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Re: Why savannah? (was L4Hurd at Sourceforge)

From: Farid Hajji
Subject: Re: Why savannah? (was L4Hurd at Sourceforge)
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 04:24:03 +0200 (CEST)

> I'm curious, can I get a show of hands from people on this list that are
> really, really concerned about the "free" thing? I'm not talking about
> proprietary vs. nonproprietary, but "free as in freedom" vs "free as in
> beer" vs "open source" vs whatever? I'm interested in understanding what
> the dynamic of the group is.
My experience is that GPLed software can't be legally linked to or used
in software licensed under other licenses, due to the "infectious" nature
of the GPL. The point is that most licenses forbid you to re-license
software and this includes re-licensing them under GPL. This also
applies to free software licensed under the very liberal BSD license,
so using GPLed code in this context is problematic, to say the least.

The situation is not that bad with LGPL, but still not perfect. I wished
that the Hurd were licensed under LGPL rather than GPL, so that it could
be combined more easily with other non-[L]GPLed software, without risking
legal hassle with the FSF or the other license holders. However, I don't
expect this to happen any time soon.

The most convenient license both to developers and users is IMO the
BSD license which puts no strings on neither developers nor users.

Personally, I don't really care about the exact definition of "free"
software (in the sense of GPL, LGPL or BSD), as long as their licenses
provide us with at least the rights of the GPL (better: LGPL, best BSD).

Licences that try to restrict our rights as users or developers beyond
the GPL may still meet the open source requirements, but I don't consider
them to provide "free" software anymore (which is bad).

However, I don't want to start a religous war on licenses here. This
is clearly off-topic ;-)

> I, for one, am here because I thought it would be cool to learn about
> microkernels, the Hurd, and OS programming in general. Those are my
> goals. My code doesn't have any politics in it.
I see it exactly the same way.

> -- Ian


Farid Hajji -- Unix Systems and Network Admin | Phone: +49-2131-67-555
Broicherdorfstr. 83, D-41564 Kaarst, Germany  | address@hidden
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