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Two on the General Public License

Mar 31, 2003, 22:00 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chris Davies)

DaviesInc.com: Is the GPL Completely Misunderstood?

"First, one must understand that the ideals behind the GPL are that software should be 'free', meaning that you should be able to buy it, modify it, redistribute it, support it, etc. Many people, myself included, didn't really understand the license agreement and it is obvious that the FSF must get dozens of questions like that because they hide behind a boilerplate link to a page on their site.

"Therein lies one major hurdle. Another problem is that many people are under the impression that if it is GPL, the software should carry no cost. The FSF says that nothing could be further from the truth, however, the GPL ingeniously assures this because of its distribution clause. The first person to buy an application is generously allowed to distribute the code and the source, removing any financial incentive from original software author..."

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OSNews: GPL or As I Think of It: General Park License

"The GPL is a wonderful license for community works, for the basic reason that it starts out with the premise that the point is the source code. The program, someone is trying to make. Not the programmer, not the programmer's company, or the programmer's pay check. What it basically says is that there is no way for one to act as a stop-gap to the flow of code development and the organic way that code tends to build upon itself.

"This in theory has the useful effect of making all code licensed this way open for people to see and use--provided they do the same with their code if it includes or links to GPL'd code. The easiest way for me to think about this usually is to relate GPL'd code to a public park. It's there for everyone to use. One can volunteer his or her time and help keep the part clean. If they want they can get permission to add new trees to the park or just donate money to help pay for new side ways for the grass to be cut. Its a place that everyone can enjoy, but that you can't take with you. You never see people taking a piece of sod or a tree home with them from the park. Thats not allowed and in most cases considered stealing since it technically doesn't belong to anyone person as an individual..."

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