GPLv2 or, at your option, any later version
Posted Oct 2, 2006 15:48 UTC (Mon) by madscientist
In reply to: GPLv2 or, at your option, any later version
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
I understand your point, and agree with it to a certain extent. But let us turn this around: is it your contention, then, that because some developers did not fully grok the intent and ideals of RMS and the FSF when they licensed their code, that now RMS and the FSF should be permanently enjoined from pursuing their goals as they see them? That they should just pack it in and go home because their hard work and unwavering belief and advocacy (for little reward and often in the face of ridicule) for over twenty years has been misunderstood by a vocal subset of the community?
The idea that RMS and the FSF should subordinate themselves to the "will of the community" is such an obvious non-starter that I can't believe it's being seriously discussed. They are where they are today, and the GPL is where it is today, precisely BECAUSE they had a moral vision to which they steadfastly held, and they did not allow that vision to be diluted by people arguing for practicality or appeasement. You may not agree with them: many don't. But to the extent that ANYONE is surprised or dismayed by the fact that they are not allowing some kind of ultra-democratic "vote for your favourite clause" in the GPLv3, they are being naive IMO. Although the FSF wants to make the best license they can, and so they are soliciting input from every side, there was never any possibility that the GPLv3 would contain any language which did not align precisely with the vision of the FSF... how could it be otherwise?
The fact that some didn't understand that vision or where it might lead in the future is quite understandable. But saying that because of this, the FSF has some sort of obligation to abandon its principles and vision seems unfair... and, frankly, given what I know of the people involved, it will never, ever happen.
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