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Re: GPL v LGPL for libraries

(Alex Yukhimets) wrote:
> Chris Waters wrote:

> > Well, yes, that's true.  OTOH, if it's a proprietary app, it's really
> > not of much concern to Debian, is it?  Debian is about free software,
> > last I checked.

> Very true. Commmercial application can be released under other *free*
> license though (NPL comes to mind). It is a concern for Debian then,
> isn't it?

I don't know -- I can't borrow code from emacs and use that in an NPL'd
app either.  Is that a concern for Debian?

I really don't buy the argument that a library has different
qualifications for licensing than a free application.  In both cases,
you should be free to use the code in your own free application.

The GPL is designed to discriminate against proprietary, non-free code. 
Unfortunately, it also discriminates against some free licenses as
well.  The LGPL does not discriminate against against other free
licenses, but unfortunately, does not offer any protection against
proprietary exploitation.  I don't know of an ideal solution, but I
prefer the GPL in many, if not most cases.

> And it looks like _GPL'd library_ has something  against this *free*
> piece of software.  Do you see nay positive thing in this situation?

I'm not claiming the GPL is a perfect solution, but I still think that
its advantages outweigh its disadvantages in many situations.  I think
that a developer should be able to choose whatever license she wants,
and should *not* be criticized by the Debian project for choosing the
GPL, even if she is writing a library.

The argument that the GPL is a non-free license because its not
compatible with MPL is ridiculous IMO.  Or are you seriously suggesting
that we should throw out the Linux and Hurd kernels from Debian? 
(Wouldn't leave us with a very useful system, would it?)  Some free
licenses are incompatible with other free licenses, and that's pretty
much life in the big city.
Chris Waters   xtifr@dsp.net | I have a truly elegant proof of the
      or    xtifr@debian.org | above, but it is too long to fit into
http://www.dsp.net/xtifr     | this .signature file.

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