Wed, 15 Apr 1998 13:49:16 -0700 (PDT)
TUNES should not be distributed under the GPL because it would restrict
some people from using it. If TUNES were public domain, more people
would use it even though some of them would not distribute source.
The GPL inhibits competition between free and non-free software by
requiring software to be free. Because GNU forces software to be
free, it will never be possible for the SAME PROGRAM to compete
equally with itself under different distribution methods. Therefore,
it will never be completely understood what the advantages and
disadvantages between free and non-free software are. I am confident
in the free software philosophy enough to allow it to compete fairly
with proprietary software ON THE SAME PLATFORM.
There should not be a war between free and non-free software. It should
be scientifically determined which is better, for which purposes. It
should be expected that free software is good for one thing, and
proprietary software is good for another. Both should be able to
TUNES should be copyright at the beginning, until it gets done
(so no one else can finish it). Then it should be released to the
public domain, to compete fairly. Anyone who wants to hide data
and information can do so, but they will be running the risk of
people going elsewhere to get the data, so that their system can
make use of it.
Also, the issue of modifications is moot. Once TUNES arrives,
people will no longer think of computer programs as static and
unmodifiable. Programs will normally be transformed, for the
best functioning of the system. Restricting modification on
any module will cripple the optimizer and the usability of the module.
There doesn't have to be a rule against restricting modification,
because doing so will be inherently impractical. How can you
copyright something which is not statically defined? The only
thing that doesn't change is the idea. Ideas are uncopyrightable.
In a reflective system everything is defined at the idea level,
and therefore the system wouldn't be able to be copyrighted
if we wanted to.
David E. Manifold <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.pacificrim.net/~dem