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Author Topic: Closed-source SolidCoin violates Berkeley DB license  (Read 3242 times)
wolftaur
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September 05, 2011, 09:26:40 PM
 #21

As the solidcoin license is not an OSI approved license, it depends on your interpretation of "under reasonable conditions". It could be that Oracle does not see the "no-one-is-allowed-to-use-this-without-my-explicit-approval" license as reasonable conditions.
Maybe we should just let Oracle decide?

That was my point. Oracle might decide they don't care, but CoinHunter's actions do not fall under "this is clearly allowed" as some argued.

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twobits
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September 05, 2011, 09:50:05 PM
 #22

How does that invalidate wolftaur claim that solidcoin as a whole is now proprietary? Because without coinhunters changes it would no longer be solidcoin.

It doesn't, it is proprietary but not in violation of any license it crossed.

Oracle allows the use of Berkeley DB under BSD-ish terms for software which is free open source. SolidCoin is _not_ free open source.

Free does not mean "costs no money", free means I can actually use the source. CoinHunter is not providing source code for use, he is providing source code for compilation only.

The Free in FOSS means free as in freedom, not free as in free beer. Oracle's extension of a no-cost Berkeley DB license applies only to two types of software:

1. The software is not distributed.
2. The software is under an FOSS license, which means licenses in which you have the right to _USE_ the source code: including editing it. Not simply being able to DOWNLOAD it so you can compile it for a system a prebuilt binary isn't available for.

When CoinHunter prohibited changes without his authorization, it stopped being open-source. It became proprietary software that the source code is available for as an installation method.

Nice of you to just skip over my earlier post where I  quote from the actual text of the license.   Now you use Stallman's sophomoric and idiotic free as in speech, free as in freedom and free as in beer language.  Here is the interesting thing, the GPL is not free.     It's use of the term is doublespeak and a lie, and the sophomoric attempts at the free is in beer hand waving don't change that. 

Anyway, if you read my original post or the license itself, you will see  it is not talking about FOSS,  heck remember BSD 4.4 which had BDB 1.8.  The formation of Sleepycat was in response to Netscape's request for commercial support. It  all predates ers's writings that set about the OSI and all the definitions you are trying to shoehorn into the license.   They are not part of this license.  The OSI movement itself was opposed to by Stallman actually.  The license says just what I wrote in the post you conveniently ignored.   It does not say what you seem to keep implying it does. 



Now SC is in violation current, though not at all for the reasons that you say.  All he needs to do to come back into compliance is add a link to get the source code to his about window text.    He can actually keep his ridiculous permissions clause, and still meet the Sleepycat license.

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September 05, 2011, 09:56:57 PM
 #23


As the solidcoin license is not an OSI approved license, it depends on your interpretation of "under reasonable conditions". It could be that Oracle does not see the "no-one-is-allowed-to-use-this-without-my-explicit-approval" license as reasonable conditions.
Maybe we should just let Oracle decide?


Actually it would be in the end a judge who would get to decide under the reasonable persons legal fiction.  I think Oracle would have to send out a C&D to first to even have a chance to be able to collect damages later.  At that point, the two days of coding to replace BDB could be done.

wolftaur
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September 05, 2011, 09:58:10 PM
 #24

Now SC is in violation current, though not at all for the reasons that you say.  All he needs to do to come back into compliance is add a link to get the source code to his about window text.    He can actually keep his ridiculous permissions clause, and still meet the Sleepycat license.

Berkeley DB's author only authorizes the use of the software under the Sleepycat license only for use in software which is not distributed. As SolidCoin is distributed the Sleepycat license is not available.

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September 05, 2011, 09:59:06 PM
 #25

To be clear, I disagree with his change, I just don't see any real clear cut  license violations from it.

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September 05, 2011, 10:01:35 PM
 #26

Now SC is in violation current, though not at all for the reasons that you say.  All he needs to do to come back into compliance is add a link to get the source code to his about window text.    He can actually keep his ridiculous permissions clause, and still meet the Sleepycat license.

Berkeley DB's author only authorizes the use of the software under the Sleepycat license only for use in software which is not distributed. As SolidCoin is distributed the Sleepycat license is not available.

LoL...  please quote the licence that says that.

Since Linux distributions  use the software under that license are you saying that they are not distributed?  If they are why has oracle not sued Red Hat etc?

wolftaur
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September 05, 2011, 10:04:18 PM
 #27

To be clear, I disagree with his change, I just don't see any real clear cut  license violations from it.

I understand, and if I somehow implied I thought you supported his change that wasn't my intention.

Although I will note he did violate the Bitcoin license as well, by removing copyright notices the MIT license stated had to remain and similar things -- though that was already debated in another thread I think. As to whether he violated Oracle's IP rights that'd be something a judge or jury decides if Oracle pursues it that far, but there's certainly enough questions around it to raise the issue to them.

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wolftaur
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September 05, 2011, 10:08:36 PM
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Now SC is in violation current, though not at all for the reasons that you say.  All he needs to do to come back into compliance is add a link to get the source code to his about window text.    He can actually keep his ridiculous permissions clause, and still meet the Sleepycat license.

Berkeley DB's author only authorizes the use of the software under the Sleepycat license only for use in software which is not distributed. As SolidCoin is distributed the Sleepycat license is not available.

LoL...  please quote the licence that says that.

Since Linux distributions  use the software under that license are you saying that they are not distributed?  If they are why has oracle not sued Red Hat etc?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_DB#Licensing

Linux distributions include Berkeley DB under the license Oracle allows for FOSS. For programs which are not FOSS, Oracle allows use under the terms of the Sleepycat license provided the program is not distributed.

As SolidCoin is not FOSS, it is not authorized to use the BSD-variant license Oracle extends for FOSS. As SolidCoin is distributed, it is not authorized to use the Sleepycat license Oracle extends for software that is not distributed.

Oracle's own page on the subject states an OSI-approved license on the included software authorizes the use of Berkeley DB under the BSD-variant license, and SolidCoin's "you can't change it unless I say you can" license certainly is not OSI-approved.

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twobits
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September 05, 2011, 10:21:11 PM
 #29

To be clear, I disagree with his change, I just don't see any real clear cut  license violations from it.

I understand, and if I somehow implied I thought you supported his change that wasn't my intention.

Although I will note he did violate the Bitcoin license as well, by removing copyright notices the MIT license stated had to remain and similar things -- though that was already debated in another thread I think. As to whether he violated Oracle's IP rights that'd be something a judge or jury decides if Oracle pursues it that far, but there's certainly enough questions around it to raise the issue to them.

I posted that before I saw your reply,  so your reply just happened to get in between.  I was just trying to head off any potential confusion between defending someone's right to do something and agreeing with it before someone may have thought otherwise.


He is indeed in violation of the Bitcoin license,  and maybe even the current  bitcoin devs themselves are by removing the original author's name and not just adding and enumerating themselves?  I don't know if he agreed with that or it was just done after his disappeared, and up to them to care or not.    Things like this remind me how the public domain software is the least angst filled at times.  

Unfortunately,  legal action is not cheap.  Especially cross boarder like this.   First step would be C&D letters, and SC coming into conformance on these two violations would be pretty easy for them to do and not reverse his new clause.   Really leaves the cost effective options to be to fork 1.03 of SC, ignore SC and hope enough others do, create a new improved fork, or concentrate energies only on bitcoin or another fork.   I personally don't see a violation of the BDB license I have from BDB 4.7 that is being used  (don't think it has changed, but am including  the specific versions just in case), and it would be easy enough to remove the BDB dependency if a c&d was sent). So not sure what would be gained from the *coind world even if it was found to be a violation.
 

twobits
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September 05, 2011, 10:25:05 PM
 #30

Now SC is in violation current, though not at all for the reasons that you say.  All he needs to do to come back into compliance is add a link to get the source code to his about window text.    He can actually keep his ridiculous permissions clause, and still meet the Sleepycat license.

Berkeley DB's author only authorizes the use of the software under the Sleepycat license only for use in software which is not distributed. As SolidCoin is distributed the Sleepycat license is not available.

LoL...  please quote the licence that says that.

Since Linux distributions  use the software under that license are you saying that they are not distributed?  If they are why has oracle not sued Red Hat etc?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_DB#Licensing

Linux distributions include Berkeley DB under the license Oracle allows for FOSS. For programs which are not FOSS, Oracle allows use under the terms of the Sleepycat license provided the program is not distributed.

As SolidCoin is not FOSS, it is not authorized to use the BSD-variant license Oracle extends for FOSS. As SolidCoin is distributed, it is not authorized to use the Sleepycat license Oracle extends for software that is not distributed.

Oracle's own page on the subject states an OSI-approved license on the included software authorizes the use of Berkeley DB under the BSD-variant license, and SolidCoin's "you can't change it unless I say you can" license certainly is not OSI-approved.


I am not using wikipedia (Which also claims bitcoin is good for micro payments last I looked also), nor Oracle's web page summaries, written much later and after they purchased Sleepycat software.  If someone cares enough it may be a good idea to correct the wikipedia entry.  The link they make to the modern defination of 'Free and Open source' could be misleading.  I was reading the actual text of the license which as I mentioned earlier was written before the term FOSS existed, so it does not refer to or mean FOSS in it since that did not exist when it was written, and does not include such terms.  It is the license itself that maters not what Wikipedia says, or even Oracle's web site at this time.  What matters is the license for BDB 4.7.   As it predated FOSS (as a term) and the OSI none of the concepts are mentioned in it as requirements.

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