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Re: Problem with GPLv3 FAQ about linking with Visual C++

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Problem with GPLv3 FAQ about linking with Visual C++
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 2010 14:28:02 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20091204 Thunderbird/3.0

On 2/2/2010 1:42 PM, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
See the light Hyman?

I see that Nimmer is unsurprisingly excellent at describing
the issues around free licenses, open source licenses, and
the GPL in particular. Of course, most of those complexities
arise when someone is seeking to deny downstream recipients
the same rights that they themselves have been given, in which
case the free software licensor has no interest in making
things easier for the licensee.

> In a stunning example of double-speak, the Preamble to the GPL
> describes the reason for such provisions in the GPL in terms of
> protecting the licensee's rights:
>                 To protect your rights, ...

The GPL says <>
    Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you
    have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and
    charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or
    can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or
    use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you
    can do these things.

    To protect your rights, we need to prevent others from denying
    you these rights or asking you to surrender the rights. Therefore,
    you have certain responsibilities if you distribute copies of the
    software, or if you modify it: responsibilities to respect the
    freedom of others.

I don't know why Nimmer thinks this is double-speak. It's not the
right to distribute as you wish that the GPL is protecting, it's
the canonical four freedoms the the FSF has always promoted, as
enumerated in the preceding paragraph. When you incorporate GPLed
code into your own project, you are able to do so because the GPL
has protected your right to receive source code and to be able to
redistribute it.

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