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.
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mtzmtulivu
Member since:
2006-11-14


You and I seem to have a completely different understanding of the Open Source and Free Software movements. I think a huge part of it is about giving all users the power to be distributors. I would expect Richard Stallman to agree with me on that point.

Isnt that what i said? The GPL deals with distribution of modified or unmodified version of the GPLed work.The restrictions of the GPL will affect only distributors, not users of the work. I think we have the same understanding, maybe i do not express myself clearly or you are failing my understand me clearly.

Or what do you mean by "all users"?


"Free software is software that gives you the USER the freedom to SHARE, study and modify it. We call this free software because the user is free." (emphasis mine)

Yap, completely agree with that.
How does it do so? My answer, by putting restriction on all who are btw the user and the creator of the work and all who are in the middle are known as "distributors", whats your answer?

Perhaps more importantly, your assertion that the GPL does not impact users is quite false.

It does impact users, vlc was pulled from apple store because apple(a distributor) could not satisfy restrictions of the GPL and vlc users on idevices were negatively impacted.

The negative impact on users comes from distributors failing or unwillingness to abide by the term of the license.

I fail to see how you came up with this line of reasoning from my writing but i agree with it. I talked walking about restrictions of distributors and you came up with impacts on users.The two may be related but they seem distant enough to me.

If you cannot distribute software to me then I cannot use it.

True, but why can i not distribute software to you? If the license of the program says i can not do so, then i can not do so, if the license of the program puts restrictions on me on what i have to do to give it to you, then i have to satisfy all those restrictions before i give it to you. The negative impact on users comes from distributors inability to satisfy terms of license.


For example, I wrote an employee benefits management package a few years ago for an insurance broker that used some GPL software in a few places.

Your writing suggests you were one entity and you created a piece of work with GPLed code in it for another entity. You therefore were a distributor and hence what you did was a license violation.


From my client's point of view, the software that I had provided restricted the use of that software in his business quite significantly.

The error was on your part for failing to understand what they wanted to do with the work you gave them. The problem is not the GPL but of you failing to give them licensed code that agreed with their use case.


- The license terms certainly do impact users. Whether or not that impact is worth it or not is a different debate.

They do but the impact solely lies on distributor's feet. As in your case, you use licensed code that worked against your customer use case and they suffer from your bad decision. The blame should not be on GPL but on your decisions.

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