[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Is this an Octave compatible license?

From: E. Joshua Rigler
Subject: Re: Is this an Octave compatible license?
Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 08:55:44 -0600

I guess for whatever reason I didn't really take notice of the "no
modification" portion of the CDF copyright notice.  That's rather
disappointing.  I just read the netCDF copyright notice, and while it's
not GPL, it addresses all of the potential problems with the CDF
copyright that  were mentioned in response to the original posting on
this subject.

Unfortunately, netCDF and CDF are not compatible with one another.  I
will certainly contact the authors of the CDF library, and tactfully
suggest that they refer to the netCDF copyright, which was also
developed at a U.S. government funded agency, but knowing typical NASA
management mentality, it is unlikely anyone will take the initiative to
change anything anytime soon.

With the understanding that I agree that this particular NASA license is
very far from ideal, I fail to understand John Eaton's interpretation of
FSF's position on linking to non-free libraries.  Not that I doubt he is
correct, but rather I don't understand FSF's position.  Such a
restriction, to my mind, makes the term "free software" a rather ironic
joke.  I certainly understand preventing non-free software from linking
to GPL'd code (why should they profit from the unselfish efforts of
others, without giving anything back), but the reverse will most likely
prevent more people from using the GPL license rather than encourage
them.  Obviously, I prefer opensource software, but I would NEVER
condone forcing people to use it.  If folks prefer to not use "free
software", so long as they have reasonable access to it that isn't
stifled by monopolistic giants (no names necessary), that is their

Honestly, the more I read about FSF's strict interpretations of "free
software", the more I think they've lost touch with what it was
originally about (and yes, I certainly include the FSF's esteemed
founder in this category), or why so many talented and idealistic
programmers and users originally embraced the idea...that being the
encouragement of creative and [r]evolutionary software, unhindered by
unnecessary and stifling restrictions.

Just my $.02, and a small rant...sorry.  I suppose I'll just have to
keep my code to myself for now.


"John W. Eaton" wrote:

> If the license of some software is not compatible with the GPL and you
> create and distribute the interface glue to make it possible for
> Octave to link to it, and then simply ask the user to do the linking,
> the FSF contends that this action is the same as if you had
> distributed all the parts linked together.  I believe the reason that
> they maintain this position is because to do otherwise would make the
> GPL quite ineffective (people could do just about whatever they want
> with GPL code, so long as they could write interfaces to non-free
> plug-ins).
> jwe

Octave is freely available under the terms of the GNU GPL.

Octave's home on the web:
How to fund new projects:
Subscription information:

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]