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several glasses of wine later 
5th-Jun-2011 12:05 am
good morning sfo
A "do whatever you want" or MIT or "beerware" license may be more free for the individual, but overall it is a less free license.

The GPL *adds additional freedom* since it guarantees future revisions and public forks will also be free.

The only loss of freedom is when someone chooses to extend GPL'd software they are required to publish their code.
This person loses the freedom to keep their code a secret. They are not free to withhold free software from the world.

It is a compromise. They are taking something someone else has written- if they contribute a meaningful change, the thing that would generate the most freedom would be if they contributed it back to the world, and the GPL requires this. The GPL enforces software freedom.

Fair warning- the next person that says something to the contrary in front of me is getting a lecture.
6th-Jun-2011 04:29 am (UTC)
Actually, under the GPL, you are free to withhold your changes to the original GPL'ed code, as long as you don't distribute a derivative work.

I can make all the changes to GPL'ed work I want, and not share those changes with anyone. It's only when I share those changes that I also must share the required code to those changes.

I think the whole "dual licensing" scam with GPL'ed software totally goes against the spirit of the GPL, and the GPL should be modified to specifically prohibit such kind of dual-licensing.
6th-Jun-2011 04:39 am (UTC)
Ah, was hinting at that with the "since it guarantees future revisions and public forks will also be free." -- should probably mention explicitly.

Fully agree on dual-licensing-- formalized bribery.
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