Off-topic: Digression about GPL licenses

The problem is its actually impossible to fully comply with GPL licences. Infractions are ignored when they are seen as necessary good for the GPL movement. Underlying the GPL movement is a hidden authoritarianism. This problem partly came to a head with the recent row over Linux litigation. According to GPL system anyone who has contributed a single line of source code to the Kernel can sue any Linux kernel user who is infracting against the GPL2 licence. But just about every major corporate user of Linux in the world can be found to have violated the GPL. Hence the vilification of those that were only doing what the GPL movement has told them to do - enforce the GPL licence conditions.

For starters you can’t write GPL or Linux code to run on an intel or AMD processor. Did you receive the firmware source code with your last CPU? Will Intel send you their firmware source code on request?

Getting a package into Debian has nothing to do with the GPL license, your rant is off-topic here.


This above is FUD!

There is no “hidden authoritarianism” behind the “GPL movement”. Surely there is an agenda “behind” the GNU movement. But this agenda is in no regard “hidden”. It’s the stated goal of the GNU project to provide free (as in freedom) access to computer technology for everyone. To reach and hold this goal in the long term strict rules need to be in place and enforced. The rules declared by the GPL are carefully constructed in a way that tries to conserve freedom for everyone, and make sure that the dividend of this process gets “payed forward”.

What a lot of people don’t realize is the fact that the rules of the GPL are not there to provide the maximal possible “freedom” to some individual entities (to “do however they please”). The goal is freedom for everyone. This implies of course that some individual freedoms needs some restrictions. That’s like, to provide the freedom to people to walk around without the constant fear of being robed or murdered the “freedom” of some individuals to rob or murder other people at will needs to be constrained. That’s an accepted line of reasoning. The laws of free countries try usually to do exactly this, to provide a kind of “freedom enforcement framework”, by declaring some rules everybody has to follow—rules that in a lot of cases constrain the individual “freedom” of people to do whatever they please. The GPL tries to do exactly the same, to be a kind of “freedom enforcement framework” that makes sure computer technology is (and stays!) available and accessible free (as in freedom) to everybody.

This is actually the part commercial entities usually fight against (for example by spreading FUD like that above). They have of course no interest in having every technology freely available and accessible to everyone. They like the “freedom” in FOSS only as long as it permits them the “freedom to rob and murder others”. Real freedom OTOH makes it almost impossible to establish effective vendor lock-ins which would bind customers “forever”. But the whole point “behind” the GPL is to prevent such lock-ins (by providing the therefor needed freedoms to license holders). That’s why a lot of people hate the GPL actually. The core ideas behind the GNU movement and the GPL in particular are just dangerous to their businesses.

Frankly the brainwashing campaign run by entities for that the GPL is indeed dangerous (because it would destroy their business model if successful on a large scale) seems to work. This brainwashing campaign constantly tells people that the GPL is not a “real free license” (because it does not allow “to do whatever they want”; namely “rob and murder others”), or that the GPL would be even “dangerous” (which out of their perspective is even true to be honest). This brainwashing campaign has also no problem with resorting to repeating the same blatant lies over and over, like the ones you can find in some parts of the cited post.

Things like “anyone who has contributed a single line of source code to the Kernel can sue any Linux kernel user who is infracting against the GPL” is completely made up for example. You “own” only the © to your specific contribution and you can of course only sue someone for violating “your” ©. This line of reasoning is now even underpinned by a legally binding court ruling (at least in Germany; but ©-laws are to some degree quite similar in their essence globally, so the stated line of reasoning applies likely mostly everywhere).

Also “you can’t write GPL or Linux code to run on an intel or AMD processor” is completely made up BS. Someone believed here the usual FUD that tries to make copyleft look dangerous and having an “uncontrollable infectious” effect on “everything it touches”. This is by fact not true in any sense. Copyleft has only an effect on something that is licensed under an appropriate license. As long as Intel’s or AMD’s firmware isn’t distributed under some copyleft license nobody is obligated to provide sources to that firmware, of course. Running some GPL licensed program “together” with some other software does not affect the license of the other software. Because you have some GPL licensed sources on your SSD does not make the GPL rules apply to other sources on that same SSD… Only if you would “incorporate” some GPL sources into some of your programs, and only if you would distribute the result GPL’s copyleft would become relevant. The receiver / buyer (and only the receiver / buyer!) of that mixed up result would have rights granted to them by the GPL, and would be eligible to get the whole sources of your program (the sources that “contains” the GPL licensed parts of course; again, not some “random” other sources that maybe happened being developed together with the parts for that the GPL applies).

[I know this is an off-topic post, and should it provoke even more off-topic posts please feel free to move this whole thread to some other place. My justification to create some noise here is that something has to be done against this constant FUD campaign that is aimed at everyone’s basic freedoms, which the GNU movement tries to provide / preserve. This becomes even more important in a time in which having control over peoples computers / data means having control over their lives. Also just think about this question: Would you prefer running some GPL code on your future brain chip, or some opaque BLOB? By answering this question you hopefully come to the conviction that GNU’s mission and its success is actually vital!]


Please stop having off-topic discussions in this forum.