Moglen stated, "but Mr. Jobs is investing heavily in LLVM solely so he can stop using GCC, lest the patents somehow leak across the GPLv3 barrier, and we become able to use his claims. Nobody has ever tried before, to build a multi-platform C compiler solely in order to undermine freedom."
As stated in that entry, "Source code under the NCSA license can be incorporated into proprietary products without the reciprocity requirements that copyleft free software licenses raise. The license is compatible with all versions of the GNU General Public License."
Can someone smarter than me explain how this license undermines freedom? Or how the LLVM undermines freedom despite this license? I'm having a hard time connecting the dots.
Well, it's quite simple really - the license is not GPL and there is no reciprocity requirement - that alone in the minds of some GNU fanatics, amongst which obviously Moglen is, is a crime against freedom and all that's holy.
Maybe I'm getting old, senile and cranky, but thing's didn't use to be this kooky in the open source movement, did they? I mean, there was always the political component to it, the strife for influence, the "stick it to the man" thing, but things didn't use to get this out of hand - smearing another open source project, simply because it's kicking your ass while having a more liberal license.
The FSF has always been this political. Open software has gotten less political over the last 15 years.
Moglen doesn't think non-copyleft software is a crime. The evidence suggests that he thinks non-copyleft software is bad for free software in the long run, because it has the effect of enhancing non-free software along with free software.
Anybody can observe that over the long run, if most of the best work in open software is done without copyleft, copyleft-protected software will suffer; free software will have one major contributor (people writing free software), and nonfree software will have two (huge companies and people writing most of the best work in free software).
It's not complicated. It's a reasonable perspective. Disagree with it all you want (and I do), but it doesn't deserve to be mocked.
The reciprocity is in there to ensure free software stays that way and that any improvements made to it don't end up exclusively in proprietary versions. I think, as a user, that it is better at protecting my interests and that it's better to protect competition by commoditizing the software.
BSD-licensed software like LLVM gives programmers the freedom to make proprietary derivative works. GPL-licensed software like GCC gives users the freedom to use any derivative works since they must be GPLed. Or you could say the GPL gives users freedom from getting locked in to proprietary derivatives, since there aren't any.
So much for Apple not abusing its contribution to LLVM (and in particular not abusing the freedom of downstream users).
To go farther on this point using one of the other topics in the talk (Oracle/MySQL), suppose Oracle switched MySQL to AGPL3 and didn't sell commercial licenses. This would be more "freedom" for users but a major event for developers.
That major event would be happening on a plane that the FSF doesn't think about at all. Once it's AGPL3, people who don't care about the relationship between dollars and lines of code are fully unencumbered and can do whatever they want.
The FSF explicitly doesn't care about whether you can make money selling lines of source code or bits in an installer. If Oracle's AGPL3 move bankrupted a startup selling a derivative of MySQL, in the FSF's worldview that BK would have been the startup's fault for building a business model that depended on restricting user rights.
I don't agree with this worldview, but I don't think it's hard to defend.
Yes, I see the drama you're talking about here: you're saying, "Oracle could put the screws to most web software companies by forcing them to open source their app code".
Because of the way MySQL works, that's almost certainly not true. But stipulate that it is for a second, and, what's your point? Stallman agrees with Oracle here. Web software companies are ripping other developers off by building apps derived in part from free software but keeping their own code closed.
I don't share Stallman's outlook, but I see where it's coming from.
Developers and users could just switch to the last MySQL version released under the GPL and keep using it and maintaining them separate from Oracle. Drizzle is such a derivative, pure GPL, fully independent from Oracle.
Free software is software cannot be killed or highjacked.
I don't know if you have noticed, but at some point about four-six months ago, HN became something like Reddit /r/prog; you get downvoted by haters for pretty much everything without getting provided any justification whatsoever.