Thursday, June 27, 2002 As the maintainer of a program that's partly under the GPL, I'd like
to wade in on this licensing discussion.

My own view on free software is this: If someone wants to write
software and give it away for free use by anyone, he should be able to
do that. If he wants to keep it proprietary and charge for the right
to use it, he should be able to do that.

Personally, when I write software that I want to give away, I am happy
for anyone to use it in any way they please. If they want to take
some of my code and incorporate it along with some of their work into
a commercial, proprietary product, that does not bother me. If I'm
giving code away, I'm giving it to everyone, not only to other people
who also want to give their code away. If someone uses my code in a
proprietary product that does not supply enough added value to make it
worth the price and to compensate for the source not being available,
then people will just use my free version instead. No one can stop
them from doing this if I retain the copyright on it and grant them
the necessary rights. (See the X consortium license and the BSD
license for examples of how this is done.)

This is not Richard Stallman's view. He says that the copyright law
is immoral. All software should be free, regardless of whether the
person who wrote it wants it to be free or not. The GPL is written in


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