[uk.comp.os.linux] Re: Smoothwall GPL - not quite licensed under GPL

MJ Ray markj at cloaked.freeserve.co.uk
Wed Aug 22 11:45:05 UTC 2001

Summary of the background to this is available on
http://www.smoothwall.org/ from Richard's point of view.  

In my words: Jason Clifford, who works for Definite Software,
downloaded a copy of "Smoothwall GPL 0.9.9 beta" and discovered that
parts were specifically excluded from the GPL but no licence was
supplied.  He posted to the developer concerned (not Richard) and the
newsgroup (because people were duplicating this CD already) because
this leaves resellers liable to a particularly nasty fine and
imprisonment for illegal distribution.  Smoothwall had previously been
upset by the CD reseller CheepLinux, which is another part of the
Definite Software Group, and so Richard aimed his flamethrower at
Jason...  http://groups.google.com/ has numerous threads on this.

I'm particularly interested if any FSF people count the Smoothwall
developers as friends and how we can best counteract the FUD about the
GPL that is being spread by this project.

For your information, here is the most recent episode in the saga:

From: Jason Clifford <jason at uklinux.net>
Newsgroups: uk.comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: Smoothwall GPL - not quite licensed under GPL
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 18:04:13 +0100

On 16 Aug 2001, MJ Ray wrote:

> As to concerns about the GPL being "insufficient", I find this
> somewhat remarkable.  Has the smoothwall team approached anyone at the
> Free Software Foundation about their concerns, so that they can be
> resolved?  ISTR reading that Richard saying he counts some FSF Europe
> people as friends.  Allowing them to answer GPL concerns rather than
> backing away and spreading FUD about one of the major licences would
> be much fairer.

But Richard evidently likes FUD.

Consider this posting he made to the Smoothwall Users mailing list this

"Smoothie will be all these things but not in GPL version sorry. Some of
us have to eat and stick two fingers up to opensource freeloaders who
don't get the fact that the GPL is cool but fucked."

It seems that he is not so ardent an advocate about the GPL and Free
Software as he claims on the Smoothwall web site. That's fine really -
there is no requirement that anyone believe in the GPL except those that
use it.

The problem here is that Richard's claimed use of the GPL while seeking to
subvert it in relation to Smoothwall whilst simultaneously making comments
like the one above is simply dishonest.

Jason Clifford

Member of the Anglian Linux User Group, UK
Meets every month or so and OPN #alug on Mondays at 2000 UK

More information about the Discussion mailing list