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Author Topic: Don't what it is - but duck .....here comes another  (Read 2304 times)
Vxt
Member
*
Posts: 86


« on: August 08, 2007, 11:50:36 pm »

 THIS: Doesn't Bode Well

The implications are severe & IMHO fears are well founded ?

Hard working, well intended community goals  get blind-sided once more !

One more spin off of the "evil empire's"  marketing methods -
Forced GPL to come into existence in first place

Wish the  far seeing wise founding fathers of U.S.A. were still around

Bet they never envisioned these burps to democracy.
Quote
" I don't have a solution -
but  Tongue sure admire the problem
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saulgoode
Vectorite
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Posts: 340



« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2007, 04:02:31 am »

This "controversy" occurred about a year ago and I must say I was particularly unimpressed by MEPIS head Warren Woodford's attempt to spin it as the FSF persecuting smaller distributions. I was (and still am) extremely put off by the misleading information presented on MEPIS's GPL Compliance FAQ which resulted from this issue:

  • A1: While I imagine one could find a few statements made by FSF representatives which imagine an idealistic world with no software copyrights, the FSF makes no attempt to "prevent commerce" of non-Open code -- it only provides a way for authors to stipulate how  their own code is made available.
  • A2: The "obvious reason" for having the source code available from the same source as the executables is to assure that there have been no changes within the repositories which will create problems.
  • A3-A4: Mr. Woodward blatantly misrepresents the GPL as requiring an individual to provide source code to a friend when giving them a copy of GPLed software. The GPL has no such requirement. Redistribution of unmodified GPL software in a non-commercial manner only requires that you "accompany it with the information you received".
  • A5: If MEPIS requires that you purchase an "agency relationship" in order to share an unmodified copy of MEPIS in a non-commercial manner, it is an additional restriction put in place by MEPIS -- it has nothing to do with the GPL.
  • A6: It is good that "MEPIS hereby grants..." because the rights granted are required by the terms of the GPL. It is rather disingenuous to present this as an endowment from MEPIS though, it is owing to the generosity of the original authors who released their software under the GPL.

I was very impressed by the response of Vector Linux when faced with having to provide* their own sources (as VL is also a "commercial distribution"). They not only willingly complied, but used it as an opportunity to improve their package delivery and repository systems, to the great benefit of all. (I believe this is also when they partnered with Open Source Labs, further showing their support for Free Software.)


* EDITED per Headacher's comment: previously used the word "host" which might be misleading.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 05:43:57 am by saulgoode » Logged

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The Headacher
Louder than you
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Posts: 1553


I like the bass to go BOOM!


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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2007, 04:51:39 am »

Still, I don't think the sources for the Slackware packages used are hosted on our ftp site and it's mirrors.
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Most music on my soundcloud page was arranged in programs running on VL.
retired1af
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Posts: 1267



« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2007, 05:45:14 am »

The VL sources are hosted, but I'm not sure we would be required to host the actual Slackware sources used. That would be the responsibility of the Slackware folks.
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rbistolfi
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Posts: 2290


« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2007, 07:16:31 am »

Probably there is a good reason for this, which is scaping from me, but I dont see the need of multiplicate the same source in all the www...
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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
The Headacher
Louder than you
Global Moderator
Vectorian
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Posts: 1553


I like the bass to go BOOM!


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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2007, 08:55:54 am »

Quote from: retired1af
The VL sources are hosted, but I'm not sure we would be required to host the actual Slackware sources used. That would be the responsibility of the Slackware folks.
You didn't read the article did you Wink?
Quote from: the article
because MEPIS has not previously supplied source code for the packages already available from the distribution it is based on -- once Debian, and now Ubuntu -- it is in violation of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

The GPL is pretty clear about it as well:

Quote from: GPL v2
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:


    a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
    source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections
    1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

    b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three
    years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your
    cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete
    machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be
    distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
    customarily used for software interchange; or,

    c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer
    to distribute corresponding source code.  (This alternative is
    allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you
    received the program in object code or executable form with such
    an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it.  For an executable work, complete source
code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
control compilation and installation of the executable.  However, as a
special exception, the source code distributed need not include
anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
itself accompanies the executable.

If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering
access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent
access to copy the source code from the same place counts as
distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not
compelled to copy the source along with the object code.

So, if you host packages, you must also host the sourcecode and buildscripts etc.

Quote from: rbistolfi
Probably there is a good reason for this, which is scaping from me, but I dont see the need of multiplicate the same source in all the www...
The idea is, that if one source is lost (for instance the official site is hacked / closed), you can still find it elsewhere. For instance, I had a hell of a time trying to find some sources that used to be hosted on www.plugin.org.uk when that site was down. Thanks to this clause, I could still find it elsewhere.

If Linux distributions don't even follow the GPL, then why should others?

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Most music on my soundcloud page was arranged in programs running on VL.
rbistolfi
Packager
Vectorian
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Posts: 2290


« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2007, 09:29:01 am »

Quote
The idea is, that if one source is lost (for instance the official site is hacked / closed), you can still find it elsewhere. For instance, I had a hell of a time trying to find some sources that used to be hosted on www.plugin.org.uk when that site was down. Thanks to this clause, I could still find it elsewhere.

That sounds like a good reason Smiley I see we should take some actions in order to preserve and make source code avaible for every person who need it. I guess the best way to do that is still hidden.

Quote
If Linux distributions don't even follow the GPL, then why should others?

Of course, the gpl is like the heart of the Linux community and we must defend it, even if it is not comfortable sometimes.

Logged

"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
Vxt
Member
*
Posts: 86


« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2007, 10:04:36 am »

Thnx for the  interest, & good responces of all.
Even though I fully agree to Headacher's assessment of the current state.

We can only hope compliance to these these additional burdens will bring the
bonds of common goals even closer.

As distasteful as the GPL necessity is - I for one can now see why
"The general public may step over a wounded person lying in the street
 Fearing any aid will trigger liablilty consequences"

However, I DO feel confident majority here
would do all they could to help & damn the laws !

Quote
Clearly, the guy who sez
'I always  walk  the straight & narrow'_
Is either a dang liar -
Or     Tongue never picked his way thru' the "Cow Pasture of life"
 
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easuter
Global Moderator
Vectorian
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Posts: 2160



« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2007, 10:43:42 am »

Well, I don't see why hosting some of Slackware's sources would be a big deal, since we also host lots of their binary packages in our repos (just run /var/log/packages | grep i486 and see how many they are, same as in the packages/ repo!).
Providing the full source code also provides total transparency on how packages were built, right down to the last detail and customization. It can be frustrating to hunt for the original source sode and at the same time try to figure out how the packages were built/customized (reverse engineering the packages sounds a bit extreme....but sometimes it feels like it).

I don't mind helping populate a source code tree for VL 6.0 when it comes around, as long as package build info is recorded (SlackBuilds for example).
Doing this for VL 5.x and previous is practically impossible now given that is is no real data about how each individual package is made!

IMHO, of course...
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 11:08:19 am by easuter » Logged

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