John Cowan jcowan at
Fri Oct 25 11:01:35 UTC 2002

Ken Brown scripsit:

> John Cowan et. al
> are trying to sell you that if you or any other software developer
> distribute your work under the terms of the GPL, you will be able to take a
> user to court for distributing or modifying your work in a manner that you
> disagree with.

Sure you will.  Copyright law is clear and settled, much more so than
the shrink-wrap contracts that proprietary software companies depend on.
Though the GPL has an unusual purpose, it's extremely straightforward.

> What I like about the group is that it empowers developers to
> customize their own licenses to how they see fit.  The GPL is only one of
> over 30+ variations of os agreements.  The FSF has bullied a couple of
> developers, but hasn't had a judge rule in their favor yet.

"Bullied"?  It's bullying to stand up for your rights?

> When they win
> in a court of law, I'll open my mind to their sales pitch a little more.

Nobody gets sued because the FSF wants compliance, not damages.
Nobody defies the FSF because a) nobody wants the reputational hit of
being the Grinch, b) their own lawyers won't let them.

John Cowan  jcowan at
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