The Free Sofware Foundation issued a clarifying blog publish this week, announcing the group is “overjoyed when other folks use GNU licenses to distribute and license utility.”
Nonetheless “we condemn the use of unauthorized, confusing derivatives of the licenses.”
Sadly, some authors take in confusing practices by drafting licenses the use of existing terms and stipulations of GNU free utility licenses, without the plot of granting all four freedoms to customers. Let’s assume, we have lengthy seen makes an try so as to add restrictions to the license textual yelp itself, placed in the LICENSE file, or incorporated in other places in the program’s liberate. An example is the so-called “Commons Clause,” which, when utilized to a free utility license, affirms that the program is coated by the license. Nonetheless, on the same time, is contradicting in its that formula by declaring that selling copies of the program or imposing a commercial carrier with the program is prohibited.
The rapid consequence of the apply of inserting a restriction right into a GNU license in this diagram is the confusion it causes for the neighborhood. Users aloof understand the title of the long-established license, with its preamble and terms and stipulations intact, transmitting a solid message that the reason of the license is to permit customers — grant customers — their necessary utility freedoms. This message is clear from the license’s textual yelp, and is bolstered from the renown accumulated by the FSF and GNU emblems, and their decades of free utility advocacy. At the same time, these same customers understand a contradictory observation of the “Commons Clause,” which is clearly opposite to the sprit of the free utility motion and the Free Tool Definition…
[T]o perform it even clearer that added restrictions are incompatible with our license, we gave customers the staunch to delete such added restrictions [in 2007] and protect the program’s freedom. Nonetheless we on the FSF have yet another honest utility in opposition to makes an try to liberate positive aspects below GNU Current Public Licenses which have been wrongly altered to turned into nonfree licenses. The FSF holds copyrights and customary law emblems to the GNU family of Current Public Licenses. Moreover, the FSF holds registered emblems for “FSF,” “Free Tool Foundation,” and “GNU.” […] We can’t control the drafting by others of proprietary utility licenses, nevertheless we can and cease forbid doing this in a formula that misleadingly friends those licenses with GNU or GNU licenses… [W]e are entitled to legally attach in drive our copyright and trademark for FSF licenses which have been altered by added restrictions to a verbatim GNU license…
Licenses that confuse customers referring to the freedoms they grant are negative to the free utility motion because they threaten to dilute the cost and energy of those licenses. When GNU licenses are misused thru such confusing practices, it harms the renown accumulated by the GNU venture and the FSF over decades of free utility advocacy. It is our duty to all pc customers to cease these practices, and, if mandatory, we can use our honest rights to this stay.
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