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Re: ITP: tnt -- An AIM client for Emacs

On Tue, Sep 19, 2000 at 09:53:44AM -0700, Ben Gertzfield wrote:
>     Itai> The licence is a bit restrictive, so the package will end up
>     Itai> in non-free (if it gets in at all):
> No kidding:
>     License> ii) Licensee does not utilize the software in a manner
>     License> which is disparaging to AOL.
> Bwahahaha!! That's the funniest thing I've seen in a while. Just
> sending a message with "Netscape SUCKS!" in it violates your license.

How is it possible to have something like this legally distributed?

As I understand it, the only reason software not compatible with the GPL
is allowed under Linux kernel is that rather early on, Linus made a
statement that it was fine with him if people used such software with his
kernel and he had no intention to prevent that in the licensing.  He's
even gone far enough to allow binary-only driver modules with a big caveat
that he refuses to promise that they'll work without modifications from
release to release.

It's my understanding that hurd for example doesn't have this kind of
exception (and I suspect never will, given the project's foundation), so
we'll never even see apache for it (the damned BSDish advertising clause
strikes again!)

Now that I have probably successfully started a flamewar with the above
paragraphs (it's not my intent, I assure you!), how is emacs any different
than a kernel such as hurd?  The license on tnt is blatantly non-free and
restricts not only the freedoms the FSF deems essential for software, but
other essential freedoms as well.  I'm certainly no champion for the
one-world-one-license philosophy I feel Richard is after with the GPL, but
this seems like a pretty blatant violation by AOL of the FSF's Copyright
and that isn't something I can idly ignore.

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>               GnuPG key 1024D/DCF9DAB3
Debian GNU/Linux (http://www.debian.org/)         20F6 2261 F185 7A3E 79FC
The QuakeForge Project (http://quakeforge.net/)   44F9 8FF7 D7A3 DCF9 DAB3

C'mere, come smell the door.
        -- Tracey Luke (in what can only be considered an inside joke)

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