Linux Mint and GPL license Violation

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Postby katasuka on Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:05 am

my 2 cents....

heres the deal. people are gonna do what they need to get a working system whether it is legal or not. thats how it is. the good thing about gpl is that it means anyone can edit it to do what they need, including removing anything that stops them from doing what they need.

if something is added to the official kernel to stop linking to non-gpl modules... a patch will be released soon after kernel release and most people will use the patch. simple as that.

license, laws, etc only stop the fully law abiding people, and in my opinion many licenses and laws are unjust and some just plain wrong. do i break laws? i try not to, do i break licenses? also try not to. but if there is something added to the linux kernel to stop me being able to use the official nvidia drivers on my distro, then i will not upgrade unless i find a patch or fork of the kernel to fix it. i know many others will do the same. yes i prefer to use gpl progs libs and modules, but if the gpl module doesnt stack up with what i need, i find what i need and use it. in this case the official nvidia drivers are the only drivers for my nvidia cards that support 3d rendering which i need for playing my games and helping take the load off my system.

when it comes to the w32codecs, id love to see gpl codecs that perform as well as the w32codecs. will i see it? maybe someday. do i use w32codecs? im actually not sure. i use vlc for my videos and xmms for my audio. any music i rip is encoded to ogg. i hate mp3 anyway. wma? wmv? wma and wmv can suck my b*lls. I also have been testing out theora video codec and it seems very nice so far. id suggest people testing it as a replacement for mpeg divx and such.

my 2 cents
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Postby mstlyevil on Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:30 am

I would not worry about the hook if it is added. If you read between the lines of what Linus said, he basically told the other developers he was going to fork the kernel. It was not directly said but implied.

Guess which one is going to be used by the majority of distros. Basically nothing will change in the long run except there will be a FSF kernel and a more open source kernel. I also do not believe Linus will have a hard time finding new developers to replace the ones working on the other kernel.

If Ubuntu includes the drivers I would say go ahead and include them. Shuttleworth has more than enough lawyers working on this matter and that also covers derivative distros.
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Postby scorp123 on Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:39 am

SabayonLinux does something interesting (if my information is correct): they ship the ATI and Nvidia drivers on their install and Live DVD's / CD's in a non-linked form; the linking happens during boot at runtime, and thus they on one hand redistribute the Linux kernel under the GPL on their media AND the closed source drivers but at the same time they do not violate the GPL because the closed source drivers are not (yet) in a state that you could regard them as being linked against the kernel. This step happens during boot, as I said.

I am not 100% sure if the information is accurate though, and I really wonder how they do this during boot time, if this is even true and all that.

But the concept would be interesting ...
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Postby clem on Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:57 am

This is sad.
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Postby scorp123 on Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:14 am

clem wrote:This is sad.
I agree with that part. It's really sad that one has to come up with such bizarre techniques just to get things working the way a user would expect and to keep the GPL zealots satisfied ... But then again, maybe I am wrong and the Sabayon guys are indeed shipping their stuff in a binary + linked form? After all we're talking about Italian guys ... Just try to force an Italian to anything ... You soon get phone calls and "offers you cannot refuse" 8)
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Postby clem on Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:57 am

What about Greek guys? With them you get an offer you cannot understand :lol: :lol:

npap: I'm only kidding of course :)
Clem,
any volunteer to make a bad joke about the French ? :)
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Postby scorp123 on Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:33 pm

clem wrote:any volunteer to make a bad joke about the French ? :)
Pictures say more than 1000 words ... :lol:
http://www.freakingnews.com/French-Riots_Photoshop_Pictures__832.asp

Classic one:
Image
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Postby kenetics on Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:32 pm

Here is something to offend everyone. :D Remember, it's all in fun!
Bet you could come up with some good ones for Americans.

World Wide Terrorism Alerts

The British have reacted to the recent terrorism alerts by raising their security
level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels
may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross."
Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940, when tea
supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re categorized from "Tiresome"
to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody
Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

The French Government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level
from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are
"Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by
a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing
the country's military capability.

It's not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert.
Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly"
to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective
Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance"
to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two Higher
levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

And finally, the Irish as well have raised their alert status from "What The
Hell Is Going On" to "I Think I Need Another Drink". The NATO authorities
have agreed that the terrorist situation must be neutralized before the Irish manage
to escalate to "Come On Lads, Someone Needs A Beating" or God forbid,
"Where's My Pants" .

Cheers,
Ken
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Postby Fragadelic on Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:47 pm

lol - I'm still chuckling. Hopefully everyone takes it as what it is - a joke.
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Postby scorp123 on Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:55 pm

clem wrote:What about Greek guys? With them you get an offer you cannot understand


I don't know if I get this right (I am doing a memory dump here ...)

Heaven is where the philosophers are Greek, the police British, the chefs Italian, the mechanics German, the lovers French ... and it is all organized and financed by the Swiss.

Hell is where the philosophers are French, the police German, chefs British, the mechanics Greek, the lovers Swiss ... and it is all organized and financed by the Italians.
:lol:
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Postby clem on Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:44 pm

--> "it's all Greek to me" (that's why) :)
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Postby Fragadelic on Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:10 am

Looks like the kernel devs are making a step in the right direction. They are offering to make drivers for any hardware even those with NDA clauses.

Bravo Kernel Devs!!!

http://www.kroah.com/log/2007/01/29/#free_drivers
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Postby hairy_Palms on Sun Feb 04, 2007 3:03 pm

The American Government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level
from "Gung-ho Arrogance" to "Threaten Everyone" The only two higher levels they have are
"Invade Randomly" and "Friendly Fire Extravaganza"
The level was raised because George Bush was told ramadan was approaching and he thought it was a cruise missile
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Postby bigbearomaha on Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:31 pm

that's funny.
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Linux Mint and GPL license Violation

Postby richard on Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:20 pm

This monopolist, one world view , domination and control of computers by Microsoft is criminal .

The high cost , licensing, and registration of one machine only. . . mentality is crap. . .(excuse my language).

Until now Linux and or Unix have been the only 'free' choice and alternative . . to the profiters of this world. . .

The computer is just a tool.


Software is like a book in the library. . . I'm not trying to rewrite the book or become the author of someone else's work. I just want read, and extract the information and use the information. How many books can you find on the same subject in a library?

Programmers and book writers require a return on their work.That's fine. . . My question is: When does originality cease to be original? How many different books or software packages does one need write to accomplish the promote same goals or end?

This continual Version upgrade of software with lower Suds, 'whiter than white' mentality dupes people into spending more of their incomes on this spiraling out of control notion that we have to continue to provide programmers a livelihood so they can continue to steal our money from us by selling us this 'new and improved' mentality. . . it's all money down the drain. . . software has all become crap. . . especially if you have to pay for the rights to use it. . .

Computers in my mind have lost their real identity for the purpose they have been developed to do. . . .perform work. .. same time and money. . . . Instead they have cause us to loose more time, work, and money.

Computers have become crap. . . . something earlier generations of people could agree with me on. . .

End of Rant. ..

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Linux Mint and GPL license Violation

Postby richard on Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:59 pm

One thing I might add that I forgot to say about Microsoft. . . .and all those software profiteers (gangsters) who follow in Microsoft's footsteps , is that I for one am tired of having my wallet and hard earned money and computer held hostage to their licensing schemes and whims concerning my paid usage of their proprietary software. I hope 'Vista' begins to turn people's heads the other direction toward 'free' unrestrictive software alternatives.

Richard
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Re: GPL

Postby romulus on Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:30 pm

str8jacket wrote: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


AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby TwistedLincoln on Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:28 pm

I think everyone here is missing a much more important issue regarding Linux Mint and the GPL: source code.

The GPL requires that anyone distributing GPL Licensed software release the corresponding source code. There are two main ways of doing this:

1) Provide the source code at the same time as you distribute the software.

2) Provide a written offer, valid for at least three years for the source code on a physical medium. You can charge a fee to cover your costs of the media, etc.

The bottom of the main Linux Mint page reads: "Some of the packages we distribute are under the GPL. If you want to access their source code you can use the apt-get source command or browse our FTP server. If you can't find what you're looking for, you can also make a request on the forums. We'll answer all of them and be glad to provide the source to you. "

I can't find any FTP server listed anywhere on this site. Also, who do I contact to obtain a copy of the source code? Is posting on these forums the only way?

I'm not trying to attack Linux Mint -- I think it is a decent distro with some real promise. However it would be a shame if it got caught up in the same GPL issues as other distros such as Mepis...

On that note, Mepis got in trouble with the FSF because it would only offer the source code for its changes to Ubuntu, rather than releasing the entire source code, as required. I hope Linux Mint isn't falling into that same trap: on the download page it reads "Source Code: see Bea and /usr/lib/linuxmint for home made applications". This really sounds alot like only the source code for the custom stuff is made available, not the entire corresponding source.

I know it probably sounds like I'm being unnecessarily picky about the GPL, but this really is important. If I download a copy of Linux Mint and then distribute it, I am bound by the GPL to make the source code available. If I can't get it myself, I risk being sued for non-compliance. Such a situation doesn't make people want to distribute the distro, and will certainly hamper it's popularity and success.

So...can anyone tell me how to get source code for the latest Linux Mint?
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Postby clem on Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:52 pm

Hi,

If you distribute it yourself why not just give a written offer as mentioned by the GPL?

We don't only provide or own source code but also the source for the applications we distribute.

Note: The link to the FTP server is http://linuxmint.com/releases/Bea-2.1/source/ but it gives an access error. I'll try to fix with our host.

Clem
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Postby TwistedLincoln on Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:51 pm

clem wrote:If you distribute it yourself why not just give a written offer as mentioned by the GPL?


I could only pass along your written offer if I was giving away the copy for free. If I charged for it, I would have to offer the source code myself. Which would be a problem if someone took me up on the offer, and I didn't have it.

In any case, I very much appreciate the quick response. I am glad to see that you are doing your best to comply with the GPL. So few distributions these days do so....
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