Documentation vs. Software (Re: Savannah rejects a project because it uses GPL)

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at
Wed Feb 22 22:36:34 UTC 2006

   I'm sorry to contradict you, but this is completely wrong:

No, it isn't wrong at all.

   > There is no law in the world that will protect you from slander
   > if you explicitly allow for the right to modify a work.  You
   > cannot sue a person for using a free software program in a manner
   > that you consider bad since you explicitly gave this right.  Same
   > applies if you give the explict right to modify a text in anyway
   > or form.

   Copyright law (and licenses) are concerned with copying. They don't
   make void other laws.  Who sells knives doesn't limit your use, but
   cutting throats is illegal nonetheless.

Comparing murder to modification of a text is a bit extreme specially
when they have nothing in common.

The license you license software under, e.g. GPL, explicitly allows
modification of the work.  You cannot, ever, claim that it is wrong
for a person to use the program in a manner that you find ethically
wrong (porting it to a non-free platform for example).  The same
applies to a work where you give _explicit_ permission to modify the

You are confusing a already written work, and a work that doesn't yet
exist where one invents something from scratch.  The later is infact
protected by libel, slander, and other such laws.  The former is not.


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