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Lutz Horn lh at lutz-horn.de
Thu May 10 20:06:44 UTC 2001

Hi all,

On Thu, May 10, 2001 at 01:31:34PM +0200, Klaus Schilling wrote:
> John Tapsell writes:
>  > On Thu, 10 May 2001, you wrote:
>  > > 
>  > > On Thu, May 10, 2001 at 09:56:24AM +0200, Stefan Meretz wrote:
>  > > > Is there a copyleft license preventing from making money with
>  > > > free software?
>  > > 
>  > > No.
>  > > 
>  > But you can always write one :)
> No, you can't, because the software would not be free if its license
> prevented that.

This is some interesting point. The freedoms 0-3 as described on
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html dont't contain this notion.
The freedom 2 states:

    The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
    (freedom 2).

In this short sentence there is not a single word about a price, a fee
or any other aspect dealing with money. Only in the first paragraph
below the list of the four freedoms it is stated that according to the
interpretation of the FSF this freedom means to be able to distribute
the software "either gratis or charging a fee for distribution". But
this sentence is, and I stress this point, only _one interpretation_ of
the freedom quoted above. The most important point in it is, for me at
least, "help your neighbor". If I come to the conclusion that I can help
my neighbor best by preventing my software from being distributed for a
fee, nobody can deny me this interpretation of the formulation of
freedom 2.

So, to make this short, there may be one interpretation of freedom 2,
the interpretation given by the FSF(E). But I don't accept that one
body, the FSF(E), as the sole interpretational right and the only power
to define how the four freedoms have to be interpreted. But I guess
that's what is meant by "authorative information" :-)


Lutz Horn <lh at lutz-horn.de>
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