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Re: GNU licenses

From: mike4ty4
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: 1 Sep 2006 19:38:14 -0700
User-agent: G2/0.2

David Kastrup wrote:
> writes:
> > I've been wondering about the GNU software and documentation license.
> > For one thing, although the goals are decent, I don't like what I
> > percieve as it's "viral" nature.
> Too bad, since it is that which ensures the status.
> > Furthermore, does this actually exist, anyway? For example, if I
> > write a 1,000 page book, and take ONE PARAGRAPH of a GNU document
> > and stick it in, does this mean all 1,000 pages of MY OWN ORIGINAL
> > WORK are all suddenly GNU, or can I just mark that 1 paragraph as
> > such, while keeping copyright to my _original work_?
> Nothing ever is "all suddenly GNU".  Everything written by yourself is
> yours to license at your choice.  Like everything written by some GNU
> maintainer is his to license at his choice.  And his choice is "if you
> make this or parts of it a part of something else, I grant you
> permission for that only if you license your stuff under the GPL."
> You are free to decide _not_ to license your stuff under the GPL, but
> then you have no business sticking GPLed software in it.  If you do,
> this does not make your software GPLed (this never happens
> automatically), but it means that you are breaking the license of the
> stuff you use, and you can be sued to amend this.  It will usually be
> your choice whether you amend by removing the GPLed part, or by
> complying to the license.
> > If it's the former, then it sucks. I'm sorry, but it does.
> Sure.  Of course it sucks.  It is the purpose of _any_ regulation or
> law or license to make it suck when you want to go against the
> license.
> > Same thing goes for software. If I include 2 lines of GNU code (yes,
> > just two lines) in my big fat 300,000 line program, does that mean
> > all the remaining 299,998 lines of original work are suddenly GNU?
> No.  It means that you are doing something with the 2 lines of GNU
> code for which you have no permission.  Now concerning 2 lines, you
> actually might not need permission (they might well be under the
> "trivial" threshold after which copyright law actually starts being
> relevant).  But if you do, you have the choices of either complying,
> or taking the 2 lines out, or negotiating an individual license with
> the author of the 2 lines so that you don't need to GPL your stuff.
> But the one thing that you can't do is take his material and do with
> it as you like without heeding its license.

But why forbid it? It's like you either GNU _EVERYTHING_ not just
that little code or book FRAGMENT or NONE AT ALL. WHY is this
done?! Here's something else: if I use a GNU library with my non-
GNU program, does this mean that I have to GNU the whole thing
or I'm breaking the license?

> > Or could I just release the two lines and keep the majority of my
> > program closed-source or under a different license? If it's the
> > former, it sucks too. If it's the latter, it's OK.
> Sure it sucks.  It is intended to suck.
> > So, is this "viral" thing true? If so, I don't like it. Free
> > software, free documentation, "free" stuff is a good idea, but this
> > implementation of it, sadly, is not. It's creating "open" stuff by
> > FORCE, and that's not acceptable (and it's not really "open" either
> > since you've got to GNU and "open up" your own code (GNU definition
> > of "open it up") even if you don't like the GNU method!!!). The idea
> > of keeping the free code free is good, but the idea of FORCING a
> > person to "free" their ORIGINAL WORK is not.
> It is the only thing that works on a large scale, seemingly.

I don't know. It doesn't seem like a good deal to me... why do you want
to make other people's code free as a "price" for using "free" code?

> -- 
> David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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