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RE: [Gcl-devel] Re: GCL compliance with GNU GPL

From: Mike Thomas
Subject: RE: [Gcl-devel] Re: GCL compliance with GNU GPL
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2003 10:49:36 +1000

Hi all.

Camm wrote:

| Hi Sam!  Thanks for your attention to these matters.
| Readline is a compile time gcl option.  I do agree that linking it in
| changes the license.  It does seem that a note in the COPYING file to
| this effect might be the most appropriate -- i.e. if you compile with
| readline, the product is GPL.  This gives users the opportunity to
| compile an lgpl version without readline should they desire.
| Personally, I'd be just as happy having the whole product be GPL, but
| I understand there are some users of GCL who want to build non-GPL
| enduser images.

My value judgement is that it is silly to impose extra restrictions when we
don't have to.  This judgement rests on the fact that to me, open source is
about putting tools into the hands of those less fortunate than myself, to
give them the best opportunity possible to improve their circumstances,
either by education or commercial endeavour, including the right to employ
the usual intellectual property protection strategies (such as hiding their
source code) as they might have if using a Microsoft compiler under the
auspices of a multinational corporation (minus, of course, the financial
might in a courtroom).

My vote would be to dump readline entirely in favour of an alternative (eg
CY's suggestion) if that would really remove the need for full GPL (per
Sam's RMS/Bruno Haible example).

I say this as a person who happily contributes to open source software under
a variety of licences from completely public domain to "strictly commercial"
(as Frank Zappa once wrote), including hard core GPL.

Your out of step Windows correspondent,

Mike Thomas.

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