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Controversial opinion of ESR + my own comments about GPL vs. LGPL

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  • Omer Zak
    http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2005/06/30/esr_interview.html titled ESR: We Don t Need the GPL Anymore Before your blood boils, read the responses to the
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 1, 2005
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      http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2005/06/30/esr_interview.html titled
      ESR: "We Don't Need the GPL Anymore"

      Before your blood boils, read the responses to the interview. Several
      responders disagree with ESR's opinion.

      If ESR were right, then the Unix world with its BSD-style licensing
      would not have splintered into several incompatible factions in the
      pre-Linux era.

      It would have been more profitable to debate whether LGPL is better than
      GPL.

      LGPL allows proprietary software to continue to exist. It only prevents
      people from modifying and distributing modified Free Software not under
      the terms of a Free Software license. LGPL would have been powerful
      enough to prevent Unix from splintering if Unix were licensed under
      LGPL.

      Note that LGPL requires proprietary software, which incorporates Free
      Software modules, to make the Free Software parts replaceable by the
      user (by making them separate modules, and/or by providing source code
      and library files which allow them to be recompiled and re-linked with
      the proprietary software).

      GPL, on the other hand, tries to banish proprietary software.

      I wonder whether the economic objectives of Free Software can be
      accomplished by LGPL just as well as by GPL, and whether LGPL should
      have been the preferred license by Open Source advocates (who do not
      care about fighting evil proprietary software, and care only about the
      pragmatic benfits of development models based upon Free Software).

      DISCLAIMER:
      I have been involved with some proprietary software projects, which used
      a Free Software module licensed under LGPL.
      --- Omer
      --
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    • Tal Kelrich
      On Fri, 01 Jul 2005 22:05:51 +0300 ... I do not think that would be fair, as IMHO they both have different purposes. ... I don t believe this is the case, what
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 1, 2005
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        On Fri, 01 Jul 2005 22:05:51 +0300
        Omer Zak <omerz@...> wrote:

        >
        > It would have been more profitable to debate whether LGPL is better
        > than GPL.

        I do not think that would be fair, as IMHO they both have different
        purposes.

        >
        > LGPL allows proprietary software to continue to exist. It only
        > prevents people from modifying and distributing modified Free
        > Software not under the terms of a Free Software license. LGPL would
        > have been powerful enough to prevent Unix from splintering if Unix
        > were licensed under LGPL.

        > GPL, on the other hand, tries to banish proprietary software.

        I don't believe this is the case, what the GPL tries to do IMHO is to
        prevent itself from becoming proprietary software, thus remaining free.

        My using a GPL'd project does not prevent me from using or creating
        proprietary software, even allowing me to freely use the output of same
        as input or as code.

        --
        Tal Kelrich
        PGP fingerprint: 3EDF FCC5 60BB 4729 AB2F CAE6 FEC1 9AAC 12B9 AA69
        Key Available at: http://www.hasturkun.com/pub.txt
        ----
        Be careful when you bite into your hamburger. -- Derek Bok
        ----
      • hasturkun
        (sorry if this is a duplicate, I seem to be having problems sending to the list) On Fri, 01 Jul 2005 22:05:51 +0300 ... I do not think that would be fair, as
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 1, 2005
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          (sorry if this is a duplicate, I seem to be having problems sending
          to the list)

          On Fri, 01 Jul 2005 22:05:51 +0300
          Omer Zak <omerz@...> wrote:

          >
          > It would have been more profitable to debate whether LGPL is better
          > than GPL.

          I do not think that would be fair, as IMHO they both have different
          purposes.

          >
          > LGPL allows proprietary software to continue to exist. It only
          > prevents people from modifying and distributing modified Free
          > Software not under the terms of a Free Software license. LGPL would
          > have been powerful enough to prevent Unix from splintering if Unix
          > were licensed under LGPL.

          > GPL, on the other hand, tries to banish proprietary software.

          I don't believe this is the case, what the GPL tries to do IMHO is to
          prevent itself from becoming proprietary software, thus remaining
          free.

          My using a GPL'd project does not prevent me from using or creating
          proprietary software, even allowing me to freely use the output of
          same
          as input or as code.

          --
          Tal Kelrich
          PGP fingerprint: 3EDF FCC5 60BB 4729 AB2F CAE6 FEC1 9AAC 12B9 AA69
          Key Available at: http://www.hasturkun.com/pub.txt
          ----
          Be careful when you bite into your hamburger. -- Derek Bok
          ----
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