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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Sat, 9 May 2009 15:41:34 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Evening, Erik!

In gnu.misc.discuss Erik Funkenbusch <> wrote:
> On Sat, 09 May 2009 10:43:09 +0200, David Kastrup wrote:

>>> Funny, but even YOU don't seem to understand the GPL that nobody could
>>> possibly misunderstand.  Or maybe it's the FSF that doesn't understand
>>> it.

>> Or maybe you don't have a clue what "outside its scope" means.  The FSF
>> is talking about the applicability of copyright law.  The contents of
>> the GPL are not at issue here.

> The GPL is useless without copyright law.  The two are entertwined.  You
> cannot understand the GPL without understanding copyright law, thus the
> "contents fo the GPL" includes copyright law, because the GPL is a
> "derivitive work" of it.

Right, now I'm beginning to see what you mean when you assert that the
GPL is difficult to understand.  By the same argument, all copyright
licenses are difficult to understand.

However, the GPL is NOT tangled with copyright law.  It sits on top of
it, or to one side of it, or whatever, but it is separate.  And no, you
don't need to understand copyright law to understand the GPL, any more
than you need to understand cell physiology to understand what an
antibiotic does.

[ .... ]

> I'm speaking about GPLv2.  v3 with all it's "conveyance" crap is even
> worse, but I don't know it well enough to comment much on it.

There seems to be a contradiction there.  Now would be an excellent
time for you (Erik) to read the GPLv3 and get to know it.

>>> You cannot understand the GPL without understanding the wider chaos of
>>> copyright law.  That's why the GPL is not easy to understand.

>> Since that applies to any license, it's disingenuous to blame the GPL
>> for that specifically.

> I'm not.  I'm blaming the people that say it's impossible to
> misunderstand the GPL.

You might be referring to me, here.  If so, let me correct the false
impression you've got.  I haven't said it's impossible to misunderstand
the GPL - clearly, going by this thread, it's very possible to
misunderstand, particularly by people who put enough effort into it.

What I said was the GPL is easy to understand, which is true, but that
assumes a normally intelligent person prepared to spend the time to read
read the GPL attentively.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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