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Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:32 am
by Void Main
No, I didn't say I want him to publicly say fsck Microsoft. I just don't want him to sound eager about making deals with them and it just comes down to you and I reading his statements differently. In my opinion it would have been best if he just had said "No, we are not in the process of making any patent deals with Microsoft and there is no chance that will ever happen in the future." Had he left all the other cheery stuff out of it would have been perfectly fine in my book. It's not like it's his code to be making deals with anyway. It's perfectly fine for him to build a support business around Linux and to do that you don't need to make any deals with Microsoft or any other proprietary software vendor for that matter.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:58 am
by Jenda
For one thing, his aspirations are likely a lot higher than building a support business around a distro.
For another, it's in his nature to speak of things light-heartedly, and that 'wonderful things' statement is a great example.
And lastly "No, we are not in the process of making any patent deals with Microsoft and there is no chance that will ever happen in the future." is something you can't say in a business world. You can say "We will never abuse child labor" or "We will always keep our distro free" but you can't say "We will never buy from/sell to X", because 99% of people still regard MS as a company, good or bad, not the devil itself, because that just doesn't happen in business.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:13 am
by Void Main
You most certainly "can" say "I will never make a patent deal with Microsoft" when that deal would violate the license of the copyright holders who actually wrote the code that you based your business off of. As I said, the code is not his. 99.99% of the code used in Ubuntu is written and copyrighted by people other than people affiliated with Ubuntu. What it sounds like you (and he) want is a proprietary OS. Unless you can expand on what you mean by "higher aspirations than just a support business" because that's pretty much all we (people like me who license our code under the GPL) allow/intend. You are not dealing with "public domain" code here and it seems to me that's what a lot of people I know who are associated with Ubuntu think they are dealing with. It's probably best not to bite the hand that feeds....

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:41 am
by Jenda
Huh O_O
Where did that come from?
You most certainly "can" say "I will never make a patent deal with Microsoft" when that deal would violate the license of the copyright holders who actually wrote the code that you based your business off of.
Yes, but you can't assume all patent deals are evil. Patents are evil IMO, but patent deals might also serve to eliminate the patent threat, or patents altogether.
As I said, the code is not his. 99.99% of the code used in Ubuntu is written and copyrighted by people other than people affiliated with Ubuntu.
Duh. Everyone knows that (I hope).
What it sounds like you (and he) want is a proprietary OS.
If you said this to my face, we'd already be fighting ;) I consider that a grave insult... and in all honesty have absolutely no clue where you pulled it out of.
Unless you can expand on what you mean by "higher aspirations than just a support business" because that's pretty much all we (people like me who license our code under the GPL) allow/intend.
Jaysus! Since when have you been so paranoid? Have you entirely neglected the fact that he's founded and nurtured what is now one of the world's top distros with a bustling and extremely sane community around it? _That_ is what I meant. He is _not_ just making a support business, he's also making a distro that could be 'the one' and an awesome community around it. Sheesh.
You are not dealing with "public domain" code here and it seems to me that's what a lot of people I know who are associated with Ubuntu think they are dealing with. It's probably best not to bite the hand that feeds....
I know exactly what the GPL allows me and Canonical to do, thank you very much, and I believe so do they. Canonical has always maintained perfect relationships with the community (with a few slips).

By the way, GPLv2 concerns itself with copyright, hardly patents.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:18 pm
by Void Main
Jaysus! Since when have you been so paranoid? Have you entirely neglected the fact that he's founded and nurtured what is now one of the world's top distros with a bustling and extremely sane community around it? _That_ is what I meant. He is _not_ just making a support business, he's also making a distro that could be 'the one' and an awesome community around it. Sheesh.
Linux dies if Ubuntu becomes "the one". That's not what Linux/Open Source is about and I think it is precisely that attitude coming from Ubuntu that really turns me off. With Ubuntu it seems to be more about "me" than "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" which is traditional open source way. We already have "the one" with Microsoft. At least they either bought or wrote what they have but they trampled over a lot of people to get where they are. And in the end what do you end up with in "the one"? That's right, a big fat steaming pile of dog doodoo. :) I hope it's just my perception and they prove me wrong but as I said from the start, I'm not too keen on the path they seem to be on.

Regarding the rest of your statement, I consider what you describe to be a "Linux support business". Again, nothing wrong with that. It sounded like you meant something more than that and I was curious as to what that "more" part was. I've always been paranoid, maybe you didn't know me as well as you thought. :)
Jenda wrote:I know exactly what the GPL allows me and Canonical to do, thank you very much, and I believe so do they. Canonical has always maintained perfect relationships with the community (with a few slips).

By the way, GPLv2 concerns itself with copyright, hardly patents.
Uh, GPLv2 very much deals with patents. Maybe it's time to reread it?

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.
7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other circumstances.

It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the integrity of the free software distribution system, which is implemented by public license practices. Many people have made generous contributions to the wide range of software distributed through that system in reliance on consistent application of that system; it is up to the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing to distribute software through any other system and a licensee cannot impose that choice.

This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to be a consequence of the rest of this License.

8. If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the original copyright holder who places the Program under this License may add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding those countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among countries not thus excluded. In such case, this License incorporates the limitation as if written in the body of this License.

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:12 am
by Jenda
You hear what you want to hear, you see what you want to see.
"The one" doesn't mean the one that eliminates all the others, or the one everyone has to use, but the one that could break through to the broader public. No distro has managed to appeal to non-tech outsiders as much as Ubuntu has. Through that, Ubuntu isn't harming the F/OSS/Linux community, it's helping it.

As for the GPL, I admit to have forgotten that part :)
However, the GPL is a licence agreement. That means it is the waiver of certain rights (within the copyright) by the licensor towards the licensee. Without agreeing on a licence with the © owner, you aren't allowed to use the program at all (except in certain fair use cases)(which, curiously, is the right of the holder), unless the holder has waived his rights entirely - PD.
In no way does the GPL have the legal power to limit patents - and what you quoted only reminds the licensee that patents have no legal power to limit the GPL either, and that you have to respect both groups of 'rights'. (The first quote is just the expression of a wish - and I don't see where it's been made clear that a patent must be licensed to all or none.)

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:51 am
by Calum
Of course, the two of you would love to hear him say "fsck microsoft. We're here to kill microsoft."
But that is simply not something you can say when you have a life
you cast the first stone. This is insulting to me. I would caution you against belittling the opinions of those you don't agree with.

For your information you are 100% incorrect about what i "want" shuttleworth to say or do.

To be frank, linux and many core apps and utils are GPL code. They are not owned by any corporation and cannot be treated as property or public domain/BSD style code, as previously mentioned.

Any company that chooses to do this, or tries to do this, is as bad as microsoft, and whether or not you or the public thinks that is alright is irrelevant. It isn't alright and is illegal. Microsoft do not have a spotless legal record in cases of this nature, and i suspect that Ubuntu may be a windows wannabe in this area as well as just the look and feel of the GUI.

Re: patents and GPL. If somebody appropriates GPL code and then tries to patent the result, then i believe the GPL does affect the situation. This is the possibility that i suspect ubuntu may be paving the way for.

And Jenda, you were the one saying Shuttleworth is "willing" to deal with microsoft, and i think that would be generally detrimental to linux as a collection of distros, the linux community, and ultimately to Ubuntu. If ubuntu obtain a stranglehold on the linux distro "market" then that will stifle creativity and development as much as microsoft windows has done in the commercial software arena.

Note: it is important what is meant by "deal" in these contexts. I have already seen this word used quite looely within this thread for the possible purpose of fostering some minor misconceptions. I think it would be best if these are not allowed to become major ones.

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:16 am
by Void Main
Jenda wrote:You hear what you want to hear, you see what you want to see.
Alright, now you're starting to sound like my wife and before her my mother. :)
Jenda wrote:"The one" doesn't mean the one that eliminates all the others, or the one everyone has to use, but the one that could break through to the broader public. No distro has managed to appeal to non-tech outsiders as much as Ubuntu has. Through that, Ubuntu isn't harming the F/OSS/Linux community, it's helping it.
I guess that doesn't mean much to me as I personally don't care if it breaks through to the broader anything as long as I get mine and nobody tries to keep me from using it and participating in it's development. I think those are the goals of people who are trying to get rich off of OSS where my goals are only to solve my own problems
Jenda wrote:As for the GPL, I admit to have forgotten that part :)
However, the GPL is a licence agreement. That means it is the waiver of certain rights (within the copyright) by the licensor towards the licensee. Without agreeing on a licence with the © owner, you aren't allowed to use the program at all (except in certain fair use cases)(which, curiously, is the right of the holder), unless the holder has waived his rights entirely - PD.
Believe it or not as a user you do not have to agree to the GPL to just use the software, only if you modify and distribute it:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ClickThrough
Merely agreeing to the GPL doesn't place any obligations on you. You are not required to agree to anything to merely use software which is licensed under the GPL. You only have obligations if you modify or distribute the software. If it really bothers you to click through the GPL, nothing stops you from hacking the GPLed software to bypass this.
Sorry for nit picking (really) but it's important to me that we don't pass off as fact things that aren't true about the license.
Jenda wrote:In no way does the GPL have the legal power to limit patents
Of course it doesn't have power to limit patents, but it CAN limit your distribution of the software if you make some sort of deal that encumbers one group of users but keeps another group of users unencumbered by patents. That's what the patent part is all about. One of the main freedoms of free software is about you being free to run the software royalty free and that same freedom must be allowed everyone who uses the software, not just a select group. If you can't fulfill that obligation then you are not allowed to distribute the software.

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:55 am
by Calum
Moving on. While i still agree with void main 100% i would like to just comment on a couple of parts of the blog entry in question to clarify my own position re what i "want".
A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for. ...protection money...
I agree.
I welcome Microsoft’s stated commitment to interoperability between Linux and the Windows world - and believe Ubuntu will benefit fully from any investment made in that regard by Microsoft and its new partners,
really? i have to disagree 100% since all the evidence of the past would suggest that microsoft has a similar attitude towards free software and linux systems as a demented paedophile might have towards a defenceless prepubescent child in the middle of the woods.
as that code will no doubt be free software and will no doubt be included in Ubuntu.
again, does shuttleworth actually know anything about microsoft? when have they ever helped to develop free software? ever?

I don't think it's realistic to claim this to be a sarcastic paragraph, surely shuttleworth is aware that his words will be read by many and he should expect to be taken seriously.
I would invite Microsoft to participate in the OASIS Open Document Format working group, and to ensure that the existing import and export filters for Office12 to Open Document Format are improved and available as a standard option.
i agree, however i think this is unlikely given microsoft's long standing policy re: breaking standards to define and leverage proprietary "de facto" formats and protocols.
And we should engage with companies that are committed to the values we hold dear, and disengage if they change their position again.
ok. i agree with this, but microsoft are not Sun. Just a glance at the history of microsoft shows that every deal microsoft has ever dealt has ended up looking very similar to the deal chamberlain cut with hitler which said germany wouldn't invade poland under any circumstances.
But I don’t believe that the intent of the current round of agreements is supportive of free software, and in fact I don’t think it’s particularly in Microsoft’s interests to pursue this agenda either.
again, i agree.
My goal is to carry free software forward as far as I can
ok, fine. sounds good to me.
In the Ubuntu community, we believe that the freedom in free software is what’s powerful, not the openness of the code.
and then he says this. clearly this man uses words as bargaining tools first and foremost. What does this comment even mean? none of us would say free software should not have freedom, but surely openness of code is integral to this? has he ever read cathedral/bazaar? he seems to be saying closed source, but still somehow "free" (as in lunch?) code is ok. I disagree, for reasons that should be apparent and which are too lengthy to go into right now.
All the deals announced so far strike me as “trinkets in exchange for air kissesâ€