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[libreplanet-discuss] suggestion/help. GPL enforcement.

From: Patrick
Subject: [libreplanet-discuss] suggestion/help. GPL enforcement.
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2016 10:57:06 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/38.8.0

Hi Everyone

This is a horrible post and will probably trigger some very negative reactions. I am trying to help and I am being honest so please don't get too angry at me.

I've tinkered with the BSD world and I really believe GPL and the Free Software foundation are the way to go. I have frustrations with the FSF in that it seems to focus too much on all the bad things others are doing and not enough on what good is being done but overall I don't think there is much of a choice and I want to make things work.

So to the point!

I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about how to circumvent the GPL.

The GPL puts people like me in a bad situation. I work with scientific instrumentation. It's a corner-case market but world-wide.

I would never just take GPL code and mis-license it. I will obey it. However the people that use the software in my corner-case market are spread across the world. I can't sue these people if they violate the GPL and so many of their Governments don't care about the GPL.

I am in Canada and I don't have the money to sue a company in Brazil but the Brazilian Government respects the GPL and there may be many countries outside of Europe/Australia/New Zealand/Korea/Japan and the Americas that do too. I just might not be aware of them.

Would it be possible for a GPL compatible license to be created that would forbid GPL software from being distributed to countries were the GPL was weakly/not enforced?

What is the point of granting the user the rights to freely distribute the code under the terms of the GPL if the code is distributed to locations were the GPL is not enforceable? It just becomes public domain code.

Chinese people do not call China, China, they call it Zhongguo. It means centre of the world or middle kingdom. It's an arrogant name but can you really blame them or ask them to change it. Everyone was crazy 3000 years ago.

I think that we in the "west" (including Japan/Korea/Australia etc) are arrogant too and have a mentality "centre of the world" too.

Who cared about China and India 20 or 30 years ago. If people there stole software, it didn't matter, they weren't important economically.

They are now and we need to update our views so that software licensing makes sense. We in the "west" are not the centre of the world anymore. We need a GPL compatible license that acknowledges the problems of globalization.

The first problem I see with my suggestion, is that the FSF would have to create a list of GPL friendly countries and that could be hard.

Secondly if we were allowed to sue people who distributed GPL code outside of the enforcement territory, this would preclude the distribution of GPL code over public FTP and such.

Does anyone see my point? Is there anything that can be done so that I don't have to license code under the GPL and in doing so cast it into the Public Domain?


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