[Freegis-list] open source SEG-Y viewer wanted
Fri, 26 Jan 2001 18:00:02 +0100
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certainly your SU software shares the spirit of Free Software.
And I am glad that you opened up your software widely by this extend
and invite everybody to share the code.
As Mr. Custer tried to explain to you there is quite a big community
sharing the same critera for software being free. Your software
simply does not match the criteria due to the fact that you pose
restrictions on the repackaging of SU. Of course you have your
reasons for doing so and I am not critising your actions.
On the other hand you cannot deny, that your use of the word
"free software" is different.
Mr. Custer also mentioned a long debate about the criteria on
what to call free software.=20
I cannot force you to change your opinion on what constitutes free
software, but I can try to give you some arguments on why I believe
that it might help the SU project and its community if the
source would come without repackaging restrictions.
The reason for allowing redistribution for money in Free Software
criteria is that most repackagers or distributors do a good job.=20
If the license of the Free Software has a strong protection of freedom=20
(like the GPL), the vendor cannot disclose the freedom of the software=20
from the customer.
So the customer is informed about his rights on the software.
Except for extrem cases were the customer is doing absolutly no checking
of the software and alternatives, he is basically paying the value
added by the distributor. Otherwise there is no reason to buy it
from this one distributor. This fosters a competition between
distributors to add value to Free Software which is good.
A lot of them try to add printed documentation, select stable
versions or build them for easier installation.
And other distributors and the authors usually benefit from this.
A second reason for a redistribution for all purposes without a
permission is the guarrantied continuation of the free software
development process. If I am on the other part of the world with no
internet access and the author of the software is for what reason
ever not reachable, this is not blocking me from fixing bugs and
redistributing this for money. It happened quite a few times that
copyright holders were not reachable and the software redistribution
These are two advantages that the SU community might want.
Right now this restriction prevent SU from coming with Debian
GNU/Linux distribution or RedHat distributions. Both groups have a
high profile in adding towards the products they are distributing.
SU might get even more known.
(Disclosure: My company also does repackaging of Free Software,
like the FreeGIS CD (which we sell for 25Euro).=20
Right now we cannot distribute SU on it, because we want other
distributors to be able to use our additions without asking.)
On Thu, Jan 25, 2001 at 02:15:04PM -0700, John Stockwell wrote:
> Below my signature is the listing of the Seismic Unix LEGAL_STATEMENT so
> that people can read it in its entirety.
> I would point out to anyone who is interested, that you may download=20
> the Seismic Unix package from: http://www.cwp.mines.edu/cwpcodes
> Inspite of Mr. Wagner's careless comments, this code is free software:
> as per the conditions of the LEGAL_STATMENT which follows my signature.
> >While there is no legal definition, there has been a large debate in the
> >field and the term "Free" has come to have a fairly well defined
> >meaning. (NB in this context the word is usually, though not always,
> >capitalized.) The term "Free", as opposed to other terms like "open
> >source", is intented to preserve at least the following freedoms:
> >-access to the source for personal modification
> >-ability to re-distribute the product *to anyone" possibly with the
> >restrictuion that none of these rights can be taken away from anyone.
> >-ability to re-distribute the modified work.
> Yes. Our license guarantees those rights. Indeed, the only rights that
> are denied are those of companies that are in the free software repackagi=
> business, but who are too lazy to write a letter asking for permission
> to repackage and distribute the codes as is!
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