From: Ben Finney on
aahz(a) (Aahz) writes:

> In article <e2467908-621e-4ed4-a549-48160ad649a3(a)>,
> Carl Banks <pavlovevidence(a)> wrote:
> >
> >GPL is about fighting a holy war against commercial software.
> And really, that's a Good Thing. We wouldn't have Python, to some
> extent, were it not for Stallman and his crusade. That doesn't mean we
> should slavishly worship him, though.


\ “A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of |
`\ five.” —Groucho Marx |
_o__) |
Ben Finney
From: Patrick Maupin on
On May 8, 8:41 pm, Ben Finney <ben+pyt...(a)> wrote:
> Patrick Maupin <pmau...(a)> writes:
> > On May 8, 2:38 pm, Steven D'Aprano <st...(a)REMOVE-THIS-
> >> wrote:
> > > Which brings us back full circle to Ben's position, which you took
> > > exception to.
> […]
> > To me, the clear implication of the blanket statement that you have to
> > use the GPL if you care at all about users is that anybody who doesn't
> > use the GPL is uncaring.  I think that's a silly attitude […]
> Fortunately, neither that silly blanket statement nor its implication
> are represented in any of my messages in this thread.

Hmm, I must have misunderstood this:

"Unless you place such a low value the freedom of your users that
you'd allow proprietary derivatives of your work to remove the
freedoms you've taken care to grant, then you should choose a copyleft
license like the GPL."

To me, placing "such a low value on the freedom of [my] users" sounds
like I'm ready to consign them to slavery or something, so I certainly
originally viewed this as a "blanket" (e.g. unqualified)
"statement" (well, that should be obvious) that I have to use the GPL
"if [I] care at all about [my] users".

> I hope that helps.

Well, perhaps you meant less by your wording of "a low value on the
freedom" than could be read into it, just as Aahz and I meant less by
"forced" than you apparently read into that. I think we all have more
or less accurate understandings of the differences between GPL and
permissive licenses, but only disagree somewhat on how important the
various features are, and at the end of the day we all come to some
reasonably nuanced view of how to proceed with our projects.

One thing I realized that I didn't cover in my earlier posts is that I
think that for a lot of library-type projects, LGPL v2.1 is a really
fine license, offering a great balance of competing interests. I view
the new licensing on QT from Nokia (commercial, GPL v3, or LGPL v2.1)
as a good example of a balanced strategy.

From: Paul Rubin on
Carl Banks <pavlovevidence(a)> writes:
> People who esteem their users give them freedom to use software
> however they see fit, including combining it with proprietary
> software.

Huh???? That makes no sense at all. Why should a standard like that be
expected from free software developers, when it isn't expected from the
makers of the proprietary software who you're proposing deserve to rake
in big bucks from locking up other people's work that they didn't pay

I've got no problem writing stuff for inclusion in proprietary products.
But I do that as a professional, which means I expect to get paid for
it. And I think you have the "esteem" issue backwards. Users who
esteem developers who write and share software for community benefit,
should not whine and pout that the largesse doesn't extend as far as
inviting monopolistic corporations to lock it away from further sharing.
From: Paul Rubin on
"Martin P. Hellwig" <martin.hellwig(a)> writes:
> I fail to see what is morally wrong with it. When I ,as the author,
> share my work to the public, I should have made peace with the fact
> that I, for all intends and purposes, lost control over its use.

Does the same thing apply to Microsoft? If I get a copy of MS Office,
do you think I should be able to incorporate its code into my own
products for repackaging and sale any way that I want, without their
having any say? If not, why should Microsoft be entitled to do that
with software that -I- write? Is there something in the water making
people think these inequitable things? If Microsoft's licenses are
morally respectable then so is the GPL.
From: Paul Rubin on
Steven D'Aprano <steve(a)> writes:
> For the record, I've published software under an MIT licence because I
> judged the cost of the moral hazard introduced by encouraging freeloaders
> to be less than the benefits of having a more permissive licence that
> encourages freeloading and therefore attracts more users. For other
> software, I might judge that the cost/benefit ratio falls in a different
> place, and hence choose the GPL.

I don't know if it counts as a moral hazard but some programmers simply
don't want to do proprietary product development for free. That's why
Linux (GPL) has far more developers (and consequentially far more
functionality and more users) than the free versions of BSD, and GCC
(GPL) has far more developers than Python. Of course the BSD license
did allow Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to become billionaires off the work
off the developers who actually wrote the Berkeley code and are now
struggling to make their rent. But at least those developers can be
proud that the Microsoft and Apple DRM empires benefited so much from
their efforts. THAT's a level of self-sacrifice that I can do without.

Note, "permissive license" is a Microsoft propaganda term from what I
can tell. "Forbidding forbidden" is how I like to think of the GPL.