Linux Mint and GPL license Violation

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Linux Mint and GPL license Violation

Postby tenshu on Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:17 pm

I'm quite surprised to see that this distro is existing.

I know you are making some work to release an accessible OS for end users.
That is not the point of my speech.

You must not ignore the fact that Linux and most of it's softwares are under the GPL licence.

The GPL doesn't allow redistributing free softwares under GPL with proprietary binaries.

Linux mint is exactly in the same position than Koroaa was.
Read more about it here : http://kororaa.org/static.php?page=gpl

I hope you will understand that there are some rules that make the free softwares adventure possible.
Hate it or love it, rules are the rules ...

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Postby clem on Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:49 pm

Hi,

It's a fair point and I'm sure people will talk about that more and more as Linux Mint gets more popular.

This grey area needs to be defined and looked at. If you see any precise problems with Linux Mint in particular please tell us and we'll take necessary actions.

If these drivers are indeed in violation with the GPL because they're built against the kernel source code and don't share their own source code, then we will not include them in our distribution.

As for other proprietary components, I don't see anything wrong with them...
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Postby anselm on Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:56 pm

F.U.D Other distros are doing the samething as Linux Mint
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GPL

Postby str8jacket on Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:55 pm

Yes, there may very well be "GPL" violations here, But lets think a bit beyond that, Perhaps there are some other violations as well, So GPL violations...whoopee doo-dee. I didn't come here looking for Stallman's grand dream, I came here looking for my wet dream, which has been met. I have spent so much time trying to get windows users to just "try" linux, and thanks to the dredge of "GPL" official codecs and garbage people boot it up, see that it is half the man that proprietary systems are, and never look again. Maybe consider this a "Glimpse" distro that offers us a "what if" in the linux world. GPL can burn. It's holding us back. Str8
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Postby clem on Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:51 am

We owe a lot to the GPL and we have to acknowledge that, to Richard Stallman as well as a matter of fact. Linux Mint is a GNU/Linux distribution, 95% of it is GPLed. This doesn't mean we can't include proprietary software into it, but it is clear to me that if some software are violating the GPL licence, whether it's legal or not, whether there's been a law suit or not, they will not be included in Linux Mint.

Software patents are one thing, the GPL is another. We won't promote GPL violations. We're looking into the ATI, NVidia matter at the moment to see if we can include these drivers in Bea or in the release after that, but there's a big chance that, because of eventual GPL violations, they will not be included at all.
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Postby anselm on Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:13 am

Hi root,

I have been reading over at the Ubuntu forums about Linux Mint.

Here is a link that might answer most of your questions,

http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread. ... =linuxmint

There are also other links with in this thread also, have'nt been able to read those yet.
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Postby khanate on Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:34 pm

Don't worry about all this GPL fuss. It is legal to distribute all of the codecs you have, as well as the binary drivers. If anyone comes here moaning about the GPL or FSF and how this distro defies their "Holy vision" remind them that there are plenty of other distros that are 100% OSS.

As long as this distro is 100% free i have no problem with it. (and by 'free' i mean free to use, not the FSF's twisted view of free)

If you have any worries about the legality of the codecs and such, go and find the licences for them. Acrobat, flash and the drivers, i know for certain, are legal to redistribute.
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Postby tenshu on Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:54 pm

please this isn't a topic created to make some flamming or trolling conspiracy.

My point of view is that including binary softwares, especially binary kernel module is a GPL violation.
But yes i'm not an GPL specialist.
And no i have nothing to do with the FSF (but at least please try to consider what they had done for us).

What you call "grey area" in the GPL can let you (or not) release Linux Mint but think about it with the ethical perspective!
Shouldn't we just encourage the hard work of our community to get free drivers?
Shouldn't we encourage the usage a free codecs?
Shouldn't we encourage companies to release free drivers?
The answer is yes and you know it.

Hiding behind those "grey areas" isn't fair, you could let user choice for free or binary softwares/codecs/divers and bu this way comply with the GPL.

The original Ubuntu approach is the right way between end users needs and ethical respect.

Note that i didn't mentioned that you could take this probleme with an other approach: GPL doesn't allow you to mix GPL and Binaries from non-oss, so Linux Mint should not exist.

GPL and other open license had built linux don't forget where all of these come from ...
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Postby clem on Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:26 pm

I think you're mixing two different things here... the GPL doesn't say anything about including proprietary software on the CD... As for the ATI and NVidia drivers, they are not included in Linux Mint 2.0...

Of course we should prefer open source over proprietary, and of course we should encourage people to use and do open source, but that doesn't mean we have to be blind, and restrict ourselves to free software.

Proprietary software is not evil or bad, it simply doesn't give as much freedom as free software, but that doesn't mean we should not, in any circumstances decide to use it.

So no Linux Mint does not violate the GPL.
No, we are not unethical.
Yes, we do care.
And just to remind everybody, the GPL is the mean, not the purpose. And the original mean of free software is simply for people to share, use freely and benefit from one another's modifications...

I understand your concern, and I understand your point of view. Freedom is important, and I too dream often of a World without intellectual property. It is important though to be practical and not to become blinded by our ideals.

When I go to work, I take my car. I believe in ecology and nature... but I'm not going to walk 60 miles a day. Of course, I could move house or change job... but I haven't done so yet.

When I browse the Internet, I'm glad to have Flash installed. I believe in open standards... but I'm not going to boycott 25% of the Internet I like just because I deeply wish Flash was better than it already is (by being free).

Software is good, Free Software is better. That's how I see it.
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Postby sanford42 on Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:49 pm

amen!

well said
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Postby anselm on Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:08 pm

2nd amen :D
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Postby tenshu on Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:11 am

Respecting the law isn't a choice it is a duty

Respecting the GPL isn't an option, it is not something to "restrict ourselves to free software"

I were comprehensive in my last posts, but now i'm sure Linux Mint is an Ubuntu including GPL infringements.
Your approach is a menace for Free Software future, if open source community start to violate the GPL i don't want to imagine what Microsoft will do ...

Tell it to your friends there is nothing an Linux mint could do that an Edgy Eft can do.

Ubuntu is a community driven project to create an operating system and a full set of applications using free and open source software. At the core of the Ubuntu Philosophy of Software Freedom are these core philosophical ideals:

1.

Every computer user should have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, share, change and improve their software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.
2.

Every computer user should be able to use their software in the language of their choice.
3.

Every computer user should be given every opportunity to use software, even if they work under a disability.

Our philosophy is reflected in the software we produce and include in our distribution. As a result, the licensing terms of the software we distribute are measured against our philosophy, using the Ubuntu Licence Policy.

When you install Ubuntu almost all of the software installed already meets these ideals, and we are working to ensure that every single piece of software you need is available under a licence that gives you those freedoms. Currently, we make a specific exception for some "drivers" which are only available in binary form, without which many computers will not complete the Ubuntu installation. We place these in a restricted section of your system which makes them trivial to remove if you do not need them.


My conclusion you just use our work on ubuntu to violate our philosophy
Yes this is a kind of boycot.
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Postby clem on Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:53 am

Hi Tenshu,

I don't really understand how Linux Mint violates the GPL. Can you be more precise and tell us which GPL infringements are included in our distribution ?

Can you ?
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Abrupt to the point of whiplash...Barristers flock to scene.

Postby helios on Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:51 pm

Well that conversation ended quickly. So quickly in fact, that I believe I see rubber left from the abrupt skid marks of harsh braking. Either facts are being examined and gathered for presentation or our friend decided the payoff would not be worth the effort. You can bet there will be fingers pointing your way with snitching sounds aplenty.

Good work fellas. My name is Ken Starks aka helios (blog.lobby4linux.com)
As many read my blog and have visited our website, it is known that i am a Manic advocate of PCLinuxOS. However, the DevTeam, and they are a SUPERB DevTeam, have stood firm on PCLOS being a KDE-Centric distro. There have been occasional attempts to "Gnome-ize" PCLOS, but the projects have disappeared into the fog, never to emerge. Emerge...Wait, that's Gentoo.

Sorry, lousy pun. One must have a legacy of some sort I suppose.

This distro is top notch and I am installing it tonight. It will be my prime mover for a 30 day period. I have had several affairs with Gnome and as of yet, she has been good to me, gives me things I want, and hasn't made a trip to the local Medical Clinic necessary as of yet. I specifically want to be able to include certain kde libs in my Gnome environment so as to utilize a few kde tools. One such tool is known as KPF or public file server. I do not know if it possible to run this simple little file sharing server in Gnome, but it is a wonderful tool and one I will need to use.

As well, I am more than disappointed in the kde desktop search functions and kick it to the curb with every new install. I much prefer the gnome search tool and in conjunction, Beagle. This is a wonderful program and it is a shame the developers of KAT gave up on the kde project that would have been Beagle's equal.

Anyway, again I offer my sincere thanks for your work on this distro, and trust me...I find absolutely no problems with "Dirty" sheep amonst the "Clean".

Your analogy about driving your car to work was spot on, and extremely hard to argue with. FOSS extremists find it difficult to counter. :wink:

See ya around.

h
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Postby Helmut on Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:23 pm

I am very concious about what the Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman did for us, and we should all be very grateful to the very core of our bare bones!
Without the FSF we may still be with UNIX and having to pay licence fees. Linus would not have written any code, and we would not have Linux today.

On the other hand, although I generally dislike proprietary software I do like to have the one or other proprietary feature even if I don't really need it. As long as we don't mingle it with free stuff and redistribute it, we should be OK. Anyhow, if we use both free and proprietary stuff together, we should be very concious and knowledgable about what we are doing! BB is watching us!

So, if this is legel - fantastic!
In the long rung it will help Linux propagation, and isn't that what we all want?

Cheers,
Helmut
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Postby adewolf on Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:07 pm

I would gladly stop using the closed source nvidia drivers, if the free drivers would work with open GL properly. The open source nv driver has no hardware acceleration for cards like NV Go 7700 or 7900.
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Postby Raven-sb on Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:10 am

Hi,

I registered to respond to this topic because it's sometime I feel strongly about. This post is not intended to be a flame so please forgive me if it comes across as one.

I find it extremely ironic that free software zealots have no problems with installing propriety drivers themselves but they do have a problem with distributions including those drivers to make life easier for their users.

I also find it ironic that one of the most talked about open source technologies today is the 3D desktop, however in order to use that desktop closed source drivers must be installed.

It is also interesting (as noted by Distrowatch here http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20060515#news ) that these FSF zealots go after the little guy on the block (like Kororaa or Linux Mint) and completely ignore the big corporation distributions who include these drivers such as Linspire/Freespire, Mephis, Mandriva, or Xandros.

I have every respect for RMS , the FSF, and the GPL. However there are a lot of contributors who made Linux what it is today, and not all of them agree with RMS. To those who don't want to run a system with some closed source drivers enabled, I say use a Linux distribution that doesn't include them.
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Postby anselm on Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:02 pm

Everyone I know installs these drivers, you need them to enjoy using linux and the internet.

So i don't see why this argument always comes up when distros do it for there users. :roll:
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tenshu should be banned

Postby jett on Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:38 pm

what a flamer (tenshu)
seriously this distribution is about ease of use.
the masses are not going to switch to linux.
you know why?
BECAUSE WE MAKE A BIG DEAL OVER PROPRIETARY STUFF!
so what, ubuntu is talking about using proprietary drivers nvidia/ati, so people can use things like aixgl, beryl, and all the other cool 3D stuff.
Seriously if you got a problem with our codecs and drivers then go to Fedora. I like Fedora, because its totaly OSS FSF GPL blah blah. But Fedora is no usable out of box cause you cant use mp3's and blah blah blah. im tired of crap not working. im tired of linspire/freespire crapy product. im tired of people giving distros a hard time for using proprietary software. seriously there are so many distributions out there. why do people like you come to forums like this and complain about what we want to use. Its ours, and we get to choose what we want to use and share. if i want to share a distribution with a friend that has codecs and drivers so i can actualy surf the internet and play games. OMG! Oh NO! then i will. Your not gonna stop me.
I love this Mint OS!
If people try to take this OS down, I'll just create another distribution 10x stronger and ill ban people like "tenshu" from my forum.
Thanks Clem for making such a awesome distro! :D
Ive already got 7 people using Mint now!
~Namaste
-Jett
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Postby quickstart on Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:07 pm

As a not very techie pc user, I need help to use Linux. Mint makes it a smoother process. If people in my situation have an uphill struggle every time we try out Linux, well, it's back to Microsoft and farewell to the whole Linux/GPL/Open source world. I have the greatest respect for ALL involved in the development and implementation of this movement. It's easy to forget the less able, but we all have to start somewhere. If we need a certain amount of "hand-holding", then it's a small price to pay to keep the the community rolling along.
Hope this doesn't sound like a rant...it's not.

Alan.
Celeron 2.8 Ghz 512 MB RAM 2* 80 gb HDD dual-boot Linux Mint / Xubuntu 6.10

AMD Duron 800Mhz 256 MB RAM 20 gb HDD Xubuntu 6.10
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