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Re: GNU License, Again

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: 25 May 2007 14:44:42 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

On May 25, 1:56 pm, "Alfred M. Szmidt" <> wrote:
>    > The original is no longer free, since it depends on a non-free work.
>    > The resulting work, a deriviate, is no longer free.  And for the last
>    > time, the GPL cannot make anything free, only the copyright holder
>    > can.
>    How is the free code suddenly dependent on the non free work?
>    The non-free work is what's dependent on the free code, not
>    the other way around, in my scenario.
> It is a _deriviate_, that is how it is dependant.  It doesn't matter
> what depends on what.
> Imaging for a second that you have a work, to which you add some
> non-free code.  A user can no longer change the work as a whole, since
> parts of it are not free.  The GPL sees that an evil part cannot do
> such things.  It simply does not make anything free, it just sees that
> the a free program stays free.

Oh, becuase the modified program (even if the vast majority of said
"modified" program's code is not GPL to begin with -- it's still
a "modified" program) cannot then be free, only the original program,
however the modified program is still considered a version of the
and therefore still possesses the attribute of being free if it still
has any
part of the original left, even if 99.99% of it's code has been
changed and expanded as to be unrecognizable -- that 0.01% still means
it is the GPL program. Because the incorporation of GPL code _can_
be viewed as a modification of the original if we imagine the process
not as taking a piece from the GPL program and *adding* it to our
original work, but instead as *removing* all code except what we want
to use *from the GPL program*, and then adding in all our *original*
even if this would be quite a stretch of the word "modify" in
terms, which often does not mean a change to the majority of something
so as to make it nigh indistinguishable.

However, since we are discussing *source code* not functionality,
Even if the functionality and outward appearance of the program is
*totally* different from the GPL one if it still includes GPL code
"left over"
*in the source code* it is still a modified version. It is only
considered a
new program when *zero* GPL code remains and hence the GPL no
longer covers it (provided we haven't released the program already --
we're talking about during it's creation here.), as it is then
completely ours (ie. 100% original).

PS. I bet these non-colloquial, and very formalized and precise usages
of terms are probably why my statements about GPL licenses "creating"
free code were misunderstood so horribly -- you expected highly
exacting usage, not rough colloquials or "get the drift" type stuff,
instead take the word at exactly face value. There's nothing wrong
with this, it's just that I didn't know.

> You could equally argue here that the free program does not depend on
> the non-free parts, since the non-free parts only add functionality,
> but that is not relevant, since the _WHOLE_ work is what matters.

Again, see the comments I made above this. Are they correct? Did
I finally get _your_ drift, now?

>    Saying the "GPL makes things free" is a quick way of saying that
>    "the GPL requires you to make things free if you want to use other
>    free things (specifically, GPLed free things) in a certain
>    way". It's just a lot shorter, and I am surprised you want such
>    excruciating, exacting detail. Most people could get the drift of
>    what I'm saying.
> It is the difference between pi being 3.14 and 4.  One is a good
> aproximation, the other is completely bogus.

But you demand that it be interpreted in such literalistic terms. If
you didn't do this, but well then I guess you were expecting
literal exacting terms, and I was giving non-literal, inexacting
colloquial ones, and I was expecting colloquial non-literal
terms and you were giving literal exacting ones. Sheesh...

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