What Happens When The US Government Tries To Take On The Open Source Community?

from the maybe-we-are-about-to-find-out dept

Last year, Microsoft bought the popular code repository GitHub. As Techdirt wrote at the time, many people were concerned by this takeover of a key open source resource by a corporate giant that has frequently proved unfriendly to free software. In the event, nothing worrying has happened — until this:

GitHub this week told Anatoliy Kashkin, a 21-year-old Russian citizen who lives in Crimea, that it had “restricted” his GitHub account “due to US trade controls”.

As the ZDNet article explains, a user in Iran encountered the same problems. Naturally, many people saw this as precisely the kind of danger they were worried about when Microsoft bought GitHub. The division’s CEO, Nat Friedman, used Twitter to explain what exactly was happening, and why:

To comply with US sanctions, we unfortunately had to implement new restrictions on private repos and paid accounts in Iran, Syria, and Crimea.

Public repos remain available to developers everywhere — open source repos are NOT affected.

He went on to note:

The restrictions are based on place of residence and location, not on nationality or heritage. If someone was flagged in error, they can fill out a form to get the restrictions lifted on their account within hours.

Users with restricted private repos can also choose to make them public. Our understanding of the law does not give us the option to give anyone advance notice of restrictions.

We’re not doing this because we want to; we’re doing it because we have to. GitHub will continue to advocate vigorously with governments around the world for policies that protect software developers and the global open source community.

The most important aspect of this latest move by GitHub is that open source projects are unaffected, and that even those who are hit by the bans can get around them by moving from private to public repositories. Friedman rightly points out that as a company based in the US, GitHub doesn’t have much scope for ignoring US laws.

However, this incident does raise some important questions. For example, what happens if the US government decides that it wants to prevent programmers in certain countries from accessing open source repositories on GitHub as well? That would go against a fundamental aspect of free software, which is that it can be used by anyone, for anything — including for bad stuff.

This question has already come up before, when President Trump issued the executive order “Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain“, a thinly-disguised attack on the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. As a result of the order, Google blocked Huawei’s access to updates of Android. Some Chinese users were worried they were about to lose access to GitHub, which is just as crucial for software development in China as elsewhere. GitHub said that wasn’t the case, but it’s not hard to imagine the Trump administration putting pressure on GitHub’s owner, Microsoft, to toe the line at some point in the future.

More generally, the worry has to be that the US government will attempt to dictate to all global free software projects who may and may not use their code. That’s something that the well-known open source and open hardware hacker Bunnie Huang has written about at length, in a blog post entitled “Open Source Could Be a Casualty of the Trade War“. It’s well-worth reading and pondering, because the relatively minor recent problems with GitHub could turn out to be a prelude to a far more serious clash of cultures.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter, Diaspora, or Mastodon.

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Companies: github, microsoft

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Comments on “What Happens When The US Government Tries To Take On The Open Source Community?”

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136 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What a great idea. If a republican said this (love it or leave it) he would be called a racist. But if a leftist tells a leftist to “move out of the US”, it’s fine, right?

Kind of like one nigger calling another nigger a nigger. That’s fine, unless you’re NOT a nigger. Then you can’t say it.

In this case, I would have to agree with you leftist commie bastards. Take your open source bug ridden useless shit and Get the fuck out of the US. Good idea.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"If you can’t tell the difference between, "Git the frak out and go back to your own country" and "

…and – this is the important part – saying that to people who were born in America. The issue wasn’t simply the words, it’s that they had no application to most of the targets except as a common racist attack.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Wow, here I am, a racist again. Oh, the woe, oh, the despair, oh, let me hold my head in my hands and wrong small tiny itsy bits tears our of my racist eyes. How can I survive now that you have laid bare the deep truth of my soul. Should I discorporate? I give in in the face of your superior intellectual attack on my racist nature. You win.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"Wow, here I am, a racist again"

Strangely, I didn’t call you a racist, I only commented upon the racism inherent in Trump’s words. You’re the one who tied yourself to that.

By the way, I’m open to any reasonable non-racist explanation as to why 3 non-white women were told to go back to the country they came from despite the fact they were born in the country they represent. If you’re offended by being identified as being a racist, you must have one to be defending those words, right?

David says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You are aware that Trump’s father was born to German immigrants and got arrested as part of a robed group when marching for the Ku Klux Klan? Of course, Trump’s current wife is from Slovenia. If Trump’s statements were not to be interpreted in the context of racism, she’d need to get back there a lot more urgent than Congress members born in the U.S.

There really is no logic bone in anyone claiming that Trump’s statements were interpretable in any sensible manner without a base of racist ideology.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Racist ideology doesn’t need any mental proficiency. In fact, the opposite – if you’re dumb enough to think that millions of people all act and think the same, just because they look the same, and think that despite the evidence all around you to the contrary, you’re probably dumb enough to be a racist. Intelligent people are usually too informed and curious about the world around you for such ideas to take hold. There are exceptions, of course, but Trump has not demonstrated any reason to believe otherwise.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

"so you’re saying that the clown is mentally proficent enough to be able to believe racist ideology?"

At the end of the day racism is an ideology custom-made for stupid people. It’s all about refusing to think and evaluate since the entire world can be classified according to pre-canned templates.

Most racist "ideology" can be summarized to; "You are superior because X and everyone who looks just slightly different is someone you can look down on".

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

That’s also why it’s so often combined with nationalism. You’re superior because your parents were a certain race. You’re superior because you emerged within certain borders. No effort required, you’re superior from birth.

It’s a neat ideology for people too stupid to get ahead in the real world where you need a quality you’ve developed yourself to succeed, and you can always blame a group of others for unfairly putting you down when your own attempts fail.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Wait, are you a nigger today who can say nigger or are you a non-nigger who can’t say nigger because he’s not a nigger. Today, I identify as a nigger, so my nigger reference to you would be seen as friendly to any nigger I know. Not that I know any niggers, except myself. And you.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"If a republican said this (love it or leave it) he would be called a racist. But if a leftist tells a leftist to “move out of the US”, it’s fine, right?"

It’s not surprising that someone who identifies and right-wing and sees things in such a partisan manner, using racist language to boot, would miss the context here. But, just in case anyone who is not a braying moron reads these worlds, here is why context is important, and it’s important to gather the real words rather than your half-remembered version:

Scenario 1: Four congresswomen were not told "move out of the US", they were told "go back where you came from". This would be uncomfortable enough were they all from foreign countries, given that the only connection between them outside of being members of the Democratic Party is that they are all non-white women. However, the reason this because a scandal is that 3 of the 4 women are AMERICANS. They have nowhere to "go back" to because they are natural born citizens of the United States Of America. There was no reason other than race to tell them to "go back" anywhere.

Scenario 2: A company currently owned by a major American corporation has it suggested to them that maybe business conditions for the type of business they are in would be more favourable to them outside of the US. It would not be the first time a business has moved oversees for such reasons, nor is there any hateful connotation involved. It’s simply that sometimes the US is not the best place for certain activities, and it would be a positive move for everybody involved if they considered relocation (they won’t, by the way, but it’s a suggestion).

Now, AC above might be too much of a knuckle-dragger to see the difference between the two scenarios, and is presumably one of the current breed who keeps saying racist things then whines about being branded a racist. But, I’m sure everyone else can see the difference.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Right, I got it. To be honest, I only read the first few tiring words of every tiring paragraph, but I understand your point. I’m a knuckle dragger and you’re a superior being. I get that. Your world view of obvious, clear, and unmistakeable.

You are superior and I am the racist. Got it. Thanks. You are un-racist but superior, I am racist and inferior.

Superior and inferior. Clear. Should I bow to you? Should I lick your boots. Is that what you imagine?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"I only read the first few tiring words of every tiring paragraph"

Well, you tired at least.

"Should I lick your boots. Is that what you imagine?"

I’d settle for you not being a racist piece of shit and not treating people of other races as inferior to you because you don’t like the colour of their skin. Sadly, if you already did that, we would not be having this conversation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I only read the first few tiring words of every tiring paragraph

This is not helping your case proving that you aren’t a "knuckle dragger".

Non-"knuckle draggers" typically make sure to read the entire article so they are aware of all the facts and can respond appropriately to incorrect information.

I am the racist.

You are the only one spouting racist comments. If you don’t want to be called a racist, stop saying racist things.

Should I bow to you? Should I lick your boots. Is that what you imagine?

Showing a bit more respect to your fellow humans and getting a proper education will be satisfactory.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Attitude is more important than….

I disagree. I think it greatly depends on the situation. For example, if I need to defuse a bomb and have a great attitude but no skill in bomb defusal, I would say my attitude is largely irrelevant. And I’m pretty sure anyone nearby would rather have a skilled but curmudgeonly bomb defusal expert, than a charming idiot.

And your attitude sucks.

Really? I thought I was being fairly calm and collected given the rather crude and disgusting attitude displayed by the person I am responding to. And I’m at least responding on topic with facts and logic rather than with random quotes and proverbs that have no bearing on the discussion at hand.

Ben (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

From the outside, one can’t help take Trump’s instruction to, what was it? oh yeah: "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" as an admission as to the state of his beloved country, given that three of them were born in said country, and are, if anything, as much from the US as he is given his own ancestry.

(Is it ‘Great’ again, yet, btw?)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Well, as long as you’re looking “from the outside” how about you just stay the fuck “outside” and write whatever drivel you want. We support that, we Americans. We like to read drivel and nasty bullshit because it reminds us how much we love our country and how much we are glad assholes like you are not here. Have a nice day!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"We like to read drivel and nasty bullshit"

Yes, we’ve all seen Fox and other "news" programs you happily consume, which is why people can be insistent on injecting a little reality into the conversation, especially since so many of you insist that you’re the greatest without having sampled a single other country in real life. I suppose it’s easy to claim something than prove it.

"how much we are glad assholes like you are not here"

I’ll let you into a little secret. I’m currently on holiday in Florida. The hard truths about you are coming from inside the house! Oooga booga!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

you’re looking “from the outside”

Well I’m on the inside and I find that PaulT’s argument is logical and sound. Also, it does not require him to be "inside" since the logic he used could apply to any other country’s politics as well.

whatever drivel you want

There’s only one person writing drivel in this comment section, and it’s not PaulT.

We like to read drivel and nasty bullshit

Stop speaking for everyone in America. I certainly do NOT like reading your drivel and nasty BS.

it reminds us how much we love our country and how much we are glad assholes like you are not here

And yet you ARE here. Reading crap does NOT remind me how much I "love my country" or how glad I am to be here, other than in the most round about way because we have such great freedom of speech that people are free to say pretty much whatever they want. That doesn’t mean I WANT to hear it.

As stated before, there is only one asshole in this comment thread and it’s not PaulT.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Take your open source bug ridden useless shit

Somebody who knows nothing about open source software and the internet. I wonder where he would post his useless bullshit if it weren’t for open source software.

Or maybe it’s just a version of Poe where somebody is trying to mimic one of the regular trolls that wander around these parts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The reason Open Source software is used to post the worthless shit on this web site is that this web site is full of worthless shit and when you post worthless shit you cannot possibly afford to pay actual money so here we are.

Except for me, of course, my posts are not worthless shit. They are my posts, and hence inherently valuable. WIth all my copyrights, patents, fame, fortune, success and public stature, every word I write, with C, FORTRAN, PL1, COBOL, APL, JCL, SPSS, C++, Assembley, Forth, Java, or Tickle (my asshole with a feather), Russian, German, French, Italian, Thai or English, well, they are just priceless. And free. But priceless.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"Or a poor attempt at Poe’s Law."

Obviously Poe’ing – read the later part.

Trouble is you really can’t tell. Even with sarcasm blunt and obvious enough to crack roman concrete. Not after several years worth of Baghdad Bob presenting one word wall after the other while claiming, at the end, to be arguing from authority because he was a successful entrepreneur/movie director/accredited lawyer/IT expert/Napoleon Bonaparte.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

open source bug ridden useless shit

You obviously know nothing about open or closed source software.

The web is built on open source software, as are many professional grade and commercially used applications. Of note, parts of Windows are now open source. The browser you are using to view and comment on this site is also likely open source, unless you are using IE. IE is closed source but it is definitely NOT bug free and useful.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"IE is closed source but it is definitely NOT bug free and useful."

Let’s be charitable and assume he’s upgraded to a modern OS, which means he’s likely to be using Edge rather than IE… which has recently switched its rendering engine to the very much open source Chromium engine.

That’s why I love the anti-FOSS guys here… they’re so ignorant that they don’t know they’re using it to post their comments.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Let’s be charitable and assume he’s upgraded to a modern OS, which means he’s likely to be using Edge rather than IE… which has recently switched its rendering engine to the very much open source Chromium engine.

Actually it hasn’t switched yet. That’s not even in beta yet, let alone live on a RTM OS, though you can download a dev version that actually works pretty well. It is Chromium after all. I think they are targeting a fall release date for the engine to switch.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Ah, fair enough. I was aware of the change but I haven’t used Windows as a desktop OS for several years now and don’t keep close tabs on such things any more. Either way, the guy whining ab out open source is either using it extensively already or is going to be, and he’s probably prejudiced enough not to know it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Erm, no. If Microsoft’s implementation is bug riddled shit, that proves the open source model is great. Because if they introduce not present in other Chromium browsers then it’s MS’s proprietary addiction that are shit, not the open source. The only way they can negatively impact FOSS is if they manage to somehow get their buggy crap open sourced and fed into the upstream repo.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Absolutely, and you are obviously both a scholar, a gentleman AND a computer scientist. Many uneducated idiots would have no idea how to parse “!” Without a space and preceding a noun and would not understand the reference, but I DO and I AGREE! Tell them to go to !Earth! (Oops, sorry, the trailing “!” Was for emphasis, not Boolean negation). LR Parsing is the Basis for Understanding EVERYTHING! ASK CHOMSKY! (Wait, was he a friend of the Email guy?)

Bruce C. says:

Re: Re:

That would have to involve a non-Microsoft-related company standing up their own repository and calling it something other than Git. And having it catch on with the development community.

Not impossible, just unlikely except at small scale. A scale small enough it could tempt a government to declare it an illegal site for hosting "something, something".

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

That would have to involve a non-Microsoft-related company standing up their own repository and calling it something other than Git. And having it catch on with the development community.

None of this has anything to do with Microsoft’s ownership of it. Whether Microsoft bought it or not, it would still be subject to US trade laws and sanctions. Likewise, the scenario Masnick raised about the government leaning on it in the future to restrict access to open source repositories. Whether it’s owned by Microsoft or not, that would still be a concern because if it’s going to happen, it won’t matter who owns the company/site.

tom (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Sadly, most of the usual "Freedom Loving" suspects are further down the path of on-line censorship then the US.

This does highlight some of the fears folks had about Microsoft’s acquisition of Github. As a multifaceted company is it a lot easier for the Government to coerce Microsoft. "We see you are fighting the Github request. Sorry but you are blacklisted from all further participation in US Government cloud contracts until that changes."

If Github had stayed independent, they might have been able to argue Code = Protected Speech instead of Trade Goods without the threat of other business divisions being impacted.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Perhaps GitHub should consider moving out of the U.S., to some country that actually cares about more than giving lip-service to freedom?"

If or when the US tries to clamp down on open source repositories located inside the US either precisely what you say will happen, or GitHub’s role in disseminating OSS will be taken up by someone else.

Anonymous Hero says:

even those who are hit by the bans can get around them by moving from private to public repositories.

In a lot of cases, this is not an option. Private repos are private for a reason. I worked at a company (in the USA, so we didn’t have to worry about these things) that used private github repos to host our code. Part of our software was a linux kernel module that used a nice little trick we had discovered to hook into the IO stream of block devices. We certainly didn’t want that trick to be public.

But that’s beside the case. If we had to make our code public, then we’d have no product to sell.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Part of our software was a linux kernel module that used a nice little trick we had discovered to hook into the IO stream of block devices. We certainly didn’t want that trick to be public.

Did you release that software outside your company, because if you did the GPL requires that you make the code public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Don’t you think the whole GPL thing is authoritarian, fascist and reminiscent of the NAZIs?

You want to REQUIRE that I make the code public? Or what! I know! You’re going to SUE ME! You’re going to use the Same Copyright Law that is so often disparaged on THIS VERY WEB SITE to SUE ME into SUBMISSION if an violate your PRECIOUS GPL!

Well, FUCK YOU I AM AN AMERICAN and if I want to violate your fucking GPL I will spit on it and piss on it and FUCKING FORGET YOUR GPL BULLSHIT!

I AM REQUIRED, you say! GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU FASCIST! I’m an American, and YOU ARE NOT! I HAVE RIGHTS! I AM FREE!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

From "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead. The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence. The cut worm forgives the plow. Dip him in the river who loves water. A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees. He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star. Eternity is in love with the productions of time. The busy bee has no time for sorrow. The hours of folly are measur’d by the clock, but of wisdom: no clock can measure. All wholsom food is caught without a net or a trap. Bring out number weight & measure in a year of dearth. No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings. A dead body, revenges not injuries. The most sublime act is to set another before you. If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise. Folly is the cloke of knavery. Shame is Prides cloke. ~ Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion. The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God. The nakedness of woman is the work of God. Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps. The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man. The fox condemns the trap, not himself. Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth. Let man wear the fell of the lion, woman the fleece of the sheep. The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship. The selfish smiling fool, & the sullen frowning fool, shall be both thought wise, that they may be a rod. What is now proved was once, only imagin’d. The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbit: watch the roots; the lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant, watch the fruits. The cistern contains; the fountain overflows. One thought, fills immensity. Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you. Every thing possible to be believ’d is an image of truth. The eagle never lost so much time, as when he submitted to learn of the crow. ~ The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

From "The Hobbit"

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats – the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill – The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it – and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the left-hand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round windows looking over his garden and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.

This hobbit was a very well-to-do hobbit, and his name was Baggins. The Bagginses had lived in the neighbourhood of The Hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected: you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him. This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbours’ respect, but he gained-well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

shitting in his Fran Drescher mask whenever "Open Source" is mentioned

Wow. Copyright maximalists really hate it that much when people don’t pay for it?

And the really weird thing is the two or three trolls that love copyright don’t get any sort of benefit from it – they’ve never published, written or done anything worth copyrighting.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

That, and FOSS developers don’t share the same draconian outlook that copyright fanatics adopt. They often stand in opposition. And that’s a huge no-no for the copyright meal ticket generators.

Hamilton is also not an inventor. Tero Pulkinnen (tp), the Scandinavian with a terrible website showing off his free code which is apparently used in mobile phones and Hollywood tech, therefore necessitating that the government give him a mansion for his two London bus advertisements, at least has something to show. All Hamilton can do is dredge up his secret crush on Wendy Cockcroft and fantasize about her and Janice Duffy.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

All Hamilton can do is dredge up his secret crush on Wendy Cockcroft and fantasize about her and Janice Duffy

Wendy here, AC. On both mine and Janice’s behalves, please make it stop. I’m straight, married to a man, and not interested in getting into someone else’s flame war.

If Hamilton wants to be a prat, let him. No one is obliged to answer him, okay? Sooner or later trolls give up and go away if you ignore them. It can take up to three months but sooner or later they do give up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

Reminds me of how the spooks responded to actual espionage and treason. Someone sells out national secrets put them on ice until the spy swap – it is just business.

Someone whistleblows and they get foaming at the mouth mad screaming illogic like calling non-citizens traitors and publically calling for their death while denying that they wouldn’t receive a fair trial.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

If they were intellectually honest, then they should be giving up huge swaths of modern tech (and maybe going to live somewhere semi isolated to reinvent propriatry versions that do not infring of F/LOSS copyright).

Having a wrong opinion, or an opinion that I or others disagree with is not a stigma.
However claiming to have an opinion that’s full of contraditions with itself, and objective reality (unless they think they have proof F/LOSS does not exist, or is not significant in modern tech) is a stigma.

Anonymous Hero says:

Re: Re: Re:

Did you release that software outside your company, because if you did the GPL requires that you make the code public.

This is a fuzzy area.

We had to use Linux kernel header files which are licensed under GPL 2.0 (as is the rest of the kernel) to access certain things, use certain data structures, use spinlocks, atomic operations, etc. But, the rest of the code was home-grown.

I’ve scoured the web for an hour and have come to the conclusion that nobody knows for sure. It comes down to copyright law and whether or not the source code is a "derived work".

We did use a modified GPL’d compression algorithm. This is clearly a derived work as we took the GPL’d compression code and modified it. Our work-around was to put the compression stuff in a separate module and export the functions so the proprietary module could use them. This compression module was released under GPL.

Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

A lot of FOSS projects migrated to GitLab after MS bought GitHub. GNU has a repository called Savannah. The issue isn’t that there aren’t FOSS repo sites, it’s just that GitHub is the one most people use, and getting people to switch is difficult.

Additionally, both Savannah and GitLab are hosted in the US, so they’re subject to the same trade restrictions as GitHub is. I don’t know whether GitLab has kicked projects off its repos based on national origin or not. Presumably the FSF would fight any legal requests for source code takedowns, but they’ve got their own share of restrictions that may make Savannah unappealing for the sorts of users who’d have private repos on GitHub.

But of course you’re right: it’s entirely possible to run a Git repository and a web frontend on a completely FOSS stack. If people are unable to host their projects on US-based sites, I understand that’s inconvenient but they do have the option of rolling their own solution in their own country (subject, of course, to any restrictions their country may have).

Zombie Hunter says:

Re: ZOMBIES are coming out again! SIX ODD ONES today.

I’ll just put all on each of the ODD comments so the hypothetical new and reasonable reader can SEE isn’t just isolated incident:

cynoclast: 8 (<3), 2 year gap; May 26th, 2016 https://www.techdirt.com/user/cynoclast

TWO, ONE FOURTH, of its comments in three years on this page which has little interest and no real controversy!

d blevins or dblevins or dave blevins: 108 (8), 27 month gap after first (both one-liners), OLDEST KNOWN account: 3 Sep 2004 https://www.techdirt.com/user/dblevins

Even less interested of late, to 2015 first page, so down to 5 a year.

2nd:

Crazy Hong Kong Monkey: 14 (2), 3 year gap after 1st; Jul 12th, 2012 https://www.techdirt.com/user/crazyhongkongmonkey

Federico: 37 (12), 2 year gap after first, 2 Sep 2016 https://www.techdirt.com/user/nemo_bis

With 37 comments in almost exactly 3 years is now so engaged that used "First Word".

3rd (note 3 and 4 both date from 2009!):

Paul Alan Levy: 132 (13), down to 2 a year; 17 Nov 2009 https://www.techdirt.com/user/paulalanlevy

4th (included because ten years old yet mostly bland Techdirt-orthodox one-liners, never into controversy):

Ed: 269 (27 actually increasing this year), 2 Jun 2009 https://www.techdirt.com/user/fuzi719

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: ZOMBIES are coming out again! SIX ODD ONES today.

Come on, this guy is interesting. He’s researching TRUTH. The things he points out look ODD. Why not just ADMIT that you are all phony pony bullshit artists? We would all feel better.

Well, not me, of course, it’s hard to imagine that I would feel better than I already do. But I bet both You and He would feel better if you just told the TRUTH.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

He’s researching TRUTH.

No, he isn’t. He’s taking facts and making up insane conclusions to present a false narrative because he has an axe to grind against TD for some weird reason. Or he’s being paid to deliberately try and trash TD.

The things he points out look ODD.

No, they don’t. Go to ANY online forum or even social media platform (or even other blog sites with comment sections) and you will REGULARLY find users who go months or years in between posts. This is not odd behavior, this is normal. Some people don’t feel the need to comment all the time. Some people may have been unable to comment for a variety of reasons. It doesn’t look odd at all.

Why not just ADMIT that you are all phony pony bullshit artists?

Because we aren’t.

Well, not me, of course, it’s hard to imagine that I would feel better than I already do.

Wow. Just wow.

But I bet both You and He would feel better if you just told the TRUTH.

We are, as evidenced by the fact that everything we say is backed up by facts and reality. Your statements? Not so much.

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