GPL and LGPL question

phred at phred at
Fri May 21 02:28:00 UTC 1999

I'm unclear on this notion of the FSF as a "political activist organization."
This is a fairly common view of Richard Stallman and the FSF, but I have yet
to see any proposed legislation, grassroots lobbying, participation in
Congressional or state legislative affairs, candidate endorsements,
legislative ratings or other evidence of "political activism."  Nor do 
I hear RMS talking in terms of political theory, although he is often
accused of being a "socialist" or worse.  Actually, if anything he is a
classic free market liberal -- go read your Adam Smith to find out what
that means.

RMS is ahead of the game precisely because he has proposed a system of
licensing that works with the laws and customs already in place to espouse
a particular point of view about how the realms of knowledge and commerce
should interact.  OK, some people view that as "political," but more often
I find it a convenient epithet to throw back at him because they really
don't have very good counter-arguments to what he is saying.  And his
success can be measured in real terms: by the adoption of his ideas in
the open market and the development of a wide variety of approaches founded,
whether they care to admit it or not, on the principles he puts forward.

If that is "political," so be it, but notice that he does not operate in
the traditional "political" realm.


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