Military usage of FOSS

Sergey, while the thought of software I'm writing being potentially used in military applications to kill others is not pleasant, before you propose a license change to ban military use, have you considered how much they've given back to open source software? Will you be giving up all software that was funded by various national Defense Departments? Start by dropping TCP/IP from your life and let us know how it goes from there.

Comments:

Indeed, such a modification on the restriction of use flies in the face of the freedoms guaranteed in the GPL (which is the license he was discussing). Have a look at what Linus responded with when a few folks wanted to impose usage restrictions on the kernel (specifically forcing the failure to run/load of non-gpl modules). This is a similar restriction proposal.

Some quotes from the mail:

The silly thing is, the people who tend to push most for this are the exact SAME people who say that the RIAA etc should not be able to tell people what to do with the music copyrights that they own, and that the DMCA is bad because it puts technical limits over the rights expressly granted by copyright law.

Doesn't anybody else see that as being hypocritical?

...

There's a big difference between "copy" and "use". It's exatcly the same issue whether it's music or code. You can't re-distribute other peoples music (becuase it's _their_ copyright), but they shouldn't put limits on how you personally _use_ it (because it's _your_ life).

Alan.

Posted by Alan Hargreaves on December 21, 2006 at 06:21 AM PST #

Also see the GNU project's essay about the HESSLA, for another description of why Free Software licenses should not have use restrictions, even ones that sound vaguely reasonable on the surface.

Posted by Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 06:58 AM PST #

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