[K12OSN] Scary article from Russia (w/o love)

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Wed May 20 16:47:05 UTC 2009

David L. Willson wrote:
> Which part of this system do you disagree with?

The part that misrepresents GPL software as 'free' when in fact it is 
very restricted in terms of how it can be improved.

> There are lots of other licenses for authors to choose, many of which do not include preservation of freedom as a term of use.

Yes, other licenses do not misrepresent restrictions as freedom.

>The GPL is not a mandate, it's something that makers of Free software choose to use to protect their work.

And it makes sense if your intent is to prevent improvements that 
compete with your own offering.  But restricting improvements has and 
continues to hurt everyone else.

> Authors have the right to choose the license that best protects their work and reflects their social values.  Would you deny that right?

Of course license restrictions should be up to the authors within the 
constraints that copyright and patent laws apply.  But those 
restrictions don't have to be misrepresented as freedom when in fact 
they are just restrictions.

> Do you make software?

I tried to give some away once, but was prevented from sharing it 
because it included a GPL component and also needed other libraries that 
were redistributable at no cost but under terms that did not match the 
GPL restrictions.   But, I'm more interested in using software than 
making or distributing it.

> Finally, as a user, if you disagree principally with the GPL, you can choose to use BSD, or another, more liberally licensed kernel.

Or, you can simply be forced to continue to support the proprietary 
monopoly business because the GPL restrictions prevent covered works 
from being improved to a point where they are competitive.  Like 95% or 
so of the population does...  I'm seriously convinced that Richard 
Stallman has done more to keep Microsoft rich than anyone else.  Look, 
for example at the effort he made to hold java development back while MS 
has advanced .net.

> The wonderful thing about this sector is it's Freedom.  Freedom to choose, in this case.

With the GPL, only one person actually gets the freedom to choose. 
Everyone else has to follow its restrictions which prevent any other 
choices.  Note the contrast with commercial licenses which allow you to 
choose components individually and combine as you like as long as you 
individually meet their terms.

    Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com

More information about the K12OSN mailing list