[Mailman-Users] query re "message has implicit destination"(devils advocate!)

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Fri Sep 1 08:39:21 CEST 2006

At 2:32 PM +0900 2006-09-01, <stephen at xemacs.org> wrote:

>  Excuse me?  The GPL *explicitly* approves and authorizes (not to
>  mention implicitly encourages) modification and redistribution without
>  conditions other than providing source.  That's exactly what "license"
>  means.

Right, and they haven't provided the source.

>  Has anybody at Mailman asked CPanel, Plesk, or Apple for source and
>  been refused?  Or one of their customers, and been refused because
>  they were under NDA?  If we haven't asked, how can we bitch?

I don't know about CPanel or Plesk, but I'd be willing to bet that 
they would not be willing to provide the source code to their changes 
to anyone, although a knowledgeable person could extract the source 
code differences by comparing what is shipped by the commercial 
vendor against our code, although it might take some work to figure 
out which version of our code they should be comparing against.

I'm pretty sure that I know what the answer would be from Apple.  You 
see, the primary problem is that the Server Group is totally and 
completely unresponsive to their own high-paying Platinum-account 
customers (i.e., major Universities and businesses with thousands or 
tens of thousands of machines), and likewise completely unresponsive 
even to internal people at Apple who are working in other groups.

You'd have to ask Barry as to whether or not he has actually 
contacted these groups to ask them to contribute their code changes 
back to the community, or if anyone has gone to the FSF lawyers to 
have them send a letter requesting that the company in question honor 
their obligations under the GPL.

I just don't have the answers to the questions you're asking me.

Moreover, I don't think that it's reasonable for you to respond to me 
in this manner.  What have I ever done to you?  When have I ever said 
anything that would lead you to believe that I would have the kinds 
of answers you require to these extremely loaded questions you're 

If you want to get into a diatribe about licensing, please be aware 
that I'm a BSD guy, and I've found myself surrounded by a bunch of 
GPL types, so license-wise I've tended to say pretty quiet.

But if you want to argue the finer points of the GPL with someone, my 
response is going to be that none of this would be a problem if 
they'd just use a BSD-like license instead and then be done with it.

As such, I'm not going to be your foil for your GPL holy war, and if 
you want that then you would be better off looking elsewhere.

Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
     Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

  Founding Individual Sponsor of LOPSA.  See <http://www.lopsa.org/>.

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