I can't believe this topic!!!! I can't believe how uneducated people are about the GPL, the meaning of "Free as in Freedom", and how willing people are to give up their rights!!!!
THINK before you dismiss the GPLv3. These people are out to protect YOUR rights -- YOUR freedoms -- the freedom to create and modify great, innovative software.
Every single rebuttal quoted in the original post is (a) ignorant of the real meaning of the GPL, or (b) taken out of context.
Let me try to shed a bit of light on each of the quotes, and provide a bit of background.
Eh what? I'm a capitalist, thank you very much.
Uhhm --- The FSF is about Free as in FREEDOM, not Free as in PRICE. THAT is what it means about NON-FREE software. Software that restricts your FREEDOM is ethically tainted. You can charge as much as you like!! And you can't stop anyone else from charging as much as they like!!
What is wrong with THAT??? They say restricting others' rights (making software non-free) is ethically tainted. They are correct.
Look, I'll be blunt -- if you're not conversant in the software should be free as in freedom (but you can charge as much as you like for it) argument, then you really have no business discussing the GPL.
FSF wrote:Note, however, that voting is a very special case. Just because the software in a computer is free does not mean you can trust the computer for voting. We believe that computers cannot be trusted for voting. Voting should be done on paper.
"The computers are EVIL because MICROSOFTMEGOCORP is in them, you should vote using quill and parchment!!!!11" (major over paraphrasing)
There are many problems with computerised voting in the US - it is still in its early days. Besides, we and the FSF both know that most voting machines are made by companies such as Diebold, NOT Microsoft.
You really trust closed-source, proprietary code for voting? Open source is far and away better --- the point the FSF is making is that we also need the underlying hardware to be open source. The public should have the RIGHT (FREEdom) to see the blueprints -- where the data is stored and sent, and how.
WHY NOT? What the heck is wrong with this? Given all the voting scandals you have had in the US at every recent election, this is actually a sensible, if alarmist, viewpoint, that is borne out by real-world evidence.
FSF wrote:I'd like to license my code under the GPL, but I'd also like to make it clear that it can't be used for military and/or commercial uses. Can I do this?
Why, pray tell, would you want to do this?
This argument is a DIRECT CONTRADICTION to the first quote. Clearly, the FSF is fighting to maintain software FREEDOM. This guy wants to restrict the freedom of his GPLed software. So, the FSF is fighting for capitalist freedom here!
This guy wants to say "You can't make money from this software". You can't say that if you want to use the GPL.
This is utterly unchanged from the GPLv2 -- you cannot restrict your users' rights. They have always said that doing so is wrong. Free as in freedom.
What the expletive? DVD is evil? When did this happen?
Just because you are ignorant of the facts here, doesn't make you correct. DVD CSS encryption was a BANE. I remember I was an early adopter of a computer DVD drive, and since I travel a lot, and pick up DVDs from other countries, I quickly used up the five "region changes" my DVD drive had. And so I was screwed. A couple of years ago, you couldn't watch DVDs on a Linux computer. It took a Sbcandinavian kid to crack the encryption, and they wanted to string him up in court for cracking the code so people could watch DVDs they OWNED on computers they OWNED.
Get a grip -- this was a serious violation of our rights. Just because you don't realise that, doesn't take away the seriousness of the situation. Blu-ray looks to be even more restrictive.
Why should people decide what I can do with products I ahve purchased? This is not a conspiracy, it is real.
The pithy rebuttal might appeal to the non-techie crowd, or the vast majority who Just Don't Care. But I do care about my rights.
FSF wrote:GPLv3 ensures you are free to remove the handcuffs. It doesn't forbid DRM, or any kind of feature. It places no limits on the substantive functionality you can add to a program, or remove from it. Rather, it makes sure that you are just as free to remove nasty features as the distributor of your copy was to add them. Tivoization is the way they deny you that freedom; to protect your freedom, GPLv3 forbids tivoization.
and by extension that it will not be used in these programs. I don't think many [open source programs] are going to go to GPLv3 since v2 is good enough.
What on EARTH is wrong with this..... it ALLOWS companies to implement DRM -- YEs, like DVDs. So companies that rely on DRM for distribution can safely release their products on GPLed platforms.
So you can play DRMed Apple AAC audio tracks with a free (as in freedom) player. Or watch DVDs on Linux.
This is cool.
HOWEVER... they ALSO protect you if you want to install a hack so you can watch your Blu-Ray disc on your PC... it's harder for you to be strung up for FAIR USE. That Scandinavian kid doesn't get dragged off to court.
An example: Vista doesn't allow you to watch HD-DVD content via a digital cable at full resolution. Your HD-DVD. Your TV. Your cable. Artificial restriction. You break it, you're breaking the law.
You break it on a GPLv3 operating system, you are protected. Is this really "over-political"? No -- it is simply the ethical and right thing to do.
You'd still be breaking the law if you were stealing stuff, but you would be protected for fair use. Very cool.
FSF wrote:Another threat that GPLv3 resists is that of patent deals like the Novell-Microsoft deal. Microsoft wants to use its thousands of patents to make GNU/Linux users pay Microsoft for the privilege, and made this deal to try to get that. The deal offers Novell's customers rather limited protection from Microsoft patents.
Is it just me or do these people see a lot of conspiracies?
This comment is not insightful. The Patent threat is real and very serious. We are at a stage when users of free, community-written software might have to pay a license fee to another company for frivolous patents.
Would you pay another company a fee for using phpBB, because it infringed on a frivolous patent. Say, for example, Microsoft claims that they invented the "Private Message"...
Would you pay them money.... would you...? Would you pay $10 to download phpBB each time so they could pay off patent royalties????
Would you stand up for AcydBurn if he were in court for infringing on a "User control panel" patent?
What is wrong with the FSF trying to protect the rights of the ordinary guy like YOU AND ME against frivolous patent threats?
This is NOT a conspiracy. Companies are paying money RIGHT NOW to Microsoft to indemnify themselves against such patent threats.
Look into your heart and tell me that stamping this kind of thing out is bad? It's a cancer on the open source community.
Big companies are making money of lunatic patents. Small guys like us are NOT protected under GPLv2.
FSF wrote:The explicit patent license in GPLv3 does not go as far as we might have liked. Ideally, we would make everyone who redistributes GPL-covered code surrender all software patents, along with everyone who does not redistribute GPL-covered code. Software patents are a vicious and absurd system that puts all software developers in danger of being sued by companies they have never heard of, as well as by all the megacorporations in the field. Large programs typically combine thousands of ideas, so it is no surprise if they implement ideas covered by hundreds of patents. Megacorporations collect thousands of patents, and use those patents to bully smaller developers. Patents already obstruct free software development.
Again, these people will not use GPLv3 due to this. Or maybe I'm missing something? I think they're saying that anyone using GPLv3 surrenders all patents?
Bah, I'm sticking with GPLv2 for my projects.
Get it right -- Your projects probably already infringe on patents. For example, Amazon patented "one click ordering".
What else is covered by patents? Quick replies? Smilies? FORUMS???
THAT is the nature of software patents.
So, you stick the the GPLv2. Hopefully none of your software will become popular, or successful ,or even earn you the opportunity to be financially independent.... because if it does, it will be YOU battling it out with the patent holders in courts -- and you won't have a leg to stand on.
It's a pretty serious situation, not a conspiracy theory. Legally, free (as in freedom) could be wiped off the map by patent lawsuits. I wouldn't be so glib in putting down this section of the GPL.
In closing, I hope that as many projects as possible adopt the GPLv3 -- in the long run, if they do, there will be no turning back.
If they do not, you can expect to see a significant decline in the number of truly-free software projects in the future.
As for Torvalds, he stated he was unimpressed with the early GPLv3 drafts, but is warming up to it. He's never really been too much of a fan of the Free Software Foundation. Show me a link that states he 'refuses' to convert to GPL3! I'm also skeptical if, in the long run, he can actually prevent the kernel from moving to GPLv3... I'm not sure if that is actually possible. When distros start converting to GPLv3, the GPLv2 will die.
This is not "overly political" -- it is the same old GPL, just upgraded to protect your rights more comprehensively, and a bit more legally stringent. Spend some time reading it, and really understand it --- and beware of people spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about it. SOME companies do have a lot to lose if Free (AS IN FREEDOM) software continues to increase in success.
You don't care about your rights, fine. Lose them. I'm supporting the companies fighting for my rights.