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Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 12:39:36 -0400

"Hyman Rosen" <> wrote in message news:FL7Ck.23$
amicus_curious wrote:
The only effect of the SFLC actions has been to force a downstream user
> to re-publish the original source that was used in the defendant's > product.

I believe that in several of the cases there had been some minor
changes made. The effect of the SFLC actions is to prevent people
from infringing copyright on GPLed programs.

I have never seen any such change, minor or major, described.

That is a rather empty sort of "victory" and would seem to be an
> inexpensive way to settle any of these suits.

Why is it empty? People who wish to copy and distribute GPLed programs
must comply with the license. It's not supposed to be difficult to do
this, and the defendants are generally just being stupid and lazy, not

Well, it seems to me that someone is being sued and the way out is to publish the source for the GPL project that they used internally. I have seen nothing to indicate that this source is modified in any way from that originally supplied. It also seems to me that any one that wanted this source would have to know about it ahead of time and could just as easily go to the original source for it.

> they have no effect other than to nettle the user of OSS products.

They nettle the companies that create the products. The users
of the products are the people who ultimately get the software
running in their homes, and those users benefit by having the
freedom to run, read, change, and share it.

All benefit and no work?

That seems contrary to the original purpose of OSS although it does
> meet the needs of the cultists who surround Stallman.

The FSF predates OSS, and does not use the term "open source" for
exactly this reason. "Open source" proponents care about making
things easier for programmers and companies. The FSF cares about
freedom for users. It is intentional that the GPL acts contrary to
to the purpose of OSS.

That seems to be a rather audacious admission, Hyman! Are you asserting that the users have some right to no-cost software? The conventional wisdom is that the users are just along for the ride and the purpose of the codicile is to give back to the developers of the software some improvement so that their own ends are better met. I don't think that is much of a reward myself, but who knows. You, on the other hand, seem to be grabbing the bull by quite a different horn.

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