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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
  2. <html>
  3. <head>
  4. <title>GPLv3 - Transcript of Richard Stallman from the fourth
  5. international GPLv3 conference, Bangalore, India; 2006-08-23</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <div style="float:right;">
  9. <a href="gplv3.html"><img SRC="/graphics/gplv3-logo-red.png"
  10. ALT="GPLv3 logo" BORDER="0"
  11. WIDTH="319" HEIGHT="130" /></a>
  12. </div>
  13. <h1 id="top">Transcript of Richard Stallman at the 4th international
  14. GPLv3 conference; 23rd August 2006</h1>
  15. <p>
  16. See our <a href="gplv3.html">GPLv3 project</a> page for information
  17. on <a href="gplv3#participate">how to participate</a>. And you may
  18. be interested in
  19. our <a href="">list of
  20. transcripts on GPLv3 and free software licences</a>.
  21. </p>
  22. <p>The following is a transcript of Richard Stallman's presentation
  23. made at the <a href="">fourth international
  24. GPLv3 conference</a>, organised
  25. by <a href="">FSF India</a> in Bangalore,
  26. India, with the Bangalore Free Software Users Group.
  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 Ciaran O'Riordan.
  35. Please support work such as this by
  36. joining <a href="">the Fellowship of FSFE</a>,
  37. and by encouraging others to do so.</p>
  38. <p>Richard Stallman launched
  39. the <a href="/documents/gnuproject.html">GNU project</a> in 1983,
  40. and with it the <a href="/documents/freesoftware.html">Free
  41. Software</a> movement. Stallman is the president of FSF - a sister
  42. organisation of FSFE.</p>
  43. <p>The speech was made in English.</p>
  44. <h2>Presentation sections</h2>
  45. <ol>
  46. <li><a href="#begin">The presentation</a></li>
  47. <li><a href="#internationalisation">Internationalisation</a></li>
  48. <li><a href="#patents-a-promise-not-to-sue">Patents - a promise not to sue</a></li>
  49. <li><a href="#patent-retaliation">Patent retaliation</a></li>
  50. <li><a href="#drm">DRM</a></li>
  51. <li><a href="#tivoisation">Tivoisation</a></li>
  52. <li><a href="#licence-compatibility">Licence compatibility</a></li>
  53. <li><a href="#audience-question-on-the-goals-of-the-gpl">Audience question on the goals of the GPL</a></li>
  54. <li><a href="#back-to-compatibility">Back to compatibility</a></li>
  55. <li><a href="#bittorrent">BitTorrent</a></li>
  56. <li><a href="#distribution-by-internet">Distribution by Internet</a></li>
  57. <li><a href="#termination">Termination</a></li>
  58. </ol>
  59. <ul>
  60. <li><a href="#using-the-gpl-for-non-software-works">Q1: Using the gpl for non software works</a></li>
  61. <li><a href="#why-not-a-broader-patent-retaliation">Q2: Why not a broader patent retaliation</a></li>
  62. <li><a href="#linux-linus">Q3: Linux, Linus</a></li>
  63. <li><a href="#did-linux-help-gnu">Q4: Did Linux help GNU</a></li>
  64. <li><a href="#eben-moglen-explains-the-drm-changes">Eben Moglen explains the DRM changes</a></li>
  65. <li><a href="#freedom-and-thin-clients">Q5: Freedom and thin clients</a></li>
  66. <li><a href="#about-intellectual-property">Note: About &quot;intellectual property&quot;</a></li>
  67. <li><a href="#affero-and-web-services">Q6: Affero and web services</a></li>
  68. <li><a href="#freedom-may-require-inconvenience">Q7: Freedom may require inconvenience</a></li>
  69. <li><a href="#free-software-needs-to-be-made-easier">Q8: Free Software needs to be made easier</a></li>
  70. <li><a href="#a-comment-about-the-download-change">Q9: A comment about the download change</a></li>
  71. <li><a href="#mechanically-defining-infringement">Q10: Mechanically defining infringement</a></li>
  72. </ul>
  73. <ul>
  74. <li><a href="#further-information">Further information</a></li>
  75. </ul>
  76. <h2 id="begin">The presentation</h2>
  77. <p>
  78. [10:36]
  79. </p>
  80. <p class="indent">
  81. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: The overall
  82. topic of this speech is what we've changed in the GNU GPL.
  83. </p>
  84. <p class="indent">
  85. In order to speak about this, I need to remind people what the point
  86. of it is. The reason we change the GPL is to make it do it's job
  87. better, so what is that job? That job is protecting the freedom of
  88. all users of our software.
  89. </p>
  90. <p class="indent">
  91. Specifically, this refers to four essential freedoms, which are the
  92. definition of Free Software.
  93. </p>
  94. <p class="indent">
  95. Freedom zero is the freedom to run the program, as you wish, for any
  96. purpose.
  97. </p>
  98. <p class="indent">
  99. Freedom one is the freedom to study the source code and then change it
  100. so that it does what you wish.
  101. </p>
  102. <p class="indent">
  103. Freedom two is the freedom to help your neighbour, which is the
  104. freedom to distribute, including publication, copies of the program to
  105. others when you wish.
  106. </p>
  107. <p class="indent">
  108. Freedom three is the freedom to help build your community, which is
  109. the freedom to distribute, including publication, your modified
  110. versions, when you wish.
  111. </p>
  112. <p class="indent">
  113. These four freedoms make it possible for users to live an upright,
  114. ethical life as a member of a community and enable us individually and
  115. collectively to have control over what our software does and thus to
  116. have control over our computing.
  117. </p>
  118. <p class="indent">
  119. So any program that gives you these four freedoms is Free Software.
  120. Any licence that respects these freedoms is a Free Software licence.
  121. Anyone could in theory write another licence and it would be a free
  122. software licence if he does the job right and it respects these
  123. freedoms. So there isn't a fixed, closed set of Free Software
  124. licences. Any licence that gives the users these freedoms is a free
  125. software licence, and Free Software in general needs to have a free
  126. software licence because, with today's copyright law, everything that
  127. is written is automatically copyrighted.
  128. </p>
  129. <p class="indent">
  130. It's a very foolish decision, a completely foolish policy, but that's
  131. the way it is, and copyright law by default takes away most of these
  132. freedoms, so the only way something can be Free Software is if you put
  133. an explicit statement on it to give people back the freedoms that were
  134. taken away.
  135. </p>
  136. <p>
  137. [14:04]
  138. </p>
  139. <p class="indent">
  140. So there are many Free Software licences, they all of course are
  141. similar in a very basic way, because they all respect the four
  142. freedoms, but there's more than one way to do that and the biggest
  143. distinction between classes of Free Software licences is that of
  144. copyleft.
  145. </p>
  146. <p class="indent">
  147. You see, all Free Software licences must give freedom three, which is
  148. the freedom to distribute, including publication, of your modified
  149. versions, but there's more than one way to do that. For instance,
  150. some Free Software licences permit publication of modified versions
  151. with no limits on how they are published, so that modified versions
  152. can even be proprietary.
  153. </p>
  154. <p class="indent">
  155. For instance, the licence of X11 is like this. We call it a lax
  156. licence because it has essentially no requirements except to preserve
  157. the copyright notice and the licence notice so people can use the code
  158. in almost any fashion including denying freedom to other users. The
  159. developers of the X Window System did that, I would think, because
  160. they were more interested in popularity, for their code, than in
  161. promoting freedom. But in developing the GNU operating system, my
  162. goal was specifically to give users freedom. I wanted to make sure
  163. that everyone who got the code also got the freedom. So I developed
  164. the technique of copyleft where a licence says: &quot;any version of
  165. this that you distribute, must be under the same licence&quot;. In
  166. other words, the users that get copies from you, must get from you the
  167. same respect for freedom. So the freedom passes on through every
  168. distributor to reach every user.
  169. </p>
  170. <p class="indent">
  171. Another way of saying this is that, with copyleft, we have made these
  172. four essential freedoms into inalienable rights. Freedoms that no one
  173. can lose because everyone is entitled to them. Or, that is, you can't
  174. lose them except through wrong doing, or as a consequence of wrong
  175. doing.
  176. </p>
  177. <p>
  178. [16:36]
  179. </p>
  180. <p class="indent">
  181. Another way to look at it is to say that in order to ensure that the
  182. freedom reaches you, we have to prohibit middle men from stripping
  183. away the freedom from the software before the software gets to you.
  184. </p>
  185. <p class="indent">
  186. It is this technique of copyleft that has made the GNU General Public
  187. License popular. It's used for around 70% of all Free Software
  188. packages. And this is a lot bigger than the number of GNU packages.
  189. That is, software packages that are released by the GNU project,
  190. contributed to or developed for the GNU project - &quot;GNU
  191. packages&quot;. But there are only a few hundred of those. There are
  192. thousands of Free Software packages that have nothing to do with GNU
  193. directly, but they use the GNU General Public License. The licence
  194. was written so that anyone who is writing and publishing a program can
  195. put the licence into it and license his program that way and many have
  196. done so.
  197. </p>
  198. <p>
  199. [17:59]
  200. </p>
  201. <p class="indent">
  202. This is the purpose of the GNU GPL - to defend freedom for all users
  203. of the program. So when we change the GNU GPL, we change it to make it do
  204. this job more effectively. Partly the reason for these changes have
  205. to do with our increased knowledge of variations between copyright law
  206. in various countries. The GNU GPL seems to work, more or less, in
  207. most of the World. It's been tested in court in Germany, for
  208. instance, and lawyers in a lot of places say it will work, but in
  209. version three we've paid attention to making sure it will really work the
  210. same, as much as possible, in all countries.
  211. </p>
  212. <p class="indent">
  213. But another reason for change is when somebody figures out a new way
  214. to attack our freedom. There are problems that we face today that
  215. nobody thought of back in 1991, so we're trying to rearrange our forces to
  216. resist these threats.
  217. </p>
  218. <p class="indent">
  219. Finally, in some cases we simply think of a way to make things better
  220. for the community.
  221. </p>
  222. <p class="indent">
  223. So there are changes for all of those reasons. Let me start
  224. mentioning some of the specific changes.
  225. </p>
  226. <p id="internationalisation">
  227. [Section: Internationalisation]
  228. </p>
  229. <p class="indent">
  230. GPL version two has conditions for distribution. It turns out that
  231. the meaning of &quot;distribution&quot; varies quite a bit between
  232. countries. And then there are other things like &quot;public
  233. performance&quot;, &quot;making available to the public&quot;, in
  234. various countries copyright law, and we wanted to make sure that all
  235. these activities were permitted in the appropriate way because the
  236. danger is that if we fail to explicitly permit them, then they might
  237. be prohibited by default and that would not be good.
  238. </p >
  239. <p>
  240. [20:28]
  241. </p>
  242. <p class="indent">
  243. So, in GPL version three, we have now defined two new terms:
  244. &quot;propagate&quot; and &quot;convey&quot;. &quot;Propagate&quot;
  245. means, basically, copying and/or distribution but it's not defined
  246. that way. It's defined in a way that will get uniform results. It's
  247. basically: anything that copyright law covers, other than running the
  248. copy or modifying it. So that's basically going to mean copying and
  249. distribution, but some other things too. Whatever there might be. So
  250. when we're giving permission for propagation, we're automatically
  251. giving permission for whatever other things might need it. But we
  252. divide propagating into two kinds. The kinds that end up giving other
  253. people copies, and the kinds that don't.
  254. </p>
  255. <p class="indent">
  256. When it results in others having copies, we call that
  257. &quot;conveying&quot; copies to others. Where we used to put
  258. conditions on &quot;distribution&quot;, we put them on
  259. &quot;conveying&quot;. This way, it doesn't matter how a country's
  260. copyright law categorises different activities because we have
  261. categorised them the way that's appropriate for our goal.
  262. </p>
  263. <p class="indent">
  264. Regardless of how the law classifies your doing that, whether the law
  265. calls it &quot;distribution&quot;, or &quot;communication to the
  266. public&quot;, or whatever, that isn't going to affect the GPL's
  267. conditions. The conditions do depend on some other criteria that
  268. we've stated, of course.
  269. </p>
  270. <p class="indent">
  271. So you'll find that throughout the GNU GPL, there's very little
  272. mention of the word &quot;distribution&quot;. There are only
  273. occasional special reasons why we would talk about that. Instead
  274. we'll talk about conveying. That is, doing things such that others
  275. get copies, and no matter how you do that, the conditions are the
  276. same.
  277. </p>
  278. <p>
  279. [23:28]
  280. </p>
  281. <p id="patents-a-promise-not-to-sue">
  282. [Section: Patents - a promise not to sue]
  283. </p>
  284. <p class="indent">
  285. One area that is the reason for a lot of change is: dealing with
  286. software patents. We used to take for granted that someone who
  287. distributed copies of a program could not sue his customers for patent
  288. infringement, but apparently, in some countries that's not clear. It
  289. would obviously be treachery, but, these laws are not designed to be
  290. just.
  291. </p>
  292. <p class="indent">
  293. And there's the further question, if someone distributes copies to
  294. people and says to them: &quot;you have permission to redistribute
  295. this to others&quot;. Could they sue those others for patent
  296. infringement afterwards? Apparently this is not so clear either. In
  297. the US, it is clear: they couldn't. They've already said this is ok,
  298. and once they say &quot;this is ok, we agree you can do this&quot;,
  299. they can't turn around and sue. But to make this completely clear
  300. worldwide, we have put in an explicit promise not to sue.
  301. </p>
  302. <p class="indent">
  303. Our first attempt, in the first discussion draft, called it a patent
  304. licence, but we decided that phrasing it in terms of a promise not to
  305. sue made it more legally clear and more certain to hold up.
  306. </p>
  307. <p>
  308. [25:15]
  309. </p>
  310. <p id="patent-retaliation">
  311. [Section: Patent retaliation]
  312. </p>
  313. <p class="indent">
  314. So that's one big area. Another area relating to software patents
  315. that we thought about a lot is the area of patent retaliation. You'll
  316. notice that many Free Software licences, especially those developed in
  317. the past seven years or so, have patent retaliation clauses which say:
  318. &quot;if you sue, in such and such conditions, for patent
  319. infringement, then you lose the right to use this program&quot;. Now,
  320. I said &quot;in such and such conditions&quot; because each of these
  321. licences has a different condition on it. They're not all the same.
  322. These various patent retaliation clauses are quite different from each
  323. other. What they have in common is that a user can lose the right to
  324. use the program, or lose the right to distribute the program, as a
  325. consequence of suing for patent infringement.
  326. </p>
  327. <p class="indent">
  328. How do these differ? Some of them are totally selfish. For instance,
  329. I think Apple is an example. Apple has a Free Software licence which
  330. says &quot;if you sue Apple for patent infringement, then you lose the
  331. right to run this program&quot;. Is it &quot;run&quot; or
  332. &quot;distribute&quot;? I can't remember.
  333. </p>
  334. <p class="indent">
  335. This is obviously not an attempt to create justice, this is just an
  336. attempt to give Apple an advantage. But there are others that say
  337. &quot;if you sue anybody for patent infringement for using this
  338. program, then you lose the right to distribute&quot; ...or run or
  339. whatever it is.
  340. </p>
  341. <p class="indent">
  342. This is a lot more appropriate because this isn't giving one party an
  343. advantage. This is just trying to protect everybody from a dastardly
  344. kind of attack.
  345. </p>
  346. <p class="indent">
  347. So patent retaliation isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can be
  348. perfectly legitimate. When we saw this idea, we started thinking
  349. about doing a thing like this ourselves. So the question was: what
  350. kind of patent retaliation should we do? What is effective? What is
  351. necessary?
  352. </p>
  353. <p>
  354. [27:50]
  355. </p>
  356. <p class="indent">
  357. We ultimately concluded that there is one specific case of patent
  358. retaliation that was important for us to do. That is, concerning the
  359. case where somebody has privately modified a program, which means he
  360. doesn't release it and he doesn't have to release it, but then someone
  361. wants to make similar modifications and the first guy sues him.
  362. </p>
  363. <p class="indent">
  364. Y'know, someone, for instance, got a GPL'd program and put it on his
  365. network server and makes improvements, and since he's not distributing
  366. it, he doesn't have to make the source code available, but people
  367. talking to his server will see the improvements. So someone else
  368. might think &quot;I'll write them too&quot;. What if the first guy
  369. has patented the techniques that went into those improvements and then
  370. starts suing other people that tried to implement it themselves?
  371. </p>
  372. <p class="indent">
  373. Well, we figured out a way to set up patent retaliation in that case.
  374. The one who does this kind of patent law suit loses the right to
  375. modify the program any further. Which means he effectively can't
  376. maintain it, which means it's effectively not usable for his business
  377. because, for a business to be using a program that can't be maintained
  378. is a very precarious situation.
  379. </p>
  380. <p class="indent">
  381. It's written this way because we didn't really want to try to take
  382. away that persons right to run the program, not explicity. We felt
  383. that would be going too far, both legally and ethically. So, instead,
  384. just retaliating by taking away the right to modify the program ought
  385. to be just as effective in practice, unless some business wants to be
  386. running a program they're not allowed to maintain. Which would be not
  387. practical. In effect, they can't feasibly run it for their business
  388. anymore. We hope that will do the job.
  389. </p>
  390. <p class="indent"> the extent that patent retaliation can protect
  391. us, because of course, the threats of patents can come from any
  392. direction, and there's no reason to assume that the patent holder has
  393. been kind enough to make use of our software at all. It's only a tiny
  394. fraction of the danger of software patents that we can even try to
  395. protect against, using a Free Software licence. The only real
  396. solution to the problem of software patents is not to have any.
  397. </p>
  398. <p>
  399. [31:02]
  400. </p>
  401. <p>
  402. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Audience member</span>: [inaudible]
  403. </p>
  404. <p class="indent">
  405. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Yes, but
  406. there are countries that have software patents. We can't wipe them
  407. out by writing something in our licence or by having an opinion. So,
  408. given the existence of countries that have software patents - it's not
  409. just the US - we've got to consider the question of whether we can
  410. sometimes protect ourselves. And this is not the first time.
  411. </p>
  412. <p class="indent">
  413. Section 12, which used to be section 7, is a previous attempt to
  414. protect ourselves. That's the clause that says if you are told you
  415. can't distribute in accord with the GPL, then you can't distribute at
  416. all. So this prevents somebody from getting a patent licence which
  417. allows him to distribute in a very limited way and then doing so.
  418. </p>
  419. <p class="indent">
  420. This, essentially, makes everybody resist by taking away the
  421. possibility of selling us out.
  422. </p>
  423. <p>
  424. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Audience member</span>: So, if I may
  425. continue, you must have considered this, how about adding a clause
  426. that says if you ever sue anybody for a software patent on any
  427. software, you lose the right to use this software.
  428. </p>
  429. <p>
  430. [32:40]
  431. </p>
  432. <p class="indent">
  433. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, first
  434. of all, we don't want to do that because when somebody is sued, he's
  435. going to try to counter sue, and this is a very common practice, so we
  436. don't want to retaliate against those who are suing as retaliation.
  437. We only want to retaliate against aggression. So, indeed, we've made
  438. a provision for that, and I'll talk about that under
  439. &quot;<a href="#licence-compatibility">licence
  440. compatibility</a>&quot;. We haven't done that, but we'll let you do
  441. that.
  442. </p>
  443. <p class="indent">
  444. We keep looking for ways to protect the users from the danger of
  445. software patents, but there's only a limited amount that any software
  446. licence can do this. The thing that makes software patents so
  447. dangerous is that somebody that you've never heard of and with whom
  448. you have no relationship whatsoever can have a patent covering a
  449. technique that you implemented, and sue you for the code you wrote.
  450. </p>
  451. <p class="indent">
  452. This is precisely why software patents are so bad, and since you have
  453. no relationship with that person, there's no opportunity for any
  454. licence on your software to have any effect on him. So all we can do
  455. is get rid of a small part of this large danger for all software
  456. developers.
  457. </p>
  458. <p id="tivoisation-and-drm">
  459. [34:12]
  460. </p>
  461. <p id="drm">
  462. [Section: DRM]
  463. </p>
  464. <p class="indent">
  465. Another area that we're trying to deal with is tivoisation and DRM.
  466. DRM - Digital Restrictions Management - is the practice of
  467. distributing to the public, software, or hardware, whose purpose is to
  468. restrict the public. It's set up by conspiracies of companies that
  469. are formed with the specific purpose of restricting the public's use
  470. of technology.
  471. </p>
  472. <p class="indent">
  473. This ought to be a crime. And, if we had governments of the people,
  474. by the people, for the people, then the executives of those companies
  475. would be in prison. But they're not in prison, and the reason is that
  476. we have government of the people, by the sell-outs, for the
  477. corporations.
  478. </p>
  479. <p class="indent">
  480. These conspiracies exist and they don't even try to hide. They set up
  481. websites. We don't have to speculate. We don't have to look for
  482. evidence to prove these conspiracies because they admit exactly what
  483. they're doing. They're not secret conspiracies, but they are
  484. conspiracies.
  485. </p>
  486. <p class="indent">
  487. Our supposedly democratic governments are not satisfied merely with
  488. allowing them to set up these conspiracies. They actually give these
  489. conspiracies special help. This started in the United States with the
  490. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That law says many things, but the
  491. controversial part is the part that says &quot;whenever a work has
  492. been published as part of a conspiracy to restrict the public, so that
  493. the authorised players all restrict you, then any distribution of
  494. another player, which doesn't restrict you, is illegal&quot;.
  495. </p>
  496. <p class="indent">
  497. Consider DVDs. DVDs are an example of this - Digital Restrictions
  498. Management. The movie is in encrypted form, and the idea is that the
  499. DVD conspiracy will only give a company the secrets of this format if
  500. the company agrees to restrict the users according to the rules of the
  501. conspiracy. So all the authorised players restrict the public the
  502. same way, and no progress is being made in terms of new features in
  503. DVD players because the conspiracy won't allow it.
  504. </p>
  505. <p>
  506. [37:12]
  507. </p>
  508. <p class="indent">
  509. But then some people figured out the format and they wrote a free
  510. program which could play a movie off a DVD. And this program, which
  511. is called DeCSS, has been censored by a court in the US. Distribution
  512. of this program is illegal. Even telling people where to find it,
  513. where they can get it overseas, is illegal.
  514. </p>
  515. <p class="indent">
  516. So DRM is not just a matter of implementing a nasty malicious feature
  517. in the program itself. It goes further than that and it becomes an
  518. attack on our freedom, through the effect of these laws. The United
  519. States has such a law, the European Union has such a directive which,
  520. has been implemented in an extremely nasty fashion in most of the
  521. countries, and now India is considering a similar law, and the
  522. deadline for comments was last month. It was sped up. They were
  523. considering this law, and then they decided they had to rush it. Why?
  524. I guess because if the citizens knew that their freedom was being
  525. attacked, they might get organised and say &quot;don't do this&quot;.
  526. </p>
  527. <p class="indent">
  528. It's vital to organise on this issue now. There's no obvious national
  529. emergency that would argue for acting hastily in a change in the law
  530. that could easily have an effect for decades. There's nothing urgent,
  531. but they're rushing anyway.
  532. </p>
  533. <p>
  534. [39:24]
  535. </p>
  536. <p>
  537. [untranscribed: Richard has a dicussion with someone about
  538. distributing material the following day about this proposed law]
  539. </p>
  540. <p>
  541. [41:50]
  542. </p>
  543. <p class="indent">
  544. First they implement software that restricts the user. Then they want
  545. to make it illegal to change that, but they want to do this with Free
  546. Software too. They want to use GPL covered software to implement
  547. restrictions on the user and then forbid the user to take them out.
  548. This conflicts conflicts directly with freedom number one. When you
  549. get a copy of a GPL covered program, you're supposed to get the
  550. freedom to study the source code and change it so that it does what
  551. you want, but the DRM implementers don't want you to be able to change
  552. it. They want to take advantage of this freedom by putting in their
  553. change, so that they implement DRM, they make the program restrict
  554. you, and then they want to stop you from having the freedom to take it
  555. out.
  556. </p>
  557. <p id="tivoisation">
  558. [Section: Tivoisation]
  559. </p>
  560. <p class="indent">
  561. And, of course, they want to stop you from having to distribute
  562. versions in which it has been taken out. For this, they employ a
  563. technique that we call &quot;tivoisation&quot;. It's named after a
  564. product called the Tivo which records all the television channels in
  565. parallel so that the user can watch television shows at any time later
  566. on.
  567. </p>
  568. <p class="indent">
  569. The Tivo has various forms of nasty features in it. For instance, it
  570. won't let you copy any of these recordings out of the Tivo, and I
  571. think it erases them eventually, and it also spies on the user by
  572. reporting everything that the user actually watches.
  573. </p>
  574. <p>
  575. [43:48]
  576. </p>
  577. <p class="indent">
  578. The Tivo includes a GNU+Linux operating system as the base. And since
  579. this is under the GPL, and some parts being under the LGPL but for
  580. this it's the same, they are required to provide the source code to
  581. users, and the users get the freedom to modify the code. So you could
  582. modify this code, you could compile it, you could install it in your
  583. Tivo, and then it won't run. Because the Tivo is designed so that if
  584. it sees the code has been modified - if it's not a version that was
  585. authorised by them - it shuts down.
  586. </p>
  587. <p class="indent">
  588. So it has a list of checksums of authorised versions, and unless your
  589. version is in there, you can't run it at all.
  590. </p>
  591. <p class="indent">
  592. In other words, tivoisation makes freedom number one into a sham.
  593. Theoretically, ostensibly, the users are free to modify the software
  594. to make it do what they want, but practically speaking, the freedom is
  595. a joke.
  596. </p>
  597. <p class="indent">
  598. It's not supposed to be a joke, it's supposed to be for real. So
  599. we've made changes in GPL version three to resist tivoisation.
  600. </p>
  601. <p>
  602. [45:10]
  603. </p>
  604. <p class="indent">
  605. The basic change is that if someone, say the manufacturer of the Tivo,
  606. provides you a binary, then he must, as part of the requirement to
  607. provide the source code, give you whatever it takes to authorise your
  608. version so it will run.
  609. </p>
  610. <p class="indent">
  611. So we have not prohibited DRM. You can modify a GPL covered program
  612. to do anything at all, including restricting the person using it. And
  613. you could distribute that to other people, but we insist that they
  614. have the four freedoms so that they are free to take out the malicious
  615. feature that you put in.
  616. </p>
  617. <p class="indent">
  618. Freedom has to be for everyone. Freedom doesn't mean the freedom to
  619. subjugate someone else. Freedom means everyone controls his own
  620. life.
  621. </p>
  622. <p class="indent">
  623. Because of these various laws that have been adopted or proposed in
  624. various countries, making it illegal to modify the software to bypass
  625. these conspiracies, we've put in another clause - actually a pair -
  626. which were designed to overcome that. There's one thing which is
  627. designed for the US law, and there's another with is designed for the
  628. European directive, and in both cases they say: &quot;if you
  629. distribute a GPL covered program as part of the technical means of
  630. restricting the users, then you're also giving the users permission to
  631. bypass those restrictions&quot;.
  632. </p>
  633. <p class="indent">
  634. So, yeh, you can write restrictions into the code and distribute that,
  635. but you can't cite the restrictions in the GPL covered program as a
  636. basis for prohibiting the user's other software which is designed to
  637. escape from the restrictions you put on it.
  638. </p>
  639. <p>
  640. [47:46]
  641. </p>
  642. <p id="licence-compatibility">
  643. [Section: Licence compatibility]
  644. </p>
  645. <p class="indent">
  646. Aside from this, the bigest change in GPL version three, as we've
  647. drafted it so far, is a change for licence compatibility. This is an
  648. area where the goal is simply to make the licence work better for the
  649. community. It's not responding to any change, but just our
  650. realisation that we can help things.
  651. </p>
  652. <p class="indent">
  653. We have formalised what it means to add additional permissions or
  654. additional requirements to the GPL. Adding additional permissions is
  655. nothing new. There are lots of programs that say: &quot;you can use
  656. this under the GNU GPL version two or later, and in addition, we give
  657. you permission to do this and that&quot;.
  658. </p>
  659. <p class="indent">
  660. That additional permission comes from whichever developers put it on
  661. their code, so somebody making a modified version doesn't have to
  662. propagate this additional permission. He could release his modified
  663. version under the pure GPL, but he could also give, if he wishes, the
  664. same additional permission with his code by keeping the additional
  665. permission on there.
  666. </p>
  667. <p class="indent">
  668. This is not obvious. It takes a bit of thinking to realise that this
  669. is how things work, so we have explicitly stated it. You can add
  670. additional permissions to your code, and then people who pass it along
  671. can keep it or take it off, and people who modify it can extend the
  672. additional permissions to their changes, or not, as they wish.
  673. </p>
  674. <p class="indent">
  675. This is not a change, this is just formally stating what's true
  676. anyway.
  677. </p>
  678. <p>
  679. [49:40]
  680. </p>
  681. <p class="indent">
  682. The change is, at the same time, we also let you put certain kinds of
  683. additional requirements explicitly on your code. Some of these
  684. additional requirements are essentially trivial, and our view is that
  685. you could always add them. Like, a licence which says: &quot;you
  686. can't remove my copyright notice from my code&quot;. That's trivial.
  687. We consider such licences to be compatible with the GPL already.
  688. </p>
  689. <p class="indent">
  690. But, in addition to those, we've also permitted a few kinds of
  691. substantive requirements. Some of which are not trivial, and which
  692. therefore increase the range of existing licences which are compatible
  693. with the GPL. This includes, for instance, copyright-based
  694. requirements not to misuse certain trademarks. Now, there are some
  695. licence which simply state: &quot;such and such is our trade
  696. mark&quot;. That has nothing to do with the licence for the copyright
  697. on the code. So there's no incompatibility there. Trademark law is a
  698. different law, and if they have a certain trademark, they're saying:
  699. &quot;here's what we do with our trademark&quot;.
  700. </p>
  701. <p class="indent">
  702. There are some licences which say: &quot;as a condition for doing
  703. things under the copyright on the code, you have to obey our trademark
  704. requirements&quot;. That's different, that does conflict with the GNU
  705. GPL in version two, but in version three we have explicitly given
  706. permission to add this kind of requirement.
  707. </p>
  708. <p class="indent">
  709. So this just means that there are certain licence provisions that are
  710. actually in use which no longer will create an incompatibility.
  711. People will be able to merge GPL covered code and Apache code, for
  712. instance. That'll be quite useful.
  713. </p>
  714. <p class="indent">
  715. There's another provision in the Apache licence, a patent retaliation
  716. provision, and in fact we've also given permission to add certain
  717. kinds of patent retaliation permissions. I told you before that some
  718. kinds of patent retaliation are just, and some kinds are just a power
  719. grab. We had to design these conditions to distinguish patent
  720. retaliation that promotes justice from patent retaliation that just
  721. grabs advantage. We permit the former and not the latter.
  722. </p>
  723. <p id="audience-question-on-the-goals-of-the-gpl">
  724. [Section: Audience question on the goals of the GPL]
  725. </p>
  726. <p>
  727. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Audience member</span>: I have a
  728. question. In this fast, commoditising World...
  729. </p>
  730. <p class="indent">
  731. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: I don't know
  732. what that means, so I'm not sure I agree that the World is that.
  733. </p>
  734. <p>
  735. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Audience member</span>: [...] in this
  736. new World, and you're talking about GPL going over to the next
  737. version, how do you see proprietary software businesses making a
  738. profit?
  739. </p>
  740. <p>
  741. [54:00]
  742. </p>
  743. <p class="indent">
  744. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: That's
  745. unethical, they shouldn't be making any money. I hope to see all
  746. proprietary software wiped out. That's what I aim for. That would be
  747. a World in which our freedom is respected. A proprietary program is a
  748. program that is not free. That is to say, a program that does respect
  749. the user's essential rights. That's evil. A proprietary program is
  750. part of a predatory scheme where people who don't value their freedom
  751. are drawn into giving it up in order to gain some kind of practical
  752. convenience. And then once they're there, it's harder and harder to
  753. get out. Our goal is to rescue people from this.
  754. </p>
  755. <p class="indent">
  756. Of course, the GNU GPL only applies to programs that are released by
  757. their developers under the GNU GPL. So whatever we put in the GNU
  758. GPL, it doesn't affect all software, it only affects the software
  759. whose developers release it that way. So we can't get rid of
  760. proprietary software by writing the GPL this way or that way. What we
  761. can do, however, is make sure that our Free Software is not made
  762. proprietary by anybody, and that's the idea of copyleft. It's saying
  763. that when you redistribute this, with or without changes, you must do
  764. it under this licence.
  765. </p>
  766. <p class="indent">
  767. The goal of this is precisely so that nobody can get away with making
  768. proprietary software out of our code. What we've said is: proprietary
  769. software is wrong, we can't in general stop you from releasing
  770. proprietary software. We can refuse to use it, and that's what we do,
  771. and we can make Free replacements for it, and that's what we do, but
  772. we can't stop you from releasing it, but we can stop you from copying
  773. our code into it. There, copyright law gives us, essentially, this
  774. power, and we're using this power, not to gain power over others but
  775. just to protect everyone's freedom.
  776. </p>
  777. <p>
  778. [56:27]
  779. </p>
  780. <p class="indent">
  781. But I want to get back to what I was saying.
  782. </p>
  783. <p class="indent">
  784. The point is that these changes in GPL version three have no effect on
  785. any of that. As you can see from the changes I've described, they all
  786. affect detailed aspects of the situation. Your question only relates
  787. to the general purpose of the GPL, which is not changing and will
  788. never change. So none of these changes I've described will have any
  789. relationship to that question.
  790. </p>
  791. <p class="indent">
  792. One can ask: &quot;How do businesses respond to GPL version
  793. three?&quot; But I won't answer that now, I'll leave Eben something
  794. to say.
  795. </p>
  796. <p id="back-to-compatibility">
  797. [Section: Back to compatibility]
  798. </p>
  799. <p class="indent">
  800. So, in effect, what this increased compatibility does is it makes
  801. copyleft a little bit looser. Now, when you change a GPL covered
  802. program, the licence of your version doesn't have to be exactly the
  803. same. There is a certain limited and precisely defined range, within
  804. which you can change it.
  805. </p>
  806. <p id="bittorrent">
  807. [Section: BitTorrent]
  808. </p>
  809. <p class="indent">
  810. Another change we've made has to do with BitTorrent. BitTorrent is a
  811. system that helps lots of people redistribute copies of something, and
  812. it's quite often used to distribute Free Software. And it turns out
  813. that the way BitTorrent works is not allowed by GPL version two. It's
  814. so strange, the way it works, that anybody who is downloading it is
  815. automatically distributing it - whether he knows it or not - but of
  816. course we want BitTorrent to be allowed. So we designed a new clause
  817. which allows BitTorrent, which permits it to be used, and in general
  818. gives permission for people to just go ahead and do peer-to-peer
  819. distribution in harmless ways.
  820. </p>
  821. <p id="distribution-by-internet">
  822. [Section: Distribution by Internet]
  823. </p>
  824. <p class="indent">
  825. Another change that we have proposed, but we have not finally adopted
  826. - and we're looking very much for comment on this - is for the
  827. requirement for how you must provide people source code on demand, if
  828. you have distributed binaries without source code.
  829. </p>
  830. <p class="indent">
  831. In GPL version two, and always in the past, what we said was:
  832. when you distribute binaries, you must either provide source code
  833. alongside them, or provide people a written offer by which they can
  834. order the source code by mail.
  835. </p>
  836. <p class="indent">
  837. People said: why not just say you could put the source code on a
  838. network server, and let people download it?
  839. </p>
  840. <p class="indent">
  841. The reason is, downloading large amounts of software was just so slow
  842. that it was not feasible. For most users, to download the source code
  843. corresponding to an entire CD-ROM fifteen years ago was just
  844. ridiculous. If we had permitted that, it would have effectively
  845. saying: you don't really have to make the source code available, not
  846. in a practical way.
  847. </p>
  848. <p class="indent">
  849. But things have changed, and it's not just that a lot more people have
  850. broadband, even in some fairly poor countries, but there are now
  851. services where you can just say, for a very small amount of money:
  852. please copy that off the Net and mail it to me on a disk. And this is
  853. actually cheaper than the mail orders than the actual distributors
  854. would have had to do. The result is that it seems that we can now
  855. give them the option of just putting the corresponding source on a
  856. network server that they're going to keep running for a certain
  857. minimum period of time after distributing the binaries.
  858. </p>
  859. <p class="indent">
  860. Please look at that issue and comment to us, because if there is a
  861. problem with this, it would be in poorer countries where there are a
  862. lot of people that can't afford broadband. So the question is: is
  863. this really adequate? Please take a look.
  864. </p>
  865. <p id="termination">
  866. [Section: Termination]
  867. </p>
  868. <p class="indent">
  869. Another place in which we've made a change is with regard to
  870. termination. The licence only terminates in response to wrong-doing.
  871. That's what it means for these freedoms to be inalienable rights. In
  872. GPL version two, you lose your rights under the licence if you ever
  873. violate it, and that's automatic. Of course, legally, to make this
  874. effective, the copyright holders are going to have to enforce it.
  875. They're going to have to say: &quot;we want an injunction, you've got
  876. to stop distributing this because you've violated the licence, you
  877. forfeited the licence, so now we want the court to enforce that&quot;.
  878. </p>
  879. <p class="indent">
  880. But the point was that the termination itself was automatic and
  881. instantaneous. This is actually not really so good when people make
  882. violations accidentally, because even if they notice it the next day
  883. and correct it, they still have lost their rights.
  884. </p>
  885. <p class="indent">
  886. If you do this with one program, you can go to the developer and say:
  887. &quot;would you please give me back my rights, it was an accident and
  888. I've corrected it?&quot; And the developer will usually say
  889. &quot;yes&quot; because why would he say &quot;no&quot;.
  890. </p>
  891. <p class="indent">
  892. But what if you do this with an entire GNU/Linux distribution with
  893. three thousand programs in it? And what if there are a hundred
  894. thousand or a million copyright holders? It's just not feasible.
  895. What we have done is, we have changed GPL version three to say that
  896. the termination doesn't happen instantly. Instead, the copyright
  897. holder can terminate your rights by just telling you: &quot;I've
  898. terminated your rights&quot;. But if you correct the problem, and
  899. then the copyright holder waits and doesn't terminate your rights
  900. within a certain period time, then he can't do it anymore.
  901. </p>
  902. <p>
  903. [1:03:29]
  904. </p>
  905. <p class="indent">
  906. This way, if you make a mistake in the way you distribute a GNU/Linux
  907. distribution and somebody tells you and you correct it, and then a
  908. period of time goes by and nobody complains, then you're safe. Of
  909. course, if you keep on violating the licence, they can always
  910. terminate your licence. It's only if you've corrected it and then
  911. time goes by that you are then safe.
  912. </p>
  913. <p class="indent">
  914. So, I think I have described all the substantial changes. It's now
  915. eleven o'clock. I guess that's probably less time than they figured,
  916. but I suppose, why not be briefer than expected. But I'll answer some
  917. questions before I go away.
  918. </p>
  919. <p id="using-the-gpl-for-non-software-works">
  920. [Question #1: Using the GPL for non-software works]
  921. </p>
  922. <p>
  923. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q1</span>: [inaudible]
  924. </p>
  925. <p class="indent">
  926. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: First of
  927. all, the GNU GPL can be used for any kind of work. I wouldn't always
  928. recommend it for all kinds of works. For instance, for a research
  929. paper. A research paper is a report of what some people have seen,
  930. and I think the appropriate licence for that is &quot;verbatim copying
  931. only&quot;. Just as that's the appropriate licence for an essay of
  932. opinion, I think. That's why I use that licence for my essays of
  933. opinion that you can find on <a href=""></a>.
  934. </p>
  935. <p class="indent">
  936. But certainly, it can be used for things that are not programs, and
  937. is. Any kind of work that isn't meant mainly to be distributed in
  938. printed form, you could perfectly well use the GPL. And actually,
  939. there's the possibility, if we go ahead with this &quot;you can
  940. distribute the binaries and then make the source available for
  941. download&quot;, maybe the GPL is heading in the direction of being OK
  942. for books too. It will take more thought to consider that. We're not
  943. going to deal with that in GPL version three. But it's an interesting
  944. avenue for the future.
  945. </p>
  946. <p id="why-not-a-broader-patent-retaliation">
  947. [Question #2: Why not a broader patent retaliation]
  948. </p>
  949. <p>
  950. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q2</span>: Why did you not consider,
  951. or did you consider and reject, having a broader patent retaliation
  952. clause in the licence?
  953. </p>
  954. <p class="indent">
  955. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: We concluded
  956. that in other cases than the one where we did it, it was not likely to
  957. be effective. We do not want to stand in the way of other people
  958. doing it, and we don't want to reject compatibility with other
  959. licences just because they do it, but it didn't look like it would be
  960. effective. Of course, if someone proves us wrong, then maybe we'll do
  961. it.
  962. </p>
  963. <p>
  964. [1:06:46]
  965. </p>
  966. <p id="linux-linus">
  967. [Question #3: Linux, Linus]
  968. </p>
  969. <p>
  970. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q3</span>: [barely audible: the
  971. question is about the Linux kernel]
  972. </p>
  973. <p class="indent">
  974. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Linus
  975. Torvalds objects, with an irrational kind of stubbornness, to one of
  976. our goals. Namely, preventing tivoisation. He wants people to be
  977. able to tivoise the products that you use, and thus take away your
  978. freedom.
  979. </p>
  980. <p class="indent">
  981. This should not be surprising. Linus Torvalds never supported the
  982. Free Software movement. He sort of accidentally drifted into making a
  983. contribution to the Free Software community, but not because he ever
  984. supported our goals. And so he has actually said that he is against
  985. our aims of defending freedom for all users. What can you do?
  986. </p>
  987. <p class="indent">
  988. Well, he doesn't have to use it if he doesn't want to.
  989. </p>
  990. <p id="did-linux-help-gnu">
  991. [Question #4: Did Linux help GNU]
  992. </p>
  993. <p>
  994. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4</span>: The question I had is a
  995. follow up question on the tivoisation issue. One of the, I would say
  996. that, even if Torvalds was not really aligned with the goals of the
  997. Free Software Foundation. I would say that the success of Linux was
  998. instrumental in bringing a lot of people into the fold of GPL...
  999. </p>
  1000. <p class="indent">
  1001. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Yes and no,
  1002. but remember though, that when people talk about &quot;the success of
  1003. Linux&quot;, usually they mean the success of GNU, because usually
  1004. when they say &quot;Linux&quot;, they are talking about the GNU
  1005. system, and most people are not aware of this. Most people, when they
  1006. look at the GNU system, they think it is Linux and they think it was
  1007. developed by Linus Torvalds. They don't realise that we had it mostly
  1008. finished already and he just wrote the one last piece.
  1009. </p>
  1010. <p>
  1011. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4b</span>: Even if I grant that,
  1012. because I have no reason to disagree with you on that statement, the
  1013. point I'm trying to make is, many governments, for example, have take
  1014. a policy decision, not to align themselves with proprietary software
  1015. because they now have an alternative platform on which they can build
  1016. applications...
  1017. </p>
  1018. <p class="indent">
  1019. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Sure, but if
  1020. you're trying to argue that Linux the kernel, which Linus Torvalds did
  1021. write, is an important contribution, I agree completely. That was the
  1022. step that carried us across the finish line. Before that, we had most
  1023. of an operating system, but with one crucial piece missing, most of an
  1024. operating system doesn't do the job. He put in that one missing piece
  1025. and we had a complete system, and that was a lot better.
  1026. </p>
  1027. <p class="indent">
  1028. It's a large piece, and it's an essential one, so of course it's an
  1029. important contribution. I'm not going to deny that.
  1030. </p>
  1031. <p class="indent">
  1032. But the point is, he did it for other reasons. He never really agreed
  1033. with us, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he doesn't agree with us
  1034. now.
  1035. </p>
  1036. <p>
  1037. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4c</span>: Yes, but the point I'm
  1038. trying to make is that, I would say, the open source movement has been
  1039. very successful, largely because of the GPL version two licence...
  1040. </p>
  1041. <p class="indent">
  1042. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, I'm
  1043. rather sad about that because I don't agree with the open source
  1044. movement. I've never supported open source and I never will. Open
  1045. source is the way that people co-opt our work and bury our ideals.
  1046. </p>
  1047. <p class="indent">
  1048. Linus Torvalds is an open source supporter. If you look at the things
  1049. he says, you'll get an idea of the ideas of open source, which are
  1050. quite different from what I've said today. I'm talking about the Free
  1051. Software movement which I founded twenty-three years ago so that we
  1052. could use computers and live in freedom. It's all about freedom.
  1053. This is exactly what the open source rhetoric tries to bury.
  1054. </p>
  1055. <p class="indent">
  1056. They never talk about freedom as their goal. They don't say:
  1057. &quot;you are entitled to the freedom to change and control the
  1058. software you use, and the freedom to share it so that you can
  1059. cooperate with others&quot;. They never say you're entitled to
  1060. anything. The very idea of raising this as a moral issue, they
  1061. reject. That's why they focus on talking about a development
  1062. methodology, and they recommend the development methodology because
  1063. they say it tends to result in practical advantages.
  1064. </p>
  1065. <p class="indent">
  1066. Well, I'm glad to the extent that's true. If respecting people's
  1067. fundamental freedoms as software users also results in powerful
  1068. reliable software as a by-product. Great, that's a nice bonus. But I
  1069. would insist on freedom even if it meant less reliable, less powerful
  1070. software because I want to live in freedom, and I want to work for you
  1071. to have freedom too.
  1072. </p>
  1073. <p>
  1074. [1:12:37]
  1075. </p>
  1076. <p class="indent">
  1077. This is what the open source people won't say. The whole point of
  1078. open source is to avoid ever mentioning this. So, I'm not necessarily
  1079. happy that the open source movement, to the extent it is a movement,
  1080. has success.
  1081. </p>
  1082. <p class="indent">
  1083. I say &quot;to the extent it is a movement&quot; because the free
  1084. software movement is a social movement. It's a social movement in
  1085. every sense. Open source is not. It's a kind of campaign, but I'm
  1086. not sure it's a movement.
  1087. </p>
  1088. <p class="indent">
  1089. In any case, to the extent that their success is also our success, I'm
  1090. glad. At the practical level, it often is. Most open source licences
  1091. are also Free Software licences. Nearly all the time, when somebody
  1092. is convinced by the open source movement and develops an open source
  1093. program, it is Free Software. So it's a good thing. Practically
  1094. speaking, that work is a contribution to our community. I'm not going
  1095. to criticise it just because of what motivations it had. But, at the
  1096. deeper level of teaching people to value freedom, which is the most
  1097. important thing we have to do, the talk about open source does not
  1098. help us. And you can see the difference between these philosophies
  1099. showing up in the disagreement between Torvalds and us.
  1100. </p>
  1101. <p>
  1102. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4d</span>: I appreciate that
  1103. clarification, I think that certainly helped me. I did have a very
  1104. specific question on the tivoisation example you used to make your
  1105. point. This is in the context of freedom. If I understand correctly,
  1106. and correct me if I'm wrong, under the GPL version three, if I were to
  1107. use a piece of software on a piece of hardware, say a piece of
  1108. hardware for a video system, and under the GPL three, if I was allowed
  1109. to modify it and distribute it that's not going to change. I will
  1110. still need to do that. What you are taking issue with is the idea
  1111. that the hardware vendor, or the system vendor, has the right to lock
  1112. a certain version of the software to his device.
  1113. </p>
  1114. <p class="indent">
  1115. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Exactly.
  1116. Because freedom one is supposed to apply to every user of that
  1117. software. Freedom one says you're free to change the program and make
  1118. it do what you want.
  1119. </p>
  1120. <p>
  1121. [1:15:27]
  1122. </p>
  1123. <p class="indent">
  1124. So the point is, you better be free to change it and then install it
  1125. in your computer. If he has taken steps in the hardware to make sure
  1126. you can't install it in your computer, then that is denying you
  1127. effective use of freedom number one.
  1128. </p>
  1129. <p>
  1130. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4e</span>: The point is, aren't you
  1131. extending the notion of freedom beyond an acceptable point?
  1132. </p>
  1133. <p class="indent">
  1134. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, I
  1135. don't think so.
  1136. </p>
  1137. <p>
  1138. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4f</span>: Well, let me complete my
  1139. question. Although the user has the right to modify and install it on
  1140. whatever hardware he wants, why do you... it appears to me that GPL
  1141. version three takes a position that he must be able to modify it, and
  1142. get it to work, and receive the same services
  1143. </p>
  1144. <p class="indent">
  1145. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: No, I said
  1146. nothing about that. You're just criticising something I...
  1147. </p>
  1148. <p>
  1149. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4g</span>: I just want a
  1150. clarification.
  1151. </p>
  1152. <p class="indent">
  1153. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: If they say:
  1154. &quot;running modified software voids the warranty&quot;, that's ok.
  1155. Or, they could say: &quot;we'll only provide support if it fails using
  1156. the standard software&quot;. That's perfectly legitimate, because if
  1157. the hardware is broken, it will fail with the standard software too.
  1158. </p>
  1159. <p class="indent">
  1160. We're not insisting that anybody go out of his way to help you change
  1161. the software, or that he spend his time debugging the bugs you
  1162. introduced into the software. It's easy enough - companies will
  1163. understand this - it's easy enough for them to verify that it is
  1164. running the unmodified software before they do any service. And they
  1165. will bill you if you say &quot;it's broken and it's under warranty,
  1166. fix it&quot;, and you see that he broke it, if this starts happening,
  1167. it's easy enough to develop ways of protecting yourself by saying
  1168. &quot;since you actually broke it, you're going to have to pay us for
  1169. shipping it back to you, plus twenty dollars for wasting our
  1170. time&quot;
  1171. </p>
  1172. <p>
  1173. [1:17:42]
  1174. </p>
  1175. <p id="eben-moglen-explains-the-drm-changes">
  1176. [Section: Eben Moglen explains the DRM changes]
  1177. </p>
  1178. <p>
  1179. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Eben Moglen</span>: Richard, may I
  1180. offer a comment here? Lets work through what the rights and freedoms
  1181. were in the line of descent. Through that manufacturer and the
  1182. hardware.
  1183. </p>
  1184. <p>
  1185. So Hardware Manufacturer A takes GPL'd code written by B, C, and D, as
  1186. he has a right to do. Maybe he modifies it. He puts it in some
  1187. hardware where he still has the right to modify it. He ships it.
  1188. </p>
  1189. <p>
  1190. At that point, he has a requirement under existing GPL to convey to
  1191. the person to whom he gives that hardware with the software in it, all
  1192. the rights he got from the people who gave the software to him.
  1193. Right?
  1194. </p>
  1195. <p>
  1196. Suppose Manufacturer A puts B, C, and D's GPL software in some
  1197. hardware and sends it to you and says &quot;I'll let you modify the
  1198. software in the box I just sold you, if you pay me an extra thousand
  1199. dollars&quot;. There's no question that that violates GPL version 2.
  1200. It's the addition of a requirement beyond the licence burdening the
  1201. customer's right to modify, which he was supposed to get from you
  1202. without any change. Right?
  1203. </p>
  1204. <!-- XXXXXXXXXX -->
  1205. <p>
  1206. If he tries to do that by legal means, that is, to give you less
  1207. rights to modify than he has himself, it is a clear violation of all
  1208. versions of the GPL - two and three together. Version three says:
  1209. don't try to use technical means to accomplish a refusal to give over
  1210. all the rights that you got, which you could not accomplish by legal
  1211. means.
  1212. </p>
  1213. <p>
  1214. If Manufacturer A wants the software he sells in the hardware to stay
  1215. one version forever, he has a simple way to do it: he can put the
  1216. software in ROM. He has no power to modify it, and the user to whom
  1217. he gives it has no power to modify it. That doesn't violate GPL
  1218. version two and it doesn't violate GPL version three, in current draft.
  1219. </p>
  1220. <p>
  1221. We will not publish a draft that would be violated by that conduct.
  1222. What we object to is the attempt to say &quot;I will keep the right to
  1223. modify the software, but I won't allow you to have the same right of
  1224. modification that retain&quot; because that's simply a technical way
  1225. of evading the requirement of the licence to pass along all the rights
  1226. you got.
  1227. </p>
  1228. <p>
  1229. [1:20:29]
  1230. </p>
  1231. <p>
  1232. I don't think that this constitutes an expansion of the copyleft in
  1233. any sense at all. I think it constitutes an attempt to eliminate a
  1234. technical mode of evasion, unforeseeable in 1991 when there were no
  1235. instances of embedded GPL'd software in the World.
  1236. </p>
  1237. <p>
  1238. I think all we are doing is extending an obvious rule that you may not
  1239. pass along less right of modification than you have yourself to the
  1240. context where the attempt to keep the right of modification is ensured
  1241. by a technical rather than a legal device. I think that's the best
  1242. and simplest answer to the question.
  1243. </p>
  1244. <p>
  1245. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q4h</span>: So, I guess, if I were to
  1246. modify the software on a Tivo box, and actually have the ability to
  1247. get it to work on a Tivo box. That would be fine, for GPL3. And it
  1248. would also be fine if the service provider detected that I made a
  1249. modification and didn't deliver service to me. That would be ok.
  1250. </p>
  1251. <p>
  1252. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Eben Moglen</span>: There you begin
  1253. to ask another question, which can be resolved clearly by the same
  1254. analysis I offered before. Suppose that in my original example,
  1255. Manufacturer A gets software from B, C, and D. He sells you both
  1256. hardware and services, and he says &quot;I'll give you the right to
  1257. modify the software, but you have to pay me more for the services if
  1258. you modify&quot;. Again, that's clearly forbidden under GPL2. That's
  1259. a legal attempt to create a service monopoly. Even though the
  1260. software is free. He can't do it by legal means, why should he be
  1261. allowed to do it by technical means.
  1262. </p>
  1263. <p>
  1264. In general, if a provider of software offers conditions that are based
  1265. on remote attestation that you have not modified the software, he's
  1266. once again giving you less right to modify than he has himself. And
  1267. again the same question arises. If what he wants to do is, for
  1268. example, run a cellphone system in which he wants to provide GPL'd
  1269. software in the phone, but he only wants to provide services so long
  1270. as the software is not modified, let him put it in ROM. Forgo his own
  1271. right to modify, same as the customer's right of modification. But a
  1272. World in which he intends to keep the right to modify, without passing
  1273. it along to you, is an evasion of the licence - however sophisticated
  1274. his method of explaining why it is that he keeps a right to modify the
  1275. device that you don't have.
  1276. </p>
  1277. <p id="freedom-and-thin-clients">
  1278. [Question #5: Freedom and thin clients]
  1279. </p>
  1280. <p>
  1281. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5</span>: I have a question related
  1282. to modification again. This is again related to what hardware
  1283. manufacturers do with Free Software and take away freedom from people.
  1284. I work in the thin client domain, and almost all thin client vendors,
  1285. HP, [Viosin], others, take commodity PC hardware, strip it down, put
  1286. in Free Software as firmware which lets you connect to proprietary
  1287. software using rdesktop, and they bundle it all up and on top of a lot
  1288. of Free Software components they'll put a small user interface
  1289. connection manager. And they provide it. They first of all claim it
  1290. is their intellectual property.
  1291. </p>
  1292. <p class="indent">
  1293. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Don't use
  1294. that term. Never use that term.
  1295. </p>
  1296. <p>
  1297. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5b</span>: They do that.
  1298. </p>
  1299. <p class="indent">
  1300. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: I'm sure
  1301. they do, but you should never imitate them because the idea that the
  1302. term &quot;intellectual property&quot; even makes sense is a lie.
  1303. It's a way of twisting people's thought. So when you quote other
  1304. people saying it, that's not clear enough to reject it, so you really
  1305. shouldn't quote that term unless you're going to explain why it's
  1306. misleading. Really, it's terribly important. I want you to continue.
  1307. I don't want to stop you from what you're saying, but after this is
  1308. done, <a href="#about-intellectual-property">I will explain why</a>
  1309. that term should never be used.
  1310. </p>
  1311. <p>
  1312. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5c</span>: I have a strong objection
  1313. to that term being used, particularly with Free Software. Now, they
  1314. charge a lot of money, and because a lot of hardware is commoditised,
  1315. you can't sell hardware anymore, so you put in a lot of software that
  1316. you don't make, call it your own, package it, and then in a number of
  1317. ways you take away people's freedom to modify. The simplest case it,
  1318. I buy a thin client, lets say, and it's got firmware on an IDE flash,
  1319. I cannot take it out and put it in another commodity hardware because
  1320. they lock it down. And they don't do simple things like, the kernel
  1321. only has drivers for your hardware. They TPM it, they put in a two
  1322. dollar TPM chip on the board and they lock down Free Software to their
  1323. particular hardware.
  1324. </p>
  1325. <p class="indent">
  1326. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: This is what
  1327. we're trying to prohibit. But the question is, if you think they're
  1328. doing something extremely clever that we haven't thought about, you
  1329. need to show us exactly what they're doing, as a way of making sure
  1330. that GPL version three will actually prohibit what they're doing.
  1331. </p>
  1332. <p>
  1333. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5d</span>: I'd like to see,
  1334. actually, GPL versions prohibiting people from copying binary forms of
  1335. Free Software just because there's a drop of proprietary software in
  1336. that binary.
  1337. </p>
  1338. <p class="indent">
  1339. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: But they're
  1340. not allowed to mix them. To mix them in a binary would be a violation
  1341. of the GPL anyway.
  1342. </p>
  1343. <p>
  1344. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5e</span>: It's a completely
  1345. different binary, lets say it's a connecton manager, or it's their
  1346. logo.
  1347. </p>
  1348. <p class="indent">
  1349. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, if
  1350. it's a different program, then yes they're allowed to put them on the
  1351. system, but they're not allowed to restrict your rights in using the
  1352. free programs.
  1353. </p>
  1354. <p>
  1355. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q5f</span>: How it's restricting -
  1356. and, now, I deal with very naive users - is, for instance, most of
  1357. what I deal with is schools in India. They can't rebuild the entire
  1358. image. What I'd like to see is, if you're giving Free Software based
  1359. binaries with your hardware, you put out your entire distribution, so
  1360. to speak, an entire toolkit that helps people take out what was
  1361. proprietary.
  1362. </p>
  1363. <p>
  1364. [1:26:42]
  1365. </p>
  1366. <p class="indent">
  1367. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well, the
  1368. point is, that's more or less what the GPL requires anyway. If they
  1369. are combining proprietary and GPL-covered code in such a way that it's
  1370. hard to seperate them, that's already a violation of the GPL. So
  1371. report them, we've got to enforce it against them, we've got to make
  1372. them stop.
  1373. </p>
  1374. <p id="about-intellectual-property">
  1375. [Section: About intellectual property]
  1376. </p>
  1377. <p class="indent">
  1378. Anyway, the term &quot;intellectual property&quot; is a propaganda
  1379. term which should never be used, because merely using it, no matter
  1380. what you say about it, presumes it makes sense. It doesn't really
  1381. make sense, because it lumps together several different laws that are
  1382. more different than similar.
  1383. </p>
  1384. <p class="indent">
  1385. For instance, copyright law and patent law have a little bit in
  1386. common, but all the details are different and their social effects are
  1387. different. To try to treat them as they were one thing, is already an
  1388. error.
  1389. </p>
  1390. <p class="indent">
  1391. To even talk about anything that includes copyright and patent law,
  1392. means you're already mistaken. That term systematically leads people
  1393. into mistakes. But, copyright law and patent law are not the only
  1394. ones it includes. It also includes trademark law, for instance, which
  1395. has nothing in common with copyright or patent law. So anyone talking
  1396. about &quot;quote intellectual property unquote&quot;, is always
  1397. talking about all of those and many others as well and making
  1398. nonsensical statements.
  1399. </p>
  1400. <p class="indent">
  1401. So, when you say that you especially object to it when it's used for
  1402. Free Software, you're suggesting it might be a little more legitimate
  1403. when talking about proprietary software. Yes, software can be
  1404. copyrighted. And yes, in some countries techniques can be patented.
  1405. And certainly there can be trademark names for programs, which I think
  1406. is fine. There's no problem there. But these are three completely
  1407. different things, and any attempt to mix them up - any practice which
  1408. encourages people to lump them together is a terribly harmful
  1409. practice. We have to totally reject the term &quot;quote intellectual
  1410. property unquote&quot;. I will not let any excuse convince me to
  1411. accept the meaningfulness of that term.
  1412. </p>
  1413. <p>
  1414. [1:29:15]
  1415. </p>
  1416. <p class="indent">
  1417. When people say &quot;well, what would you call it?&quot;, the answer
  1418. is that I deny there is an &quot;it&quot; there. There are three, and
  1419. many more, laws there, and I talk about these laws by their names, and
  1420. I don't mix them up.
  1421. </p>
  1422. <p id="affero-and-web-services">
  1423. [Question #6: Affero and web services]
  1424. </p>
  1425. <p>
  1426. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q6</span>: [inaudible, but mentions
  1427. &quot;Affero&quot;]
  1428. </p>
  1429. <p class="indent">
  1430. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: The Affero
  1431. clause. Ah. Right, that is one of the added requirements that GPL
  1432. version three says you can add on your code. When you add code to a
  1433. GPL covered program. What this clause does, is, it requires that if
  1434. somebody installs he program on some kind of network server that the
  1435. public can talk to, it requires giving the public a way to download
  1436. the source also - of the version that is running.
  1437. </p>
  1438. <p class="indent">
  1439. The regular GPL does not require this. The reqular GPL says you can
  1440. install the program on your server and you don't ever have to release
  1441. the source of what you're running - or release the binary. You can
  1442. just keep it on your server, without ever releasing it at all.
  1443. </p>
  1444. <p class="indent">
  1445. The affero GPL is another licence which already exists and has this
  1446. requirement saying that if you put a version of this program on a
  1447. server, you've got to make available your source code to the people
  1448. who use that server. So if the server is only available to a certain
  1449. group of people, only they could get the source code.
  1450. </p>
  1451. <p class="indent">
  1452. If it's available to the general public, then the general public can
  1453. get the source code. If it's available only in your company, then
  1454. only people in your company can get the source code. All of those are
  1455. ok.
  1456. </p>
  1457. <p class="indent">
  1458. The Affero GPL was made from GPL version two, but because of this
  1459. requirement, it's incompatible with GPL version two. It's called the
  1460. Affero GPL because it was made by a company called Affero, but it was
  1461. made with our support. The idea is to make GPL version three
  1462. compatible with a modified version of the Affero licence. They will
  1463. modify the Affero licence and thus cause all these things to be
  1464. compatible.
  1465. </p>
  1466. <p>
  1467. [1:31:57]
  1468. </p>
  1469. <p id="freedom-may-require-inconvenience">
  1470. [Question #7: Freedom may require inconvenience]
  1471. </p>
  1472. <p>
  1473. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q7</span>: [This question was
  1474. difficult to hear and may have inaccuracies] My name is [...] and I'm
  1475. from Bangalore. I'm running an organisation called [...]. I'm doing
  1476. an anti-trust litigation against Microsoft India on the grounds that
  1477. [...] is forcing Bangalore to use the MS Net. It is not Free
  1478. Software, it is a proprietary program. We made a public interest
  1479. litigation, to the high court. I come to the mic with this one
  1480. question: Last month, I purchased a laptop [...] Sahara, it comes with
  1481. free Linux software...
  1482. </p>
  1483. <p class="indent">
  1484. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Oh you mean
  1485. GNU+Linux.
  1486. </p>
  1487. <p>
  1488. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q7b</span>: Linux, Linux operating...
  1489. </p>
  1490. <p class="indent">
  1491. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: It's
  1492. GNU+Linux, please give us credit for our work. I'm happy to hear that
  1493. your laptop came with our system on it, with GNU, and with Linux the
  1494. kernel. Please do not call the whole thing &quot;Linux&quot;. You're
  1495. being unfair to us every time you say that.
  1496. </p>
  1497. <p>
  1498. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q7c</span>: I came very late because
  1499. of [...]. Anyway, having seen that they sell Linux...
  1500. </p>
  1501. <p class="indent">
  1502. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: They sell
  1503. GNU and Linux.
  1504. </p>
  1505. <p>
  1506. [laughter]
  1507. </p>
  1508. <p>
  1509. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q7d</span>: So, it's not compatible
  1510. with Apple [inaudible], and Corel, and Microsoft...
  1511. </p>
  1512. <p class="indent">
  1513. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: That's
  1514. right. But those are proprietary programs anyway, so, for ethical
  1515. reasons you shouldn't use them.
  1516. </p>
  1517. <p>
  1518. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q7e</span>: [...] because Linux is
  1519. not compatible with Apple, or Corel, or Microsoft, my friends told me
  1520. to switch over to Microsoft.
  1521. </p>
  1522. <p class="indent">
  1523. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well that's
  1524. very bad. Did you do it? Did you do it?
  1525. </p>
  1526. <p>
  1527. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q7f</span>: I have done it.
  1528. </p>
  1529. <p class="indent">
  1530. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Oh, how sad.
  1531. Well, thanks an awful lot.
  1532. </p>
  1533. <p>
  1534. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q7g</span>: Coming here now, I have
  1535. realised I have done a mistake. Now, do you have a solution, how I
  1536. could use it? [...] GNU and Linux, and Yahoo, [...] Apple [...]
  1537. </p>
  1538. <p class="indent">
  1539. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: GNU and
  1540. Linux will enable you to live in freedom, at least as regards your
  1541. computer is concerned, because, of course, it won't guarantee your
  1542. freedom in other areas of life. We can't do that by writing software,
  1543. but at least in your own computer you'll be able to live in freedom if
  1544. you insist on Free Software. I'm not going to repeat what I said at
  1545. the beginning of this talk, because it would take to much time, but
  1546. there is a recording being made, so you can listen to what I said at
  1547. the beginning, about this very issue.
  1548. </p>
  1549. <p class="indent">
  1550. But, y'know, freedom, it's not guaranteed that you can have freedom
  1551. without ever any sacrifice. The sacrifice will certainly include that
  1552. you don't use Autocad, because Autocad is a non-free program. It
  1553. tramples your freedom. So you have to get rid of Autocad to have
  1554. freedom.
  1555. </p>
  1556. <p class="indent">
  1557. In regard to a drawing program, I think maybe, did you say Corel Draw?
  1558. I couldn't hear the list. But we have drawing programs, like
  1559. the <a href="">GIMP</a>. Or Inkscape, but I've never
  1560. used those things.
  1561. </p>
  1562. <p class="indent">
  1563. The point is that in some cases there is Free Software you can use to
  1564. do those things. In some cases maybe there's not, and when there
  1565. isn't, that means, at least temporarily, to live in freedom requires a
  1566. certain sacrifice. Fortunately not a big sacrifice.
  1567. </p>
  1568. <p class="indent">
  1569. There are times when freedom has required people to sacrifice their
  1570. lives, but here we can win freedom with nothing more than an
  1571. inconvenience. I'm sure there was a time in your life when you hadn't
  1572. got a computer and didn't use any of those programs. And somehow, you
  1573. got through it and you didn't die.
  1574. </p>
  1575. <p>
  1576. [laughter]
  1577. </p>
  1578. <p>
  1579. [1:37:20]
  1580. </p>
  1581. <p id="free-software-needs-to-be-made-easier">
  1582. [Question #8: Free Software needs to be made easier]
  1583. </p>
  1584. <p>
  1585. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q8</span>: My name is [...], my
  1586. request is. I am just a common person, we are not aware of this Free
  1587. Software. [inaudible]
  1588. </p>
  1589. <p class="indent">
  1590. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: We're doing
  1591. our best, y'know. We've been working on developing Free Software for
  1592. twenty-three years now, and we've done a lot and there's still more we
  1593. have to do. In order for us to do more, more have to volunteer.
  1594. We're doing what we can, so to ask us to do something is sort of the
  1595. wrong approach. We need people to come forward and say &quot;I want
  1596. to do something&quot;. Then we can do more. That's what it takes.
  1597. </p>
  1598. <p>
  1599. [1:38:08]
  1600. </p>
  1601. <p id="a-comment-about-the-download-change">
  1602. [Question #9: A comment about the download change]
  1603. </p>
  1604. <p>
  1605. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q9</span>: [barely audible, sounds
  1606. like a comment on the proposal to replace mail-order offers with
  1607. Internet download offers of source code]
  1608. </p>
  1609. <p class="indent">
  1610. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Don't tell
  1611. me now. Submit comments through the
  1612. site <a href=""></a>, because if you
  1613. do that, they'll be recorded and we will not forget them.
  1614. </p>
  1615. <p>
  1616. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q9b</span>: I just want to say, for
  1617. India, the time has not come. Broadband is in cities, but when you go
  1618. out of the towns and other areas...
  1619. </p>
  1620. <p class="indent">
  1621. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Yes, but the
  1622. point is that that doesn't necessarily... read the explanation there
  1623. and you'll see that that does not imply that this is a bad idea.
  1624. That's not enough to reach the conclusion that this is a bad idea, so
  1625. please read what's stated there, and you'll understand the situation
  1626. fully and you'll be able to comment in a way that is completely
  1627. relevant.
  1628. </p>
  1629. <p id="mechanically-defining-infringement">
  1630. [Question #10: Mechanically defining infringement]
  1631. </p>
  1632. <p>
  1633. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q10</span>: Hi, my name is [...].
  1634. You said that the mixing of two binaries in a way that they are not
  1635. easily separated from each other is a violation of GPL.
  1636. </p>
  1637. <p class="indent">
  1638. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Yes.
  1639. </p>
  1640. <p>
  1641. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q10b</span>: When exactly would you
  1642. say that the two programs are not [easily] seperated?
  1643. </p>
  1644. <p class="indent">
  1645. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: There's no
  1646. simple answer to that, I'm sorry. Show us a case, and we'll think
  1647. about it, and we'll come up with arguments to make to a judge.
  1648. </p>
  1649. <p>
  1650. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q10c</span>: Lets say I have a
  1651. program that uses free libraries, which are...
  1652. </p>
  1653. <p class="indent">
  1654. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Well,
  1655. linking them together like that is clearly combining them. The rules,
  1656. based on the existing GPL, are too complicated for me to try to recite
  1657. them to you. All I can say is, yes, the GPL makes conditions in that
  1658. case.
  1659. </p>
  1660. <p>
  1661. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Q10d</span>: That means any such use
  1662. is a violation of the GPL?
  1663. </p>
  1664. <p class="indent">
  1665. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Some kinds
  1666. may be permitted. That's why I'm saying it depends on details, very
  1667. much. But linking components together is certainly combining them.
  1668. </p>
  1669. <p>
  1670. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Eben Moglen</span>: Richard, can I
  1671. make a comment here? Here's the problem. The problem that you're
  1672. facing in asking the question, and the problem that Richard is facing
  1673. in trying to answer it. When you try to take two disciplines of
  1674. thought that use different primitive quanta - different units of
  1675. meaning - there's not going to be a congruent mapping between one
  1676. vocabulary and the other - as there is no guarantee that there is a
  1677. one-to-one match between words in Hindi and words in English.
  1678. </p>
  1679. <p>
  1680. The problem is that the unit of meaning in copyright law is the
  1681. work, whatever the work is. That's the unit in which copyright law
  1682. speaks. So the author, or authors, of a work have certain exclusive
  1683. rights, including the rights to control modification and
  1684. distribution. GPL says, we give most of those rights to the user, in
  1685. the work, rather than withholding them, as proprietary users do.
  1686. </p>
  1687. <p>
  1688. What's the unit of a program? Not the work. Computer science has
  1689. defined many quanta of meaning in computer program since I began
  1690. decades ago. The subroutine, the function, the module, the object.
  1691. Each of those is a unit of meaning in a language of computer activity,
  1692. but it's not the work under copyright law.
  1693. </p>
  1694. <p>
  1695. Between the the quantum: work, and the quantum: module, library, file,
  1696. function, object, procedure, there is not a one-to-one mapping, and
  1697. the consequence is that when we attempt to exert our intention in
  1698. copyright law, we only speak in terms of the work. We must use the
  1699. vocabulary of copyright. Since that doesn't map neatly to the
  1700. vocabulary of computer programming, no matter what that vocabulary
  1701. happens to be, given the dominant paradigm of program construction,
  1702. there is guaranteed to be a zone of uncertainty.
  1703. </p>
  1704. <p class="indent">
  1705. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: I disagree.
  1706. I wouldn't say that you're wrong. What you're saying is right, but
  1707. there's something even deeper to be said, which is that what you're
  1708. saying is not a problem. It sounds like you're describing a problem,
  1709. but in fact, criteria... because of the fact that in a program you can
  1710. express the same thing in many different ways, and you can rewrite it
  1711. to use many different ways to communicate, any kind of criteria drawn
  1712. up in terms of the technical boundaries that exist in programs would
  1713. be a bad criterion because it would be too easy to play games with it.
  1714. </p>
  1715. <p class="indent">
  1716. If there were a criterion about files, well, it's easy to move
  1717. something from one file to another. If the criteria were about
  1718. subroutines, it's easy to split up a subroutine. You see what I mean?
  1719. Any criteria formulated in terms of the technical entities of
  1720. programming would be too easy to game around.
  1721. </p>
  1722. <p>
  1723. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Eben Moglen</span>: As when, for
  1724. example, people tried to draw a line between static linking and
  1725. dynamic linking under GPL version two, and we had to keep telling
  1726. people that whatever the boundary of the work is under copyright law,
  1727. it doesn't depend upon whether resolution occurs at link time or run
  1728. time. Right? Those kinds of technical decisions, whatever they are,
  1729. don't map neatly into the language of copyright, which is the language
  1730. of the licence.
  1731. </p>
  1732. <p class="indent">
  1733. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Richard Stallman</span>: Nor into the
  1734. intentions of the GPL. Because, the point is, if we drew the line in
  1735. the kind of clear way that programmers want, in terms of technical
  1736. points, then it would be easy for somebody to evade the intention of
  1737. the GPL just by taking that line as the instructions on how to do it.
  1738. </p>
  1739. <p class="indent">
  1740. So, by making it so clear, in a mechanical sense, we would be
  1741. undermining the goal.
  1742. </p>
  1743. <p>
  1744. [1:45:40]
  1745. </p>
  1746. <p>
  1747. [End of talk and Q&amp;A as the session breaks for tea; applause]
  1748. </p>
  1749. <h2 id="further-information">Further information</h2>
  1750. <ul>
  1751. <li>For general information, links, and a schedule, see
  1752. our <a href="gplv3.html">GPLv3 project</a> page</li>
  1753. <li>Many more transcripts can be found at
  1754. the <a href="gplv3.html#transcripts">transcripts section</a> of our
  1755. GPLv3 project page</li>
  1756. <li>You can support FSFE's work, such as our GPLv3 awareness work,
  1757. by joining <a href="">the Fellowship of
  1758. FSFE</a>, and by encouraging others to do so</li>
  1759. <li>You can also support us by <a href="/help/donate">making a
  1760. donation</a>, and by encouraging others to to so</li>
  1761. <li>An Indian newspaper published an interview which Richard
  1762. Stallman gave while in
  1763. Bangalore: <a
  1764. href="">Free
  1765. software: taking on dominant market forces</a></li>
  1766. </ul>
  1767. </body>
  1768. </html>