GPL really free was Re: [Fsfe-ie] 1-page letter, faxes at the ready (IFSO, irish org)
adelaney at cs.may.ie
Fri Sep 26 10:54:59 CEST 2003
> I'll take this off list and reply to you tomorrow. I didn't actually
> mean to make my views so public on this particular list but anyone
> interested can see plenty more on the fsfeurope discussion list
Can you guys keep this on list? I'd be insterested in the debate.
I for one interpret the GPL as a social construct. It's intended to
build a community of people who study, modify and redistribute
software. I also think that it is commercially exploitable (I'm
organising a lecture by a CEO who _believes_ in Free Software).
I personally don't like things like Open Source or the LGPL. I don't
like the possibility that things could be unfree.
OTOH Ian Clarke was correct when he corrected me on what freedom really
means. I suggested that we should push for a Free Software clause in
swpat legislation. Ian correctly pointed out that goverment
legislation that _forces_ the use of Free Software negates the whole
idea of freedom.
So, as a social construct, the GPL is doing good things. It's leagal
status is debatable (and not wholly of interest to me). If you don't
choose to use Free Software I believe that you are missing out on
several large advantages. The opinion of people who believe in Open
Source (as a superset of Free Software) or propritery software (as a
disjoint set from Open Source) is valuable, but I don't want to see an
IFSO settling for a "common position" of Open Source.
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