Subject: Re: Flash for *BSD Petition
To: None <>
From: Joel Rees <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/08/2004 23:07:55
>> You have it backwards.  The GPL promotes free as in speech, not beer.


> Not at all. The GPL limits what you can do in order to make sure that
> everybody can always get the source code to any binary version they 
> have
> without paying money for it.

There is no such thing as absolute freedom. If you don't believe me, 
ask yourself how you'd work a bicycle in a frictionless environment.

> "Without paying money" == free beer.

The lunch has always been free. To fail to work is to fail to be human. 
Free beer is a null argument.

> "Limit what you can do" == not free speech.

But when speech is totally free, where do we get the meaning from?

> (E.g., I am not allowed to publish my modified binary--my own work, no
> less!--without also being compelled to publish the source;

Sure you can. Anything you contribute to a GPL-ed work remains 
copyright you, unless you assign the copyright away. You may not be 
able to publish it in context without allowing your work to be 
published under the GPL, but even then you still own the copyright and 
can still publish your own part outside the context of the GPL-ed code 
in any way, shape, or form that you want. (Well, not counting exporting 
crypto from the US to IRAQ, or using your contributed code to libel, or 
that kind of thing. ;*P)

The only thing you can't do once you've released code you authored 
under GPL is un-GPL what was published under the GPL. But you can get 
pretty close to that, too.

> my ability
> to publish what I want to have been limited, as compared to non-GPL
> software.)

Only if what you want to publish belongs to someone else and has been 
published under some license less restrictive than the GPL.

Joel Rees
     Getting involved in the neighbor's family squabbles is dangerous.
     But if the abusive partner has a habit of shooting through his/her 
     the guy who lives upstairs is in a bit of a catch-22.