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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre



Matthew Saltzman <mjs clemson edu> wrote:
> On Thu, 2008-06-19 at 12:59 -0300, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> > 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.

> Would not the world then be a better place if the GPL permitted such
> combinations to start with?  That would simplify this process enormously
> and help spread free software.

... into all sorts of non-free combinations. The GPL is as it is for a
purpose, else the BSD/MIT license (or just public domain) would be enough.

> > 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.

> Maybe all the free software *you* use...

Most of what is out there, by all surveys I've seen.

> PHP, for example, is not under GPL.  When MySQL changed its free
> distribution from LGPL to GPL, that almost put an end to the php-mysql
> library.  The end result was MySQL's free software exception clause,
> which they added to the GPL to create their license.

Fixed. See?

> I work on a free software project (very widely known in my field) that
> is primarily CPL.  GPL compatibility is a problem for us.  We also need
> to interface to proprietary libraries.  I have little hope that I can
> get permission from all the contributors' employers to dual license.

No simple answers there. In any case, GPL /allows/ you to do certain
things, and you are getting this software because people feel confortable
distributing under GPL. At least it is interoperable in itself.

> Plenty of companies that would be willing to release free software are
> leery of releasing it as GPL

Why?

>                              and of using GPL software.

Now that is completely unwarranted.

>                                                          Whether their
> concerns are well founded or not, the compatibility issues are still
> there.

But they are way less than trying to combine stuff under the typical
assortment of privative licenses in any case... have you looked in detail
at that kind of mess?
-- 
Dr. Horst H. von Brand                   User #22616 counter.li.org
Departamento de Informatica                    Fono: +56 32 2654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria             +56 32 2654239
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