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Re: extraneous issues

On Wed, Jun 27, 2001 at 05:45:50PM -0700, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Several topics come up here with some regularity, but which don't
> belong here IMO.
> The sorts of topics that are really not appropriate are things like
> "If I do X, will that get me around the GPL [or other free software
> license]".  

I mostly concur, however...

I *do* think this mailing list should serve as a place where package
maintainers or software authors/copyright holders can come to ask questions
about how to resolve potential or actual conflicts between licensing terms.

While the conflict between the old BSD advertising clause and the GNU GPL are
the most famous example, it is hardly the only one.

I agree that there are troublemakers who have a personal distate for the
GPL and want to either decry it or circumvent it, but the simple fact is
that it is a license that poses no problems to the Debian Project

I do not think, though, that we should be too quick to interpret questions
about the GPL's interaction with other licenses as attacks upon it.  Time
and again we have seen that a lot of people are so innocent of licensing
terminology that they don't even know how to phrase their question very
well.  So we should not leap to conclusions about people's motives for
asking, or read too much into their questions, unless they are known
antagonists of the GPL (or any particular license).

That said, I know what thread you're referring to and it seems to clear to
me that it is driven mostly by what is sophistry at best, or hostility to
the Free Software Foundation at worst.

G. Branden Robinson             |    The first thing the communists do when
Debian GNU/Linux                |    they take over a country is to outlaw
branden@debian.org              |    cockfighting.
http://www.debian.org/~branden/ |    -- Oklahoma State Senator John Monks

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