Alexandre Oliva aoliva@redhat.com
Mon Jul 16 15:12:00 GMT 2007

On Jul 13, 2007, Michael Eager <eager@eagercon.com> wrote:

> Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> On Jul 13, 2007, Robert Dewar <dewar@adacore.com> wrote:
>> See, I'm not diminishing the importance of licensing issues, I'm just
>> saying it's legally irresponsible to sit back and *not* even watch
>> what's going on in the development of the license 

> Everybody's been watching.  The license has changed many times.

No.  Many have been participating.  And those could influence the
outcome, at least to some extent.  Of course the major features of
GPLv3 were non-negotiable for the FSF, and these have been clear and
unchanged in principle all the way from the beginning.  But a number
of other significant legal issues, as well as the details on how to
accomplish the needed features, were up for discussion and the
participants could see how their input was taken into account.  As for
those who sat back, relaxed and watched, it was their choice.  The
invitation to participate was open to all, and those who didn't want
to "waste time", as you put it, back then, have set themselves up to
"waste time and lag behind" now.

> There's been on-going conflict between FSF and Linux.

How is that even relevant?  And then, the FSF took into account the
opinions from a number of major Linux developers who refused to
participate in the open development process.  Not when they requested
the removal of major features that the FSF deemed necessary, of
course.  As if some external contributor would post patches to remove
support for a major OS and then complain that our process isn't open
because we didn't agree with the rationale for the patch and thus
didn't accept the patch.

> There's been widely publicized conflicts about about DRM, and
> Novell/Microsoft, patent license and other issues.

All the way from the beginning, for most of these (Novell/Microsoft
came up later, for obvious reasons).  That's 18 months with only one
addition to the feature list.

>> Some people are advocating that patches be under GPLv2+, to enable
>> earlier releases with backports to remain in GPLv2.  Since GPLv2 has
>> weaker defenses for users' freedoms than GPLv3, against those who
>> might wish to impose restrictions on these freedoms, GPLv2-compatible
>> patches would enable backports into more weakly-defended releases.
>> The weaker defenses stem mainly out of uncertainty as to the extent of
>> "no further restrictions".

> Let's tone down the high falootin' rhetoric about defending freedoms
> and discuss the pragmatic issues of how to manage licenses in a
> real world with real companies and real lawyers and real concerns.

The discussion started 18 months ago, and you were welcome to
participate all the way back then.  Why bring up these issues only

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
FSF Latin America Board Member         http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}

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