the right to make a difference

Xen list at
Thu Jun 2 10:31:00 UTC 2016

concernedfossdev at schreef op 01-06-2016 23:57:

> To my knowledge, the intention of most of those who license their work
> out under the GPL is essentially to recieve a different form of
> payment:

Maybe that is a subverted reason now. I don't think that was so in the 
past. This is a rather ill scheme regardless.

> Rather than demanding a monetary reward upfront, the hope, and the
> license is the written vehicle for the possible fulfillment of that
> hope, is that the reward will be payed in labour.

There is no guarantee that anyone will work on your product. You seem to 
assume that the advancement of the product is the only reason to do 
anything; ie. the only reward for the work you do, is getting more work 
done. That is like planting apple trees in the hopes of having more of 
them, but not actually for having apples.

Maybe you say this is only the reason for the license, not for the work 
itself. Regardless, why should anyone be compelled to work for you?

This reeks of free labour all the same. Free as in beer.

Which is my common conception of how "volunteers" or "contributors" are 
treated in the Linux domain. They are treated as expendable, free 
labour. The expectation seems to be that they have already received 
their payment in the form of being able to use the product, but why 
then, work for it?

This makes giving away the product in itself a disingenuous and 
insincere thing. From the viewpoint of someone else, Linux is free. 
There is no need for payment and you can do whatever you want with it. 
Including work on it. But, you do so out of your own volition, not to 
pay people you have never known and who never spoke to you, and who may 
never have treated you well.

/Freedom/ is the reason to work on Linux for most, but many may be 
subverted by this new ideology. They don't work because they want to, 
but because they feel they have to (they are in debt).

I don't know if you have ever seen cartoon images or alike of debtors. 
They are depicted with a ball around their foot; in chains.

If debt is the reason to do anything, it is not a good reason. It does 
not speak of personal intentions, personal desire, personal wish, and 
personal creativity.

You are basically saying that everyone is in debt when they use Linux.

> IE: Rights holder puts this work out free, under the expectation than
> any furthur work done on it will come back to him.

I hope someone once told you that having expectations of people is not a 
very good thing. Expectations is what kills every loving relationship, 
and every time does.

Every relationship starts out well until expectations pop up. Then 
people feel they have to make true on them (those of the other) and they 
start losing themselves, and they end up two people who our now both 
less than what they were before, instead of both more.

This scheme you have here makes lesser people out of everyone, because 
they are no longer doing stuff they really want in any moment that they 
want it. They are not doing it /because/ they want to do it.

> It is very unfair for a licensee to then take pains to ensure that the
> additional labour, the work, never is returned to the original
> licensor.

What makes you think it is fair to unilaterally, on your own, start out 
with an agreement with innumerable other people, who don't have a say in 

You think they have to agree with anything you want, even though they 
might not agree with it at all?

So this whole "agreement" is not voluntary in the first place, and every 
time you (or someone else trying to do it) (or doing it) is trying to 
enforce that "agreement" through some license term. Based on copyright, 
a system which these people at the same time despise.

This is no honest form of doing business in the first place. It is 
dishonesty at its heart. And then you speak of fairness. This is no way 
to treat people in the first place: you ask them what they want, before 
you start out with an agreement with them.

> In the linux world, I recall clearly, this was very much the stated
> /reason/ to use the GPL over the BSD license.

That could be so. Still this is license talk. That doesn't mean it forms 
the basis of having any kind of license at all. When you are already 
talking licenses (technical terms) you have already left the realm of 
ideology; because, this license is going to be a platform depending on 
societal structures, and as such, it has to be amended to what can work 
given existing law. Then, it is always a lesser version of that you had 
in mind, because in your ideal world, you may not need, or have needed, 
to do so.

We see how the FSF (apparently) gives very technical reasons for saying 
something is a derivative work, and when it is not. That law professor 
(I think) of the article you cited (or posted) clearly revealed how such 
technical terms have no merit to a court and how they subvert logical 
reasoning around derivative works. Boundaries of process space clearly 
do not delimit what can be derivative and what can not.

That means the technicalities of it takes away from the essence of it. 
And since GPL is a copyright instrument, and we all agree that copyright 
might not always be the best thing, you cannot assume that the actual 
condensation of the license in this technical terms, still fully 
expresses the ideology behind it.

And if you then use copyright to understand the ideology, you will have 
a subverted version.

You must start out with what you really want, not with what the GPL says 
you must do. This they usually call the spirit of the law, but mostly in 
general the lawmakers have more freedom in this than the writers of the 
GPL did have. Regular law does not have to be embodied in a legislation 
that it disagrees with, because usually the lawmakers that write the 
law, also made, or could make, the legislation it was a part of.

That's why with GPL you must look a step further, and wonder what is the 
truest intent, or could be the truest intent, even when this intent is 
not possible to be realized in actual form through copyright 

So the first spirit of GPL is for something to work with copyright. But 
the second spirit, the real spirit, is beyond that.

I don't think it is fair to expect payment of people you have never 
spoken to, and who may never agree with your stated reasons.

Wholly, it also means that your licensees fall into two broad categories 
of which one does not exist: you have developers and users, only 
developers can really "pay you back" and hence users are really 
irrelevant in this methodology, which explains my own experiences with 
how people are getting treated.

This explains the arrogance and sense of superiority people have towards 
users. They are lesser kind, lesser people. They cannot do what "we" can 
do. They also cannot pay for the software, so they do not deserve any 
attention whatsoever, apart from being used as a source of 
gratification, in a sense.

This is the business model you just explained, I am not making that up.

I think most of us here would perhaps realize how a company like Google 
does not really have customer support, or at least no user support, 
because its customers are actually advertizers; advertizers get the 
support, but users don't. Users are just happy if anything good happens 
for them, but they have no say in it.

We say in Dutch, and elsewhere "Customer is King". Customer is king 
indeed. In the Linux world, that might then mean that the developer who 
contributes and whose contribution is accepted, is king. No one else is. 
No one else makes any form of payment.

You consider that "fair", I am just describing it.

If you think this is a good business model, by all means go ahead and 
stick with it.

I am just saying it offends people and makes business in a real sense 
impossible. Unless you are one of those suppliers that can make it like 
e.g. Red Hat does, delivering mostly on business contracts. For a 
corporation, "free access" to e.g. Linux has no real merit; they already 
have it. So the revenue is in added services. This is also because the 
product itself is rather poor, and needs a great amount of expertise to 
work with. The expertise is expensive, it is expensive to attain 
(requires a lot of time and effort) and expensive to obtain, in that 
sense. But what if the product was so good that expertise is hardly 
required? Do you think those companies could still do the business they 
are doing today? They depend on a sense of poorness in the user 

You must not make it so easy that anyone can do it.

When I was in touch with a friend in Amsterdam, a friend of his 
approached me and asked from me a form of support. He wanted support for 
Ubuntu. He wanted to make the step from Windows to Linux, and did not 
dare do it without a person to back him. I did not want to do that 
online, and Amsterdam was for me too far, so it never materialized, but 
it goes to show what the reason is people ask for support (or support 
contracts): it is the difficulty of the platform, and the fact that they 
don't know how to depend on it on their own without a great deal of 

Typical Linux people treat ME as a scumbag without knowledge. I know 
more about Linux than I know about my own cock, and that goes to show 
something about it :p.

So the whole Idea that you can Monetize Linux comes down in great part 
to the ability to be able to provide support from something that really 
needs it.

Were you to make something excellent in user interface that never 
required support at all (some will say that is impossible, but I 
disagree) (and even if so, it is going to be a matter of degree, not 
absolute) then how could you monetize on support? It's just logic this.

Selling an actual product does require proprietariness in a certain 
sense, especially if the product is very good.

spend more time on development = spend less time on support = cannot 
make money on support
spend less time on development = spend more time on support = cannot 
make money on development.

That thing you spend all your effort into, is going to be the thing you 
will need to make money with. In real life, people still need to eat, 
you know.

So people who actually want to make an actual great quality product MUST 
try to sell the product itself.

They cannot sell the product if:
a) it is being distributed in source anyway
b) everyone has a compiler
c) everyone is allowed to copy it it anyone else.

I have been using Windows since 1995 or before (different system). I 
have on and off been using Linux since about 1996. The level of 
expertise that Windows has asked of me is about 10% that of Linux. 
Probably less.

When I was younger I have never ever purchased a copy of Windows. I had 
no money and only bought stuff like Delphi 4, or a student's license of 
Microsoft Visio that I never used :p.

I also did not ever need support from Microsoft. Any problem there was I 
could always solve myself. There were plenty of internet resources, it 
was easy, and the knowledge was not hard. Until about 2014 I have never 
been in touch with Microsoft ever. Not even on their forums, I don't 
know if they existed.

As a moderately proficient computer user you simply do not need support 
from Microsoft. I don't know anyone who has ever told me that they ever 
contacted Microsoft for anything. Of course people depended on me in the 
first place. And many friends had the same level of expertise, or close 
to it. We did not buy Windows, but we also did not need to buy it.

We, or at least I, considered it like a public road. You don't have to 
pay taxes before you can use the road. The road is free for you to walk 
on, at least as a kid. Microsoft was the road that the cars 
(applications) drive on.

I considered it inefficient and stupid if everyone needed to obtain a 
license for the road, before they could go outside.

My own house is on the roof of a shopping street. It is said by some 
that the roof is owned by the shops. We are illegally using that roof, 
even though we cannot get anywhere without it. But it is tolerated of 

It Dutch they call it "gedogen" it is the same thing as our soft drugs 
policy. You are really not allowed to do it, but okay, you can.

But I am still basically illegally using my roof when I step outside of 
the house. It is not my roof to walk on. I am really in violation of the 

Perfect idiocy from my perspective. Now suddenly I need to be grateful 
that I am even allowed to get on to the street. By permission. I am 
allowed to. Walk outside. Because. I am actually. Not entitled to do 
that by itself.

Only to illustrate that Windows does not need a company behind it for 
you to use it; you only need the product.

So the question returns to: what do you want?

You want something, but you are not stating it.

I think you want stuff for free.

I think you just want to gain access to his work, even though you are no 
kernel developer in essence, or someone part of that core group, 

> That is the trade off is no payment upfront, but payment in kind
> later. Here Brad Spengler is taking from the original licensor, but
> has decided now that the other side of the deal he will not uphold.

He is not taking from anyone. That original licensor has given it away 
to begin with, it is on every street corner, if you throw two pebbles 
into the air a download of Linux comes down with it.

How can you seriously consider something "taking" when you have already 
given it away for free?

If you didn't want to give it away for free, you should have considered 
forms of payments in advance that actually relate to the product, not to 
any work or modifications on it.

The thing you give away is your product. If you want a form of payment 
for that, then relate it to the receiving of the product. Or possibly 
even the using of it. But not the modifying of it.

And if you do give something away with the hope of getting something 
from it, you do so without expectations. You assume that you cannot 
decide what another is going to do. And you are doing it with the best 
hopes, but no guarantees. Such is life. You will have to depend on the 
goodness of life.

If I give my neighbour's dog a banana, I am not doing so with the intent 
of having that neighbour like me more.

And even if I did hope that, I could not expect it of her.

I cannot later go to her and say "Yeah I gave your dog a banana, but now 
you still don't like it, what's that about?" I know many men treat women 
that way.

They expect returns on something the woman never wanted to have.

She never wanted that sucking up to begin with.

And now they become bitter because they do not get what they thought 
they deserved, and now they go and sue Bradley Spengler.

> So I think the unfairness is very much there now. Spengler is now
> actually getting something for nothing, where before he was not, and
> the whole intention of many of the contributors to linux has been
> subverted.

Untrue. There was no before. Linux was already available to him. It was 
given away for free.

You are making the weird distinction between using the Linux (kernel) 
for regular use, and using it for further development.

Most manufacturers that embed the kernel in some device, never pay a 
dime for it. Their modifications, even if they do make them, are 
probably irrelevant too. Who is really using e.g. Synology's many 
modifications to the kernel?

Actual businesses that use the kernel in a device usually do not much 
modify it; with the exception of Android perhaps. But since Android is 
not really sold as a product, it does not really apply here. You don't 
have to buy android in that sense. So there is a lot of commercial use 
already and they never pay a dime for it.

So actual usage is free, but modification is not. In that sense that you 
cannot hold on to your modifications. Which basically means you cannot 
monetize your work, unless of course you sell it as part of something 
else, as does e.g. that Synology I happen to use.

These are hardware vendors, all of them are. They make money selling 
hardware, not software.

What about software vendors? Spender is a software vendor.

I don't get why you can be so greedy. You are like "It's MINE!!!" like 
some 3 year old child that doesn't want to share her toy with her 

How can you be so pissed, and so bitter? Have you been doing something 
you didn't like doing in the first place? And now you want other people 
to suffer to make up for your work that you did not like, since you now 
want a sacrifice in return?

Maybe stop making sacrifices.

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