Subject: [OT?] GPL v3 FUD, was For Approval: MLL (minimal library license)
From: "Chris Travers" <chris.travers@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 14:57:06 -0800

> There is no such thing as reasonable fear and doubt.  Fear and doubt are
> irrational responses to uncertainty.  Attempting to provoke irrational
> responses in others is known as appeal to emotion.

I always thought that doubt was an intellectual state, rather than an
emotion.  Fear, while usually used to describe an emotion can be used
to express intellectual doubt as well.  However FUD tends to be used
to describe baseless seeding of uncertainty and doubt in the
marketplace (for example, saying that a product from a competitor
doesn't support a specific feature when in fact it does).

I have seen a *lot* of concern about different aspects of the GPL v3
from both lawyers and laymen.    A few of the concerns are:
1)  Inadvertent granting of patent license through internal
distribution of software (i.e. if I work for company X and download a
copy of the GCC, put it on a file share so other team members can use
it, Company X may just have granted patent licenses for any patents
that are covered in the GCC to all GCC users as my action seems to
match the criteria for conveyance).

2)  Applicability of 7(2) permissions removal requirements to BSDL
files included verbatim.  The SFLC seems to think that this issue can
safely be ignored (i.e. pretend that the BSDL gives you this right but
just don't exercise it).  Answers like that leave me unwilling to
assume that the licenses can be safely used together because
theoretical problems have a nasty way of surfacing as real problems in
unforeseen circumstances.
>
> > about the GPL v3 in large part because the license is so long
> > and complicated
>
> Strangely, you fail to express the same concerns about longer and
> radically more complex licenses.
>
Such as?  Are any such licenses on-topic here?

Note that all software I do is Open Source.  I use GPL v2 and ISC
licenses mostly, and all of six lines of code contributed under the
Intel Open Source License (never redistributed by Intel, however).
All of my own open source projects depend only on open source software
as well.

BTW, if you are referring to EULAs, the problems with EULA-type
licenses, and redistribution licenses for proprietary software are
well known and don't require restating on this forum.  They are
different from the GPL v3 concerns, but raise much larger questions
and encourage the wrong sorts of development.  Open source development
works because it is freed from the costs of these licenses, but those
proprietary licenses are are off-topic here.  If anyone wants to
follow up with me off-list I will be glad to tell them what problems I
see with proprietary licenses.

BTW, I have expressed concern (though not to the same extent) with
Larry Rosen's AFL and OSL, I am not restricting my concerns to one
license.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers