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Re: Productions page

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Productions page
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2018 01:17:43 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Carl Sorensen <address@hidden> writes:

> I haven’t seen anything about GNU software that tries to restrict
> freedom of use.  In fact, one of the key issues of GNU software is
> exactly freedom of use.  The GNU licenses don’t say that any code
> compiled with gcc must have a GPL license.  They only say that any
> modifications to *the GPL software* must have a GPL license.

The pertinent rules are the GNU maintainer guidelines.


> As far as I can see, as long as the copyright holder for the music has
> given the permission for the music to be published on the internet,
> it’s perfectly fine for LilyPond, as a GNU project, to link to the
> location where the music is published.

The passage in question is:

    A GNU package should not recommend use of any non-free program, nor
    should it require a non-free program (such as a non-free compiler or
    IDE) to build. Thus, a GNU package cannot be written in a
    programming language that does not have a free software
    implementation. Now that GNU/Linux systems are widely available, all
    GNU packages should provide full functionality on a 100% free
    GNU/Linux system, and should not require any non-free software to
    build or function. The GNU Coding Standards say a lot more about
    this issue.

    Similarly, a GNU package should not require the use of non-free
    software, including JavaScript, for the coordination of its
    development. For example, please don’t use Transifex for translation
    of your software because it requires your translators to use
    non-free, JavaScript-based editing tools. Instead, a service without
    any ethical concerns should be used, such as The Translation Project

    A GNU package should not refer the user to any non-free
    documentation for free software. The need for free documentation to
    come with free software is now a major focus of the GNU project; to
    show that we are serious about the need for free documentation, we
    must not contradict our position by recommending use of
    documentation that isn’t free.

As you can clearly see, that the GNU licenses don't restrict freedom of
use (though they restrict non-freedom of use) and that GCC can be used
for compiling non-free software does not mean that referring to non-free
software in documentation (and web sites) is desired.

So your argument does not match what the guidelines clearly state.
However, as I stated the main concern of the FSF and of GNU's official
stance stops with software and its documentation.  Where we want ours to
stop with regard to musical scores is basically not proscribed.

My personal opinion is that if we have the ability to point people to
scores with clearly defined permissions of use, that's a preferable
value proposition to more comprehensive collections people may or may
not be using legally for some purpose.

David Kastrup

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