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

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: [Maxima] Re: GCL used commercially?
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 17:47:07 -0400

    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.

Many people hold that opinion, but the GNU Project is based on the
idea that non-free software constitutes a social and ethical problem
merely because it is non-free.  Whether it uses GCC or GCL or both or
neither is not the point, ethically speaking; what's wrong about it is
keeping the users divided and helpless.

Whether to permit the use of some GNU tool or GNU library for non-free
software only is a different question, more strategic than ethical.
In some cases there we legally have no say--for instance, the output
of GCC is not subject to our copyright.  In some cases we've decided
that it is better to permit this even though legally we could deny
permission; Bison's parser file is an example.  But when we make such
a decision, it is a strategic one; it is not because we think that
non-free projects deserve our cooperation.  They never deserve our
cooperation.  They deserve to be replaced with free software.

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