Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Matthew Saltzman mjs at clemson.edu
Fri Jul 18 21:56:25 UTC 2008

On Fri, 2008-07-18 at 13:41 -0700, Antonio Olivares wrote:
> > Sure, there is one, and that's exactly it.  The LGPL is
> > one example of a
> > license that protects the code while permitting the
> > creation of derived
> > works with mixed components.  The CPL is another.  There
> > are several
> > more listed at opensource.org.  The MySQL open-source
> > exception to the
> > GPL is another workable alternative (at least for the case
> > where all
> > components are free[1]).
> Excellent, OpenOffice is released under the LGPL, with the L becoming
> Lesser GPL, which does not restrict the sharing of code.  Can Linux be

The FSF calls this the "lesser" GPL because they have
moral/philosophical objections to allowing this kind of sharing.  The
LGPL (AKA the Library GPL) is a concession to the reality that some such
combined works are too useful to block.  Imagine the state of GNU/Linux
and open source if only GPLed works could be linked with glibc.

>  released under the LGPL? at least to allow the the mixing and sharing
> of code that is restricted by the real GPL.  

Almost certainly not.  The kernel is a prime example of the challenges
involved in getting the cooperation that Alexandre refers to.  All
authors would have to agree.  There are probably thousands of them and
at least some of them are GPL zealots who would never agree to such

> > If only we had control of all the pieces and could specify
> > the
> > licenses...  
> > 
> > When we try to take free software components from other
> > sources with
> > different (even free!) licenses and combine them to create
> > new free
> > works, we are often stymied by the failure of the GPL to
> > permit the
> > distribution of the result.  And it is not always possible
> > (and almost
> > never easy) to resolve the conflicts.
> > 
> > [1] I think it also could be useful to be able to combine
> > free and
> > proprietary software to create new works.
> > 
> > -- 
> > http://www.math.clemson.edu/~mjs
> I agree with [1] here.  I believe Les agrees with you here as well :)
> Regards,
> Antonio 
                Matthew Saltzman

Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu

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