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Re: Recently released QPL

On Sat, Mar 27, 1999 at 04:34:10PM -0500, Jonathan P Tomer wrote:
> you seem to be missing my point: those licenses are considered free. other
> licenses have compatibility issues which cause certain good things not to
> happen. in my opinion, this is a unilaterally bad thing. i think that anyone
> who thinks non-copylefted software can be free (this includes all debian
> developers, at least all honest ones, as there is an explicit acceptance of
> the social contract in the process of becoming a developer, and the social
> contract explicitly endorses the dfsg) should realize that by placing code
> under a restrictive license he may be doing a disservice to the free
> software community by making his code unusable to some of it. the argument
> that anybody can make use of gpl software by colicensing under the gpl is
> circular: what if they just don't want to? then they're screwed.

If they do not, they make this decision knowing that it remains incompatible
with the GPL. What a big deal. Everyone can screw himself in multiple ways.
No solution you can offer will help with that.

See, I think both sides make a well meaning decision. The author of the
GPL'ed work makes a decision, which he feels is a service to the Free
Software community. He wants to make sure that "enhancements of
enhancements" are still under the GPL. Otherwise you could add very free
software to the GPL, and this enhancements could be used for proprietary
software (you still can, but you always have to offer GPL, too).

The Author who wants to put his changes under a very free license (assuming
incompatible with GPL) thinks this is not a disservice to the Free Software
community. But then, he does not colicense it under the GPL. Why? You don't
give me a good reason for it ("they just don't want to" is no reason for

Either someone seeks for a maximum compatibility, or he does not. I agree
that someone who chose the GFPL does NOT look for maximum compatibility. So
does someone who chose a GPL-incompatible license.

Both are doing a disservice to the Free Software community in your
understanding. In my opinion, someone chosing the GPL does not do
disservice, but a strong service (because I dislike the relicensability of
BSD style licenses, and because I dislike that enhancements may become
proprietary). This is just my opinion, though.

There are also practical reasons to choose the GPL. A GPL'ed program is
always GPL'ed. A mixture of dozens of different dfsg free licenses is a
legal mess.


`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
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