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Re: Fwd: reiser4 non-free?

Michael, you are much more eloquent than I am.  Thanks for understanding.


Michael Milverton wrote:

Is this the licencing in question?

Finally, nothing in this license shall be interpreted to allow you to
fail to fairly credit me, or to remove my credits such as by creating
a front end that hides my credits from the user or renaming mkreiser4
to mkyourcompanyfs or even just make_filesystem, without my
permission, unless you are an end user not redistributing to others.
If you have doubts about how to properly do that, or about what is
fair, ask.  (Last I spoke with him Richard was contemplating how best
to address the fair crediting issue in the next GPL version.)

Also, a clustering file system built to work on top of this file
system shall be considered a derivative work for the purposes of
interpreting the GPL license granted herein.  Plugins are also to be
considered derivative works.  Share code or pay money, we give you the

I read this as meaning the following. Nobody is allowed to take the product that we produce and rename it into something else, thereby making it look as though it really belongs to someone else. The way I read the GPL is that it is essentially giving you the freedom to copy change and modify the code as long you pass this freedom along.

I do not see how the addition of this request for not altering the product name by renaming it something else is in contradiction with the GPL. The way I read the GPL, it would still be possible to create a new program that contained reiser4 code and call it something else as long as the code was free. All it appears that is being asked is to not change the name of the product itself. This is the moral and right thing to do. The GPL licence also makes its intent and purpose clear in the following statement

Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or collective works based on the Program. ##

Nothing in what Hans has requested would restrict the distribution of derivative or collective works based on the program. This is what the GPL is in essence trying to exercise control over eg to distribute derivative or collective works. As it states it does not have the intention to claim rights or contest the rights of the person/people who wrote the program. I would seem to think that if you strip credits and rename the actual product itself, eg NOT a derivitave work then you are taking the rights away from the person who wrote it.

Anyway apart from the technical aspect I believe there is a more fundamental issue that should not be swept under the carpet and this is that it is clear that people are prepared to essentially exploit the hardwork of other people and it is these people who are going against the spirit of the GPL. What is the point of having the code copyrighted to Hans Reiser in the source code when all the end user gets to see is that this software is called company X.

I think people need to be more sensitive to the feelings of people that put such a huge amount of heart and soul into their software and not be so quick in dismissing their concerns. If people do not feel heard and do not feel that their contribution is essentially meaningful then it takes away one of the biggest motivations for releasing their hard work as Free Software.

And by the way if I could spell I would have spelt it right in the first place.

Michael Milverton

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