Bonum Certa Men Certa

So It's Come to This?

Article by figosdev

A misunderstanding



Summary: "You can't count on GPL to protect you if the copyright holders of the GPL software are themselves controlled by Microsoft."

When a legal team's worth of disclaimers and qualifiers doesn't stop people from misunderstanding (or misrepresenting) you, it's time to leave. I'll try not to do the same in kind.



I read Roy's article, it's awfully nice. Just look how nice it is:

"...too polite to mention who said that BSD-type licences were a step back for freedom. That was me. I had been saying this to figosdev several times, but he never agreed."

That's not true, actually. But it gets better:

"In very simple terms, which don’t require a law degree to comprehend, a GPL-type licence (copyleft) protects one’s code from becoming proprietary software"

Except when it doesn't. Sometimes GPL fails. What can I tell you about that? There's this book I did... Let's see what it says about this very issue:

"While the GPL made the kernel what it was last week, what it is today and what it will be (Zombie Linux) is thanks to Jim Zemlin and his Microsoftie second-in-command at the Linux Foundation."

What I'm referring to is the fact that the Linux Foundation controls the software, and the Linux Foundation is controlled by a company that is (as Roy himself put it) a "serial GPL violator".

You can't count on GPL to protect you if the copyright holders of the GPL software are themselves controlled by Microsoft. Does that mean GPL is worthless? No. But I've documented various ways in which it was compromised, including in Chapter 19 (which Roy didn't republish, but then it was very recent that the original was published anyway).

(The "license" I'm referring to in that title is CC BY-ND, a non-free verbatim-only license, NOT the GPL.)

"The new monopoly move is to use the license and find other ways of restricting the use. It happened with Tivo, it happened with the anti-GPL3 lobbying, it will happen with these political mutinies and political manipulations."

My stance has long been that GPL (as well as GNU/Linux) IS BETTER (on average), COPYLEFT IS BETTER (at least for the most important things) but it is not an impenetrable fortress. If you treat licensing like an unstoppable firewall, and ignore the OTHER THREATS to free software, you're going to watch Free Software fail -- as it has for the past 5 years.

How was the GPL going to keep rms from being ousted, or from Microsoft taking over the Linux kernel?

IT CAN'T. More immediately relevant -- how does GPL3 stop Tivoisation when Microsoft front groups lobby Torvalds against it? IT CAN'T -- I simply mean the license is not (cannot be) the entire picture or a stand-alone solution to software freedom. Other defenses are necessary as well. This is what I keep saying, because this is what the Free Software movement neglects at its peril.

Of course I don't expect the GPL to BE all-powerful -- my argument is that nothing can make it that reliable. It's better than the BSD license, [you gonna twist that quote around somehow too?] especially for vital projects like the GNU Project, but one very important thing Roy left out is that the GNU project ONLY recommends copyleft for substantial works:

"Small programs

"It is not worth the trouble to use copyleft for most small programs. We use 300 lines as our benchmark: when a software package's source code is shorter than that, the benefits provided by copyleft are usually too small to justify the inconvenience of making sure a copy of the license always accompanies the software."

This is highly relevant, because a lot of the programs I write are actually quite small -- and even the FSF doesn't care if I use copyleft for those or not (or if you do). They actually say "It is not worth the trouble" in those instances.

Rather than dismiss the GPL entirely due to it not being a perfect weapon against all non-freedom, my advice has been to recognise other threats and address those with tools that work against them. Permissive licensing is not what ousted rms -- Codes of Conduct and Safe Space policies were.

If you compare what happened recently to the OSI plan Perens admitted existed to oust rms years ago, you can see the similarities between that and the actual timeline of what happened with LibrePlanet, the resignation, and the coup from Guix and GNU devs trying to create a new policy not unlike the one from LibrePlanet.

No matter what license you use, this is what's going to destroy the Free Software movement. Without a movement, the license really doesn't do much. GPL only works when it's defended. The Linux Foundation isn't going to defend Linux. People -- do the math here. The GPL not withstanding, Linux (the kernel) is not protected by it, because the people who can relicense it DO NOT CARE about freedom at all.

What I've said over and over is that free licenses are vital to establishing software freedom, but they are not enough by themselves to defend and preserve it. There I'm referring to all free software licenses, including the GPL.

But what really pisses me off, is that Roy simply ignored (and contradicted) most of what was said in the article he was just now referring to, which I consider misrepresenting me and misrepresenting my argument -- whether deliberately or because it just doesn't matter to him.

Here's Roy:

"too polite to mention who said that BSD-type licences were a step back for freedom."

The single line of email I was referring to, said EXACTLY this:

"BSD only takes us further away from freedom."

This new article from Roy stresses the licensing, but FFS, if you feel THAT STRONGLY about permissively licensed code -- don't use X11 or Python (any flavour) then. They're both permissive. If you contribute to either of these, you're committing the same sin that BSD is. But Roy says:

"Never contribute Free software to a framework controlled partly or fully by proprietary software companies. Never ever."

Okay, so that will ultimately mean no Linux kernel for Roy -- because as he's said countless times, the Linux Foundation is controlled by Microsoft. Linus is also.

But even though this new article is all about licenses, MY article was not. At all. I sure tried to clarify that:

"As I’ve said in the book that was just run here, GNU/Linux is dead. I still use it, I can certainly understand if you do, I would ideally like the GNU Project to be salvaged. Its mission is very important."

"On the subject of copyleft, this article is more about kernels than licenses. On the subject of copyleft, this article is more about kernels than licenses. I have defended the value of copyleft on many occasions, as well as HyperbolaBSD."

Hyperbola is an FSF-approved distro, and I also strongly approve of it. I think it's the last FSF-approved distro that actually fights for your freedom. But if it's BSD, does that mean it's a step backwards for freedom?

My article: "I routinely promote Hyperbola as an ideal"

My article: "I’m using BSD to get closer to HyperbolaBSD."

Quote from Roy:

"...too polite to mention who said that BSD-type licences were a step back for freedom. That was me. I had been saying this to figosdev several times, BUT HE NEVER AGREED." [emphasis added]

My Article that this one references:

"I have defended the value of copyleft on many occasions, as well as HyperbolaBSD."

As with Hyperbola. I made it VERY CLEAR that I was talking about BSD the software, NOT BSD the license. (Which again, is akin in being permissive to countless other software that Roy uses -- so what the actual heck?)

It gets better though:

"Maybe GPL isn’t for everyone..."

I actually sent Roy an editor not long ago, which was permissively licensed, which I started working on and personally made it GPL3, as a matter of fact.

Not only did the permissive license allow this -- I also talked to the author of the permissive version and advocated (successfully) that they make future versions of the project GPL3 as well.

And that's the same software that I'm using to type this article.

"...or maybe people have been brainwashed by Microsoft proxies such as Black Duck to believe that GPL is neither beneficial nor desirable/popular."

Oooooookay... It's obvious to me what's happening here. I guess that's my cue, then.

"If you're so smart, why don't you pick up your cues faster?"

"Are those my cues?"

"Yes, and they ought to be dry by now; why don't you pull them up out of the cellophane before they scorch!" -- The Adventures of Nick Danger, Third Eye

Long Live rms, and happy hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Recent Techrights' Posts

When Wikileaks Sources Were Actually Murdered and Wikileaks Was Still a Wiki
when Wikileaks was a young site and still an actual wiki
Why Virtually All the Wikileaks Copycats, Forks, and Rivals Basically Perished
Cryptome is like the "grandpa" of them all
Why the Media is Dying (It Sucks, No Mentally Healthy People Will Tolerate This for Long)
linking to actual news articles helps fuel the spam, too
 
In the United Kingdom Google Search Rises to All-Time High, Microsoft Fell Nearly 1.5% Since the LLM Hype Began
Microsoft is going to need actual products or it will gradually vanish from the market
Trying to Put Out the Fire at Microsoft
Microsoft is drowning in debt while laying off loads of staff, hoping it can turn things around
GNU/Linux Growing at Vista 11's Expense
it's tempting to deduce many people who got PCs with Vista 11 preinstalled are deleting it, only to replace it with GNU/Linux
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 23, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 23, 2024
[Meme] Was He So Productive He Had to be Expelled Somehow? (After He Was Elected and Had Given Many Years of Work to Earn a Board Seat)
Things like these seem to lessen the incentive to devote one's life to Free software projects
GNOME Foundation is Causing Itself More Embarrassment With Secrecy Than With Full Transparency
It also arouses suspicion and hostility towards Codes of Conduct, which gave rise to 'secret courts' governed by large corporations
Links 23/07/2024: NetherRealm Layoffs and Illegitimate Patent 'Courts' (Illegal)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/07/2024: AM Radio, ngIRCd, and Munin
Links for the day
A Lot of GNU/Linux Growth on the Client Side is Owing to India (Where GNU/Linux Has Reached 16%)
A lot of this happened in recent years
Insulting Free Software Users in Social Control Media (Proprietary, Bloated With Opaque JavaScript) is Like Insulting Amish on TV
Why bother? Don't take the bait.
statCounter: Dutch GNU/Linux Usage Surged 1% in Summer
Microsoft is running out of things to actually sell
Microsoft's "Results" Next Week Will be Ugly (But It'll Lie About Them, as Usual)
Where can Microsoft find income rather than losses as its debt continues to grow and layoffs accelerate?
Julian Assange is Still Being Dehumanised in Media Whose Owners Wikileaks Berated (With Underlying Facts or Leaks)
Wikileaks and Free software aren't the same thing. Nevertheless, the tactics used to infiltrate or discredit both ought to be understood.
A Month Later
We're optimistic on many fronts
Links 23/07/2024: Downsizing and Microsoft and Still Damage Control
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/07/2024: Friends and Solitaire
Links for the day
Censorship in Eklektix's Linux Weekly News (LWN)
Medieval system of speech, where the monarchs (Linux Foundation) dictate what's permissible to say
10 Years of In-Depth EPO Coverage at Techrights (Many Others Have Abandoned the Topic)
Listen to staff
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 22, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 22, 2024
[Meme] The Latest in the Microsoft Windows Blame Game
Microsoft found the culprit and came to everyone's rescue!
Links 22/07/2024: Overworking and Performance Issues From Europe
Links for the day
Microsoft Eliminates 67% of the Building Occupancy - That's Some Truly Massive Layoffs
Half a dozen floors? Microsoft cuts that down to two.
[Meme] Signs of a Dying Patent Office
"Bribe the media to say you excel"
This Month's General Consultative Committee (GCC) Webchat ('Meeting') Covered the European Patent Office's Attacks on Its Own Interpreters
The Central Staff Committee is currently circulating a report with appendices about the GCC meeting [sic] (webchat) that took place less than a fortnight ago
A Byzantine European Patent Office Where Staff Must Beg for Help With Contraception (Worse Than the Rest of Europe)
The Central Staff Committee (EPO staff representation) has just circulated a report
[Teaser] EPO Run by Children
"Daddy, why was I born?"
Let's Encrypt About to Fall Below 100 (Capsules) in Geminispace, It's Basically in a Freefall
The "self-signed" portion keeps growing
Gemini Links 22/07/2024: Spacewalk Dies and Old Computer Challenge in the Rear View
Links for the day
For the First Time Since May Linux.com (Linux Foundation) Published Something. It's All Spam.
Can we trust the Linux Foundation to look after anything at all? Look what it turned this once-thriving site into.
Honduras: Windows Down, Android Peaking Again
Honduras does not have many stakes in Microsoft
[Meme] Twitter (X) Will Reject the Concept of a Female President
Twitter (X) is controlled by misogynists, who socially control (or socially-engineer) their fake concept of "media"
Second Family Photo of Julian Assange Since His Release (First Since His Birthday)
His wife shows the 4 of them for the first time (2 hours ago)
Protesters in Kenya Need Software That is Free (Libre) and Supports Real Encryption in Order to Avoid Capture and Torture (Sometimes Execution)
There's more to fight over than economic issues
The Ludicrous Idea That GNU/Linux is a "Poor Man's" Operating System
Seeing the trends in countries such an Norway, it ought to be abundantly clear that adoption of GNU/Linux has nothing to do with poverty
Links 22/07/2024: Internet Optimism and Kamala Harris Policies Debated
Links for the day
Something is Happening at OFTC
It looks like it shrank by 20,000 users
GNU/Linux Usage in Guadeloupe Rises Closer to International Average, Based on Web Data Collected by statCounter
It should be noted that the estimates of GNU/Linux usage are now in 4.5% territories
The Impact of OFTC's Latest Changes on the Perceived Scale of IRC Globally
IRC is still one of the more potent alternatives to the social control media conglomerates
New: Why They Really Went After Assange
Uploaded by Chris Hedges
Links 21/07/2024: Health, Politics, and Kamala Harris in Focus
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 21, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, July 21, 2024
A Drop in Half (From 208 to 104): Sharp Decline in Number of Gemini Capsules That Use Let's Encrypt CA Since December
Gemini is increasing its independence from Certificate Authorities (CAs)