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Re: Ironies abound (was Re: GPL v3 draft)

Glenn Maynard writes:

> On Tue, Jan 17, 2006 at 10:21:18PM -0500, Michael Poole wrote:
> > > If I'm reusing a function from one project with a patch clause, sure.  I
> > > can distribute my entire project as a patch against the project whose
> > > code I'm reusing.  That's hardly reasonable.  It also prohibits me from
> > > using public CVS for my project, since that would perform distribution
> > > of the modified reused code in a form other than a patch against the
> > > original.
> > 
> > It is pretty hard for me to think of a function that is usable on its
> > own, useful enough to merit reuse in another project, and too large or
> > subtle to be rewritten rather than deal with a patch-clause license.
> So you're saying that since it's possible to rewrite code on your own,
> patch clause licenses are free?  That sounds like an argument that code
> reuse isn't really all that important.

I am saying that it is hard for me to imagine a case where reuse of
patch-claused software is a major impediment to getting the work done.
There are works under patch-clause licenses that are cul-de-sacs in
the free software world, and patch-clause licenses should be (and are)
generally discouraged.  However, unless there is a noticeable uptick
in works that use those licenses, I think declaring those works
non-free would be a net loss in giving users the ability to freely
modify and share software.

Michael Poole

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