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Re: GNU License, Again

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: 24 May 2007 12:25:45 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

On May 24, 2:01 am, "Alfred M. Szmidt" <> wrote:
>    > Asked and answered. Your code does not function without the GPL
>    > code in this scenario. Therefore it's a derivative of the GPL
>    > code. So your code must also be distributed under the GPL.
>    >
>    > The disconnect that happens in this discussion everytime it comes
>    > up (which BTW is about every other day) is thinking that if you
>    > add something to the existing collective of code, that somehow
>    > that it's not a part of that collective.
>    But it seems that some GNUtians just keep saying "it only keeps
>    stuff that was already free, free", even though it does not -- it
>    makes _more_ code free.
> Again, the GPL does not create anything.  You as the copyright holder
> can only license something under a license, the GPL cannot.  The GPL
> simply sees that free code stays free, nothing more, nothing less.
> Nobody can force you to licnese your work on the GPL, not even a
> judge.

I did not say it "created" anything. I said it "made code free". That
it causes code to acquire the status of being free, not creating new
code, at least not directly. It cause the code of whatever project the
GPLed code was used in to become free.

> The GPL is not a lifeform.

No. I did not say it was. You do not seem to understand what I am

> And please do not call people names, it is rude.

You mean the "GNUtian" thing? Well, alright, I'll drop it.

>    > Let's put some concrete numbers to it to clarify. Say you start
>    > with a 100,000 LOC GPL fully functioning system. You write a 10
>    > line extension to it. Should that 10 line extension be GPLed?
>    >
>    > I'll presume that you'll agree that it should. Feel free to argue
>    > why it should not if you like.
>    Perhaps, but, what about a 100,000 LOC *NON*-GPL fully functioning
>    system that we put a 10-line extension of *GPL* code into? That's
>    the scenario I'm asking about. Even if it could do without those 10
>    lines of GPL code.
> Then you have agreed to the GPL, and you must cause the whole work to
> be under the GPL as per section 2(b).  This has been answered several
> times.

And I have not disgareed with that. I want two things:

1. explicit vindication that I am right in my understanding of the
behind the license -- that it is designed to make more code become
(what else do you call having to release the entire original work of
500,000 line program that used 500 lines of GPL code as GPL "Free"?)

Addendum, just read the rest of the post here -- THIS IS VERY
However you say this is wrong, and that it is merely to ensure that
free code stays free. But then does this equate to a denial of the
that when you release a combined work under GPL, formerly non-free
code becomes free, and hence ADDITIONAL free code appears,
which is MORE than simply "keeping" free code free? If not, then why?

2. an explanation of why an alternative license that would allow for
the *original* part of said combined work to be released under an
incompatible license _provided_ that the "free" part is distributed in
free manner along with the original work both in (due to vital
and out of the combined package, would be "morally and ethically
even though it keeps the free part free. Ie. like GPL but without the
requirement that the entire source to derivative works must be
released --
only the free part -- if at least the overwhelming majority of the
of the combined work is original.

> To keep things free, again, this was answered as well before.

That does not jive! It is not simply "keeping" things free -- it is
causing more things to become free. Is agreeing to release
what was formerly non-free code not making more free
code? Obviously it is making free code! This sounds like this:

Me: "This gun is designed to hurt and kill people."

You: "No, it's built to burn gunpowder."

Me: "It's built for killing or hurting people."

You: "No, it burns gunpowder."

Me: "It KILLS PEOPLE!!!!!!!"

You: "It BURNS GUNPOWDER!!!!!!!!"

Me: "well DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

See? Your explanation seems incomplete. If the gun was only
designed to burn gunpowder, why is the bullet included? Why
the barrel obviously designed for channeling a projectile?

> To keep code free.

See above. This makes no sense.

Ie. "To burn gunpowder."

> It is to keep code free.

Again, see above. It doesn't jive.

Ie. "It is to burn gunpowder."

>    > If making GPL code non-GPL was as simple as physically separating
>    > it from the GPL code, then the GPL would be totally neutered for
>    > its intented purpose.
>    Aha! So we've hit on the purpose then -- to CAUSE MORE CODE TO BE
>    FREE. Thank you. I am vindicated in my understanding then!
> No, this is not the point of the GPL, since it cannot possible do
> this.  As has been stated several times not, the point and only point
> of the GPL is to keep free code free.

I do not understand how requiring ADDITIONAL code be released
if one wants to use the "free" code is *just* "keeping" code free --
does not the quantity of free code in the world then increase?
If the only point is to keep code free, why demand that *additional*
code be made free if one agrees to use the free code?

> Please, we have answered your questions over and over again, several
> times now.  This is also all answered in plain English in the GPL, the
> GPL FAQ, and in all the essays on the GNU Project web pages
> (

See above.

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