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Software Patents Linux

CherryOS Goes Open Source 370

Posted by Zonk
from the curiouser-and-curiouser dept.
netsniper writes "The CherryOS website now acknowledges a forthcoming alliance with Open Source Software! After going 'on hold' recently, a re-release of CherryOS is purported to be coming in May according to the site. This is great news on the surface, but let's see how it pans out. This move is probably a result of the many reviews of their product that set out to prove it was bogus."
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CherryOS Goes Open Source

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  • Re:Nothing to see. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rpozz (249652) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @07:56AM (#12164373)
    It seems unlikely that they're doing it voluntarily. Maybe they came to an agreement with the people behind PearPC in order to keep the whole thing out of court?
  • oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eobanb (823187) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @07:56AM (#12164374) Homepage
    Oh please. Can this whole shenanigan just end already? By now, it's already been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that CherryOS is a repackaged version of PearPC (google for "spiro multimax 3000"). Arben and MXS are using absolutely any tactic to get attention. He must have a serious ego problem.
  • It's Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CypherXero (798440) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @07:56AM (#12164375) Homepage
    It's easy. All they had to do in order to avoid all the bad press is to start out with it being Open Source. The GPL states that you can charge for a product, or do whatever you like with it, just as long as your provide the source code. And if you use source code from another project (PearPC), then you have to acknowledge it.

    It was so simple and easy, I don't know why they didn't Open Source Cherry OS from the begining.
  • How nice of them (Score:1, Insightful)

    by rob_squared (821479) <rob AT rob-squared DOT com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @07:58AM (#12164387)
    We stole your car! But don't worry, we'll only give it away, not sell it. I guess they read the GPL a little better and realized you lose rights by selling this.
  • Delay Tactic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crypto55 (864220) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @07:58AM (#12164390)
    It seems like this is all just a delay tactic for CherryOS to get it's code in line. I'm surprised that they didn't stay on hold for a while longer to gain more time. As far as the "Due to Overwhelming Demand," that's ridiculous. The entire OSS community has been up in arms about their crap. This is just them trying not to get sued, although it would be hilarious if they were actually legit... no comments there
  • Ummm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoubleDangerClub (855480) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @07:59AM (#12164391) Homepage
    I'm confused, PearPC is already open source...
    *scratches head*
    Oh well, I guess they finally realized, if you can't beat them, join them.
    This whole CherryOS thing has been completely stupid. Why do people think they can slap a different name on something and sell it, when it's already free?
  • by The New Andy (873493) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @07:59AM (#12164396) Homepage Journal
    From the GPL:

    4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

    Does this mean that CherryOS has already lost their license to use the source code from PearPC?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:03AM (#12164417)
    Yes.
  • Can they do this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strider44 (650833) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:04AM (#12164419)
    Can they just open source their "project" now? Is it not too late? Hasn't several developers permanantly revoked the GPL license from CherryOS so they can never use their code?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:09AM (#12164450)
    But if a company lies to you, and then comes clean...they get loads of publicity, which may be way more valuable than trust.

  • by Wolfier (94144) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:09AM (#12164453)
    It smells more like a half-assed effort to calm down legal threats than anything.

    The moment you see their words "popular demand" you know they're STILL trying to lie and get away with something.
  • by paulius_g (808556) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:10AM (#12164455) Homepage
    I bet you that their Open Source project will just be a part of CherryOS and not the whole application.

    Ìt will ressemvle at a simple SDK so that software developers could somehow use some part of CherryOS.

    If CherryOS was really programmed by XMS (Which I REALLY doubt), then a company would never just abandon a project like that. You don't abandon a program that you've used a lot of time and money to program.

    Time will tell...
    Time will tell...
  • OMFG! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:12AM (#12164477)
    Has that guy never heard of the strings command?
  • Re:Nothing to see. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wolfier (94144) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:16AM (#12164511)
    If this is true, then the agreement sucks.

    At the very least, it must include an admission of guilt and a formal apology, or some form of other punitive measures.

    It seems they can *totally* get away with it now, and nobody will even know they did something wrong.

    Don't let it happen.
  • Re:It's Easy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheKarateMaster (810628) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:17AM (#12164520)
    ...there's no such thing as bad publicity...
  • Re:It's Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Kamel (813292) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:19AM (#12164535)
    Probably because they thought they'd get away with it. Developers tend to think that noone will understand a thing in the inner workings of their applications as long as they protect the sourcecode.
  • by benjcurry (754899) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:21AM (#12164545) Homepage
    I think it is too late, but once they come out with the source code, it can be clearly demonstrated that they used PearPC code, then they'll be fscked.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:23AM (#12164559)
    How can you steal it. They only copied and modified the source, no theft here.

    Move along, the parent is nothing but a TROLL!
  • Re:It's Easy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by a16 (783096) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:24AM (#12164561)
    And of course the first 'customer' has full rights to distribute the product for free as they wish. Hence why 'selling' a 100% GPL product is never going to be a wise business move.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:26AM (#12164576)
    ...properly note dates cause 5.1.2005 is all wrong but I guess americans that cannot measure anything correctly cannot even write dates properly. Would be okay to write 5/1/2005 as anybody knows then it's the retarded american way, but this way it must be noted as dd.mm.yyyy like in any other civilized country.
  • by benjcurry (754899) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:32AM (#12164617) Homepage
    Right. I'm an American with a logical mind and I've never understood why people in the U.S. use mm.dd.yyyy...makes no sense. Either yyyy.mm.dd or dd.mm.yyyy, please!
  • Re:It's Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe@joe-baldwi[ ]et ['n.n' in gap]> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:39AM (#12164685) Homepage Journal
    Hence why 'selling' a 100% GPL product is never going to be a wise business move.

    Which is why Red Hat crashed and burned all those years ago.

    Obviously.
  • by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:48AM (#12164762) Homepage Journal
    I'll bite.

    Copyright infringement is theft in the sense that you're robbing the copyright holder of any rewards he should have received under the license he chose, be it monetary or just warm feelings.
  • Re:Nothing to see. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sepluv (641107) <blakesley AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:49AM (#12164780)
    (Assuming these allegations are true) you have a point; however, the alternative was probably to have a big fight were all the money goes to the lawyers. Most people would prefer criminals remedied their unlawful behaviour as opposed to running them (and possibly those fighting them) into the ground.
  • by maxwell demon (590494) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:52AM (#12164804) Journal
    They didn't steal it. They acquired it legally, they even modified it legally. Just the distribution was illegal. Not because they distributed it, but because that distribution was not under the terms of the GPL.
  • by koehn (575405) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:55AM (#12164829)
    I guess the threat of legal action can be pretty "overwhelming."

    Of course, they've already lost their rights to distribute under the GPL (once you've violated the GPL, you lose all distibution rights, even if you come clean), so the PearPC folks could still legally enjoin them from distributing even in open source form.
  • by CDarklock (869868) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:56AM (#12164849) Homepage Journal
    Assume the project starts up and hires some fly-by-night guy to design and build this system. He promises he can do it in four months for X amount of money.

    This guy tries like hell to build the project, but gets stymied by some stuff. So he downloads PearPC and tries to figure out what he's doing wrong.

    Eventually, he figures out that what he did wrong was promise something that nobody could deliver, so he panics and starts mucking around in PearPC to conceal its origin.

    When the deadline hits, he sends them his "obfuscated" version of PearPC and collects his check. He runs off into the night hoping nobody ever finds out.

    Meanwhile, the completely innocent company puts this project up for sale. The open source community raises hell. The company goes "OMG! WTF?" and yanks it off the market.

    After some examination, the company decides that the only possible way to recover from this (according to their lawyers) is to GPL the project. Since it qualifies as a work made for hire, they own all the rights to the non-PearPC code, so they can license *that* however they like.

    Just playing devil's advocate. Maybe the big bad company isn't the villain here; maybe it's just one crappy little ass-hat developer.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:57AM (#12164852) Journal
    That may be the point of the clause, but whether its a valid clause is a matter of legal opinion. I don't think Eben Moglen is going to be totally objective in this case.
  • by drew (2081) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:20AM (#12165079) Homepage
    while theoretically possible, it doesn't make the company any more respectable in my eyes, as they swore up and down that the entire project was written in four months by their lead developer, who has shown a blatent disregard for the GPL several times on the past.
  • Re:oh please (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:30AM (#12165179)
    There's nothing wrong with repackaging and even sell PearPC, as long as they provide the source. It's up to the customers to decide whether they wish to use PearPC or purchase CherryOS with a tidy package and a GUI.

    Ego problem? His intention is to get attention to sell his product, and it's working perfectly so far. I just wish he would've provided the source from the start.
  • by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay&gmail,com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:35AM (#12165215) Homepage Journal
    They didn't loose the right to use, but to distribute. I guess you men that, but your statement is confusing.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:56AM (#12165398) Homepage Journal
    Guess what? Common sense says that depriving someone of a physical object is different from devaluing someone's media through making and distributing copies of it.

    No matter how you feel about either issue, if you don't realize that the two are different, you are a potzer. It's pretty obvious. Let's go through a little thought experiment shall we? Let's say you have a band and you make an album, then I steal the original master that represents your studio time and so on. This is theft, I have deprived you of something. Now, let's say instead, I work at the studio, and I just make a copy of the master, and then distribute it around the internet. Let's say that this costs you more sales than it generates - a dubious proposition that no one has ever sufficiently managed to prove, but we'll work with it - therefore I have devalued your work through copyright infringement but since I have not deprived you of the item, I have NOT stolen it. If I have stolen anything I have stolen your profits by depriving you of some of them. We call these damages, and you may sue for them in court based on the fact that I illegally copied your copyrighted material.

    I have NOT robbed the copyright holder of work they have done. The result of that work is still right in front of them. What I have done is devalued the media, in terms of commercial value. There are, of course, other things to value about music, and I have affected none of them. Whether it is more noble to produce music for money or for the joy of production or to make others happy is a discussion for another thread.

  • Re:Even funnier... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ciaran_H (579351) * <ciaran-slashdot@@@theblob...org> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:12AM (#12165535)
    That brings up an interesting point, actually. The website talks about it being an open source project, and they use the GNU logo on the page. From this, people can reasonably assume that it'd be GPL. But I don't think it actually says anywhere that it'd actually be GPL. They could have another trick up their sleeve

    Obviously, as PearPC is GPL, legally CherryOS would have to be GPL, so I could be on an entirely wrong track here, but is there a form of open source license that prohibits forking?
  • by drew (2081) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:54AM (#12165976) Homepage
    in this case, the 'certain employee' who claimed (publicly, not just to his boss) to have written cherryOS in four months, by himself, is one of the founders of the company. this is not a large company we're talking about, here, this is a small shop with at most a couple of developers.

    So, we have a company that was founded by a guy who is known to have blatantly disregarded the GPL in the past, that from all apearances has no employees except the two founders, whose two main commercial products show substantial evidence of consisting mainly of code taken from open source projects.

    you may wish to give 'the company' the benefit of the doubt regarding their intentions in this mess, but if you do, just remember, they are not the victim of some 'fly by night' contractor, but of one of their own founders.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @11:24AM (#12166298) Homepage Journal
    I know I shouldn't feed AC trolls, but you are an idiot. We have separate bodies of law for theft and copyright infringement because they are separate things. You have yet to prove that copyright infringement HAS an ill effect on society, and in fact no one has done so. Your use of the term "piracy" as if it meant something in this context is as ignorant as your overall comment. Most "theft" of intellectual property provably does not harm individuals; even most musicians, for example, make the majority of their money on ticket sales for live shows, not album sales, the vast majority of which goes to the label.

    The fact remains that theft is stealing, and using someone's intellectual property without permission isn't stealing, because it doesn't deprive anyone of anything - this deprivation is central to the concept of theft in both legal terms, and linguistic ones. It might be wrong, but IT IS NOT THEFT and no amount of wishing will make it so. Some amount of voting could, though, I suppose.

  • Re:Even funnier... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neurojab (15737) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @12:49PM (#12167191)
    but is there a form of open source license that prohibits forking?

    Prohibiting forking is against the spirit of the GPL. Part of the beauty of open source is that you CAN fork a project to give it your unique features... but you have to allow access to your changes to GPL code to the original author, so they can incoroporate them if they like them. Sometimes what begins as a fork overtakes the original project. This is what makes open source projects greater than the individual that started them. I for one, would not contribute to an "open source" project that prohibited forking. The owner/maintainer could just stop development and the project would be dead, nullifying your contributions.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @01:00PM (#12167312) Homepage Journal

    Damn, you are stupid. Let's go over this one more time, and then I will wash my hands of you. If you take my car, it is my physical property. You have deprived me of it. It doesn't matter if you bring it back, you still stole it. It's a stupid example.

    If you copy my CD, you have not deprived me of it. Period. That's all there is to it. It's not theft.

    If you do not like the laws, get the laws changed. Otherwise, live by them. This is not a right, this is a responsibility.

    So I should follow laws, no matter how ridiculous, simply because they are the law? You are doubly an idiot. Ever hear of civil disobedience? It's not actually necessary to be arrested for what you believe in, in order to commit it. Even if you don't want to use that term, the fact is that there is no particular reason to follow a stupid law other than the threat of punishment.

    The fact that you suggest otherwise implies strongly that you are the moron I believe you are.

    Sure, it's better to get the law overturned, but the entire system is corrupt, so I don't believe I would receive anything like justice. Thus, why bother?

    I do not feel that I have any natural responsibility to follow unjust laws. You can follow them if you like.

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