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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2004 11:37:19 +0200

Martin Dickopp wrote:
> Okay, here's an argument: The fact that you apparently have to resort to
> a funny, but factually incorrect kind of rhetoric ("GNU church", "GNU
> Republic", "GNU law") indicates strongly that you are wrong.  

Take this.


RMS: ... Meanwhile for software, I suspect that a three year 
copyright would be enough. you see if each version of the programme 
remains copyrighted for three years after its release well, unless 
the company is in real bad trouble they should have a new version 
before those three years are up and there will be a lot of people 
who will want to use the newer version, so if older versions are all 
becoming free software automatically, the company would still have a 
business with the newer version. Now this is a compromise as I see 
it, because it is a system in which not all software is free, but it 
might be an acceptable compromise, after all, if we had to wait three 
years in some cases for programs to become free... well, that's no 
disaster. To be using three years old software is not a disaster.


AM4: The problem with this change in the copyright laws for three 
would be that you wouldn't get the sources.

RMS: Right. There would have also to be a condition, a law that to 
sell copies of the software to the public the source code must be 
deposited somewhere so that three years later it can be released. So 
it could be deposited say, with the library of congress in the US, 
and I think other countries have similar institutions where copies 
of published books get placed, and they could also received the 
source code and after three years, publish it. And of course, if the 
source code didn't correspond to the executable that would be fraud, 
and in fact if it really corresponds then they ought to be able to 
check that very easily when the work is published initially so 
you're publishing the source code and somebody there says alright 
"dot slash configure dot slash make" and sees if produces the same 
executables and uh.

So you're right, just eliminating copyright would not make software 

AM5: Um libre

RMS: Right. 



HY: Hmmm. Then tell me what you think about pirated software. 

RMS: I don't call this copying "piracy", because that is a propaganda 
word. I don't think it is wrong to copy and share information. 
Governments can pass laws against it, but that does not make it wrong, 
just illegal. 

An unauthorized copy of a proprietary program has the same drawbacks 
as an authorized copy. If you want to make more copies and share them, 
you have to do it in secret; and you cannot get the source code. 

So I think that unauthorized copies are not much better than 
authorized copies. The only good thing about the unauthorized copy is 
that you avoid giving money to the owner. This is good, because the 
owner does not deserve a reward for making software proprietary. 


These are all potential "exhibits", you know. ;-)


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