Legal soundness comes to open source distribution

Russell Nelson nelson at
Sun Aug 4 02:51:49 UTC 2002

John Cowan writes:
 > Russell Nelson scripsit:
 > > If you could put restrictions on modification, then BitKeeper is open
 > > source.  
 > The GPL puts modest restrictions on modification, at least of interactive
 > programs.

Indeed.  One has to wonder whether the GPL should be an approved
license.  Okay, so obviously we have to accept the GPL.  How are we
then to distinguish between Richard's good restrictions on
modifications from Larry's bad restrictions on modifications?

Maybe we need a GFPL, the General Free Public License, which allows
all modifications but which is otherwise the GPL?  I haven't looked at 
it in detail yet, but perhaps that is exactly what Larry's OSL is.

 > All OS licenses, or nearly all, prevent you from modifying
 > the copyright notices.

That's a freedom you don't have regardless of what the license says.

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