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Old 08-16-2006, 12:54 PM   #1
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LXer: The GNU GPL - a software license for yesterday, today and tomorrow

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With the draft of the GNU General Public License Version 3 (GPLv3) have come many interesting comments, although not all of which I have found positive. While I understand proprietary vendors have offered complaints against a license they do not even use, I was surprised that Linus Torvalds had taken some issues which I thought were in any case misguided criticisms.

Old 08-16-2006, 01:36 PM   #2
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Thumbs down You don't get freedom by controlling people

The GPL is about politics, activism, and advancing some pretty questionable socialist agendas, none of which have any relation at all to freedom. It's a virus in the form of a licensing scheme; it infects everything downstream. Since when does strong-arming people into not only accepting the terms of your licensing agreement, but also forcing them to license their own code (which uses any portion of GPLd code) under the same terms constitute freedom?

I don't know of any other venue where such tactics or policy would be acceptable. It's blatantly dishonest and morally and ethically bankrupt to rave about freedom while imposing controls. Anyone who can't see that really needs to think a little harder about what's going on here.

Other licenses, such as the BSD license, promote real free software for people who are interested in truly free software rather than rhetoric, activism, and expansive socialism. You don't see the BSD guys jumping up and down raving how much they've done for the free software community- but they've done a tremendous amount. And if you want to use their code you can use it without restrictions.

If you really believe in freedom, you do what you want to do, and you let everybody else do what he wants to do. Anything else really isn't freedom, it's control.

Nobody said that anybody has to give anything away. Anyone who writes code knows that it's hard work and there's often a lot of emotional connection to the end result. If you want to sell it, sell it. If you want to give it away, give it away. Like Clint Eastwood said: "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's rainin'."


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