what's the point of this discussion?

Story: Can the Terms of the GPL Prevent GNU/Linux being used for War?Total Replies: 7
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Jul 20, 2012
12:10 AM EDT
criminals ignore the law, and governments can change the law.

a license that prevents use in war is only sending a moral signal but i doubt would change anything.

at best it will cause them to build their own solutions and not share the code with us. it won't help to reduce war. (the only thing that can help reduce war is education and building a global community)

greetings, eMBee.

Jul 20, 2012
1:20 AM EDT
"As long as there is man there will be war." -- Albert Einstein

From the Open Source Definition, as quoted in the article:

"6 No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research."

Einstein was a pretty smart guy and, sadly, I think he got it right. So long as there are people or nations willing to do harm to others there exists a need for defense and a military. There is nothing in the GPL that prevents military use and the GPL cannot be modified by individuals to prevent military use.

Jul 20, 2012
2:53 AM EDT
A point might be that framing a discussion of the GPL in this way, one can educate people about the GPL.

Jul 20, 2012
3:14 AM EDT
If it makes a difference to anyone, US, Britain and their allies now use an open source solution to run their communications, helmet video and body armor elements. I know it's not popular to talk about but such improvements in the combat soldier's ability to survive can be directly attributed to these applications. No I don't like to see FOSS militarized but having a son and a son in law who both currently depend on these things for their survival, I can't say I'm sorry about it.

Jul 20, 2012
8:52 AM EDT
"Freedom 0, the freedom to use the program for any purpose"

Freedom also means freedom to do bad things, if one is determined to do bad things.

War appears to be another point on which we agree, Caitlyn, although I'm certain we could find a way to disagree loudly about colors and textures if we tried hard enough. :^(


Jul 20, 2012
9:24 AM EDT
I have to echo Ken on this,... I'm a student of Taoist philosophy (not Taoist religion, and yes, there's a pretty big difference) . Lao Tse said something to the effect that "the country" is with the Tao ("the Way") when horses are been bred outside the city for farming, but not when they're being bred outside the city for war... If Linux is the horse, for our purposes, it's better that it's a horse in peace-time than a war horse.

But, you can't blame the horse for people putting armor on it. And, at a certain point, one must admit to themselves that there will always be war. Some war is necessary, after all, ... to throw off oppression or to stop/prevent genocide, ... So, in those cases it's better to have Linux being saddled up as a war horse than to rely on something less reliable or secure.

Jul 20, 2012
10:20 AM EDT
> ...criminals ignore the law, and governments can change the law.

Anymore, it looks like governments just ignore the law too. It's easier than going to the trouble of changing it.

But yes, governments will simply take the program if they deem it necessary.

And yes, the GPL explicitly allows usage for any purpose. There's no way to disallow military usage.

Jul 20, 2012
1:14 PM EDT
And how would you do it anyway? How would you frame that clause?

Do you include the police? Do you permit it's use in the military as long as it is only the medical corps for saving lives?

I suspect that defining your intention is a lot more difficult than it would, at first, apparent.

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter etc etc...

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