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

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Problem with GPLv3 FAQ about linking with Visual C++
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 15:08:35 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:


> "Gah! Up is Down! Right is Wrong! Make it Stop!

> Today, some programmer named Zed Shaw wrote a blog post titled Is BSD
> The [sic] New GPL?. The crux of his article is that because a few
> people have, dog forbid, proselytized for the BSD license and tried to
> get some other projects that are currently using the restrictive GPL
> license to switch to the BSD license because the viral GPL license
> prevents code from flowing equally in both directions between the
> projects that, therefore, the BSD license is now just as bad as the
> GPL.

> What... the... Fuck?

Oh, we are having a wonderful day today, aren't we Alex?

> Because a few people suggested that, hey, maybe you guys would consider
> dropping some of those restrictions on your code so we can all, like,
> share equally, Zed Fucking Shaw thinks ....

Alex, you shouldn't try to fuck like an Englishman.  You can't do it.

> Now, I'm a big fan of openness. Almost every line of code that I've
> ever written that wasn't written specifically for a client or employer
> has been released in some form, either under a liberal license like the
> BSD or MIT license or simply given out as public domain code2. But I
> have not used and will not use the GPL. In fact, when people ask me if
> they can include code I've written in a GPL'd project (which they don't
> have to do, so I do appreciate the gesture) I always grant permission,
> but specifically request that they document the fact that my code is
> not covered by the project license.

Sorry, chum, if you release code into the public domain you're
specifically permitting others to use whatever license they like.  (Yes,
I did notice you were talking about a mere polite request).  If you want
to stop people GPLing your code, you need a license which does that,
something like the GPL.

> I'm not a fan of the GPL quite simply because I don't see the GPL as
> "open".

Er, I think we know this.  If you had a smidgin of politeness to you, you
wouldn't be abusing a GNU forum to bore others to death by trying to
proselytise them with this opinion.

> The GPL is not defined by what it is, it's defined by what it isn't.
> It's "against" proprietary closed source code. It's against
> corporations. It's against software as a commercial product. It's all
> about what it's not. It's a political movement replete with a
> manifesto.  No joke. A fucking manifesto.

Whatever it is, it is not the last of these things.  You clearly don't
understand the GPL.  The fact is, it's won (or is winning) in the
marketplace of ideas.  Ask yourself why the GPL is so popular.  Why don't
people prefer a BSD or public domain licence?

> The GPL is about openness in the same way that Stalin was about peace
> and kindness. And you know what? I don't want my code tied up in a
> political movement.

Neither does Linus Torvalds, but he freely adopted GPL 2.  I wonder why?

> If I want to share, I'll happily share with no expectation of a direct
> return. If I don't want to (or can't) share, I won't publish my code.

That's fine.  You're in a minority position there.  But you shouldn't
expect others to conform to that somewhat strange attitude when they
publish their code.  Most free software hackers don't want to act as
unpaid programmers for large proprietary firms like Apple and MS.

> Sir Isaac Newton uttered a very famous line long ago in what is one of
> the greatest displays of modesty ever recorded. He said, "If I have
> seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants." And
> that modest statement sums up the way science, and all meaningful
> pursuit of knowledge works. Knowledge is expanded when it is shared.

That's why the GPL exists and is so successful.  When you extend a
program, you share it.

> When solutions to problems are shared, that frees us up to tackle the
> next obstacle rather than spending time solving problems that have
> already been solved by others. Which, if you read their propaganda, is
> exactly what the GNU foundation people think they believe. But anyone
> who has actually read their license terms knows that obviously they
> don't, ....

Utterly untrue.  You should read the license yourself and try to do so
with an open mind.

> ...., because you can't reconcile that with the viral restrictions in
> their licenses. If you truly believe that knowledge is not a zero-sum
> game, and that sharing knowledge tends to increase the sum of societal
> knowledge, then you don't go putting petty restrictions on your
> knowledge.

Ah, here we go again with the disparagement.  You know full well that the
only restriction is a prohibition on adding restrictions.

Alex, you've let yourself get frustrated and angry.  What are you doing
in this forum?  You're like a communist who's somehow got into an FDP[*]
meeting - you can shout and scream as much as you like, you'll not
convert those present to your way of thinking.

[*] FDP is a German right wing party, currently in the governing

> regards,
> alexander.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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