Subject: Re: "On Virus" -- get real
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 09:18:52 -0400 (EDT)

[ Sigh, license discussions are an inevitable part of this list (fsb),
  given that it's not obvious which is best for a FSB.  Sometimes I
  wish there was more marketing and sales discussion, but of *course*
  the license you choose strongly affects how you market and sell.
  Aladdin (Ghostscript)'s business model is very different than
  Redhat's and they're both very different from Sleepycat's, but
  they're all FSB's.  Well, maybe Sleepycat's is more gratis than
  libre, but free is free isn't it?  :) ]

Stephen J. Turnbull writes:
 > The fact is that the clause in question is freedom-restricting.
 > Evidently this loss of freedom is more than balanced by the
 > preservation of freedom on other projects.

Right, just as you lack the freedom to contract with someone else to
be their slave.  This is a freedom that the US denies its citizens.

 > But the clause itself is merely evidence of the lack of trust of
 > one programmer for another.
 > Put that way, we would really rather do without it, now, wouldn't we?

Except for the fact that the GPL didn't arise in a vacuum.  RMS
created it because he saw programmers violating that trust.

 > I think the analogy of the GPL to an incurable STD is accurate
 > (except that the GPL typically strengthens its host in many ways).

Right.  It's more like a gene-spliced STD of the future which imparts
resistance to other STDs.  Once it makes its way through the
population, you're safe from all other STDs.  If we had a word for
this type of STD, it would be very accurate.  Anybody know if a
science fiction author has come up with a name for such a thing?

-russ nelson <>
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