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Re: GNU "Moral Codes"

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GNU "Moral Codes"
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2007 20:49:27 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Aug 21, 4:08 pm, David Kastrup <> wrote:
> mike3 <> writes:
> > It seems the GNU licenses are designed so you can't just monopolize
> > off someone else's work -- rip it off and pilfer it for your profit,
> > which is what incorporating it into a proprietary package without
> > making that free would do.
> Wrong.  I'd say you have been reading too many of Linus Torvalds'
> rants: that is his opinion as well.
> The GPL is not a "tit for tat" license: the upstream author gets
> nothing from the recipient by defaul, nor does he have any right to.
> But any further downstream recipients get all the rights the GPL
> guarantees.  The GPL ensures that no recipient gets crippled software,
> software which can't be serviced.  It is the software engineering
> equivalent of placing good schematics inside of any sold appliance.
> So the GPL is "tat for tat" rather than "tit for tat": it is not
> reciprocal but seminal.

Ie. it fosters the creation of more free software, and hence more
freedom for the user. It has nothing to do with profit, or lack
thereof, from anyone's work, but freedom.

> > This may be good, but what is the GNU position on monopolizing or
> > reaping a profit off licensing your OWN work?
> You have to distinguish here between the stance of the GNU project in
> general, the subset of the effects and goals that the GPL codifies,
> and the FSF's and Richard Stallman's personal convictions, and those
> have changed over time as well.
> I recommend that you read the GNU manifesto.  It should tell you
> something.

So then the answer is that FSF believes it is indeed not OK to do
so, however not due to any sort of law, but because of the belief
that the user has an intrinsic freedom, and such proprietary licensing
of one's work therefore creates a restriction upon that freedom,
and therefore is morally wrong. So then the GNU/FSF "Moral
codes" say to give freedom to the user.

> --
> David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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