Chris Hills wrote:
> In message <firstname.lastname@example.org>, David Brown
> <email@example.com> writes
>> Chris Hills wrote:
>>> In message <firstname.lastname@example.org>, David Brown
>>> <email@example.com> writes
>>>> Habib Bouaziz-Viallet wrote:
>>>>> Le Thu, 29 Nov 2007 14:20:43 +0100, David Brown a �crit:
>>>>>> Habib Bouaziz-Viallet wrote:
>>>>>>> Le Thu, 29 Nov 2007 09:58:25 +0000, FreeRTOS.org a �crit:
>>>>>>>>> So you release these stacks under GPL ?
>>>>>>>> That is not remotely what he said.
>>>>>>> Yes of course he did'nt said that. He just said "TCP/IP and USB
>>>>>>> stacks I do
>>>>>>> are in source form without copy protection ..." without
>>>>>>> specifying the type
>>>>>>> of license. Then i just assumed that he has done under the GPL, like
>>>>>>> many others out down here.
>>>>> Hi !
>>>>>> He said "without copy protection" - the GPL *is* copy protection too,
>>>>> What do you mean with "the GPL *is* copy protection too" ? Please
>>>>> give me
>>>>> some examples that illustrate this.
>>>> "Copy protection" is not really the right phrase. The GPL uses
>>>> copyright laws to enforce its license, which restricts your use of
>>>> the GPL'ed code and generated binaries - you are obliged to provide
>>>> the source code of all code directly linked with the GPL'ed code,
>>>> under the same GPL license. I fully understand and appreciate the
>>>> GPL, and its benefits in many situations - but in the context of
>>>> embedded development, it is as restrictive and inconvenient as many
>>>> commercial licenses (probably more than the license for Chris' code).
>>> BTW the license for the source code in question is less than one
>>> page. Unlike the GPL V3 has not had any complaints from any one using
>> I don't think the lack of complaints of your license compared to
>> complaints about the GPL is of any relevance - unless you license is
>> applied to software used somewhere on virtually all computers in the
>> world, and read by millions of developers and users. Focus on the
>> relevant points, and people will listen. Taking silly cheap shots at
>> open source makes you look as fanatical (and therefore as irrelevant)
>> as the "*all* software should be free" crowd.
> The point is that far more people complain about the restrictions in
> GPL3 than do in the software source we supply.
That may well be true (since I don't know what software you supply, and
how many complaints you get). But also remember that the GPL license
itself, and projects using it, use an open development model - they
encourage feedback (positive or negative). Thus there were huge numbers
of discussion threads, blogs, articles, etc., around the drafting
process for GPL3. People complain publicly about the GPL, because it
can make a difference - complaints have helped shape the GPL, and
influence the choice of licence in open source projects. Contrast this
with, say, the license of Windows Vista. Some people complain publicly,
but most people who read it (thus discounting the masses who ignore all
licenses) just swear quietly to themselves - there is absolutely nothing
they can do about the license, so they must accept it or not use the
> The point is that "open" source may have far more licensing restrictions
> than commercial source. This is something few OS devotees will admit.
Open source *may* have more, less or different restrictions from
commercial source code. There are a fair number of popular open source
licenses, and endless varieties of closed source licenses, and thus
every case should be looked at individually. It is certainly true that
many OS devotees gloss over this issue - but then, it is particularly
relevant for us in the world of embedded development (key points being
static linking, and "closed box" systems), while most OS devotees, like
most programmers, live in the world of PC software development.
> Incidentally it is wrong to suggest that Opens Source is used on
> "virtually all" computers world wide.
Obviously a hefty proportion of servers and other internet
infrastructure computers either run an open source OS directly, or use
major OS software such as web servers, php/perl engines, etc. And
obviously the huge majority of web connections and emails pass through
open source servers, routers, email transports, etc.
The majority of PC clients use some variety of windows (the Linux, BSD,
MacOS, etc., machines are all heavily open source dependant). I'd
expect that the majority of these have some third-party open source
software (Firefox, Thunderbird, Bittorrent clients, graphics programs,
pdf writers, anti-spyware programs, zip utilities, open office, etc.).
Then there are the closed source programs that use open source
components or libraries (programs written in languages like python,
software that handles graphics formats such as png, pretty much
everything that can open a zip file, etc.). For the most part, you
won't know that these are using open source libraries without doing a
lot of investigation. Then there are the closed source programs that
use parts of BSD-licensed open source code (which requires a copyright
notice, but you don't have to release the source code) - Windows itself
famously used the BSD TCP/IP stack in earlier versions, and I don't
think anyone would believe claims that there are no BSD-licensed open
source code in the Windows code. Finally, there are the closed source
programs that illegally make use of open source code without following
the licensing requirements - there is no way to judge the level at which
this is done, but you'd be na�ve in the extreme to think it is uncommon.
Of course, not all the above cases are GPL'ed software, rather than
other open source licenses.
> It amuses me that OS people make these wild claims and then complain and
> nit-pick when taken to task.
> The fact is GPL license is controversial and not accepted by many in
> it's own community. Other commercial licenses for source are often far
> more simple and less restrictive. Numbers of users is irrelevant
The GPL license is not suitable for all software - people know this, and
they choose appropriate licenses for their software. It's not
"controversial" - developers have a choice, and they use that choice.
Sometimes different developers on open source projects disagree about
the best license for their project - that would happen in the closed
source world too if developers (rather than their PHB) had a say in the
While it is certainly true that some commercial source licenses are
simpler and less restrictive than the GPL, it is by no means a black and
white issue. Which license is most restrictive - one that says you must
release your own source code, or one that says you can keep your code
but you can only compile it on the one specified computer? Which is
simpler - understanding the GPL, or figuring out if version 1.1 of your
product counts as a separate "product" and requires a separate "single
product license" from your RTOS vendor? The questions are meaningless -
as with everything in embedded development, the answer is "it depends",
and each case must be considered individually.