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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Alexandre Oliva 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

I don't believe that is generally true except for perl and the few other dual-licensed packages where the authors understood the issue from the start. And worse, there is no accounting for copyright ownership since anyone could have added code and most packages have no one who could grant such permission on current packages encumbered by the GPL.

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.

And there's where we differ. I think it is a big deal, has put free software decades behind where it might otherwise be, and has kept affordable alternatives to monopoly-ware out of the picture almost completely.

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.

You can't be 'dependent' on software as long as there are alternate choices. The thing that is bad for society is unnecessary restrictions on how those choices can be produced and combined.

  Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell gmail com

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