Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 16:01:21 +0900

>>>>> "Lawrence" == Lawrence E Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> writes:

    Lawrence> The fact that the licensor is making the same promise as
    Lawrence> well to third parties is of no importance;

"Third parties of no importance" in a discussion of the GPL?  What an
infelicitous way to make your point!  :-)

    Lawrence> it merely means that the license is non-exclusive.

I do not deny that "reciprocal" describes the clause in question in a
certain formal sense.[1]  I still think the normal connotations of
"reciprocal" are completely absent from this formal use, and this
whole discussion is really about RMS's connotations for a different
word.  That's what triggered my bogometer, but "reciprocal" is
certainly useful to describe that restricted aspect of legal reality.

So I'll concede this ground, and (my apologies) shift to another,
because I still have a problem of expression.

I can't use "reciprocal" _in context_ because using it empties my
exhortation of its meaning, and obfuscates the role of the GPL in
society by removing the _software_ from the discussion.  Viz.

    sjt> Advocate the GPL _because_ it's reciprocal.  That's the whole
    sjt> point!

Surely you do not assert that "reciprocal" in that paragraph has the
desired connotations of contagion _within the "society" of software
programs_.  It's even hard to see how it implies that the GPL has
benefits for the whole community of software developers and users,
those "third parties of no importance."

Hm.  "Advocate the GPL _because_ it's contagious."  "Contagion
clause."  Works for me.  RMS probably doesn't like that much, either,
though.  However, he should:

Scene: a large OSS convention.  RMS winds up his speech.

RMS:      Advocate the GPL because it's contagious!
Heckler:  You mean, like a disease?  [Heckler smirks.]
RMS:      No, like enthusiasm!

[Heckler slinks out to sounds of general mirth.]

What do you say, Russ?


Footnotes: 
[1]  With the small caveat that a truly reciprocal version of the GPL
would bind the copyright holder not to dual license without the
permission of the licensees, since it binds the licensees in the
reciprocal way.

-- 
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
 My nostalgia for Icon makes me forget about any of the bad things.  I don't
have much nostalgia for Perl, so its faults I remember.  Scott Gilbert c.l.py