"Linux Mint is not copyrighted." --- really?

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please

"Linux Mint is not copyrighted." --- really?

Postby chepprey on Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:31 pm

On your about page: http://linuxmint.com/about.html

Linux Mint is not copyrighted.


How is this anything but patently false?

Any part of Linux Mint which came from Ubuntu (which as I understand is the vast majority of it) most certainly IS copyrighted, under the GPL or other FOSS licenses.

Also from your About page:

You can use it, modify it, distribute it and do whatever you want with it. This is our idea of freedom and we hope you'll enjoy it.


No, you can't do whatever you want. You can't violate the copyright license that any code in Linux Mint is distributed under.

I get the idea that the Linux Mint project is not as idealistically free-software minded as Ubuntu, and that's fine. But I think the claims on this About page are at least misleading, if not totally wrong. I hope you consider rewording it.
chepprey
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:57 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Postby clem on Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:03 am

What is meant there is that we do not want to participate in restricting people's usage of what we do. We don't have any claims in copyright, licensing and "as far as we're concerned" we don't really care what people do with it and how they use it.

Now of course, we distribute other people's software and people have to follow these software licenses.

I suppose it could be rephrased alright. I'm not exactly an expert when it comes to that (and to be perfectly honest I don't really like spending time on defining conditions, restrictions and other stuff I don't believe in.). If there's any taker or suggestions, we'll replace the above-mentioned text.

Clem
User avatar
clem
Level 15
Level 15
 
Posts: 5559
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:34 am

Postby 900i on Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:30 am

Hows this sound Clem

Linux Mint is based on GPL code and as such this code is protected by the GPL, However some of the Linux Mint additions to the code are not GPL and therefore not copyrighted. Linux Mint is free of charge (thanks to your donations and adverts on the website). Linux Mint comes with no warranty. You can use it, modify it, distribute it and do whatever you want with the Linux Mint part of the code, and the remaining code as outlined in the GPL. This is our idea of freedom and we hope you'll enjoy it.
Last edited by 900i on Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Intel i7 3770 LMDE Mate 64
User avatar
900i
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1014
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:30 am
Location: Wakefield, UK

Postby clem on Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:31 am

It sounds good. Some of the mint additions are GPLed though (I'm thinking of mintConfig and mintMenu for instance).

Clem
User avatar
clem
Level 15
Level 15
 
Posts: 5559
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:34 am

Postby scorp123 on Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:41 am

Linux Mint is not copyrighted.

Linux Mint is (for the most part) released under the GNU General Public License; it his therefore free to copy and distribute. For ease-of-use for you the end-user and in order to give you a complete desktop experience we have included a few proprietary software pieces (e.g. codecs). As far as we know these few proprietary portions do not violate the spirit of the GPL or the GPL itself (e.g. they are not linked against GPL software) and are OK to be (re-) distributed.

Our goal is to make your Linux experience as enjoyable and complete as possible without imposing unnecessary restrictions.

You can use it, modify it, distribute it and do whatever you want with it. This is our idea of freedom and we hope you'll enjoy it.

You can use it, modify it (following the rules of the various licenses each software piece was released under, e.g. GPL), distribute it and we hope you find it useful. Our idea of freedom is to give you -as far as this is possible- a complete desktop experience without imposing unneccessary and ideologically motivated restrictions upon you as the end-user. We therefore hope you enjoy it.
User avatar
scorp123
Level 8
Level 8
 
Posts: 2287
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Switzerland

Postby 900i on Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:37 am

If were not careful it just gets longer and longer and more confusing I think.
Intel i7 3770 LMDE Mate 64
User avatar
900i
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1014
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:30 am
Location: Wakefield, UK

Postby clem on Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:27 am

Else I could remove the footer altogether...
User avatar
clem
Level 15
Level 15
 
Posts: 5559
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:34 am

Postby carlos on Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:57 am

Well generally a website footer with its copyright is only for the website. This information belongs on a separate page. In which case it can get long and confusing :wink: . Examples for the page could be "Terms of Use, Distro Policy, etc..". Its fair to keep a free copyright for the website its self. Such as: This website is copyrighted under the GPL.. Nice and simple.
____________ ________ ______ ____ ___ __ __ _
http://www.designdrifter.com
The Purpose of Life is for DNA to reproduce.
User avatar
carlos
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:30 pm
Location: USA

Could this do it?

Postby Husse on Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:01 am

Quote from the present:
You can use it, modify it, distribute it and do whatever you want with it. This is our idea of freedom and we hope you'll enjoy it.
Why not:
You can use it, modify it, distribute it and do whatever you want with it, if you follow the rules of the various licenses each software piece was released under, e.g. GPL.
This is our idea of freedom and we hope you'll enjoy it.
The "if you follow..." is from scorp123
Image
Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it
Husse
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 19703
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:22 am
Location: Near Borås Sweden

Postby Sorensei on Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:09 am

IANAL, but copyright and license (including the GPL) are two different things.

As I understand it, everything released under the GPL is copyrighted - the holders are the code developers - but they grant permission to use, modify, etc. the code through the license.

Clem, I know this is pretty boring stuff, but sometimes being specific in terms may spare a few headaches later - as they say, the devil is in the details.

So if anyone is more knowledgeable in these matters, phrasing the paragraph carefully would be a good thing...
I don't have a solution, but I do admire the problem.
User avatar
Sorensei
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 254
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:24 am
Location: Switzerland

Postby NiksaVel on Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:59 am

I agree with carlos on this one :)
User avatar
NiksaVel
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:06 am
Location: Croatia

Postby Sorensei on Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:36 pm

Er..., but you cannot copyright something under the GPL - you can only licence it...

I've had a look at what other distros/sites put, most indicate the year of copyright and some have a link on the license terms, or mention it.

They also mention that Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torwalds.

For what it's worth and if you want to keep it short, I'd put something like that... but IANAL.

Copyright 2006-2007. Licensed under the GPL
I don't have a solution, but I do admire the problem.
User avatar
Sorensei
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 254
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:24 am
Location: Switzerland

Postby clem on Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:21 pm

EDIT: Somebody answered that post without realizing he was logged in as me (shared computer). The post was deleted. If you read the "get a life" comment, please disregard it (obviously that person doesn't understand the importance of licensing/GPL).

Clem
User avatar
clem
Level 15
Level 15
 
Posts: 5559
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:34 am

Postby Uncle Bob on Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:56 pm

Linux Mint is not copyrighted.

You could replace it with...
Apart from the GPL-stuff, think of of it in terms of FREE BEER.
...So STFU
:D
Cogito sumere potum alterum.

Image
User avatar
Uncle Bob
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:43 am
Location: Just another Shire in the United Kingdom

Postby scorp123 on Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:50 pm

Uncle Bob wrote:Apart from the GPL-stuff, think of of it in terms of FREE BEER. So STFU
He he he .... I totally second that. It's clear, precise and totally expresses everyone's feelings :D
User avatar
scorp123
Level 8
Level 8
 
Posts: 2287
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Switzerland

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Return to Non-technical Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests