Tugger the SLUGger!SLUG Mailing List Archives

Re: [chat] LGPL license w/o GPL infection

On 14 Oct, invisible ink wrote:

> It's nowt to do with the FSF.
>> "The community's choice of licenses" doesn't solely contain the GPL and
>> LGPL.
> Which is one of the reasons why it's nowt to do with the FSF. (At which
> point did I mention the FSF? The community has many licenses to choose
> from.)

You didn't specifically mention the FSF (although Andre did in his
previous post), but we *were* talking about the GPL and LGPL, and these
licenses are put out by the FSF. It's the FSF's moral stance that is
chosen by people who release their code under these licenses (more
notably the GPL, I'll leave the LGPL out because it seems slightly more
sane) and that moral stance which is "inflicted" on people who use/link
to/etc that code. Hence why I am talking about the FSF, because that is
the organisation that puts out the license that is considered "viral" or
"infectious" by various people. 
*shrug* Anyway.

> We have a large selection of licenses, many of which have been attacked
> recently in an effort to defame Free Software. We choose different Free
> Software licenses for different reasons; they're all Free Software in the
> end. I don't understand your take on this.

As mentioned before we were talking about the L/GPL.

>> Andre, don't feel socially obliged to release your code under the GPL. I
>> certainly don't (nor do many highly regarded OS people), because I don't
>> like moral stances imposed on me by people who think they know better.
> We're talking about LGPL-like licenses, not the GPL.

Sorry, my wrong. I do think, however, that a lot of people feel socially
obliged to release their code under the GPL, or don't know about the
alternatives available.

>> I don't like moral stances imposed on me by people who think they know
>> better
> Heh. They're out to get us! They're controlling our minds! You don't have to
> use the license. There is no imposition. You don't have to transfer
> copyright. There is no obligation. Who is this mysterious "they", forcing
> their license on you?

You know exactly who I'm talking about. The FSF, as mentioned before.
Their definition of "freedom" clashes terribly with mine (I prefer the
O'Reilly definition: http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/526).
I have a choice of what license to release my code under, but what if I
have to use some bizarre thing, that is outside my ability as a
programmer to code, that is released under the GPL? I'd have to release
my code under the GPL. I find that is definitely "forcing their license"
on me. I have seen very competant coders who have had to totally
"reinvent the wheel" and not even *look* at the GPL'd code so that they
can't be told they used GPL'd code in their software, and can release it
under a FS license of their choice. Doesn't that somewhat stunt the
growth of free software?

> In the end, we're talking about Free Software licenses. There's no reason to
> be so horribly critical and unkind about these choices - they're all "on the
> same side".

Not really, if you look at how RMS markets the GPL (especially consider
RMS vs. O'Reilly on the definition of "freedom" wrt free software).
They're on the same side if you zoom out enough, but really they're
fighting somewhat closer in. 

Anyway, all I really wanted to say was that the GPL (and even the LGPL,
which is considered a bit of a "bastard child" by RMS) isn't the be-all
and end-all of free software licenses. People should be educated as to
the alternatives available and not feel socially pressured by anyone to
release their code under any particular license. *That*, IMHO, is

Yeah, I probably stuck my head into the flames, but I do feel quite
strongly about this issue.

P.S. if you're interested, anything I have done myself (that isn't GPL'd
code) I usually release into the public domain (not that there's been
much, but anyway). I'm currently also researching other possible
licenses, but I'm finding a similar legal jargon hurdle as you, Andre :)

<Styx> Quoth the raven, /ignore