[Asterisk-Dev] voicemail message number limits

dking at pimpsoft.com dking at pimpsoft.com
Sat Jul 24 18:50:40 MST 2004

On 24 Jul 2004 at 19:24, Mark Spencer wrote:

> > Signing software into the public domain for them does nothing but allow 
> > them to add the source in question not only to the GPL'ed source tree, 
> > but to another public domain (Or ever copyrighted by them) source tree 
> > they (digum) can steal from if they so choose and sell without having to 
> > follow the rules of the GPL at any time. The second form that grants 
> > them the right to use the source allows them to do this legally and in 
> > my mind that is the same thing as legal theft.
> The disclaimers we use are based on those required by the FSF for 
> contributions to GCC, GLIBC, and other GNU projects, except that, unlike 
> the FSF versions, the Digium versions do not ask for copyright assignment 
> but simply ask for no restrictions to be placed on our use of the 
> contribution.  Is it also wrong for them to require the same or similar 
> disclaimers for your contributions?

There is NO connection between Digum and GGC for example, so please stop wasting my time by trying to draw paradigms that do not exist; I see it as one thing and one thing only, a marketing ploy by a company who seeks good PR so that it can thrive.

> > It may be legal but it is not right, and people should be allowed to
> > contribute code to the open source project without allowing Digum the
> > legal right to steal it as well.
> Had Asterisk been licensed BSD, MIT, or even to some degree LGPL, anyone 
> (including Digium) could have used the code without contributing back to 
> the community.  Would you still have argued that we were not right to 
> license it under such a liberal license?

That is just it, under the way Digium does it now they can still do 
that, only now by GPLing it they are getting the extra resources of 
the open source community HELPING them develop it in addition. I see 
the GPL code branch shut off from outside helpers who have not given 
up all rights as one thing and one thing only. I see it as a front to 
mask the fact that no doubt the company has a copy of every thing 
sent to them in public domain form available to sell at need, and I 
see it as a way to as you said solicit help from the community so 
that development costs are that much cheaper for the company.

If it was simply GPL like uncountable other GPL projects out there 
that would be totally different that the current setup that refuses 
to let people help unless they give up all rights and allow digium to 
use there work as public domain, as under the current setup digium 
has the ability to abuse that right. Digum currently has no legal 
obligation to help the community and never did from the start of the 
disclaimer setup; But they did gain the help of a worldwide 
development community and the ability to cut there costs by making it 
open source. They gained much more then they lost, so please do not 
try to tell me it was done out of good will., Digum is a company and 
it saved money this way. 

That is why they did it and are currently siphoning code into 
different source trees, to keep up the illusion that the project is 
open source when in fact everyone who has submitted code that does 
not work for digum directly is still working for digium without 
getting a paycheck on what will in the future no doubt be turned a 
proprietary software project.

> > I firmly believe that theft is wrong and I believe that having people
> > sign away the rights to there own work on a open source project so
> > that a company can capitalize on it without having to  follow the
> > legally binding nature of the GPL is also wrong;
> You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and because Asterisk is 
> distributed under GPL (with additional freedoms), there is nothing that 
> obligates you to disclaim your changes whatsoever.  By selecting GPL 
> instead of a license like QPL which would have made such obligations upon 
> you, it places Digium in the position of having to continually earn those 
> disclaimers from contributers such as yourself by providing you continuing 
> value in our development pace, in our actions within the community, and 
> with acting as good stewards of the Asterisk code base that we as a 
> company, and I as an individual have invested so heavily in developing.
> The reality of the telecommunications industry is that this is an industry 
> that has not had Open Source alternatives for a particularly long time -- 
> and as such there are portions (such as G.729) required for practical use 
> in certain applications that are not Open Source.  Digium simply cannot 
> allow its ability to make such decisions about Asterisk to be hindered by 
> external obligations.
After all it would hurt Digium's business model; If Digium really 
cared about the open source community you would not be hindered by 
the globs of dependencies you use and would simply either buy out the 
license’s for the software that is not free and gpl it or start 
software projects that are open source to supply what you need, 
instead they have chosen to use the fragmentation of the Telephony 
sector as a excuse to rape the open source community and tap it for 
your commercial efforts; Stealing code either legally or not is wrong 
and you should be ashamed of yourself.

And if I was just a stupid idiot mouthing off and I was not right, I 
would not be reading a post by the "Mark" who dictates the asterisk 
project; I think the fact that you chimed in only hurts Digums stance 
and proves that you all have something up your sleeve.

I have made several points so far on what your doing and people have 
chimed in and either agreed or disagreed, but they have all said the 
same thing in regards to what your doing and I believe that is wrong; 
 Your violating the GPL; You call it being selective but in reality 
once you put something out there you no longer have control over it 
to the extent you once had. If something like asterisk is GPL and I 
for example edited it and expanded something and sent it in, that 
work would also have to be GPL. Its not up to me and IO do not have 
the right to sign it away as public domain. Further more I have to 
give you every right I was given with the software, and as the 
distributor of the software you have to give me every right you have. 
The GPL is VERY EXPLICIT about this.

I know about this because I myself created/designed a software work 
and then had it stolen source code and all from me by a company who 
was legally able to deny my claims despite the fact it was copyright 
by me and it was opensource; If I was not able to be selective then 
your are able to be selective now.

Your breaking the law and your violating the GPL in the current way 
your doing this; The asterisk project as being maintained illegally.

Is Digium funded by Microsoft or SCO at all? Not letting a little 
thing like morality and law limit your business model is allot like 
past public documented actions by them that are currently a matter of 
public record, so I cant help but wonder if there is a connection 
between you all.

> Mark
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