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Re: Recently released QPL

On Thu, Mar 25, 1999 at 12:30:55AM -0800, Joseph Carter wrote:
> RMS has also argued against GPL+extra permissions.  RMS wants GPL, only
> GPL, and never anything else.  Because of the anti-social nature of the
> GPL many things are being written for the LGPL and RMS recently made a
> plea to people to stop using the LGPL for things like libraries. 
> However, look at what happens if you do that.
> Either the GPL needs to change (VERY unlikely), the FSF needs to publish
> a new license which is more friendly to things which are Free Software
> but not GPL, or someone else needs to do it and TRY to get people to use
> it.
> Somehow all of these options don't seem to go very far in my mind, but
> one of them has to happen if we want to stop this license fragmentation.

Oh, come back from your high horse and land on mother earth again, will ya?

If you want to prevent license fragmentation, use the GPL. if you want to
suck in all dfsg free software, use X license.

The X license does support license fragmentation, the GPL does not. If
everybody would use GPL, we would have no license fragmentation, and no
debian-legal list. Unfortunately, some people don't buy in either license,
X/bsd'ish nor GPL, but try to cook up their own which allows them to
incorporate this in their business model (QPL, NPL). This is what creates
the real problems.

Stop complaining. Decide which to use for your own programs. You are free
to choose among a variety of freeness. I prefer GPL because it makes sure
that Free Software will grow in any case. Other people choose X license
because they feel the need for proprietary extensions. You can even decide
on a case by case base.

The real solution is to publish it under multiple licenses. People who want
most freedom, will not license it exclusively under GPL, and not exclusively
under Artistic (for example, because this is incompat with GPL), but they
will offer both licenses (they won't loose anything). Problem solved.

If upstream authors do offer a GPL-incompatible license, urge them to
release it under GPL, TOO. If they really care about Free Software, this
won't change anything for them.

But people who like the viral effect of GPL will not license their code
under X license.

I think it is reasonable for people to get religious about pro-GPL: 
Using BSD style licenses will make it possible to extend the softare in
proprietary software without benefit of the Free Software community.

However, I think it is unreasonable to get religious about anti-GPL:
If you don't like the additional restrictions, and use a GPL-incompatible,
MORE free license, you don't loose by adding the GPL to the list of valid
licenses (in fact, not doing so would be paradox, because you would
invalidate your own anti-GPL argumentation with your actions)


`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org   finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org     master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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