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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre



On Sun, 2008-06-29 at 12:42 -0400, Jesse Keating wrote:
> On Sun, 2008-06-29 at 12:39 -0400, Matthew Saltzman wrote:
> > I'm not arguing that companies that shy away from open source in general
> > or the GPL in particular always do so for good reasons. 
> 
> Where "good reason" means "gross misunderstanding of the GPL licenses
> and OpenSource development in general".

This sort of fanboyism gets old in a hurry.

The IBM/Common Public License was developed by IBM lawyers.  Are you
seriously suggesting that they exhibit "gross misunderstanding of the
GPL licenses and OpenSource [sic] development in general"?  If so, I
think you'll find that even the FSF doesn't share your opinion.  One of
IBM's concerns that led to the development of the IPL/CPL was a lack of
protection against patent abuses in GPLv2.  The FSF listed the IPL/CPL
as a "free software license incompatible with the GPL".  They dubbed the
patent clauses (paraphrasing) "not a bad idea, but still incompatible".

Were IBM's concerns born of "gross misunderstanding of the GPL licenses
and OpenSource development in general"?  Well, similar protections ended
up in GPLv3.  You be the judge.

Is the problem solved by GPLv3?  No: IBM seems content with the IPL/CPL
for a lot of its software (including contributions to a project I work
on).  And the IPL/CPL is still a free software license incompatible with
the GPL.  Changing IBM's opinion is a long and difficult process that
takes time and energy people would prefer to spend developing new code,
and with no guarantee of success in the end. 

-- 
                Matthew Saltzman

Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu
http://www.math.clemson.edu/~mjs


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