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Re: GNU licenses

From: mike4ty4
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: 4 Sep 2006 16:35:50 -0700
User-agent: G2/0.2

David Kastrup wrote:
> 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.

But that's a totally different issue, and the same standards need not
apply. In that case we're talking things that affect people's very
a piece of software is just that: a piece of software.

> 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).

I don't know, but what if I say, took 1 *function* from the program
it performed something I found useful, perhaps more efficiently than
code I had written? Could I give out that one subroutine while holding
rest of the program closed-source? It seems not.

> > 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.

I know. And it's that last sentence -- that you don't have all the
to the combined work, that ticks me off. It means I have to GNU the
original part as well as the GNU part as long as the two form one big
program. And that I fail to understand! Why does it have to be made
that way? What is the problem with, say, just releasing the GNU parts
(like the single function example above?)? Why couldn't the license
be written to have to that way? Why must the rest of the program go
GNU along with it? If you can just provide a simple, concise answer
as to why the license requires that the _rest of the program_, which
would _not ordinarily be GNU_ has to go GNU? That's all I need.
Then I can argue that if I disagree with it.

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

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