Monday, September 10, 2007

"GPL Has Bad Aspects"

A beautiful piece about what's wrong with the GPL.

One of the goals of GPL is to make everything GPL. Not good. Why? This can cause you to lose intellectual property.
In an article, Richard Stallman writes fallacious arguments as to why software should be "free."

(By the way, I do not GPL is free. It is very limiting in web applications and dismal for libraries, unless you allow everything to be GPL.)

Here's his list of fallacies -- gotta love the first one:
  1. Using utilitarian arguments. If you don't buy them, his essay falls to pieces. Utilitarian arguments have been used to justify communism, nazism, and other nasties. It could be used to justify murder. It could justify anything that benefits the majority more than the minority.
  2. The arguments he calls an emotional argument is not an emotional argument. He just called it that and put a negative spin on it.
  3. He also denies intellectual property's existence. Intellectual property's existence would thoroughly demolish claims that people should be able to get the software they want for free.
  4. Furthermore, utilitarian arguments may be used against the GPL (Here goes):
    Argument: The GPL is supposed to be helpful for users and give them freedom. What about freedom to use other (GPL-incompatible) software? Suppose user X installs a forum on his (or her) website. Imagine X wants users to be able to log into a MediaWiki(TM) and a vBulletin forum at the same time, thus making it easier for site members to log in. This is illegal because of the GPL. (It probably would be illegal for other reasons, too , but go with me on this one.) The main problem is that GPL'd software cannot be integrated even with some open-source software, if it has GPL-incompatible licenses.