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Thread: Rants against GPL

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    Thumbs down Rants against GPL

    From Slashdot -- SFLC Sues 14 Companies For BusyBox GPL Violations --

    The Software Freedom Law Center has filed a lawsuit accusing fourteen companies, including Best Buy, Samsung and Westinghouse, of violating the GPL in nearly 20 separate products. This is similar to earlier BusyBox GPL suits. The commercial uses of BusyBox must be much more prolific than anyone could have imagined. Having dealt with hundreds of compliance problems and finding an average of one violation per day, the SFLC recommends one thing: be responsive to their requests (they try to settle things in private first) lest you find one of these (PDF) in your inbox.

    My daily rant: Restrictive licenses like (L)GPL rely on government force, which makes it no different ethically than proprietary software, and its viral and economically unsustainable nature makes it even worse! Only permissively-licensed software like BSD and Apache is truly "free", and there's nothing wrong with using proprietary software if it makes economic sense to do so. Software freedom should be driven by free market competition, not government force!

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    Re: Rants against GPL

    Screw the so-called free market. Who cares what you think software freedom should be driven by? When you write software, you can choose the license. For my own code, more often than not, I've chosen the GPL, and I'll continue to.

    P.S.
    Last edited by wmcbrine; December 15th, 2009 at 07:27 AM.

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    Re: Rants against GPL

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
    From Slashdot -- SFLC Sues 14 Companies For BusyBox GPL Violations --




    My daily rant: Restrictive licenses like (L)GPL rely on government force, which makes it no different ethically than proprietary software, and its viral and economically unsustainable nature makes it even worse! Only permissively-licensed software like BSD and Apache is truly "free", and there's nothing wrong with using proprietary software if it makes economic sense to do so. Software freedom should be driven by free market competition, not government force!
    That's absolutely insane. It would be like me saying homeowners rely on government force to protect themselves from thieves and rapists, government force is illegitimate so the ethical thing for them to do is make their stuff, and themselves freely available, otherwise they're no better than the people trying to rob and rape them.
    Last edited by nrs; December 15th, 2009 at 07:25 AM.
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    Re: Rants against GPL

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Libman
    Restrictive licenses like (L)GPL rely on government force
    Lawsuits are rarely resorted to in GPL violations. Most cases are settled out of court.

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    Re: Rants against GPL

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
    From Slashdot -- SFLC Sues 14 Companies For BusyBox GPL Violations --




    My daily rant: Restrictive licenses like (L)GPL rely on government force, which makes it no different ethically than proprietary software, and its viral and economically unsustainable nature makes it even worse! Only permissively-licensed software like BSD and Apache is truly "free", and there's nothing wrong with using proprietary software if it makes economic sense to do so. Software freedom should be driven by free market competition, not government force!

    Either I dont understand you, or you dont understand you.

    Regardless if someone one is violating a license that I choose for my products. Do you expect the average Joe to have the cash to go to court with them over it or wouldnt it be helpfull to have someone like the SFLC to back you. Because fair is fair and its the law.
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    Thumbs down Re: Rants against GPL

    Quote Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
    Screw the so-called free market. Who cares what you think software freedom should be driven by? When you write software, you can choose the license. For my own code, more often than not, I've chosen the GPL, and I'll continue to.
    You have your right to write all restrictively-licensed software you want, but when you try to call it "free" then you'll get an ear-full from me on why that is illogical, and if you try to enforce it through government force then we have a serious problem... A real contract is a meeting of minds, in written form, insured as enforceable by an arbitration agency (not necessarily a government monopoly) - not a text file in the tar file you've downloaded!


    Quote Originally Posted by nrs View Post
    That's absolutely insane. It would be like me saying homeowners rely on government force to protect themselves from thieves and rapists, government force is illegitimate so the ethical thing for them to do is make their stuff, and themselves freely available, otherwise they're no better than the people trying to rob and rape them.
    Not all ideas that contradict your government-controlled education and culture are "insane". For a solid introduction to Anarcho-Capitalism, a philosophy I represent, you can read Murray Rothbard, David Friedman, Lysander Spooner, and others - or at least view this flash video and download this free audio-book to get you started.

    Individuals can have many options in defending their Natural Rights to life, liberty, and property from aggression, including self-defence, neighbourhood associations (which are the building blocks of a free society), private defence agencies, and so forth. Your claim that the only way to defend those rights is a government monopoly is illogical, because the government monopoly itself exists through violation of the rights of its subjects!


    Now, this thread isn't meant to be about libertarianism / Anarcho-Capitalism in general, but about the use of government force against people who "violate" restrictive licenses like GPL.


    Quote Originally Posted by 23meg View Post
    Lawsuits are rarely resorted to in GPL violations. Most cases are settled out of court.
    In many cases that still constitutes government force.


    Quote Originally Posted by Exodist View Post
    Regardless if someone one is violating a license that I choose for my products. Do you expect the average Joe to have the cash to go to court with them over it or wouldnt it be helpfull to have someone like the SFLC to back you. Because fair is fair and its the law.
    No, it isn't "fair", because "intellectual property" is an irrational and economically harmful construct backed by nothing except the guns of the state. If some fat-cat bureaucrat wrote a "law" requiring for you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?

    Restrictive licenses like GPL depend on government force as much as companies like Microsoft, perhaps even more-so because Microsoft could adapt its business model to a free society through actual explicitly-enforcible contract law (which does not require a government monopoly on jurisprudence). Furthermore, companies like Microsoft exist in a sustainable economic environment, where their ability to charge money and/or withhold the source code is a consequence of their perceived merit with their customers. Free market competition would eventually have led to prices for most software reaching 0, which includes releasing the source with no restrictions, like with the BSD license. The unfortunate popularization of GPL has done nothing but harm to the software industry as well as its users, which is what this thread eventually intends to demonstrate.
    Last edited by Alex Libman; December 15th, 2009 at 07:56 AM.

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    Re: Rants against GPL

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Libman
    In many cases that still constitutes government force.
    How?

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    Re: Rants against GPL

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Libman View Post
    No, it isn't "fair", because "intellectual property" is an irrational and economically harmful construct backed by nothing except the guns of the state. If some fat-cat bureaucrat wrote a "law" requiring for you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?
    Your confusing a LICENSE with a PATENT.. Dang your one confused puppy!
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    Re: Rants against GPL

    Politics are not permitted even those vaguely worded to be related to open source.

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