[sf-lug] Free software talk
rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Dec 19 04:45:57 PST 2008
Quoting David Sterry (david at sterryit.com):
> I'm trying to go by the FSF's definition of free software and that
> doesn't include BSD.
Please consult http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/index_html , at
your leisure. Quoting:
Modified BSD license [link]
(Note: on the preceding link, the modified BSD license is listed in
the General section.)
This is the original BSD license, modified by removal of the
advertising clause. IT IS A SIMPLE, PERMISSIVE NON-COPYLEFT FREE
SOFTWARE LICENSE, compatible with the GNU GPL. [...]
Original BSD license [link]
(Note: on the preceding link, the original BSD license is listed in the
UCB/LBL section. This license is also sometimes called the "4-clause
THIS IS A SIMPLE, PERMISSIVE NON-COPYLEFT FREE SOFTWARE LICENSE [...]
Emphasis added, in both cases. (This _is_ a page that FSF's had posted
pretty much since God was in knee-britches, by the way.)
I happen to have been involved with FSF for, well, decades, and FSF has
_always_, consistently and clearly, classified not only BSD but also all
other classic permissive licences (MIT/X11, Apache Licence v 1.x, QPL
1.0) as free software licences.
I don't know what you _thought_ FSF had said to the contrary, but I can
assure you that FSF has never, in its entire existence, asserted that
good permissive licences are non-free.
> In addition I realize there are many motivations for writing free
> software but I liked the idea that it was close to music since that
> was most novel to me.
Well, the reason I stressed the extreme diversity of underlying reasons
-- including, as my final two examples, business models that quite
frankly use copyleft to support proprietary-software business models --
is that I get really, really tired of people speaking as if free / open
source software is inherently some sort of gentleman's hobby and/or
charity ideological cause.
Sorry, but that's bunk, and the world really should have gotten over
that in March 1998, when Netscape Corporation went MPL (with a brief
transition from the short-lived NPL licence) and suddenly the entire
business world was willing to admit that it was already using Linux and
other free code for..., well, damned near everything.
> Incidentally, that concept actually came out of a quick thread on the
> FSF internal forum. If you're a member of the FSF(I just joined), I'd
> encourage you to go there and participate in their(for some reason)
> private forum since it's sorely lacking in attention for an org of
> 7000+ members.
Well, er, I sincerely hope you will go back and correct FSF's
comprehension of its own founding documents. ;->
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