Advogato post for 2000-07-12 19:03:06

I'm getting involved in a large thread in gnu.misc.discuss.

It is, in a way, funny. The usual clueless keyword droppers are there (jedi, for example), but also some smart guys (Dyson).

The short version is that apparently Dyson and a couple of others made a rather thought provoking statement: "The GPL is not free", and are defending it.

The usual wisdom about it is that such a position is indefensible, yet IMHO they are doing just fine.

I just snip from the sidelines pointing out the internal inconsistencies between people who sustain the opposing position (that the GPL is actually free).

I got several interesting responses, like "of course the GPL doesn't prevent linking GPL and non-GPL software".

Strangely, as soon as I point out that the FSF says it does, a couple of posters fall off the subthread, and get replaced by a couple of new posters saying that it does.

Then I point ways in which that position makes the GPL non-free, and the reverse happens :-)

So, my personal guess is that it's impossible for a single person to maintain both halves of that position at the same time without internal conflict.

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