[nSLUG] On topic of favorite distros, and Linux on the Desktop

Matthew Balcom matthewbalcom at mac.com
Sun Mar 7 17:28:31 AST 2004


On 4-Mar-04, at 10:57 PM, Jeff Warnica wrote:

> Stallman's view is not that you should have the right to share, but 
> that
> you should be obligated to do so. If his goal was to re-implement UNIX
> with completely license unencumbered code, he could have done so by
> putting the work in the public domain. The GPL is viral in nature not 
> by
> accident, but by specific design. RMS, and GNUs goal is neither
> financial, nor technology but political.
>
<snip>

> Again, if RMS/GNUs point was to get rid of licenses, to get rid of
> copyright, they they would put GNU stuff in the public domain.


	Holy crap, could you possibly misunderstand the GPL any further? 
First, the GPL is NOT viral. If you don't like the license, don't use 
code under it. Viral implies that it infects code "against its will," 
or "without its knowledge." You place code under the GPL, the GPL does 
not assimilate code. In order to place code under the GPL, you have to 
be the rights holder to said code. You also fail to fully understand 
how the GPL works. You are only required to share your changes, if you 
make your product available. That is to say, you are free to download 
any GPL'd product, mod it to suit your needs, and keep it to yourself. 
This is not forced sharing. However, should you make your changed 
product available, you are not allowed to strip the right of sharing 
away from the next person who gets it from you.

	Second, public domain does not ensure freedom. Software in the public 
domain can be used by anyone for any purpose, including taking such 
code and placing it inside a proprietary application. The GPL helps to 
maintain that once the code is opened up, it remains open.

	Third, RMS's goals are not financially, nor technically, nor 
politically motivated. RMS is solely motivated by his philosophies of 
community and sharing. On the topic of Free Software and its 
philosophies, versus Open Source and their goals:

"... there is something more important at stake; That freedom to 
co-operate with other people, freedom to have a community, is important 
for our quality of life, it's important for having a good society that 
we can live in, and that is in my view more important than having 
powerful and reliable software." - RMS

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/philosophy.html
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLRequireSourcePostedPublic
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#CanIDemandACopy

	I'm all for debates on the choice of a license for a software product, 
but please, if you are going to post FUD state that it is your opinion, 
not fact.

				     Matthew Alexander T Balcom
						  cls at EFNet

	matthewbalcom at mac.com   cls at lonelyhearts.ca   cls at clubnet.org

		     ipchains -A input -s FMALE -d HRT -p lve -j REJECT
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