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GNU is Not Unix Networking Open Source Apple

Apple Remove Samba From OS X 10.7 Because of GPLv3 1075

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the anything-you-can-do dept.
recoiledsnake writes "The upcoming release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Server will remove the formerly bundled open source Samba software and replace it with Apple's own tools for Windows file sharing and network directory services. In both Mac OS X Server and client editions, Samba enables Macs to share files with Windows clients on the network and access Windows file servers. It has also later allowed Mac OS X Server to work as an NT Domain Controller to manage network accounts and make roaming profiles and home directories available to Windows PC users. However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially. Apple is now said to be recommending Active Directory to users who are still dependent upon the older NT Domain Controller network directory services. Apple has previously stopped contributing code to GCC and started looking at other options like LLVM because of GCC's switch to GPLv3."
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Apple Remove Samba From OS X 10.7 Because of GPLv3

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  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:37PM (#35599840)

    GPL is bad.

    Bullshit.

  • by MSG (12810) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:39PM (#35599900)

    GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially.

    No, it doesn't. That's a ridiculous assertion presented without any evidence or reason.

    As wikipedia might demand: Citation needed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:39PM (#35599908)

    You're either for software freedom or your not. GPL restricts what you can, therefor is not free.

  • by MSG (12810) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:47PM (#35600010)

    Seriously, if you try to promote freedom and free code, you have to allow people to use it how they want.

    No, sir, you are confusing liberty with "no charge" free.

    The BSD license is free as in beer. A proprietary software developer may take BSD licensed software and use it as the basis for a project of their own without sharing code in return. The users of his software have less liberty to the software's use. That developer exchanges nothing of value for the code that he received.

    The GPL license is free as in liberty. Developers who wish to base products on existing GPL software must agree to maintain the liberty of the derived software's users to use the software with the same liberties that the developer did. This is an exchange of something of value: the developer contributes their own code in exchange for receiving the GPL code.

    GPL software is not intended to be free of charge to developers who wish to reuse it. Developers who choose the GPL software do not intend to provide their labor without charge to others who will not contribute in return. The GPL promotes liberty, not freeloading.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:47PM (#35600014)

    "However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from using the software commercially. "

    Nothing in the GPLv3 prohibits using the software commercially, unless that means taking software that others wrote and released and making it unfree.

    As for all the posters who will say now that the GPL is too restrictive and actually has nothing to do with freedom - yes it restricts the freedom of the person distributing the software in either its original or a changed version but only exactly to the extent necessary to guarantee that the person who receives the software gets the same extent of freedom as the original software allowed. The freedom to take other people's freedom away is certainly some kind of freedom, but probably not the kind that the creators of Samba wanted to promote.

    It is actually an intended consequence of the GPL to keep companies that want to distribute software in a restricted way (e.g. on "locked" phones where they control what you can install, and probably soon enough on "locked computers" under the pretense of security) from doing this with GPLed software. That Apple cannot use the software for such purposes puts free software and hardware at an advantage and increases the cost for Apple of taking away people's freedom.
    Presumably, the developers that put their code under the GPL wanted exactly that.

  • Closed ecosystem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by woboyle (1044168) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:49PM (#35600058)
    Personally, I think Apple is trying to totally close their software and hardware ecosystems so only they can provide software, or are the gatekeeper of all software, that will run on any Apple device. The only way to stop this is by voting with our pocketbooks! After this sort of behavior, I am boycotting Apple products like I am Sony's. If I purchase something, I own it and therefor have the right to use it as I see fit, not as someone else does. The way Apple wants it to work is that you are in effect leasing from them. You don't own it, and are constrained with what you can do with/to it.
  • by TheGreek (2403) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:52PM (#35600108)

    The GPL license is free as in liberty. Developers who wish to base products on existing GPL software must agree to maintain the liberty of the derived software's users to use the software with the same liberties that the developer did.

    If you associate the words "must agree" with the word "liberty," I think you have pretty jacked up definition of liberty.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:57PM (#35600220) Homepage Journal

    The problem is with the iPhone, not OS X (yet). If you distribute binaries covered by the GPLv3 on a device, the license requires you to provide any signing keys, or other information/tools required to run modified versions of the software on the device. The iPhone requires all applications to be signed, and does not provide signing keys to it's users, thus they can't use GPLv3 software (like samba) on iOS.

    Who wants to run Samba on their iPhone? I mean, a lot of people, of course. But for the mainstream user who will not jailbreak, this is not even that interesting. However, if they should expect you to run iOS on your desktop, suddenly it becomes relevant. This is just one of many preludes to the eventual death of OSX and its replacement with iOS. OSX may continue to exist as a workstation OS, but I doubt it, because who takes OSX seriously in the enterprise? It's something you have forced upon you, not something you add to your network on purpose.

  • by TheGreek (2403) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:58PM (#35600234)

    There is nothing "jacked up" about this.

    I fully support your right to put restrictions on how I can modify or distribute something you created. Calling these restrictions "liberty," however, is just Orwellian doublespeak.

  • by jdgeorge (18767) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:58PM (#35600240)

    You're either for software freedom or your not. GPL restricts what you can, therefor is not free.

    This kind of "either you see it my way our you're wrong" statement is NOT a good argument.

    There are real reasons why the GPL versions (and other licenses) are problematic for various folks, and this kind of assertion acknowledges none of them.

    You can learn the factual basis for arguments against or in favor of various open source or free software licenses at the OSI site [opensource.org] and at the FSF site [gnu.org].

  • by Microlith (54737) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @12:59PM (#35600248)

    What?

    The GPLv3 prevents someone from redistributing GPL'd software and saying to the end user "you cannot replace this software, you cannot alter or modify it in place." The only people who have a problem with the GPLv3 are those who enjoyed making an end-run around the spirit of the GPLv2 by distributing source but crippling the hardware it was used on.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:00PM (#35600270)

    Having a single primary rule (with a small set of rules designed to support that rule) does not make you a dictator.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:03PM (#35600296) Homepage

    How does that support the view that the GPL is bad?

  • by gbrandt (113294) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:04PM (#35600310)

    Doubtful. If that was the case then GCC would not have been replaced with Clang and LLVM. And Apple would not have put LLDB into the open source domain.

    Apple just does not like the GPL, but they have no problem with the BSD-style licensing.

    Gregor.

  • by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:04PM (#35600314) Homepage Journal

    You're either for personal freedom or you're not. Civil rights stop me from enslaving people, therefore I'm not free.

    If I release some "free software", then someone else comes along and entangles it with their own proprietary software and adds their own restrictions, then the part that is my contribution is no longer free. The software itself is not free, in the same way that a slave is not free. The software has been enslaved. So allowing people to do whatever they want to my software is contrary to my software's freedom.

  • by Microlith (54737) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:04PM (#35600318)

    I fully support your right to put restrictions on how I can modify or distribute something you created.

    Apparently you don't.

    Calling these restrictions "liberty," however, is just Orwellian doublespeak.

    So it's "orwellian" to insist that the people who receive my software, via you, have the same rights as you did, and can use altered versions of it freely in place of the versions you gave them?

    Man, you have a fucked up definition of "orwellian." Or perhaps standing up for the freedoms of others is simply antiquated to you. But then, I get the impression that control freaks don't like end-users having freedom, and thus the GPLv3 is inherently reprehensible to them.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:07PM (#35600372) Homepage

    GPL is like promoting free speech until someone saids something YOU don't like. True freedom is letting people do what they want.

    The GPL requires that whoever you give the code to - in source or binary form - is just as free to use the code as you were. The way you are "more free" with the BSD is to make others less free, obviously you are more free if your right to swing your fist doesn't end at my nose. Being able to own slaves is a freedom for the slave holder. Except we don't want those kinds of freedoms, because they make others less free. BSD makes Apple more free and OS X users less free than under the GPL. The GPL may not be the absolute and total freedom, but it is the equal and fair freedom.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:07PM (#35600378)

    The summary is flat out wrong the way it is worded, but there are legitimate licensing issues.

    They probably figure it is easier to maintain a single SMB/CIFS implementation rather than two, so they are ditching it on OS X as well (or they have other plans for OS X that we are not aware of yet).

    Just about all of the binaries in /System on a Mac OS X site are signed by Apple to prevent tampering, either by the user or Eve trying to installing a rootkit. They probably don't want to turn over the signing keys for those, because they definitely don't want Eve patching their system, and as far as Apple engineers are concerned /System should have a big sticker on it reading "No user serviceable parts inside."

  • by lordandmaker (960504) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:09PM (#35600388) Homepage

    That depends upon your version of 'free'.

    GPL forces the freedom of derivatives, BSD retains the freedom to make non-free derivatives.

    To some, without the enforced 'freedom' it's not truly free. To others, with the enforced freedom it's not really free.

    This isn't an argument anybody is about to win.

  • by Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:09PM (#35600396) Homepage

    If you associate the words "must agree" with the word "liberty," I think you have pretty jacked up definition of liberty.

    Yeah, telling all those congressmen that they "must agree" to uphold the constitution, you'll never get liberty through coercion like that!

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:10PM (#35600410) Homepage

    I think you have a good point there. In trying to place extra restrictions and obligations on free software GPL3 will actually reduce the usage of said software.

    I don't think anybody disputes that. Simply, for some usage is not the most important goal.

    With the due differences, it's like selling a car which verifies if you are drunk before it lets you drive it. Sure, it won't sell as much as other cars, but you know your cars are contributing much less than others to car accidents.

  • by melikamp (631205) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:10PM (#35600418) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, if you try to promote freedom and free code, you have to allow people to use it how they want.

    Exactly. GPLed software can be freely run, studied, modified, and redistributed with modifications. Apple refuses to provide its users with these freedoms, so they cannot use GPLed software.

    If you try to define what's allowed and try to get people to do or not to do what YOU want them, you aren't promoting free code. Your code is just as "bad" as proprietary code.

    GPL only restricts your ability to take freedom away from your end user. Yes, GPLes software is "bad" for you if you are intending to take the freedoms from your end user. GPL is not "bad" for the software's user in any way shape or form, only for those who would rather abuse copyright and derive monopoly profits from other people's charitable work (e.g. Apple from BSD). Do you seriously not get it?

    GPL is like promoting free speech until someone saids something YOU don't like.

    And now even a semblance of a rational argument is gone and what you have left is hot air. GPL has nothing to do with freedom of expression (just like copyright, according to the US Supreme Court, has nothing to do with freedom of speech), and everything to do with building a hedge around the public domain. The robber barons stole our public domain by making the copyright terms practically infinite and applying obscene statutory damages to non-commercial violators. Licenses like GPL are legal hacks which help to restore the balance present in the original copyright legislation: creators get some VERY limited distribution monopoly, everyone else gets more and better software.

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:10PM (#35600422)

    How did they take your "free software"? Isn't that still available? People here like to point out that you can't steal bits, so the bits of your "free software" must still be in your possession.

  • by Sique (173459) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:10PM (#35600426) Homepage

    You are either for freedom, that stops at the next user, or you are for freedom, that continues after the next person.
    "Feel free to beat up anyone you meet" is no freedom either.

  • by xose (219487) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:11PM (#35600438)

    GPL = code must be free

    BSD= people must be free to do what they want with the code

  • by Microlith (54737) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:11PM (#35600452)

    The problem comes with the intention of allowing the user to modify and use the software. The GPLv2 allowed them to do an end run where you could modify and use the software, but never on the device that it was distributed on.

    This was corrected in GPLv3, and control-freak assholes are having a problem with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:14PM (#35600502)

    Free for whom?

    The GPL protects the *freedom of the code*, not the freedom of developers. Hence the term free software. The BSD allows you to lock the code down, and release binaries only and so is not as good at protecting the freedom of the code.

    I really can not fathom that this logic still eludes people. So many assume that it is about their own freedom and so misses the point of the GPL entirely.

    And besides, if you want to give freedom to developers, release as Public Domain for crying out loud.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:15PM (#35600514)

    Where all of you GPL-haters keep failing in this argument is that you want to deny rights to software makers. You have to understand that whoever wrote a piece of software owns copyright on it, and can distribute it how they see fit.

    If I write a piece of software, I'm free to take one of 3 basic distribution options relevant to the debate:

    1) Keep it proprietary, give the code to nobody. Sell compiled versions for money, and/or license the source under NDA to others for money.
    2) Give it away under a BSD license (or just make it Public Domain). Anyone can use my software for anything, commercial or not. It's a gift to the world.
    3) Give it away under a GPL license. Anyone can use my software for anything, commercial or not. HOWEVER, I stipulate that if you make further enhancements to my code, if you then give the resulting binary to other parties, you are required to also give them a copy of your enhancements in source code form.

    None of the options are more or less moral than the others. Licensing code under the GPL does not steal anyone's liberties. It fails to provide you with a liberty you would get if the code were licensed under BSD, but in either case these rights are GRANTED to you by the COPYRIGHT HOLDER. It's a gift either way, and you're saying by failing to give everyone a big enough gift, GPL authors are somehow stealing people's liberties. Bullshit.

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:17PM (#35600550)

    Personally, I think Apple is trying to totally close their software and hardware ecosystems so only they can provide software,

    You're right – that's why last time apple dropped a GPLv3 hot potato (GCC) they released their own alternative using the BSD license. Wait... no.

  • by wfolta (603698) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:18PM (#35600564)

    And under the GPLv3, you can still do whatever YOU want. The exception comes when you redistribute, because at that point it's not YOU using it, it's SOMEONE ELSE.

    In the end, you are thus depriving that SOMEONE ELSE the ability to use the software at all. You're defending "their" rights by denying them the access they need. Sort of destroying the city in order to save it.

    As far as I can tell, there are two different classes of "SOMEONE ELSE": average users and programmer geeks. In order to preserve the rights of the programmer geeks, you are denying access to average users. Just like Gnu GO on the iPhone. I can't have it at all because a "freedom" advocate believes allowing me to have it would cause them some kind of harm... sounds suspiciously like proprietary software, really. They think they're different because their demands don't involve money.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:20PM (#35600624)

    No, it doesn't. That's a ridiculous assertion presented without any evidence or reason.

    That's sortof disingenuous, GPL has always been a Hobson's choice. You can always "sell" a piece of GPL software, but unless you are the original rights holder the GPL has the practical effect of ruining any mechanism for monetizing the software. If any distribution of the software requires the source code be included, it destroys the competitive advantage of the seller in a market and makes it impossible to prevent free-riding by users. You can only "sell" a GPL'd piece of software if you are the author, and then only by withholding code yourself; anyone who contributes is obliged to hand back their work in a manner that prevents them from monetizing any direct benefits.

    GPL works for many reasons, but "you can sell it" is not one of them. In a time where people donwload everything -- instead of when RMS wrote the GPL, and people sold tapes and disks -- the "salability" property of GPL software is really incidental, and Internet distribution has made it infeasible from a business point-of-view.

  • by DamnStupidElf (649844) <Fingolfin@linuxmail.org> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:22PM (#35600670)
    The problem with your argument is that the developers of Samba would like to be able to buy a NAS or other hardware device that incorporates Samba and then upgrade it to the latest testing version or change other things about it even if the hardware manufacturer doesn't support it. That's the end of the story in terms of licensing, because no one else owns the Samba code. The Samba developers wanted the ability to modify their own software when it's running on someone else's hardware that they paid money for, and I think that's a fairly reasonable request. Apple's response is basically "Hey, nice code, but we don't really care about your interests and so we won't be using the new version." Either way, Apple wasn't planning on letting people modify the version of CIFS they shipped, or contribute fixes back to the Samba tree, so no real loss there. Long story short, we learned something about Apple's ideology and nothing more.
  • by JonJ (907502) <jon.jahren@gmail.com> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:23PM (#35600690)

    I fully support your right to put restrictions on how I can modify or distribute something you created. Calling these restrictions "liberty," however, is just Orwellian doublespeak.

    You don't have the 'liberty' to enslave other people either. Restrictions sometimes limit the liberty someone might take away from other people.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:23PM (#35600694)

    GPL is bad.

    Bullshit.

    Bullshit. BSD license is much more free than GPL.

    He didn't say it was "more free", he said it wasn't bad.

    BSD is more free, but does little to promote freedom itself. GPL is less free, but it more strongly promotes freedom. Neither is better than the other except when considered in specific contexts. If you ignore context and make a blanket statement about which is freer, you are making a religious argument.

  • by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:24PM (#35600712) Homepage

    Of course they are. Several security holes in OSX and, perhaps more importantly, iOS have been found specifically by looking at the Darwin code base.

  • by Tarlus (1000874) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:26PM (#35600768)

    but they have no problem with the BSD-style licensing

    Boy, they'd be in big trouble if they did.

  • by jc42 (318812) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:27PM (#35600774) Homepage Journal

    You're either for software freedom or your not. GPL restricts what you can, therefor is not free.

    Well, maybe. But it does seem reasonable that, if you're gonna take a "free" product and resell it, you should share some of your profits with the product's original producers.

    The GPL has taken this attitude toward "free" from the start. You can have it for free if you promise to pass it on to others on the same terms. But if you want to grab someone else's work and make a profit from it, you have to buy it (and get a license to resell it).

    See, it's sort of a "tit for tat" thing. If you want it to be free, you have to keep it free; if you want to be paid for it, you have to pay for it.

    (For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, note that most GPL'd software is available from the authors with other licenses. The GPL doesn't preclude providing the software with other licenses. It basically just exists to guarantee that if you don't pay for the software, you can't charge others for it. But most of the authors are quite willing to give you a license to sell their software for profit, if you are willing to share those profits with the authors.)

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:32PM (#35600868)

    Devil's advocate here:

    The downside to the GPL3 is that companies notice one product or piece of code with the v3 license, then their legal team gets scared, throws the baby out with the bathwater and starts over with a closed source product.

    I have known one business which produced embedded controllers move from Linux to Windows CE just because their legal eagles feared that the GPL v3.x would force them to give up their trade secrets of some manufacturing methods to any customers that asked.

    All and all, I'd would say the GPL v2 is/was the best balance between being able to do what one wanted and redistributing, versus keeping code available for subsequent users. GPL v3 was made with good intentions, but instead of the intended outcome of killing DRM and dealing with patents, it has gotten some businesses to completely dump F/OSS completely and move to closed source systems.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:36PM (#35600948) Journal

    Specifically, in this case, SAMBA is losing out because it no longer is getting help from Apple, because it wants to tell Apple how it may use the product, and Apple doesn't want to be told by SAMBA team what it can and can't do with code it contributed to, and shared with the SAMBA team.

    The GPL(3) is AWFUL in terms of licensing. If I were building anything useful and wanting to sell it, I sure the hell wouldn't use any GPL(3) code.

    The GPL(3) is functioning just as it was designed, to limit commercial use of code. You can't complain that it is doing what it was designed to do. Does this make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:38PM (#35600984)

    GPL = code must be free

    BSD= people must be free to do what they want with the code

    Code is property and as such, it has no rights. Stop it with this "code must be free" bullshit. This is not about the code but rather about the original authors reaping the fruits of not only their labour but that of others downstream. The GPL is about exchanging your freedom for access to the code.

    The problem here is not GPL in general but specifically Version 3 which is anti-commercial. This license will be the undoing of many projects. Companies like Apple will stop contributing to projects which will cause them to languish and die out. Switching to Version 3 is also denying the rights of those employees of Apple who contributed to the codebase in the past. I would argue that Version 3 is a violation of copyright as it prevents corporate contributors from having access to code that they contributed to.

    Is RMS completely ignorant of the fact that many of these projects received a lot of commercial support in the past and that Version 3 is basically a big middle finger directed at them? Is he out to destroy the FOSS movement by alienating some of its largest contributors?

  • by maxume (22995) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:41PM (#35601036)

    No state is free. It isn't really a problem, but thinking they are leads to things like where democracy is held up as an ideal, rather than being better than the alternatives (the ideal situation would be one where no government intervention was ever needed, which is obviously a pipe dream, but ideals don't have to be practical to offer guidance).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 24, 2011 @01:46PM (#35601104)

    No, it doesn't say that AT ALL.

    What it DOES say is that if you put YOUR software patent into YOUR GPL3 code then YOU are agreeing that anyone else can use that software patent under terms compatible with the GPLv3 license.

    What it DOES NOT say is that if you use GPL3 software you can't have patents or have to give them away. Just don't modify the GPL3 program or make a derived product (as defined by your government, so if you don't like the definition, take it up with them) and include patents you won't give anyone else.

    Since Apple only want to USE Samba, not make their own version of it, they can't be putting THEIR patents in the Samba software, so the GPL3 license isn't a problem.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:01PM (#35601338)

    Also false--Apple is switching away from GCC because it's clunky, slow, outdated, and the GCC team is hostile to Apple's extensions and does not want Apple's contributions--every developer I know has been very much looking forward to being able to drop GCC and use LLVM.

    I think it is a bit of both. Apple has stopped with gcc 4.2 while adding massive amounts of work to LLVM; they could probably have upgraded to a much later version from a technical point of view, but didn't want to for licensing reasons. On the other hand, LLVM is now reaching the point where it is superior to gcc in every respect (massively better compile times, much better error messages, all the compile time information available to the editor and much more) and allows compilation at runtime (great for OpenCL). And it seems that it has a much saner code base that can be improved much easier.

  • by rsborg (111459) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:05PM (#35601404) Homepage

    Apple has neither attacked a hacker nor put rootkits on users' systems.

    Apple and the FSF may not see eye to eye, but Apple is one of the better corporate citizens when it comes to open source and the end customer.

    None of the above has any bearing on whether you want to boycott their closed-system approach. I applaud your boycott, though I won't be joining you.

  • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:06PM (#35601444)

    then no, you can't do that

    As soon as you utter that phrase, whatever it is you're talking about ceases to be free.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:12PM (#35601534) Journal

    The GPLv2 allowed them to do an end run where you could modify and use the software, but never on the device that it was distributed on. This was corrected in GPLv3, and control-freak assholes are having a problem with it.

    It's not just control freaks that have a problem with it. It's also security-conscious engineering teams. Those bits of GPLv3 betray a fundamental lack of understanding of the need for proper code signing.

    First of all, there is no good way to prevent unsigned virus code from running without preventing unsigned user code from running on a device. The last thing you want is a news story talking about how your phone has been compromised by a virus that spreads across the cell network by SMS and has turned your entire ecosystem into the cell phone equivalent of WinZombies. This goes triply for daemons like Samba, which represent prime attack vectors into home and corporate computers, and thus are in desperate need of signature checks.

    Unfortunately, any OS vendor that wants to deploy Samba cannot require that it be signed by a proper, valid code signing cert because those cost money, and would represent an additional restriction on the end user's ability to recompile Samba and run the new version. This makes the GPLv3 fundamentally antithetical to proper security as written, at least by my reading. And I'm not the only one who interprets it this way.

    More to the point, you cannot create an arbitrarily open ecosystem that allows for anyone to get a code signing cert from anywhere, as this gives you no additional protection over not requiring signing. If you can get a free cert that allows you to run code on arbitrary hardware, then a a virus writer can, too. Thus, the infrastructure must inherently be designed so that third-party code can be authorized on a per-device basis. This is nontrivial, and costs money to maintain. Yet the GPLv3 would require that such a service be free to use in order to comply with a strict reading of its terms. Clearly, this is an untenable position.

    In short, this isn't a knee jerk reaction by a bunch of control freaks. Quite the opposite, really. The GPLv3 was a poorly thought out knee jerk reaction to a bunch of control freaks that had a negative impact on consumers. So although I understand why the GPL proponents want these clauses, in the end, they're doing a disservice to themselves and to the community by policies that effectively prevent the proper use of signed binaries.

  • by Microlith (54737) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:33PM (#35601906)

    Software patents are toxic, period. If you're afraid of being sued over software patents, you should be abusing the government and lobbying to have them abolished.

    Wetting your pants over a software license that acknowledges this problem is the wrong solution, and you're only contributing to a problem you acknowledge exists yourself (or you just wish you could abuse and not be abused.)

  • by int69h (60728) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @02:58PM (#35602272)

    What does DRM and keys have to do with the source code?

    What good is source code if you can not run binaries created from that source code?

    I should be free to take GPL'ed code, compile it into a binary, burn it onto a CD, defecate on that CD and then run over it with a truck if I want to.

    You're free to defecate on as many CDs as you like as long as you don't try to pass them off to others without following the terms of the license.

    I would argue that how the binary is packaged is of no business to the original copyright lowers and it is an overreach of their rights under copyright law. I should be allowed to package it how I see fit as long as I contribute any source code changes needed to compile the same binary.

    You are completely bound by the wishes of the author if you want them to give you the right to distribute their works. Remember you have no innate right to distribute someone else's copyrighted works no matter how much you stomp your feet about it.

  • by Homburg (213427) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @03:02PM (#35602342) Homepage

    Citation needed on the "need" for code signing. But in any case, allowing users to install their own certificates alongside the manufacturer's would allow signed binaries and also allow the user to run software compiled by themselves; that is, it would allow users to control their own hardware.

  • by Homburg (213427) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @03:09PM (#35602474) Homepage

    How in the hell is that not giving up rights to your patents?

    Because it's not giving up all rights to all patents - it's giving up specific rights to specific patents. By using GPLv3'ed Samba, Apple would be allowing use of any patents that Apple has that apply to Samba, by other people in their use of GPLed Samba. If Apple isn't willing to do that, i.e., it's not willing to let other people use Samba, then it damn well shouldn't have the right to use Samba itself.

  • by FauxPasIII (75900) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @03:17PM (#35602608)

    Exactly the point.

    In BSD licensing and states which permit slavery, you have the freedom to take freedom away from others.
    In GPL licensing and non-slavery states, the freedom to take freedom away from others is denied.

    Which is more free ?

  • by c++0xFF (1758032) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @03:32PM (#35602860)

    Please, please reread the whole sentence:

    If you want to pass on a version with additional restrictions on what they can do with the software, then no, you can't do that.

    "Freedom" does not mean, and never has meant, that you can do whatever you want. The problem is that to allow that will inevitably force someone else to give up their own freedom to do whatever they want. You have to balance the freedoms.

    And that's exactly what was said. The GPL prevents placing restrictions on other peoples freedom. A restriction to prevent further restrictions.

    You may not like how the GPL decided to balance freedom, but its approach is completely valid.

  • by tibit (1762298) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @04:46PM (#35603964)

    If you take a binary created by GPL'ed code and then sign in with a key, what does that have to do with the original source?

    AFAIK, the anti-TIVOization clause in GPLv3 means that if, say, OS X were to run only signed Samba binaries, anyone should be able to get the signing keys just if they ask nicely. The sprit of GPLv3 is that not only you must get the sources, but you must also have a way of modifying the software and getting it to run as a replacement. On OS X for example it's currently impossible to replace the bundled Samba component and have OS X recognize it as a valid system component (due to signing). It is OK as far as GPLv2 is concerned, but not for GPLv3.

    I just don't get the argument about GPLv3 somehow being contrary to the U.S. Copyright Law. Do remember that GPLv3 is a license: it gives you extra rights that you otherwise don't have as they by default remain with the copyright holder. If you don't like the terms: do as Apple did, don't use it. That's all there is to it.

  • by lennier (44736) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @04:56PM (#35604120) Homepage

    all of the binaries in /System on a Mac OS X site are signed by Apple to prevent tampering...by the user

    Right, so removing the user's freedom to change their system and locking their hardware to a single OS would be exactly what is violating the clear intention (and now the letter) of the GPL. Sounds like the GPLv3 is working perfectly, then.

  • by Wovel (964431) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:30AM (#35608526) Homepage

    GPLV3 will eventually kill off many significant FOSS projects. If that's what your after, grata.

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