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Re: GNU licenses

From: mike4ty4
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: 7 Sep 2006 11:46:18 -0700
User-agent: G2/0.2

David Kastrup wrote:
> writes:
> > Because we cannot force people to make all their source code
> > available, it is done by having a license that says you can use the
> > free program components in your program provided that you also make
> > that entire program free & GPL not just those parts, therefore
> > increasing the amount of free code. I think I see it a little
> > better: the belief is people have some sort of intrinsic right to
> > modify software and see how it works, etc. like how one has such a
> > right to modify and see how their car works. Therefore, the
> > agreement that is made when one uses GPL code in their work is to
> > grant the users the same right that said programmer enjoyed, which
> > helped them with their work, therefore ensuring the users that
> > "intrinsic right". Right?
> Yes, this is pretty much the idea: people working with programs should
> get the source code much like at some time the schematics of a car or
> appliance, so that in the case of necessity, they or themselves can
> change, adapt and fix it.  There was a time when electronic appliances
> were required to come with schematics, and there were general
> electronic repair shops that could work from there.
> When software development happened mostly in academics, this was
> pretty much the state of affairs there, too.  And then it broke down,
> partly because at some point of time the price of producing hardware
> dropped below that of software.
> The problem with that is that it blocks progress: nobody is able to
> stand on the shoulders of giants anymore.  The wheel keeps getting
> reinvented, and that is a terrible waste of labor.  Programmers should
> work on improving things, not recreating them, or the software world
> stagnates.
> But the laws allow stagnation and keeping the users unable to have
> their programs serviced instead of having to throw them away when they
> are just missing the final yard.
> It is basically a distasteful state for humanity.
> The GPL creates its own software pool where the wheel does not need to
> get reinvented and where progress is made, and mostly permanent.
> Now corporations are _required_ by law to work for the benefit of
> their shareholders, not the public, and the benefit is primarily
> defined as cash.  If it is legal to withhold information, and if
> short- and midterm profits can be assured over the competition, they
> _have_ to withhold the information.
> So entirely voluntary arrangements of freeing software sources works
> about as good as voluntary emission reductions.  Namely not at all.
> The GPL pool creates a playing ground where the quality of software
> makes it profitable to join the play, and where it is not legal to
> withhold information.  Not for a corporation, but also not for its
> competition.  So it is a level playing ground again.
> Profiting from it entices contributing to it, and contributing to it
> does not mean getting exploited by your competition.
> Yes, it makes it harder to turn programming into money, but one can
> also make use of a lot of existing software.
> --
> David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

But one can still make a decent amount of money? (notice to me,
"decent" does *not* mean "Bill Gates" super-wealth)

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