1998-10-05 - Re: propose: `cypherpunks license’ (Re: Wanted: Twofish source code)

Header Data

From: “Perry E. Metzger” <perry@piermont.com>
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Message Hash: 717ad447c9c2367b0e9f312d27d625becbc101c1b78515ba48f516b9e266c325
Message ID: <199810051539.LAA22048@jekyll.piermont.com>
Reply To: <199810051105.HAA13894@germs.dyn.ml.org>
UTC Datetime: 1998-10-05 02:38:51 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 10:38:51 +0800

Raw message

From: "Perry E. Metzger" <perry@piermont.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 10:38:51 +0800
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Subject: Re: propose: `cypherpunks license' (Re: Wanted: Twofish source code)
In-Reply-To: <199810051105.HAA13894@germs.dyn.ml.org>
Message-ID: <199810051539.LAA22048@jekyll.piermont.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

My take on the licensing flame war:

I live in both Richard Stallman's world (the Open Source community)
and in the Cypherpunk crypto community.

The two have different goals. RMS is mistaken about appropriate
licensing for crypto code written by cypherpunks because he thinks the
goals are the same, when they are not.

The Open Source community seeks maximum spread of free software.
The Cypherpunk community seeks maximum spread of the use of non-GAKed

Some members of the Cypherpunk community are happy to have source
hoarders and such profit in any and all ways from the use of their
code *IF* it will spread the use of cryptography in the world. They
are willing to let anyone -- Microsoft, RMS, or anyone else -- use
their work, even in ways that do not further the objectives of the
Open Source community, provided it means more non-GAKed cryptography
is in use by more people.

The Open Source community obviously has different goals. It is seeking 
free software, not the wide spread of cryptography.

RMS is mistaking his goals for those of the cypherpunk
community. Their goals are not diametrically opposed, but they are not 
identical either, and so the sorts of licenses they may want to use
for the software they create are not necessarily the same.

EAY noted that he stopped distributing under GPL because *he*, the
author, wanted more people to be stealing his code, thus spreading
cryptography further. It wasn't a question of random people bitching
that the GPL didn't let them write proprietary software -- it was THE
AUTHOR OF THE CODE who wanted people to be able to write proprietary
software, because he felt that the goal of spreading crypto was more
important to him than the software freedom issue.

I am in no way saying RMS should stop using the GPL, or attempting to
say what sort of license is better for a particular author, but it
should be recognised that there are people who are happy having their
crypto routines stolen and incorporated into proprietary software --
who are, in fact, elated when this happens, because it means more
people will be using cryptographic software -- and that they might not
find the GPL to be ideal for their goal.