Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: By this definition, GPLed software is proprietary.

Author:William Crim
Posted:8/23/2000; 4:40:25 PM
Topic:Next survey: Are you an open source developer?
Msg #:20022 (In response to 20012)
Prev/Next:20021 / 20023

No, you don't have to ask permission to incorporate the code. You do have to ask permission to violate the license. By using the code, you freely accept its terms.

I agree that in the sense of freedom as "less regulation" then the BSD license is superior and the GPL fails. A person GPLs their code because they want to make their code free and prevent its use in situations where it would be used in what some feel is non-free software.

The GPL doesn't violate ANY of the DFSG. Even part 9:

9. License Must Not Contaminate Other Software

The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be free software.

The GPL doesn't contaminate anything, you use the GPLed(or other compliant license) code, therefore you are agreeing to the license. The GPL only places restrictions on the distribution of code and programs under the GPL(or code that uses GPLed code).

The GPL is DFSG and Open Source compatible. Being able to sell your software is a method of distribution, not a field of endevor(which is the thing the DFSG won't let you restrict).

Debian Free Software Guidlines

10. Example Licenses The "GPL", "BSD", and "Artistic" licenses are examples of licenses that we consider "free".

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