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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
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  3. <head>
  4. <title>GPLv3 - Transcript of Richard Stallman from the fifth
  5. international GPLv3 conference, Tokyo, Japan; 2006-11-21</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <div class="image right">
  9. <a href="gplv3.html"><img src="/graphics/gplv3-logo-red.png" alt="GPLv3 logo" /></a>
  10. </div>
  11. <h1>Transcript of Richard Stallman at the 5th international
  12. GPLv3 conference; 21st November 2006</h1>
  13. <p>
  14. See our <a href="gplv3.html">GPLv3 project</a> page for information
  15. on <a href="gplv3#participate">how to participate</a>. And you may
  16. be interested in
  17. our <a href="">list of
  18. transcripts on GPLv3 and free software licences</a>.
  19. </p>
  20. <p>
  21. The following is a transcript of Richard Stallman's presentation
  22. made at the <a href="">fifth international
  23. GPLv3 conference</a>, organised by FSIJ and AIST in Tokyo, Japan.
  24. From the same event, there is also
  25. a <a href="tokyo-ciaran-transcript">transcript Ciaran O'Riordan's
  26. talk</a>.
  27. </p>
  28. <!-- <p>Video and audio recordings are available:</p> -->
  29. <!-- <ul> -->
  30. <!-- <li>Audio: <a href=""></a></li> -->
  31. <!-- <li>Video: <a href=""></a></li> -->
  32. <!-- </ul> -->
  33. <p>Transcription of this presentation was undertaken
  34. by Ciarán O'Riordan.
  35. Please support work such as this by <a href="/help/donate">donating
  36. to FSFE</a>, joining <a href="">the Fellowship
  37. of FSFE</a>, and by encouraging others to do so.</p>
  38. <p>The speech was made in English. See also:</p>
  39. <ul>
  40. <li><a
  41. href=""></a>
  42. - all recordings from the event</li>
  43. <li><a
  44. href="">The
  45. recording of Richard Stallman's talk</a></li>
  46. </ul>
  47. <h2>Presentation sections</h2>
  48. <ol>
  49. <li><a href="#why-update">Why does the licence need updating?</a></li>
  50. <li><a href="#v1v2">About versions 1 and 2</a></li>
  51. <li><a href="#internationalisation">Internationalisation</a></li>
  52. <li><a href="#compatibility">Licence compatibility</a></li>
  53. <li><a href="#tivoisation">Preventing tivoisation</a></li>
  54. <li><a href="#tc1">Tivoisation and Treacherous Computing</a></li>
  55. <li><a href="#tc2">General comments on Treacherous Computing</a></li>
  56. <li><a href="#patents">Software patents</a></li>
  57. <li><a href="#novell-ms">The Novell and Microsoft example</a></li>
  58. <li><a href="#net-distribution">Internet distribution instead of mail order</a></li>
  59. <li><a href="#termination">Licence termination</a></li>
  60. <li><a href="#patent-retaliation">Narrow patent retaliation</a></li>
  61. <li><a href="#dmca-eucd">Undermining the DMCA and EUCD</a></li>
  62. </ol>
  63. <ul>
  64. <li><a href="#q1">Q1: What are the differences between open source and Free Software?</a></li>
  65. <li><a href="#q2">Q2: How is copyright law affected by Disney and Creative Commons?</a></li>
  66. <li><a href="#q3">Q3: Should Free Software include copyright notices?</a></li>
  67. <li><a href="#q4">Q4: What about patents owned by children?</a></li>
  68. <li><a href="#q5">Q5: Can you further explain the cure clause idea?</a></li>
  69. <li><a href="#q6">Q6: What if someone sets up companies in a cycle?</a></li>
  70. <li><a href="#q7">Q7: &quot;Use freely&quot; has another meaning regarding patents...</a></li>
  71. <li><a href="#q8">Q8: What other movements is the Free Software movement similar to?</a></li>
  72. <li><a href="#q9">Q9: What about open source licences?</a></li>
  73. <li><a href="#q10">Q10: Will there be Free Software licences that are GPLv3-incompatible?</a></li>
  74. <li><a href="#q11">Q11: Will FSF make further variants of the GPL, like the LGPL is?</a></li>
  75. <li><a href="#q12">Q12: What's happening with the GFDL and GSFDL?</a></li>
  76. <li><a href="#q13">Q13: Does using a GPL'd font constitute linking?</a></li>
  77. </ul>
  78. <h2>The presentation</h2>
  79. <p>
  80. <span id="why-update">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Why does the licence need updating?]</span>
  81. </p>
  82. <p class="indent">
  83. Welcome to our event. Since you've already heard from Niibe all the
  84. basic things that I would usually talk about in my speeches, I'm going
  85. to start right in on GPL version three.
  86. </p>
  87. <p class="indent">
  88. GPL version two was developed in 1991. The community was very
  89. different then. It was much smaller. There were probably hundreds of
  90. Free Software packages instead of tens of thousands. And there was no
  91. free operating system.
  92. </p>
  93. <p class="indent">
  94. As a result, the amount of pressure that people who were effectively
  95. our adversaries and wanted to cheat were placing on us and placing on
  96. our licences was much less. Since that time, Free Software has become
  97. far more popular with tens of millions of users.
  98. </p>
  99. <p class="indent">
  100. There are two basically free operating systems: GNU/Linux and BSD.
  101. Unfortunately, nearly all the versions that people use include
  102. non-Free Software, but basically they are free systems.
  103. </p>
  104. <p class="indent">
  105. And there are now many companies that are looking for loopholes,
  106. trying to defeat the goal of the GNU GPL which is to ensure all users
  107. freedom. The reason I wrote the GNU GPL was to make sure that when I
  108. release a program as Free Software, all of you get the four freedoms.
  109. </p>
  110. <p class="indent">
  111. So the point is, I wont be satisfied if only the users who get the
  112. program from me have freedom. I want to make sure that no matter how
  113. the program reaches you, whether it has been changed or not, all of
  114. you get freedom. The basic idea of the GNU GPL is to establish the
  115. four freedoms as inalienable rights, that is, rights that nobody can
  116. lose, except through wrong doing. You can't sell them. We're not
  117. going to have any selling yourself into slavery in our community of
  118. freedom.
  119. </p>
  120. <p>
  121. <span id="v1v2">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: About
  122. versions 1 and 2]</span>
  123. </p>
  124. <p class="indent">
  125. Back in 1991, we had seen two ways of trying to make software
  126. non-free. One was to release only a binary and not let users have the
  127. source code. And the other was to place restrictive licence
  128. conditions on it. These had been seen in the 1980s, so even the
  129. earliest GNU licences were designed to prevent that kind of abuse.
  130. They required distribution of source code and they say you can't add
  131. any other licence terms. You must pass on the program, including any
  132. changes of yours, under the exact same licence under which you got it.
  133. </p>
  134. <p>
  135. [Time: 237 secs]
  136. </p>
  137. <p class="indent">
  138. Around 1990, I found out
  139. about <a href="">the
  140. danger of software patents</a>. So in GPL version 2, we developed the
  141. section that we called &quot;liberty or death for the program&quot;,
  142. although informally, because in GPL version 2 the sections don't have
  143. titles. This said that if you agree to any sort of patent licence
  144. that would limit the rights that your users would get, then you
  145. couldn't distribute the program at all.
  146. </p>
  147. <p class="indent">
  148. Now, what's the logic here? The idea is that patent holders would try
  149. to corrupt individual distributors of Free Software, trying to get
  150. them to sign specific deals to pay for permission to do so, and
  151. therefore we faced the danger that patent holders would divide our
  152. community and that this would make our community weak.
  153. </p>
  154. <p class="indent">
  155. In a country that is stupid enough to allow software patents, which
  156. I'm sad to say includes your country [Japan] and includes my country
  157. [USA], there's nothing we can do to prevent the danger that patent
  158. holders will use their patents to destroy Free Software, to drive it
  159. underground.
  160. </p>
  161. <p class="indent">
  162. But, there's an even worse thing they might be able to do, and that is
  163. make the software effectively non-free. If they could create a
  164. situation where individual users or individual distributors pay for
  165. permission, the software is effectively non-free. The decision I made
  166. was that we would try to prevent that danger. That danger is worse
  167. for two reasons. First, because a proprietary program which takes
  168. away a users' freedom is worse than no program at all. And second
  169. because that offers the patent holder a way to make money and would be
  170. more tempting than merely to cause destruction.
  171. </p>
  172. <p class="indent">
  173. So, Section 7 of GPL version 2 was designed to prevent that. And that
  174. was the main change in GPL version 2. However, today we've seen
  175. several more kinds of threats, as well as other issues that call for
  176. changes. The basic idea of GPL version 3 is unchanged: to protect the
  177. four freedoms for all users, but the details have to adapt to today's
  178. circumstances.
  179. </p>
  180. <p class="indent">
  181. This means that the changes in GPL version 3 do not have any common
  182. theme. They're all addressed to details, to specifics. Some very
  183. important, some secondary, but every change is in some specific
  184. detail because there's no change in the spirit.
  185. </p>
  186. <p class="indent">
  187. So let me go through the most important of these changes.
  188. </p>
  189. <p>
  190. <span id="internationalisation">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Internationalisation]</span>
  191. </p>
  192. <p class="indent">
  193. One of them is better internationalisation. I developed the earlier
  194. versions of the GPL working with a lawyer, but this lawyer was not an
  195. expert on the laws of other countries. We simply based our inputs on
  196. knowing that copyright law is mostly similar around the World.
  197. However, now we've made a large effort to consult lawyers from various
  198. different countries, to make sure that we will get similar results in
  199. all countries. To make this happen, we have eliminated certain words
  200. such as &quot;distribute&quot;, from the GPL version 3. It turns out
  201. that various countries have different definitions for the word
  202. &quot;distribute&quot;. So we have tried to avoid that word. We
  203. coined a couple of new terms, in order to express ourselves better.
  204. </p>
  205. <p class="indent">
  206. For instance, there's the term &quot;propagate&quot; which loosely
  207. means copying, but we've given it a precise definition that is meant
  208. to buffer it against variations in copyright law between countries.
  209. Another term called &quot;convey&quot; which loosely means
  210. distributing copies, but again, we've defined it in a way buffers it
  211. against international variations. So the bulk of the GPL gives
  212. conditions for propagating and conveying the program.
  213. </p>
  214. <p>
  215. <span id="compatibility">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Licence compatibility]</span>
  216. </p>
  217. <p class="indent">
  218. Another area of change has to do with compatibility with other
  219. licences. Back in the early 90s, there were only a few different Free
  220. Software licences, and the ones people generally used were either the
  221. GNU GPL, or simple permissive licences like the X11 licence and the
  222. original BSD licence. The X11 licence was compatible with the GPL.
  223. You could merge code with the GPL version 1 or 2 with code under the
  224. X11 licence. The original BSD licence is incompatible because of the
  225. obnoxious advertising clause, but in the 90s we convinced the
  226. University of California to relicense all of BSD under the revised BSD
  227. licence, which gets rid of the advertising clause, and that is
  228. compatible with GPL version 2.
  229. </p>
  230. <p class="indent">
  231. By the way, you should never use the term &quot;BSD-style licensing&quot;
  232. because of the ambiguity. The difference between these two licences
  233. is quite important. One is compatible with the GPL and the other is
  234. not. It's very important to call people's attention to the difference
  235. between those two licences. However, starting in 1999 I believe, with
  236. Mozilla, many other Free Software licences have been developed, most
  237. of which are not compatible with the GPL. GPL version 3 is designed
  238. to be compatible with two important licences: the Apache licence and
  239. the Eclipse licence. It will be possible to merge code under those
  240. licences into GPL3 covered software once the GPL version 3 is really
  241. out.
  242. </p>
  243. <p>
  244. [Time: 752 secs]
  245. </p>
  246. <p class="indent">
  247. And while we were at it, we decided to formalise and clearly explain
  248. what it means to give additional permission as a special exception.
  249. That's a practice that we have been doing for many years. The simple
  250. library that comes with GCC that does very low level tasks, supporting
  251. certain language constructs, has a special exception on it saying
  252. basically that you can link it into almost anything. But there was
  253. some confusion about what it means to have such an exception so we
  254. decided to spell it out, to make it clear that when you give
  255. additional permission, people can remove that additional permission,
  256. because really what you have done is you have made two separate
  257. statements: (A) you can distribute this under the GPL, and (B) I also
  258. give you permission for this and that. It follows that anyone who is
  259. redistributing that software or distributing modified versions can
  260. pass it along under the GPL or he can reconfirm the other permission,
  261. or he can do both. So, if the other permission just says you can do
  262. one little extra thing, it makes no sense by itself. That would be
  263. useless. So basically, you've got to keep the GPL, but you either
  264. keep the added provision or not. So in GPL version 3 this is spelled
  265. out.
  266. </p>
  267. <p class="indent">
  268. We also explain that there are a few kinds of additional requirements
  269. that can appear on code that gets included or merged into the GPL
  270. covered program. Now, some of these are not new. There are essential
  271. trivial requirements in the X11 licence and the revised BSD licence,
  272. and because they're trivial, our interpretation is that there is no
  273. conflict with the GPL, but we decided to make that completely
  274. explicit. But in addition, there are some substantive requirements
  275. that are not in the GPL that we will now allow to be added. This is
  276. how we achieve compatibility with the Apache licence and the Eclipse
  277. licence. After all, the reason they are incompatible with GPL version
  278. 2 is that they have requirements that are not in GPL version 2. Those
  279. requirements are not part of GPL version 3 either, but GPL version 3
  280. explicitly says that you are allowed to add those kinds of
  281. requirements. That is how GPLv3 will be compatible with those
  282. licences, because it specifically permits a limited set of additional
  283. requirements which include the requirements in those licences.
  284. </p>
  285. <p>
  286. [Time: 986 secs]
  287. </p>
  288. <p class="indent">
  289. While we were doing this we decided to try to put an end to a misuse of
  290. the GPL. You may occasionally see a program which says &quot;This program
  291. is released under the GNU GPL but you're not allowed to use it
  292. commercially&quot;, or some other attempt to add another requirement.
  293. That's actually self-contradictory and its meaning is ambiguous, so
  294. nobody can be sure what will happen if a judge looks at that. After
  295. all, GPL version 2 says you can release a modified version under GPL
  296. version 2. So if you take this program with its inconsistent licence
  297. and you release a modified version, what licence are you supposed to
  298. use? You could argue for two different possibilities.
  299. </p>
  300. <p class="indent">
  301. We can't stop people making their software under licences that are
  302. more restrictive than the GPL, we can't stop them from releasing
  303. non-Free Software, but we can try to prevent them from doing so in a
  304. misleading and self-contradictory way, after all, when the program
  305. says GPL version 2 but you can't use it commercially, that's not
  306. really released under GPL version 2, and it's not Free Software, and
  307. if you tried to combine that with code that really is released under
  308. GPL version 2, you would be violating GPL2. Because this inconsistent
  309. licence starts out by saying &quot;GPL version 2&quot;, people are
  310. very likely to be mislead. They may think it's available under GPL
  311. version 2, they may think they're allowed to combine these modules.
  312. We want to get rid of this confusing practice. And therefore we've
  313. stated that if you see a problem that states GPL version 3 as its
  314. licence, but has additional requirements not explicitly permitted in
  315. section 7 then you're entitled to remove them. We hope that this will
  316. convince the people that want to use more restrictive licences that
  317. they should do it in an unambiguous way. That is, they should take
  318. the text, edit it, and make their own licence, which might be free or
  319. might not, depending on the details, but at least it won't be the GNU
  320. GPL, so people won't get confused.
  321. </p>
  322. <p>
  323. [Time: 1169 secs]
  324. </p>
  325. <p>
  326. <span id="tivoisation">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Preventing tivoisation]</span>
  327. </p>
  328. <p class="indent">
  329. Another major change is a response to a new method of trying to
  330. deprive the users of freedom. In broad terms we refer to this as
  331. tivoisation. It's the practice of designing hardware so that a
  332. modified version cannot function properly. Now, I do not mean by this
  333. the fact that when you modify it you might break it. Of course that's
  334. true. But of course you also might modify it carefully and avoid
  335. making a mistake and then you have not broken the program, you would
  336. expect it to function. But tivoised machines will not allow any
  337. modified version to function correctly even if you have done your
  338. modification properly.
  339. </p>
  340. <p class="indent">
  341. For instance, the Tivo itself is the prototype of tivoisation. The
  342. Tivo contains a small GNU/Linux operating system, thus, several
  343. programs under the GNU GPL. And, as far as I know, the Tivo company
  344. does obey GPL version 2. They provide the users with source code and
  345. the users can then modify it and compile it and then install it in the
  346. Tivo. That's where the trouble begins because the Tivo will not run
  347. modified versions, the Tivo contains hardware designed to detect that
  348. the software has been changed and shuts down. So, regardless of the
  349. details of your modification, your modified version will not run in
  350. your Tivo.
  351. </p>
  352. <p>
  353. <span id="tc1">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Tivoisation and Treacherous Computing]</span>
  354. </p>
  355. <p class="indent">
  356. This is the basic method of tivoisation but there are more subtle
  357. methods which involve Treacherous Computing. Treacherous Computing is
  358. the term we use to describe a practice of designing people's computers
  359. so that the users can't control them. In fact, the perpetrators of
  360. this scheme don't want you to have real computers. What is a
  361. computer, after all? A computer is a universal programmable machine,
  362. one that can be programmed to carry out any computation, but those
  363. machines are designed so that there are computations you can't make
  364. them do. They're designed not to be real computers. Specifically,
  365. they are designed so that data or websites can be set up to
  366. communicate only with particular software and set up to make it
  367. impossible for any other program to communicate with that data or
  368. those websites.
  369. </p>
  370. <p>
  371. [Time: 1403 secs]
  372. </p>
  373. <p class="indent">
  374. One of the ways this works is through remote attestation. The idea is
  375. that a website will be able to check what software is running on your
  376. computer, and if you have changed anything, the website will refuse to
  377. talk to your computer. In other words, you can make modified
  378. software, you can install it on your computer, but, that modified
  379. software is forbidden even to try to communicate with the website in
  380. the same way that the other version would do.
  381. </p>
  382. <p class="indent">
  383. Microsoft has been working on a scheme for years, which might be part
  384. of Windows Vista, which involves encrypting files in such a way that
  385. only a particular program can possibly decrypt them. Even if you know
  386. the algorithm, the hardware is supposed to make it impossible for you
  387. to write another program that will decrypt those files.
  388. </p>
  389. <p class="indent">
  390. Thus, once again, you might be allowed in theory to modify the
  391. program, but in practice you would have no chance in making a modified
  392. version that can even try to operate on the same data as the version
  393. you got.
  394. </p>
  395. <p class="indent">
  396. These are all ways of effectively making our software non-free. GPL
  397. version 3 is designed to block them all. The requirement is that
  398. users must be able to get whatever is necessary so that they can
  399. authorise their modified versions to function in the same machine such
  400. that they can succeed in operating on the same data, and talking to
  401. the same networks.
  402. </p>
  403. <p>
  404. [Time: 1550 secs]
  405. </p>
  406. <p class="indent">
  407. In the current discussion draft this is done by defining those
  408. materials as part of the corresponding source, however, we've decided
  409. to move that into section 6 which authorises distribution of
  410. binaries. And instead of calling those materials part of the source,
  411. we'll simply state that making them available is a condition for
  412. permission to distribute the binaries.
  413. </p>
  414. <p>
  415. <span id="tc2">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: General comments on Treacherous Computing]</span>
  416. </p>
  417. <p class="indent">
  418. Treacherous Computing is an instance of a very dangerous phenomenon,
  419. namely a conspiracy of companies to restrict the public - to restrict
  420. the public's access to technology. Such conspiracies ought to be a
  421. crime. The executives of those companies should be tried, and if
  422. convicted, sent to prison for conspiring to restrict the public's
  423. access to technology. However, that sort of policy would have
  424. required leaders that believe in government of the people, by the
  425. people, for the people. What we have today is government of the
  426. people, by the flunkies, for the corporations.
  427. </p>
  428. <p class="indent">
  429. Far from trying to protect us from such conspiracies, our governments
  430. today show how undemocratic they are by supporting the companies
  431. against us, supporting the conspiracies against us. Laws that
  432. prohibit circumvention of these conspiracies essentially deputise the
  433. conspiracies as police men, giving them power over the citizens.
  434. Every government that supports such a law shows that it is on the side
  435. of publishers, on the side of Hollywood, on the side of the record
  436. companies, against its own citizens. It has become an arm of
  437. occupation.
  438. </p>
  439. <p class="indent">
  440. Nonetheless, we are going to fight against tivoisation and Treacherous
  441. Computing with all of our abilities.
  442. </p>
  443. <p>
  444. <span id="patents">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Software patents]</span>
  445. </p>
  446. <p class="indent">
  447. Another threat to Free Software is from software patents. GPL2's
  448. section 7, which is now section 12, deals with one of these threats:
  449. the threat of a distributor signing a contract that gives it the
  450. patent licence for the software but in a limited way.
  451. </p>
  452. <p class="indent">
  453. A few years ago, I realised that there were other ways software
  454. patents might be used to make software non-free, so we're designing
  455. GPL version 3 to block them too. For instance, one issue is, what if
  456. the developer of the software has a patent on it, or rather, has a
  457. patent on some particular computational technique used in the
  458. program. I made a terrible mistake when I said &quot;has a patent on the
  459. program&quot;, that's not how patents work. I know better, and yet I still
  460. made this mistake. There's no such thing as a patent on a program,
  461. software patents don't work that way. Every software patent is a
  462. monopoly on a certain kind of technical functionality or method. A
  463. program violates the patent if anywhere inside the program it
  464. implements that method or that functionality. The result is that one
  465. program can infringe any number of patents at the same time.
  466. </p>
  467. <p class="indent">
  468. [See note hereafter] Two years ago, a thorough study found that the kernel
  469. Linux infringed 283 different software patents, and that's just in the US. Of
  470. course, by now the number is probably different and might be higher.
  471. </p>
  472. <p>
  473. <span style="font-weight: bold;">NOTE from Richard Stallman:</span> I made
  474. a mistake when I said Linux infringes 283 software patents. In fact,
  475. Ravicher's study found 283 US software patents that look like they might
  476. prohibit part of the code of Linux. Whether those patents are actually
  477. valid, nobody knows.
  478. </p>
  479. <p>
  480. Linux is one of many large programs in the GNU/Linux system. Many
  481. other programs, free or not, are also large, and large programs
  482. generally combine thousands of ideas.
  483. </p>
  484. <p>
  485. I expect that a similar study of any large program, free or
  486. non-free, whether written by me or by Microsoft or anyone else,
  487. would similarly find hundreds of patents that threaten to prohibit
  488. it. In other words, with software patents, every developer of
  489. large programs faces many threats. The solution is: don't allow
  490. software patents.
  491. </p>
  492. <p>
  493. <span style="font-weight: bold;">END OF NOTE</span>
  494. </p>
  495. <p>
  496. [Time: 1885 secs]
  497. </p>
  498. <p class="indent">
  499. That is the only example of this kind of study, as far as I know. But
  500. probably any large program infringes hundreds of different patents at
  501. once. What if a distributor of the program has a patent on some
  502. computation inside the program and distributes the program to others,
  503. and when they try to redistribute, the patent holder says &quot;We're going
  504. to sue you for patent infringement if you try&quot;. We didn't think this
  505. was an issue because in the US, when that company distributes the
  506. software under the GPL, they're telling people &quot;We have no objections
  507. if you do what the GPL says you can do&quot; and so if they tried to sue
  508. those same people for patent infringement later, they would lose.
  509. </p>
  510. <p class="indent">
  511. However, we found out that this is not true all around the World. So
  512. GPL version 3 carries an explicit patent licence which is following
  513. the lead of the Mozilla Public License. I think that was the first
  514. one which contained an explicit patent licence. Basically, all this
  515. says is that none of the people who distributed the program on it's
  516. path to reaching you can turn around and sue you for patent
  517. infringement on the patents that covered the code that passed through
  518. their hands.
  519. </p>
  520. <p class="indent">
  521. This is not as broad as it could possibly be, but it seems right
  522. because it's pretty much the same as the implicit patent licence that
  523. US law gives people.
  524. </p>
  525. <p>
  526. <span id="novell-ms">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: The Novell and Microsoft example]</span>
  527. </p>
  528. <p class="indent">
  529. However, there's another way of using software patents to threaten the
  530. users which we have just seen an example of. That is, the
  531. Novell-Microsoft deal. What has happened is, Microsoft has not given
  532. Novell a patent licence, and thus, section 7 of GPL version 2 does not
  533. come into play. Instead, Microsoft offered a patent licence that is
  534. rather limited to Novell's customers alone.
  535. </p>
  536. <p class="indent">
  537. It turns out that perhaps it's a good thing that Microsoft did this
  538. now, because we discovered that the text we had written for GPL
  539. version 3 would not have blocked this, but it's not too late and we're
  540. going to make sure that when GPL version 3 really comes out it will
  541. block such deals. We were already concerned about possibilities like
  542. this, namely, the possibility that a distributor might receive a
  543. patent licence which did not explicitly impose limits on downstream
  544. recipients but simply failed to protect them.
  545. </p>
  546. <p class="indent">
  547. What if one company pays Microsoft for a patent licence where
  548. Microsoft says &quot;Alright, we won't sue you, but we're just not
  549. making any promises about your customers if they redistribute
  550. it&quot;. We had already written a downstream shielding provision
  551. into GPL version 3 saying that if you convey the program, and you are
  552. benefitting from a patent licence that is not available, that does not
  553. extend to the downstream users, then you have to do something to
  554. shield them.
  555. </p>
  556. <p class="indent">
  557. This is, it turns out, inadequate in two ways. First of all,
  558. &quot;shielding them&quot; is vague. We're replacing that with a
  559. specific list of methods, and second, once again it assumes that the
  560. distributor has received a patent licence, so the Microsoft/Novell
  561. deal cunningly does not give Novell the patent licence, only Novell's
  562. customers.
  563. </p>
  564. <p class="indent">
  565. Well, now that we have seen this possibility, we're not going to have
  566. trouble drafting the language that will block it off. We're going to
  567. say not just that if you receive the patent licence, but if you have
  568. arranged any sort of patent licensing that is prejudicial among the
  569. downstream recipients, that that's not allowed. That you have to make
  570. sure that the downstream recipients fully get the freedoms that
  571. they're supposed to have. The precise words, we haven't figured out
  572. yet. That's what Eben Moglen is working on now.
  573. </p>
  574. <p>
  575. [Time: 2249 secs - end of part I]
  576. </p>
  577. <p>
  578. <span id="net-distribution">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Internet distribution instead of mail order]</span>
  579. </p>
  580. <p class="indent">
  581. So these are the major changes. Some minor changes are also
  582. important. For instance, we've decided to permit distributing
  583. binaries and making the source code available only on the network.
  584. GPL version 2 says if you distribute a binary without source code, you
  585. have to offer the source code by mail order. This was a specific
  586. decision which I made because in 1991, most people's network
  587. connections were too slow for it to be feasible to download large
  588. amounts of source code over the 'net. I believed at the time, and I
  589. still believe that at that time, to allow someone to distribute
  590. binaries, and then to make the source code available only on the 'net
  591. would have made a large number of users completely unable, in
  592. practice, to get the source code.
  593. </p>
  594. <p class="indent">
  595. However, now there are services where you can pay a fairly small
  596. amount of money to them, and they will download a CD-ROM's worth of
  597. material and mail it to you anywhere in the World. As a result, I've
  598. concluded that we can make this change.
  599. </p>
  600. <p>
  601. <span id="termination">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Licence termination]</span>
  602. </p>
  603. <p class="indent">
  604. Another important minor change has to do with termination when someone
  605. violates the licence. A GNU/Linux distribution today involves
  606. thousands of programs, and anyone who accidentally violates the
  607. licence, for instance, puts the wrong source code up, has, under GPL
  608. version 2, terminated his licences for everything. At that point, he
  609. has to go to all the copyright holders, and ask for permission to
  610. start distributing again, but that's basically impossible. You could
  611. never find all those developers, especially those who contributed
  612. fifteen years ago.
  613. </p>
  614. <p class="indent">
  615. What we've decided to do is that if you stop your violation, then any
  616. given copyright holder has 60 days from that point to complain. This
  617. is a kind of statute of limitations. As long as you're continuing to
  618. violate the licence, any copyright holder is entitled to notify you
  619. you're violating the licence and once he notifies you he has the right
  620. to terminate the licence. But, if you stop violating, then the
  621. copyright holders have only 60 more days to notify you, and if they
  622. don't notify you and sixty days go by with no violations, then you're
  623. safe.
  624. </p>
  625. <p class="indent">
  626. This means that if you accidentally violate the licence and you fix
  627. it, probably nobody's going to complain to you and 60 days will go by
  628. and you'll be ok. Or if a few copyright holders complain to you, then
  629. you just have to negotiate with them, and say &quot;Look, it was an
  630. accident, I fixed it already and you see I'm trying to do the right
  631. thing, and will you please give me my distribution rights back&quot;, and
  632. they'll almost certainly say yes.
  633. </p>
  634. <p class="indent">
  635. We're considering a further change in this direction that would say
  636. that a violation can cure itself if you're a first time violator and
  637. you correct your practices and a certain period of time goes by. We
  638. have to be careful in this though, because it's very important for GPL
  639. enforcement that the developer be able to get a preliminary injunction
  640. to stop distribution. So we're carefully studying the conditions for
  641. doing so in various countries, and if we can put in such a cure
  642. feature in a way that does not harm GPL enforcement then we will
  643. probably do so.
  644. </p>
  645. <p>
  646. [Time: 308 secs, part II]
  647. </p>
  648. <p>
  649. <span id="patent-retaliation">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Narrow patent retaliation]</span>
  650. </p>
  651. <p class="indent">
  652. Another small change is a limited kind of patent retaliation. We're
  653. concerned with the use of software patents in yet another situation.
  654. There is a common practice where you get a GPL covered program and you
  655. modify it to do exactly what you want, and then you run it. And you
  656. might, say, run it privately in this way and anyone can do this, it's
  657. legitimate. But we're concerned with the danger that the company
  658. which does this might have a patent on some of the techniques that
  659. they put into their modifications, and then they might threaten others
  660. with patent law suits if they try to make similar modifications. So
  661. we put in a carefully designed provision that stops such a company
  662. from making further modifications to their software if they do this,
  663. which would mean that it would become unmaintainable, and thus it
  664. becomes a very risky business practice.
  665. </p>
  666. <p>
  667. <span id="dmca-eucd">(<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>) [Section: Undermining the DMCA and EUCD]</span>
  668. </p>
  669. <p class="indent">
  670. There's one other change that's worth mentioning, I think. That is
  671. section 3. Section 3 is designed to counter-attack against the laws
  672. where the government supports the conspiracies to restrict the
  673. public. This contains one part which is designed to address the
  674. Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the US, and another part which is
  675. aimed at the European Union Copyright Directive. These two laws do
  676. effectively the same thing, but they are written in different ways,
  677. and you have to take them on in different ways. The method that will
  678. work for the US doesn't work for Europe, and likewise isn't an
  679. inconvenience there, and the method that works for the EU Copyright
  680. Directive won't work for the US DMCA. If there's something we can do
  681. to extend this to some other countries, we'll be glad to do it, as
  682. long as we can be sure it doesn't cause trouble. We don't want to
  683. cause trouble over there [Richard points] while we help over here.
  684. </p>
  685. <p class="indent">
  686. So, at this point, I guess I will ask for questions.
  687. </p>
  688. <p>
  689. [Time: 578 secs]
  690. </p>
  691. <p id="q1">
  692. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  693. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q1</span>: I have two questions.
  694. What are the differences between the definition of open-source
  695. software and the definition of Free Software, in your words?
  696. </p>
  697. <p class="indent">
  698. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, first
  699. of all, the principal difference between the Free Software movement
  700. and the open source activity is that open source is a development
  701. model and Free Software is a social movement. The term &quot;open
  702. source&quot; was coined to avoid ever mentioning ethical issues.
  703. Specifically the ethical issues which are the centre of the Free
  704. Software movement. We are fighting for freedom for ourselves and for
  705. you. We are campaigning for social solidarity. Freedom and social
  706. solidarity are our goals. Those are the goals of our social movement.
  707. Proprietary software is evil because it attacks freedom and social
  708. solidarity. When a program is proprietary, that means that the social
  709. system of its distribution and use is unethical. Proprietary software
  710. development harms society, it attacks society. It's a social problem.
  711. Our goal is to correct, to eliminate that social problem. We make all
  712. our software free because that's the only ethically legitimate way to
  713. release software and we aim to replace proprietary software with Free
  714. Software because proprietary software mistreats its users.
  715. </p>
  716. <p class="indent">
  717. All of that is what the supporters of open source don't want to say.
  718. They don't even want to raise the issue, so they developed a way of
  719. talking about our software without mentioning the ethical deeper
  720. levels of the issue. That's why they talk about a development model.
  721. </p>
  722. <p class="indent">
  723. They say that allowing users to change and redistribute software
  724. creates the possibility of using a certain development model and they
  725. say that this development model makes for more powerful and reliable
  726. software. Maybe they're right, but I think that's a secondary issue
  727. compared with our freedom and our social solidarity.
  728. </p>
  729. <p class="indent">
  730. So if I am offered a choice between a proprietary program which is
  731. powerful and reliable and a free program which is not, I choose the
  732. free program because that I can do in freedom. I'd rather make some
  733. practical sacrifices to reject oppression.
  734. </p>
  735. <p class="indent">
  736. But suppose you want both? Suppose you want freedom and solidarity,
  737. and you want powerful reliable software? How can you get it? You
  738. can't get that starting with the powerful, reliable, proprietary
  739. program because there is no way you can liberate that program. The
  740. only way you can get that, your ideal goal, is to start from the free
  741. program, technically inadequate as it may be, because you do have the
  742. option of improving it. That is the only path that can possibly ever
  743. get you to your ideal situation. Insist on freedom and make the
  744. program better.
  745. </p>
  746. <p class="indent">
  747. Because of these basic philosophical differences, you will see
  748. different responses from open source supporters and Free Software
  749. activists in some situations. People have been able to overlook the
  750. difference because when it comes to working together on a Free
  751. Software project, it doesn't really matter what a person's
  752. philosophical beliefs are if he wants to contribute. For instance, in
  753. developing Free Software, when people ask to participate, we don't ask
  754. them whether you support Free Software or open source, or maybe
  755. neither. We don't need to ask them, we just say &quot;Oh, you're
  756. welcome to participate, thank you for your work&quot;. People
  757. regardless of their views can join in the same Free Software project.
  758. </p>
  759. <p>
  760. [Time: 900 secs, part II]
  761. </p>
  762. <p class="indent">
  763. But consider, for instance, the proposal for &quot;open source
  764. DRM&quot;. Because open source doesn't concern itself with the users
  765. freedom, open source supporters see no contradiction in supporting the
  766. use of their development model to make DRM software. So they say, if
  767. you let people redistribute and change the DRM software, you could
  768. make more powerful and reliable DRM software. Of course, it's
  769. intended to be used with tivoisation, so for the end user it will not
  770. be Free Software. The end user will not have freedom because the
  771. whole point of Digital Restrictions Management is to take away the
  772. users' freedom. Here, the philosophical difference really matters.
  773. If what you want is powerful reliable software, you might think that
  774. powerful, reliable DRM is a good thing. If what you want is to have
  775. freedom and to help everyone else have freedom, DRM is a bad thing and
  776. tivoisation is an attack on your freedom. And so we want all DRM
  777. software to be unreliable because we want it to be cracked. If
  778. someone is trying to restrict all of us, we don't want him to do a
  779. good job. Only fools would help him do a good job of subjugating us
  780. all.
  781. </p>
  782. <p class="indent">
  783. GPL version 3 does not prohibit DRM as such. One of the basic
  784. principles of Free Software, part of freedom number 1, is that you
  785. should be free to change the software to do whatever you wish, and
  786. freedom 3 says you are free to distribute your modified version. GPL
  787. version 3 respects these principles. You will be allowed under GPL
  788. version 3, just as you are allowed under GPL version 2, to modify a
  789. free program by adding DRM restrictions and then distributing that to
  790. the public. However, you should also be free, when you receive that -
  791. that is a different &quot;you&quot; who is the user who receives that
  792. program - is supposed to be free to modify it again by turning off the
  793. restrictions.
  794. </p>
  795. <p class="indent">
  796. In GPL version 3, we don't say that Sony can't put in DRM. What we
  797. do, is make sure you are free to take out the DRM.
  798. </p>
  799. <p class="indent">
  800. You had a second question.
  801. </p>
  802. <p>
  803. [Time: 1118 secs, part II]
  804. </p>
  805. <p id="q1b">
  806. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q1b</span>: I'm concerned about the
  807. transition period from version 2 to version 3. You said that the
  808. MS/Novell deal will break version 3, but as far as I know, Linux will
  809. use version 2.
  810. </p>
  811. <p class="indent">
  812. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Linux is just
  813. one of many programs that uses the GPL.
  814. </p>
  815. <p id="q1c">
  816. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q1c</span>: From the customers point
  817. of view. They will receive components that will use different
  818. copyright.
  819. </p>
  820. <p class="indent">
  821. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: That's right.
  822. That's true already. Remember, the GNU/Linux system has programs with
  823. many different incompatible licences.
  824. </p>
  825. <p class="indent">
  826. All GNU/Linux systems at this point include Mozilla, they all include
  827. TeX. Both of those programs have licences that are incompatible with
  828. GPL version 2 and with GPL version 3. Well, actually, Mozilla is also
  829. under one of the GNU licences, so that's not a good example,
  830. sorry. But Apache, every system includes Apache, and that has a
  831. licence which is incompatible with GPL version 2. It will be
  832. compatible with GPL version 3, but today it's incompatible. But this
  833. isn't a problem because these are different programs.
  834. </p>
  835. <p id="q1d">
  836. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q1d</span>: So, you are saying, you
  837. don't see any specific problem at this moment?
  838. </p>
  839. <p class="indent">
  840. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: There's no
  841. such thing as a transition period because we can't assume there there
  842. will be a time when everybody has moved to GPL version 3, maybe some
  843. projects will never move. But there's no difficulty in having some
  844. programs in the system under GPL2 and other programs under GPL3.
  845. </p>
  846. <p id="q2">
  847. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  848. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q2</span>: Since the GPL is based on
  849. copyright law, how is it affected by recent actions by Creative
  850. Commons or Disney's attempts to extend copyright?
  851. </p>
  852. <p class="indent">
  853. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Creative
  854. Commons just develops copyright licences. Nothing that Creative
  855. Commons does has any effect on what the GNU GPL means. Some of the
  856. Creative Commons licences are usable for certain purposes, and some of
  857. them are so restrictive that they should never be used for anything,
  858. like the developing countries licence, and some of the sampling
  859. licences. They're bad. That's why I no longer support Creative
  860. Commons, but nonetheless, they're just developing a bunch of copyright
  861. licences. Lots of other people have written copyright licences too,
  862. and those don't change copyright law.
  863. </p>
  864. <p class="indent">
  865. However, extending the length of time of copyright is very bad, but it
  866. also doesn't interfere with the meaning of any Free Software licence.
  867. </p>
  868. <p id="q3">
  869. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  870. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q3</span>: When using GPL version 3,
  871. should we still write a copyright notice?
  872. </p>
  873. <p class="indent">
  874. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Yes, when you
  875. release Free Software, it's normally copyrighted, and therefore you
  876. should put a copyright notice on it, and then underneath the copyright
  877. notice you put a licence notice which says &quot;You are permitted to
  878. use this material under the following licence&quot;. That's true for
  879. GPL version 2, and it's true for GPL version 3, and it's true for all
  880. the other Free Software licences.
  881. </p>
  882. <p id="q4">
  883. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  884. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4</span>: [Question asked in
  885. Japanese]
  886. </p>
  887. <p class="indent">
  888. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Eh, no.
  889. Basically, software patents obtained by children does not seem likely
  890. to be a large part of the danger of software patents. So I suspect
  891. it's a minor detail.
  892. </p>
  893. <p id="q4b">
  894. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4b</span>: No, no, no. [in Japanese]
  895. </p>
  896. <p class="indent">
  897. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, when
  898. the FSF asks for a copyright assignment, we ask if the developer is a
  899. minor, and if so we ask for the parents to sign their approval on it.
  900. But other developers, they should take some precautions about this,
  901. but we can't do it for them and we can't make them do it. However, I
  902. suspect it will not be a big problem unless Microsoft starts hunting
  903. them and bribing their parents.
  904. </p>
  905. <p class="indent">
  906. Which I suppose it might try to do.
  907. </p>
  908. <p id="q5">
  909. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  910. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5</span>: I would like to hear more
  911. about the cure clause of GPL version 3.
  912. </p>
  913. <p class="indent">
  914. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, we
  915. don't have one yet, it's just a proposal we're thinking about, and if
  916. we can make it work, we might do it.
  917. </p>
  918. <p>
  919. [Time: 1592 secs, part II]
  920. </p>
  921. <p id="q5b">
  922. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5b</span>: Actually I would like to
  923. hear about its reasoning, because it seems it might open a loophole...
  924. </p>
  925. <p class="indent">
  926. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: No, you've
  927. misunderstood. What this means is, if you were distributing the
  928. software wrong, and thus violating the GPL but you know it and you
  929. stop, and you've never done it before, then after a certain time you
  930. would regain your right to distribute the program properly. But since
  931. this would only apply to the first violation, say with any given
  932. program, the hope is that we could design it so that you wouldn't be
  933. able to use this maliciously, but we're just investigating the idea.
  934. It may or it may not turn out to be workable. If we can't make it
  935. work in a way that doesn't create dangers, we won't do it.
  936. </p>
  937. <p id="q5c">
  938. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5c</span>: Actually, what I wanted
  939. to ask is where it came from, where did the idea for this clause come
  940. from?
  941. </p>
  942. <p class="indent">
  943. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: I don't know
  944. where it came from. Perhaps some of the companies that are
  945. participating in some of our discussion groups suggested it, I don't
  946. remember. I don't think I ever knew precisely where, and if I did
  947. know, I forgot it because I didn't care.
  948. </p>
  949. <p>
  950. [Time: 1702 secs, part II]
  951. </p>
  952. <p id="q6">
  953. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  954. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q6</span>: If I wanted to violate the
  955. GPLv3, with this clause, I could start a company that violated it, and
  956. then terminate the company and start another one, and so forth.
  957. </p>
  958. <p class="indent">
  959. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: I see.
  960. That's an interesting point. Well, it's conceivable that one could do
  961. that anyway. It's sort of hard to enforce against someone doing that.
  962. We have to find a way to enforce it against the person who started all
  963. these companies because in an ordinary enforcement action, you would
  964. enforce it against the entity that is doing the distribution. If that
  965. entity disappears and a new one starts up, it might be hard. But if
  966. they were all being done by one company, you could probably sue that
  967. company. We would say to the judge &quot;look, it's really them,
  968. they're the ones who are really starting A company, and B, and C, and
  969. D&quot;. So we would get an injunction against the master, not the
  970. tentacles.
  971. </p>
  972. <p class="indent">
  973. But again, we would simply have to make sure that for any kind of
  974. automatic cure, that it's smart enough, that it notices that this one
  975. company is doing all these different things.
  976. </p>
  977. <p id="q7">
  978. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  979. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q7</span>: I'd like to know more
  980. about this term &quot;use freely&quot;. In patent terminology, to use
  981. something freely means that as long as you pay the licence fees, then
  982. you can use it.
  983. </p>
  984. <p class="indent">
  985. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: That's not
  986. Free Software. In any case, when I informally use terminology like
  987. &quot;to use something freely&quot;, I am not referring to any
  988. country's patent law, and specifically, being free to do something
  989. means you don't have to pay for permission to do it. When we describe
  990. the four freedoms, when we say that freedom zero is the freedom to run
  991. the program as you wish, part of that is: you're not required to pay
  992. anyone for permission to run that program as you wish.
  993. </p>
  994. <p class="indent">
  995. And, freedom 2 is the freedom to distribute copies of the program.
  996. That means you don't have to pay for permission to do so, you don't
  997. have to pay for each copy or negotiate with anybody. You're simply
  998. free outright to go and do it.
  999. </p>
  1000. <p class="indent">
  1001. If there's a program that you're allowed to run only if you pay
  1002. somebody, that's not Free Software. Therefore, the GNU GPL aims to
  1003. make sure that nobody can create such a situation. If somebody can
  1004. create a situation where people feel they must pay in order to be
  1005. allowed to run a GPL covered program, then that is a flaw, a failing
  1006. in the GPL and we are doing our best to make sure that can't happen.
  1007. </p>
  1008. <p id="q8">
  1009. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1010. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q8</span>: This social movement
  1011. touches on many different disciplines and areas. Apart from software,
  1012. do you see other movements with a similar spirit?
  1013. </p>
  1014. <p class="indent">
  1015. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, the
  1016. ideas of Free Software, I believe, extend to other kinds of works of
  1017. authorship that serve functional practical purposes such as, for
  1018. instance, recipes - which are, for the most part, free.
  1019. </p>
  1020. <p class="indent">
  1021. And, educational works such as text books and manuals, they should
  1022. also be free. And reference works, like dictionaries and
  1023. encyclopedias, so Wikipedia is an example of a free reference work,
  1024. and there are several others, showing that we are making good progress
  1025. in extending the idea of freedom to these other useful works.
  1026. </p>
  1027. <p class="indent">
  1028. More broadly, farmers in many countries are opposed to patents on
  1029. crops, which deny them the freedom to copy their plants. This
  1030. restriction is unjust in the same way that proprietary software is
  1031. unjust. However, we should be careful not to try to simplify life
  1032. down to just one issue. There are many ethical issues in life which
  1033. are different, they are not isomorphic, they are not analogous. I
  1034. don't believe that all the important ethical issues in life can be
  1035. modelled on the Free Software movement.
  1036. </p>
  1037. <p class="indent">
  1038. At a very broad level, the biggest political battle today is democracy
  1039. vs. the corporate masters of the World. Thus, free trade treaties are
  1040. designed to transfer power from governments that can be democratic to
  1041. businesses that never try to be democratic and therefore, free trade
  1042. treaties are dangerous. I believe they should be abolished.
  1043. </p>
  1044. <p class="indent">
  1045. This does not mean I'm against international trade. International
  1046. trade is beneficial for all the reasons that neo-liberal economists
  1047. tell us, but they don't mention the price which we pay in loss of
  1048. democracy. So I say that international trade is a useful thing to
  1049. encourage to the extent we can do so and still preserving the strength
  1050. of democracy. That means that today's free trade treaties have gone
  1051. too far because they turn democracy into an empty shell.
  1052. </p>
  1053. <p class="indent">
  1054. Today, companies find it so easy to move their operations from one
  1055. country to another that they make these countries compete to bow down
  1056. to business which means that no country can really exercise democracy
  1057. anymore. If the people in a country say &quot;We want you to regulate
  1058. business&quot;, perhaps to protect the environment, perhaps to protect
  1059. public health, perhaps to protect the general standard of living, the
  1060. politicians of the country respond &quot;We don't dare do this because all
  1061. the businesses will move some place else&quot;. Whatever methods of
  1062. encouraging international trade we use, have to be designed so that
  1063. they do not produce this result.
  1064. </p>
  1065. <p class="indent">
  1066. This is a very broad kind of struggle, and since the 90s, Free
  1067. Software can be seen as being a part of the struggle, even though when
  1068. we began the movement, that was before the age of these free trade
  1069. treaties and the larger context into which our movement fits today
  1070. didn't exist then.
  1071. </p>
  1072. <p class="indent">
  1073. Because fundamentally, this isn't about democracy vs. business.
  1074. Fundamentally this is about making sure everyone's freedom and social
  1075. solidarity is respected. It just happens that this fits into today's
  1076. movement against business-dominated globalisation.
  1077. </p>
  1078. <p class="indent">
  1079. Interestingly, Free Software itself is globalisation. Many free
  1080. programs have developers in several continents and are used in all the
  1081. countries of the World, or pretty close. Free Software represents the
  1082. globalisation of human knowledge and human cooperation. When people
  1083. say they are against globalisation, they are simplifying things a
  1084. bit. The issue there is not globalisation in an abstract sense, it's
  1085. one specific kind of globalisation, namely the globalisation of
  1086. business power.
  1087. </p>
  1088. <p class="indent">
  1089. Businesses should never have power, that conflicts with democracy, so
  1090. business power is an injustice and if you globalise something that is
  1091. bad, it becomes a bigger evil. But cooperation and developing and
  1092. disseminating human knowledge is good. If you globalise something
  1093. good, it becomes a bigger good, and that's what the Free Software
  1094. movement does.
  1095. </p>
  1096. <p>
  1097. [Time: 2403 secs, part II ends]
  1098. </p>
  1099. <p id="q9">
  1100. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1101. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q9</span>: You mentioned that v3 will
  1102. be compatible with Apache and Eclipse licences. Do you know any open
  1103. source licences that will still be incompatible...
  1104. </p>
  1105. <p class="indent">
  1106. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: We're not
  1107. working on open source, we're not interested in open source. By the
  1108. way, some open source licences are not Free Software licences, the
  1109. definition of open source came from the definition of Free Software
  1110. but it followed a circuitous path, and it's written very differently
  1111. and it's interpreted by different people, so they've drawn the lines
  1112. in different places, so most of the open source licences are Free
  1113. Software licences, but there are some licences that the OSI accepted
  1114. that we consider unacceptably restrictive.
  1115. </p>
  1116. <p class="indent">
  1117. Therefore, basically we're not interested in open source at all. I
  1118. ask you please not to refer to our work as open source. That would be
  1119. mislabelling us with the slogan of a philosophy we disagree with. And
  1120. therefore, if you wish to have discussions with us, please don't do so
  1121. in a way that supposes that what we are talking about is open source
  1122. because we will have to refuse to participate in that discussion. We
  1123. are not going to accept the labelling of our work as open source, no
  1124. matter what, so you have to use the term Free Software if you wish to
  1125. discuss our work with us.
  1126. </p>
  1127. <p id="q9b">
  1128. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q9b</span>: Thank you for the
  1129. correction.
  1130. </p>
  1131. <p class="indent">
  1132. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: So do you
  1133. want to try again?
  1134. </p>
  1135. <p>
  1136. [laughter]
  1137. </p>
  1138. <p id="q10">
  1139. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1140. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q10</span>: Yes. Will there still
  1141. be Free Software licences that are incompatible with v3?
  1142. </p>
  1143. <p class="indent">
  1144. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Yes. There
  1145. are some Free Software licences that will have certain kinds of
  1146. requirements which are not totally unacceptable. That's why we
  1147. consider them still to be Free Software licences, but, we're not
  1148. willing to have those requirements come into GPL covered programs.
  1149. </p>
  1150. <p class="indent">
  1151. For instance, some programs say you must change the name if you modify
  1152. it. Ah, we don't want that restriction coming into GPL covered code.
  1153. Some Free Software licences have patent retaliation clauses that we
  1154. consider unjust, for instance, Apple's says if you sue Apple for
  1155. patent infringement, then you lose the right to distribute this
  1156. software. Well, the reason we don't like that one is, suppose Apple
  1157. sued you first, then you just counter-sue, in that case Apple
  1158. committed the aggression and you are just defending yourself, so we
  1159. don't want that kind of patent retaliation in GPL covered programs.
  1160. We didn't consider it so bad as to make their licence non-free, but
  1161. it's too far to allow into GPL covered programs.
  1162. </p>
  1163. <p class="indent">
  1164. And then are licences that are file-level copylefts. The Mozilla
  1165. Public License was the first of these. File-level copylefts say &quot;If
  1166. you modify the files of this program, the modified versions of those
  1167. same files must be under this same licence&quot;. Now, that's not as
  1168. strong as the GPL. The GPL says if you modify the program, you're
  1169. whole modified program must be under the GPL. Those file-level
  1170. copylefts, or we might call them weak copylefts, permit the additional
  1171. of separate files which are non-free. They don't really achieve the
  1172. goal of copyleft, but because they made this requirement about the
  1173. file, it's impossible to relicense that file under the GPL. So the
  1174. GPL will always be incompatible with those file-level copyleft
  1175. licences.
  1176. </p>
  1177. <p class="indent">
  1178. Then there's the bizarre licence of TeX, which is incompatible with
  1179. itself.
  1180. </p>
  1181. <p>
  1182. [laughter]
  1183. </p>
  1184. <p class="indent">
  1185. The licence of TeX says &quot;You can't modify this file, but you can
  1186. distribute it with a change file&quot; and then when TeX is built,
  1187. it's built by patching the standard TeX source code using the change
  1188. file. So, in effect, you can distribute any modified version in that
  1189. way, that's how I convinced myself in 1984 that that was a Free
  1190. Software licence. But if you have two programs under the TeX licence,
  1191. you can't merge them because each one says: anything that contains
  1192. this can only be distributed as a changefile from this. So you have
  1193. two things tugging at each other, each one insisting on being the
  1194. base. So the TeX licence is incompatible with itself, but it's a Free
  1195. Software licence.
  1196. </p>
  1197. <p id="q11">
  1198. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1199. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q11</span>: You just discussed weak
  1200. copyleft. My question is about the Lesser GPL. When you publish a
  1201. weak licence, certain developers will choose it without a good reason.
  1202. is an example.
  1203. </p>
  1204. <p class="indent">
  1205. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: I don't know
  1206. why they did that, but at least it's Free Software.
  1207. </p>
  1208. <p id="q11b">
  1209. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q11b</span>: So, do you have any plan
  1210. to provide some additional versions of the GPL?
  1211. </p>
  1212. <p class="indent">
  1213. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, we have
  1214. the GNU Lesser GPL, and we can't get rid of it. However, in
  1215. conjunction with GPL version 3, the Lesser GPL will take a new form,
  1216. it will take the form of GPL version 3 plus certain additional
  1217. permissions. The Lesser GPL as it exists today, and it first came out
  1218. some time around 1990, I believe, is written essentially from zero,
  1219. and it says you can relicense under the GPL, which is what makes them
  1220. compatible, but we decided to start from scratch and express the same
  1221. permissions as a delta, starting from the GPL. That's the way the new
  1222. version of the LGPL is going to work. It's going to say &quot;You can
  1223. use this under GNU GPL version 3 or later, and in addition we permit
  1224. these things&quot;. So it's making use of section 7 of GPL version 3
  1225. which describes how to add additional permissions or, in certain
  1226. cases, additional requirements. We can't get rid of it, even if we
  1227. wanted to, but we don't want to. There are good reasons why certain
  1228. libraries are released in that way.
  1229. </p>
  1230. <p id="q12">
  1231. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1232. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q12</span>: I'm wondering if you can
  1233. talk briefly about the changes and what's happening with the GFDL and
  1234. the GSFDL?
  1235. </p>
  1236. <p class="indent">
  1237. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: I don't
  1238. remember them so well.
  1239. </p>
  1240. <p>
  1241. [laughter]
  1242. </p>
  1243. <p class="indent">
  1244. I'd have to refresh my memory. We decided to make something like the
  1245. GNU Free Documentation License which doesn't have invariant sections
  1246. or cover texts, and that's the GNU Simpler Free Documentation License.
  1247. Anything that's under the GFDL and has no cover texts or invariant
  1248. sections, you will be able to relicense under the SFDL.
  1249. </p>
  1250. <p class="indent">
  1251. Also, we utilised the concepts of &quot;propagate&quot; and
  1252. &quot;convey&quot; to make them more internationalised. I think that
  1253. that's basically what the changes are. I think there is also
  1254. a provision for distributing small excerpts without having a copy of the
  1255. licence accompany them, which is something people have asked for.
  1256. </p>
  1257. <p class="indent">
  1258. In general, we do not want to allow distributing a work with just a
  1259. link to the licence, and the reason is, we don't know whether such
  1260. links to licences are reliable over periods of decades, so our rule
  1261. is: you have to provide the licence itself with the work.
  1262. </p>
  1263. <p class="indent">
  1264. We're trying to prevent the bad outcome which is that a person has a
  1265. copy of the work and doesn't know what licence he can use it under.
  1266. If you don't know what your freedoms are, it's almost as if you didn't
  1267. have them. That's not a good outcome. However, we're going to permit
  1268. this for those small excerpts because it causes too much of a
  1269. practical problem otherwise.
  1270. </p>
  1271. <p id="q13">
  1272. (<a href="#menu">go to menu</a>)<br />
  1273. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q13</span>: When using the GPL for a
  1274. font, what happens to documents that use the font?
  1275. </p>
  1276. <p class="indent">
  1277. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: As far as I
  1278. know, there is no problem using GPL version 2 or 3 for fonts. Now,
  1279. you might want to state explicitly that you don't regard documents
  1280. that have text in the font as being linked with the font, and let
  1281. those documents be licensed in any way people wish.
  1282. </p>
  1283. <p class="indent">
  1284. You could put an exception, an additional permission on the font,
  1285. saying that you don't insist on anything about the licensing of
  1286. documents which use the font.
  1287. </p>
  1288. <p>
  1289. [Q&amp;A session ends; applause]
  1290. </p>
  1291. <h2 id="further-information">Further information</h2>
  1292. <ul>
  1293. <li>For general information, links, and a schedule, see
  1294. our <a href="gplv3.html">GPLv3 project</a> page</li>
  1295. <li>Many more transcripts can be found at
  1296. the <a href="gplv3.html#transcripts">transcripts section</a> of our
  1297. GPLv3 project page</li>
  1298. <li>You can support FSFE's work, such as our GPLv3 awareness work,
  1299. by joining <a href="">the Fellowship of
  1300. FSFE</a>, and by encouraging others to do so</li>
  1301. <li>You can also support us by <a href="/help/donate">making a
  1302. donation</a>, and by encouraging others to to so</li>
  1303. </ul>
  1304. </body>
  1305. </html>