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Re: Re: simple encryption for perl files

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Oct 14, 2003 at 12:55 UTC ( #299088=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: simple encryption for perl files
in thread simple encryption for perl files

Please don't tell people to not use any CPAN modules in a plan like this. The authors of CPAN modules each get to choose their own license, and people choose to contribute open source code under different terms for different motivations. Even if you are outraged at a given possible use, you don't get to retrofit your opinion onto other peoples' code. It is their work.

Instead tell them that they must (both morally and legally) respect the CPAN authors' right to choose their own license, and be sure that if any CPAN code is included, that it is included in a way that meets the license on that code.

For instance Larry Wall clearly doesn't mind if people embed Perl into proprietary programs. The Artistic License, which he wrote, goes out of its way to make it extremely explicit that this is OK so long as you aren't trying in any way, shape, or form to create any confusion about what Perl is. This is not an accidental oversight on his part, and you have no right to be outraged at people taking him up on his offer.

While I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Larry Wall, I would summarize my impression of his opinion as, The best way to help others to learn to be nice is to be nice to them first, and besides, it's nice to be helpful.

Incidentally this point underscores why the open source and free software movements really are different. The free software folks (Stallman, etc) believe that non-free software is an injustice. Therefore it is never OK. By contrast open source arguments say that it makes sense for lots of reasons to make software free, but don't close the door to saying that it is OK to make other software proprietary, and don't phrase anything in moralistic terms. Attempting to project the values of one onto the proponents of the other will almost always mislead you about what that person is saying or cares about.


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