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Re: GNU License, Again

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: 27 May 2007 12:24:12 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

On May 26, 11:52 am, David Kastrup <> wrote:
> "Alfred M. Szmidt" <> writes:
> > Again you resort to petty personal attacks, how I kill text is
> > completely irrelevant to the issue, I'm quite sure you are capable
> > of following the thread.  You also on purpose confuse _goal_ with
> > what actually happens.
> I am in good company, since Richard is quite explicit that the goals
> of the GPL and its effects correspond (which is why he calls it a
> pragmatic license).  Again,
> cf. <URL:> for his
> words on that:
>     If you want to accomplish something in the world, idealism is not
>     enough--you need to choose a method that works to achieve the
>     goal. In other words, you need to be ``pragmatic.'' Is the GPL
>     pragmatic? Let's look at its results.
>     Consider GNU C++. Why do we have a free C++ compiler? Only because
>     the GNU GPL said it had to be free. GNU C++ was developed by an
>     industry consortium, MCC, starting from the GNU C compiler. MCC
>     normally makes its work as proprietary as can be. But they made
>     the C++ front end free software, because the GNU GPL said that was
>     the only way they could release it. The C++ front end included
>     many new files, but since they were meant to be linked with GCC,
>     the GPL did apply to them. The benefit to our community is
>     evident.
> So Richard talks explicitly about the _goal_ of the GPL, and he does
> this immediately before listing a number of projects that set out to
> create proprietary projects, and then were forced by their use of
> GPLed software to license them under the GPL.

So the _goal_ is to ultimately get all software free, since said
is considered a vital right under the GNU philosophy (if not _the_
right of the GNU philosophy). Hence the reason for requiring that any
distribution of derivatives to have their full source code released
the GPL _in toto_, not just the GPL pars -- so that new code then
enters the pool of free software and therefore contributes to the
freedom of all users.

I always thought this was what it was, it's just that this guy kept on
going about how it only keeps GPL stuff free, essentially in denial
of the fact it also helps catalyze the growth of the free software
pool, which is more than just "keeping GPL stuff free" as it entails
that additional free code is released.

So I guess I'm in good company too.

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