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Re: A possible approach in "solving" the FDL problem

On Tue, Aug 12, 2003 at 10:00:55PM +0200,
 Sergey V. Spiridonov <sena@hurd.homeunix.org> wrote 
 a message of 27 lines which said:

> Let's imagine infinite scale with absolute freedom(liberty) on one side 
> and absolute non-freedom on another. The border between free and 
> non-free will be at 0.

Interesting idea. Here is an extract from a recent discussion on a
NetBSD mailing list about the freegrep tool (a BSD-licensed
grep). Other people think that there are degrees in freedom, that it
is not binary.

Subject: Re: Free grep (was: Re: HTML browser)
From: Jim Wise <jwise@draga.com>
To: Gary Thorpe <gathorpe79@yahoo.com>
Cc: Netbsd-help@NetBSD.org, netbsd-help@NetBSD.org
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 13:43:53 -0400 (EDT)

>Does anyone else see the irony of "free" alternatives to GNU code????
>This is an interesting development. There is nothing stopping anyone
>from fixing GNU tools and releasing them as alternatives: they would
>just have to be under the GPL.

Irony?  No.

A key goal of the NetBSD project is not to tell people what they are
allowed to do with our code.  The GPL is not compatible with this
desire, as it places very real restrictions on what someone can do
with GPL'ed code.

Code under the GPL is thus _substantially_ less free than code not so
encumbered, and when we have the option of using less restrictively
licensed code instead, we do so.

                                Jim Wise

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