Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 18:45:14 UTC 2008

Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>>> This is fundamentally contradictory.  If you have to choose between
>>> these two, you're choosing between promoting either FS or OSS. 
>> It is a problem the GPL creates.
> That's a red herring.  The GPL has *zero* to do with it.
> If we didn't have the GPL, or even copyright law, the movements would
> still have different values and goals.  You're just confusing yourself
> by bringing the GPL into the picture, and you might be confusing
> others in the process.

The GPL, by not permitting redistribution unless restrictive terms on 
all components can be met, is the only license that I am aware of that 
causes this problem.  I suppose there could be others, but the GPL is 
the well-known instance.

>>> I.e., you're promoting one in detriment of the other.  How can that
>>> be promoting FOSS?
>> How would you propose dealing with it when your purpose is to promote
>> FOSS and as many choices as possible, then?
> I've already explained that "prmoting FOSS" doesn't make sense for
> starters. 

You've said that.  Your so-called explanation makes no sense to anyone 
who does not accept your misguided assumptions.

> How about you step back and analyze what you mean by "promoting FOSS",
> like I have?

For me it means using/reusing/improving freely-available, well-tested 
code in all possible situations.  Everybody wins.  Under certain limited 
conditions, it even works with GPL encumbered code.

>> I believe they are misguided in applying restrictions that make it
>> impossible to use GPL code in many situations.
> Red herring and false premise.

Sorry, but I happen to believe my opinion is as valid as yours.  Present 
some evidence that not permitting code reuse/redistribution/improvement 
has ever helped anyone if you want to get anywhere with that argument.

>>> The OSS movement cares about popularity and convenience, so an
>>> esential part of this movement is to accept, endorse and promote the
>>> use of software that denies users their freedoms, when that is
>>> convenient and can lure in more users.
>> 'Luring' someone is a strange concept here. You seem to imply that
>> someone who has a choice to use a piece of software does not have the
>> same choice to replace it with another piece later.
> That's correct, and that's precisely where the power that the Free
> Software movement opposes stems from.
>> That's not the case and even if it were, the correct solution would
>> be to encourage the production of as many other choices as possible.
>> People always have the freedom to choose and change.
> Except when they're lured in, and only realize they're trapped when
> it's too late or too difficult to escape.  CQD.

It is only difficult to escape when equal/better choices don't exist. 
One of the reasons those other choices might not exist is that licenses 
that only permit code re-use under restrictive conditions like the GPL 
have prevented them from being created.

>>> Do you see that a
>>> step forward for one amounts to a step backward in the other?
>> Not at all.  The more choices you have the better. You can only go forward.
> You're evaluating the scenario under your own system of value and
> prejudices, not under the two very different systems of values of the
> two movements I have described.

Yes, of course I use my own values.  I view those movements as cultish 
and illogical and having no evidence to support their claims.

> IOW, it's circular logic, and the
> conclusions are unrelated with the question or the premises.

There's plenty of evidence for the choices that a non-restrictive code 
base like the original TCP/IP implementation can produce, but no 
equivalent for GPL restrictions.

   Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com

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