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Re: Please, no GitHub

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Please, no GitHub
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2015 02:09:32 -0500

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  > GitHub does not encourage posting code without a license.

Practically speaking, it does.  This is demonstrated by the fact that
many programs on GitHub have no license.

  > And again, it does not encourage weak licenses. It lists a dozen of 
  > possible licenses with three of the most popular being emphasized.

The text which describes those choices encourages the use of weak
licenses.  It presents the weak licenses in a more favorable way
than the GPL.

It also encourages confusing ways of applying licenses: confusing in
that it isn't clear what license the file carries.

With the GPL, it seems to encourage use of just one version of the GPL
which is a bad practice.

  >  It 
  > gives people a choice instead of pushing a single philosophy.

We, the GNU Project, stand for a specific philosophy: software should
be free.  If a repository doesn't support that philosophy, that's a
flaw, from our point of view.

That flaw isn't a fatal one.  (GitHub has other flaws which are
worse.)  But it is a flaw.

  > > Those are the flaws I remember, and they are grave.  There may be more
  > > I don't recall now.

  > They are not grave, this is simply nitpicking.

They are very important.  They lead to programs that are nonfree,
programs whose license status is not clear, and programs that are
released under GPL v2 only or GPL v3 only.

These are grave problems, and anything that encourages them is doing
substantial harm.  That's why we decided to establish repo criteria.

                                                   Your vision of freedom is 
  > rather absolutistic, since forcing freedom upon others goes against the 
  > very nature of freedom.

We have set criteria on which to judge and accept repositories.
I don't think your description fits the facts, not even slightly.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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