[nycbug-talk] Sun News Roundup

Marc Spitzer mspitzer at gmail.com
Thu Apr 2 00:39:30 EDT 2009

On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 10:37 AM, Miles Nordin <carton at ivy.net> wrote:
>>>>>> "ms" == Marc Spitzer <mspitzer at gmail.com> writes:
>    ms> Was not most of the orignal GNU products rebranded BSD, and
>    ms> BSD licenced, tools?
> Maybe, but I wasn't aware of it.  I thought their project started by
> working on some proprietary Unix platform, replacing the tools
> one-by-one.  Do you have some citation?  Not that I necessarily agree
> with you it's a problem or some kind of ``hypocricy'' if they did it,
> though.

Umm you were the person arguing intent as something *seperate* as
complying with the letter of the license.  Please argue consistantly
across both sides of the issue.

> I just think you're slinging around a lot more than FUD to claim such
> a thing if it's not true.  Trolling is one thing, but making up
> garbage to get a rise out of someone is something else entirely, so I
> hope you've some reason to believe it, other than you think it might
> piss me off.  One can't prove a negative, so if this did happen then
> the burden of proof is on you.  That said, here's the best I could do:

Please provide *proof of malicious intent.*, and while you are at it
please provide some proof that I am at least wrong befor you go
accusing me of doing malicious things.  Just to remind you the two
things I said were definatly rebranded bsd code, flex and bison just
to be clear.

>  http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/bison.git/tree/REFERENCES
>   describes differences between bison and yacc, but does not say one
>   is based on code from the other.  It does say it uses a different
>   algorithm suggesting it was at least rewritten.

Bison two was rewritten Bison1 was rebranded initally.  And swaping
out the algorithim does not mean it is not based on a particular code

>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Compiler_Collection#History
>  http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.misc/msg/32eda22392c20f98
>   which does say they ``extended'' another compiler, but also says
>   they rewrote it in C instead of some other Pascal-like language
>   called Pastel.  Copyright protects the expression of ideas, not
>   ideas themselves, so translating from one language into another
>   should decisively remove any taint that may or may not have existed
>   on the sources with which they started.

GCC was the weakest, as I stated, of my claims.

> so, I'd say it looks pretty unlikely.
> Another thing to keep in mind is that ``clean room'' techniques may
> not have been well-known back then, because the problem of rewriting
> source code that you already have, to change it from one license to
> another, was probably not well-known---if you had the code, you kind
> of just did what you liked with it because why-not-seems-reasonable,
> which is how the AT&T lawsuit happened (CSRG and AT&T were both doing
> huge amounts of it).

The only thing bsd1 required was a credit where credit was due to
rebrand to gpl.  Now on to my understanding of the ATT lawsuit:
1: AT sued BSDI
2: BSDI said we wrote 4 files and we will defend those, the rest we
got from CSRG with this shiny certificat of not having ATT code in it
and a tape we did not need.
3: CSRG got pulled into the suit
4: they could prove that they did not give out ATT code
5: it was settled and sealed
6: there was a CA FOIR fileds to unseal the judgment and it was
publicly avalable
7: you should go read docs referenced in 6

Now please stop slandering people though your ignorance.

> IIRC Stallman developed cleanroom techniques for reimplementing the
> Lisp Machine work he was doing in crappy, free form (emacs).  so, if
> anything he was kind of fucking up a LOT less than BSD people of the
> time, giving a lot more respect to the specific copyright on the
> source code he had in his hands.

Please list how the BSD people were not honoring copyright?  And RMS
just did not want to get sued and loose.

>    ms> There is no real way to argue that GPLing a BSD project is not
>    ms> a violation of the authors intent.
> so, first, for the _text_ of the license itself, obviously it's okay
> with the BSD license to re-release as GPL provided you don't delete
> the BSD restrictions.  BSD license does not have a problem with the
> _additional restrictions_ imposed by the GPL, even though presumably
> that's what you personally have a problem with.  While you have no
> problem with releases where you get no source code at all---a view
> which I still cannot understand.

But I am using your definitioin of intent, something other then what
the licences says.  This is in reference to your whining about how Sun
is not honoring the GPLs *intent* while complying with the license.
Can you please stay on one set of definitions durring a converstion.
After all the GPL does not have a problem with *not assinging
copyright to the FSF* after all, although you did rant about *exactly*
that behavior on Suns part.

> The problem with living under both sets of restrictions concurrently,
> is GPL will not allow you to redistribute a work subject to
> 4-clause-BSD + GPL at the same time because the advertising clause is
> an ``additional restriction''---a work with both licenses stuck at the
> top becomes as if the work had traditional
> copyright-to-prevent-copying.  If the original holder of the copyright
> offers it under dual-_either_, BSD or GPL, then a subsequent
> redistributor could pick GPL, remove the ``additional restrictions''
> along with the rest of the BSD license, and release as GPL-only---by
> giving permission to subsequent redistributors to remove BSD whenever
> they like iff they keep GPL, the GPL ``additional restrictions''
> clause becomes happy.

So what you are saying is that the GPL is incompatable with the BSDv1
Licence that was what many of the inital imports, lexx and yacc for
example, were licensed.  ohh my.

> But if the original holder released as 4-clause BSD only, as you
> allege was the original source of most GNU tools including gcc, flex,
> and bison, then of course BSD has a problem with deleting the BSD
> license text from the redistributed copy altogether, because it says
> in its text you can't.

I specifically stated flex and yacc yes, gcc could be.

> You allege GNU simply removed the BSD copyright.  Why would they not
> instead alter their license slightly to permit it to coexist with the
> advertising clause?  Doing so wouldn't have compromised their goals
> (in fact, they DID it with v3), and would have let them *legally* take
> all the BSD work, slap GPL restrictions on it, and continue from
> there.  They didn't.  I don't know why not.  But the fact that they
> didn't suggests they didn't start with BSD source.

One thing to keep in mind was that there is the BSDv2 is effectivly
public domain, ie it removes the advertising clause.  And iff I
remember correctly all the CSRG code was rereleased under v2 if you
wanted to use it.

> BUT you're asking me to defend from something slightly different, both
> harder (because it's hazy) and easier (because one can't prove a
> negative), than actual strict compliance with the text: you want the
> _intent_ of the BSD developers.

You were complaining about the intent of the GPL, I just retargeted
your argument.

> I'm not sure I have to argue any of this as part of my beef with
> Sun---there's no reason Sun and GNU can't both be wrong.  Sun doesn't
> lose all their rights to complain about someone doing shifty things
> with the CDDL like ``greenbytes'' might be, or Microsoft trying to
> break Java in exactly the way Sun predicted they would and thus
> violating the license, just because they're themselves being shifty
> with the GPL.  irc arguing may work that way.  the Daily News may work
> that way.  but the world doesn't.

If they are complying with the license they are not being shifty.  But
they do not need to aid the FSF in any way not compelled by said
license.  Are they complying with the license?

> Nevertheless I think it would be extremely easy to argue, starting
> with the common intent-statement BSD-license authors make of, ``we
> just want as many people to use our code as possible,'' and next, the
> change to three-clause BSD license from the four-clause, the purpose
> of which was to make it GPLv2 compatible by removing the ``additional
> restriction'' the GPL couldn't accept---almost every BSD author
> contactable agrees to 3-clause and thus implicitly to having their
> work forked as GPL.

I do not see the argument

> I guess where your side goes from here, is to point at Theo and say
> ``choice of license doesn't indicate intent with a BSD developer,
> because many of them (a) aren't capable of articulating their intent
> clearly and consistently, and (b) tend to understand licenses rather
> incompletely.  They say things like `I'm apolitical.  I just want to
> get work done.'  ''  Well, obviously that situation is hard to even
> comprehend, much less debate, but---if the author's intent is, ``I
> want as many people as possible to use my work as long as they're not
> Linux,'' AND if FSF really did start with BSD code which seems pretty
> fucking unlikely, well then, I win again because Linux didn't exist
> back then!

Did I say I have a side?  I just asked a question, sauce for the goos
is sauce for the gander, is it not?

>    ms> does not the FSF heavely and massivly misrepresent the word
>    ms> free in their message?  GPL can not be free as the word is
>    ms> defined in the dictionary,
> their core message includes definition of exactly what they mean by
> the word: the ``four essential freedoms.''

As a matter of using the english language we have these rules.  One of
them is that you can not define aq word to mean something that
contradicts its already afreed upon definitions. n In this case the
definition that the FSF contradicst is "without cost or encumberance"
.  The encumberance part kinda shitcans the GPLs claim to be free as
the word is used in the english language.  The FSF lies about it and
its intent, apple/objectiveC is a fairly well known case of where gpl
is definatly not without encumberance, there for not free.

>  http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/free-sw.html
> They even take pains to avoid the word free whenever practical because
> of its multiple meanings: using it as ``software freedom'' or
> replacing it with ``libre''.  If you go look at the actual message
> coming out of FSF, I think it's virtually impossible to make the case
> they're trying to profit from confusion.

they may have cleaned it up since the last time I looked at it,
probably on advice of counsel.

> If you're saying, ``I feel like I might have been confused and they
> profited, for like two seconds, five years ago before I started hating
> everything GPL, because here, look!, look at my dictionary,'' well in
> that case I have to agree with you, that might have happened.

My point is not that third parties got screwed by not reading the
license but that they lied in promoting it.

> but IIRC my use of the word free was not the FSF's.

But GPL is not free.


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