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Re: GNU License, Again

From: none
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: Sat, 26 May 2007 15:09:57 -0500

In article <>,
mike3  <> wrote:
>On May 26, 1:45 am, David Kastrup <> wrote:
>> mike3 <> writes:

Snippage on Alfred...

>> If you want to get a somewhat coherent presentation of the motivations
>> behind the GPL, I recommend that you rather concentrate on the links
>> he provides and skip his own exegesis.

>I looked through them but there is a lot there and I haven't yet found
>anything that would really specifically answer my question. None of
>the stuff I've found explains why the entire source code of a combined
>work must be released -- most of the rationale could seem to be
>appeased with simply releasing only the free GPL program that was
>used in the non-free or non-GPL one.

I've made several attempts to answer that question for you. David has
posted numerous examples from RMS himself that shows the rationale. Even
in his own roundabout way Alfred is driving the point home.

I thought we had gotten past the point of understanding that the GPL
attempts to propogate a free software base. You keep asking why it has
to be that way... why can't there be a combination of free and non free
software with the free part remaining free and the non free part
remaining closed.

Free software stagnates when it is not shared. The network effect of
everyone being able to see, change, and share leverages the free
software base.

What you propose closes off a part of that base from the community that
created it. You can't get to your extensions without having the original
free base.

BTW you can't go the other way either. Someone cannot take a closed
software base and inject free code for the purpose of freeing the entire
software base.

At the end of the day each developer gets to choose how their software
base is distributed. Folks who use the GPL want their code and here's
the important point:


to be distributed with the same rights that the downstream developer
received it.

At the end of the day there doesn't have to be a logical explanation for
it. That's what the author wanted, so that's how he/she licensed it.

The insertion of propritary software into a free codebase stifles the
development of the free codebase. It's like profit taking from the stock
market. If everything is reinvested, then it grows faster.

>Maybe it's just that I am not familiar with the extreme subtleties of
>Gnutianism, however none of the provided material seems to do the

Maybe you need the seminal event that RMS going with the GPL and the FSF
to motivate your understanding.

Take a read of chapters 1,2, and 7 of "Free as in Freedom", a biography
of Richard Stallman. You can find it online here:


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