Get ready....

Derek J. Balling dredd at
Thu Apr 15 03:19:22 UTC 1999

At 11:09 PM 4/14/99 -0400, R. L. Kleeberger wrote:
>I was commenting on the suggestion that a developer should be able to take
>excerpts from the GNU GPL and place them word for word into his own
>license.  I do not know if this is already legally possible, but if it is
>not, I would think it not such a great idea unless all the freedoms of the
>GNU GPL were preserved in the created license.

Why SHOULDN'T they be able to use portions of the GPL? What if you're a
commercial entity who simply cannot live with some of the restrictions of
the GPL but you want most of the benefits. You would make them reword all
the rest of the GPL in their own words, (probably boning the intent
bigtime). That makes little sense. 

Your position seems contradictory. You support "freedom for the people",
but you don't support the right of people to pick the pieces of licenses
that best suit their needs.

>> Where's your freedom there?
>This is a necessary evil, I believe, to preserve the end users' freedoms.

No evil is necessary.

>> The only true freedom you have is choice -- the choice of not using
>> software if you cannot abide by its license agreement, or developing your
>> own application using the license of your choice to compete with the
>> offending product.
>But, which is the lesser crime.  To damage an sacrifice an individual's
>freedom for the benefit of the people at large?  Or to sacrifice the
>people's freedom in benefit of the individual?

You probably would also support random search and seizure of peoples'
homes, since it is better to sacrifice the individual's freedom for the
benefit of the people at large. 

Allowing someone to use portions of a license does NOT deny people freedom.
It is simply not necessarily granting them privileges the same privileges
as others choose to. Let's remember that any alteration of a copyrighted
work is a PRIVILEGE, not a right. It is something which is granted by the
owner of the copyrighted work, NOT something which you inherently have by
being alive. Rights CANNOT be taken away, privileges can. I can say that
"no future versions of my software will be released under the GPL", and you
no longer have the privilege of copying the code.

The sooner you stop confusing "rights" and "privileges", you'll be a lot
better equipped for the discussion. :)


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