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Re: KDE liscence question

On Mon, Jun 14, 1999 at 12:58:45PM -0700, Joseph Carter wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 14, 1999 at 06:00:44PM +0200, Francesco Tapparo wrote:
> > > The KDE people are a very loose group all around the world. Try to get 
> > > them together and sign a paper allowing for a new license, or try to
> > > get a pgp signed mail from every one, especially the once that don't
> > > have email anymore or died inbetween.
> > 
> > FACT 1: The KDE people choose to steal GPL code
> > 
> > FACT 2: The KDE people choose to license their code as GPL (probably only to 
> >         pretend to can use other GPL code)
> >      
> > If _the_KDE_people_ can resolve their problem: fine. Otherwise sorry: "chi
> > e' causa del suo mal pianga se stesso" (an italian proverb: "which caused
> > his misfortune must complain only against himself").
> You know something?  While you're sitting here calling everyone involved
> with the KDE project malicious thieves trying to subvert us and make free
> software proprietary, SOME of us are trying to fix the problems,
> including removing GPL code not written by the KDE team if an arrangement
> with the authors of the code cannot be made.

My point is that you are doing it in the wrong way: it is not going to solve
the problem, and is going to weaken the licences of a increasing number of
programs. I've explained my reasoning at the end of the letter, after my
answer at your shouting.

> This obviously isn't good enough for you, but it's quite obvious that
> nothing short of a firing squad for everyone who has ever tried to do
> anything with and for KDE (that would probably include me given that I
> wrote the QPL) will satisfy you.

I do'nt like KDE (but this is not probably a novelty to you, I suspect).
I do'nt dislike TrollTech: they created a toolkit and the they put it under
a proprietary licence. This is not of course athing I like particularly, but
it is a thing common a lot of companies. Then they choose to put QT under a
non-proprietary license, and this is something very good (I do'nt like their
license, but it's a lot better than a proprietary licence). 

But this has nothing to do with KDE: the only GPL'ed compatible licence is
the GPL, so KDE has the same problems as before. Of course a world with a non
proprietary QT is a better world than without, but this has nothing to do
with KDE (the licences compatible under GPL are only the licences permitting
to put the code under GPL).

So do'nt worry: I do'nt care about you.

BTW: you are overestimating the importance of your contribute to the QPL: of
course you have obtained some concessions, but TrollTech had its agenda, and 
they conceded only what it fit in that agenda, nothing more. Joseph Carter or 
not Joseph Carter. 

> And while you are busy rebuking the foul demons of non-GPL software
> (after all, any software that isn't GPL can never be free enough!  In
> fact Debian calling software under other licenses "free" makes Debian a
> bunch of blasphemous heretics!) you neglect to see that some of the
> strongest opponents to non-free software---namely Alan Cox and your
> Messiah Richard Stallman have both said that while the QPL is not GPL
> compatible, it _IS_ free software and the remaining compatibility issues
> should be hashed out with the copyright holders of any significant
> borrowed code.

I do'nt have Messiahs: I think with my head. If the opinion of Alan
Cox and RMS is that we should donate the code the KDE people use illegally, 
they are wrong, imho. I've explained my reasoning at the end of my letter. 

> Either you're part of the solution, you're part of the problem, or you're
> silent on the matter.  You're sure as hell not being silent and you have
> not made one constructive comment that would lead to any sort of
> resolution in the matter.  Therefore you're part of the problem.
> If you want to see anything positive for free software come of this whole
> KDE mess you can either help me and those few like me who still want the
> problems fixed actually DO SOMETHING or you can shut up and let us do it
> alone.

So I summarize my point of view:

If *you* work hard to solve the problem of the KDE people, you are curing
the sympthom, not the cause. In doing that you are pressuring some people to
donate some code to the KDE people, or grant them some rights they woul'nt
be entitled to have. So you are solving the troubles *they* created.
This is the first problem: your message (not only to other potential
developers, but even to the lot of companies willing to earn in the linux
market but frighten from sharing their code) is

   Hey much of our code is GPL'ed, but if you link it against a more
   restrictive library (and if you have a lot of mindshare) we do'nt care;
   or, in the worst hypothesis, we work hard to solve your problem.
This message can be very dangerous to the community.

Then there is the second problem: you are working on the symptom, not the
cause. You keep to remove code and every day a new GPL-program linked
against QT is created. The KDE project is growing very fast: you ca'nt keep
the pace; but even if you would keep the pace, this would'nt sufficient: I
think even you want a KDE stable (in the long run), not a project needing
tweaks continuously (from the license point of view).

So the first to do something must be the KDE people: this is morally the
right thing to do, and this is the only pratical thing to do.
A very first step would be that the KDE people put a message in their web page 
and in linux-announce sayng that they are concious of their lincese problems, 
and are going to remove all the problematic code in the next major release 
(i.e. KDE 2.0, not KDE 1.1.x), and they are not going to accept new GPL'ed 
code (or code without a clear and not problematic license).
This would be a clear message to the non-proprietary community and, more
imortantly, to the KDE community. 
But if this do'nt happen, the best thing we can do is wait.
This is the reason of my answer to you in my other email, about the wrong
answer to the correct question: it's not important what is your license, the
KDE people (at least all the major leaders) are not the more active players
in the game. 

> --
> Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>            Debian GNU/Linux developer
> PGP: E8D68481E3A8BB77 8EE22996C9445FBE            The Source Comes First!
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> * Twilight1 will have to hang his Mozilla beanie dinosaur in effigy if
>   Netscape sells-out to Alot Of Losers..

PS: I removed my signature ("GNU fanatic"): it was only a joke, but
evidently nobody (not only you) understood that.

Please vote my new signature:
[ ]: GNU fanatic: the revenge
[ ]: The sad dead of a GNU fanatic in a linux proprietary world
[ ]: Please stop to bother us with your stupid signature

(Hey this *is* a joke)

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