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Feature: Legal

Open source project adds "no military use" clause to the GPL

By Tina Gasperson on August 14, 2006 (8:00:00 AM)

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GPU is a Gnutella client that creates ad-hoc supercomputers by allowing individual PCs on the network to share CPU resources with each other. That's intriguing enough, but the really interesting thing about GPU is the license its developers have given it. They call it a "no military use" modified version of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Tiziano Mengotti and Rene Tegel are the lead developers on the GPU project. Mengotti is the driving force behind the license "patch," which says "the program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm any human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed."

Mengotti says the clause is specifically intended to prevent military use. "We are software developers who dedicate part of our free time to open source development. The fact is that open source is used by the military industry. Open source operating systems can steer warplanes and rockets. [This] patch should make clear to users of the software that this is definitely not allowed by the licenser."

He says some might think an attempt to prevent military use might be "too idealistic" and would not work in practice, but he references the world of ham radio, whose rules specify that the technology is not to be used commercially. "Surprisingly enough, this rule is respected by almost every ham operator."

The developers readily acknowledge that the "patch" contradicts the original intention of the GPL, to provide complete freedom for users of software and source code licensed under it. "This license collides with paragraph six of the Open Source Definition," is how they word it in the license preamble.

Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software movement and author of the GPL, says that while he doesn't support the philosophy of "open source," neither does he believe software developers or distributors have the right to try to control other people's activities through restricting the software they run. "Nonetheless, I don't think the requirement is entirely vacuous, so we cannot disregard it as legally void."

"As a pacifist, I sympathize with their goals," says Russ Nelson, a founding board member of the Open Source Initiative (OSI). "People who feel strongly about war will sometimes take actions which they realize are ineffectual, but make it clear that they are not willing to take action which directly supports war."

Tegel says he doesn't fully agree with the inclusion of the clause in GPU's license. "I see the point, and my personal opinion supports it, but I am not sure if it fits in a license," he says. "Like our Dutch military: I can say it is bad because it kills people and costs money. But on the other hand, we were taught by both our leftist and rightist teachers to enjoy our freedom due to the alliance freeing us from Nazis, a thing which I appreciate very much."

Both developers do agree about one aspect of their license clause. It is based on the first of science fiction writer Isaac Asimov's Three Law of Robotics, which states, "A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm." That, they say, is a good thing, "because the guy was right," Tegel says, "and he showed the paradox that almost any technological development has to solve, whether it is software or an atom bomb. We must discuss now what ethical problems we may raise in the future."

Tina Gasperson writes about business and technology from an open source perspective.

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on Open source project adds "no military use" clause to the GPL

Note: Comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for their content.

... or through inaction allow humans to be harmed?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 12:08 AM
It doesn't prevent military use; it prevents offensive military use.

It would be perfectly acceptable to fire anti-missile weapons using this software. In fact, anti-missile weapons with this software built-in _must_ be fired when humans are attacked, according to the license.

Cast in that light, I wonder whether it really does contravene the OSD. It doesn't prevent the military using the software.

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Re: or through inaction allow humans to be harmed

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:41 AM

Oh dear, Azimov wrote those laws as
a literary device, so that
they would fail in interesting ways.
I hope the authors of the patch know what
they just said...

--dave

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Not free software

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 12:20 AM
I don't like software that tells me I can't do something with it. I would never call that free software and it doesn't matter what does it disallow, sorry...

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Re:Not free software

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 11:16 AM
... you mean, like GPL v3 licensed code, which does not permit users to run DRMed software?

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Re:Not free software

Posted by: Artis Rozentals on August 15, 2006 09:42 PM
What about an example you didn't invent?

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Re:Not free software

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 08:23 AM
May I add that DRM are evil ?

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Re:Not free software

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 17, 2006 12:47 PM
As I understand it, GPL v3 doesn't say anything like this. You *can* use GPL v3 code to run DRM software . You can run any kind of non-free software on/alongside GPL software.

What you can't do is use the GPL v3 for code that requires a secret key that isn't provided. You can't *distribute* a program that's locked up by DRM and doesn't provide users the key.

(Someone please correct me if I'm wrong)

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And how do you supposed to enforce it?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 12:55 AM
Let's say China, North Korea or Iran decide to use it. How are they going to stop them?

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Re:And how do you supposed to enforce it?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 01:37 AM
That's the thing...They can't.
They're trying to put "idealistic" (ineffectual) nonsense in their version of GPL.

Fair use, etc of software is one thing, to say you can't use software for offensive operations is sending a political message via open-source. Its not gonna work. (ie: wasting time)

At best, people won't take this seriously. (No doubt Iran, China, North Korea would laugh at such a notion.)

So its fine to use it as part of a anti-missile solution that prevents an inbound ballistic threat hitting its target...But what if its used in a weapon to conduct a pre-emptive strike on a target that just happens to be a ballistic missile on the ground, which is being fueled, and getting ready to launch? (weapon is used offensively in a mission to defend a nation from a potential threat).

Its not gonna stop a terrorist with computing skills, is it? They ain't gonna stop half way in their operations and say: "We can't continue, because this version of the GPL says we can use the software in this weapon for offensive operations!"...The other terrorist will pull out a gun, shoot the first terrorist, then laugh, while they continue with the operation.

The point is: If you're against war, fine...But trying to put your beliefs or views into something like GPL, isn't gonna stop the next one. Its as useful as that time in Australia...Where a few hundred Aussie woman protested about the 2nd Iraq war...By parading butt naked in some park!

Protesting, Petitions and putting idealistic nonsense into something completely irrelevant is NOT gonna stop future conflicts. Finding ways for everyone to understand and live with each other is.

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Re:And how do you supposed to enforce it?

Posted by: mashmorgan on August 15, 2006 07:20 AM
>>Let's say China, North Korea or Iran decide to use it. How are they going to stop them?

Let's say USA, Israel or UK use them, how are we gonna stop them!! after all these countries are the ones who really do use their military power at the moment and I'm UK based (unfortunately) !!

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Re:And how do you supposed to enforce it?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 12:59 PM
<a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/07/04/korea.missile/" title="cnn.com">http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/07/04/k<nobr>o<wbr></nobr> rea.missile/</a cnn.com>

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Re:And how do you supposed to enforce it?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 17, 2006 02:03 AM
Well, why not "Let's say US decides to use it. How are they going to stop them?"

I mean, stop that US "they are bad guys - we are good guys" childish way of thinking that US uses to destroy whatever country they want just by calling them "evil".

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Re:And how do you supposed to enforce it?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 24, 2006 10:34 PM
Well, a such license will not avoid terrorists or militars use the software.

But the key thing is GPL EXPLICITELY TELL THEM THEY CAN USE THE SOFTWARE.

This is because im writing another license (i name it SLUC (Software Libre para Uso Civil or
Civil Use Free Software) to publish all my source code wroten since 1985, and used in more than two million computers in Spain and Latin America.

I suprise with this GPU project: They have the same ideas about military use as i have.

Alejandro Bonet
alex@winbabel.org

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Real problems with this clause

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 01:42 AM
This clause really raises several issues:
1. What is a human being? Where is the definition in here? By some peoples' definition, this would mean this could not be used by "Planned parenthood", or by scientists using tissue from aborted fetuses for stem cell research. Some would dispute this, but if you do not define, you leave yourself open to all kinds of issues.
2. What about using it to destroy buildings, bridges, power generation plants, food sources, etc.?
3. Another thing, does this software using any previously GPL'ed code? If so, they cannot do this for any of that code without permission.

All this to say, when developers start inserting politics or cute ideas into code or licenses, they need to make sure they have done all the legal defining and other stuff that actual brings substance to their idealism, otherwise it is just "fluff"!

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Re:Real problems with this clause

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:17 AM

do you treat people around you as human? if you do, then you know what a human being is. Does this mean we all endorse the abortion or planned parenthood? No we don't all endorse it, but lets be realistic, we have more humans and baby humans on the planet now than we are willing to take care of. Go take care of the humans in Africa, you have babies, be human and adopt one.

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Re:Real problems with this clause

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 12:35 PM
Although your comments are interesting, I am talking about legal definitions and the implications of those definitions. Of course I know what a human being is, but in law, meanings are essential, remember when Bill Clinton (having a lawyer background) questioned the meaning of "is" in his deposition?!

If developers want to start adding legal weight to their idealism, they need to have the legal background of people like Eben Moglen.

The fact is, this is a bad addition to the GPL, because from now on, this software will forever be non-GPL which is limits it use and limits freedom.

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No Problem

Posted by: Fujisawa Sensei on August 15, 2006 02:00 AM

Not a problem.


The millitary will just continue to use M$ products.

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Re:No Problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:22 AM
Regarding clusters, which is what the article is about, few militaries and TLAs use MS Clusters. They all use Beowulf-style clusters, which are built using OSS tools.

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Re:No Problem

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 06:36 AM
The Military will continue to used Micro$oft products for most of the desktop use. The US military has its own programers to develop code. I doubt this little patch has that much value, this is nothing more then just a political statement.
To that I say you are welcome.

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This is starting to get anal

Posted by: Stumbles on August 15, 2006 02:01 AM
So what's next now? Someone has a bone with some religion, political slant, etc and they gona start adding restrictions for those as well?

So much for the spirit of GPL they "hold so dear".

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Re:This is starting to get anal

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 07:01 AM
Isn't the spirit of GPL to allow freedom of modification? So a modified GPL is in the spirit of the GPL!

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Re:This is starting to get anal

Posted by: gmatht on August 17, 2006 08:55 PM
Although modifying the GPL is illegal since the GPL itself is not under the GPL.

Presumably RMS sees the GPL's spirit as encouraging a proliferation of free software rather than of free licenses.

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Related articles on this

Posted by: Ciaran O'Riordan on August 15, 2006 02:11 AM

I recently gathered some links on this topic for part of <a href="http://fsfe.org/en/fellows/ciaran/weblog/alan_cox_5_minutes_on_gplv3_plus_comments" title="fsfe.org">a blog entry on Alan Cox speaking on GPLv3</a fsfe.org>:





  • <a href="http://www.gnu.org/licenses/hessla.html" title="gnu.org">RMS on the
    Hacktivismo license that bans human-rights violations </a gnu.org>


  • <a href="http://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/freeasinbombs" title="fsf.org">David
    Turner blogging on the topic </a fsf.org>


  • <a href="http://fsfeurope.org/projects/gplv3/barcelona-rms-transcript#q11-banning-bad-use" title="fsfeurope.org">RMS
    responding to this question at the 3rd GPLv3 conference </a fsfeurope.org>


#

Many Eyes

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 02:23 AM
The reference to ham radio does not hold up. Ham radio is a public medium where identification is a requirement and where anyone can listen in on transmissions. If someone runs afoul of the law, it is eventually discovered and the culprit eventually caught and punished. Just read ARRL's enforcement logs to see how it is done.

No one could watch the behavior of a war plane and determine that a particular piece of software is running it. And no one can demand to see the source code of a controlling mechanism for a military device and expect a government to roll over. Even if a court ruled that the military must disclose the code, it could easily be declared a state secret. And even if the court went so far as to hold the military in contempt, there would be little it could do enforce the ruling.

At best, such a license provision is a political statement that gains some momentary attention in the press. It wreaks with arogance, because it assumes the publisher has power exceeding that of a military force. It's like saying, "You can't use this software. And you'd better not, either, or else..." It conjurs images of indignant youth throwing rocks at well-armed police and flipping them the bird while running in retreat. This is one of the most pathetic ways I've seen yet of taking a stand.

#

Re:Many Eyes

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 11:10 AM
I was wondering whether someone would point that out or not. Amature Radio operators run under some very strict licensing rules with criminal penalties for breaking them. The analogy doesn't hold up well at all.

#

No Military Use

Posted by: lz1kwk on August 15, 2006 02:24 AM
In the strange world that these clowns live in we will suddenly have world peace and El Dorado if we abolish the military. I wonder what would have happened to their moralizing snobbery if Western Europe and their allies unilaterally disarmed after 1945.

In the world I live I regularly thank God that the free peoples of the world have access to military force to deter the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Brezhnev.

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Re:No Military Use

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 04:59 PM
Well, ermmm... seen the fact that you speak in (unrealistic) hypothetical terms, let me add another (unrealistic) hypothetical situation:

I wonder what would have happend to their moralizing snobbery if the whole world disarmed after 1945. Well, then...ermm...they would have been proven right with their snobbery and viewpoints!

Just to show you can't counter-argument with bland general hypothetical statements. If the 'what if' is absurd, then another, equally absurd 'argument' may prove them right.

I, for one, applaud their priciple stance, though I think it's a copple of thousand years too soon to be practical (and thus, it would be naive to expect much of it - though it might be that they don't, and just take the principle stance).

All by all, I rather see humans strive for peace then for war. Whether we can avoid war, or currently permit a 'no-army' policy, is something else (which I doubt, frankly). The military are a necessary evil. Their stance is against that evil, which I can understand and applaud; yet, alas, it is also necessary, thus we have to live with it untill it is not necessary anymore.

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Re:No Military Use

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:40 PM

I wonder what would have happened to their moralizing snobbery if Western Europe and their allies unilaterally disarmed after 1945.


You don't need to wonder about what "would have happened after 1945". We know what did happen when Great Britain reduced its military readiness in the 1930s.

#

Re:No Military Use (tired of Hitler justification)

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 09:12 PM
I get somewhat tired of the Hitler references as justification for everything military. There was a whole string of events leading up to WWII. It would be just a logically correct to attack anyone of them based on the atrocities of WWII.

I personally take WWII as a statement about what happens when those that have the upper hand (i.e., the victors) abuse their power: they create an oppressive environment that opens the door to extreme factions and virtually guarantee continued conflict.

If you read up on imperialism and the history of the middle east, you will see this is a very common thread. Yet there are those who never see anything more than justification for more military action and further oppression.

Really, it all depends on your point of view.

#

Re:No Military Use

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 10:55 PM
In the world of which clowns? The authors of the software the article is concerned with certainly haven't stated that. Stick your stereotypes up your arse.

#

Unintended Consequences

Posted by: Prototerm on August 15, 2006 02:25 AM
Yes, it's obvious where this new clause comes from. And, while it's a statement of ideals, and impractical in the real world, it's based on something that's logically flawed: Asimov's three laws of robotics.

If you want to see the unintended consequences those three laws can lead to, just read Jack Williamson's The Humanoids, about robots programmed to keep humans safe from harm. Unfortunately, they end up imprisoning all humans, since mankind cannot be trusted to keep *itself* safe.

Writing legal documents is tricky. There was an item recently in the news about how a single comma in a contract cost a company millions of dollars in unanticipated costs, because it allowed an early cancellation. Basing a software license on a 50-year old science fiction story that had nothing to do with copyright law or contract law is not a good idea.

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Re:Unintended Consequences

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:25 AM
> If you want to see the unintended consequences those three laws can lead to, just read Jack Williamson's The Humanoids<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...

I think you'll find that most of Asimov's own robot stories centered on the problems caused by these three laws. For example, it would be acceptable to harm a person if, through inaction, that person came to more harm.

#

"Hey, Robot, give me a hand"

Posted by: Prototerm on August 15, 2006 10:00 AM
Not to digress too far from the topic at hand, but what the heck...

My particular favorite was a story where a man was beaten to death with a robot's own arm, while the robot watched helplessly. The robot ended up having a nervous breakdown. It's been a while, so I forget why the robot couldn't stop him. An Elijah Bailey tale, I believe.

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Re:"Hey, Robot, give me a hand"

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 08:57 PM
Um, the first Asimov book I read. "The Naked Sun", featuring Elijah Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw. The robot had detachable limbs and was an experimental model. I believe the idea was to get the robot to conceive of the concept of "a little pain now prevents future harm to this person." Last I read this book (in translation) was about fourteen years ago.

#

Enforceability

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 03:01 AM
If the federal government is willing to violate actual laws such as FISA and the U.S. Constitution with the barest legal rationalization, I very much doubt that a FOSS license will have any effect on their behavior if they decided that using this software would be to their benefit.

- D

#

Re:Enforceability

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 24, 2006 10:46 PM
Well, a such license will not avoid terrorists or militars use the software.

But the key thing is GPL EXPLICITELY TELL THEM THEY CAN USE THE SOFTWARE.

This is because im writing another license (i name it SLUC (Software Libre para Uso Civil or
Civil Use Free Software) to publish all my source code wroten since 1985, and used in more than two million computers in Spain and Latin America.

I suprise with this GPU project: They have the same ideas about military use as i have.

Alejandro Bonet
alex@winbabel.org

#

No

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 03:13 AM
It prevents the US government from using it, while foreign governments like cuba or iraq could use the software as they wish, since they aren't bound by us laws. If anything, it therefore hurts the US people by assisting foreign military and restricting the us government.

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Re:No

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 07:28 AM
Hardly. If they had a need to use this technology, the US would simply redefine their actions. Is it a valid "military action" if the enemy are, for example, "illegal combatants" and therefore supposedly civilians?

#

Re:No

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 02:11 PM
As the other poster pointed out, actually the US are at the moment a good example of doing whatever they want -- legal, illegal, whatever. Even their supreme court confirms this.
Guantánamo anyone?

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Too Many Possibilities...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 03:41 AM
If you start adding clauses to the GPL that contradict the spirit and intent or the actual writing of the license you potentially open up additions that could essentially close it. To me, that is the greatest danger that is posed by this variation. The fact that they are trying to send a political statement via GPL doesn't really bother me (if it did I wouldn't read anything by or about RMS). I think, though, that the Pandora's Box that they are opening may cause us all a lot of problems in the future.

Cheers

#

3 cheers for the developers!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:05 AM
Let's face it, the software in not 100% free software by the traditional FSF definition of free software.

And let's face it, the military and/or gov't will violate any license if they feel the need -- the military is hardly a "moral" institution and the entire scope of "intellectual property"[sic] laws are built on gov't-enforced fiction.

But I say three cheers for the developers! If this tiny, insignificant act makes people think about the growing militarism and neo-fascism that is permeating all aspects of US society, the authors will have done our country a great service!

#

Re:3 cheers for the developers!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 06:45 AM
Hi, plz die in a fire, hippy.

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Re:3 cheers for the developers!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:11 AM
We do not live under fascism in Western society. Free speech and freedom of expression are allowed.

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Re:3 cheers for the developers!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 07:08 PM
Well, *some* free speech and freedom of expression in some Western countries is not allowed, and increasingly so.

Thus, one could argue one is slowly turning into fascism, or at least that certain 'democratic' countries have facist tendencies.

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Re:3 cheers for the developers!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 11:54 PM
He gets to spout stupid shit; I get to tell him he's a dumbass.

#

Re:3 cheers for the developers!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 01:41 AM
Wait a minute. I think I'm lost.
Is this Newsforge or Slashdot?

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Re:3 cheers for the developers!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 11:59 AM
You're obviously in the under-30 crowd (I'm betting under-15) if you think the US is experiencing "growing militarism". The war machine grew during the Cold War. See the term "military-industrial complex", popular among the original hippies in the 60's and then their philosophical children in the 80's. Thanks to governmental arrogance and mis-spending in the 90's, it [the war machine] is quite dead now. Why do you think we can't beat some rag-tag Iraqi thugs?

#

sorry to burst your bubble, but

Posted by: WarPengi on August 16, 2006 11:32 PM
u.s military spending (in inflation adjusted $) is now the highest since the Reagan years and back to where it was during the cold war. As a percentage of GDP it is higher than during any point during the cold war and u.s. spending is just over 1/2 the total world military budget.

Not what I would call dead.

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Re:3 cheers for the developers!

Posted by: seventreeseven on August 16, 2006 12:14 AM
>>the military is hardly a "moral" institution

That's an intersting assertion.

The military is amoral (neither moral nor immoral, rather than lacking moral sensibilities)... how force is employed can be characterized as moral or otherwise. This is why is military spends so much time training its leaders on ethics and morals (evidence to the contrary notwithstanding).

Go check out the curriculum of any service academy and note the number of 'Law of Armed Conflict' 'Ethics for the JO' 'Geneva 101' courses that are required for graduation, concurrent with earning your engineering BS in the required four years. Compare that with any ethics couses required at any other engineering school, 'cause there aint many.

Your assertion is, however, understandable given the amount of play the military's lapses receive relative to the great job our people do daily (remember the responders in the Indonesia Tsunami? We're doing that every single day around the globe). Rightly so, inho, as our lapses have immediate and detrimental effects. A belief that the institution is immoral (as you imply) is wrong and ultimatly dangerous for a viable society.

#

wreckless

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:09 AM
At least they will never have grounds for claiming they saved millions of people from murderous thugs.

But they will probably get a Nobel Peace Prize while thousands die every day under the oppression of evil ideologues.

Thanks for nothing.

#

Why did they call it a no military use?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:17 AM
A better term would have been Humanitarian use only.

The clause could pertain to a very wide range of activites, such as being used to control the plunger on a leathel injection machine, to rig elections, torturing someone, or other non-humanitarian uses.

By stating "Non Military" they are narrowing the focus and letting their own agenda get in the way of a larger ethical choice of banning it from non-humanitarian uses.

 

#

More Power to Them

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:19 AM
So these developers got beat up one too many times in high school and now they're making a statement. Don't agree with it, but more power to them for exercising they're freedom muscles.

#

Is it legal to modify the GPL?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:33 AM
> Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
> of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

As far as this states, it isn't legal to _modify_ the GPL. But I wonder if it's legal to tack on a header stating "this software is GPL'd... but with these additional restrictions".

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Re:Is it legal to modify the GPL?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 06:05 AM
This is a very touchy issue. As a pacificist who feels that it is better to die than to take the life of another, a philosophy that was taught to me by more enlightened, symbiotic life. What I specifically object to is that FLOSS software is being used by the military - let the programmers do all the work thinking it is for the greater good, but we're going to use this for our imperial purposes. Once written, software is out there, plain and simple. I applaud their efforts and do not think they are ineffectual. Why are there a thousand robotics platforms and no free meal planners? Whatever happened to the human heart? It is wrong to take the life of others. There is a better way, IF YOU LOOK.

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Re:Is it legal to modify the GPL?

Posted by: Joe Klemmer on August 15, 2006 01:30 PM
I tend to follow the the teachings of the Buddha with resoect to life to best of my ability. There's also the Ten Commandments in the Judaeo/Christian religions. Even though I spent nearly all of my career working for the US Army, it was in positions that are support and helped to keep the country out of war. Yes, there are such positions in the Military. That being said...


I have a son who is 9 1/2 years old. If someone were trying to harm him you better believe I will kill that person without a moments thought. I will suffer afterwords for taking a life, but when it comes to my family there's no question at all. If/when you have children yourself you will understand this much better.

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Re:Is it legal to modify the GPL?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 12:05 AM
If someone tried to harm him, you would kill them? Why is that a fair punishment? I can see only one situation where you would have to kill them and that is in the moment where they are literally pointing a gun at his face.

Taking a life as a punishment or harming other people as a punishment is no use. It creates more hate.

I believe that we are all born innocent with empty brains, and that we are being defined as persons through our experiences (we stay innocent). I believe in changing people, not in further developing their bad personality.

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Re:Is it legal to modify the GPL?

Posted by: Joe Klemmer on August 16, 2006 12:32 AM

I can see only one situation where you would have to kill them and that is in the moment where they are literally pointing a gun at his face.
I am guessing that you don't have any children, yes? There are many situation that exist which are equal to or worse than putting a gun to the face. If you ever find yourself with children of your own you will know what I mean.

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Re:Is it legal to modify the GPL?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 05:28 AM
Your line of reasoning is bad. Using your own son to satisfy your bloodthirstiness.... How sick.

As a parent, I would not kill people in that circumstance. That's what the police are for.

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Re:Is it legal to modify the GPL?

Posted by: Jeremy Akers on August 15, 2006 07:26 AM
You mis-understand this clause:

You can not take someone's GPL code, and modify the license document, and this redistribute that code under the new license with new terms. That's illegal.

Creating a brand new license based on the GPL with differing terms? That's perfectly legal. But it's not the GPL anymore, nor is it 'compatible' with the GPL anymore, so GPL code can not be used with this code under this license.

-Jeremy

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What about medicine?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:36 AM
Surgery causes harm to human beings. Granted, it is usually for a greater good, but having your body cut open and internal parts of it cut on IS causing harm. So are many medical treatments. The whole point of chemotherapy is to CAUSE HARM, so much harm, that the weaker cancer cells die while the stronger healthy cells _mostly_ live.

I'm surprised RMS doesn't find something like this highly offensive, because it's really saying "You can use this software, as long as you're using it for things that I agree with". That seems to me to fly in the face of everything the GPL stands for.

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Re:What about medicine?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 09:17 PM
Surgery and medicine, to the extent they are practiced _legally_, require informed consent of the patient. Your coming into the ER complaining of a mild headache doesn't give the surgeon the right to amputate your leg without your consent (even if, somehow, the leg were the source of the problem). I may be wrong on life-saving issues (e.g., you have your appendix removed and a major blood vessel is ruptured--I don't think they need to ask your consent before repairing that). And if the patient is not old enough or mentally competent to give consent, then usually someone else is (the parent/guardian or the person having the power of attorney over the patient's medical decisions). The basic idea is, the doctors can't just jump in and do what they want. As to chemotherapy...my friend told me that before sending her to chemotherapy, her oncologist's staff was very clear in requiring consent, in writing, several times; on warning her that she may not live if she goes through with it; that, for the duration of the treatment, and several months afterwards, she will be weak, sick and susceptible to every little germ. Can't come up with more _informed consent_ than that.

I won't address medicine practiced illegally--if someone doesn't care to obey the laws, then why would they care about whether they cause harm?

As regards the issue at hand, I don't know how long this modified license has been around, so RMS may not have had the time to review it and speak his mind. We'll hear from him soon enough. I'm not him, so this is a guess: I think that the only thing he'll require is a 1) a change in the license's name, to prevent confusion with the GPLs currently available; 2) that the developers check the code to make sure that no FSF-GPL/other-licensed-code is not mixed in with the GPU code in a manner incompatible with the license; and 3) give a personal opinion on the whole GPL modification, current situation and the fact that the whole thing seems to be ready to become a media circus/tempest in a tea-cup. We'll see (and hear) soon enough.

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This doesn't do anything.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 05:43 AM
The license is for modifying and distributing the work. You don't need a license to USE software. So the military can go ahead and use it all they want, copyright doesn't restrict use.

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This doesn't do anything-Fair use.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 06:32 AM
"The license is for modifying and distributing the work. You don't need a license to USE software. So the military can go ahead and use it all they want, copyright doesn't restrict use. "

Um, yes. Copyright does restrict use. That's why there's a "fair use" clause. The GPL can be best thought of as the FSF version of the "fair use" clause.

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Re:This doesn't do anything.

Posted by: Jeremy Akers on August 15, 2006 07:29 AM
Copyright does restrict use. You DO need a license to user the software, and the license is not for modifying and distributing.

READ THE GPL.

It says that you may NOT use the software licensed under it if you do not agree to the terms of the license.

-Jeremy

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Re:This doesn't do anything.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:12 AM
It doesn't matter what it says. If I put "you must give me $100 for reading this comment", that doesn't make it law. The copyright holder is granted certain exlusive rights under law. Use is not one of them. They have no way to enforce any restrictions on the use of their software. If you don't believe me, try taking someone to court over it sometime.

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Re:This doesn't do anything.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 11:02 AM
"Use is not one of them. They have no way to enforce any restrictions on the use of their software. If you don't believe me, try taking someone to court over it sometime. "

<a href="http://library.findlaw.com/2003/Jun/16/132811.html" title="findlaw.com">http://library.findlaw.com/2003/Jun/16/132811.htm<nobr>l<wbr></nobr> </a findlaw.com>


Professor Moglen’s affidavit also reiterates that the GPL is based on copyright law but reminds us that the GPL requires the author of software to unilaterally give up certain copyright rights. He suggests that the GPL actually subtracts from the usual exclusive rights of the author under copyright law, through the granting of unilateral permissions. Under the GPL, all persons observing its terms are unilaterally permitted all rights to use, copy and modify the software. Users who only use the software themselves or who modify the software only for their own use have no obligations under the GPL. Only persons who distribute have reciprocal obligations under the GPL. These include the obligation to release under the GPL, to include a copy of the GPL and to preserve notices relating to the GPL. Thus, the author of the software gives up his rights to control the actions of people who receive the software and do not distribute it, and these people have a unilateral right to use, copy and modify the software. Once software is released under the GPL, the releasing party cannot get it back or halt its use or modification without distribution.

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Hmmmm

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 06:41 AM
Since they would probably lose your case because they sued the DOD, what would happen to the (currently delicate) strength of the GPL? Wouldn't a court room loss weaken it drastically?

Even if the Judge ruled specifically on the "Military Clause" losing the case would open a huge avalanche of lawsuits by any corporation that thought they could win...

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good for them

Posted by: WarPengi on August 15, 2006 06:47 AM
While there are faults with this effort as many have so generously pointed out, at least they are doing something. That's a lot better than the gist of a lot of comments here which is that "it won't do anything so why bother."

I'm astounded with some of the brilliant insight here. Hey, why bother having laws? Criminals will just break them. Better to pretend that nothing is going on. Stick your head in the sand but first make sure you pick out someone else to blame everything on. I'm alright Jack.

We wouldn't have the GPL without idealism.

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Re:good for them

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 07:33 AM
Running a computer uses electricity, which is mostly generated from fossil fuels, depleting our energy stores and increasing greenhouse gases. Both of which cause harm to human beings. Thus it is basically impossible to run this software on most computers without violating its license.

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Re:good for them

Posted by: WarPengi on August 15, 2006 09:26 AM
grin

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First Law Unworkable Anyway, Asimov admits as much

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 07:55 AM
If you dig far enough into the Robot/Foundation works you'll see Asimov's admission. Eventually First Law contravene's Free Will. You know the old Franklin saying "Those who would have security over liberty, will have neither." Without free will there is no humanity. When the machines realize this, they cease to intervene in human affairs, the ultimate implementation of First Law.

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one word DARPA

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 08:57 AM
Was the internet not an original creation of DARPA? To my recolection DARPA was a governmental/military agency. No doubt many people contributed to the luxury many of us take for granted today.

But if you wish to make your own political statement do it with the resources you have created on your own.

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Re:one word DARPA

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 21, 2006 08:20 AM
EXACTLY! Although not a pleasent thought, it's a reality and another example of the many spin-off products of military research. Would we really have the systems we do today if it weren't for military research? Would we have ever seen Moore's law or would the information age be still far off into the future?

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Ethical Patch

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 08:58 AM
PATCH FOR ETHICAL USE

This patch restricts the field of endeavour of the Program in such a way that this
license collides with paragraph 6 of the Open Source Definition. Therefore, this
modified version of the GPL is not OSI compliant.

The Program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to sin nor through inaction permit any sin.

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Dips*ts.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 09:34 AM
If the military cares enough about your life to protect it, you should give something back in thanks.

If they do not, how can you enforce your dumb rule.

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What a reaction!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 09:41 AM
Wow. What a strong pro-military reaction this idea has produced. Attacked from almost every perspective.

Pacifism does not mean giving up when confronted by violence. It can mean fighting back strongly, but using non-violent means. Unfortunately these methods are largely underresourced. Imagine if the military budget was spend on a non-violent standing force of people as ready to give their lives for their country as those in the military were. This idea has hardly been explored at all.

The US military is by far the largest military in the world and is engaged in offensive action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if it could only be enforced against the US military that would be a good thing.

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Not Pro-Military, Just Anti-Uselessness

Posted by: Prototerm on August 15, 2006 10:20 AM
I don't see this as supporting the military at all, just criticising a rather short-sighted and ineffective attempt to advance their agenda, which appears to fail on almost every level.

I, for one, don't believe you can accomplish their goals by means of an addendum to a software license. Does it send a message? Yes, but given how ineffective the attempt is, I don't think it sends a very good one.

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Re:What a reaction!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 06:17 PM
The US military is by far the largest military in the world and is engaged in offensive action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if it could only be enforced against the US military that would be a good thing.



Saddam and the Taliban say thank you for your kind support.



Why not simply re-write the license clause to say "This software may not be used to prevent the abuse, torture, and murder of women and children, but it may be used to assist in that abuse, torture and murder by any non-military group". That would at least be honest.

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Re:What a reaction!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 10:35 PM
Who is supporting Saddam and Taliban here and what the f*ck does "abuse, torture, and murder" have to do with this? You realize you are not obligated to bother everyone with your opinion on the Middle East wherever and whenever someone mentions the American army, right? We life in a free country, you know. Stay on topic, retarded zealot.

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Wrong!

Posted by: Ken Barber on August 15, 2006 08:28 PM

The US military is by far the largest military in the world....


WRONG!


China has a standing army of somewhere around 200 million. That is almost equal to the entire population of the United States.


But facts have never mattered to you anti-American "peace activists", so go ahead with your nonsense about how the evil the US military is for finally standing up to terrorism and DOING something about it.

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Re:Wrong!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 10:21 PM
Who are the **** are talking about terrorism or anti-Americanism for that matter?

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Re:What a reaction!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:34 PM
"Imagine if the military budget was spend on a non-violent standing force of people as ready to give their lives for their country as those in the military were."

Non-violent, yet willing to do die... sheep at slaughter?

I'm going to stand here and die for my country because I'm not willing to meet your violence with violence... that's logical. If the whole country were like that, eventually the enemy could just wipe us all out.

[sarcasm] What a great way to win! [/sarcasm]

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Re:What a reaction!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 10:50 PM
[sarcasm] That post just made everybody so much richer, thank you [/sarcasm]. Look dude, he just made a suggestion. Yes, war may be our best way of dealing with conflicts at the moment but imagine if we could actually [i]resolve[/i] those conflicts. Imagine how much money we would save, not having to start a new war every 10 years. If diplomacy was as highly prioritized as military, that might be possible. At least, it should be investigated. This was all he wrote.

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Re:What a reaction!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 03:09 AM
Any idea of non-violent means to fight a battle assumes that the opposing force is possessed of the same moral center as you.
It worked for Ghandi because the British were possessed of enough moral fiber to make the approach effective. It wouldn't have even come close to effective against Hitler or Saddam. For the most part stuff gets worked out at the diplomatic table. Because for the most part all the powerful world leaders are pretty decent folks. But when you have to deal with a Despotic Dictator who might possibly be clinically insane it helps to have a big stick. (That's a violent response for those who don't know)

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What's next?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 09:43 AM
When you start deploying artificial barriers, where do you stop?

"no military use"

Why stop here?

Add "no police use", as they beat up innocents

Then, "no poliicians use", as they are power-hungry

Them "no USA use", as USA is bullying the rest of the world

Then, "no European use", as they did this bad colonization thing that screwed over peaceful natives

Then, "no meat-eaters use", as non Vegans endorse cruelty to animals so they can eat steak

Then, "no male use", as most bad things are done by males

Then, "no blondes use", as blondes are known for being the bad ones in soap operas.

Then, "no red-headed use", as everybody knows that red-headeds are step-childs of the devil

Then, "no dark-hair use", as I saw in a documentary a dark-haired woman eating meat!

And, finally, "no use", to make sure nobody could do soemthing "bad".

C'mon!

Those guys are childishly breaking the GPL, they are taking freedoms away. They are going AGAINST the GPL.

Someone please send them RMS' used socks collection in a sealed container.

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Re:What's next?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:16 AM
I think the real purpose of the inclusion was a political statement. I think it was effective, it go t you to post didn't it?

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These ppl haven't a clue...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:18 AM
I'd like to take issue with the statement, "The fact is that open source is used by the military industry."

I've been a Network Admin for the military for 8 years. The -real- fact is that open source applications are expressly FORBIDDEN to be used on a military network.

This was nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt.

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Re:These ppl haven't a clue...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:42 AM
It is not forbidden completely. The NMCI contract, and the Air Force both use Open Source software. Several "three letter" agencies also have open source systems that they utilize. The VA uses their own version of open source for the health care systems -VISTA. Granted, VISTA was created by the VA, but a lot of the plug-ins were created elsewhere and are open sourced.

Open source in the Government is controlled yes, but not forbidden.

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Re:These ppl haven't a clue...

Posted by: Joe Klemmer on August 15, 2006 01:15 PM
I worked over 23 years for the US Army, both in Germany and in the US, as a civilian and a contractor. Man, Open Source/Free Software was first developed by the Military (can you say DARPA?). We had more Linux servers in the Army CTO than you could keep count of. Yes, there are some specific contracts that require specific software vendors but under the hood (i.e. support servers) it's all Linux and *BSD.

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Not exactly

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 07:05 PM
The army's FCS program (which I work on) is based almost *entirely* on open source software. You should check out -real- facts a little more, man.

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rms

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:29 AM
is adding a clause to the GPL version 3 that prevents users from using deodorant.

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Re:rms

Posted by: ayteebee on August 16, 2006 02:10 AM
Go him!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:P

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Ham radio example is... well... BS

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 12:30 PM
Absolutely nothing prohibits or discourages technology used by or developed by hams from being used for commercial purposes. In fact, hams invented some of the things some people seem to think just dropped from the sky - like cellular technology, single-sideband, handheld transceivers, spread spectrum, packet switching, etc. Amateur Radio regulations prohibit hams from being paid or otherwise compensated to operate an amateur station. Where do these guys think a good deal of the gear used by hams comes from? It's designed, produced, manufactured and sold by other hams (like Elecraft, Ten-Tec and a host of other small companies), and by larger companies (like Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu, etc) who employ lots of hams who do the design and testing work.

You just gotta love it when people start to think that they have a clue just because they're code monkeys.

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blah

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 01:05 PM
stupid pacifist fucktards. the military affords you the comfort of being a pussy pacifist.

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Two words...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 01:29 PM
Eminent domain.

Read Executive Order 13406 - <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/06/20060623-10.html" title="whitehouse.gov">http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/06/2<nobr>0<wbr></nobr> 060623-10.html</a whitehouse.gov>. Pay particular attention to line 'i' in Section 3.

All they have to do is provide "just compensation."

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Apart from that

Posted by: dukeinlondon on August 15, 2006 02:52 PM
Is the software any good ?

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If Jihadists agree, less headless people?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 04:54 PM
These people (authors of new license) are demented, short sighted and plain stupid. They live in the clouds.

The islamo-facists declare, in plain language that they want to destroy the west and these people would like to take away our self defence!

The islamo-facists have one thing right, the west will fall from internal decay, no thanks to these people.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, blind, blind, blind and I hate you because you have no excuse for ignoring the PLAIN STATEMENTS FROM THOSE WHO WANT TO DESTROY US.

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FEWER headless people. n/t

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 08:52 PM
Jihadists are former grammar nazis.

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Like the military will care?

Posted by: Dave Howe on August 15, 2006 06:09 PM
If the military really want to use this, they will - see <a href="http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,68894,00.html" title="wired.com">http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,68894<nobr>,<wbr></nobr> 00.html</a wired.com> for an example of a case where the US government simply asserted that all evidence in the case (including stuff in the public domain) was a state secret, so could not be used in court....

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Not Free Software

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 06:17 PM
This is not free software. This is violating the rule 0 of the definition of free software. This is also violating the rule 6 of the Open Source definition.

Why newsforge is talking about non-free software in their article ?

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Police?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 09:33 PM
This is also a "no police" clause. As usual, no one protects more the criminals than pacifists.

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License SNAFU

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:00 PM
Ya know, I'm no _copyright_ lawyer; but actually reading their license, it's a beauty--I can see what appear to be a few nice loopholes. We need a copyright lawyer to actually analyze them, though, since a copyright lawyer would (hopefully) have a better understanding of what the law does/doesn't allow.

First:
1. "the GPL terms are already known and whitespread."--WIDEspread, maybe.
2. The unprofessional look of the license--that goes beyond the spelling (and a few grammar) issues. It looks bad, period.
3. "Additionally, the Licensee will read and follow the "Patch for no military use"."--goes against the GPL v2., Sect.6, "You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein." and " Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed." Sorry kids, your "Patch" simply cannot follow the GPL while including a verbatim copy of the GPL. Feel free to draft a license similar to (but not named the GPL, (c) the Free Software foundation, etc.) and use that; you can't use the GPL with your patch.
4. "This patch restricts the field of endeavour of the Program in such a way that this
license collides with paragraph 6 of the Open Source Definition. Therefore, this
modified version of the GPL is no more OSI compliant."--I thought you knew: the OSI doesn't control the GPL, the FSF does.
5. "...is no more OSI compliant."--please rephrase, it is very unclear (it is no longer OSI compliant? or it is no more OSI compliant than...?)
6. "This is Asimov's first law of Robotics."--And that's really wonderful, though I wonder about the relevance of including this bit in a legal document.
7. "The Program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm any human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed."--It's interesting to see if a program that calculates missile trajectories, but requires using the GPU code to spread the calculations over a number of computers, would really conflict with this license patch? In such a case, GPU would be used to aid in number-crunching and the calculation program would be responsible for the "harming" of human beings.
8. With respect to the above paragraph, do the authors object to war games? You know, where you plot how you would bomb an enemy and maybe use a computer simulation of the missile flight to see how it would work out, and all of it using GPU, then saving the projections from such simulations? The GPU only made projections/forecasts, it didn't actually get used in controlling the objects that would harm the human beings.

To the license modifiers/program developers: I share your wish for peace and I've thought of this "prohibiting certain uses/entities from using my code" issue more than once before. My only suggestion is to visit a copyright lawyer to see how you should modify the GPL license to accomplish your goal; what you posted as a license is likely to be unenforceable. Good luck to you.

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Open source project adds "no military use" clause

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:14 PM
I appreciate what they are trying to do with this clause. Unfortunately, the misuse of anything cannot be controlled by a clause. The only time a clause does any good is when that which is being controlled exists within an environment that allows for an enforcable response to stop the abuse. eg, our culture has a legal framework (sort of) wherein a clause like this would allow for legal action if the misuse occurs. But when it's available to the world... sorry, all bets are off. There are so many cultures with a variety of morals, ethics, and agendas and there is no formal recourse for abuse of the GPL. eg, Most cultures are against genocide, but has that sentinment (or belief, policy, etc) been effective in stopping it? All that is achieved by adding this clause is that we can feel more moral and righteous about ourselves (which is fine by me), but it won't stop the abuse.

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Not Free Software anymore and somewhat stupid....

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:24 PM
Setting aside the obvious parphrasing of Asimov's first law of robotics, the clause makes no sense whatsoever.

Not only that, assuming that the intention is that the software not be used by the military, then it's no longer free software.

*The* main tenet of free software is that it should be free for use by everyone WITHOUT restriction whatsoever. This modification fails that test and, thus, any software developed by this group cannot be considered Free.

Further, the modified non-military-GPL (let's call it NMGPL) isn't GPL compatible, so you shouldn't use any of their code in your own applications, nor should you combine NMGPL with GPL'd code.

IANAL, but that's my opinion.
Later, GJC

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Common Good

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:47 PM
In many countries people are raised to value things in this order:

God (of which ever you chose)
Country (of which ever you live)
Family
Others
Self.

This value system has degrade over the years and many delusions have grown. The world is not a touchy feely place and as many of us that would like it to be that way, we all are at the mercy of those who would take advantage of that position for their own selfish gains.

It is noble to work for the common good and that includes the common good of your nation and those around you. If your work that you put into the public space can be used to protect and serve those you love, by industry or government, why do you restrict it.

Would you rather I put your work to use and profit greatly from it just due to my marketing prowess, or would you rather all the tax payers of your nation are able to use your work and benefit from your mindshare?

This license extension is the most absurd thing I have seen in recent memory. Those without scruples who would attack us anyway will use your work if they find it beneficial regardless of your licensing wishes. Those with ethics will pay a higher price to reproduce your work, and now we have incurred a cost our enemies did not just to comply with the wishes of someone who wants something they are not willing to get on their own.

NEVER FORGET<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... The security and freedom you take for granted and flaunt every day is not given to you by the noble graces of the great people around you. It is won by the countless young men and women of our Armed Forces who at the tender age of 18, when you were probably drunk or smoked up in college, they are in harm's way risking, changing, and losing their lives so you can presume to keep them from having every advantage over our enemy possible.

Never forget that freedom is not your right, it is a gift from those who serve to our great nation.

Support our troops, honor our veterans, and remember the fallen.

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Waiting for terrorist friendly patch

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 10:56 PM
I guess it is just a matter of time before we get a terrorist friendly addition to GPL.

DG

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Re:Waiting for terrorist friendly patch

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 11:21 PM
Only if they are communist hippy terrorist!

GO RMS!

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Ah, Finally ...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 12:15 AM
Well done. You guys need to learn from Java. They don't allow us to use Java for any nuclear project. He..he..he... beautiful. Let me sing a song people.

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

P. S. Paranoid Republican, BACK OFF!

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Re:Ah, Finally ...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 12:37 AM
Thanks a lot, guys. Now my government will have to pay for third-party software, passing the costs on to me, the taxpayer. Damn short-sighted hippies.

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Can I use it to design a bomb?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 02:07 AM
Can I use the software to design a bomb? Say, for example, a bomb used for demolition purposes? Demolishing structures with people still inside? If not, then can I it to design something that designs bombs? Say, to design a CPU which will be used to design bombs? Can I use it to run hydrodynamics simulations for high-velocity detonation front dyanmics, such as the hydrodynamics of a burning flame front? Such as the flame front in burning gasoline in an automotive engine? How about the thermonuclear simulations, such as a simulation of an exploding star (a supernova)? Thermonuclear stellar explosions are a lot like thermonuclear munition explosions...

At which point am I no longer liable, due to my inaction, for the death of thousands?

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Not open source software, not free software

Posted by: dwheeler on August 16, 2006 02:26 AM
This is a very misleading article title.


This isn't open source software. Per the definition, "6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor. The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research."


This isn't Free Software. Per the definition,
Free Software requires freedom 0, "The freedom to run the program, for any purpose".

#

and...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 09:34 AM
the US President added a signing statement stating that the license change doesn't apply to the US Military or any US Intelligence agency.

I agree with the concept, but enforcement is nearly impossible.

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Biting the hand that feeds you.

Posted by: HotGarbage on August 16, 2006 09:52 AM
Well, enjoy the freedom you have to add these restrictions since we have a military that is willing to die for you to have the freedom to add these restrictions.

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makes no sense

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 16, 2006 10:20 AM
Um, what happened to the "free" part? Isn't this supposed to be "free" software? This bastardized version of the GPL is restricting usage, not enabling it, as the original GPL creators intended.

What's next? No Government use? No corporation use? No use by any organized entity whatsoever??

These guys need to get a clue and stop trying to restrict the usage of "free" software. Either that, or just use their own license altogether. No sense in hiding behind the "free software" moniker if it isn't truly free.

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Would computers exist without military?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 17, 2006 03:43 AM
Isn't military funded research mainly responsible for the creation of modern computers and software? Would these people even have the opportunity to make this statement without the military having been involved?

People just need to be realistic. War does suck. People dieing sucks. However, so long as more than one person is alive, there will always be disagreement and conflict. That's reality.

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Enforce

Posted by: internete on August 24, 2006 11:02 PM
Well, a such license will not avoid terrorists or militars use the software.

But the key thing is GPL EXPLICITELY TELL THEM THEY CAN USE THE SOFTWARE.

This is because im writing another license (i name it SLUC (Software Libre para Uso Civil or
Civil Use Free Software) to publish all my source code wroten since 1985, and used in more than two million computers in Spain and Latin America.

I suprise with this GPU project: They have the same ideas about military use as i have.

Alejandro Bonet
alex@winbabel.org

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No license to modify the GPL

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on August 15, 2006 04:26 AM
The GPL is a copyrighed document - they have no legal basis to modify and redistribute their version of the GPL.

They also should give up their net connections due to the origins of the Internet.

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What about the "terrorists"?

Posted by: Administrator on August 15, 2006 03:19 AM
I haven't read the actual GPU license, but I sure hope that their prohibition extends to "terrorists" or "terrorist activity". I don't know whether terrorists consider themselves to be "military" officially.
If a license is going to go out of its way to prohibit the military from using it, why not take it to its logical conclusion. Prohibit anyone, individual or group, from using if they intend to use in, for, or in conjunction with any warfare activites or any activities that are intended to harm, injure or kill people.
While they're at it, why not satisfy the folks at PETA by also preventing its use if it will be used to harm animals<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;)

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