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Re: GNU licenses

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 22:47:00 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux) writes:

> WOOHOO! I'm RIGHT! It *is* a "price", just not a monetary one.

It can be a monetary one without problem.  GPLed software may sold for
arbitrary amounts of money.  The only condition is that whatever
amount of money gets asked, you get the GPLed licensed source code in

> You don't have to pay the price, I know this -- but that also means
> you don't get the product. If you want the product you have to pay
> either the price given or negotiate a different one (which may be in
> the form of money depending on what the author says). However, to me
> this defeats both tenets of "free" software:
> 1. Free means FREEDOM as in freedom to do whatever you want
> with the code. I should be able to license my combined works under
> my own terms, although perhaps releasing the "free code" part
> while keeping the rest as closed-source & proprietary as ever.

You are confusing "free for the taking" with "free to remain free".
The GPL guarantees that all variants and versions stay free in the
same manner.

The GPL explicitly states:

      To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid
    anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the
    rights.  These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities
    for you if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify

      For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether
    gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights
    that you have.  You must make sure that they, too, receive or can
    get the source code.  And you must show them these terms so they
    know their rights.

      We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the
    software, and (2) offer you this license which gives you legal
    permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the software.

It's not like this has not been told to you already.

> Hey! Maybe that's a way to modify the GNU thing! Maybe it should say
> that you can keep your non-GNU combined work non-GNU, but include
> and distribute the GNU code (or perhaps the whole GNU program the
> code came from) used in it, and acknowledge it's use.

The LGPL exists for special purposes.  You can be assured that the GNU
project has quite a clear notion of what licenses it uses for what

> 2. Free as in no price.

That was never an issue.  The price can even be money.

> Of course, but I'm not trying to tell the author what to do -- I'm
> pointing out what I see as a problem with this specific "course of
> action".

It is a problem for those who want to exploit free software without
contributing to free software.  In short, for leeches.

And it is designed to be a problem for those.

> Of course, and I never denied that. It's just that I don't agree
> with "charging" someone for a "product" with their original
> creations.

Nobody is charging you for your original creation as long as it is
your original creation and not deriving value from somebody else's.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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