[linux-audio-dev] New form of GPL licence that protects Linux from proprietary world [was: New powermacs?]

Joern Nettingsmeier nettings at folkwang-hochschule.de
Sun Jun 22 03:07:01 UTC 2003

Ivica Bukvic wrote:
> Thanks! This really helped me see straight again :-).
> However this brings up one interesting point/problem. Due to GPL nature
> of Linux software, many of our efforts will seamlessly bleed into OS X
> world since there are no restrictions as to which platform this software
> is run on, and Apple made an explicit move to target open-source
> developers and/or users by implementing Darwin and underlying
> almost-Unix system.
> To me this is a problem. Since, all our efforts and time will not lure
> more people to Linux. Rather, our software will (perhaps) become popular
> (pro-tools killer or whatever), but not necessarily on a Linux platform.
> In the end, we will not reap what we have sown. Users on the OS X will
> be theoretically able to run Ardour as much as we will, especially now
> that jackd has been ported to OS X. To me, this does not seem right.
> I would hence like to propose a new idea and you guys tell me what you
> think:
> Perhaps we should make a mended version of GPL that would have exact
> permissions like the original GPL license, but in addition would ask
> that the software cannot be run on top of proprietary OS. This way, we
> can make our software indigenous only to free/oss OS's and hence create
> unique benefits that come from using Linux (and other open-sourced OS's,
> obviously). Now, if we did this, then Linux in the long run would have a
> definite advantage. As it stands now, it is only a matter of time before
> all of the good linux audio software gets ported to (or ever worse,
> becomes fully compatible with) OS X and other proprietary OS's and then
> we end up putting all this effort into a community that in the end might
> not grow at all, while offering benefits to those who did not chip in
> any effort into the movement, nor do they understand the meaning behind
> it. This certainly could pose problems for anyone who plans to make a
> living in any shape or form associated with Linux and GPL'ed audio
> software (Paul?).
> What do you think?

i don't like this idea.

free with strings attached is not free.

* it's against the spririt of the GPL.

i remember somebody cooking up a licence that basically allowed 
everything except for military use. my first thought was, cool, give 
those rambo guys the finger (even if it won't make a difference). but 
after a while, i fould that even though personally i despise each and 
every military operation that has happened over the last 15 years, i 
might not always be right, and i might not always be able to check the 
facts. so how can i forbid something i don't know enough about ?

(as a more pragmatic point, it makes using the code horribly complicated 
and you won't get your stuff into debian :)

* if linux can't make it on its own, then let it DIE DIE DIE.

we are doing very good. linux is powerful, and it's enormous fun. linux 
audio is progressing at a pace to make you dizzy. "success" in free 
software is not mesaured in terms of "market penetration". if it's good 
and fun in a niche, so be it, if it's going to be world domination, fine 
too :)
your proposal seems to me to be a "vendor lock-in" scheme for free 
systems. if linux can't beat os x, if os x can do everything linux can 
and better, then either linux must improve or die. (for those who don't 
care whether their os is free software - those who do will stick with 
linux or xBSD anyway, so what's the point.)

of course i see your intention to give linux audio more momentum for the 
benefit of all the users, but i think your proposal is not a good idea. 
not to mention license fiddling is a can of worms that is very likely to 
fragment the community.
however strange and thick-headed the guy may be, there certainly is some 
wisdom in RMS and the GPL behind all the stubbornness. it's good they're 
there, and it's good you can trust the kids out there to cry treason and 
treachery whenever someone comes up with some new scheme of freedom :)



All Members shall refrain in their international relations from
the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or
political independence of any state, or in any other manner
inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
	-- Charter of the United Nations, Article 2.4

Jörn Nettingsmeier
Kurfürstenstr 49, 45138 Essen, Germany
http://spunk.dnsalias.org (my server)
http://www.linuxdj.com/audio/lad/ (Linux Audio Developers)

More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list