[wp-hackers] WordPress and GPLv3

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Thu Dec 27 15:26:54 GMT 2007

> On 12/26/07, Roy Schestowitz <r at schestowitz.com> wrote:
>> How would you feel if a company began selling WordPress appliances that
>> use unique hardware (e.g. special type of clusters) and are being
>> developed by a group of 500 full-time developers (>Automattic+developer
>> community)?
> I would be absolutely thrilled. I think that it would be fantastic,
> and I would encourage them every step of the way.
> You seem to have the opinion that people selling things is bad. It's
> not. People selling things is good. That's what creates the economy.
> That's what lets you and me continue to eat.

I would be interested to hear your opinion on Oracle's Unbreakable Linux.

>> How would you feel if you were left behind because of those
>> that took your code and 'enhanced' it are using uber-hardware with all
>> kinds of disablement technologies? This is all far-fetched and
>> hypothetic, but Oracle comes to mind (Linux and MySQL forks possible).
> What kinds of "disablement technologies"? That makes no sense at all.
> If you mean that you wouldn't be able to load your own software onto
> the box, then I would understand it completely and even expect it.
> This "appliance" is not a general purpose computer. It's an
> "appliance". Do you want to be able to load new programming into your
> refrigerator, or into your oven? The very notion of "appliance"
> implies a lack of general purpose control.

If your refrigerator maker capitalised on the work of volunteer
programmers, then it would be sensible (sometimes even required) that
the maker:

	1. Releases its modification to the code (it can separate its own
software from other layers or modules).

	2. Enables modified code to run or -- more precisely -- does not
actively forbid it from running, a la Tivo.

>> Translation: "I don't like Richard Stallman's definition of freedom. I
>> like something different."
> Yes, that's absolutely correct.

Thank you. So you just dislike the GPL, or its general philosophy. I no
longer worry about your take on this matter.

> Here's the short of it: I don't release my software under GPLv3
> because I WANT people to use my software to create new and innovative
> things. That was the whole point. The software should be free. And it
> is, under the GPLv2. It's less free under the GPLv3, because less
> people are free to use it. How you can claim it to be more free when
> it's impossible to use it in a wider variety of circumstances is
> beyond me. And Stallman's interpretation of "free" contradicts all
> other reasonable interpretations of it, so don't give me that crap.

I apologise if I sounded rude. It's the nature of non-verbal
communication. The interpretation of "free" has never changed. "Free"
sustains itself despite attempts to defeat it in new 'innovative' ways
("innovative" as in "DRM is innovative").

With kind regards,


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