Care to point any other definition?
Posted Jul 27, 2009 16:35 UTC (Mon) by khim
In reply to: Argh.
Parent article: Launchpad source released
Nice to see that you are able to choose the one (of the several) definitions that agrees with you.
Actually they all are pretty similar. "Absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint", "liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another", and other similar definitions all point to the central point: you must have choice - or else it's not a freedom at all. I highly doubt FSF uses word "freedom" as synonym to "improper familiarity"...
The AGPL and GPL is exactly the same in this regard, no matter which funny ways you decide to read the four freedoms.
How come? Where is fault in my logic? I can show step-by-step that GPL is free software license while AGPL is not free software license. Here is how (just two steps):
1. Both GPL and AGPL restrict part of freedom 3: The freedom to release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public.
2a. GPL does have a justification for this restriction: the freedom to release improvements is restricted for the sake of freedom 1 (the freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish).
2b. AGPL does not give any justifications for this restriction: you must release all your improvements even if you are not giving the program to someone else.
Note: even the latest edition of RMS's definition explicitly says certain kinds of rules about the manner of distributing free software are acceptable, when they don't conflict with the central freedoms thus reinforcing my idea that freedom 3 is the least important freedom, important freedom, but it's freedom none-the-less, not duty or obligation. And I fail to see how onerous AGPL requirements help with freedoms 0, 1, and 2. It flat out robs me of freedom 0 - and this the most important freedom (that's why when it was added it was added as freedom 0, not freedom 4).
I'm sure RMS will change definition soon to make it compatible with AGPL (or it'll just imply that onerous AGPL requirements don't in practice affect freedom 0 at all when they clearly do have impact - and pretty sizable one), but not all people will accept the new definition. Note that DFSG does not have such a requirement (if you can only distribute the program but have no right to run it at all - it's DFSG-compatible), so AGPL is acceptable in Debian.
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