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Re: GNU licenses

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 09:58:12 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux) writes:

> John Hasler wrote:
>> We need the freedom.
> Freedom's OK, but I think there's also such a thing as "getting
> carried away with it". True freedom means that one shouldn't be told
> what to do with their own original stuff.

That's like somebody saying "true freedom means that one shouldn't be
prohibited from selling one's children into slavery".  Sure, but total
freedom for somebody infringes upon the relative freedom of others.

Since total freedom can't be established for everyone, one needs to
aim rather for the maximal amount that can be secured for everyone.
The GPL is a pretty good tradeoff in that regard, in my opinion.

> That sounds like a "price". It seems they've been saying that if you
> use even one line of GNU code in your program

Why would you want to use one line of GNU code if you don't like the
consequences?  Bloody write your own line.  (Of course, one line of
code is not likely to be of sufficient creative height to trigger
copyright law, but that is beside the point).

> then you are required by the license to release your entire original
> program as GNU, not just that one line. Ie. you "pay" for using the
> code with the rights you previously had to your original work.

You still have all the rights to _your_ original work.  You can take
it and create a work from it that does not use any GNU code.  But you
don't have all the rights to the combined work.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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