Rick Moen rick at
Wed Sep 5 04:03:01 UTC 2001

My inflationary three cents.

Matthew C. Weigel replied to SamBC:

> I don't think I've seen where you addressed how the copyright notice on
> the GPL is not hypocritical.  Unless he agrees that it is OK for
> licenses and software documentation to be held to different standards,

1.  The GPL is not software documentation.
2.  I doubt that software licences, considered as creative works, can 
    really be fairly considered to be in the same conceptual category
    as general-usage software.
3.  Anyone who seriously desires to effectively fork a licence need only
    rephrase it, apply a new name, and revise as desired.  The amount
    of reinvention entailed would not be much compared to writing a 
    replacement codebase.  (In an academic context, it would be 
    plagiarism, but such is not barred elsewhere, and is not to be 
    confused with copyright violation.)

Logically, your charge of "hypocrisy" would need to be accompanied by some
showing that the accused claimed his values and goals must apply to 
creative works that are not themselves software.  Which showing you
have notably omitted -- possibly because you're aware that the GPL's
author has never made such claims?

The more sadly cynical among your readers might be led to suspect

Rick Moen                                            Potestatem capite!
rick at
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