licensing NOT clear for me

Earnie Boyd
Thu Mar 18 12:59:00 GMT 1999

I'm going to ask that any response to this also include the list. 
There are many (more than one is many) who feel the same way and they
shouldn't have to ask it again.

---Daniel Karipides <> wrote:
> Let me make this very clear at the top of this email: PLEASE do not
> reply to this on the list.  This is a request for information; please
> email me privately at:  Thanks.
> In my lurking on GNU relared newsgroups and mailing lists, I've
> witnessed many discussions / arguments about the GPL.  Through these
> discussion, I feel that I have gained some understanding of how the
> GPL works.  What I don't understand is the following:
> It often seems that, through very accurate and seemingly well-founded
> legal arguments, there are cases where the GPL discourages the
> writting and distribution of free software.  I am not trying to say
> the arguments as presented are ill-formed or not legal in some sense.
> I am simply saying that explanation of how the GPL works has a tone
> that is rather harsh.  Moreover, there is an implicit message in the
> explanations that says "If it is difficult to follow the GPL, tough.
> If you can't follow the GPL to the letter, it is a good thing that
> your code can't be legally distributed."
> For an example of this, take a simple program written to run under
> cygwin.  Suppose the author want to distribute the binaries of this
> code, the source code itself and cygwin.dll.  But, faced with the
> prospect of somehow giving written, signed promises to distribute the
> entire source code of cygwin via the same means (probably a web site),
> the author decides not to distribute the code.  Or, more
> realistically, not to write it in the first place.  I say this because
> given my current understanding of how the GPL interacts with the
> cygwin enviornment, I would never spend the time to write a cygwin
> program and try to distribute it under the GPL.  I think this is a bad
> thing, as I would hope that more people choose to write free software,
> not less.
> So I'm looking for an explanation as to why the GPL being structured
> in this way is a good thing.  Or why my understanding is incorrect.
> Please email me privately (a pointer to a already published web
> explanation would be fine.)  Do not clutter the list with responses,
> as Chris has already asked for this discussion to die.
> Thanks in advance,
> -Dan
> ----
> -----
> "Life's too short for worrying. Yes, that's what worries me. " 
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