Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Open Source

Android Devices Are Hives of License Violations 299

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the license-to-license dept.
inkscapee writes "Android developers are paying little attention to Free/Open Source software licenses and have a 71% violation rate. Come on folks, FOSS licenses are easy to comply with, certainly easier than proprietary software licenses, and less punitive. But it seems even the tiny hoops that FOSS requires are too much for devs eager to cash in."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Android Devices Are Hives of License Violations

Comments Filter:
  • What about iOS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rafial (4671) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:18PM (#35423432) Homepage

    Wait a minute here, the linked article says "A new study from open source services vendor OpenLogic reports that 71 percent of Apple iOS and Google Android apps are not in compliance." Yet the headline for this story mentions only Android. I understand it's become fashionable to bash Android lately, but this seems a bit egregious. The problem appears to be endemic across all mobile devices.

  • by BagOBones (574735) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:19PM (#35423464)

    Actually I find the Copy left licences have far more demands than any commercial licence. You can spend huge amounts of time figuring out if you can link or not link, how you must publish the code and how you can distribute the application.

    With commercial software you are often presented with a library or set of tools you can or can't bundle with your product, past that there is no code to deal with most of the time..

  • by Teckla (630646) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:24PM (#35423528)

    Actually I find the Copy left licences have far more demands than any commercial licence. You can spend huge amounts of time figuring out if you can link or not link, how you must publish the code and how you can distribute the application.

    As a commercial software developer myself, I'm glad at least one other person on Slashdot understands this!

    For some of us, copyleft code is, by far, the most expensive code there is. In fact, it's pretty much poison.

  • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdgeorge (18767) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:28PM (#35423574)

    Furthermore, the 71% figure has no apparent relationship with the other numbers mentioned in the article.

    The article is nearly as brain-dead as the summary.

  • by The_Wilschon (782534) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:29PM (#35423594) Homepage
    Well, that was the original intent. RMS envisioned a world in which all software was Free (Libre), and then he thought about how this could be brought about. What he came up with was two-pronged. 1) copyleft 2) write lots of really excellent software, so excellent that people will want to use it even though they know they will get sucked into the copyleft. It appears to be working.
  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:31PM (#35423632)

    Actually I find the Copy left licences have far more demands than any commercial licence. You can spend huge amounts of time figuring out if you can link or not link, how you must publish the code and how you can distribute the application.

    As a commercial software developer myself, I'm glad at least one other person on Slashdot understands this!

    For some of us, copyleft code is, by far, the most expensive code there is. In fact, it's pretty much poison.

    Which was the intent, free to extend, not so free to commercialize. TANSTAAFL [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Further proof (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:41PM (#35423752) Homepage

    It's pretty simple really.

    If it's not yours, you probably should not treat it as such.

    Never mind law school. Try making it to kindergarten.

  • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Facegarden (967477) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:41PM (#35423760)

    You have a negative one score, but there is nothing wrong with what you said. This summary is complete crap. Slashdot chose to publish it. So Slashdot is publishing crap. This happens often. It is then not unreasonable to say the site has stagnated. I sure am sick of all this bottom of the barrel content myself.

    The submitted did not read the article, or was an idiot. The approver(s?) did not read the article or are idiots. Everyone involved in posts like this are doing a bad job or are an idiot. Why does slashdot keep doing this? I see extremely poorly written content all the time here. Its just dumb.

    *ALSO*, most blogs nowadays read their own comments and post updates like "many people in the comments have pointed out...". I don't think I have ever seen this happen on Slashdot, or if I have, it does not happen often enough. You'll see times where 80% of the comments are rightfully pointing out that the story is BS, but it still does not get updated. Posting bad content and then not fixing it when it is clearly shown to be BS just shows that the people running the site do not care about the quality of the content, or at the least are very bad at showing it. You just see false stories hang out on the front page all day long. Its ridiculous.

    Shape up slashdot!
    -Taylor

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:43PM (#35423786)

    good god, you're trolling, right? "lots of really excellent software"??? since when did stallman write lots of really excellent software? i'm forced into using gnu tools and frankly i'd rather not. let's take gfortran, which i have to use on a regular basis, and compare it with a closed-source alternative like ifort. which one produces larger filesizes and worse-optimised codes? oh yes, gfortran. which one doesn't support the full range of switches ifort does? oh yes, gfortran. and believe me, ifort is a fucking dog and i've been frequently let down and exasperated by its many bugs and interesting "features" including one severe bug in a version about five years back that capped memory usage at something like 1.5gig and if you addressed anything more seg faulted on you no matter that another 5gig were free on the system. despite all these frustrations, gfortran is a piece of shit. "but it's a work in progress!" so what? seriously, SO FUCKING WHAT? i don't want a work in progress, i want something that will do my fucking job and gfortran is seriously not fucking fit for purpose.

    oh, and let's mention openmp and mpi support... no, let's not. late to the game again, gnu. let's not even mention how long it took (what, 10 years?) for a stable gnu release of an f90 compiler. seriously, did we have to wait ten years for a properly stable free f90 compiler? no. no, we didn't. but gnu -- authors of that widely-used EXCELLENT piece of software, the HURD kernel which is running in... wait... fucking NONE of the servers or desktops or laptops you'll ever see because it's fucking shit vaporware -- managed to make it last that long. someone even forked the fucker and made g95, which is equally shit.

    or are we talking linux? oh, sorry, you're a fucking stallwart aren't you? gnu/linux. maybe we should be REALISTIC about this and call it gnome/gnu/linux or kde/gnu/linux because almost everyone who touches the fucker outside of a server environment will interact with it via gnome or kde one way or another and any claims to the contrary are retarded. you know the only reason gnu is in there? because it's free. not because it's EXCELLENT but because it's free, and enough monkeys have hammered at gcc over the years to make it more or less fit for purpose. is gnome from gnu? no. is kde? no. fuck it, is X from gnu? like fuck is it.

    stallman is, ultimately, a self-obsessed prick with a towering sense of self-righteousness, supported by a bunch of moronic fucking zombies online. fuck the lot of you.

    ps: the use of the word "copyleft" would be a fucking capital crime if i ever ran the world, along with "herstory". i fucking HATE things like that, they're always coined by some fucking smug cunt who smirks and preens as if to say "oooooh look how CLEVER i am with that bit of wordplay come and lick my balls!" except of course that most people who say "herstory" don't have balls what with being girls and all. but it's the same thing as people who fucking insist on using "her" and "she" as general pronouns rather than "he" and "him". fucking hell. if you really have to drop gender use "they" and "them", what fucking good does SWAPPING the gender do? PRICKS.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:46PM (#35423820) Homepage

    As a computing professional, I find all of this whining about Free Software license complexity rather embarrassing frankly.

    Electronic Arts and Oracle can manage navigating this "quagmire". Why can't you?

    One really wonders what an SBA audit of you whiners would turn up.

  • by xaxa (988988) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:50PM (#35423866)

    copy-left is a fucking pain in the ass unless you are also copy-left

    That's pretty much the point.

  • by xaxa (988988) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:51PM (#35423880)

    Oops, that's ambigious language.

    copy-left is a fucking pain in the ass unless you are also copy-left

    That's pretty much the intention.

  • by Jason Earl (1894) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @06:00PM (#35423986) Homepage Journal

    If you use a piece of Free Software in your software product and then distribute that product and you fail to follow the license then the folks that wrote that particular piece of software have you by the nuts. You might not like whining, but I can guarantee you that you'll like litigation a lot less. Especially because you will lose, and the penalties for copyright violation are ridiculous (at least in the U.S.). Assuming, of course, that the folks that wrote the Free Software that you "borrowed" actually care, which is probably not the case.

    In fact, in this particular case the article is basically about a company that scans people's software for them, finds out if they have any licensing issues, and then offers to help you sort the licensing issues out if they find something bad. It's not really the Free Software developers that are whining. Instead it is a third party that wants you to pay them money to help you sort out a licensing issue on the off chance that the Free Software developers *do* decide to complain. You might not think that this is a service, but your legal counsel probably has a different opinion.

  • And then some. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @06:45PM (#35424390) Homepage Journal
    More than that - 71% of 635 apps on Android and iPhone is NOT the same as 71% of Android apps or even 71% of apps period. TFS and TFA both gloss over the fact that this is 71% of a very small sampling -- which may or may not have been specifically targeted based on functionality and features. TFA also does not discuss how the scan was able to identify OSS production by looking at compiled, stripped down, and signed (and possibly encrypted) binaries.

    Hmm, something's fishy here... oh, wait. I see. It's right there in TFA:

    OpenLogic sells a product called the OLEX App Store Edition which provides tooling that can be used by developers to do a self-service scan on their apps prior to submitting to the app store and by app stores to track open source compliance.

    How convenient! A one-company study -- using undisclosed methodology -- draws broad and irrational conclusions that suggest that people really need to buy its products and services. Amazing!

  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @06:50PM (#35424434)

    Oh really? Can you please tell us what would be the cost of building a product on a proprietary closed-source software program which doesn't grant anyone the right to extend it, let alone commercialize any derivative work?

    It appears that you are one of those ignorant FLOSS detractors who tries to bitch that hijacking other people's code is "most expensive" while the alternative is... you investing your own time to fill all the countless man-hours that it took other people to build the software you are trying to sell off as if it was your own? Because you sure can't just pick up, for example, Microsoft Office, tweak it's UI and sell it off as Teckla's Office suite.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

Working...