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Re: GNU License, Again

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: 24 May 2007 12:39:42 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

On May 22, 6:35 am, byron@upstairs.(none) (Byron Jeff) wrote:
> In article <>,
> mike3  <> wrote:
> >On May 21, 5:22 am, byron@upstairs.(none) (Byron Jeff) wrote:
> >> In article <>,
> >Why? What is the purpose of making the license that way? Oh, that's
> >right -- to create MORE free code.
> Yeah. That's the purpose of the license. It's a pay it forward license.

Thank you for vindicating my understanding! I am pleased.

> >So then if I do NOT own the GPL program, but make it a vital unique-
> >functionality component, however I do NOT distribute it (the GPL
> >program, not the non-GPL one) in a non-GPL way and only distribute the
> >NON-GPL components of the program (ie. the ORIGINAL) ones in the
> >non-GPL way (since I own it I can do whatever the heck I please), then
> >it is still OK, since I'm still not trying to take over or restrict the
> >GPL program and the GPL program is still being distributed for free.
> No it not OK. Back to my point. If the GPL component is a unique and
> vital part of the system, then the code that you have written is
> incomplete without it. In other words, without the GPL code, you don't
> have a program. It follows then that your code is a derivative of the
> GPL program because it's non functioning without it.
> It needs to be GPLed.
> That's why the duplicate functionality is so important. If your code can
> be a complete functioning system without using the GPL program in any
> form (i.e. there is other code that duplicates the GPL functionality)
> then no claim can be made that your code is incomplete without the GPL
> code.
> But you defined the parameters here. If you code is non functional
> without the GPL code, then you have created a derivative work of the GPL
> code, regardless of physical separation or separate distribution.

That's right. And that is exactly what I am asking about.

> >Perhaps I should rephrase the question. Make sure to read this, it is
> >important! It better captures what I am trying to ask!  Given an
> >original program, and a GPL program I do not own, and then I interface
> >my program with the GPL program so it is dependent on it, but it is
> >also made in such a way that the GPL program and non-GPL program can be
> >offered separately, the GPL parts offered under GPL and free, while the
> >non-GPL part offered for a price.
> I got it. The separation is irrelavent. The key is "then I interface my
> program with the GPL program so that it is dependent on it". In that
> case you do not have a separate program, but a derivative. You code then
> needs to be GPLed.

Again, this confirms my understanding that it helps create new
free code.

> Now the one way that I have seen to get around this restriction is to
> create two completely separate programs that communicate with each other
> in a client-server fashion. In that case one can be GPLed and the other
> not.
> >If this is still not permitted, why not? What would be the rationale
> >for making the license that way? It does not seem to be to preserve the
> >freeness of the GPLed code, since the above scenario would still keep
> >it free, after all.
> Simple. You are benefitting from other's generosity without contributing
> yourself. Stallman and the FSF are clear in their political agenda that
> they want all code to be GPLed. So the license is written so that the
> price for using GPLed code (again regardless of physical separation of
> components) is that you must GPL your code.

So I am right, then. I am EXACTLY right. The other half of the
rationale *IS* to ensure that additional free code emerges, to
ensure that MORE code gets added to the repertoire of free
code. However, why couldn't one pay off the "debt" owed
with a different piece of (but still useful) code? What would
be bad about a license designed to do that?

And I am right about it being a "price" too -- if you want to use
the free code you pay for that right with your own code instead
of with money.

Thanks again for the vindication.

> What you're missing in their agenda is not the "freeness" of their code,
> but the "freeness" of your extension to their code. By stipulating that
> the GPL code is a vital and unique aspect of your system, then your code
> is an extension of the GPL code.
> Let me flip it to explain why this is important. Without this
> restriction developers would make GPL code effectively non free simply
> by taking a core GPL engine (remember vital and unique) and extending it
> with proprietary components until the functionality of the GPL core
> engine is virtually useless without the proprietary extensions. It would
> become a simple encapsulation of free code with non free code, making a
> non free system with a free core. A system that could not function
> without that free core, as stipulated by your scenario. It turns a
> initally free system into a non free one.

How does it become virtually useless if the GPL core engine itself
remains unchanged? What I am talking about is a scenario where
the GPL core itself remains totally unchanged, BUT the
original program is built to be dependent on it, WITHOUT changing
the GPL core itself. The functionality of it is not "useless"
because it would be distributed for free, alongside the non free
system, and so it's power could be tapped for other programs.
How is that making it "useless"?

> The GPL is viral. The viral nature of it is the same reason that
> networks need virus scanners, firewalls, and encryption. It's not for
> the majority of folks who want to play fair. It's for the small core of
> folks who will exploit every possible loophole for their own selfish
> benefit.

I'd be wondering then what your opinion would be on the morality
releasing 100% original software under a much looser "proprietary"
license than, say, Microsoft's, and with _no_ DRM, spywares,
"Trusted Computing" codes, etc. This question is not about combining
GPL stuff, this is a question about a philosophy and code of morals.
You said the majority of folks want to play fair -- does this include
most software companies as well, even if they do not make GPL
software? I, for one, do not have much greed.

> The LGPL is a license specifcally written to address your issue. If the
> component you interface is LGPLed, then your code is yours to do as you
> see fit so long as you give the end user the ability to update the
> LGPLed side of the system.
> Hope this helps,

Thank you for your vindications of my understanding, I am really
grateful for it.

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