[Samba] GPLv3 and Mac OS X

Nico Kadel-Garcia nkadel at gmail.com
Sat Oct 30 12:33:19 MDT 2010

On Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 2:16 PM, Stephen Norman <stenorman2001 at me.com> wrote:
> Apologies for the previous message. Its what happens at 4 in the morning!
> On 31/10/2010, at 4:47 AM, Stephen Norman <stenorman2001 at me.com> wrote:

> I've read and Googled quiet extensively regarding GPLv3 before posting and find it offensive for anyone to think I'd post the question otherwise. Most of the documentation provided around GPLv3 can only be truly understood by someone with an insight into the law covering such licenses.

You do seem to be re-iterating what are common concerns about GPLv3,
ones that are not borne out by other experience with open source
licenses, especially GPL. versions.

The GPLv3 is a logical extension of previous GPL's to prevent
precisely the sort of "sealed applicance" and patent encumbered
product riding on top of previous open source development. Tivo's are
a great example of this, as are Netgear cable modems. Storage
applicances using Samba are a very obvious candidate for similar
abuses of GPL, using Samba's GPL code to build an appliance, and
patent encumbering it to prevent access to the actual applicance
software and to block development with it.

Take a good look at those inexpensive Terabyte network storage
devices. A lot of them are actually running Samba under the hood, and
most of them are good about providing source code access. But without
GPLv3, any software patents could encumber and prevent us, as owners
of such a device, from rebuilding it.

> The two points I've seen repeated over and over again in my browsing is the confusion people have in what constitutes "derivative work" and the concern over the fact that there is yet to be (at least reported) of a legal case involving GPLv3. I believe they are legitimate concerns that anyone should be allowed to have and certainly shouldn't be considered FUD. In time, GPLv3 will probably become as widely accepted as GPLv2. I think everyone can agree that software freedom is important, even if the implementations often differ.

And now you're re-iterating the FUD. The GPLv3 is not that hard to
follow: it seems a clear statement of privileges already corroborated
in copyright and patent law. It's being used in a fascinating judo
way: to discredit it requires discrediting many millions of dollars of
already existing patent property, and would effectively open up
*other* people's previously protected, patented software to otherwise
violating use.

Samba seems a fabulous toolkit to apply it to: network storage
appliances are precisely where encumbering patents could be easily
inserted by the vendors to take advantage of Samba's free software
development, but block access to their development work by others.

More information about the samba mailing list