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Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 09:27:03 -0400

"Hyman Rosen" <> wrote in message news:ZlEBk.84$
amicus_curious wrote:
I would agree that providing source code itself is enough to enable a user to do all of that regardless of the fact that changes are so unlikely to ever occur. The GPL only adds a provision to enforce this on someone who might be unwilling to do so with some improvement absent the requirement to divulge any new source. I think that this would never happen in any case. I don't think that it has ever happened in the past either. Who but the project team has ever made any change to any major project?

I'm sorry, but I don't follow what you are saying - too many "this"
where I can't tell to what "this" refers.

To make it more simplified:

You had said:

"It seeks to prevent a software user from being unable to run,
read, change, or share a program. Since software users are
routinely denied these freedoms, I fail to see why you think
what the GPL prevents is not a viable outcome."

I say that the notion of open source in any form would do what you want here. Say, for example, the MIT License.

I further say that the GPL does not add anything practically useful to this task. What it adds is a codicile that anyone who does change or share a program must do so under the limits imposed by the GPL. Simply sharing does not require anything beyond the original distribution and simply pointing another to that is as good as re-publishing it yourself. Making changes or using a GPL program as a basis for a new program requires the inventor to abandon their rights to control any redistribution. That may be acceptable to some people and not acceptable to others. To the extent that it is not acceptable, it stifles innovation.

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