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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Savannah vs. Open Software License

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Savannah vs. Open Software License
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 21:07:15 +0900
User-agent: Gnus/5.1002 (Gnus v5.10.2) XEmacs/21.5 (celeriac, linux)

>>>>> "Samium" == Samium Gromoff <address@hidden> writes:

    Samium> Also, from private discussions with Andre i`ve gathered
    Samium> another point: the worser part is that GPL is constructed
    Samium> in such a way that it is possible to build a contract
    Samium> which works like that:

I think you should leave these problems up to the lawyers, and folks
like rms who surely you trust to be as worried about this kind of
possibility as you are.  The GPL has already been revised once, at
least, and I'm sure the FSF will not hesitate to do it again if they
see a way to safely fix bugs in it.

Instead, consider which do you care about more, restricting the
"freedom" of "bad" people to do things you don't like with your
software, or enhancing the freedom of good people to improve free
software, both theirs and your own?

To my mind, the most important reason for choosing a particular
license among strong copyleft licenses is mutual incompatibility,
which effectively lessens the freedom of your code.  Since the GPL is
by far the most popular of the strong copyleft licenses, it is the
most free in this sense.  Furthermore, GPL users, knowing and trusting
the FSF, have long been in the habit of phrasing their licensing
statements "GPL v.N, or future versions as published by the FSF, at
your option."  This means that most of the time "GPL code" will be
freely mixable with yours forever, even if you take advantage of
improvements in later versions of the license.

Just use the GPL.  If you're not happy with it, join the discussions
about the next version (I have no direct knowledge that they really
exist, but given human nature I'm virtually certain they do).

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.

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