Subject: Re: CL & CORBA From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 1998/09/04 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Klaus Schilling <Klaus.Schilling@home.ivm.de> | ILU is not free software... one could argue that "free", as in Free Software Foundation, is not free at all. freedom usually means the absence of means of coercion to make one do something other than what one wishes to do. where there are means of coercion, the acceptable restrictions on freedom usually involve averting some form of actual harm to some party. the GNU Public License prohibits a number of reasonable courses of action (which it is of course free to do), but without any reasonable explanation of the actual harm that is averted by the restriction on people's freedom. in this sense, it is NO MORE FREE than any other license agreement one enters, since the freedom that comes from _agreeing_ with whoever has the power is not worth all that much. I'm strongly in favor of the availability of source code, yet recognize that it will _always_ have a price. the question is which price to pay, and whether GPL is actually more expensive and restrictive than entering an agreement with the owner of the source that basically says they retain all rights of ownership to the source and to derivative works. unlike what many seem to believe, the license agreement that comes with software in the absence of any other agreements is _not_ the final word. reasonable people will enter other agreements as they see their value, and often those values can transcend monetary exchanges, which I regard as the least common denominator in otherwise incompatible value systems -- meaning that other forms of compatibility will yield other forms of exchangable values. the GPL is basically incompatible with the exchange of monetary values, which means it enforces compatibility on other values or value systems. the end result is that you cannot use GPL _unless_ you agree with the underlying value system. given that that was the intent behind the GPL, one must applaud the execution of the idea, but it still does not mean that it is actually "free" for any normal interpretation of the word. while people everywhere may free themselves from other agreements by exchanging money and/or signing new agreements, this is expressly _not_ an option for GPL'ed software. in this sense, "free software" is LESS FREE than source code guarded by non-disclosure agreements which again guard monetary investments. to some, the value systems required of GPL users is not a problem. for those for whom it is, GPL offers no alternatives but to abandon GPL'ed software. I think this is quite tragic, but we need to look for new ways to ensure the availability of source code when the GPL is so hostile to those who do not share its values and money is no longer a common ground. #:Erik -- http://www.naggum.no/spam.html is about my spam protection scheme and how to guarantee that you reach me. in brief: if you reply to a news article of mine, be sure to include an In-Reply-To or References header with the message-ID of that message in it. otherwise, you need to read that page.