Ticket #2335 (new task)

Opened 9 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

MC isn't GNU project anymore, is it?

Reported by: gotar Owned by:
Priority: major Milestone: Future Releases
Component: adm Version: 4.7.3
Keywords: Cc: zaytsev, mooffie@…
Blocked By: Blocking: #2655
Branch state: no branch Votes for changeset:

Description

From the front page:

"GNU Midnight Commander is a visual file manager, licensed under GNU General Public License and therefore qualifies as Free Software."

  1. current mc development is not maintained within GNU project, 'their' unforked abandonware resides under http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/mc/
  1. I doubt current mc is about free as mind and philosophy by RMS, it's more like engineering freedom by Eric Raymond or Linus Torvalds and being licensed under GPL doesn't equal to Free Software, it's just Open Source Software.

I suggest s/GNU Midnight Commander/Midnight? Commander/g and s/Free Software/Open? Source Software/g on all the web pages, documentation and sources.

Inasmuch as the latter one (FS->OSS) is just my opinion and I leave it to you for consideration, the former one (GNU mc->mc) is a fact.

Change History

comment:1 follow-ups: ↓ 2 ↓ 5 Changed 9 years ago by zaytsev

  • Cc zaytsev added

being licensed under GPL doesn't equal to Free Software

Oh really? :-) So what it takes to be Free as in Free Software? Are you implying that the only truly free software is the one that is hosted on the official mirrors of the GNU project? How exactly do you think mc right now is incompatible with the definition of Free Software?

Inasmuch as the latter one (FS->OSS) is just my opinion
and I leave it to you for consideration, the former one
(GNU mc->mc) is a fact.

Well, I didn't hear anything from FSF about mc getting excluded from the GNU project yet. It might be reasonable to contact them at least to fix broken links, but the decision of quitting GNU has to be discussed. Right now, the copyrights are assigned to FSF, which means that there will also probably be a change in licensing, as probably it would be reasonable to create an entity such as Midnight Commander project and consolidate the copyrights in there...

Either way, it's not as simple as just doing mass replace and shouldn't be taken lightly. I don't see anyone interested in pursuing it tough...

comment:2 in reply to: ↑ 1 Changed 9 years ago by ossi

Replying to zaytsev:

Right now, the copyrights are assigned to FSF,

are they? did everyone of you sign a copyright assignment form *on paper*?
just keeping the fsf copyrights in the files doesn't assign anything, it is merely legally misleading information.

comment:3 follow-up: ↓ 4 Changed 9 years ago by zaytsev

I think some actually did, especially when the project was accepted. In fact, there are much more interesting issues out there, such as how would an author actually prove his authorship of the code in a legally acceptable manner, consider that most of them have never ever met in person and transferred the code electronically without any kind of digital signatures.

Either way (whether it sounds legally binding or not) I would be reluctant to accept any of your legal advices as unless I am mistaken you are not exactly qualified in giving them.

comment:4 in reply to: ↑ 3 Changed 9 years ago by ossi

this isn't legal advice, it is a statement of fact, backed by a decade of foss experience in both voluntary and commercial settings. i suggest you ask a lawyer (licensing@…) or at least google *before* you make statements which imply that i have no clue what i'm talking about.

the problem of authorship proof is certainly real, but of no real concern unless somebody actually contests it and has proof for this claim.

comment:5 in reply to: ↑ 1 Changed 9 years ago by gotar

Replying to zaytsev:

being licensed under GPL doesn't equal to Free Software

Oh really? :-) So what it takes to be Free as in Free Software?

This kind of 'freedom' depends only on developers mind - thus as I already wrote this is just 'IMHO' and I won't discuss this issue anymore. Without this 'philosophical agreement' of every maintainer there's no Free Software, only Open Source Software.

Are you implying that the only truly free software is the one that is hosted on the official mirrors of the GNU project? How exactly do you think mc right now is incompatible with the definition of Free Software?

Let me ask you a question: if some technique emerges, which is not applicable for FS, would it be rejected even without any legal issues? Are you sure, that every patch included meets GNU policy?

the former one (GNU mc->mc) is a fact.

Well, I didn't hear anything from FSF about mc getting excluded from the GNU project yet.

Of course not - there is GNU mc 4.6.1. This is simply not THIS project.

Right now, the copyrights are assigned to FSF, which means that there will also probably be a change in licensing,

...you don't know GPL, do you? Not even project name is registered, you simply need to fulfil and obey GPL rules.

Either way, it's not as simple as just doing mass replace and shouldn't be taken lightly.

Yes, it is - is anyone here even remotely related to GNU project? Any signed papers or sth?

I don't see anyone interested in pursuing it tough...

It's no about pursuing, but misleading. This particular 'fork' is not handled by FSF (mailing lists, bug trackers, lawyers or anything they got, dunno), so either 'GNU' must be removed, or project needs to be put under GNU 'care'.

If you prefer to stay under GNU - just contact with FSF and do all the formal work.

comment:6 Changed 8 years ago by andrew_b

  • Blocking 2655 added

comment:7 Changed 8 years ago by andrew_b

  • Branch state set to no branch
  • Milestone changed from 4.7 to Future Releases

comment:8 Changed 7 years ago by andrew_b

  • Component changed from documentation to adm

comment:9 Changed 5 years ago by gotar

While reviewing tickets I've encountered #3167 with 5f94d51fab5572ded65208629ef4730fead4a712 containing many entries like:

	   Copyright (C) 2011-2014
	   Free Software Foundation, Inc.
	
	   Written by:
	   Slava Zanko <slavazanko@gmail.com>, 2011.

Since FSF has nothing to do with this mc development and hasn't contributed anything since 2007 - there is no way that they might have any copyrights for any single file that was created since 2008. These headers should be fixed by removing FSF as copyright holder (unless a file was derived from some other one, then year needs to be adjusted).

comment:10 Changed 5 years ago by zaytsev

FYI, there are ongoing talks with FSF with regards to the current status of mc, but no conclusions have been reached yet.

comment:11 Changed 4 years ago by mooffie

  • Cc mooffie@… added
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