[linux-elitists] RMS is at it again

Joakim Ziegler joakim@helixcode.com
Fri Dec 1 09:27:59 PST 2000

On Fri, Dec 01, 2000 at 08:17:49AM -0800, Aaron Lehmann wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 01, 2000 at 10:59:40AM -0600, Joakim Ziegler wrote:

>> It seems to me that they could probably apply some of the same magic they use
>> to make custom ISO images, to this, so that you'd only get one copy on your
>> ISO image, for instance.

> I don't think you understand debian. No serrious Debian users use CD's
> over the FTP archive, which is always up-to-date. RMS' logic is that
> since you can download .deb packages from the debian ftp archive, and
> since there are thousands of GPL'd debs they only point to the one copy
> that IS included in the base system, people COULD download a deb without
> being on a debian system, convert it to some other format, and not have
> a copy of the GPL!!! What a major violation on Debian's part!
> Do you see how this is absurd?

No, I see how it's totally logical. You see, people could possibly use it to
violate the GPL in more severe ways, especially in countries with non-Berne
convention-synced Copyright laws. You *could* potentially use the
noninclusion of such a license file in a package of the source or binaries to
circumvent the GPL.

But most importantly, the GPL states *very* clearly that you have to include
a copy of the license text in each package. Doing so is not a matter of
respecting RMS or not, it's a matter of respecting the authors of each
software package, who chose to use the GPL with this clause included,
presumably understanding the consequences.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of people bashing RMS when he points
out potential violations of the GPL. It's not a matter of RMS or not, it's a
matter of the thousands of authors who chose to place their software under
the GPL, with the assumption that the license they chose would be followed by
people who want to redistribute. RMS is simply the handy watchdog.

Joakim Ziegler - Helix Code web monkey - joakim@helixcode.com - Radagast@IRC
      FIX sysop - free software coder - FIDEL & Conglomerate developer
            http://www.avmaria.com/ - http://www.helixcode.com/

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