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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: licensing (was: Ant gui tool)
Date Sat, 21 Oct 2000 01:21:58 GMT
>> Unfortunately still yes. I asked a few people to prod RMS to see if he
>> would allow APL but he decided that it was not possible. The main reasosn
>> is that you can not take product X, modify it and call it X under APL - you
>> have to call it a modified version of X. According to RMS this is taking
>> away the freedom of developers. 
>> I suspect that it is just a move to block people developing code under APL.
>You make it sound like RMS personally decides if something is or is not
>GPL compatible. The reason the APL and GPL are not compatible are legal
>not personal. The GPL is only compatible with licenses that have as much
>or less restrictions then the GPL. The problem with the APL is that it tries
>to use copyright law to enforce something that should be handled with
>an trademark (the you may not use the word xxx and yyy clauses 4 and 5).

Ahh RMS doesn't decide he gives his interpretation of the law. The few
times that I am aware the GNU went against RMS led to them recinding their
actions in favour of RMS so ...

Long story short what RMS saids tends to turn out to be "true". His opinion
has known to change overtime thou - sometimes over very short periods of
time. The opinion is however what guides the fsf and thus can lead to
"interesting" biases. For example it is acceptable to work with X
consortium but not acceptable to work with Apache. Why ? Political
motivations. See who runs X and how much influence they have.

>> RMS at one stage was very vocal in trying to stop people working for APL
>> like projects - while he allows exceptions for some libraries for political
>> reasons (ie ones KDE build on or X consortiums derived software) - Apache
>> is not one of the blessed and thus he encourages all developers to fight
>> against Apaches oppressive restrictions ;] No true GNU supporter is meant
>> to develope code under APL and thus the reasons why he is throwing so many
>> roadblocks in way. Apache has changed and revised license once already and
>> tried to do it again to suit RMS but he will not be happy with anything but
>> the GPL.
>That is just not true. Of course RMS likes projects to use the GPL.
>And of course he likes it when licenses are compatible so people can
>freely combine code. And since the APL is not compatible with the
>GPL he urges people to not write new software using it. But the FSF
>does see it as a free software license (which it is!) with some small
>practical problems (which it has).

you ever heard of sarcasm ? RMS/GNU does not approve of APL and discourages
anyone from using it or developing software at Apache. He used to be a lot
more opinionated against Apache a while ago and that was one of the reasons
it took me so long to begin to trust Apache. 


| "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want |
| to test a man's character, give him power."          |
|       -Abraham Lincoln                               |

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