Re: Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

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Matthew Saltzman wrote:
What I want to do is take a GPL work and a work licensed under one of
those other free licenses and combine them with code that I write and
release under some free license (not necessarily GPL, but still free)
and release the whole to the world.  As a scientist, my interest is in
building on knowledge created before to create new knowledge and solve
new problems, and in telling the world about my discoveries.  I have no
interest in "using software for stealing money from others' bank
accounts", and frankly, I resent the accusation.

If the free license of the second work or the free license that I would
choose for my own work is GPL-incompatible, my freedom to disseminate
the new knowledge I create is restricted by the requirement of the GPL
that the work as a whole be licensed under the GPL if any part is.
Given the intentionally divisive nature of the GPL, about the only way
to make something simultaneously restricted by the GPL and yet less
restricted at the same time is to package your work in a library that
has a dual license like Perl's - one is the GPL, one without the
restrictions where the choice is up to the distributor/user. Larry Wall
was very clever in this approach to making his work usable in any
context. You aren't bound by license terms on your own work or where
you are the copyright holder and you can release different
versions/copies under different terms. If you want to give others the
same choices, though, a dual license makes it clear what you want to permit.

There are many others.  As far
as I know, the GPL is the only "free" license that places restrictions
on code that is not part of the program being licensed.
That's the wrong way to say it because fanatics will jump in to point
out that it can't place restrictions on other code. Instead, say it
does not permit redistribution when other components are covered by
different terms. The effect is the same, though.
  Les Mikesell
   [email protected]

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