Subject: Re: What they can do with "their" software
To: Richard Stallman <>
From: Chris G. Demetriou <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 09/11/1994 18:16:22
[ i am not going to respond to any more messages on this topic to this
mailing list.  it is not appropriate.  period. ]

> The GPL guarantees these freedoms to each user by preventing middlemen
> from stripping the freedom away from the software.

What it boils down to is that you seem to value the "freedoms" of the
end users more than the freedoms of the "middle men" -- i refuse to
make such a judgement.

There is no way to deny (and, in fact, a major purpose of the GPL
is to assure) that if somebody creates an "major addition" to a piece
of software that is under the GPL, then, if the person wants to
distribute a binary including that addition, then they have to
distribute the sources to their addition as well.  The GPL denys the
"middle men" the "freedom" to _not_ pass on the source.

Obviously, if they wanted to keep their sources proprietary, they
should not have based them on code that was GPL'd, and, obviously, it
is your right to put whatever copyright you want on software that you
create, be it GPL or something like the Berkeley license.

I believe in source-available systems, and proof of that is that i've
worked as long as i have to help provide one.  However, i recognize
that they may not work for everyone, and my goal is to get my software
into as many productive hands as is possible.  If somebody wanted to
sell NetBSD binaries, with no source, then i would tell them (quite
vehemently) i don't think that's the best idea in the world, but i
don't believe that i should _DENY_ them the freedom to do so, or in
any way place legal impediment in their way if they should choose to.

Everybody has to make choices.  The choices they make define who they
are.  I don't believe it's right for one person to limit another's
freedoms, in most cases.  The GPL severly limits what the "middle
man" can do with software; hence i don't like it and do not use it.
(However, i certainly can't, and wouldn't even want to, prevent you
from using it, if you so choose!  8-) 

As i said above, i'm not going to discuss this any further on this
list; this is simply a disagreement in philosophy, and does not belong
here.  Any and all of you that wish to take a crack at my opinion, in
private mail, can obviously do so, but spare the people on the list the