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Re: GNU License and Computer Break Ins

Joseph Carter wrote:
> Let me understand this...  You are a Debian developer?
> And you have openly hostile feelings for the GPL, as evidenced by
> this thread.  Your above sentiments show you openly hostile to free
> software in general.  If you have these opinions, why the hell did
> you become a Debian developer in the first place?

Yes, that is a good question, and it explains why I have been at this so
long.  I'm trying to understand this GPL thing to see if I can stay a
Debian developer in good conscience.  I apologize that I started this
thread so poorly -- not that I knew in advance that it would lead here.

I decided to join Debian because I thought free software was more about
education than anything else.  It was rare for me to read someone else's
source code without learning something substantial.  So, I thought it
was nice that people I didn't even know would freely contribute to my
education, and when I reached a decent level of proficiency, I wanted to
give back.

So, I joined Debian and packaged a couple of things and added a couple
of supporting utilities.  Minor stuff in general but especially minor
compared to everything else Debian does.  Still, it was one more finger
in the dam.

Then I wake up one day to learn that GPL isn't what I thought it was.
Well, its social reach extended further than I thought it did.  It seems
to be about making sure that the community immediately has access to the
source code to the exclusion of almost any other consideration.

If I believe it is perfectly fine for software authors to keep their
software locked up if that's what they choose to do, does that mean I
should not be a Debian developer?  Must not be a Debian developer?

Does it matter that I personally believe that giving out source -- if
that is what the author chooses to do -- is a good thing because it
furthers education?

Paul Serice

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