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SubjectRe: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in non-free drivers?
On Sat, 04 Jan 2003 18:44:58 -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:

>Defending shrink wrap licensing agreements, arguing to weaken
>fair use and
>first sale doctrines, and arguing that if you include a header it's
>a derived
>work is a strange way to defend intellectual freedom.

>Those are not my views. Are you confusing me with someone else?

Then please explain to me how the GPL comes to apply to a person who
did not agree to it as a condition of receiving a copyrighted work.
Please explain to me why you think that the GPL should have applied
to kernel modules that only include header files.

You may not explicitly endorse the obvious logical consequences of
your views, but you are still responsible for them.

>>If open source is so good, companies with closed source products

>Yes, even without being coerced and pressured to do so by

>The Open Source Movement says that will happen; when it does, that's
>good, but if we had relied on that to give us freedom, we wouldn't
>have any free operating systems today.

That's a lot better than trying to arm twist others in to providing
our freedom to use their works. When you talk about forcing a person
to distribute the source code to a derived work, you are only talking
about their control over what they added. When a person creates a
derived work of an open source work, all they have to offer is the
value they added. In the name of freedom, you take their control over
their work from them.

This is the same "freedom" that socialism promises the workers. They
call it the freedom to own the machinery they use to produce.
Analogously, this "freedom" is really just the loss of the freedom of

>In the Free Software Movement we think freedom is worth working for.
>If companies don't choose to respect our freedom, we don't cite that
>and say "it's hopeless" and we don't say that makes non-freedom ok.
>We write free replacements and build freedom for ourselves--and for

This is false for two reasons:

1) The difference between the GPL and the BSD license is the GPL
license *compels* source distribution. You can't compel someone else
to make you free. It's just not going to work.

2) To make the GPL enforceable, you need to argue for a very loose
definition of a derived work and you need to argue that a license can
be enforceable even if it's not negotiated or explicitly agreed to
prior to distribution. This will have the net effect of reducing
everyone's freedom in very real ways.


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