[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: cygwin.dll license (was Re: FreeQt ?)



> [ I've not been following this thread too closely,
>   so if I've got the wrong idea, please forgive me ]
> 
> > The GPL is a very restrictive license.  In many ways, it is just as 
> > restrictive as the Qt license.  Particularily in the case of libraries,
> > using it as Cygnus is doing (to make money) goes against the spirit
> > of Free Software.
> 
> Wrong.

(I think I'm right)
 
> There is no obligation to give things away for no money when writing free 
> software.

No, there isn't an obligation.  There isn't an obligation to even have to 
write free software.  I have no problem with people who write proprietary 
software -- something's got to pay the bills.

But there are varying degrees of freedom.  There exists "Free Software" where 
somebody isn't trying to make a buck off of it.  Most "Free Software" falls
into this category.  The GPL license is used by many of these packages in
order to prevent anybody from putting the software under a proprietary license 
in order to 'extort' money (and other things) from out of the user base.

The cygwin.dll case in an example where the GPL is being used to restrict the 
rights of other people using the code so that they can't do something taboo 
such as charge money, while at the same time, reserving the right for the
authors to do the exact same thing.  To me, this is clearly hypocritical,
and I don't consider that software to be as 'free' as it could otherwise
be.

If cygwin.dll was put under the LGPL, it would be a more 'free' piece of
software that if it was under the GPL.  But then Cygnus couldn't 'extort'
money from their users (some of whom may be writing commercial software
to put food on the table for their kids).  

[I use the word, 'extort' in a Free Software sense, since the library is 
being passed off as Free Software]

There's something wrong with thinking that just because something is under 
the GPL, it is automatically as 'free' as is could be.

> I presume that the what they are selling is the right not to be bound by the 
> GPL restrictions that would normally apply --- is that correct ?

That's true.  But if there is a great demand for relaxed restrictions, a
true-blue free software author would investigate using a less restrictive 
license, such as the LGPL, rather than prying money out of the hands of 
the users.

(hopefully I'm clearing up some people's thinking on this topic)

Cheers,

 - Jim


Attachment: pgpdJIzKjKUr7.pgp
Description: PGP signature


Reply to: