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Re: GNU License and Computer Break Ins

Paul Serice writes:

> Do I read you and others correctly?  Is the GPL a strategy designed to
> basically reduce the time to zero between when an author publishes and
> when the work falls into a GPL-like public domain?  (Much like the use
> of proprietary operating systems was a strategy when the GNU Project
> first started.)

It obviously has that effect on software which is published under the
GPL.  It doesn't have that effect on other software.

> If so, I consider myself a reasonably diligent person, and I consider
> other people on this list to be more diligent than myself.  Yet, some of
> us missed this rather critical piece of information.  In my case, I
> missed it for years.  Of course, there were a good number who understood
> already, but for the benefit of the rest of use, I would recommend an
> addition to the GPL's preamble so that this bit of information is as
> widely distributed as the GPL.

The GPL doesn't contain ideological or political arguments for a
bunch of reasons.  It's supposed to be easy enough for people to find
out about those (read "Why Software Should Not Have Owners", the GNU
Manifesto, etc.).

> For example, "While using the GPL is a volitional act and takes
> advantage of current copyright laws, the ultimate goal is to undermine
> copyright law to such an extent that the GPL will no longer be necessary
> as all software will then be free."

Making all (generally useful and published) software free is a
long-time public goal of the FSF.


The FSF has other interim goals, which are less extreme.  People who
don't agree with the FSF's long-term goals still have plenty of
reasons to use the GPL or support the FSF in other ways.

Seth David Schoen <schoen@loyalty.org>  | And do not say, I will study when I
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/  | have leisure; for perhaps you will
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF)  | not have leisure.  -- Pirke Avot 2:5

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