Full post to follow, this letter was provided for reference.
Hypocrisy I say. I read and re-read the recent article regarding the GPL v3 fears of most users (http://gplv3.fsf.org/rms-why.html). I agree with much of what was said, specifically regarding the ability for people to continue to release their products (after all, that's what they are) under v2. However I take specific exception to the following phrase, taken from para 16:
"The only way to make software development safe is to abolish software patents, and we aim to achieve this some day."
This comment is upsetting. The GPL enables people to do what they want with the software they develop. It's designed to not inhibit the creativity of developers and this statement is contradictory to the spirit of the license. If a developer wishes to patent his work the GPL v2 allows him to do so and, as far as I know, so does v3. But the statement seems to me to state that authors of software should not be able to patent their works, not just the corporations but small-time coders as well.
It is my opinion that Mr. Stallman should not let his beliefs about software affect the ability of coders to do with their software what they want. Microsoft doesn't force everyone to patent what they release so why should the GPL completely outlaw that possibility? This is not conducive to a good relationship between those who want to make money from their software and those that want to allow users to benefit from their programs without charge.
In short, Mr. Stallman, please do not attempt to speak for everyone with statements that appear to not be heavily considered before being stated.
This letter will also be posted on my blog along with a link to Mr. Stallman's original work and the creative license will be posted with it, as requested. My blog can be found at http://dffaq.blogspot.com .
Chuck "Gryyphyn" Crosthwait
Quoted section in paragraph 2 is protected under the following license:
Copyright 2007 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide without royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.
Gryyphyn, back soon.