Linux because it isn't windows (amongst other reasons). I'd still be happier if they'd made Linux easier to install/use without making it a Windows look-alike. However, it makes sense considering that a good portion of their market is people who are used to Windows and aren't as likely to switch to something that looks entirely unfamiliar.

    I'm also glad its based on Debian and not RedHat. Perhaps this will lead to a more widespread availability of Debian packages and acceptance of Debian in general (since the initial learning curve of dselect seems to be what turns a lot of new Debian users off of it).

    I still wouldn't use it, personally. But if the real world results are anything near what I saw in the demo, I may attempt to talk my parents into letting me install it on their computer :)

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday October 16, 1999 @06:48AM (#1609157) Homepage Journal
    Let's save trial-by-fire for the really bad guys. You should never make an enemy if you can avoid it!

    Thanks

    Bruce

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday October 16, 1999 @07:05AM (#1609158) Homepage Journal
    I called the Corel switchboard when I first found out about this issue, and was put through to the Linux marketing person, who answered on the first ring and took charge of the problem right away. I subsequently spoke with the Linux product manager and with one of the engineers, who is also prominent in their local LUG. All of the Corel staff I spoke with were extremely polite and cooperative. Besides talking with me, they also corresponded with Debian and KDE folks, and they read your opinions on Slashdot.

    Corel is a huge company, they claim to be right behind Microsoft in size in the market sector they address, and they are the largest software company in Canada. For a company of that size to act on an issue like this in 4 days is excellent. That's how long it took from when they first became aware of the problem to when they made a policy-change announcement. I got the impression that they sincerely cared about what the Free Software community wanted.

    I'm also pleased that they based their system on Debian. It's nice to see that Debian is finally being appreciated for the fine system it is, by Corel, by SGI/VA/O'Reilly, by Storm Linux, etc.

    Thanks

    Bruce Perens

  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Saturday October 16, 1999 @04:22AM (#1609159)
    What's interesting is the link in the article points to another discusion group at technocrat.net. Is this a valid source of information? It would be analogus to quoting another usenet post and claiming it to be both news worthy and factual.

    4) I'm from the government and here to help.

    3) I won't ____ in your mouth.

    2) Micros~1 products are stable.

    1) I read it on the internet, so it must be true.

    I would feel more comfortable actually reading the GPL in this story.

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.

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