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hpr1063 :: Freedom and Licensing

Following an interview with Richard Stallman on the Linux Action Show

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Hosted by Ahuka on 2012-08-29 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
software freedom, GPL, BSD licence. 3.
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Duration: 00:26:59


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Comment #1 posted on 2012-09-01 12:21:47 by Nerb

The one really interesting thing in my mind as to rms view of things is that proprietary software should not exist even if it supports free software.

Hence Android, Red Hat Enterprise etc should not be allowed to exist since they mix proprietary software and money made from that with free software.

Hence, if you use a Google licensed Android device or a Linux distro such as for example Ubuntu or Fedora that is partially funded by proprietary software sales you are "worse than a sucker" and that is against the views of rms.

It also seems like you don't really know much BSD-licensed projects that are being used by various companies (even including big scary Apple) actually see contribitions back from those companies as it is still better for them if the community can also work on the features they added.

The problem for companies is generally not contributing back, the problem is usually having to open up linked products completely. This is why LGPL seems to be gaining popularity.

I do think more software should be open, but I don't think it's likely to happen anytime soon as very few people are willing to pay money to support software that is free as in freedom since they can just get it also free as in beer. As long as proprietary software pays far better per hour for the developers it will still be there, and as long as it is the case I can't really blame developers.

So donate as much as you can to your favourite projects. If you can get people to donate $20 per hour total to these people it actually means they may be able to live on it.

Comment #2 posted on 2012-09-13 21:00:50 by Scott_babu

Thank you.

Comment #3 posted on 2013-08-24 03:32:19 by dangerseeker

Sadly, You are totally wrong ;-)

The freedom RMS (and the GPL) is focussing on, is the freedom of the SOFTWARE, NOT the freedom of the USER!

Don't get me wrong, I am very much in favour of the GPL, but sadly You don't seem to understand its implications.

I think we can agree that the GPL want's to preserve the rights of all USERS(!) of the software. But the GPL does this by depriving all USER of an important right that only the AUTHOR of the software has: the right to change the licence!

With a "permissive" licence (i. e. MIT-licence) the user (of the MIT-licenced software) has the SAME right as the author, namely to change the licence at will (and then distribute it further under the new licensing terms). Any recipient of the (now closed) software has THE SAME right as the evil guy who has changed the licence: he can download the MIT-licenced software, change it and then change the licence at will, but he has not the same rights concerning the closed version by the evil guy...

With permissively licenced software any user of the software has the same rights as the original author!

With GPLd software you have 4 rights, with MIT-licenced software you have 5(!) rights. The 5th right is to take away any right from the recipient of the software, now licence under YOUR terms...

The AUTHOR of GPLd software has the right (as an author) to relicence it under any licence he chooses. The USER of GPLd software does not have the right to relicence the software. This results in the software beeing offered to ALL users under (at least) the GPL.

The USER of permissively licenced software has the right to create a new piece of software, even by only changing the licence, based on the original software with his own licensing restrictions added. The user of the permissively licenced software has TWO options: Take the permissively licenced software or take the closed version.

If this legal right is morally on the up and up can be discussed at a different time...

The other points about Big Corporations (TM) fear of GPL software and the viral nature of of the GPL are the product of years of FUD by Microsoft, Apple and other closed source software corporations and the failure of their legal departments to understand the intentions and restrictions of the GPL.



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