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Re: [ox-en] Dangerous changes in the GPL 3.0


On Sunday 25 Sep 2005 12:10, Stefan Merten wrote:
The article on

says that the new GPL 3.0 may change the rules insofar as changes to
GPL software made locally must be published. I find this a very
dangerous direction:

* It's a burden to publish each small difference

  Consider you have a GPL software which fits your needs but only this
  one stupid label on this particular button doesn't look right to
  you. You change it but until you publish the change you are not
  allowed to use the changed software.

  How to publish it? What does a Free Software project do with all the
  micro changes?

  For this I think such a rule would be impractical and thus make Free
  Software less useful.

It's not yet clear exactly how the change will work, so your objection rings a 
little hollow. How do you propose the FSF can close the loophole that allows 
GPL-ed internet services to be modified and used without reciprocity?

* FSF tends to rule the world

  One of the things I really liked in Free Software and Richard
  Stallman's attitude was the free going thing. For instance the
  non-discrimination of any kind of endeavor I find really a step in
  the right direction. Now Free Software is really successful they say
  "Hah, now you are depending on us, now we change the rules of the
  game". This is bad style to say the least.

They're actually going about this now in a more open way than previous 
revisions. Both the FSF and FSFE are planning public consultation periods, 
where I'm sure they'd value your input.

This problem was always existed. Everybody could stubbornly stick with the GPL 
v2 if v3 really is onerous. Forking is the only democratic check on the FSF's 
benevolent dictatorship of the GPL. I'm not sure how else it could be done - 
could you imagine how chaotic a truly participatory redrafting of the GPL 
would be?

* It fundamentally introduces exchange into Free Software

  This I find the most dangerous development indeed. You are not
  longer allowed to do what you like with the software as long as you
  do it in your own four walls. If you do something which might be
  useful you *must* give it away. This is a form of exchange and on
  the basis of the Oekonux thoughts I consider this more dangerous
  for Free Software than any patent claims.

That allegation, again, isn't substantiated yet. In fact, I'd say you're plain 
wrong, because I see no reason why they'd change the GPL so that any changes 
made to any software must be distributed. As far as I can see they're simply 
extending "if you distribute it" clause to include distribution as an 
internet service.

Again, I think the best thing is to wait for the public consultation periods, 
and to engage the FSF and FSFE constructively then.

Kind regards,

I'm aware that e-mails to me may be blocked by my host
because they are mistaken as spam. If this happens, 
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