Page 1 of 1

Google rips off Linux GPL code for Android?

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:26 am
by Calum
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/29 ... x_headers/

http://android.git.kernel.org/?p=platfo ... yo-release

Controversial... or is it? Have google broken the law? Will microsoft use this to gain an advantage in this emerging area if Google are hit with a legal challenge from somewhere? What does this mean in terms of GPL software being used in the future? Will it be used in more software, or less, as a result of this, and does it matter at all, to Linux operating systems, and to computing systems in general, and their users?

Re: Google rips off Linux GPL code for Android?

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:55 am
by Void Main
I read over the article and am not really on any "side" on this issue, mostly because I don't know enough about it (yet). What's interesting is that it seems to be about headers which can be a little different than other code in that headers usually do not include actual code but are specifications. Remember, that's what the SCO case was all about, that Linux used header files from UNIX that SCO claimed copyright of. One of the big questions was if headers are copyrightable as they are more or less just "specifications". Having said that I think they would have been fine had they not cleaned out the copyrights/comments from the header files. That seems a little dirty to me even if it is determined that the headers are not copyrightable. At any rate, I think it would be hypocritical for me to get my blood pressure up over it at the point considering that's what the SCO case was all about against Linux.

Re: Google rips off Linux GPL code for Android?

Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:57 am
by Calum
still, there are some good points being made there about having cake on one hand and eating it on the other, and it'd be good to see some legal precedents so these sorts of arguments don't crop up over and over again.

Re: Google rips off Linux GPL code for Android?

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:52 pm
by X11
Well Void has an incredibly good point there, it seems the precedent is on Google's side. Anyway Calum, I thought you were against intellectual property.

Re: Google rips off Linux GPL code for Android?

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:21 am
by Calum
beg pardon? isn't that a little simplistic? it's a bit tiresome to have to answer party political questions like that but i will just say that i have always retained and reserved my own copy/publishing rights, so why anybody might get the idea i am against "intellectual property" whatever that nebulous term even means in this context, is beyond me.

What i am against is the misuse and misapplication, but in particular the mis-enactment, of intellectual property legislation, usually based on how much money the parties involved have got.

For example, i am against the patenting of software applications or utilities, my classic example is that if Dan Bricklin had patented the spreadsheet computing development would have slowed to a standstill, putting application development back by years, possibly decades. IRL Lotus and others eclipsed his product which was obsolete very quickly, though his product competed fairly in the marketplace. If he had applied for and been granted a patent, such as is fashionable now, it would have been illegal for anybody else to even try to develop another spreadsheet, different code or not.

I am in favour of authors, writers and artists retaining copyright on their works, if they choose to do so, or licensing their rights in ways which suit them if they so choose. I do not agree that copying and stealing are the same thing, however i do not think that digital copying is fair use (i also do not think it is piracy).

If i were against intellectual property, don't you think i would be giving all my music away for free? (btw even if i did this it still wouldn't sell, as it were)

I could go on forever about my position on intellectual property but i won't, i'll just point out that whether i have made my mind up for once and all about this issue (i haven't), that's not even at issue here. The issue is about whether or not google's actions are a breach of copyright law, and why, in either case. I was particularly interested in the input of people from this board, to be honest, since i don't know much about it.

Because to me it seems like a sliding scale, with cathedralic closed source coding a la microsoft at one end, and the total avoidance of wheel reinvention a la Berkeley/BSD on the other end. There is no doubt a happy medium somewhere in between.

Re: Google rips off Linux GPL code for Android?

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:49 pm
by X11
As far as I can tell Calum you're a consumer rights advocate in a consumption driven recession. All you care about is you. What about the developers? I might need a few patents, to secure a meal. I don't want a damn ration card!

EDIT:

I forgot to point out that this patent system should be abolished and there are zillions of ideas on the mises.org blog on free-market voluntary solutions.

Not being able to maintain a stable lifestyle in a capitalist economy also slows things down. You've not kept that in mind. There is a video lecturer by philosopher Tara Smith called The Menace of Pragmatism. That is your mistake, you've taken some piecemeal issue and ignored all else. I suggest someone of your intelligence also read Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, it's about the size of your polytheism book and of a guy of similar strata to you - that is he is a simple effective communicator and I'm an obscure jargon factory, there are some arguments I simply refuse to make because I have what I like to call Alan Greenspan disease.

Re: Google rips off Linux GPL code for Android?

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:19 am
by Calum
X11 wrote:As far as I can tell Calum you're a consumer rights advocate in a consumption driven recession. All you care about is you. What about the developers? I might need a few patents, to secure a meal. I don't want a damn ration card!
it's unfortunate that that's as far as you can tell, because i thought i was fairly clear in my position above. I must say i also thought it was clear that i am talking from both the position of a consumer, as well as a content creator (though i have no illusions that making music and writing code are the same i do think of them both as artistic and creative endeavours, with a tangible outcome that can be marketed as product) as well as with a nod to a larger economic situation.

I'm not quite sure why you misunderstood me again this time, maybe i am not particularly clear? I thought i had been. Maybe if you enlighten me about what parts of my comments have misled you as to my position?
I forgot to point out that this patent system should be abolished and there are zillions of ideas on the mises.org blog on free-market voluntary solutions.
yes, what i've been saying all along, really. IMHO Freedom (in this case: of choice) is the way out of the patent jungle.
Not being able to maintain a stable lifestyle in a capitalist economy also slows things down. You've not kept that in mind. There is a video lecturer by philosopher Tara Smith called The Menace of Pragmatism. That is your mistake, you've taken some piecemeal issue and ignored all else. I suggest someone of your intelligence also read Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, it's about the size of your polytheism book and of a guy of similar strata to you - that is he is a simple effective communicator and I'm an obscure jargon factory, there are some arguments I simply refuse to make because I have what I like to call Alan Greenspan disease.
hmm, okay cool. I'm not very speedy about reading people's recommendations to me, because i get so many, but i do try, so i will add that to my list. I agree with you that i am grappling with concepts i don't have a full understanding of. This is quite apparent to me when trying to market my music as product. I find the hardest bits are finding my audience, and identifying what that audience actually wants (and can afford, incidentally, this week i am bringing out a new collection of songs. I have taken some copies to gigs, and asked people to pay what they can afford. I have offloaded fewer copies than i expected, but also, people have been mainly paying me five pounds for it! I genuinely think if i had just priced the CD at five pounds, a lot fewer people would have bought it, the fact this surprised me confirmed my suspicions that i don't know how the big game of selling stuff really works), but that's kind of off topic, not completely, but kind of.