GPL License with clause for Web use?

Sam Liddicott sam at
Thu Nov 22 15:24:27 UTC 2007

* simo wrote, On 22/11/07 15:11:
> On Thu, 2007-11-22 at 14:33 +0000, Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
>> MJ Ray <mjr at> writes:
>>>> This looks like a mistake in categories.html.  I'll mail FSF about this.
>>> Rather, it's a mistake in GPLv3 *iff* it should be a strong copyleft.
>> That's only true if the core value of copyleft is that no more requirements
>> can be added.
>> I've always thought that preserving the four freedoms for downstream users
>> was the core value of copyleft.  And I think the GNU project have made this
>> clear over and over again.
>> Banning additional restrictions was a means to protecting the four freedoms.
>> In the GPLv3 process, it was realised that strict adherence to this was not
>> necessary to protect the four freedoms and that a bit of flexibility can
>> solve some licence incompatibility issues.
> Ciaran, you fell in Mj Ray's trap with both feet. 
> You are confusing restrictions with requirements.
> GPLv3 added new requirements not new restrictions from my POV.
> Of course any requirements can be spelt as a restriction from the point
> of view of the distributor, but the point of view of the GPL is to
> protect *user*'s freedom not distributors freedom.
With this meaning of "user" (as it pertains to the point of view of the
GPL) _one_ of the users freedoms is to distribute, or therefore a
distributor is a user in that sense.

Because of this I don't think we can say "the point of view of the GPL
is to protect non-distributing *users* freedom" because such a statement
contradicts the idea of the freedoms.

And so I don't know what you mean by what you said.
>>> FSF changing its basic guidance to create retrospective continuity is
>>> the wrong way to fix this,
>> You're saying that mistakes on webpages should be obeyed forever? 
> Mj Ray is playing rhetorical tricks here.
> Nothing more effective that someone bitter that try to find faults at
> all costs and is confrontational.
If this is true, Ciaran has the correct response, which is to inform
rather than dismiss _valid_ questions on the grounds of suspected intention.

Even if the questioner is not genuine (and I think he is and so am I)
the questions may be held by others who are genuine, and proper
consideration may still strengthen the official position.

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