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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre



On Jun 18, 2008, Matthew Saltzman <mjs clemson edu> wrote:

> Then can we at least agree that there are sometimes unfortunate
> consequences to the GPL's failure to permit one to share a work
> combining two pieces of *free* software because of relatively minor[1]
> license incompatibilities?

Yeah, it's unfortunate when this happens.  In general, authors who use
the GPL for its intended purpose (ensuring the 4 freedoms are
respected for all users) won't object to the combination of their
works with other works that respect users' freedoms, and will grant
additional permissions for the combinations in spite of the license
conflicts.

Of course, not everyone does that, and some people who would like to
create such combinations may even not realize that this possibility
exists, or think it's not worth the effort.

So, yeah, it's unfortunate, but I don't think it's really such a big
deal.  Nearly all Free Software *is* available under the GPL and
compatible licenses anyway.

> In fact, I think it's arguable that there are sometimes unfortunate
> consequences to the GPL's failure to permit one to share a work that
> makes use of a GPL library and a proprietary library.

Sparing a user from becoming dependent on a piece of proprietary
software might even be a sacrifice for the user, but it's actually an
advantage for the user and for society in the long run.

Anyhow, it is true that conquering freedom is not without its
sacrifices.  Like, one could argue that an army is a useless expense
and sacrifice in times of peace, but if you don't work on your
defenses proactively (and GPL is a license that not only respects the
4 freedoms, but also stands up to defend them), you become a sweeter
target, more likely to be defeated and terminated.

-- 
Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist  oliva {lsd ic unicamp br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva {redhat com, gcc.gnu.org}


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