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Re: GNU licenses

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2006 10:56:54 +0200

David Kastrup wrote:
> So you say that civilization should be considered ended with the
> advent of copyright?

No. I simply see no problems with unilateral decisions to release 
something straight into the public domain in our modern civilization 
with IP market economy.

> You might be close to Stallman with that sentiment than you think.

Public domain only, with no copyright at all, is not good enough for 
lunatic Stallman ("just eliminating copyright would not make software 

<quote author=RMS>

There would have also to be a condition, a law that to sell copies 
of the software to the public the source code must be deposited 
somewhere so that three years later it can be released. So it could 
be deposited say, with the library of congress in the US, and I 
think other countries have similar institutions where copies of 
published books get placed, and they could also received the source 
code and after three years, publish it. And of course, if the source 
code didn't correspond to the executable that would be fraud, and 
in fact if it really corresponds then they ought to be able to check 
that very easily when the work is published initially so you're 
publishing the source code and somebody there says alright "dot 
slash configure dot slash make" and sees if produces the same 
executables and uh.

So you're right, just eliminating copyright would not make software

AM5: Um libre

RMS: Right.


Uh, to doctor, do doctor, he should go. Just like you.

> You can release whichever works of your own into the public domain.  

I occasionally do. 

> You can't release the work of others into the public domain, however.

Oh dear, that's what the penalty for copyright misuse/anitrust 
violations (naked price fixing) is about. Although it is quasi 
public domain (impotence ends when misuse is purged), in the case 
of the GPL'd stuff, since purging is practically impossible, it 
will be "public domain", as good as the real one. 

Sooner or later it will happen, my dear.

And don't forget that the GPL is violated left and right anyway and
it's pretty safe business.

As Welte states on his blog, "The current rate at which new
GPL violations get reported and/or discovered, especially from the
appliance/embedded market, is really alarming. For example, I haven't
yet seen a single Linux-based NAS product that was even remotely
license-compliant when first analyzing it. And I'm not only talking
about the SoHo NAS boxes with one or two hard disk drives, but even
about enterprise storage systems." 

Welte describes some of the efforts in this entry on his blog:

    So apart from talking to lawyers, proofreading legal paperwork,
negotiating with allegedly infringing companies, and the like, I now
also start having trouble doing test purchases. [I] not only refuse some
retailers to take orders from me, but also if I actually place an order,
it raises new problems.

    The last web store I ordered a test purchase from now asked me for a
complete, readable copy of both sides of my ID card.... This is totally
against any data protection laws. There is absolutely no requirement for
them to know my passport photograph, ID card number, size, or eye
colour. So as a follow-up, I had to write an official complaint with the
Berlin data protection agency -- as if I didn't have any other work to

   Also, for the last months, I find myself giving about EUR 10k in 0%
interest loans to GPL infringing companies. That's the amount of money
spent for test purchases that I had to do to confirm GPL violations, but
which hasn't yet been reimbursed. 

Oh poor GPL enforcer.


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