Rchard Stallman vs Darl McBride

Jon Jensen jon at endpoint.com
Sat Jul 24 13:11:38 MDT 2010

On Tue, 20 Jul 2010, Levi Pearson wrote:

>> If the law itself were more liberal, there'd be no need for either.
> I'm not sure how you could end up with the sort of requirements the GPL 
> has without explicitly stating them in a license.  If there's no 
> implicit copyright to creative works, then if you publish them, anyone 
> can modify them and not share the modifications.  I guess if the law 
> required all software to have source freely available to those it is 
> distributed to and did not provide copyright provisions for software or 
> allow licenses , that would do it, but that seems awfully unlikely and 
> I'm not sure I'd call it 'more liberal'.

Sorry, I left too many what-if assumptions floating around in there.

Imagine if we had no copyright on software. Sure, people could release 
only binaries if they wanted. But they'd get copied at will, legally, so 
there'd be little market for selling them. And the scene would probably 
largely revert to the way things were back before it was legally decided 
software (on magnetic media, anyway) could be copyrighted -- and people 
published source code + binaries fairly freely, either because they were 
making money off the hardware or because they were part of a community 
working together to improve software that they all used.

This is all highly speculative, but there is some historical precedent for 
it, so we can expect at least in parts of the software world that would 
happen again, with neither legal nor license requirements compelling it.


Jon Jensen
End Point Corporation

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