On "Profiteering" and Free Software

ve7mdt
Posts: 38
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Location: CN89

Re: On "Profiteering" and Free Software

Post by ve7mdt » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:04 pm

To the OP on this thread, I don't think Roger was saying that he was going to rescind the code that was released under GPL (which you implied). What he was saying was that he and other developers might stop working on future releases for free. There is a big difference here. You can still download the ones already released and use it for free, under GPL. I think you have misunderstood what Roger was saying.

Also a comment on the eBay auction, eBay forbids non tangible goods, such as this, which is a service as in labour. Of course I have seen many auctions for services instead of tangible goods, and they stayed (at least during the duration I was observing in). So to the poster who said this is about digital download and thus violating eBay's policy, well, that is not my impression of that auction in question (although I haven't gone into reading the actual auction listing), so that shouldn't apply. But complaints can still be made as it's not a tangible good for sale.

As to the morals about the whole thing, this is not for me to say, but for Roger and the other developers. I am not sure if it is the right approach to dismiss this is "much ado about nothing", and trying to convince Rogers and other developers to ignore this and continue to provide future free updates by continuing all the hard work (unless the posters here on this thread are also developers on this OpenGD77 then I apologize). We are not the ones being offended here, but the developers are. Let's not trying to convince them that they are overreacting or something like that.

Think about it: even if you have paid for a commercial piece of software, you can't expect you get updates from the manufacturer, free or not free. We should simply be grateful and thankful and leave it at that.

Just my 2 cents. Please don't shoot me.
73,
David
VE7ET / VE7MDT
DMR radios: D878UV, D578UV-III (not arrived yet), XPR 5550, XPR 4550, XPR 7550, SL 7550, VXD-7200, CS-800D, RD-5R, GD-77, RT3s, MD-340 (not arrived yet)
DMR repeater: XPR 8400 UHF

VK3KYY
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Re: On "Profiteering" and Free Software

Post by VK3KYY » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:25 pm

ve7mdt wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:04 pm
To the OP on this thread, I don't think Roger was saying that he was going to rescind the code that was released under GPL (which you implied). What he was saying was that he and other developers might stop working on future releases for free. There is a big difference here. You can still download the ones already released and use it for free, under GPL. I think you have misunderstood what Roger was saying.
Yes.

I was not suggesting that existing versions would or could be removed.


BTW.
There is a general problem with the GPL license that was originally applied to the code by Kai, after Kai and I looked at the license on similar projects.


It is not actually possible to apply the GPL to the SGL binary file, because it contains proprietary sections for the AMBE codec (around half the total firmware size), which are from the original Radioddity firmware.
i.e We can't supply source for that part of the SGL because we don't have it, and anything to do with AMBE is a license problem.


Also.
Because of the additional clause(s) to the license only non-commercial use. This also renders the entire GPL license invalid.

Unfortunately this mistake with the license was made a long long time ago, because we copied the license from MMDMVHost. Only to find out later than Jonathan G4KLX got the license wrong for MMDVMHost :-(

But at this stage its now difficult to change it, even though the license is actually totally useless.

KC7RBW
Posts: 185
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Re: On "Profiteering" and Free Software

Post by KC7RBW » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:54 pm

ve7mdt wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:04 pm
To the OP on this thread, I don't think Roger was saying that he was going to rescind the code that was released under GPL (which you implied).
I didn't mean to imply that. Read on for a somewhat clearer ideas.
VK3KYY wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:25 pm
I was not suggesting that existing versions would or could be removed.
I could tell that you were careful not to suggest that. As long as you also don't share newer builds of the firmware with the rest of us the license allows you to keep your modifications to yourself.

I hope it never comes to that. The most likely result would be that another fork would begin, but without the developers who have put so much work into it and are so intimately familiar with the code. The future of the project would look grim for a while while a new community got going.

There are lots of examples of forks exceeding their parents. XFree86 and Xorg; StarOffice, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice; MySQL and MariaDB; Pspectra and GNU Radio. The pattern is consistently that the more open community ultimately has the dominant fork. This is exactly what the founders of Free Software movement had in mind and it's worked well so far.

To be very clear: I hope this never happens to OpenGD77!
VK3KYY wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:25 pm
It is not actually possible to apply the GPL to the SGL binary file, because it contains proprietary sections for the AMBE codec (around half the total firmware size), which are from the original Radioddity firmware.
i.e We can't supply source for that part of the SGL because we don't have it, and anything to do with AMBE is a license problem.
If you want a GPL-compatible binary, you could zero out that region and have the firmware uploader do the combining. It's still a bit sketchy, but the .sgl file itself, as it's distributed, would not include the AMBE codecs. If it's hard to do that with the linker, we could drop in a fake codec that outputs silence.

I'd love to see Codec 2 dropped in as a replacement, but obviously that would make it only compatible with other radios using the same codec.
VK3KYY wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:25 pm
Because of the additional clause(s) to the license only non-commercial use. This also renders the entire GPL license invalid.
Since the non-commercial clause is a note in the README.md and the GPL-2.0 LICENCE file is a legal document written by lawyers and widely understood to not exclude commercial use (as long as conditions are met), would you suppose instead that the GPL license renders the non-commercial note invalid?
Andrew | KC7RBW | ajorg

VK3KYY
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Re: On "Profiteering" and Free Software

Post by VK3KYY » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:11 pm

IMNAL, but generally the "Readme.MD" is the main page of a github repo, akin to the index page on a website.
Its completely normal on Github to put copyright and license information in this file.

However, it was a mistake not to realise that this would be a problem by putting an additional clause , into the Readme.md file, and following the lead of MMDVMHost, which specifically amends the license

https://github.com/g4klx/MMDVMHost

"This software is licenced under the GPL v2 and is intended for amateur and educational use only. Use of this software for commercial purposes is strictly forbidden."

It was always Kai's intention that this firmware should not be used commercially.


Unfortunately.
I now see that people started to use the firmware for their commercial operations, not just selling it as a chargeable upgrade.
So writing any form limitations is obviously pointless. :-(

ok1pt
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:38 am

Re: On "Profiteering" and Free Software

Post by ok1pt » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:07 am

VK3KYY wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:11 pm
Unfortunately.
I now see that people started to use the firmware for their commercial operations, not just selling it as a chargeable upgrade.
So writing any form limitations is obviously pointless. :-(
What about creating a simple download page, which states in big red letters that this software is only for ham and other non-commercial use and where the downloading person will have to "sign" it by checking the checkbox, that he read it and understands it and will be following it. I understand that this is just a formality, but I saw it on a lot of similar projects and I believe that it's better than nothing...
With regards / 73,
Pavel

dl9sec
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:32 am

Re: On "Profiteering" and Free Software

Post by dl9sec » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:03 am

ok1pt wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:07 am
I understand that this is just a formality, but I saw it on a lot of similar projects and I believe that it's better than nothing...
With regards / 73,
Pavel
Unfortunately: no it isn't just a formality and it can be done wrong in other projects too (see here). The license is a legal contract you have to follow if you accepted it.
So a seperate download page would help absolutely nothing.

So if one wants to use the sources commercially, he can do this if he follows the licensing terms too. That's the essence of the GPL...

But I would say it is possible with some feasible changes to get a at least a best possible license compliance and get rid of a copyright infringement (approach described above by KC7RBW).

@VK3KYY: I could prepare some measures what to do if you want...

73, Thorsten

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