Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, John Holroyd wrote:
> On Sun, 2003-05-25 at 18:03, Richard Stallman wrote:
>> There are free software licenses that have restrictions that I find
>> annoying and inconvenient. One is the old BSD license. I worked for
>> several years to convince Berkeley to remove the advertising clause,
>> which I called "obnoxious." If the Ku Klux Klan or George Dubya Bush
>> had released a program with the old BSD advertising requirement, I
>> might have thought twice about using it, because I would not want to
>> advertise them. But it is still a free software license.
> But why, if you found the old BSD license to be so inconvenient, are you
> promoting a license which mandates even greater inconveniences upon the
> end user?
Presumably he blieves that restrictions like those in the BSD license
and the GFDL are matters of inconvenience, not of Freedom, and so
there is no _moral_ reason not to impose these restrictions, merely
practical considerations, which he obviously feels are outweighed by
other reasons. Indeed, <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html> is
rather different from almost all the other essays on the GNU website,
since it makes only practical arguments, not moral ones.
rms has also explained his reasons for imposing these restrictions:
in <E19JBGl-0006F1email@example.com>, he wrote:
> It was clear from an early stage that companies might package parts of
> GNU with non-free software and would present the non-free software to
> the users as something legitimate and desirable. (This problem is
> getting bigger, not smaller: today, nearly all packagers of GNU/Linux
> distribute non-free software with it and try to argue it is a good
> thing.) So we had to search for ways to make sure that our message
> saying non-free software is wrong would at least be present in the GNU
> packages that they redistribute. ...
I disagree with his position (I believe that Freedom is vitally
important for many things, including software and political essays),
but I see his point of view.