Subject: Re: What they can do with "their" software
To: Richard Stallman <>
From: Chris G. Demetriou <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 09/11/1994 03:03:03
[replies directed to me; this does not belong on this mailing list.]

>       In particular, we don't think it's
>     right or appropriate for us to be telling people what _they_ can do
>     with _their_ software
> If by "their software" you mean "software that they wrote", the only
> way anyone else can control what they can do with it is by look and
> feel lawsuits and software patents.

Not true; if someone writes hundreds or thousands of lines of new code,
which create additional functionality for something that's under the
GPL, then there are quite a few limits as to what they can do with
their code.

That _is_ telling people what they can do with software that they've

The difference between this and "look and feel lawsuits and software
patents" is obvious.  However, while the latter are obviously more
serious than the terms required by the GPL, both tell you what you can
write and/or what you can do with what you've written, and one of the
goals of NetBSD is to avoid _both_ types of encumberances.

I find it quite ironic that the "Free Software Foundation" does _NOT_
produce software that is "free."  By Webster, several definitions of
"free" are: exempt, relieved, or released esp. from a burdensome,
noxious, or deplorable condition or obligation; having no trade
restrictions; not subject to restriction or official control; etc.
That does not describe software that is under the GPL.

My quarrel is with the GNU GPL, not the LPF's goals or motives;
the two should not be confused!