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Re: Is the GPL free?

On Thu, 21 Oct 1999, Cesar Eduardo Barros wrote:

> # 3.Derived Works
> #
> #  The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them
> #  to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original
> #  software.
> Something odd is going on. GPL'ed programs are free (according to the DFSG),
> but the GPL itself is not?

The freeness of the GPL itself is irrelevant.  The FSF does not want
people messing with the GPL and making it broken in some way and calling
it the GPL.  This will confuse licensees and make the FSF look bad.

As the GPL itself is not software it does not need to fall under the DFSG.
In other words, the DFSG only requires that the license allow derived
works of the software it covers.  It doesn't require that the license
allow derived works of itself.

Not that the FSF seems to care, as the Artistic license claims to be a
kindler, gentler version of the GPL, and nobody has objected (presumably
because the Artistic license doesn't claim to *be* the GPL).

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