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RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: [Maxima] Re: GCL used commercially?

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: [Maxima] Re: GCL used commercially?
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 16:55:44 -0400

Richard et al.

Thank you - finally something that doesn't sound like a lawyer talking
about programming! And I hope it is something that everyone here agrees
with otherwise I would really wonder why they are here ...

In my opinion all source code, including algebra, lisp and any more
conventional code developed to enhance Axiom, should under the terms of
any license, ensure that that source code be made openly available to
those who desire it. By now it should also be well understood by
everyone that this does not preclude anyone from enhancing Axiom and
selling Axiom as a commercial product. All they incure in doing so is
the legal obligation to make all the associated source code available.

Maybe it is important to point out that this should not discourage
anyone from claiming the usual kind of "ownership" and credit that is
associated with intellectual effort. One of the points of the legal
stuff, as I understand it, is precisely to protect these intellectual
rights *in return* for full disclosure of the ideas and/or software.

It seems to me that this same goal also applys (or at least should
apply) to GCL. I agree that allowing others to base commercial products
on GCL which extend GCL itself (and similarly for Axiom) without
requiring complete accessibily of the source code would be a bad thing.

On the other hand, it seems clear to me that there is nothing wrong with
using GCC and/or GCL (or even Axiom, or more probably Aldor (the library
compiler part of Axiom) to produce a program that does something
substantially different (i.e. is no longer a compiler, lisp interpreter
or a computer algebra system) and selling that new thing without
releasing the specific code for that product. Although one might still
wish to point out that such a commercial practice is bad for software
development in general. And the people who buy such products should be
aware that they may encure some disadvantages because of this in the
long run.

Have I said anything that doesn't make sense to anyone?

Bill Page.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
> address@hidden 
> [mailto:address@hidden
> .org] On Behalf Of Richard Stallman
> Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 4:00 PM
> To: C Y
> Cc: address@hidden; address@hidden; 
> address@hidden; address@hidden; 
> address@hidden; address@hidden; address@hidden
> Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: [Maxima] Re: GCL used commercially?
>> I still don't understand why it would be desirable to 
>> prevent software from using GCL, regardless of license, but
>> perhaps I'm missing something.
> A non-free program is an scheme to induce computer users to 
> give up their freedom.  It's a harmful practice, one that on 
> general principle we wish to replace, not help.

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