[ppc-mobo] Re: GNU License for Hardware

Stephen J. Turnbull turnbull at sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
Thu Oct 14 20:05:26 UTC 1999

CC: Good grief.

CC list trimmed to lists, ppc-mobo and pleb omitted per announced

>>>>> "rms" == Richard Stallman <rms at gnu.org> writes:

    The rest is apps
    (many of that being programs that do a job that no free software does
    satisfactorily yet, and even accepted as a necessary evil by FSF.

    rms> We used the LGPL for GNU Libc as part of a strategic decision
    rms> to allow non-free apps to be distributed for GNU.  But that
    rms> doesn't mean their existence is a good thing, or that it is
    rms> good to distribute them.  We treat them like non-free
    rms> operating systems: we support using our software with them,

This is false.  Or have you changed your mind about about accepting
code to support ssh in Emacs?  At the time you were discouraging
XEmacs from providing such support, you argued that there was no need
(ignoring the anguish of the cypherpunks), and in fact that it could
harm development efforts for a free secure remote shell.  (Is it done

That sounds like "support only for evils the FSF considers necessary"
to me.

    rms> but we don't encourage anyone to use them, and we hope you
    rms> won't either.

When somebody writes a free OCR program that does Japanese, I will
happily fdisk last Windows partition.  Until that happens, I will be
using a non-free app on a non-free OS on non-free hardware.  And I
encourage my students and colleagues to use that non-free app, too.

Of course, I consider that a minor evil.  When is the FSF going to
make it unnecessary?  I don't have the tools or the time.  What?  You
don't either?

Then what is the benefit to anyone of me foregoing my OCR?  A program
that is never written is trivially not free.  (Even the author has no
access to the source code.)  So what's wrong with substituting an
existing non-free program for a non-existent non-free one?  _Freedom
is not decreased._

University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."

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