Re: [dwm] Freedom (was: Re: sic ipv6 patch)

From: Szabolcs Nagy <>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 11:10:19 +0200

On 5/20/08, Kurt H Maier <> wrote:
> Freedom is an absence of restrictions. The GPL implements

no, freedom is a very broad concept

there are different possible interpretations (eg. freedom of society
and freedom of individual are quite different as mentioned earlier)

a plausible definition of "freedom of a license" may care about the
long term and global consequences (not just direct restriction count).

(eg. allowing to kill is more free by your definition (less
restrictions), but if we care about consequences then it's less free
(it may pose much more restrictions on the possibilities of an

> restrictions; therefore, it lessens freedom. Your disagreement with
> the societal consequences of that restriction does not affect the fact
> that the GPL uses the force of copyright law to tell people what may
> not be done with the code.

every license uses the force of copyright law (even empty license or
public domain (their scope differs in countries though))

societal consequences can be part of the definition of freedom

> a closed-source binary if I so choose. With the GPL, I cannot. That
> is a restriction, and it inhibits freedom. I don't see how this can
> be confusing or even debatable. For more information on the fallacy
> upon which your argument is based, read more about the "fallacy of
> consequence." [1]

as you can see, there is no general agreement on the exact meaning of the term

most likely everyone would agree that public domain provides more
freedom than GPL, but whether GPL is free or not is just a
terminological question

a more interesting question would be what is a desirable goal to
achieve with licensing
Received on Tue May 20 2008 - 11:10:22 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Sun Jul 13 2008 - 15:41:48 UTC