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Re: GNU License, Again

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: Sat, 26 May 2007 09:39:32 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

mike3 <> writes:

> On May 24, 5:43 pm, "Alfred M. Szmidt" <> wrote:
>>    You can reduce it to a semantic debate. But in the end the GPL is
>>    structured so that the only legal way for you to redistribute
>>    modified copies of GPL licensed code is to license the
>>    modifications under the GPL.
>> There are several ways to come into compliance, this is one of them.
>> Requesting the copyright holder to change the license is another.  And
>> a third is simply not using the GPL program.
> But that does not change the requirement for when you use GPL code,
> which obviously shows more goals were in mind for the license than
> simply "keeping free code free".

Certainly.  The idea of GPL code is to create and foster a separate
_pool_ of free software.  Richard Stallman does not agree with the
extent of the powers that copyright law lends to every copyright owner
in contrast to software users.  So he crafted the GPL in order to
create an _environment_ and pool of free software that would rely on a
notion of sharing to become compulsory between those that use it.

The _growth_ and evolution of this pool is important: stagnation is
not going to cut it much in a rapidly evolving landscape.  So the GPL
os designed to extend to new work as far as it can, and that is
dictated by the reach of copyright law and jurisdiction centered
around derivatives and collections.  Going further than that would be
imprudent since it would lead to court cases where parts of the
license could be declared invalid.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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