[Fsfe-ie] stuff from the past week

Jimmy O'Regan jimregan at o2.ie
Mon Oct 27 02:02:37 CET 2003

Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:

>On Sun, Oct 26, 2003 at 10:52:30PM +0000, Jimmy O'Regan wrote:
>>And the FSF approve dodgy licenses like the APSL-2 and the Affero GPL,
>>and release manuals with unremovable, invariant political essays and
>>expect that people still consider the manual as a whole to be free.
>>There is no longer One True Meaning of Free either.
>As I mentioned in a part of my mail that you snipped, the GNU FDL is
>one issue where I disagree with FSF.  I have discussed it with them,
>and there is disagreement over this within FSF, change is coming.  I
>hope we can put more pressure on them to fix this if we speak with a
>unified voice (assuming there is consensus that this is a problem).
rms took part in a quite lengthy debate on debian-legal on this very 
issue; in short the invariant sections are here to stay, where they have 
been used.

>The Affero GPL is a test-solution to the "webservices loophole" in the
>GNU GPL.  This covers a valid part of copyright known as "public
>performance of a work".  GPLv3 may contain a different solution.
Yeah, but in practise it boils down to being a restriction on the use of 

>The APSL-2 is indeed Free Software, but there are better FS licenses,
>so FSF say:
>   "We recommend that you not use this license for new software that
>    you write, but it is ok to use and improve the software released
>    under this license."
>If you have specific concerns with either license, I'd be happy to
>discuss them and possibly raise them with FSF if there is consensus
>that they are valid issues.
>You can't please all the people all the time, etc.
>We can get nothing done and sling mud about implementation details, or
>we can work to get Free Software into schools, non-profits,
>governments, and businesses and be ready to counter problematic EU
>legislation.  I'll opt for the latter.
As I said, there's no One True Meaning of Free (the examples were meant 
merely as illustrations of this) - there are going to be squabbles no 
matter what. An organisation that sets out to promote only free software 
is going to face more difficulty than an organisation promoting open 
source, or an organisation promoting both; open source has mind share, 
and a larger amount of people willing to promote it.

If a set of common goals can be found, which people agree are important 
enough, then most people will be willing to toe a party line to achive 
them; and split hairs kept to a minimum. Aside from FS vs OSS, there's 
Linux vs GNU/Linux; [GNU/]Linux vs BSD etc. (If you can split atoms, it 
gives more ways to split hairs :) The goals you mentioned are important, 
and it should be easy enough to rally together several disparate groups 
around them.

>A good related story to read is:

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