The GPL and secrecy

Rafael Kaufmann
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 09:45:47 -0200

(My apologies to Mr. Rideau, who has probably received this message twice.)

Francois-Rene Rideau wrote:
> Up to now, I've accepted all the minor inconveniences of the GPL for
> the major benefit of clearly participating into what I felt was the Right(tm)
> political community. If you stick to that interpretation of the GPL,
> then I fear I will decide not to use it anymore, because it doesn't defend
> the liberties I cherish.

I have contributed very little to this discussion so far. And I bow down
to the intellectual superiority of Mr. Stallman and Mr. Rideau. But I'd
like to add my $0.02 nonetheless, by reminding you that Stallman's
interpretation of the GPL, however canonical, is only an interpretation;
the license as it stands is what matters. Should there be a legal
dispute (not only in the US) involving the GPL's protection of any given
program, although Mr. Stallman would probably be called upon for comment
and advice, ultimately the important thing would be the letter of the
GPL, and the judge's (or its equivalent's) interpretation of how it
would apply to that particular case.

I apologise for my poor English. Sincerely,

Rafael Kaufmann
Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil