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Newsforge: Community commentary: The case for 'lagom' copyright

Jan 15, 2002, 20:10 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mikael Pawlo)

[ Thanks to Johannes for this link. ]

"One of the big issues of free software during 2001 was whether Richard M Stallman was for or against a codified GNU GPL. Hence, did Stallman --the father of Free Software -- propagate a law to support his beliefs? Tim O'Reilly tried to press the issue in a couple of articles (see related links at the bottom of the story) and seemed convinced that Stallman and his Free Software Foundation colleague Bradley Kuhn were for GNU GPL legislation. O'Reilly suggested a system where developers themselves choose the rules under which they release software, not very much different from the system in effect today.

Eric S Raymond wrote a satire to prove how wrong Stallman and Kuhn would be to suggest a GNU GPL law. Raymond posed Stallman and Kuhn the question whether if they could get a law passed making proprietary licenses illegal, would they? Stallman and Kuhn slightly tilted toward the legislative point of view, but never gave a straight answer whether they were for or against a codified GNU GPL. Stallman and Kuhn wrote: "We believe, though, that with time, as more and more users realize that code is law, and come to feel that they too deserve freedom, they will see the importance of the freedoms we stand for -- just as more and more users have come to appreciate the practical value of the free software we have developed."

Complete Story
Mr. Stallman has a response

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