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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- "use freely"

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- "use freely"
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 14:12:04 +0100

Hey GNUtians dak, ams, ciaran, et al, would one of you please drop a
hardcopy (very hard one) of RHAT's subscription agreement on RMS' head.
Thank you very much in advance.

I'd like to know more about this term "use freely". In patent
terminology, to use something freely means that as long as you pay the
licence fees, then you can use it.

Richard Stallman That's not free software. In any case, when I
informally use terminology like "to use something freely", I am not
referring to any countries patent law, and specifically, being free to
do something means you don't have to pay to do it. When we describe the
four freedoms, when we say that freedom zero is the freedom to run the
program as you wish, part of that is: you're not required to pay anyone
for permission to run that program as you wish.

And, freedom 2 is the freedom to distribute copies of the program. That
means you don't have to pay for permission to do so, you don't have to
pay for each copy or negotiate with anybody. You're simply free outright
to go and do it.

If there's a program that you're allowed to run only if you pay
somebody, that's not free software. Therefore, the GNU GPL aims to make
sure that nobody creates such a situation. If somebody can create a
situation where people feel they must pay in order to be allowed to run
a GPL covered program, then that is a flaw, a failing in the GPL and we
are doing our best to make sure that can't happen. 


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