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Re: Freedom. . . NOT

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Freedom. . . NOT
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 22:45:01 +0200

David Kastrup wrote:
> The funny thing is that his proposed license is not a license (since it

The GPL is not a tool for freedom, it is a tool of control, and I argue
that its overall effect on the art of software development as a whole
has been more destructive than it has been beneficial. Does this new
license that I've proposed make me happy? No, I'd prefer that everything
be MIT, BSD, or Apache licensed, which certainly hasn't hurt the
penetration of the Apache web server, nor has it diminished the freedoms
of the Apache developers. Hell, even donating software to the public
domain hasn't resulted in the abuse of SQLite. 

Let's face it, the vast majority of use cases for GPLed software come in
the form of libraries or incorporation that almost never results in the
original GPLed source code being modified, but requires the one
incorporating the software to also GPL their product. Who is that
protecting? Is it protecting the library author from his software being
bastardized and redistributed in a way that somehow diminishes his
freedom or harms his creation? Or is it harming the user who has found a
possibly excellent piece of software that they can't use because its
license will virally infect their own efforts? 

Yes, and you'll argue that library developers release their software
under the LGPL, but these cases are actually few and far between.

In fact, negotiating a commercial license with the author of a GPL
product is damn near impossible because of the high likelihood that the
author's product includes other GPLed source code, over which they
maintain no control. As such, if an author wants to release a product
that they plan to sell in a dual licensed fashion, they often have to
license their product under the GPL, but resort to using permissively
licensed libraries as dependencies. So what purpose then does the GPL
serve other than being a restriction on the ability of a company or
other body that values their own privacy?

What I'm proposing is a permissive license that protects *both* the
author of the software and its users. It's simple: maintain the
copyright, release your source, and if you don't want to release your
source, ask for permission not to. Once you get permission, if it's ever
rescinded, you have ample time to implement and alternative. Does the
GPL afford this?



(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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