hypothetical(?) GPL problem

John Tapsell tapselj0 at cs.man.ac.uk
Wed Jun 20 12:46:48 UTC 2001

On Wed, 20 Jun 2001, you wrote:
> Hi John, hi all,
> * John Tapsell <tapselj0 at cs.man.ac.uk> [20010620 09:51 +0100]:
> > I don't know whether this is correct or not, but I like your reasoning
> > :) However... who cares?
> Well, I think we should care. The FSF(E) is _the_ entity to guard over
> the GNU GPL. It should actively try to prevent it's missues and speak
> out if missues occures.

The guardians :)

You made some good points..  But I don't think you can stop them.
I create a stub .dll  which only has the function names, but no code.
Then I distribute my program, with just about all the features disabled.  And a
text file saying "To enable all the features do NOT *cough cough wink wink*
replace our dll with the gnu one (which we have included _only_ because we
wanted to fill up disk space).  If you do I will not be responsible, and have
told u not to"

Then what?

> > If they go to all that trouble ...
> Going through trouble wouldn't make it right. A big software vendor with
> enough ressources could try to use this kind of reasoning for his
> benefit and harm free software in doing so. But if it pays off to do
> this, if the advantage gained is bigger than the loss incured by the
> anger of the free software community, a firm /could/ decide in favour of
> this reasoning. Do we want that to happen?
> > And would you risk it?
> Of course not. Luckily I'm not in the position to provide this kind of
> 'service'. But what if my boss decides that following this reasoning is
> worth the risk and he tells me do provide the service of linking the
> free library to the proprietary piece of software: what shall I do? I'd
> have to say no or try to argue against it.
> Regards
> Lutz
> -- 
> Lutz Horn <lh at lutz-horn.de>
> For PGP information see header.

Content-Type: application/pgp-signature; name="unnamed"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

"I worry about my child and the Internet all the time, even though she's too
young to have logged on yet. Here's what I worry about. I worry that 10 or
15 years from now, she will come to me and say 'Daddy, where were you when
they took freedom of the press away from the Internet?'" --Mike Godwin

More information about the Discussion mailing list