Re: Re: Big development in the GUI realm

Discussion in 'Python' started by Tim Churches, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Tim Churches

    Tim Churches Guest

    Fredrik Lundh <> wrote:
    >
    > Tim Churches wrote:
    >
    > > Thus, it seems to me, and to the expert legal advice which we sought

    > (note the scope of the advice
    > > was Australian law only) that provided no GLPed source or object code

    > is mixed, included or
    > > combined with non-GPLed code

    >
    > and how exactly are you going to load a DLL from an EXE file with-
    > out "mixing, including, or combining" the two?


    You can't, but as long as that "mixing, including, or combining" only occurs at runtime,
    the GPL itself specifically says that is out of scope and the GPL does not apply. Their
    words, not mine - to quote (yet again):

    "Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not covered by this
    License; they are outside its scope. The act of running the Program is not restricted,..."

    No argument from me that combination of source code or static linking is covered by
    the GPL, but runtime(-only) linking of two programmes which do not share any code
    and which are distributed as clear separate packages would seem to be out of scope
    of the GPL. Note that deeming the making of runtime calls on a GPLed library
    as "modification" of that GPLed library would be drawing a very long bow indeed, given
    that elsewhere in the GPL it says (as included commentary):

    "Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest your rights to work
    written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to exercise the right to control the
    distribution of derivative or collective works based on the Program."

    Now, I concede that the use of the adjective "collective" in the above commentary does
    make things even less clear. However, Section 0 of the GPL specifically defines what
    is meant by "a work based on the {GPLed] Program", to wit:

    "The 'Program', below, refers to any such program or work, and a 'work based on the
    Program' means either the Program or any derivative work under copyright law: that is
    to say, a work containing the Program or a portion of it, either verbatim or with
    modifications and/or translated into another language."

    So there you have it: there must be some portion of the GPLed Program contained in
    the other work for it to fall under the scope of the GPL, and/or as defined as a
    derivative work in local copyright law (local because the GPL does not nominate a
    particular jurisdiction for covering law).

    Clear as mud.

    Tim C
     
    Tim Churches, Feb 7, 2005
    #1
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  2. Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    On Tue, 08 Feb 2005 10:47:25 +1100, Tim Churches
    <> wrote:
    >So there you have it: there must be some portion of the GPLed Program contained in
    >the other work for it to fall under the scope of the GPL, and/or as defined as a
    >derivative work in local copyright law (local because the GPL does not nominate a
    >particular jurisdiction for covering law).


    Has someone worked with Qt for Windows before, and could tell us
    whether it involves static or dynamic linking?

    If dynamic, then, it doesn't make sense that an EXE that builds on Qt
    should also be GPLed.

    Luke.
     
    Luke Skywalker, Feb 8, 2005
    #2
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  3. Tim Churches

    Courageous Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm


    >If dynamic, then, it doesn't make sense that an EXE that builds on Qt
    >should also be GPLed.


    I'm hoping you're referring to the owners choice of license. For example,
    if someone, owning rights to a thing that was a dynamic library, decided
    to have a license akin to the GPL, it would easily qualify. It's a question
    of /distribution/. If you copy parts of the work, and redestribute those
    copies, you are caught by the rule of law. After that the license is a
    matter of reduction to practice.

    C//
     
    Courageous, Feb 8, 2005
    #3
  4. Tim Churches

    Robert Kern Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Luke Skywalker wrote:
    > On Tue, 08 Feb 2005 10:47:25 +1100, Tim Churches
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>So there you have it: there must be some portion of the GPLed Program contained in
    >>the other work for it to fall under the scope of the GPL, and/or as defined as a
    >>derivative work in local copyright law (local because the GPL does not nominate a
    >>particular jurisdiction for covering law).

    >
    >
    > Has someone worked with Qt for Windows before, and could tell us
    > whether it involves static or dynamic linking?
    >
    > If dynamic, then, it doesn't make sense that an EXE that builds on Qt
    > should also be GPLed.


    *shrug* To my knowledge, no court has ruled either way on the issue. The
    FSF holds the position that the new program *should* have a
    GPL-compatible license and that the GPL terms hold for the program as a
    whole. Trolltech also holds this position, I believe (and this is the
    important point if you want to avoid being sued, regardless of how a
    court would decide).

    Now, that's not to say that they are correct in their interpretation of
    the GPL's terms. In fact, if I had to bet on an outcome, I'd probably
    wager that the court would hold that only static linking would force the
    program as a whole to follow the GPL terms. However, I certainly don't
    have the money to pony up to run a test case. Consequently, I try to
    follow the wishes of the copyright holder.

    --
    Robert Kern


    "In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
    Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
    -- Richard Harter
     
    Robert Kern, Feb 8, 2005
    #4
  5. Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    On Mon, 07 Feb 2005 17:47:30 -0800, Robert Kern <>
    wrote:
    >Now, that's not to say that they are correct in their interpretation of
    >the GPL's terms. In fact, if I had to bet on an outcome, I'd probably
    >wager that the court would hold that only static linking would force the
    >program as a whole to follow the GPL terms. However, I certainly don't
    >have the money to pony up to run a test case. Consequently, I try to
    >follow the wishes of the copyright holder.


    It's strange that something so central hasn't been clarified yet, but
    maybe it's part of the changes meant for V.3.

    When you think about it, it'd be like banning any closed-source apps
    from being developed for Linux, since any application makes syscalls
    to the kernel and its libraries.

    But the fact is that there are now closed-source apps for that
    platform, and are considered legit since those apps don't include code
    from the kernel, but instead, merely make calls to binary objects. I
    fail to see the difference between making calls to the kernel API and
    making calls to Qt libraries.

    Luke.
     
    Luke Skywalker, Feb 8, 2005
    #5
  6. Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    On 2005-02-08, Luke Skywalker <> wrote:

    >>Now, that's not to say that they are correct in their
    >>interpretation of the GPL's terms. In fact, if I had to bet on
    >>an outcome, I'd probably wager that the court would hold that
    >>only static linking would force the program as a whole to
    >>follow the GPL terms. However, I certainly don't have the money
    >>to pony up to run a test case. Consequently, I try to follow
    >>the wishes of the copyright holder.

    >
    > It's strange that something so central hasn't been clarified
    > yet, but maybe it's part of the changes meant for V.3.


    It's been made quite clear what the intention of the FSF is
    in regard to static linking. Trolltech also made their
    intentions crystal clear.

    > When you think about it, it'd be like banning any
    > closed-source apps from being developed for Linux, since any
    > application makes syscalls to the kernel


    Wrong. The kernel license _explicitly_ allows non GPL'd
    programs to make calles via the published syscall API.

    > and its libraries.


    Wrong again. First, the kernel does own any libraries. Second,
    the libraries to which you refer are under the LGPL and other
    licenses which explicitly allows distribution of non-GPL'd
    programs that are linked dynamically with the libraries.

    > But the fact is


    Fact? You seem to be very short on facts and are mostly just
    making up shit as you go.

    > that there are now closed-source apps for that platform, and
    > are considered legit since those apps don't include code from
    > the kernel, but instead, merely make calls to binary objects.


    True, but moot.

    > I fail to see the difference between making calls to the
    > kernel API and making calls to Qt libraries.


    BECAUSE IN THE KERNEL KERNEL COPYING FILE LINUS SAYS:

    NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that
    use kernel services by normal system calls - this is
    merely considered normal use of the kernel, and does
    *not* fall under the heading of "derived work". Also note
    that the GPL below is copyrighted by the Free Software
    Foundation, but the instance of code that it refers to
    (the Linux kernel) is copyrighted by me and others who
    actually wrote it.

    AND TROLLTECH SAYS:

    Users who want to donate their source code to the Open
    Source community can use the Open Source version and must
    license their software under the GPL. Users who write
    commercial proprietary software must purchase a license and
    may freely choose how to license and profit from their
    software.

    Spare us your clueless, junior-high legal analyses and just do
    what's right: obey the wishes of the owners of the copyrights
    in question. They've made their intentions 100% clear, and if
    you try to worm your way around them, you're dishonorable,
    theiving scum.

    --
    Grant Edwards grante Yow! I know things about
    at TROY DONAHUE that can't
    visi.com even be PRINTED!!
     
    Grant Edwards, Feb 8, 2005
    #6
  7. Tim Churches

    Robert Kern Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Grant Edwards wrote:

    > Spare us your clueless, junior-high legal analyses


    [etc.]

    Hey! There's no need for name-calling. This is a tricky legal area that
    can be very confusing even to the most legal-minded of us. While I think
    "Luke" is incorrect in several respects and is somewhat uninformed about
    others, he doesn't deserve this vitriol.

    --
    Robert Kern


    "In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
    Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
    -- Richard Harter
     
    Robert Kern, Feb 8, 2005
    #7
  8. Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    On 2005-02-08, Robert Kern <> wrote:
    > Grant Edwards wrote:
    >
    >> Spare us your clueless, junior-high legal analyses

    >
    > [etc.]
    >
    > Hey! There's no need for name-calling. This is a tricky legal area that
    > can be very confusing even to the most legal-minded of us. While I think
    > "Luke" is incorrect in several respects and is somewhat uninformed about
    > others, he doesn't deserve this vitriol.


    Sorry if I was a bit blunt, but I'm sick of people trying to
    weasle their way around a license by creative interpretation of
    the license terms when the licensors made their intentions as
    clear as possible.

    I've released software under the GPL, and I really pisses me
    off when I see people trying to violate the spirit and intent
    of the license becuase they want to use GPL'ed software but
    they don't want to abide by the terms of the license.

    If you want to use one of my libraries that's under the GPL and
    you don't want to release your source code, then do the right
    thing:

    1) Release your code under the GPL.

    2) Write your own library.

    3) Ask me to let you use it under the LGPL or a different
    license. [I've agreed everytime the request has been made.]

    I've got no patience at all for people who sit around playing
    word games and coming up with bad analogies to try to justify
    using somebody else's software without author's permission.

    I don't _care_ why somebody thinks they should be able to use
    Trolltech's software for a non-GPL'ed program without paying
    for it when Trolltech has stated explicitly that they're not
    allowed to do that.

    --
    Grant Edwards grante Yow! I'm DESPONDENT... I
    at hope there's something
    visi.com DEEP-FRIED under this
    miniature DOMED STADIUM...
     
    Grant Edwards, Feb 8, 2005
    #8
  9. Tim Churches

    Robert Kern Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Grant Edwards wrote:

    > Sorry if I was a bit blunt, but I'm sick of people trying to
    > weasle their way around a license by creative interpretation of
    > the license terms when the licensors made their intentions as
    > clear as possible.


    Believe me, I share your frustration every time this issue comes up.
    However, I think it's best to follow Robert Heinlein's maxim:

    "Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity."

    And I think we can also replace the word "stupidity" with "ignorance" if
    you like.

    It seems to me that "Luke" is confused and ignorant. He has shown no
    indication that he intends to write proprietary software using Qt.

    In any case, he may be right, and the FSF, Trolltech, and you could all
    be wrong. Your intention when you use the GPL may be moot if a judge
    determines that the text itself and copyright law does not support your
    interpretation.

    I think that it is almost always best to obey the intentions of the
    copyright holder and to ask for clarification when it is unclear. On the
    other hand, if the copyright holder is *clearly* off-base with his
    interpretation (and to me this would require actual case law, not just
    the opinion of a lawyer), then I might consider disregarding the
    author's interpretation and going with what case law and my lawyer
    suggests. I don't believe that this situation holds with respect to this
    issue, of course.

    --
    Robert Kern


    "In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
    Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
    -- Richard Harter
     
    Robert Kern, Feb 8, 2005
    #9
  10. Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    On 2005-02-08, Robert Kern <> wrote:

    > Believe me, I share your frustration every time this issue comes up.
    > However, I think it's best to follow Robert Heinlein's maxim:
    >
    > "Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained
    > by stupidity."


    Of course you are right.

    > It seems to me that "Luke" is confused and ignorant. He has shown no
    > indication that he intends to write proprietary software using Qt.


    I'm sure he isn't.

    I'd apologize to him as well, but I just can bring myself to
    apologize to somebody named "Luke Skywalker" with an e-mail
    address of "".

    --
    Grant Edwards grante Yow! Excuse me, but didn't
    at I tell you there's NO HOPE
    visi.com for the survival of OFFSET
    PRINTING?
     
    Grant Edwards, Feb 8, 2005
    #10
  11. Tim Churches

    Courageous Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm


    >Now, that's not to say that they are correct in their interpretation of
    >the GPL's terms. In fact, if I had to bet on an outcome, I'd probably
    >wager that the court would hold that only static linking would force the
    >program as a whole to follow the GPL terms.


    I just wrote and deleted a long diatribe. But then I realized you are
    specifically speaking of the GPL's language. I once wrote RMS specifically
    on this subject. Back then, he agreed that it was ambiguous. The language
    of the GPL has changed over the years; and you are right: the court would
    have to rule about the terms, quite specifically because it would be reasonable
    to quibble over what rights have or have not been granted.

    My long diatribe was on copyright law itself. Not pertinent.

    Motion to strike and all that. :)

    C//
     
    Courageous, Feb 8, 2005
    #11
  12. Re: Big development in the GUI realm


    > In any case, he may be right, and the FSF, Trolltech, and you could all
    > be wrong. Your intention when you use the GPL may be moot if a judge
    > determines that the text itself and copyright law does not support your
    > interpretation.


    I'm sorry to jump into this thread without any knowledge of these issues. I
    was just wondering if it did happen. Did some law court, over the past
    decade, had to make a decision about GPL on some real issue ?

    Thank you

    Francis Girard

    Le mardi 8 Février 2005 05:17, Robert Kern a écrit :
    > Grant Edwards wrote:
    > > Sorry if I was a bit blunt, but I'm sick of people trying to
    > > weasle their way around a license by creative interpretation of
    > > the license terms when the licensors made their intentions as
    > > clear as possible.

    >
    > Believe me, I share your frustration every time this issue comes up.
    > However, I think it's best to follow Robert Heinlein's maxim:
    >
    > "Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by
    > stupidity."
    >
    > And I think we can also replace the word "stupidity" with "ignorance" if
    > you like.
    >
    > It seems to me that "Luke" is confused and ignorant. He has shown no
    > indication that he intends to write proprietary software using Qt.
    >
    > In any case, he may be right, and the FSF, Trolltech, and you could all
    > be wrong. Your intention when you use the GPL may be moot if a judge
    > determines that the text itself and copyright law does not support your
    > interpretation.
    >
    > I think that it is almost always best to obey the intentions of the
    > copyright holder and to ask for clarification when it is unclear. On the
    > other hand, if the copyright holder is *clearly* off-base with his
    > interpretation (and to me this would require actual case law, not just
    > the opinion of a lawyer), then I might consider disregarding the
    > author's interpretation and going with what case law and my lawyer
    > suggests. I don't believe that this situation holds with respect to this
    > issue, of course.
    >
    > --
    > Robert Kern
    >
    >
    > "In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
    > Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
    > -- Richard Harter
     
    Francis Girard, Feb 8, 2005
    #12
  13. Tim Churches

    Robert Kern Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Francis Girard wrote:
    [I wrote:]
    >>In any case, he may be right, and the FSF, Trolltech, and you could all
    >>be wrong. Your intention when you use the GPL may be moot if a judge
    >>determines that the text itself and copyright law does not support your
    >>interpretation.

    >
    >
    > I'm sorry to jump into this thread without any knowledge of these issues. I
    > was just wondering if it did happen. Did some law court, over the past
    > decade, had to make a decision about GPL on some real issue ?


    Not about this issue, I don't believe. There was some flap between MySQL
    AB and NuSphere Corporation concerning *static* linking, but that case
    was settled before the judge ruled on whether static linking creates a
    derivative work[1].

    Larry Rosen's book _Open Source Licensing_ covers these issues (and
    their lack of case law) pretty thoroughly[2].

    [1] http://www.mysql.com/news-and-events/press-release/release_2002_14.html
    [2] http://www.rosenlaw.com/oslbook.htm

    --
    Robert Kern


    "In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
    Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
    -- Richard Harter
     
    Robert Kern, Feb 8, 2005
    #13
  14. Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Robert Kern wrote:

    > Believe me, I share your frustration every time this issue comes up. However, I think it's best to
    > follow Robert Heinlein's maxim:
    >
    > "Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity."


    that's Hanlon, not Heinlein. to be on the safe side, I won't attempt to
    attribute your mistake to anything.

    </F>
     
    Fredrik Lundh, Feb 8, 2005
    #14
  15. Tim Churches

    Robert Kern Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Fredrik Lundh wrote:
    > Robert Kern wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Believe me, I share your frustration every time this issue comes up. However, I think it's best to
    >>follow Robert Heinlein's maxim:
    >>
    >> "Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity."

    >
    >
    > that's Hanlon, not Heinlein. to be on the safe side, I won't attempt to
    > attribute your mistake to anything.


    Fair enough. The only time I've seen it in dead-tree print was in
    Heinlein's _Time Enough For Love_, unattributed to anyone else.
    Googlespace seems to be not entirely sure whether "Hanlon" is real or is
    a corruption of "Heinlein". Googling for quote attributions is a tricky
    proposition at best, though.

    --
    Robert Kern


    "In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
    Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
    -- Richard Harter
     
    Robert Kern, Feb 8, 2005
    #15
  16. Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Robert Kern <> said :

    >> that's Hanlon, not Heinlein. to be on the safe side, I won't attempt
    >> to attribute your mistake to anything.

    >
    > Fair enough. The only time I've seen it in dead-tree print was in
    > Heinlein's _Time Enough For Love_, unattributed to anyone else.
    > Googlespace seems to be not entirely sure whether "Hanlon" is real or
    > is a corruption of "Heinlein". Googling for quote attributions is a
    > tricky proposition at best, though.


    I don't know who Mr Hanlon is, but I've previously seen it attributed to
    Napoleon Buonaparte. Never been able to verify that either, though.

    --
    YAFAP : http://www.multimania.com/fredp/
     
    Fred Pacquier, Feb 8, 2005
    #16
  17. Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Robert Kern wrote:

    > Fair enough. The only time I've seen it in dead-tree print was in Heinlein's _Time Enough For
    > Love_, unattributed to anyone else.


    if that's true, it would seem that it predates the Hanlon reference by a
    couple of years:

    http://www.statusq.org/archives/2001/12/04

    on the other hand, Google tells me that "Time Enough For Love" con-
    tains a couple of other famous stupidity quotes, including:

    "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity"

    do you still have a copy of the book? (preferrably a version printed
    before 1980...)

    </F>
     
    Fredrik Lundh, Feb 8, 2005
    #17
  18. Tim Churches

    Robert Kern Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Fredrik Lundh wrote:
    > Robert Kern wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Fair enough. The only time I've seen it in dead-tree print was in Heinlein's _Time Enough For
    >>Love_, unattributed to anyone else.

    >
    >
    > if that's true, it would seem that it predates the Hanlon reference by a
    > couple of years:
    >
    > http://www.statusq.org/archives/2001/12/04
    >
    > on the other hand, Google tells me that "Time Enough For Love" con-
    > tains a couple of other famous stupidity quotes, including:
    >
    > "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity"
    >
    > do you still have a copy of the book? (preferrably a version printed
    > before 1980...)


    Not at the moment. I'll try to hit up some used book stores or libraries.

    --
    Robert Kern


    "In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
    Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
    -- Richard Harter
     
    Robert Kern, Feb 8, 2005
    #18
  19. Tim Churches

    Kent Johnson Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Fredrik Lundh wrote:
    > Robert Kern wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Fair enough. The only time I've seen it in dead-tree print was in Heinlein's _Time Enough For
    >>Love_, unattributed to anyone else.


    Amazon.com "search inside the book" finds no hits for "malice" in this book.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0441810764/102-7636110-6481700?v=search-inside&keywords=malice

    >
    >
    > if that's true, it would seem that it predates the Hanlon reference by a
    > couple of years:
    >
    > http://www.statusq.org/archives/2001/12/04
    >
    > on the other hand, Google tells me that "Time Enough For Love" con-
    > tains a couple of other famous stupidity quotes, including:
    >
    > "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity"


    "Search inside the book" finds this *twice* in "Time Enough For Love".

    Kent
     
    Kent Johnson, Feb 8, 2005
    #19
  20. Tim Churches

    Robert Kern Guest

    Re: Big development in the GUI realm

    Kent Johnson wrote:
    > Fredrik Lundh wrote:
    >
    >> Robert Kern wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Fair enough. The only time I've seen it in dead-tree print was in
    >>> Heinlein's _Time Enough For Love_, unattributed to anyone else.

    >
    >
    > Amazon.com "search inside the book" finds no hits for "malice" in this
    > book.
    > http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0441810764/102-7636110-6481700?v=search-inside&keywords=malice


    Hooray for technology!

    In that case, I have no idea why I thought it was from Heinlein. The
    similar quote[1] that *is* from Heinlein, but an entirely different
    formulation, is from "Logic of Empire", which I know I have not read.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon's_Razor

    --
    Robert Kern


    "In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
    Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
    -- Richard Harter
     
    Robert Kern, Feb 9, 2005
    #20
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