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Re: The General Public Licence (GPL) as the basic governance tool

From: Christophe Poncy
Subject: Re: The General Public Licence (GPL) as the basic governance tool
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2020 00:46:27 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.4.1

Hi Ludovic,

On 2/18/20 1:55 PM, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
> As a GNU user, you may not know it but GNU maintainers do not currently
> agree to uphold the free software values that we care about; they merely
> agree to more specific GNU policies.
> The Social Contract is a way for interested GNU maintainers to state
> their will to uphold these core values.  As we wrote before:
>   The goal of the GNU Social Contract is to state the core values GNU
>   maintainers who have endorsed it are committed to uphold.  It is both
>   an agreement among us, GNU contributors, and a pledge to the broader
>   free software community.
> You are right that the software license gives you, the user, a guarantee
> that the four freedoms apply.  But there’s more to a project like GNU
> than its licenses: there’s the people who make it and their vision for
> the project.  I think it’s good to have a shared vision among the makers
> of GNU, and a well-defined relation between them and their users.

The GPL is not just a license but also a political and governance tool.

Pushing too far the idea of Social Contract could weaken the GPL.
Specially in France where most people never heard of the GPL and where
the idea of Social Contract is in the collective unconscious.

You are doing something big for GNU with Guix! Please, be confident,
Chief GNUisance knows what he's doing. Do you realize the era we live
in? Microsoft needs to embrasse free software to survive. An empire is
about to collapse without shedding a drop of blood! But to succeed, we
must first unify ourselves behind the GPL.

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