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Re: The GPL means what you want it to mean


From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: The GPL means what you want it to mean
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 10:18:52 -0400


"Thufir Hawat" <address@hidden> wrote in message news:address@hidden
On Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:35:51 -0400, Rjack wrote:

 "Free Software" is highly restrictive software and isn't
"free" at all. Permissive licensed open source code such as BSD licensed
programs do not carry any baggage related to being hauled into federal
court by a band of wild-eyed zealots who practice socialism in software
licensing as a religion.

Why not extend that argument to the conclusion:  don't use any license at
all.  Sqlite is public domain.  You're free to develop public domain
software on your own.  However, you're not likely to ever see a penny for
your efforts.

That is exactly correct. I think that is the essence of open source. Anyone who needs a basic function in their own application should be free to adopt one freely handed out by someone else. Since it is freely distributed, there is absolutely no obligation. Anyone so proud of their incremental innovation that improves the original that they want to brag to the world is also free to publish their dependent work. Anyone who doesn't see the value in such a publication or who hasn't made any such change would naturally refrain from any disclosure.

The internet is full of sites and included articles describing this very kind of software and many developers have taken advantage of such articles to solve their own problems and to learn how to do a variety of things. There seems to be enough disclosure by those who learn a little so as to keep the ball rolling.

All this makes Stallman and the FSF appear to be a sort of dog in the manger, denying access to those who might avail themselves of some learning or avoid some rote efforts. I do not think that anyone who included any such GPL solftware into their product could make any money from the effort either, just as they could not from public domain software. There is nothing that anyone trying to sell a product rather than give it away could sell other than their own innovation since the original functionality is still available to anyone at no charge. If I stole the code for FireFox and used it unchanged in a new product that I called HoundDog, I would never recover my costs of promoting it via license fees. I doubt that I would ever sell a single copy. If I added some functions that made it more valuable and likely to appeal to consumers, however, I could possibly benefit, but, again, it is doubtful that anyone could really innovate anything in this realm.


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