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Re: Mathworks hosting GPL'd software

From: asha g
Subject: Re: Mathworks hosting GPL'd software
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 13:18:25 +0530 (IST)

> Briefly, the Mathworks hosts free software to be used with
> Matlab,
> much of which also works with Octave, Freemat, and others,
> and it's
> attempting to restrict people from using the license of
> their choice
> and attempting to forbid this software from being used
> freely.
> In more detail, the Mathworks used to allow almost any
> license on
> their site, even no explicit license at all, but they
> recently decided
> to only allow the modified BSD license, which is not a
> copyleft
> license (it allows including the free code in non-free
> software),
> unlike the GPL which Octave and the rest of the GNU project
> uses,
> which explicitly forbids locking up the software (and has
> other
> provisions). Software that couldn't or wouldn't be
> relicensed to the
> BSD was removed from their servers.
> In addition, they added a clause to their website's Terms
> of Service
> saying that the software they host is only to be used with
> Mathworks
> software, in an attempt to lock the software to only Matlab
> and
> disallow its use in Octave and similar, contrary to the
> spirit of free
> software. A basic freedom is use the software for any
> purpose. The BSD
> relicensing is an obvious step in an attempt to add more
> restrictions
> to the free software that other people wrote and uploaded
> to the
> Mathworks' site.

Okay, I am beginning to understand. Now I have never gone into the Mathworks 
site and have managed to use Octave without it. I am wondering how their 
restrictions will affect users of OCtave and other similar software- I mean are 
we dependent on their site ?
Asha  G 

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