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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- InformationWeek: "Pick Your Open Source Po


From: sourceview
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- InformationWeek: "Pick Your Open Source Poison: Microsoft's Patent Claims Or GPLv3"
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 17:31:51 -0000
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Jun 9, 5:47 am, Alexander Terekhov <address@hidden> wrote:
> http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=199902779
>
> ------
> Pick YourOpenSourcePoison: Microsoft's Patent Claims Or GPLv3
>
> Controversy swirls around the revised General Public License, and
> Microsoft keeps the heat on.
>
> By Charles Babcock
> InformationWeek
>
> Jun 9, 2007 12:00 AM (From the Juni 11, 2007 issue)
>
> After months of debate, the release of the next version of the General
> Public License, under which mostopensourceproducts are issued, is
> imminent. The Free Software Foundation plans to issue GPL version 3 in
> its final form June 29. As the revised license nears completion,
> however, new doubts are being raised over whether it's headed in the
> right direction.
>
> On one front, Microsoft continues to challenge the legitimacy of Linux
> and otheropensourceproducts, claiming they violate hundreds of
> Microsoft patents. Microsoft is offering patent-protection deals to
> Linux distributors to shield them from any future lawsuits it might
> file. Last week, it disclosed pacts with Linux distributor Xandros,
> which represents less than 1% of the market, and Korean manufacturer LG
> Electronics, which embeds Linux in some of its devices. The deals have
> the same "we won't sue your customers" provision of an earlier
> arrangement with Novell.
>
> Mark Radcliffe, an intellectual property attorney with DLA Piper,
> portrays such arrangements as relatively meaningless. If Microsoft's
> patents had teeth, he says, more major Linux vendors would be forced to
> the table.
>
> As if to reinforce that point, Red Hat last week reaffirmed its
> resistance to any such agreement.Opensourcesoftware "should not be
> subject to an unsubstantiated tax that lacks transparency," a company
> spokesman said by e-mail.
>
> DISSENSION WITHIN
>
> Microsoft may continue to leverage its patent portfolio atopensource's
> expense, but an equally serious challenge may spring from disagreements
> within theopensourceranks over just what the GPL should accomplish
> going forward. Doubts over the GPL's future are to be expected, argues
> Eben Moglen, legal adviser to the Free Software Foundation's Richard
> Stallman on GPL drafts. Indeed, Microsoft is encouraging bloggers and
> writers to take potshots at GPLv3, Moglen said last month in an address
> at theOpenSourceBusiness Conference.
>
> Last week, new doubts were voiced not by Microsoft, but by William
> Hurley, chief architect ofopensourcestrategy at BMC Software and
> chairman of theOpenManagement Consortium, a group committed to
> producingopensourceIT infrastructure management software. GPLv3 is
> designed to forestall Microsoft's patent deals, restrict digital rights
> management, and ban restrictions that sometimes get placed 
> onopensourceembedded in hardware. Maybe GPLv3--intended as a license that
> grants freedom to developers--is trying to do too much, suggests Hurley.
>
> [sidebar]
>
> License Complexity
>
> >> Digital rights management isn't allowed under GPLv3
> >> Patent ambiguities could complicate cross-licensing agreements when GPL 
> >> software is involved
> >> GPLv3 bans restrictions onopensourcethat's embedded in hardware appliances
> >> Revised license tries to anticipate scenarios in which a GPL issuer might 
> >> bring patent claims against users
>
> [/sidebar]
>
> In a blog posting titled "The Death Of A Software License," Hurley
> argues that the Free Software Foundation is moving away from developers'
> core interests and getting bogged down in its own political agenda. "The
> FSF should realize by now their influence is waning," Hurley wrote.
> "They're really hamstringing themselves with version 3, taking the
> license further and further from where industry developers are heading."
>
> Not everyone agrees that the Free Software Foundation's efforts are at
> odds with developers. Barry Klawans, CTO at JasperSoft, a supplier 
> ofopensourcebusiness intelligence software, says companies that want to
> commercialize theiropensourcecode still like the protections of the
> GPL. "I think the GPL will continue to be used in infrastructure
> projects, where the developers agree with the FSF's philosophy," he
> writes via e-mail.
>
> Even though Microsoft asserts it has patents that cover someopensource
> functionality, it will think twice before targeting users, many of whom
> are its customers. Underscoring the user community's clout, Robert J.
> Carey, CIO of the Navy, last week issued a memo mandating thatopensourcebe 
> considered in all Navy software acquisitions. Notably, Carey
> expressed no interest in whetheropensourcevendors have Microsoft's
> patent protection or which version of the GPL should apply.
> ------
>
> regards,
> alexander.
>
> --
> "Moglen had remarked: 'Anything that is worth copying is worth sharing.'
> He also argued: 'The more we give away, the richer we become.' "
>
>      -- Free Software's Moglen Canvasses His Sharing Message In India

I must take exception to your initial ideological statement
(assumption of fact not proven) which states that "most open source
software is gpled."  I wholeheartedly disagree, and if we were to use
precise quantitative terms, the figure would be approximately 37% GPL,
32% BSD/Apache/MIT, 17% Mozilla or similar, and 14% all other.

In addition, once you get through the motives of the FSF, that is, to
destroy any copyright or proprietary license on all software, and you
begin to see the big picture from the perspectives of market economies
and segments of market economies, or even small profit-making
businesses, there is a general avoidance of GPL software, except where
the company has decided as a beginning step that they will NEVER
expend corporate resources in the improvement or modification of a GPL
component, i.e. the LInux kernel where development is too rampant
anyway, or Java (why modify or improve anyway beyond what Sun and
associates do?).  Hence the growing popularity of Apache Foundation
software, especial business related Java code (ofbiz) and postgresql.

With regard to Moglen and his party line, let's define "we" -- is that
some amorphous demographic?  Because he certainly does not address the
difficulty of maintaining a competitive edge in a business by giving
your competitors your homespun improvements.  Hence the failure of GPL
desktops from anchieving any real adoption.



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