Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Gordon Messmer yinyang at eburg.com
Tue Jul 15 22:40:01 UTC 2008

Les Mikesell wrote:
> Gordon Messmer wrote:
>> I quit reading that the first time after the second paragraph. 
>> "Perceptive" is not what I thought of the author.  The entire article 
>> is a pompous straw-man argument.  Find one place in that article where 
>> the author cites any person who actually evinces the attitudes that he 
>> attributes to the group he describes.
> That's the point - the people who argue the point don't understand it 
> this way.

The author was clearly presenting his own views of GPL developers, and 
nothing else.

>> From my perspective, the difference between BSD and GPL authors is 
>> much simpler than he describes.  An author who chooses the BSD license 
>> has decided that there will be no cost to other developers who want to 
>> reuse his work in a work of their own. An author who chooses the GPL 
>> license has decided that there is. 
> Which has the unavoidable side effect of making it impossible to reuse 
> that code in many situations.

And that's OK.  That's the decision that the developers of GPL code have 
made.  Their code will be available to other developers who share their 
values, and not to developers who don't.  If you aren't interested in 
allowing your users to modify the products that they buy from you, then 
you can write your own software an license it however you choose.

GPL developers don't need to be told that the license prevents some 
uses.  They know that.

>> The cost of using a GPL licensed work in another work is 
>> reciprocation.  We share with those who share with us.
> And the side effect of this unneeded restriction

The side effect of the unneeded restriction of $90k dollars for a 
Mercedes is that I don't get to drive one.  Cry me a river.  Cooperation 
is the cost of reusing GPL licensed software.

Close your eyes for a moment and picture a big red tag that reads:


That's the GPL.

>> Asking a price for your work is hardly Communist.  That idea has 
>> always been absurd.
> The price isn't the point at all, it is the restriction on reuse and 
> improvement in a large number of ways.  And the real cost to society is 
> the lack of the things the restrictions prevent - at no gain to anyone.

The "restriction on reuse" IS the price.  In return for the privilege of 
building your products on the work that has been done by the community 
of GPL developers, you must also license your derived works under a 
compatible license which does not restrict the rights of the users to 
whom you sell or distribute your software.

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