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what RMS says.... (was Re: [DotGNU]Open Content Network: Free Software P

From: S11001001
Subject: what RMS says.... (was Re: [DotGNU]Open Content Network: Free Software P2P)
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 23:02:31 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.0.0+) Gecko/20020525

Gopal V wrote:
Not exactly ... because taking a song and adding a feature or fixing
a bug sounds silly for Music... And what would you call "source" for some Music ..... You might compare the music notes on a paper to Software source... Mp3s are not !.... So how can they be "free" in the analogy to "software freedom" ?

And to stress that point .... we never said anything about "Music
being Free"...

I don't presume to speak for RMS, but here are two good quotes from FAIF <>:

"Before Napster, I thought it might be OK for people to privately redistribute works of entertainment," Stallman says. "The number of people who find Napster useful, however, tells me that the right to redistribute copies not only on a neighbor-to-neighbor basis, but to the public at large, is essential and therefore may not be taken away."

"It's a mistake to transfer answers from one thing to another," says Stallman, contrasting songs with software programs. "The right approach is to look at each type of work and see what conclusion you get."

When it comes to copyrighted works, Stallman says he divides the world into three categories. The first category involves "functional" works-e.g., software programs, dictionaries, and textbooks. The second category involves works that might best be described as "testimonial"-e.g., scientific papers and historical documents. Such works serve a purpose that would be undermined if subsequent readers or authors were free to modify the work at will. The final category involves works of personal expression-e.g., diaries, journals, and autobiographies. To modify such documents would be to alter a person's recollections or point of view-action Stallman considers ethically unjustifiable.

Of the three categories, the first should give users the unlimited right to make modified versions, while the second and third should regulate that right according to the will of the original author. Regardless of category, however, the freedom to copy and redistribute noncommercially should remain unabridged at all times, Stallman insists. If that means giving Internet users the right to generate a hundred copies of an article, image, song, or book and then email the copies to a hundred strangers, so be it. "It's clear that private occasional redistribution must be permitted, because only a police state can stop that," Stallman says. "It's antisocial to come between people and their friends. Napster has convinced me that we also need to permit, must permit, even noncommercial redistribution to the public for the fun of it. Because so many people want to do that and find it so useful."

The really clear thing is, and I definitely agree with this: "the freedom to copy and redistribute noncommercially should remain unabridged at all times"

<muse>I think that last `even' is a semantic error, but I'll let it go this time ;)</muse>

So what will you do ?.... Write a photoshop clone ? ... You can't compare
it to music in any way .... (cloning music .... LOL !)

Yeah, um, last time I checked, cloning music was a perfectly legal and common industry practice ;)

Stephen Compall
DotGNU `Contributor' --

Microsoft is the natural development of a software industry based on
dividing users and taking away their freedom. When criticizing
Microsoft, we must not exonerate the other companies that also make
proprietary software. At the FSF, we don't run any proprietary
software--not from Microsoft or anyone else.
        -- RMS, "Is Microsoft the Great Satan?"

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