On 2015-07-27, at 17:13, Eric S Fraga <e.fr...@ucl.ac.uk> wrote:

> On Monday, 27 Jul 2015 at 14:10, Marcin Borkowski wrote:
> [...]
>> And I see no reason to impose GPL on them.))
> [...]
>> And please understand that if I'm sounding a bit angry in this email,
>> it's because I'm *very* angry about this whole lawyer mafia
>> restricting my freedom (again).  (Note: I'm all for restricting
>> people's freedom when there are important reasons for that.  I just
>> consider this situation not to be one of these.)
> Interestingly enough, the whole premise of FSF and GPL is that
> restrictions imposed by hiding code and/or not allowing redistribution
> are restricting our freedom!

As I wrote in other posts (today and also some time ago, on other
FSF-hosted list), I used to consider FSF your typical 3-letter
organization.  Though I revised my standpoint on that a bit, I still am
not a huge fan of FSF and GPL.  Also, I don't consider distributing
non-(free-as-in-FSF) software as morally evil, so I see no reason to
force anyone to use GPL.

> You'll find some (many?) of us on this list will disagree fundamentally
> with you: for me, GPL is about freedom and ensuring that freedom is
> not restricted.  Imposing GPL, as you put it, is about ensuring that
> those that want to make use of our code or text pass on the same rights
> they made use of in using this code or text.

Grown from the TeX community, and knowing how TeX's license works,
I find GPL to be rather restrictive.

And what if I explicitly want people to be able to use my code in
a proprietary software?  Or if I just want to use the "Unlicense"?  Or
if I don't want to use GPL on principle?  (And if I still consider Emacs
to be technically superior to most other software, and do not want to
stop using it and writing Elisp?)  In all these cases, GPL actually
restricts me.

> Note that all of the above is for people writing code that they
> subsequently wish to distribute.  If they keep it to themselves, the
> licence used is a non-issue...  

That I already learned from this discussion.  It's good that FSF does
not try to deny me at least this minimal amount of freedom...  ;-P

> Of course, nobody is forced to use any code I write so I am not stopping
> anybody from doing whatever they want with *their* code.  Although my
> contributions to org are infinitesimally small, I expect the GPL to be
> observed in any derivation of org.

With that I do agree (and it has nothing to do with the question whether
I like GPL or not, it's just basic ethics).  Now the main (and
recurring) question: is an exporter a "derivation" of Org?  My common
sense says it's probably not.  Is an exporter built by copying an
existing one and replacing all the code relevant to one particular
format with the code generating other format, leaving the skeleton
(which is more or less identical in most if not all official exporters,
and it's difficult to even conceive one radically different!) intact,
a "derivation" of the existing exporter?  My common sense is unsure, and
hence my question and this discussion.  Is any Elisp package
a "derivation" of Emacs?  My common sense says definitely not.

> YMMV, of course :-)

Well, it seems it does.  :-)

BTW, while I do not consider myself a "hacker" (in a sense used by RMS)
- I'm probably too inexperienced to deserve to be called that - I find
it ironic in the context of this exchange to recall this excerpt from
RMS's "On hacking":

| Hackers typically had little respect for the silly rules that
| administrators like to impose, so they looked for ways around.


Marcin Borkowski
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Adam Mickiewicz University

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