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Re: Is forcing "upstream" distribution really OK for free software?

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: Is forcing "upstream" distribution really OK for free software?
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 2004 04:34:59 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.4 (PPC Mac OS X)

In article <x5llhvc4hk.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 

> Barry Margolin <> writes:
> > I assume the FSF's position is mirrored in the GPL.  A license that
> > requires that you obey the original developer's request to send
> > changes back to him is not compatible with the GPL, so I don't think
> > it corresponds to the FSF's philosophy.
> That does not follow.  The FSF philosophy has a _lot_ of issues that
> are not reflected in the GPL.  Not because they would not be part of
> the FSF philosophy, but because the FSF would consider it even more
> wrong to enforce them by way of a licence.  For example, the GPL has
> no advertising clause.  Not because the FSF does not want advertising
> (just see the GNU/Linux issue), but because it does not belong in
> there.

The GPL prohibits adding any additional requirements when redistributing 
-- so even though they might be in favor of advertising in general, you 
can't redistribute GPLed code with a license that *requires* that the 
recipient advertise.

Similarly, while they might think it's a nice thing to send 
modifications back to the original author, the official position 
embodied in the GPL is that you can't require this.

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
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