:: Re: [DNG] FSF, RMS and a danger to …
Top Page
Delete this message
Reply to this message
Author: John Morris
To: dng
Old-Topics: Re: [DNG] FSF and human rights
Subject: Re: [DNG] FSF, RMS and a danger to almost all GPL code
On Sat, 2021-03-27 at 08:30 -0400, Steve Litt wrote:
> And now you're suggesting Devuan put that all at risk to take a stand
> on RMS. Well you know what? No distro should get involved with
> politics, and this RMS thing *is* politics. It cost Mint plenty of
> users when they said supporters of Israel shouldn't use Mint, and it
> just might destroy Devuan if they take a stand, on either side, on
> this RMS thing.

Something struck me as deeply wrong about your post but I couldn't
articulate it. After much pondering it struck like a bolt and it was
the paragraph above that did it so thanks. :)

The RMS thing is politics, that is why they want him gone, he won't
inject politics into the the FSF. And we must fight because we are all
in extreme danger. Apparently we all just assumed Richard Stallman was
immortal and would always lead the FSF or we wouldn't have done what we
all did. We must save Richard's bacon long enough for everyone to fix
the problem.

Hang on for a brief diversion, the tale will get back on track. CoCs.
They are annoying but can't impact usage. They can't be avoided in most
projects now because too many developers work for corporations and would
be fired for failure to demand them. Because Free Software licenses
don't allow restrictions on field of use, they don't impact users at
all. If enough productive developers decided they didn't like the CoC
they could easily smash it with a Libreoffice gambit. One way gate.
Fork a new project site under a new name with a one line CoC sayin "The
only code of conduct is be excellent and never propose editing this
file, it is the only mandatory banning offense." The new fork can take
every patch from the original but the original can't touch the new site
lest they accept code from people who haven't agreed to the standard
pozzed CoC. Checkmate, the second a critical mass of independent
developers decide to go for it.

Now imagine Stallman is out at the FSF and somebody tries this. All
they need do is release the GPL4, allowing CoCs, field of use
restrictions and all the rest of the political nonsense be integrated
into the actual license, impacting developers AND users. It was your
mentioning Mint's misguided (and certainly unenforcable) attempt to
impose field of use restrictions on their users that got the thought
train going.

It is vital that as many projects as possible get to work NOW to change
their license terms. Corporate dominated projects are probably already
past the point where they can be saved. Be prepared to grab the last
available version under a sane license when the time comes, and as
events are moving ever faster, it will come soon. As of now there are
only three possibilities that are survivable.

GPL2, GPL3 and GPL2 or GPL3 at your option. No "or later" ever again.
BSD code of course has no defense when the corporate HR depts come
calling with demands. Nothing to be done about that. Haven't had time
to look at the other licenses. Anything with an "or later" clause, be
warned and pay attention to who you are giving unilateral authority to
rewrite the license to.