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Old 15 April 2017, 15:31   #1
wXR
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Critical components to open source

Happy Easter Amiga community,

I've decided to put USD $50K towards a process of relicensing AmigaOS 3.1 to GPL:

http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=...&postcount=189

Hand-waving the details, let's assume for a moment that this gesture goes somewhere and we manage to not only get a legal briefing from some interested attorney, but also a liberation cost that is affordable, with the requisite funds to complete the deal.

What other critical components should we look at relicensing? CyberGrafx? WarpOS? Picasso96 came to mind, and I likewise made an offer to Jens and Hyperion here:

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=86765&page=3

Please, seriously discuss it as if it were all possible: What presently proprietary AmigaOS components or tools are the most important to liberate? What are we better off recreating? (An open question to the awesome Sakura guys for example, do you lot see any sense in backporting ReWarp to an (open source) OS3?)

Let's get it all done.
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Old 15 April 2017, 15:41   #2
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I'm sure you can find a lawyer who will happily munch through those 50k to give you a 'briefing' that wont give you anything.

You might want to consider the sense of wasting your savings.
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Old 15 April 2017, 15:44   #3
wXR
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I appreciate your concern Locutus, but I am an adult and can make my own decisions.

Do you have anything to contribute to the actual topic of this thread?
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Old 15 April 2017, 16:46   #4
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Alternative approach - release open source replacements written in ASM for the old CBM/Escom 3.1 code.

That's pretty much what Peter K has been doing with just one component all these years, icon.library.

Legal, and there's NOTHING that Cloanto, Amiga, Hyperion or any of their suited stooges can do about it. A ROM containing such a collection of Amiga compatible code would be just as legal as an "IBM compatible".

Will have a think about the original question, but I honestly think open sourcing new code replacements is the best way to go. Too expensive and too easy to stop an attempt to open source the CBM code.

The issue boils down to selling ROM chips really. Commercial transactions over the code are where the legal problems arise - maybe give them out free with a expansion. Or similar.

There are ways. Good international set of attorneys to approach might be

http://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/

... but whoever you ask, ask for pro bono arrangement. Lawyers do not always charge for their work.

Mind you, proof of transfer of the copyrights from CBM to anyone else have never been presented in court. If they don't actually exist, any legal claim to the copyright exclusivity would be contestable.
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Old 15 April 2017, 16:54   #5
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I agree the best is to create new pieces of open source code to replace the copyrighted ones.
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Old 15 April 2017, 17:20   #6
wXR
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Gentlemen, this is not the thread to discuss whether or not AmigaOS itself should be relicensed or not. Please use one of the other 10 or so threads which have been opened on this topic, if you wish to debate it further. The topic here is what _other_ components useful/critical to AmigaOS might be pursued for relicensing.
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Old 15 April 2017, 18:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wXR View Post
What other critical components should we look at relicensing? CyberGrafx? WarpOS? Picasso96 came to mind, and I likewise made an offer to Jens and Hyperion here:
It is not as simple as liberating components. Components need to be integrated into the AmigaOS and updated (developed). Some components could be taken from AROS for free but then it may be better to use AROS as the AmigaOS to develop. RTG could be backported from AROS although CGFX and P96 would provide already working AmigaOS 3 RTG. Several AmigaOS 3.5-3.9 components could be bought. The GUI can already borrow Zune from AROS for MUI but it would be nice to support ClassAct/Reaction (developer Christopher Aldi was from New York and is an incredibly nice guy) including for AROS. It is good to support both GUIs since there is existing software for both but a decision should be made which is the primary GUI (AmigaOS 3.5+ is Reaction, AROS/MOS is MUI). The problem with just freeing is that there is no organized direction or development which can result in forks and more Amiga flavors. This is the problem with the AmigaOS now.
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Old 16 April 2017, 03:19   #8
wXR
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I offered some funds to get things moving with respect to relicensing AmigaOS 3.1 and Picasso96. I am not offering to restart AmigaOS development or create a development plan. This thread is a theoretical discussion about what might be relicensed next, if some success is found with the initial efforts.

For what it's worth, forks and flavors are fine by me -- even encouraged -- as long as the original was GPL licensed, and therefore all derivates are likewise.
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Old 16 April 2017, 04:26   #9
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well, i think none deserves such a malicious approach as to have what appear to be legally his intellectual property blackmailed out of him, whatever noble intentions there be. so dont count on me with this, neither i think it is any sane.

but if you are looking for proposals, what alternative packages might be a subject worth open sourcing, take mattheys advice what concerns reaction.

it isnt a must, but nice to have. id probably chip in in a bounty to free it, in order to include the sources into aros contribs, be it even under gpl. in contributions it wouldnt hurt i guess.
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Old 16 April 2017, 04:36   #10
wXR
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I don't know what you are talking about regarding blackmail wawa. Is there some misunderstanding?

In any case, ReAction. OK, good point. And who owns that now?
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Old 16 April 2017, 04:49   #11
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Quote:
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I don't know what you are talking about regarding blackmail wawa. Is there some misunderstanding?
have you edited your initial post?

Quote:
In any case, ReAction. OK, good point. And who owns that now?
actually i rather thought of class act
http://aminet.net/dev/gui/classact33.lha
wchich was predecessor to reaction, but the classes it contains are enough for most applications, could be a good base to reimplement reaction, as i doubt the later can be made open.
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Old 16 April 2017, 05:02   #12
wXR
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I haven't edited the post. If you are talking about my offer to fund independent legal claims against those companies, that's an aggressive strategy at worst, but it certainly isn't blackmail. I want to put the nail in the coffin of their claims to the AmigaOS once and for all, and I don't want them to have any recourse (due to limitations on time, money, etc). I want everything tilted in favor of the terms of the GPL relicensing.

That said, such an approach may not even be necessary. I am also open to other suggestions, as long as they aren't "fund AROS/another team/etc". That isn't the goal here, freeing AmigaOS 3.1 is. Put your strategy cap on and help, if you have something to contribute there.

Now about ClassAct, who claims ownership of that?
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Old 16 April 2017, 05:37   #13
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Now about ClassAct, who claims ownership of that?
i dont know. read the aminet readme and try to contact them. they either sold that package or (more likely) repeatedly licensed it for later versions of os3.x as well as os4, inclusive further development. butthey might still be in posessioon of their genuine rights as well as sources, even if after all this time its rather questionable.
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Old 16 April 2017, 06:34   #14
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Opensourcing the original Workbench 3.1 and 3.9 as well as all components which live in kickstart ROMs would be an excellent start. Following that, I'd love to see opensource P96/CGX/WarpOS.

I'd even throw a grand at it.
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Old 16 April 2017, 06:57   #15
wXR
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esc, a grand would be appreciated, which would bring our total WB 3.1 pot to $51,000 (assuming you wanted it directed towards that), while our P96 pot remains at $10,000.

Who owns the rights to CGX?
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Old 16 April 2017, 13:11   #16
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Just a bit curious, where will the rights be transferred to? A nonprofit?
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Old 16 April 2017, 16:14   #17
wXR
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As far as I understand, it isn't necessary for there to be any "holding" entity once the software is relicensed. If the existing rightsholders release it under the GPL, it will remain under the GPL forever, irrespective of the life or death of its creators.
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Old 16 April 2017, 20:53   #18
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Problem with that is that the right holder is still the right holder. He/she/it can still enforce some rights. Most likely copyright will still be in place.

An entity (like a nonprofit organisation) can also be used to secure rights for the future. Every person that develops code or transits projects to this entity, should also give the copyright to this entity. This would allow the code to change license for example later on, to a more rigid or freely license. Otherwise you need to gain support from all developers (or parties like companies) that hold the copyright. I think there once was a problem like this when GPL v3 was going to be released and everybody used GPLv2+ licenses (instead of GPLv2 only licenses). Some code automatically became GPLv3 and was unusable for several parties.
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Old 17 April 2017, 00:29   #19
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I wish you luck with this.. If you can find a route to achieving this then start a kickstarter and i'll put in what i can afford at the time.

Quote:
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Problem with that is that the right holder is still the right holder. He/she/it can still enforce some rights. Most likely copyright will still be in place.
This is of course true but it is also true of any open source material. Copyright always remains with the person/entity who created the code (even sometimes in commercial contexts - Of all the companies i've worked for only SAS Institute made me sign a separate agreement handing over those rights). Licensing and Copyright are often incorrectly conflated to mean the same thing.

The issue here is that issuing a GPL license *may* not be compatible with existing agreements. E.g. f someone has already been sold an exclusive license then it may not be possible to relicense it. But then it may all be fine... who knows.

Personally I dont see what anyone gains from the current situation. Hyperion may make a few quid (which is their right) making web sales of ROM images but I cant see them making their money back on this.

At the moment I have to disassemble bits of roms to figure out how stuff works. If i had access to the source ... even without being able to recompile / distribute etc. then i'd be able to make progress faster.
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Old 17 April 2017, 02:15   #20
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Regarding how well the GPL would serve the community, I look at UAE. Originally released as GPL. And while yes, this means that there are too many forks to count, in reality this does not hurt us. In the end, there will be a person or group with the most dedication and passion and they will end up with the dominant release. If UAE was not released as GPL, would we have WinUAE today ? An if WinUAE was not GPL, would we have FS-UAE etc ? The Amiga community is really only alive today IMHO because UAE was GPL.

The GPL is the only license to use if we want the sources to actually be "free" and never end up in the same situation.

However the points about this not being possible are unfortunately true. It it more than likely that some parts of the source are sub-licensed, and not able to be released under a different license by the current license holders.

Of course, this wouldn't prevent the rest of the code from being re-licensed.
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