hypothetical(?) GPL problem

Jeff Davies jeff at llandre.freeserve.co.uk
Thu Jun 28 12:06:54 UTC 2001

On Thursday 28 June 2001 10:16 am, John Tapsell wrote:
> I've been reading this discussion with some interest, and feel that you
> have all missed the point.
> What we need to do is become a militant fsf group - and put the hit out on
> anyone that gets in our way.  Remeber that Freedom is Slavery, and that
> Peace is War.
> We need to hit them with everything we've got, and force them to our way of
> thinking.
> I can donate £1.5 mil of top of the range weapons.
> JohnFlux
errmmm.... yeah

I think that discussing whether or not companies succeed or fail while in the 
market place (eg Caldera) is pointless. There are examples of companies 
publishing GPL code and succeeding., but the success or failure of these 
companies is irrelevant. The GPL is about freedom for a programmer/user 

We should ignore what all these seperate groups of people like Microsofties 
and Caldera-ites and EricSRaymond-eurs say. 

The GPL protects a program, allowing to be used in a natural way. You find a 
bug, you can fix it without being restricted by some license. In the 
interests of the wider public, if you fix it, you should return the fix to 
the community. You like a tool, you can share it with all of your friends. 
You are also protected from someone taking your program, altering a few lines 
and selling it as theirs, which is basically stealing in my book.

So please, let's not get embroilled in these "bill gates says this" ya de da 
de da type conversations.
Overall perhaps the GPL is the enemy of the inefficient software company 
which sits on it hands, and doesn't actually innovate. 
This is not the intention of the GPL, the GPL is to protect freedom. However 
it seems freedom is detrimental to some businesses interests.

In other words, I think FSF europe should concentrate on protecting freedom, 
talking about individual attacks by companies is pointless. These should be 
generalised into corporate interests against freedom. Perhaps links with 
human rights etc type organisations should be established.

Jeff Davies

>   --
> "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
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