Subject: Re: CL & CORBA
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/09/04
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Klaus Schilling <>
| 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.
-- 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.