[License-discuss] License incompatibility (was Re: Open source license chooser choosealicense.com launched.)

Richard Fontana fontana at sharpeleven.org
Wed Aug 28 17:34:48 UTC 2013

On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 10:59:43AM -0400, Bradley M. Kuhn wrote:
> The GPL has always tried to go as far as copyright would allow to
> mandate software freedom.  That's what Michael Meeks (and/or Jeremy
> Allison -- I heard them both use this phrase within a few weeks of each
> other and not sure who deserves credit) call "copyleft's judo move on
> copyright".  It's the essence of strong copyleft.

A few sources credit Richard Stallman with saying that the GPL is "a
form of intellectual jujitsu, using the legal system that software
hoarders have set up against them" in a _Byte_ interview in July 1986.
However, I do not see any RMS interview in that issue of _Byte_ (which
is now available at archive.org).

The gnu.org site has republished what it says is a July 1986 _Byte_
interview of RMS, but this contains no jujitsu quote.

It seems likely that RMS *did* originate this characterization of the
GPL, and probably in a _Byte_ interview, but it would be nice to track
down the precise date of publication.

- RF

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