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Re: GNU License and Computer Break Ins

Not only do I not recall saying that the full social consequences of the
GPL are obvious, I would not claim to know what they are.  Many widely
respected people have expressed essentially opposite opinions on that.  
This is the underlying issue in the dispute between the "Free Software"
camp (Stallman) and the "Open Source" camp (Perens, Raymond).  I would not
want to put words into Stallman's mouth, but I think his disapproval of
the basic premises put forward in Raymond's famous "The Cathedral and the
Bazaar" are well known.

Raymond focuses his argument, as I understand it, on making what amounts
to a business case for the GPL.  That is certainly not where Stallman is
coming from, but they are both arriving on certain common ground within
the GPL wording itself.  Raymond himself published an article saying that
he ended up with something like $36 million in stock as a result of the
Red Hat IPO, which was given to him in appreciation for his service to
Open Source software in various forms.  Stallman, on the other hand, is
understood to have turned down a similar offer.

Clearly, since both Raymond and Stallman are men of integrity, we have to
accept that they have an honest yet fundamental disagreement about exactly
the philosophical issues on which you are trying to corner us.

-- Mike

On 2000-05-19 at 12:58 -0500, Paul Serice wrote:

> Socially speaking, it seems using the GPL is like signing a petition.
> I wonder how many people who say they support the GPL mean that they
> support the right of the author to choose the GPL -- which, to me, means
> they do not support the larger social program of which the GPL plays
> such a large part.
> I would like to see the intended consequences of the entire social
> program explicitly stated in the preamble to the GPL so that people like
> me don't end up accidentally saying they support something they don't.
> I would greatly appreciate your letting me know how you came to realize
> the full social consequences of the GPL.  You say it is obvious, but
> would you agree that it is not generally distributed along with the GPL.

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