Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jan 2012 19:12 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia - but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
Thread beginning with comment 501878
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Valhalla
Member since:
2006-01-24


The 4 freedoms are not bad per se, but when strictly enforced, they can not exist in a world that gives users the freedom to use software who's license does not specifically adhere to these concepts. Hence, not real freedom.

Enough with the bullshit, real freedom, what is that? And while I've always thought the use of 'freedom' in GPL to be propaganda nonsense since it's about end-user rights and nothing else, people engaging in the 'licence X is more FREE' are just focusing on that naming aspect because they don't have arguments with which to attack the actual rights which the so called 'four freedoms' grant.

GPL protects end user rights, such as the availability of source code, unrestricted duplication (which is what got GPL banned from AppStore) etc. Those who dislike these rights (usually those who wants to use open source code in proprietary projects) wants to argue that they make things 'less free' because surely if you are not free to deny these rights to end users then you are indeed less free, right? And so pointless semantic discussions on the wording of freedom continues, leading nowhere...

So let's leave the term 'freedom' aside, should a licence NOT be allowed to require that the source be made available together with the binary? Is there some fundamental principle which you 'Worknman' feel should disallow this, which doesn't have to do with the semantics concerning the word 'freedom'?

As it stands, GPL is the most popular open source licence. Personally I don't think this is due to the philosophical/ethical stance against proprietary code in general. I think the majority of programmers like GPL for it's practical purposes, which is that they as end-users will be subject to the same rights they've granted should someone else enhance their code and distribute it. That does not change the fact that no matter if they choose GPL purely for practical reasons it still ends up protecting against those control issues which FSF and Thom's article warns about.

I also find it interesting that my original post has already been modded down. Hence, this comment system is little more than a way to censor comments from those you don't agree with, seemingly the exact opposite message that this article was preaching about.

I saw that of your comment votes, 52% had been issued to vote a comment down...

Reply Parent Score: 15

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

GPL protects end user rights, such as the availability of source code, unrestricted duplication (which is what got GPL banned from AppStore) etc. Those who dislike these rights (usually those who wants to use open source code in proprietary projects) wants to argue that they make things 'less free' because surely if you are not free to deny these rights to end users then you are indeed less free, right?


Who said anything about using open source code in proprietary projects? I am talking about the freedom to WRITE and USE proprietary software, not to distribute GPL code in proprietary projects. I do not believe the use of GPL and the 4 freedoms make people less free; I believe that the attempt to ENFORCE GPL-compatible licenses on developers who don't wish to use it makes people less free. If I were a developer distributing software (I only write small utils for my own use), I feel like I should have the right to distribute MY OWN program either with or without the source code, and users are either free to use it or not.

So let's leave the term 'freedom' aside, should a licence NOT be allowed to require that the source be made available together with the binary? Is there some fundamental principle which you 'Worknman' feel should disallow this, which doesn't have to do with the semantics concerning the word 'freedom'?


Honestly, I don't have a problem with licenses that require the source code to be made available together with the binary, as long as *I* am not force to adhere to such a license if I am the author of a particular program, in the name of 'freedom'. If I download somebody else's code and want to modify and distribute it, I have no problems adhering to the terms of their license. But if I write something and distribute it, don't try and tell me that I HAVE to distribute the source code, and then claim the moral high ground.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

I believe that the attempt to ENFORCE GPL-compatible licenses on developers who don't wish to use it makes people less free. If I were a developer distributing software (I only write small utils for my own use), I feel like I should have the right to distribute MY OWN program either with or without the source code, and users are either free to use it or not.

And what makes you think you are not in your right to distribute your program under any licence (or none at all) you wish?

In what way does the existance of GPL hinder you in that venture?

GPL will only affect you if you licence your code as GPL or use someone else's code which is licenced under GPL. What you do with your code is entirely up to you.

That Stallman finds proprietary code immoral is of no consequence, just like that Ballmer thinks GPL is a cancer has no concequence on your right to create proprietary or GPL licenced code.

Honestly, I don't have a problem with licenses that require the source code to be made available together with the binary, as long as *I* am not force to adhere to such a license if I am the author of a particular program, in the name of 'freedom'.

Again how would you be forced to do so?

Reply Parent Score: 6

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I believe that the attempt to ENFORCE GPL-compatible licenses on developers who don't wish to use it makes people less free. If I were a developer distributing software (I only write small utils for my own use), I feel like I should have the right to distribute MY OWN program either with or without the source code [...]
Honestly, I don't have a problem with licenses that require the source code to be made available together with the binary, as long as *I* am not force to adhere to such a license if I am the author of a particular program, in the name of 'freedom'. If I download somebody else's code and want to modify and distribute it, I have no problems adhering to the terms of their license. But if I write something and distribute it, don't try and tell me that I HAVE to distribute the source code, and then claim the moral high ground.

If you choose to use GPL code in "YOUR OWN" program, it's not entirely yours, and you're choosing to abide by the consequences of that.
If you choose to don't use GPL code... then GPL supposedly "forcing" you to do something with your code doesn't happen, your bitching about it is irrelevant.

Reply Parent Score: 2