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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] libreplanet-discuss Digest - Re: Astra Linux V
Re: [libreplanet-discuss] libreplanet-discuss Digest - Re: Astra Linux Violates GNU GPL
Tue, 11 Aug 2015 17:30:37 -0500
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Debate about Free vs Open, or the merits of the GPL, etc. is
IRRELEVANT - philosophy isn't the question, as like the philosophy /
license or not, the software in question IS under the GPL, so the
only two questions are 1. Are they violating it? 2. If they are, what
is being done to get them into compliance?
Compliance is a question for the relevant copyright holders, not the
public at large on this list/forum. Even if we can show non-compliance
we don't have cause to win a copyright infringement lawsuit.
It's possible the copyright holders have no plans to defend their
license. For all we know the copyright holders take the position on the
matter like Linus Torvalds takes with the Linux kernel -- licensed under
GPLv2 but okay with GPL-incompatible code within and okay with
distributing non-compliant derivative works (such as the Linux kernel
fork he distributes which contains proprietary blobs).
In order to understand why one would take this view and why proprietors
encourage copyright holders to take this view, one needs to understand
the very thing you dismiss as irrelevant -- the difference between the
free software and open source movements. Torvalds takes an open source
stance pleasing his proprietor fellows who apparently treat that code as
a dumping ground for proprietary distribution. By contrast, the folks
who make Linux-libre take a free software stance by removing said blobs
and distributing a completely free software Linux kernel. Brad Kuhn,
former FSF Executive Director now heading up the Software Freedom
Conservancy, explains this very well in his talks on copyleft: an
undefended strong copyleft license (such as the GPLv3 and AGPLv3) is
effectively the same as licensing under a non-copylefted free software
license like the new BSD or MIT X11 license.