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Re: Barriers to an ASP loophole closure

On Tue, Mar 11, 2003 at 10:53:13PM -0500, David Turner wrote:
> > The GPL places lots of obligations on people in the interests of 
> > preserving people's freedom.  "Placing obligations" isn't equivalent 
> > to "reducing freedom" (though they often coincide, and we should be 
> > skeptical about obligations that don't preserve freedom).
> It seems that you both are claiming that licensing the code under the
> GPL places greater obligations on recipients of the code than not doing
> so.  This is inaccurate -- in the absence of the GPL license, there's no
> right to distribute source or binaries (modulo fair use, of course). 
> With the GPL, there is.  So, distributees can either choose to go with
> what they had (no right to distribute), or go with something which gives
> more rights.  How this amounts to an "obligation" is a mystery to me.

No, I'm not saying that.

Saying "you must provide source if you provide binaries" is clearly an
obligation.  However, it's an obligation that is generally agreed to enhance
freedom in general, not restrict it (at least as it's implemented in the
GPL).  It has a cost associated with it, but it's a cost that most of us
(at least among the GPL crowd, less so the BSD crowd) agree is worth the
freedom it generates.

Placing software under the GPL places far more obligations on the
recipients than placing it under the 3-clause BSD license, which places
a few more obligations than placing it in the public domain (which, as
far as I know, places none).

This was most directly disagreeing with:

> That, in itself, makes a good argument for why the author should have
> no ability to place an obligation on anybody under a Free Software
> license.

Glenn Maynard

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