Accusations, accusations, always accusations

Alex Nicolaou anicolao at
Sun Oct 17 22:01:04 UTC 1999

John Cowan wrote:
> Alex Nicolaou scripsit:
> > Since this concept of getting "credit" for software seems to be so
> > important, it probably should be embodied in the license.
> Scientific research doesn't come with such strings attached, but
> failing to give credit to prior researchers is the act of a morally
> worthless person.

Scientific credit is not usually awknowledged in the title of the paper.
A section for awknowledgements and previous work is usually included
which has the dual goal of giving credit and establishing the author's
own legitimate contribution in the grand scheme of things.

I do think that the authors of the GNU programs deserve credit for what
they've done, and that also translates into credit for the whole "GNU
System". However, it's puzzling to me why nobody's busy arguing that it
should be called GNU/Cygwin32 ... I guess Cygwin just isn't popular
enoguh yet to require the GNU name tagged onto it.  For that matter, why
isn't it GNU/CodeFusion? I guess you feel that the people at Cygnus are
morally worthless.

I do not, however. Evidence of their awknowledgement of GNU software's
role in their products is strongly present all over their WWW site.
Similarly for Linux distributors. The following link is directly
accessible from the home page of redhat:

So, when is enough credit enough? Credit is due, and it is given.

> > 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.
> Practical considerations militate against this.

Why isn't this practical? I don't understand how the desired arrangement
can be required of people and yet it is impractical to write it down.

The fact is a higher level of credit is desired than is being given.
This inequity can only be rectified by modifying the license. It is
disturbing that the inequity has only been widely discussed since Linux
became very popular, and is not discussed at all in other parallel
products: it smacks of opportunism.


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