Subject: Re: [ppc-mobo] Re: GNU License for Hardware
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 05:05:26 +0900 (JST)

CC: Good grief.

CC list trimmed to lists, ppc-mobo and pleb omitted per announced
policy.

>>>>> "rms" == Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:

    The rest is apps
    (many of that being programs that do a job that no free software does
    satisfactorily yet, and even accepted as a necessary evil by FSF.

    rms> We used the LGPL for GNU Libc as part of a strategic decision
    rms> to allow non-free apps to be distributed for GNU.  But that
    rms> doesn't mean their existence is a good thing, or that it is
    rms> good to distribute them.  We treat them like non-free
    rms> operating systems: we support using our software with them,

This is false.  Or have you changed your mind about about accepting
code to support ssh in Emacs?  At the time you were discouraging
XEmacs from providing such support, you argued that there was no need
(ignoring the anguish of the cypherpunks), and in fact that it could
harm development efforts for a free secure remote shell.  (Is it done
yet?)

That sounds like "support only for evils the FSF considers necessary"
to me.

    rms> but we don't encourage anyone to use them, and we hope you
    rms> won't either.

When somebody writes a free OCR program that does Japanese, I will
happily fdisk last Windows partition.  Until that happens, I will be
using a non-free app on a non-free OS on non-free hardware.  And I
encourage my students and colleagues to use that non-free app, too.

Of course, I consider that a minor evil.  When is the FSF going to
make it unnecessary?  I don't have the tools or the time.  What?  You
don't either?

Then what is the benefit to anyone of me foregoing my OCR?  A program
that is never written is trivially not free.  (Even the author has no
access to the source code.)  So what's wrong with substituting an
existing non-free program for a non-existent non-free one?  _Freedom
is not decreased._


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