The regrettable use of "all" in Section 7 of the GPL
rms at gnu.org
Thu Feb 19 17:04:35 UTC 2004
Now this "all" seems extremely unfortunate to me. Suppose I file
for a patent P, the practice of which is required to run program R
released under the GPL. Normally, distribution of R would be impossible.
But suppose I issue the following public license: "Everyone is allowed
to practice patent P royalty-free (etc. etc.) except for the notorious
Richard Stallman." Is distribution of R still impossible because Stallman
can't use it?
Yes, it is.
The same would be true if "John Cowan" were substituted for "Richard
Stallman". "Free for everyone except you" is not free software
and is not allowed by the GPL.
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