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Re: Freedom. . . NOT

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Freedom. . . NOT
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 09:42:55 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080708)

Rjack wrote:
"...For a license that is touted as 'free', it certainly
doesn't feel that way..."

That is because the author misunderstands the purpose of the
license. It is not about freedom for programmers. They are in
fact very much restricted by the GPL from doing what they want.
The license is about freedom for users of software, so that
anyone who receives a program may run it, read it, change it,
and share it.

It's very easy for this confusion to occur, because it's the
programmers who encounter the GPL and have to deal with its
terms. The users who are the beneficiaries of its freedoms will
rarely even have heard of it. Think of it this way - automotive
engineers have to live in a world of forced safety standards
which limit how they design cars. Car buyers generally have no
idea what these standards are or how they're applied, but the
consequence of their existence is that cars are safer.

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