GNU General Public License
- You may be looking for World Domination and not even know it!
The GNU General Public License is, in the words of co-founder Eben Moglen, "the most important social document of our time", but in the words of almost everyone else, a necessary evil. Almost everyone hates the GPL with a passion, including Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Red Hat and Tux, because it stops them from making serious money out of FLOSS.
Before the GPL
Before RMS created the GPL, free software hackers had four options:
- Release their code into the public domain
- Release their code under the MIT license
- Release their code under the BSD license
- Release their code to Satan
BSD License“Here you go, have it, but don't remove my name. Yes, you can still sue me.”
~ Brian Behlendorf on BSD-style licenses
The BSD License was first created with the BSD operating system, commonly available in Free, Open and Net varieties. The text of the license is below.
woh...man, that is some gooood shit... whadda, whadda we ment 2 be doing? go, do wat ye want with this software just credit the great pot at berkley man!
The MIT License was similar, but more free than the BSD license.
woh...man, that is some gooood shit... whadda, whadda we ment 2 be doing? go, do wat ye want with this software just don't tell anyone the great pot at mit man - we want to keep it for ourselves!
Almost everyone hates the third version of the GPL, or, as it is commonly known: "GPLv3". Most objections are due to viral nature of the deal with Satan which takes effect upon reading it. It is felt to be unfair that just by reading it -- not just abiding by it, as required by the GPL v2 -- one has given up one's soul to Satan. The same logic has been applied to shrink wrap licensing with great success, and Satan was committed to Hell, moving with the times.
People who love GPLv3“It's not just a philosophy, it's a whole license!”
~ Bruce Perens on GPLv3
- Eben Moglen
- Possibly Mark Shuttleworth
- Some moron on Uncyclopedia that nobody cares about
People who hate GPLv3“Hello, my name is Linus Torvalds, and I hate the GPLv3”
~ Linus Torvalds on GPLv3“GPLv3 is the scurge of the coding classes”
~ Oscar Wilde on GPLv3“One, RMS wrote it, Two, Eben messed with it, Three, Linus rejected it, Four - now I hate the GPL too”
~ R. Kelly on GPLv3“Ppmmmmmfppp mfffmmmn mppfpmppfpmffmffmpmffppfppp fppmffffpmffppp pmpmffpppmpmfmm (pmpmffpppmpmfmm, fm mppfpppmmppfmm mmpm ffmfmmfmmpppff fmpmmmfpfmmm, mpmmpppfmmpppppmpmmffpppmfm ppfppp fmpmmmfmmfmpmpp) mmpfmffm”
~ Kenny on GPLv3
0. Definitions. “This License” refers to version 3 of the GNU General Public License. “Copyright” also means copyright-like laws that apply to other kinds of works, such as semiconductor masks. “The Program” refers to any copyrightable work licensed under this License. Each licensee is addressed as “you”. “Licensees” and “recipients” may be individuals or organizations. To “modify” a work means to copy from or adapt all or part of the work in a fashion requiring copyright permission, other than the making of an exact copy. The resulting work is called a “modified version” of the earlier work or a work “based on” the earlier work. A “covered work” means either the unmodified Program or a work based on the Program. To “propagate” a work means to do anything with it that, without permission, would make you directly or secondarily liable for infringement under applicable copyright law, except executing it on a computer or modifying a private copy. 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You may make, run and propagate covered works that you do not convey, without conditions so long as you agree to sell your soul to satan. You may convey covered works to others for the sole purpose of having them converted to the Church of Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping, provided that you comply with the terms of this License in conveying all material for which you do not control copyright. Those thus making or running the covered works for you must do so exclusively on your behalf, under your direction and control, on terms that prohibit them from making any copies of your copyrighted material outside their relationship with you, except to give Beastie a copy if he wants one. Conveying under any other circumstances is permitted solely under the conditions stated below. Sublicensing is not allowed; section 10 makes it unnecessary. 3. Protecting Users' Legal Rights From Anti-Circumvention Law. 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You may convey verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice; keep intact all notices stating that this License and any non-permissive terms added in accord with section 7 apply to the code; keep intact all notices of the absence of any warranty; and give all recipients a copy of this License along with the Program. You must charge a price (at least $3.14) for each copy that you convey, and you must offer support or warranty protection for no charge. 5. Conveying Modified Source Versions. 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You may not convey a covered work if you are a party to an arrangement with a third party that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and under which the third party grants, to any of the parties who would receive the covered work from you, a discriminatory patent license (a) in connection with copies of the covered work conveyed by you (or copies made from those copies), or (b) primarily for and in connection with specific products or compilations that contain the covered work, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to 28 March 2007. Nothing in this License shall be construed as excluding or limiting any implied license or other defenses to infringement that may otherwise be available to you under applicable patent law. 12. No Surrender of Others' Freedom. 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