GNU A Possible Ally?

Paul Prescod
Sat, 10 May 1997 21:27:29 -0400

Ingemar Hulthage wrote:
> The GPL license is based on the, in my opinion, false assumption that
> commercial use of free software is detrimental to the purpose of free
> software.  

The FSF is certainly not against anybody making an honest buck from
selling their code, their skills or physical distributions of code. They
are against use which impedes *other people's use* (whether is
commercial or not). When you hide source code, you impede other people
from improving the application. When you restrict redistribution you
impede, well, redistribution. 

I support the GPL because I think that the practice of hiding source
code from users is a way of keeping them ignorant and at your mercy. It
is a way our industry blackmails people and protects our individual
interests while hurting our collective interests. ON THE OTHER HAND, I
don't yet see anything wrong with copyrighting software and restricting
redistribution the way you would a newspaper article or book, but the
FSF does.

 Paul Prescod