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Re: GPLv2-only considered harmful [was Re: GnuTLS in Debian]

Op 05-01-14 15:57, Clint Adams schreef:
> On Sat, Jan 04, 2014 at 05:07:29PM +0100, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
>> This goes for GPLvX "or later", but also for other "or later" licenses,
>> where they exist.
>> I'm convinced that the GPLv2 is a free license, but I'm so far undecided
>> on the GPLv3 (mainly because I've not read the license text in much
>> detail myself yet since it's far too long and I just never had the time).
>> How is that in any way antisocial?
> Because licensing is a social activity and you're making it all about you.

I guess that's something we heavily disagree about, then.

Licensing is not a social activity, to me. Writing free software is
social, sure, and so I do want to share my code with whomever *I* think
deserves it.

To do that, it is necessary to choose a license which allows people to
use (and modify!) my code in ways that I think is reasonable. Since
"reasonable" also includes "making sure that it can be mingled with
other code," I have no good reason to choose a GPLvX-incompatible
license, and I will go to great lengths to avoid that, if I can.

However, having said that, the FSF has a history of making statements
that I disagree with about what is "ethical" behaviour as a developer,
and thus I cannot in good conscience trust them to come up with a
license that will not disenfranchise people whom I think do not deserve
to be disenfranchised. In that light, it would be wrong to allow the FSF
to dictate what people can (or cannot) be allowed to do with my code.

> I could go waste my time making up a license that addresses only the
> things I care about.  It wouldn't have an attribution requirement.
> It would terminate on trademark-related legal action.  It would thus
> be incompatible with every other copyleft license out there.

And that would be very silly. But then, I'm not suggesting that.

> I once licensed something under GPLv2-only because I was afraid of
> what v3 might bring, but that turned out to be stupid and I'm glad
> someone yelled at me to fix it early on, because it was incompatible
> with v3+ FOR NO GOOD REASON.

I concur that if you fully agree with the FSF's position, there is no
good reason to license something v2-only.

Understand that not everyone feels that way.

This end should point toward the ground if you want to go to space.

If it starts pointing toward space you are having a bad problem and you
will not go to space today.

  -- http://xkcd.com/1133/

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