Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL
On Wed, May 12, 2004 at 03:21:53AM +0100, Henning Makholm wrote:
> > I was not proposing "make gcc work on that OS", I was proposing functional
> > modifications to GCC to make it integrate better with that environment.
> There is nothing in the GPL that forbids functional modifications to
> GCC to make it integrate better with the environment.
Treat palladium as a meta-syntactic variable standing for an environment
where reverse engineering is illegal and where proprietary code and
proprietary features are present. Treat "integrate better" as something
which specifically requires those proprietary features.
> > control files to make it easier to build programs which use palladium's
> > proprietary encryption and digital rights management facilities object
> > model.
> There is nothing wrong with that. As long as the modified GCC itself
> is distributed with source and under the terms of the GPL everything
> is fine.
"...under the terms..." is precisely the issue.
> > Or, more generally, imagine any change which makes gcc into
> > something that works in a proprietary fashion.
> If it is distributed with source and under the terms of the GPL, then
> whatever it does is by any reasonable understandning not done "in a
> proprietary fashion".
Palladium, of course, will not be released under the terms of the GPL.
> > With the DFSG we promise to our users that they can take any software
> > in main and modify it for any purpose...
> > To make proprietary software is a purpose.
> No. Proprietariness is not a functional property.
I was disputing "any purpose" not "any functional purpose".
That said, maybe I don't know what the definition of "any functional
purpose" is. Does it include incorporating features, symbol sets,
or other kinds of linkages with proprietary systems?
> Which kinds of
> modifications I am allowed to make is a question that is completely
> orthogonal to which terms I can distribute them under.
If your world view is narrow enough, that is true.
> > > > Not if this means that making copies of the derived work is forbidden
> > > > by the gpl.
> > > Making copies of the derived work is *not* forbidden by the GPL.
> > You mean because it's outside the scope of the GPL?
> No, on the contrary. Making copies of the derived work is what the GPL
> is all about. It exists in order to allow me to make copies of the
> derived (or non-derived) work.
It exists to prevent other people from taking away your right to do so.
However, it accomplishes this by restricting your right to make copies
if you would not grant others these rights when you did so.