Updating Genode's license to AGPLv3 + open-source linking clause

ILYA Khlopotov ilya.khlopotov at ...9...
Sun Dec 18 01:05:20 CET 2016

Hi Norman,

I am also sharing Nobody's POV.
If proprietary vendors are unable to run their code. the genode has no interest to them. even if it would gain popularity and became most used OS we will not see native Skype or Photoshop.

Everyone understands your point and respects your licensing choice. Would it be possible to have the kernel level components stay free software but standard library to become more proprietary friendly. 

in Linux for example libc is LGPL not GPL.

Best regards,

On December 17, 2016 10:42:47 AM PST, Nobody III <hungryninja101 at ...9...> wrote:
>I'm thinking of the possibility of Genode becoming a consumer OS
>One benefit of Genode is that a user doesn't need to trust every single
>program running on his computer. If I have to run a piece of
>software, Genode would be my preferred platform. Also, for software
>that I
>don't have to trust, I don't care as much whether it's proprietary. I
>prefer that Adobe and Autodesk port their software to Genode,
>since 3D software doesn't work well in VirtualBox. I prefer free
>because it's more trustworthy, but I still use some proprietary
>(e.g. Google Chrome with Flash Player).
>On Dec 17, 2016 8:38 AM, "Norman Feske" <norman.feske at ...1...>
>Hello Ben,
>> Am I correct that software that doesn't link directly to any AGPLv3
>> (e.g. code that just uses libc) is okay to have proprietary licenses?
>this is not correct because the proprietary code would still linked to
>Genode in addition to the libc.
>> That seems to be the logical interpretation, and probably the most
>> beneficial, as it wouldn't discourage companies from porting their
>> software to Genode.
>This statement is interesting because it raises the question of the
>motives and goals behind Genode. What does "most beneficial" mean?
>Beneficial to whom? Let me try to look at this question from different
>1. The Free Software user
>For an end user who consciously uses a Free Software ecosystem,
>proprietary applications are not interesting because they restrict the
>freedom of the user. Frankly speaking, I am an example of such a user.
>have not touched proprietary applications on my computer since several
>years. But I vividly remember the inconvenience of using opaque
>installers, the lack of security updates, the inability to fix bugs, or
>the suspicion about backdoors and vulnerabilities introduced by such
>applications. The argument that an operating system would be useless
>without proprietary applications was probably valid 15 years ago.
>the Free Software world is so strong and diverse that this argument
>not hold anymore.
>2. The consumer
>Many end users are neither aware nor interested in technical details.
>They just want to get work done, browse the web, play games, or watch
>movies. From the operating-system's perspective, I also see
>professionals (like photographers, writers, business users) in this
>category. A typical consumer uses the OS that comes pre-installed on
>device, and accepts the inherent dependency from commercial vendors.
>user does not care too much about the uppercase Freedom of software. I
>am sometimes such a user. E.g., when using my portable audio player, I
>just want to listen to music.
>3. The proprietary application vendor
>For a proprietary application vendor, the consumer (2) is a business
>case. The application vendor wants to create and distribute
>with as little costs as possible and sell them to the consumer at the
>highest price possible. The latter would not be easily possible if the
>application vendor published its own "intellectual property" to
>for free. Hence, the applications tend to stay proprietary to uphold
>business case. The application vendor has to consider expenses like
>paid-for development tools, licenses of commercial libraries, or
>app-store fees as cost factors. It is clear that proprietary
>vendors welcome liberally licensed open-source libraries or platforms
>for hosting and distributing proprietary software at no costs.
>4. The proprietary platform vendor
>A vendor may use Genode as the basis of a proprietary platform, for
>example an appliance designated for a specific market. But such a
>platform may in principle also be targeted at the consumer mass market.
>In order to use Genode as the basis of a proprietary platform, the
>platform vendor obtains a commercial license of Genode. In this case,
>the choice of Genode's regular open-source license is not a concern for
>such a platform vendor.
>5. The Free Software developer
>The motives of Free-Software developers are diverse. But regardless of
>the motives, they generally improve the lives of Free-Software users.
>the software addresses consumer needs, Free-Software developers often
>find themselves as competing with proprietary applications.
>Of course, the categories are not clear-cut. But they help to address
>two questions: (1) Who would benefit from the ability to host
>proprietary applications on top of the open-source Genode system, and
>(2) whom do we want to cater with the open-source license of Genode?
>Regarding question (1), only the proprietary application vendor would
>immediately benefit, but only under the condition that Genode is a
>platform used by their target audience (consumers). This is of course
>not the case. Hence, for an application vendor, there is no business
>case for porting their applications to Genode at all. Instead,
>application vendors focus on popular end-user platforms like iOS,
>Android, Windows.
>Regarding question (2), with Genode's open-source license, we want to
>cater Free-Software users and Free-Software developers in the first
>place. Acknowledging that the open-source Genode system is not a
>consumer platform as is, there is no benefit in catering the interests
>of proprietary application vendors with Genode's open-source license.
>Please don't get me wrong. I don't dismiss consumers. I see two
>principle ways of how Genode can reach popularity among consumers, by
>becoming a consumer platform, or by consumers gravitating towards Free
>Software. Regarding the former, I am convinced that Genode can become a
>popular consumer platform only with strong commercial incentives of a
>platform vendor. Should a platform vendor develop such an interest, it
>would seek a commercial license. The funding obtained from the
>commercial licensing would ultimately help Genode and thereby the
>Free-Software community. The second direction is that consumers would
>buy products that are solely based on Free Software. Personally, as a
>Free-Software user, I find this prospect quite exciting.
>Given this line of thinking, I hope that you agree that the ability to
>host proprietary applications on top of the open-source Genode system
>would not bring any tangible value. But maybe I have overlooked
>something? Please don't hesitate to share your thoughts.
>Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske
>Genode Labs
>http://www.genode-labs.com · http://genode.org
>Genode Labs GmbH · Amtsgericht Dresden · HRB 28424 · Sitz Dresden
>Geschäftsführer: Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske, Christian Helmuth
>Check out the vibrant tech community on one of the world's most
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Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
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