MIT vs. Ruby/GPL License

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Trans, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Trans

    Trans Guest

    Rails uses the MIT license. The Ruby license is essentially the GPL
    (it's a dual license).

    So what are the basic differences between the two and why would you
    pick one over the other?

    Thanks,
    T.
     
    Trans, Oct 14, 2007
    #1
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  2. Trans

    Randy Kramer Guest

    On Sunday 14 October 2007 09:31 am, Trans wrote:
    > Rails uses the MIT license. The Ruby license is essentially the GPL
    > (it's a dual license).
    >
    > So what are the basic differences between the two and why would you
    > pick one over the other?


    Interesting question, and one I'm tempted to answer even though others are
    certainly better quailified. (I.e., IANAE(xpert)) I guess I'll consider this
    a learning exercise, to see how much I do know.

    (Aside: I'm curious: I'm a little surprised you haven't come across and come
    to some resolution on the issues involved--do you program primarily in
    Windows as opposed to Linux?)

    I have trouble remembering things, I remember less about the MIT license than
    the GPL license, and know (if I can remember) most about the GPL version 2.

    First of all both the MIT and GPL licenses are in some sense "free".

    The meaning of free in this context is freedom as opposed to free beer.

    Richard Stallman, the guy who, at least in some sense, started the drive
    towards a free operating system, originated and advocates the GPL license.
    He lists four freedoms that could be associated with software--can I remember
    them to recite them or must I look them up?

    Hmm, I guess I'll refer you to the following page which contains the GNU's
    "Free Software Definition" (gnu is (one of?) the organizations founded by
    Richard Stallman, the other being the FSF (or are they the same
    organization--I guess I don't really know)):

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

    When you read over that page, pay particular attention to "copyleft"--the
    primary difference between the GPL and other free (??) licenses (like the MIT
    license) is the copyleft part--the GPL requires copyleft, many others (MIT,
    BSD, ... do not). (Richard Stallman considers free licenses without copyleft
    to be non-free.)

    I anticipate releasing any software I write under the GPL license.

    There are other choices like dual licenses and, hmm, I forget what they call
    them, but like what Ghostscript and some others do--(iirc) they initially
    release their software (i.e., current versions) under a license other than
    the GPL, and then after some period of time (or at the release of the next
    version) they release the older version under the GPL.

    Aside: If you get into dual licenses, take any recent writings on the subject
    by Theo de Raadt (the OpenBSD founder) with a grain of salt--in a fairly
    recent dispute, he made the claim that dual licenses required that the terms
    of both licenses be applicable, whereas most dual licenses are specified with
    an "or" (you can license it this way or that way--of course a dual license
    could be written with an "and"--I'm not sure that would be useful in any
    way).

    BTW, other issues to consider are which software can be intermixed in some way
    even though they use different licenses.

    Another way of looking at it the general subject is this:

    With a license like the MIT (and BSD, and ...) you give away your software
    (almost) unconditionally, anybody can take your software and use it for any
    purpose without returning anything to you (they can make a proprietary
    package from it, make a fortune, and not share anything with you).

    With a license like the GPL, your software gift is conditional--the receiver
    of the gift must (to use a phrase that I haven't heard in this context
    before) "pay it forward". In other words, they must keep the gift available
    including any improvements they may make.

    You can make money with either type of license, but it is ususally by means of
    a service model than a use model. To clarify, a way of making money with
    free software is selling support for it, as opposed to selling a license for
    its use.

    Note that the GPL does allow you to charge for the software, but anyone who
    buys your software can re-distribute it at a lower price, down to zero (or
    negative numbers??).

    There is also a (potential) different issue (??) related to selling the source
    code--the intent (and words), iirc, is that you can only recoup your
    (copying) costs (or a reasonable fee--I forget what it says) for the source
    code.

    At most, this is just a start. Do some reading and ask some questions.

    regards,
    Randy Kramer
     
    Randy Kramer, Oct 14, 2007
    #2
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  3. MIT license does have one restriction:

    QTE
    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
    all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
    UNQTE

    Which in practice means that you should remember adding a copyright
    statement at the top of the LICENSE file.

    --
    Alexey Verkhovsky
    CruiseControl.rb [http://cruisecontrolrb.thoughtworks.com]
    RubyWorks [http://rubyworks.thoughtworks.com]
     
    Alexey Verkhovsky, Oct 14, 2007
    #3
  4. Trans

    Tim Hunter Guest

    Trans wrote:
    > Rails uses the MIT license. The Ruby license is essentially the GPL
    > (it's a dual license).
    >
    > So what are the basic differences between the two and why would you
    > pick one over the other?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > T.
    >
    >


    T.,

    I normally enjoy your posts, and I do hate to be negative, but it feels
    like ruby-talk has been plagued with a lot of
    200-followup-barely-on-topic threads lately, and your post could easily
    be (given this strong opinions that people can form about FOSS
    licensing) the start of yet another.

    Would it be too much to ask for you to go off and read some of the
    commentary on these licenses that can be found on the web, form some
    conclusions, and then, if necessary (and I don't think it will be)
    follow up with "I've read this material and this is what I think and
    here are some RUBY-SPECIFIC questions I have or conclusions I've come to
    that I'd like to share?"

    You can start your research with the text of the licenses. MIT is here:
    http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php. GPL here:
    http://www.gnu.org. I notice several books are available on Amazon,
    including _Understanding_Open_Source_and_Free_Software_Licensing_.

    To the list, I apologize. I try to keep my posts positive, contributory,
    and on-topic. I recognize that this one is simply cranky.
     
    Tim Hunter, Oct 14, 2007
    #4
  5. Trans

    Trans Guest

    On Oct 14, 8:29 am, Randy Kramer <> wrote:
    > On Sunday 14 October 2007 09:31 am, Trans wrote:
    >
    > > Rails uses the MIT license. The Ruby license is essentially the GPL
    > > (it's a dual license).

    >
    > > So what are the basic differences between the two and why would you
    > > pick one over the other?

    >
    > Interesting question, and one I'm tempted to answer even though others are
    > certainly better quailified. (I.e., IANAE(xpert)) I guess I'll consider this
    > a learning exercise, to see how much I do know.
    >
    > (Aside: I'm curious: I'm a little surprised you haven't come across and come
    > to some resolution on the issues involved--do you program primarily in
    > Windows as opposed to Linux?)


    Me too ;)

    I've been using the Ruby license. But everything I've done until now
    has been purely open. That's about to change though, so the question
    becomes a more important one.

    > I have trouble remembering things, I remember less about the MIT license than
    > the GPL license, and know (if I can remember) most about the GPL version 2.
    >
    > First of all both the MIT and GPL licenses are in some sense "free".
    >
    > The meaning of free in this context is freedom as opposed to free beer.
    >
    > Richard Stallman, the guy who, at least in some sense, started the drive
    > towards a free operating system, originated and advocates the GPL license.
    > He lists four freedoms that could be associated with software--can I remember
    > them to recite them or must I look them up?
    >
    > Hmm, I guess I'll refer you to the following page which contains the GNU's
    > "Free Software Definition" (gnu is (one of?) the organizations founded by
    > Richard Stallman, the other being the FSF (or are they the same
    > organization--I guess I don't really know)):
    >
    > http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
    >
    > When you read over that page, pay particular attention to "copyleft"--the
    > primary difference between the GPL and other free (??) licenses (like the MIT
    > license) is the copyleft part--the GPL requires copyleft, many others (MIT,
    > BSD, ... do not). (Richard Stallman considers free licenses without copyleft
    > to be non-free.)
    >
    > I anticipate releasing any software I write under the GPL license.
    >
    > There are other choices like dual licenses and, hmm, I forget what they call
    > them, but like what Ghostscript and some others do--(iirc) they initially
    > release their software (i.e., current versions) under a license other than
    > the GPL, and then after some period of time (or at the release of the next
    > version) they release the older version under the GPL.
    >
    > Aside: If you get into dual licenses, take any recent writings on the subject
    > by Theo de Raadt (the OpenBSD founder) with a grain of salt--in a fairly
    > recent dispute, he made the claim that dual licenses required that the terms
    > of both licenses be applicable, whereas most dual licenses are specified with
    > an "or" (you can license it this way or that way--of course a dual license
    > could be written with an "and"--I'm not sure that would be useful in any
    > way).
    >
    > BTW, other issues to consider are which software can be intermixed in some way
    > even though they use different licenses.
    >
    > Another way of looking at it the general subject is this:
    >
    > With a license like the MIT (and BSD, and ...) you give away your software
    > (almost) unconditionally, anybody can take your software and use it for any
    > purpose without returning anything to you (they can make a proprietary
    > package from it, make a fortune, and not share anything with you).


    So MIT is more akin to BSD --less restrictive.

    > With a license like the GPL, your software gift is conditional--the receiver
    > of the gift must (to use a phrase that I haven't heard in this context
    > before) "pay it forward". In other words, they must keep the gift available
    > including any improvements they may make.
    >
    > You can make money with either type of license, but it is ususally by means of
    > a service model than a use model. To clarify, a way of making money with
    > free software is selling support for it, as opposed to selling a license for
    > its use.
    >
    > Note that the GPL does allow you to charge for the software, but anyone who
    > buys your software can re-distribute it at a lower price, down to zero (or
    > negative numbers??).
    >
    > There is also a (potential) different issue (??) related to selling the source
    > code--the intent (and words), iirc, is that you can only recoup your
    > (copying) costs (or a reasonable fee--I forget what it says) for the source
    > code.
    >
    > At most, this is just a start. Do some reading and ask some questions.


    Very helpful thank you. For the moment I will hone in on one question:

    If a gem is released under GPL and your app depends on it, does that
    mean your source must also be freely available in a way compatible to
    the GPL? If not, then what about if you drop the same library into
    your vendor/ directory and redistribute it along with your app?

    Thanks,
    T.
     
    Trans, Oct 14, 2007
    #5
  6. Trans

    Randy Kramer Guest

    On Sunday 14 October 2007 12:17 pm, Trans wrote:
    >
    > On Oct 14, 8:29 am, Randy Kramer <> wrote:
    > > On Sunday 14 October 2007 09:31 am, Trans wrote:

    > I've been using the Ruby license. But everything I've done until now
    > has been purely open. That's about to change though, so the question
    > becomes a more important one.


    Thanks!

    I should point out that *after* I pressed send, I read the page that I
    referred you to (and some pages linked from that page) a little more
    carefully (they seem to be pages I hadn't seen before--I guess it's been
    fairly a long time since I dug into this stuff), and realize that some of my
    previous statements were not accurate.

    The first being that Richard Stallman *does* consider some licenses without
    copyleft to be free. If I recognize others as I reread what I wrote, I'll
    try to point them out.

    > So MIT is more akin to BSD --less restrictive.


    That is my belief, but I should admit that I haven't had much exposure to the
    MIT license.

    > > At most, this is just a start. Do some reading and ask some questions.

    >
    > Very helpful thank you. For the moment I will hone in on one question:


    You're welcome! (But after my further reading, I'm beginning to believe I
    should have let somebody else dip their foot in the water first. ;-)

    > If a gem is released under GPL and your app depends on it, does that
    > mean your source must also be freely available in a way compatible to
    > the GPL? If not, then what about if you drop the same library into
    > your vendor/ directory and redistribute it along with your app?


    I don't think I can give an instant (correct ;-) answer to that. I'd suggest
    you look for and read up on the LGPL--it was originally intended to stand for
    the Library GPL, but has since been changed to stand for the Lesser GPL, but
    its focus is on issues related to your concern.

    Good luck!

    Randy Kramer
     
    Randy Kramer, Oct 14, 2007
    #6
  7. Trans wrote:
    > Rails uses the MIT license. The Ruby license is essentially the GPL
    > (it's a dual license).
    >
    > So what are the basic differences between the two and why would you
    > pick one over the other?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > T.
    >
    >
    >


    The Ruby license says that you can use the the GPL, or you can use the
    explicit terms of the Ruby license. Here's the text of the Ruby license.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ruby is copyrighted free software by Yukihiro Matsumoto <>.
    You can redistribute it and/or modify it under either the terms of the GPL
    (see COPYING.txt file), or the conditions below:

    1. You may make and give away verbatim copies of the source form of the
    software without restriction, provided that you duplicate all of the
    original copyright notices and associated disclaimers.

    2. You may modify your copy of the software in any way, provided that
    you do at least ONE of the following:

    a) place your modifications in the Public Domain or otherwise
    make them Freely Available, such as by posting said
    modifications to Usenet or an equivalent medium, or by allowing
    the author to include your modifications in the software.

    b) use the modified software only within your corporation or
    organization.

    c) rename any non-standard executables so the names do not conflict
    with standard executables, which must also be provided.

    d) make other distribution arrangements with the author.

    3. You may distribute the software in object code or executable
    form, provided that you do at least ONE of the following:

    a) distribute the executables and library files of the software,
    together with instructions (in the manual page or equivalent)
    on where to get the original distribution.

    b) accompany the distribution with the machine-readable source of
    the software.

    c) give non-standard executables non-standard names, with
    instructions on where to get the original software distribution.

    d) make other distribution arrangements with the author.

    4. You may modify and include the part of the software into any other
    software (possibly commercial). But some files in the distribution
    are not written by the author, so that they are not under this terms.

    They are gc.c(partly), utils.c(partly), regex.[ch], st.[ch] and some
    files under the ./missing directory. See each file for the copying
    condition.

    5. The scripts and library files supplied as input to or produced as
    output from the software do not automatically fall under the
    copyright of the software, but belong to whomever generated them,
    and may be sold commercially, and may be aggregated with this
    software.

    6. THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR
    IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE IMPLIED
    WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
    PURPOSE.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    It should be noted that the Google Summer of Code required software to
    be released using an "open source license", and that the Ruby license
    was *not* on their list of approved ones.
     
    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Oct 14, 2007
    #7
  8. On 10/14/07, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky <> wrote:
    > The Ruby license says that you can use the the GPL, or you can use the
    > explicit terms of the Ruby license.


    Except for some of the source files you cannot... because those are
    GPL. See quotes below. Ruby license is a rather weird device that
    shouldn't be used for anything other than Ruby itself.

    QTE LICENSE
    But some files in the distribution are not written by the author, so
    that they are not under this terms. They are gc.c(partly),
    utils.c(partly), regex.[ch], st.[ch] and some files under the
    /missing directory. See each file for the copying condition.
    UNQTE LICENSE

    QTE regex.c
    you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU
    Library General Public License
    UNQTE regex.c



    --
    Alexey Verkhovsky
    CruiseControl.rb [http://cruisecontrolrb.thoughtworks.com]
    RubyWorks [http://rubyworks.thoughtworks.com]
     
    Alexey Verkhovsky, Oct 14, 2007
    #8
  9. Trans

    Bill Kelly Guest

    From: "Randy Kramer" <>
    >
    >> If a gem is released under GPL and your app depends on it, does that
    >> mean your source must also be freely available in a way compatible to
    >> the GPL? If not, then what about if you drop the same library into
    >> your vendor/ directory and redistribute it along with your app?

    >
    > I don't think I can give an instant (correct ;-) answer to that. I'd suggest
    > you look for and read up on the LGPL--it was originally intended to stand for
    > the Library GPL, but has since been changed to stand for the Lesser GPL, but
    > its focus is on issues related to your concern.


    Indeed. I'm writing a partly open source, partly closed source
    application at the moment. Any library released under GPL is
    off-limits to me (unless it is a library bundled with the operating
    system.)

    (Which is fine, if that's really what the library author intended.)

    Personally I'll not release a *library* under the GPL, since I
    prefer to impose the fewest restrictions on who can link with my
    library.


    Regards,

    Bill
     
    Bill Kelly, Oct 14, 2007
    #9
  10. Trans

    Chad Perrin Guest

    On Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 01:06:38AM +0900, Tim Hunter wrote:
    > Trans wrote:
    > >Rails uses the MIT license. The Ruby license is essentially the GPL
    > >(it's a dual license).
    > >
    > >So what are the basic differences between the two and why would you
    > >pick one over the other?
    > >
    > >Thanks,
    > >T.
    > >
    > >

    >
    > T.,
    >
    > I normally enjoy your posts, and I do hate to be negative, but it feels
    > like ruby-talk has been plagued with a lot of
    > 200-followup-barely-on-topic threads lately, and your post could easily
    > be (given this strong opinions that people can form about FOSS
    > licensing) the start of yet another.
    >
    > Would it be too much to ask for you to go off and read some of the
    > commentary on these licenses that can be found on the web, form some
    > conclusions, and then, if necessary (and I don't think it will be)
    > follow up with "I've read this material and this is what I think and
    > here are some RUBY-SPECIFIC questions I have or conclusions I've come to
    > that I'd like to share?"
    >
    > You can start your research with the text of the licenses. MIT is here:
    > http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php. GPL here:
    > http://www.gnu.org. I notice several books are available on Amazon,
    > including _Understanding_Open_Source_and_Free_Software_Licensing_.
    >
    > To the list, I apologize. I try to keep my posts positive, contributory,
    > and on-topic. I recognize that this one is simply cranky.


    I understand the intent behind your commentary, and don't really see any
    particular need to apologize. For my part, at least, there's nothing to
    forgive.

    For T.:

    If you want to discuss it with someone off-list, and think I may be
    someone that can help, I'll be happy to discuss the matter with you. I
    have very specific opinions on the matter, but I'm also of the opinion
    that everyone should be able to form his or her own opinions, so I'll try
    to be as clear about the matter as possible complete with very distinct
    separation between facts and opinions.

    --
    CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
    MacUser, Nov. 1990: "There comes a time in the history of any project when
    it becomes necessary to shoot the engineers and begin production."
     
    Chad Perrin, Oct 14, 2007
    #10
  11. Trans

    Jon Lambert Guest


    > From:
    >
    > (Richard Stallman considers free licenses without copyleft
    > to be non-free.)

    ...
    >
    > With a license like the MIT (and BSD, and ...) you give away your softwar=

    e
    > (almost) unconditionally...

    ...
    > With a license like the GPL, your software gift is conditional--the recei=

    ver
    > of the gift must (to use a phrase that I haven't heard in this context
    > before) "pay it forward".=20


    Which one gives the user more freedom, the unconditional or conditional gra=
    nt?
    That's rhetorical. I've already determined the answer for myself.=20

    While GPL software apparently does fall under the OSD , it does impose a pr=
    actical though not explicit discrimination against a particular field of en=
    deavor... selling software.=20

    - J. Lambert

    _________________________________________________________________
    Boo!=A0Scare away worms, viruses and so much more! Try Windows Live OneCare=
    !
    http://onecare.live.com/standard/en-us/purchase/trial.aspx?s_cid=3Dwl_hotma=
    ilnews=
     
    Jon Lambert, Oct 15, 2007
    #11
  12. Trans

    Jon Lambert Guest

    Jeremy Henty wrote:
    > On 2007-10-15, Jon Lambert wrote:
    >>
    >> Which one gives the user more freedom, the unconditional or
    >> conditional grant?

    >
    > The GPL gives the *user* *complete* freedom. It restricts *other*
    > activities, such as distributing a derived work, but it imposes no
    > restrictions on simply using the software.


    Using that limited definition of user, one who "simply uses the software",=
    =20
    most proprietary licenses also give the user complete freedom. =20

    - J. Lambert

    _________________________________________________________________
    Windows Live Hotmail and Microsoft Office Outlook =96 together at last. =A0=
    Get it now.
    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA102225181033.aspx?pid=3DCL10062=
    6971033=
     
    Jon Lambert, Oct 15, 2007
    #12
  13. Trans

    Chad Perrin Guest

    On Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 01:35:03PM +0900, Jeremy Henty wrote:
    > On 2007-10-15, Jon Lambert <> wrote:
    > >
    > > Jeremy Henty wrote:
    > >>
    > >> The GPL gives the *user* *complete* freedom. It restricts *other*
    > >> activities, such as distributing a derived work, but it imposes no
    > >> restrictions on simply using the software.

    > >
    > > Using that limited definition of user, one who "simply uses the
    > > software", most proprietary licenses also give the user complete
    > > freedom.

    >
    > Including the freedom to install and run the software *without* paying
    > anything for it? I think not. And at my last office job I didn't see
    > any proprietary software whose license did not restrict either the
    > number of installation hosts or the number (total or concurrent) of
    > users. GPL software has no such usage restrictions.


    Considering we were talking about "freedom", I didn't think we were
    talking about "free cost".

    The user does not necessarily get "complete freedom" (for instance, I'm
    in the odd position of having a bunch of GPLed software on a shelf that I
    cannot legally give away for free, thanks to the rules relating to
    upstream linking for GPLv2). Many of those cases are largely
    unimportant, but the fact that restrictions still exist should not be
    ignored.

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the GPL (nor that there isn't,
    per se) at the moment. I'm just trying to stick to the cold, hard facts
    of the matter. Considering ruby-talk isn't exactly the proper venue for
    an ideological war, I think we'd all appreciate it if you would do the
    same rather than simply applying the blanket term Freedom to all things
    GPL and defend it to your last breath -- as you seem to be gearing up to
    do.

    --
    CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
    Paul Graham: "Real ugliness is not harsh-looking syntax, but having to
    build programs out of the wrong concepts."
     
    Chad Perrin, Oct 15, 2007
    #13
  14. Jeremy Henty wrote:
    > On 2007-10-15, Jon Lambert <> wrote:
    >> Jeremy Henty wrote:
    >>> The GPL gives the *user* *complete* freedom. It restricts *other*
    >>> activities, such as distributing a derived work, but it imposes no
    >>> restrictions on simply using the software.

    >> Using that limited definition of user, one who "simply uses the
    >> software", most proprietary licenses also give the user complete
    >> freedom.

    >
    > Including the freedom to install and run the software *without* paying
    > anything for it? I think not. And at my last office job I didn't see
    > any proprietary software whose license did not restrict either the
    > number of installation hosts or the number (total or concurrent) of
    > users. GPL software has no such usage restrictions.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Jeremy Henty
    >
    >

    Most proprietary end-user licenses explicitly forbid running the
    software under a debugger, disassembling it, or benchmarking it and
    publishing the timing results, even if you paid for it. It's not just
    distribution you can't legally do.
     
    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Oct 15, 2007
    #14
  15. Trans

    Randy Kramer Guest

    On Sunday 14 October 2007 11:29 pm, Jon Lambert wrote:
    > Jeremy Henty wrote:
    > > On 2007-10-15, Jon Lambert wrote:
    > >>
    > >> Which one gives the user more freedom, the unconditional or
    > >> conditional grant?

    > >
    > > The GPL gives the *user* *complete* freedom. It restricts *other*
    > > activities, such as distributing a derived work, but it imposes no
    > > restrictions on simply using the software.

    >
    > Using that limited definition of user, one who "simply uses the software",
    > most proprietary licenses also give the user complete freedom.


    Hmm, most proprietary licenses (I can't immediately think of any exceptions)
    do not give the *user* (who might be a programmer, or not) the freedoms to:

    * review (and learn) from the source code
    * modify the program (using the source code) for his own purposes and use
    * pay someone other than the original "manufacturer" to modify the program
    for his own purposes and use

    (Phrased as above to stay away from the concepts of then distributing those
    changes to others, which most, I think, would not consider to be (strictly)
    user functions.)

    Randy Kramer
     
    Randy Kramer, Oct 15, 2007
    #15
  16. Trans

    Trans Guest

    On Oct 15, 7:55 am, Jeremy Henty <> wrote:
    > On 2007-10-15, Chad Perrin <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > On Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 01:35:03PM +0900, Jeremy Henty wrote:
    > >> On 2007-10-15, Jon Lambert <> wrote:

    >
    > >> > Jeremy Henty wrote:

    >
    > >> >> The GPL gives the *user* *complete* freedom. It restricts *other*
    > >> >> activities, such as distributing a derived work, but it imposes no
    > >> >> restrictions on simply using the software.

    >
    > >> > Using that limited definition of user, one who "simply uses the
    > >> > software", most proprietary licenses also give the user complete
    > >> > freedom.

    >
    > >> Including the freedom to install and run the software *without* paying
    > >> anything for it? I think not. And at my last office job I didn't see
    > >> any proprietary software whose license did not restrict either the
    > >> number of installation hosts or the number (total or concurrent) of
    > >> users. GPL software has no such usage restrictions.

    >
    > > Considering we were talking about "freedom",

    >
    > Chad, *I* was responding to someone's direct reply to one of my
    > comments. It's not relevant that you thought "we" were talking about
    > something else.
    >
    > > ... I didn't think we were talking about "free cost".

    >
    > The right to do some things for free is a pretty important freedom.
    > Or would you be happy having to pay $1000 to vote? Anyway, I
    > mentioned (and you conveniently ignored) several other freedoms. And
    > other posters have mentioned more.
    >
    > > The user does not necessarily get "complete freedom" (for instance,
    > > I'm in the odd position of having a bunch of GPLed software on a
    > > shelf that I cannot legally give away for free,

    >
    > Irrelevant. My point was that *usage* is not restricted. And it
    > isn't.
    >
    > > I'm just trying to stick to the cold, hard facts of the matter.

    >
    > You most definitely are *not*, otherwise you would not have accused me
    > of:
    >
    > > ... simply applying the blanket term Freedom to all things GPL and
    > > defend it to your last breath -- as you seem to be gearing up to do.

    >
    > Why don't *you* "stick to the cold, hard facts of the matter." rather
    > than spreading rumours about what I "seem to be gearing up to do."?
    > Meanwhile I'll stick to defending what I actually *said*. Life's too
    > short to waste time on other people's silly fantasies about my
    > motives.



    Uh oh. We were doing so well! A potentially flaming subject kept to a
    congenial ember.

    Tell you what. Lets now take a different bent: Here is what I think I
    learned from this thread.

    1) Licensing can be complicated ;)
    2) Unless you have specific reasons to do otherwise pick a very simple
    one like MIT.
    Specific reasons are either:
    1) I demand all derivative works also be OSS.
    2) This software is mine mine mine (non-OSS or partial-OSS)
    3) Another lib, that I must use, is forcing my hand.
    3) Ruby license is not a good license to use, but unfortunately so
    many Rubyists have used it we are kind of stuck with it --see 2.3
    above. Thankfully, clause 4 of the license gets us out of point 2.1
    (barely?).

    T.
     
    Trans, Oct 15, 2007
    #16
  17. Trans

    Chad Perrin Guest

    On Tue, Oct 16, 2007 at 12:37:04AM +0900, Trans wrote:
    >
    > Uh oh. We were doing so well! A potentially flaming subject kept to a
    > congenial ember.
    >
    > Tell you what. Lets now take a different bent: Here is what I think I
    > learned from this thread.
    >
    > 1) Licensing can be complicated ;)
    > 2) Unless you have specific reasons to do otherwise pick a very simple
    > one like MIT.
    > Specific reasons are either:
    > 1) I demand all derivative works also be OSS.
    > 2) This software is mine mine mine (non-OSS or partial-OSS)
    > 3) Another lib, that I must use, is forcing my hand.
    > 3) Ruby license is not a good license to use, but unfortunately so
    > many Rubyists have used it we are kind of stuck with it --see 2.3
    > above. Thankfully, clause 4 of the license gets us out of point 2.1
    > (barely?).


    I'm not quite as well-versed in the MIT license as I am in some others.
    It is often compared with the BSD license as having similar terms,
    however, so I'll speak about the BSD license here (with which I'm more
    familiar).

    The BSD license actually provides for the code covered by the license to
    be forevermore "open source". There's a common misconception that the
    BSD license and similar licenses somehow allow you to make the code in
    them proprietary. That's not legally possible, as the BSD license
    contains an inheritance clause that mandates further copies of the code
    be distributed under the same license. The difference between that and
    the voracious nature of the GPL is that the BSD license allows covered
    code to be "wrapped" in code of another license, such that a complete
    project can be distributed under the licensing terms of the copyright
    holder's choice while the specific parts of it that are licensed BSD
    remain under the BSD license's terms. The GPL demands that everything
    that is connected to code it covers must also be distributed under its
    terms.

    So . . . the MIT license may very well be quite suitable to situations
    where you "demand that all derivative works also be OSS". That really
    depends on how you mean that statement to be interpreted.

    As for the flame war prone nature of license discussions, I guess I
    probably should have left well enough alone rather than asking someone to
    keep his/her personal opinions down to a dull roar. The obvious pro-GPL
    implications of a preceding message in this thread seemed to require some
    correction, and I made the mistake of not realizing attempting to cut the
    rhetoric away from the facts would be something like throwing fuel on a
    fire. I apologize for that misjudgment.

    --
    CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
    Phillip J. Haack: "Productivity is not about speed. It's about velocity.
    You can be fast, but if you're going in the wrong direction, you're not
    helping anyone."
     
    Chad Perrin, Oct 15, 2007
    #17
  18. Trans

    Chad Perrin Guest

    On Mon, Oct 15, 2007 at 08:33:58PM +0900, Randy Kramer wrote:
    > On Sunday 14 October 2007 11:29 pm, Jon Lambert wrote:
    > > Jeremy Henty wrote:
    > > > On 2007-10-15, Jon Lambert wrote:
    > > >>
    > > >> Which one gives the user more freedom, the unconditional or
    > > >> conditional grant?
    > > >
    > > > The GPL gives the *user* *complete* freedom. It restricts *other*
    > > > activities, such as distributing a derived work, but it imposes no
    > > > restrictions on simply using the software.

    > >
    > > Using that limited definition of user, one who "simply uses the software",
    > > most proprietary licenses also give the user complete freedom.

    >
    > Hmm, most proprietary licenses (I can't immediately think of any exceptions)
    > do not give the *user* (who might be a programmer, or not) the freedoms to:
    >
    > * review (and learn) from the source code
    > * modify the program (using the source code) for his own purposes and use
    > * pay someone other than the original "manufacturer" to modify the program
    > for his own purposes and use


    I'd classify the first two (because they specify access to source code as
    a condition, rather than referring to any legal privilege) as
    "capability" or "opportunity" rather than "freedom". I'm a stickler for
    terms that way.

    --
    CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
    Kent Beck: "I always knew that one day Smalltalk would replace Java. I
    just didn't know it would be called Ruby."
     
    Chad Perrin, Oct 15, 2007
    #18
  19. On 15/10/2007, Chad Perrin <> wrote:

    >
    > The BSD license actually provides for the code covered by the license to
    > be forevermore "open source". There's a common misconception that the
    > BSD license and similar licenses somehow allow you to make the code in
    > them proprietary. That's not legally possible, as the BSD license
    > contains an inheritance clause that mandates further copies of the code
    > be distributed under the same license. The difference between that and
    > the voracious nature of the GPL is that the BSD license allows covered
    > code to be "wrapped" in code of another license, such that a complete
    > project can be distributed under the licensing terms of the copyright
    > holder's choice while the specific parts of it that are licensed BSD
    > remain under the BSD license's terms. The GPL demands that everything
    > that is connected to code it covers must also be distributed under its
    > terms.
    >
    > So . . . the MIT license may very well be quite suitable to situations
    > where you "demand that all derivative works also be OSS". That really
    > depends on how you mean that statement to be interpreted.


    The major difference from the "forever opensource" point of view is
    that BSD license does not require you to distribute the code in source
    form.
    This allows you to only distribute the binaries of a modified version
    of the software and keep the source, making the software as
    proprietary as it ever gets. People can disassemble it, but they can
    do the same with proprietary software (the license may forbid it but
    it is unenforcible technically and often even legally). To disallow
    copying the binaries just link with a proprietary module.

    Thanks

    Michal
     
    Michal Suchanek, Oct 15, 2007
    #19
  20. Trans

    Trans Guest

    On Oct 15, 9:20 am, Chad Perrin <> wrote:
    > On Tue, Oct 16, 2007 at 12:37:04AM +0900, Trans wrote:
    >
    > > Uh oh. We were doing so well! A potentially flaming subject kept to a
    > > congenial ember.

    >
    > > Tell you what. Lets now take a different bent: Here is what I think I
    > > learned from this thread.

    >
    > > 1) Licensing can be complicated ;)
    > > 2) Unless you have specific reasons to do otherwise pick a very simple
    > > one like MIT.
    > > Specific reasons are either:
    > > 1) I demand all derivative works also be OSS.
    > > 2) This software is mine mine mine (non-OSS or partial-OSS)
    > > 3) Another lib, that I must use, is forcing my hand.
    > > 3) Ruby license is not a good license to use, but unfortunately so
    > > many Rubyists have used it we are kind of stuck with it --see 2.3
    > > above. Thankfully, clause 4 of the license gets us out of point 2.1
    > > (barely?).


    > I'm not quite as well-versed in the MIT license as I am in some others.
    > It is often compared with the BSD license as having similar terms,
    > however, so I'll speak about the BSD license here (with which I'm more
    > familiar).
    >
    > The BSD license actually provides for the code covered by the license to
    > be forevermore "open source". There's a common misconception that the
    > BSD license and similar licenses somehow allow you to make the code in
    > them proprietary. That's not legally possible, as the BSD license
    > contains an inheritance clause that mandates further copies of the code
    > be distributed under the same license. The difference between that and
    > the voracious nature of the GPL is that the BSD license allows covered
    > code to be "wrapped" in code of another license, such that a complete
    > project can be distributed under the licensing terms of the copyright
    > holder's choice while the specific parts of it that are licensed BSD
    > remain under the BSD license's terms. The GPL demands that everything
    > that is connected to code it covers must also be distributed under its
    > terms.


    That's good to understand.

    > So . . . the MIT license may very well be quite suitable to situations
    > where you "demand that all derivative works also be OSS".


    Does it? I thought it was just the opposite.

    > That really
    > depends on how you mean that statement to be interpreted.


    Well, I was thinking "GPL" in this case.

    > As for the flame war prone nature of license discussions, I guess I
    > probably should have left well enough alone rather than asking someone to
    > keep his/her personal opinions down to a dull roar. The obvious pro-GPL
    > implications of a preceding message in this thread seemed to require some
    > correction, and I made the mistake of not realizing attempting to cut the
    > rhetoric away from the facts would be something like throwing fuel on a
    > fire. I apologize for that misjudgment.


    Well, we are all entitled (even to argue if we want ;) But classically
    I think the "war" of license is between GPL and BSD isn't it? That's
    probably a huge over simplification, but that tends to be my shallow
    assessment of the field. And that was really the crux of my dividing
    line for point 2.1.

    T.
     
    Trans, Oct 15, 2007
    #20
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