hypothetical(?) GPL problem SUMMARY

OP Mailserver user s96121272 at op.up.ac.za
Thu Jun 28 13:33:23 UTC 2001

Hi all,
The following is the HTML source of my 1st draft summary of our discussion.

Not all the links are filled in yet, and I must still figure out how to 
write the section on proprietization so that it is concise and meaningful to someone 
who has not yet read our discussion.

Please point out any errors, and say what you want changed,
(my perspective is not necessarily right).

Nick Hockings

<TITLE>Protecting Freedom</TITLE>
<H1><A NAME="top">Protecting Freedom</A></H1>
<P>The role of licenses and our vision for the software industry.</P>
<H3><A HREF=#Preface>Preface</A></H3>
<H2><A HREF=#Definitions>Definitions</A> necessary to understand the discussion.</H2>
<H2>Aims of Free Software</H2>
<H3>The Four Freedoms</H3>
These are the principles of free-software that the FSF and FSF-Europe exist to promote and protect:
<LI>The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
<LI>The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs.
<BR>(Access to the source code is a precondition for this.)
<LI>The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour.
<LI>The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.
(Access to the source code is a precondition for this.)
<P>We use licenses to protect these freedoms. All our licenses allow people to take, on condition that they also give back. The FSF designed three licenses for this purpose, the <A HREF=#gpl>GPL</A>, the <A HREF=#fdl>FDL</A>, and the <A HREF=#lgpl>L-GPL</A>.
<H3>Which license is best?</H3>
<LI>For all applications software - we recommend the GPL
<LI>For all text documents - we recommend the FDL
<LI>For code libraries
	<LI>Use the L-GPL for replicating the functions of proprietary libraries.
	<BR>This allows existing proprietary applications to run on top of free systems.
	<LI>Use the GPL for adding extra functions not found in proprietary software.
	<BR>This creates an advantage for free-software applications over proprietary competitors.
<A HREF="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/why-not-lgpl.html">"Why you should not use the L-GPL"</A>.
<H3>License strategy</H3>
<UL><LI>First replace underlying libraries of the proprietary applications you wish to replace.  Use the L-GPL for this.
<LI>Then replace the proprietary apps with a best-of-class free-software app. Use the GPL for this.
<LI>Then add extra functions in the libraries that don't exist in proprietary software. Use GPL for these to maintain free-software leadership with killer apps.
<H3>Why not to use unprotected licenses</H3>(eg MIT, BSD)
<P>Without the protection of a <A HREF="">copyleft</A> license, the code you write can be subsumed into a proprietary program. If this program is a replacement for your free-software program, then it may eliminate your work, (after all it can do everything yours could). This would be a set back for free-software, and a waste of your effort.
<A HREF="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/x.html">"The X-Windows trap"</A>

<H3>So a commercial company wants to use a GPL'ed lib</H3>
<P>Good, free-software welcomes commercial users and developers. Please play by the rules "as you take so must you give"</P>
<H4>Fair play</H4>
<LI>If it is actually an L-GPL'ed lib, the company can use it AND 
<A HREF=#l-gpl_declaration>declare</A> it to the users.
<LI>The company can approach the copyright holder and buy a proprietary license to use the lib.
<BR>We strongly recommend that the author includes a requirement to declare the use of the lib, (as is the case in the L-GPL), and its existence in free-software.  This should NOT be done if it will facilitate the de facto 
<A HREF=#proprietization>proprietization</A> of other free-software.(link to Alessandro's concerns wrt "user friendly" distrib)
<LI>The author can make an L-GPL'ed wrapper for the lib. This allows slower access for proprietary apps. You should NOT do this without the permission of the lib author. It is the author's prerogative to decide whom the work may be used by.
<LI>Use the lib or app as an application service provider, AND declare the use of the free-software to the ASP clients. Here the company is charging only for the work it does, not for the use of the software. 
<P>We would strongly encourage such a companies to become 
<A HREF=#free-software_companies>free-software companies</A>.

<H4>Foul Play:</H4> (Taking without giving back: for which they shall be crucified!)
<LI>Shipping the lib secretly in their binaries.
<LI>Evil ASP (<A HREF=#proprietization>remote proprietization</A>), using the free-software secretly.
<LI>Passing the buck: telling the user to use the GPL'ed lib, but not completely doing it for him.
<LI>Secret additions to the free libraries/apps, such as binary patches without releasing the source under GPL.
<P>We hope that future revisions of the GPL will be explicit and unequivocal on these matters, which are all implied in its purpose.
<A NAME="free-software_companies"> Vision for the Software Industry</A></H2>
<P>The classic software house ,based on proprietary distributions, has no chance to survive the next twenty years. We see a shift towards service providers that earn their money from specific customisation of products for individual clients. As it stands >90% of programmers work on in-house services (eg web-sites, databases, IT support etc…). When the apps & O/Ses they use are free-software they can fix bugs, write extensions, and contribute to new releases of the software they use and support. Being part of the development team, which writes the important business apps that their clients use, is a mark of expertise to distinguish an IT company from its competitors. Clients' investment in new free-software may be tax deductible as charity. One example of <A HREF="www.freedevelopers.com">a new model free-software house</A>
<P>The change over may be progressive as a company is grown into its new role (eg Applixware's Gtk conversion), or revolutionary due to the need to use a GPL'ed lib (eg readline lib
<H2>Vision for Hardware drivers</H2>
<P>Hardware makers can achieve best possible results by focusing on hardware and using GPL'ed drivers. The group of hardware makers who collaborate with one another and the community through the GPL have a substantial advantage over their proprietary driver competitors.
<H2>FreeSoftware Advocacy</H2>
<LI>Persistence & demonstration are the keywords.
<BR>Do not tire of correcting mistakes, misstatements and proprietary propaganda. Your time will come, make sure you're ready for it.
<LI>Become a <A HREF="www.gnu.org/.html">saint of the church of emacs</A>(humorous link)
<BR>Demonstrate the stability & functionality of a 100% free system. Use a free O/S eg <AHREF="www.debian.org/.html">Debian GNU/Linux</A> and a free office package (eg 
<A HREF="www.gnome.org/.html">Gnome Office</A>, 
<A HREF="www.openoffice.org/.html">Open Office</A>, 
<A HREF="www.kde.org/.html">K Office</A>) and other freesoftware for all uses (see 
<A HREF="www.gnu.org/.html">Free Software Foundation</A>, 
<A HREF="www.debian.org/html">Debbian</A>, 
<A HREF="www….">Savana</A>, 
<A HREF="www.sourgceforge.org/.html">Source forge</A>, 
<A HREF="www.freshmeat.org/html">Freshmeat</A>, 
<A HREF="www.gnu.org/gnuenterprise.html">GNU Enterprise</A>).
<LI>Emphasise the importance of free information formats.
<BR>(Defn of a free format) 
For communication, reliability, archives (eg Boeing- SGML)
<LI>Save your colleagues/employer money
<BR>When they upgrade hardware, get them a free software system - Don't pay the Microsoft-Tax. If software comes preinstalled, do not run it. Do not open and packets/boxes of proprietary software. Format the hard drive and install free-software. This entitles you to a compulsory refund of the retail price of the installed proprietary software. (link to 
<A HREF="">more info</A>)
<P><A HREF=#top>back to top</A>

<A NAME="Preface"><H3>Preface</H3></A>

<P>This document is a condensed summary of the conclusions of 
<BR><A HREF= "http://mailman.fsfeurope.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/discussion">
discussion at fsfeurope.org </A> Subject:" hypothetical(?) GPL problem ", 
<BR>Tue, 19 Jun 2001 - Wed, 27 Jun 2001

<BR>This is not the official view of any organization.
<BR>The summary was written by <A HREF="mailto:s96121272 at op.up.ac.za">Nick Hockings</A>
<BR>The following people took part in the discussion.
<LI>Lutz Horn (lh at lutz-horn.de)
<LI>John Tapsell (tapselj0 at cs.man.ac.uk)
<LI>Marc Eberhard (m.a.eberhard at aston.ac.uk) 
<LI>Alessandro Rubini (rubini at gnu.org) 
<LI>Pim van Riezen (pi at vuurwerk.nl) 
<LI>Nick Hockings (s96121272 at op.up.ac.za)
<LI>David (dbFSF at pigstick.freeserve.co.uk) 
<LI>Frank Heckenbach (frank at g-n-u.de) 
<LI>Bernhard Reiter (bernhard at intevation.de) 
<LI>Sinisa Milicic (smilicic at rebro.mef.hr)
<LI>Klaus Schilling (pessy at chez.com) 
<LI>Werner Koch (wk at gnupg.org) 
<P>Copyright FSF Europe.
<P><A HREF=#top>back to top</A>

<H2><A NAME="Definitions">Definitions</A></H2>
<DT>Commercial software
<DD>This includes both free and non-free software written for a profit.
<DT>Proprietary Software
<DD>This is non-free software. It includes all software that is distributed under a non-free licence. i.e. the users' four freedoms are renounced by the license.
<DT><A NAME="gpl" HREF="http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html">GPL: The GNU General Public License</A>
<DD>This license explicitly protects the four freedoms for all users
<BR>AND requires that all programs using the code covered by the license, must also use the GPL.
<BR>The GPL  is the preferred software license of the FSF, and the most widely used free-software license.
<BR><A HREF=#License_usage_statistics>License usage statistics</A>
<DT><A NAME="lgpl" HREF="http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html">L-GPL: The Lesser GPL or Library GPL</A>
<DD>This license explicitly protects the four freedoms for all users
<BR>AND permits the libraries covered by the license to be linked to proprietary programs.
<BR>The L-GPL requires that the use of the library be acknowledged  to the user,
<BR>and that the license be preserved on the library.
<BR>The FSF created the L-GPL to allow proprietary programs to be run on the GNU system.
<BR>The FSF does not recommend the L-GPL for general usage.
<BR><A HREF="http://www.gnu.org/philosopy/why-not-lgpl.html">"Why you should not use the L-GPL"</A>.
<DT><A NAME="fdl" HREF="http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html">FDL: The GNU Free Documentation License</A>
<DD>This is an equivalent license to the GPL, created to cover natural language texts. 
<BR>(e.g. The <A HREF="http://www.nupedia.com">Nupedia</A> free-encyclopedia.)
<P><A HREF=#top>back to top</A>

<H2><A NAME="l-gpl_declaration">Declaration<A/> requirement of  <A HREF=#lgpl>L-GPL</A></H2>
Extract from terms and conditions of  L-GPL version 2 :
<B>Article 6.</B> As an exception to the Sections above, you may also combine or link a "work that uses theLibrary" with the Library to produce a work containing portions of the Library, and distribute that
work under terms of your choice, provided that the terms permit modification of the work for the
customer's own use and reverse engineering for debugging such modifications. 
<B>You must give prominent notice</B> with each copy of the work that the Library is used in it and that the Library and its use are covered by this License. You must supply a copy of this License. If the work
during execution displays copyright notices, you must include the copyright notice for the Library
among them, as well as a reference directing the user to the copy of this License. Also, you must do
one of these things: ……..
<B>Article7.</B> You may place library facilities that are a work based on the Library side-by-side in a single library together with other library facilities not covered by this License, and distribute such a
combined library, provided that the separate distribution of the work based on the Library and of the
other library facilities is otherwise permitted, and provided that you do these two things: 
     a) Accompany the combined library with a copy of the same work based on the Library,
     uncombined with any other library facilities. This must be distributed under the terms of the
     Sections above. 
<P>b) <B>Give prominent notice</B> with the combined library of the fact that part of it is a work based
     on the Library, and explaining where to find the accompanying uncombined form of the same
<A HREF=#top>back to top</A>

<H2><A NAME="License_usage_statistics"> License usage statistics </A></H2>
<P>Mail from:
<BR>          Bernhard Reiter (bernhard at intevation.de)                                                  Normal 
<BR>      To: discussion at fsfeurope.org
<BR>Subject:           Re: License Distribution
<BR>Date:          Thu, 21 Jun 2001 12:45:32 +0200
<BR> ( Attachments included at the bottom of this message... )

<P>In January I have posted my 
estimates on Free Software License distribuions [Reiter 2001].
It was based on data by freshmeat and sourceforge announcements.

<P>Additional accounts of license frequencies have been conducted 
for Redhat 6.2 [Wheeler 2000] and 7.1 [Wheeler 2001] distributions.
The conclusions based on the estimations seems to be backed by the data.

<P>Following [Wheeler 2001], probably non-free licenses deleted:
<LI>15185987 (50.36%) GPL
<LI>  2498084 (8.28%)  MIT
<LI>  2305001 (7.64%)  LGPL
<LI>  2065224 (6.85%)  MPL
<LI>  1315348 (4.36%)  BSD
<LI>   907867 (3.01%)  BSD-like
<LI>   455980 (1.51%)  GPL, LGPL
<LI>   323730 (1.07%)  GPL/MIT
<LI>   321123 (1.07%)  Artistic or GPL
<LI>   191379 (0.63%)  PHP
<LI>   173161 (0.57%)  Apache-like
<LI>   161451 (0.54%)  OpenLDAP
<LI>   146647 (0.49%)  LGPL/GPL
<LI>   103439 (0.34%)  GPL (programs), relaxed LGPL (libraries),
                   and public domain (docs) 
<LI>   103291 (0.34%)  Apache
<LI>    73650 (0.24%)  W3C
<LI>    73356 (0.24%)  IBM Public License
<LI>    59354 (0.20%)  Public domain
<LI>    39828 (0.13%)  GPL and Artistic
<LI>    31019 (0.10%)  GPL or BSD
<LI>    25944 (0.09%)  GPL/BSD
<LI>    20722 (0.07%)  MIT-like
<LI>    18353 (0.06%)  GPL/LGPL
<LI>    12987 (0.04%)  Distributable - most of it GPL
<LI>     8031 (0.03%)  Python
<LI>     6234 (0.02%)  GPL/distributable
<LI>     1941 (0.01%)  GPL (not Firmware)

<P>Following [Wheeler 2000], probably non-free licenses deleted:
<LI>        9350709 GPL
<LI>        1927711 MIT (X)
<LI>        1087757 LGPL
<LI>        1060633 BSD
<LI>         383922 BSDish/Xish/MITish
<LI>         278327 Miscellaneous (QPL, IBM, unknown)
<LI>         273882 GPL/BSD
<LI>         206237 Artistic or GPL
<LI>         104721 LGPL/GPL
<LI>          49851 None/Public Domain
 <BR>       Bernhard


<P>[ Reiter 2001 ]
<BR>        License Distribution (Post to discussion at fsfeurope.org 22.1.2001)
<BR>        Bernhard Reiter <bernhard at intevation.de>

<P>[ Wheeler 2000 ]
<BR>        Estimating Linux's Size
<BR>        David A. Wheeler (dwheeler at dwheeler.com)
<BR>        November 6, 2000
<BR>        Version 1.03

<BR>        http://www.dwheeler.com/sloc/

<P>[ Wheeler 2001 ]
<BR>        More Than a Gigabuck: Estimating GNU/Linux's Size
<BR>        David A. Wheeler (dwheeler at dwheeler.com)
<BR>        June 20, 2001
<BR>       Version 1.01

<BR>        http://www.dwheeler.com/sloc/

<P><A HREF=#top>back to top</A>

<A NAME="proprietization">Proprietization</A></H2>
<P><A HREF=#top>back to top</A>

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