[haiku] Re: How free is Haiku?

  • From: Roland Plüss <roland@xxxxxxx>
  • To: haiku@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2009 14:01:51 +0100

> Le Mon, 26 Oct 2009 08:53:28 +0100, Chris Andrew <cjhandrew@xxxxxxxxx>
> a écrit:
>> Hi, all.
>> I'm new to the list, so 'Hello!' to all.
>> My background is GNU/Linux, as a past sys admin and user for about 10
>> years.
>> I'm intrigued by Haiku, but was wondering how 'open source' it is.
>> It seems that much of the software is released under an MIT type
>> licence,
>> but I was wondering, as a whole, does the project aim to comply with
>> the '4
>> software freedoms'?
>> www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
>> Can anyone clarify?
>> Cheers,
>> Chris.
> Yes. The MIT licence is enough to comply with these freedoms.
> The licence was chosen back in 2001 when it looked like someone could
> still take over BeOS in a commercial way and benefit code from the
> Haiku project, without being trapped by the GPL enforcing them to also
> release their sources.
> So basically you can do whatever you want, just take care of removing
> the Haiku logo and name if you make your own distribution. This logo
> is a trademark and you are not allowed to use it unless there is a
> very good reason. Mozilla does the same with the Firefox name&logo,
> for example.
> So, the spirit is not exactly the same as Linux one, but the results
> are the same : do whatever you want with the sourcecode as long as you
> keep the copyright notice in the sourcecode.
> You can read the licence text, it's only 3 paragraph long and very
> clear, not like the GPL one ...
The GPL has also a different target. It protects against various kinds
of code reuse in a non-free way. This is why it is more complex although
it boils down to "if you use our code for free you have to make your
code free ( and not claim it as your work )". MIT is less strict and
allows a lot of abominations. With some projects though it is not a
problem or if you wish for the code to be used commercially. I for my
part go though with the GPL-L for this case. Software developers
nowadays play damn dirty so you need the protection even if it is a bit
more problematic with commercial products.

Yours sincerely
Plüss Roland

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