Subject: Re: the walls have ears
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 13:12:59 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Brock" == R Brock Lynn <> writes:

    Brock> Richard Stallman wrote:

    >> However, what _I_ disagree with, Richard, is what I perceive as
    >> your

Please, please, please.  _I_ wrote this.  Get the attributions right
(this is the second or third time).  If for no other reason than to
avoid painful cognitive dissonance for those who remember who said

    Brock> Agreed, but I think licenses like the BSD one are
    Brock> misguided. I much prefer a license that once and for all
    Brock> provides for the free use of the source code, and never
    Brock> permits it being made into proprietary software.  [...]
    Brock> Perhaps someone might see this as a restriction on their
    Brock> freedom to offer non-free software. I say yes it does, but
    Brock> phooey on them.

Phooey on you then, you just said it is a restriction.  ;-)  Why is
this discussion so trope-ridden?

This obviously makes BSD-licensed software more free than GPL-ed
software.  That's exactly what "viral" means:  GPL invades and
imprisons other code, although only upon invitation.  (Like marriage.)

What you are arguing is that GPL leads to more (quantity) free
software, rather than more free (quality) software.  The difference is
important.  People of principle can argue for BSD on the basis of
principle without being misguided.

    Brock> True, but it could be "better", or rather more free. It
    Brock> could stand to be argued that some software licenses are
    Brock> "more free" than others.

Yup, and it's hard to get "more free" than BSD.  But of course this
allows people to incorporate the code into non-free software, and thus 
may limit the dissemination of improvements.  The original code is
still free, though.  (I wish I could say "of course", but when Russ
Nelson disagrees with me, that would be presumptive.)

    Brock> we are all trying to achieve here.

On this list?  Get real.  There are a lot of people here who want to
make money out of their code.  We all believe in free software, but
there are a variety of beliefs about balance and means.  BSD strikes
one balance (it allows you to contribute without restricting others'
freedom to make money on improvements), GPL another (it allows you to
maintain a monopoly on making future improvements proprietary; this is
part of what the Aladdin Free Public License does - I'm classing
"turning into firmware" as "improvement" - and Ghostscript was
originally GPL - that didn't prevent Peter from reusing the code in
Aladdin Ghostscript).

It's hard to imagine a Copyleft user taking advantage of that
opportunity, but (shit, I shouldn't have said that, I should have sold 
my consulting services to Gates first---what a public relations coup
that would be!) it's theoretically available.

    Brock> People, let's try to do a little more research before we
    Brock> open our mouths eh?

I'm glad you used the first person, it's quite appropriate!

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."