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SMF Bridge for Joomla! Discontinued

Started by 青山 素子, July 24, 2007, 11:39:51 PM

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Dragooon

Just one small question.
What if someone devoleps a Joomla!/SMF Bridge and uses it for his OWN purposes and does NOT redistribute it?Can He use it?

青山 素子

If you write all the code yourself and don't give it to anyone, you are not subject to the distribution part of the GPL and are legal.

Note that this is how many companies can add their own special code to GPL projects and be legal. They just don't distribute outside their company.
Motoko-chan
Director, Simple Machines

Note: Unless otherwise stated, my posts are not representative of any official position or opinion of Simple Machines.


Joshua Dickerson

* groundup makes note that nobody on the team is a lawyer

Take the advice as a suggestion from an informed person. Still good advice :)
Come work with me at Promenade Group



Need help? See the wiki. Want to help SMF? See the wiki!

Did you know you can help develop SMF? See us on Github.

How have you bettered the world today?

AmyStephen

Everyone -

I want to thank you for your responses - KarlBenson, Jeff Lewis, Thantos, Motoko-chan, Orstio, Trekkie101, Kindred. Trekkie101 - particular thanks for your thoughtful post. I *know* everyone on the SMF team appreciates the end user community shared with Joomla!. I know this.

Kindred - I am trying to be considerate and clear in my remarks. I am not trying to accuse anyone of being bad - but - SMF is rushing this, not Joomla!. That's not blaming, it's true and I am not at all certain you all understand that. I am a *community member* who is hoping we can get these two projects back together and figure this out.

The Joomla! project did *not* approach you and accuse you of violating the GPL. You contacted the FSF. The FSF has made it clear that the current method used to bridge SMF to GPL environments is a violation of the GPL. You were right to contact the FSF - the GPL is their license - they are the ones who ultimately seek compliance, if asked by copyright holders.

They seek compliance. <-- Read that.

QuoteFrom Joomla!'s GPL Announcement: It's a long, slow road.  We're not going to make any sudden moves because we know that a lot of people are relying on us to maintain some stability and meet expectations.

Joomla! is not rushing this.

Quote from: joomla on July 27, 2007, 06:16:25 AM
Thats fine, just don't claim that your decision was developed in consultation with the Joomla Core Team. When/if you are ready to talk, let us know, as we have plenty of information to share with you.

Brad (joomla) is one to talk to; he is a Joomla! core team member. He invited SMF to keep working on a solution. I hope you take him up on that offer.

This has been a real learning experience for me, too. I used to share Marko's (Predator's) viewpoint that this was a "hard-core GPL interpretation." But, I don't think that, at all, anymore. In fact, I agree that ignoring the terms of your license is not wise for copyright holders. I shared my thoughts on that in the J! forums.

Listen - I am confident, I really am, that if SMF and Joomla! begin talking, again, a solution will be found. For now, please consider the Joomla! v 1.0.13 security release.

With respect,
Amy

Kindred

Amy,

You can quote that post from Joomla all you want... "it's a long, slow road..." may be nice rhetoric, but unfortunately, it doesn't wash.
If the bridge is a violation of the GPL, then it is a violation. it does not matter how much joomla says they want to take it slowly.
When Joomla announced their interpretation of the GPL, they essentially said "If you do not fit this interpretation, then you are in violation."
Although the joomla team may not choose to pursue any litigation against SMF for the bridge, SMF WOULD be in violation, if we continued to distribute the bridge.


As for maintaining stability...   1.0.13 has, unfortunately, just contradicted that by changing parts of joomla critical to any integration.

If, and until, the bridge has been redesigned, there will be no further release.
Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.<br /><br />"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

Route 66 Rambler

July 27, 2007, 04:44:07 PM #105 Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 05:07:41 PM by Route 66 Rambler
Quote from: eldʌkaː on July 27, 2007, 06:25:26 AM
Viewing a product of software, whatever it is, including the HTML produced by SMF+Joomla, is not the same as receiving a distribution of it. You're not distributing it unless you offered your PHP code for download.

Thank you for that clarification.  I'll fire my lawyer right away, and find a programmer to represent me.  What was I thinking?   :D    And it was nice of you to chop off the part where I said it wasn't a practical or defensible viewpoint, just a very literal one.  Thank you.  That was extra anyway.

I don't think I have ANY liability on this issue.

But the fact remains, I CAN'T USE anything that is non-GPL, if I am using J!  Why?  Because I'll be sued?  NO. 

Because anything at all that is non-GPL, when combined with GPL stuff, leaves the software creators and distributors liable for damages to the ***I modified my message here***"Free" software foundation***  license holders.  Now, that makes it automatically an unreliable choice for a software solution.

Just like this bridge, it will disappear, or lose support, or force me as an end-user to pay a license fee.  It's going to happen with other stuff, bank on it.  ***Modified by me***Essentially, FSF/GPL system has become a proprietary system with this interpretation, the same as Apple and Microsoft.***

In the long run, it just means that less and less teams will be developing on the GPL license, less and less stuff will remain free, and it seems to me from where I sit as an end-user, that's exactly what the "Free" software foundation is shooting for with this opinion.  It's all about eliminating the competition, nothing else.  Say it as pretty and nice as you want, it still translates to "screw you".

The FSF ***indirectly*** controls the usage of every piece of software under the GPL, hundreds of packages from what I can tell, and it ain't "free" anymore.  Either you use GPL stuff, or you use non-GPL stuff.  But not both.  Period.

It's no big deal to change the wording on this license, or to make exceptions.  NO BIG DEAL.  ESPECIALLY when companies like GoDaddy are pitching in with money that could be spent on lawyers.

But this is all about control, nothing else.  The more I think about it,  the more I think I'm going to stop using GPL software, OR offering free code altogether, as it has just turned into one big cesspool.  What if I offer source code that LOOKS LIKE a solution that has already been tried in a GPL package?

So I can't offer the source anymore, ***I modified my message here***because someone at the FSF might think I got it from them. ***

I'm going to follow the SMF route instead, and draw up my own custom license, which will NOT include source code.  It's silly to hang yourself out for it, by offering the source code, for someone else to assert control over.
mike
Nashin' and Thrashin'

Joshua Dickerson

What? FSF is going to sue you for violation of the author's license? One which they (FSF) doesn't own. That doesn't make any sense. They can give you legal advice and even counsel, but as far as filing the lawsuit - how can they? All they did was write the license.
Come work with me at Promenade Group



Need help? See the wiki. Want to help SMF? See the wiki!

Did you know you can help develop SMF? See us on Github.

How have you bettered the world today?

Route 66 Rambler

July 27, 2007, 04:58:46 PM #107 Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 05:08:42 PM by Route 66 Rambler
Sorry... I'm only trying to point out, that as the writers of the license, it can be changed by them.  You are right.
mike

I've modified my message above, to clarify the point made by groundup in the last post...
Nashin' and Thrashin'

AmyStephen

Kindred -

I don't want to wear out my welcome, but I feel like it's rude not to respond. I'm happy to leave after this post. And, I'm happy to continue if people continue to address me. I just want to make it clear why I continue to respond.  ;)

Quote from: Kindred on July 27, 2007, 04:08:50 PM
If the bridge is a violation of the GPL, then it is a violation. it does not matter how much joomla says they want to take it slowly.
When Joomla announced their interpretation of the GPL, they essentially said "If you do not fit this interpretation, then you are in violation."
Although the joomla team may not choose to pursue any litigation against SMF for the bridge, SMF WOULD be in violation, if we continued to distribute the bridge.

I don't say that to frighten you - but, you learned from the FSF that you are violating the GPL with each of your bridges into GPL software.  The GPL is the FSF's license. They set the terms. The terms of the GPL are the same for everyone who uses the GPL to license their software.

I really don't know how to make that more clear.

Some of the projects are choosing not to enforce the terms of the license. That is what is making you feel comfortable. Having said that, do not forget that there are typically third party libraries included in those distributions that are also licensed using the GPL. Those copyright holders could certainly choose to request the FSF work with you on their behalf to get compliance.

Do not take my word for anything. I certainly could be wrong. Ask the FSF if that is true or not.

I have to say, though, it is mind boggling to me that for some reason SMF feels comfortable violating the GPL for projects who say they will ignore the infraction - but refuses to see that Joomla! is not rushing this. I'm at a loss for words to explain this any more clearly.

Quote from: Kindred on July 27, 2007, 04:08:50 PM
As for maintaining stability...   1.0.13 has, unfortunately, just contradicted that by changing parts of joomla critical to any integration.

If, and until, the bridge has been redesigned, there will be no further release.

It wasn't a redesign. It is merely a password change! lol!

+++

Please take Brad and the Joomla! core team up on their offer to help SMF find a solution. What do you have to lose? Maybe, SMF will learn how to resolve all four of the GPL violations at the same time.  Then, you don't have to take anyone's word that they won't enforce their license. Instead, you'll be in compliance.

In my opinion, this could certainly turn into a good opportunity for your project.

All the best,
Amy :)

joomla

FYI I have now had 2 personal PM's from SMF team members, neither of them having posted in this thread. I strongly suggest the rest of the SMF team allow the people who are working on this to be able to do so now... please.

This should not have turned into the mess that it did.. if I somehow did not make my contact details available enough, or appear approachable etc.. I apologize.
Brad Baker
www.joomla.org - Core Team Member, Forum Admin http://forum.joomla.org
www.rochen.com - Managed Dedicated and Reseller Hosting Solutions.
www.joomlatutorials.com & .au - Learn Joomla! the easy way.

Jeff Lewis

I strongly encourage everyone to read my post here. There is way too much misinformation flying about right now and it's bordering on a little tit for tat argument indicating it's gotten out of control with no valid reason for that.

Both projects are trying to protect their interests and at the same time are trying to offer the best they can for their users.

As it stands now, there is movement and discussion on the issue and I urge everyone not to start flinging at each other as it does no good.

We're all in this software thing together people ;)
Co-Founder of SMF

Colt45

I just need to put in my 3 cents here.

Do not allow any Joomla supporter or Team Member to mislead you. There is only one reason that makes the SMF bridge illegal to use with Joomla and that is because the Joomla Core Team has decided that it is so:

From the announcement found here: hxxp:www.joomla.org/content/view/3510/1/ [nonactive]
Quote
Can I release an extension under a non-GPL license?

It is our opinion that most extensions are derivative works of Joomla! and must be licensed under the GNU GPL.  It is possible that an extension could work within Joomla! and not be considered a derivative work according to copyright law but this would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  If you believe your extension is not a derivative work we strongly recommend that you seek professional legal advice.

If the SMF bridge is released under a GNU/GPL license it can be legally installed in Joomla and no one can complain.

That it creates a non-GPL compliant "combined work" cannot be legally prosecuted unless that "combined work" is distributed.

Remember the most important point about the GPL: you can modify any GPLed software to your heart's content. Just don't distribute it if it no longer meets the GPL requirements.

Asphyx

I hope no one minds that i interject just a few things here...

First off Joomla's decision was based on information from the FSF. Made because of issues involving Joomla's use of GPL software it doesn't own copyright to, not based on any change of attitude that proprietary (which really doesn't apply to much to SMF anyway) is bad but that by allowing them, Joomla would be encouraging people to violate a license of software they borrowed. They did the right thing by saying we don't want to encourage anyone to violate anyone else's license. Is it the most desireable position? No! But it was the most Moral one that could be made with the information available.

Simple Machines made their decision based on information from the FSF too and did the right thing by saying we don't want to violate anyone else's license and therefore will pull the project as of now. This too is the Moral choice and if there is any issue with it the worst you could say was it was a bit rushed and seemed like a panic move. Panic leads to irrational decisions. Thought takes time.

I personally don't feel SMF is a villain here and neither is Joomla. Both are trying to do what is right and respect other peoples license. This should be applauded.

That said though both are operating based on information from the FSF. And while it is true they wrote the license and know what their intentions were when they used the language they did to create it, thier interpretation is really no more valid than say Yours or Mine, Joomla's or Simple Machines' is...

There is only one arbitor of what is TRULY enforcable, Truly a Violation and that is a court of law.
FSF can take anyone to court for license violation they want (not entirely true...) but it isn't actually a license violation and no action to pull a project needs to be taken until a court says "Hey FSF, Your Right it is a violation."

It should be pointed out that FSF's interpretation has ramifications for all GPL not just Joomla and given that what they say can not be construed as the final word (only a court can do that) we should not put anymore weight to their interpretation than we give to Mambo or Joomla's interpretations.

If we truly want to solve this issue and truly want to disprove the notion that only GPL can be combined with GPL then it should be a goal of the entire developer community to find a way to shoot down this midas touch licensing interpretation by the FSF.

Copyright judgement in a court is largely determined on Harm and Fairness...
If these interpretations that FSF are truly unfair to any 3rd party developer and they want to maintain what they deem are their rights, they should get together to challenge the FSF interpretation in court.

If Both Joomla and Simple Machines have made unpopular decisions based on information from the same source then we should not be going back and forth on who is to blame and who is wrong between Joomla and Simple Machines...

The problem is probably not the decisions made by both but the information those decisions were based on.
Instead of attacking each other for decisions made we should work to find a way around the information or attitude that brought both parties to the unpopular decision in the first place.

I believe there are ways around this issue and provided Joomla has no intentions of starting legal action it is unlikely FSF can either. That gives everyone time to think. No rushed reactions and no rush to judge.

But if we are going to waste our time beating each other over the head then no progress and no solution will ever come to pass.

Let stop the dog marking their territory work and move towards finding solutions to the problem. Even if that solution means making FSF actually prove their interpretation as fair and valid in court.

QuoteDo not allow any Joomla supporter or Team Member to mislead you. There is only one reason that makes the SMF bridge illegal to use with Joomla and that is because the Joomla Core Team has decided that it is so:
Colt you truly miss the point...there are many libraries in Joomla that Joomla can not give you permission to use in proprietary work they don't own them. You may choose not to believe that if you want but ingnorance doesn't always equal bliss!

Just more poison....










redone

There is a difference between "distribution" and its use though. You can quite legally use the bridge and there is no issue with that.

Distributing the bridge is a whole different issue. I will not join the debate on this other than to say if we can work towards a solution that is viable then it will be done.

Until such time a formal announcement comes from Simplemachines on this issue all the additional back and forth is speculation.






Colt45

July 28, 2007, 12:39:36 PM #114 Last Edit: July 28, 2007, 12:46:18 PM by Colt45
Quote from: Asphyx on July 28, 2007, 11:19:06 AM
QuoteDo not allow any Joomla supporter or Team Member to mislead you. There is only one reason that makes the SMF bridge illegal to use with Joomla and that is because the Joomla Core Team has decided that it is so:
Colt you truly miss the point...there are many libraries in Joomla that Joomla can not give you permission to use in proprietary work they don't own them. You may choose not to believe that if you want but ingnorance doesn't always equal bliss!

Just more poison....

All of the "libraries" in Joomla are licensed under the GPL (correct me if I'm wrong)

If a bridge is released with a GPL license there is no violation if the bridge is installed in a GPLed software product (correct me if I'm wrong).

When a GPLed bridge is installed in a GPLed software product and connects to a non-GPLed software product, only then is a non-GPL compliant "combined work" created. (correct me if I'm wrong)

This does not violate anyone's license as long as the "combined work" is not distributed. (correct me if I'm wrong)

It is my opinion that the FSF's response(s) to Motokochan's inquiries are somewhat misleading.
Quote from: Brett Smith
No. The glue script would ultimately create a single work, derived from both the original scripts, and you would need to follow the terms of all those licenses to create it. Combining the first script with the second this way would violate its exception-free GPL.
What Brett fails to mention is that this "violation" would be irrelevant unless the end-user distributes the "combined work".

And I agree with all of the previous points you made in your post.


Orstio

Welcome to SMF, Asphyx.

I think your assessment of the situation is the most fair and clear I have read so far.  It is much appreciated that somebody is able to understand this all clearly.

QuoteThere is only one arbitor of what is TRULY enforcable, Truly a Violation and that is a court of law.
FSF can take anyone to court for license violation they want (not entirely true...) but it isn't actually a license violation and no action to pull a project needs to be taken until a court says "Hey FSF, Your Right it is a violation."

While I agree, I must say that most people on both the Joomla and SMF teams are just volunteers.  This is my hobby, not my job, nor my bread-earning business.  I know that I certainly don't have any desire to go to court over my hobby, so the best/safest course of action is to pull the project.

beat.b


Asphyx,

Your first post here is really a very good one indeed. 8)


Colt45,

You are absolutely right that it's the user who does the installation and that as long as he doesn't redistribute it combined, there is no problem, imho. It's worth clarifying this point. :)


anna.young

Quote from: Asphyx on July 28, 2007, 11:19:06 AM

...

Copyright judgement in a court is largely determined on Harm and Fairness...
If these interpretations that FSF are truly unfair to any 3rd party developer and they want to maintain what they deem are their rights, they should get together to challenge the FSF interpretation in court.

...



I don't think that SMF &/or Joomla! would be successful though.  FSF has a very good defense of their 'fairness' - it allows for 'exceptions',  which Joomla! chooses not to include in their license...  I recall that word 'exceptions' or lack of them gets repeated numerous times in the FSF/SMF e.mail exchange...  Joomla! no doubt would be asked by the Courts why they would not follow that route...

If I understand it correctly, SMF is in no position to argue anything in Courts because this has nothing to do with THEIR license... SMF has no obligation to comply with FSF 'interpretations' or their rules.  I believe they are complying out of courtesy and respect for other groups and their projects...  The same way I as Canadian do not need to comply with USA laws or their interpretations and vice versa...  FSF has no jurisdiction over SMF...

If I were Orstio I would most certainly do not waste my 'hobby' time and energy on the projects which might result with legal actions regardless if those actions are valid or not... bogus or not... there are other more interesting and more rewarding and useful options.

Yes, Joomla! is an excellent CMS and my choice for my website so far... however, there are others probably even better options and I'm confident that  developers like Orstio will have some excellent solutions when it is my time to upgrade...

Anna
Toronto German Shepherd Dog Rescue

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." (SJ)

青山 素子

Quote from: anna.young on July 28, 2007, 06:48:28 PM
If I understand it correctly, SMF is in no position to argue anything in Courts because this has nothing to do with THEIR license... SMF has no obligation to comply with FSF 'interpretations' or their rules.  I believe they are complying out of courtesy and respect for other groups and their projects...  The same way I as Canadian do not need to comply with USA laws or their interpretations and vice versa...  FSF has no jurisdiction over SMF...

If I understand it correctly, there are very few occasions when you can bring something to a court to decide when the other party hasn't made any actions. As far as I know, the only way the license would be settled would be if one of the Joomla! copyright holders or their agent was to sue over that license. Until something like that happens, we won't likely get a clear verdict on what the license terms are held to mean.

Also, I will point out that, in general, copyright and IP law is very very vague in some areas. Things like derivative works and similar are not very well-defined.
Motoko-chan
Director, Simple Machines

Note: Unless otherwise stated, my posts are not representative of any official position or opinion of Simple Machines.


JoeJoomla

Quote from: Asphyx on July 28, 2007, 11:19:06 AMIf we truly want to solve this issue and truly want to disprove the notion that only GPL can be combined with GPL then it should be a goal of the entire developer community to find a way to shoot down this midas touch licensing interpretation by the FSF.

I happen to agree with this.

I am not pleased with the FSF GPL and all the grief that has ensued in regards to a bridge between two free products. It should be up to them to prove their stance holds water, and not at the expense of projects that choose to work with each other.

I don't blame you for your concern with the FSF. It's most unfortunate that this feels threatening, it simply shouldn't be so.

Anyways, let me take this opportunity to thank Orstio and the SMF people for how they have supported Joomla!. I use your bridge and it's good. I hope that I am still using a Joomla!/SMF bridge in the future.
joejoomla.com - Where Joomla! friends have fun and help each other

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