OSI Approves Microsoft Licenses

Conrad Knauer atheoi at gmail.com
Sun Oct 21 21:28:45 BST 2007

On 10/21/07, Scott (angrykeyboarder) <geekboy at angrykeyboarder.com> wrote:

> Honestly, the GPL can be a royal PITA.
> For example....
> I recall somebody had posted a link to a program they had written on
> some Linux forum I was on a few years back. They released it under the
> GPL (cuz they didn't know any better).
> I couldn't help but notice there was no mention of the source code.
> So, I told them "pardon me, but that can't be GPL unless you share the
> source code as well."  I then posted a link to the GPL.
> He got a bit miffed and told me I was being "too technical" (I agree I
> was, but I was making a point).  Anyway, the forum owner told him to
> share the source code, change the license or take down the file.  He
> took down the file.

How was that an example of the GPL being a "royal PITA"?

If some guy walked into a military recruiting station and signed up
without reading the forms they gave him, how is that the military's

"cuz [he] didn't know any better"???

> The GPL is just too restrictive for many.   There are other OSS licenses
> out there I like better (the BSD license for example).  And I always
> fond it funny that Stallmanatzi talks about "freedom".  The GPL isn't
> about freedom at all. It's "freedom" with conditions. That's not freedom
> at all.

Picking a license is all about what you want the code used for.  The
GPL ensures that all distributed changes go back into the 'copyright

The freedoms are listed on http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

    *  The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for
    * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
(freedom 2).
    * The freedom to improve the program, and release your
improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits
(freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

AFAIK, BSD software can be made proprietary or incorporated into
proprietary software; the resultant license could remove all four of
those.  BSD is thus great for something like getting a protocol or
standard implemented very broadly (e.g. SSL), but bad if significant
changes are being made.  GPL is not about 'freedom to do anything you
want', but rather about keeping free software libre. (In a 'free
society', I am not free to do anything I want; I cannot go up to
someone and kill them, for example, since that would deprive them of
their life (and thus rights).  In the same way the GPL is basically
saying that you can't deprive others of these rights if you want them

BTW, referring to Stallman in a way that brings up Nazis is rather
offensive; he is of jewish origin if you didn't know and his personal
politics are decidedly not fascist.


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