GPL License with clause for Web use?

Sam Liddicott sam at
Thu Nov 22 16:41:52 UTC 2007

* simo wrote, On 22/11/07 16:20:
> On Thu, 2007-11-22 at 15:28 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
>> simo <simo.sorce at> wrote:
>>> 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.
>> User and distributor are not two distinct or identical groups with
>> free software.
> And how that matters?
> If I own a shop, and but from my own shop, does it matter if I own it?
> Consumer, tax and other laws apply even to what I sell myself in that
> case. Both and separately as a consumer and as a vendor.
> When you talk legal matter the role you play is important.
> When you tal 4 freedoms the recipient is important. The role of
> distributor has to obey the requirements. The users enjoys the freedoms.
> The distinction is all there in the license in any part of it.
We all see that, and if thats how you meant "user" please explain your
original statement on how the GPL is to protect the users freedom (and
freedom to distribute) but not their freedom as a distributor.

>> [...]
>>> Mj Ray is playing rhetorical tricks here.
>>> Nothing more effective that someone bitter that try to find faults at
>>> all costs and is confrontational.
>> Simo is playing the man, not the ball here.
>> But then, I am a bit bitter that FSF's hypocrisy in updating their
>> basic texts to match their leaders' actions isn't more widely-known
>> when me and my projects get such a bad press from FSF supporters.
> I play man, and you?
then you will lose.
You should play principle, it's the only way to win, and in the end it
will always come down to a misunderstanding or a difference in principle
which is by definition, a preference.
> You keep trying to find FSF at fault, 
I have not observed MJ try to find fault as I understand the charge. I
have seen him try to express a concern and why FSF behaviour perplexes
him as it does me.
> you are biased, 
so is everyone, it is a nature of existance
> and you do not
> recognized humans can commit errors. 
perhaps you may admit you committed an error here?
> The FSF is made of humans not
> machines. 
> That said I never found the FSF betray the core values or
> change "the scriptures" to match leaders positions. I see that only in
> the words of their detractors.
So here you reveal your bias. it's just another way of saying you agree
with the core values as they are currently demonstrated, but we knew that.

It doesn't mean they haven't changed though, you are just saying you
haven't noticed.

That doesn't make anyone else bad or evil-ly biased just because they
say they have.

>> What long-time supporter wouldn't get a bit fed up with the original
>> proponent endlessly rewriting its own core beliefs?  How can we build
>> stable shared alliances if the common ground keeps getting moved
>> without agreement?
> Only a person that believe in a slightly different set of core values
> can think that FSF core values change. 
Take the other perspective. Only a person that believe in a slightly
different set of core values can think the FSF core values do not change.

Of course they change, so does the world. "Users" now has extra meaning
because of web services, thats what this is about.

Web service users were NOT users in the regular sense which is WHY the
AGPL is being mooted.

Of course there will be different expectations on how this will be
handled. Just because the word "users" (GPL1 days) is also applied to
web users does not itself mean the Stallman WOULD have automatically
wanted to include them in the protections of the GPL. He may have wanted
to but it would perhaps have been based on activities and rights, not
merely because the word matched.

My personal view is that if in GPL1 days, Stallman looked ahead, web
service users would NOT have been considered, just as the source to NNTP
or Gopher servers need not be made available to those who connect to
them. (Further evidence is that AGPL took so long).

However, with thin clients the nature of software provision has changed
and so philosophically it becomes important that web users SHOULD be
included, and are.

I see this as a change in interpretation of core values even if the same
WORDS can be used to describe those values.

And I see the AGPL/GPL3 combination as undesirable. I prefer the GPL3+
AGPL linking solution I proposed as it does not taint or force-upgrade
any GPL3 enhancements.
> You think you "know" perfectly
> what are the core values, and as soon as your very strict expectations
> do not match reality you blame the FSF for shifting. Many do this in
> fact.
You are doing it just now in fact. Just because you haven't been
offended yet you say that they have not changed.
> But many others don't see this shift, so you are either claiming that
> *you* are the holder of the truth or that these other people are part of
> a conspiracy to change FSF core values.
So are you.
> I don't believe in large scale conspiracies, so I think you have to
> think harder, because IMO you are at fault here.
So, to you this is a large scale conspiracy. This explains why you are
so angry.

To me it is human mortality, of course such things happen, and they get
fixed by talking about it.
>> I don't mean to be confrontational, but sometimes I'm at a loss of any
>> other way to highlight FSF use of tactics like lock-out, ret-con,
>> hair-splitting, and so on.
>> Hope that explains,
> No need to explain, this was evident. Unfortunately, nobody can change
> your beliefs, because beliefs are not facts. 
There are no "agreed facts" unless there is agreement!
Of course you think your perception is fact, but so do others.
There is only belief based on perception.
> It's like religion and
> sects, every single one think *they* own the *truth* and the others are
> shifting the core values because they were lured by the devil,
> Clear tracts of radicalism and extremism, luckily they seldom win.
You have also just described your position. You think you own the truth
(or you and the FSF because you haven;t been offended yet) and that
everyone else is shifting.

In fact all that has been expressed is that the GPL3/AGPL seems to be
against our view of the FSF core values.

of course, speaking for myself, either the values have changed or I have
misunderstood. Either way (if it comes to the end) I am subscribing to
the wrong organization. It has not come to that extreme yet, I don't
think it will.

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