Accusations, accusations, always accusations

Alex Nicolaou anicolao at
Sat Oct 16 17:47:27 UTC 1999

(This is an honest attempt to redirect this thread back to licensing

Richard Stallman wrote:

> Meanwhile, I will respond, not in kind, but by calmly continuing to
> inform people that the system often called "Linux" is a derivative of
> the GNU system, and asking them to give the GNU Project credit for
> being its principal (though not its only) developer.

Since this concept of getting "credit" for software seems to be so
important, it probably should be embodied in the license. The GPL
doesn't indicate any conditions regarding credit or lack thereof, but it
could require that collections of software licensed under GPL be clearly
labelled with a tag saying that "This CD contains # software packages
from the GNU project".

In the meantime, your expression of this opinion appears to amount to
"give the GNU project credit instead of money". However, the GNU project
is frequently credited when Linux is discussed, even in relatively
content-free forums such as the mass media. Because of this, your desire
for credit is frequently misconstrued.

I think the fact of the matter is that more people are attracted to free
software because it is free in the dollars and cents sense than because
it is free in the freedom sense. Agreement with the philosophy comes
later (if at all). Because of this, I think it matters not at all
whether the new user of Linux understands that Linux includes a lot of
GNU software or not: that understanding, like so many things about
Linux, can come later (if at all).

However, since credit is important to you, it is worth releasing a new
version of the GPL which includes a statement of the terms that require
distributors of GNU software to awknowledge that their distribution
contains GNU software.


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