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Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Ubuntu !free

From: Dave Crossland
Subject: Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Ubuntu !free
Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 11:23:23 +0100

2008/5/22 MJ Ray <address@hidden>:
> the absurdity of trying to force cooperation

AIUI, the GPL forces cooperation, but its element of force seems
effective at either forcing more software to be free, or at forcing
people to buy proprietary licenses.

Hmm, thinking it over, I suppose that's because GPL forces choosing to
co-operate, or choosing not to, rather than co-operating in itself.

> "Dave Crossland" <address@hidden> wrote:
>> I can't speak for Richard, but I understood him to mean that software
>> which is used "invisibly" within a company - as in, that which
>> interacts with customers without requiring them to submit bitstreams,
>> like a cash machine - is not an issue for the customers, but for the
>> bank. The bank is the user of the software running its ATMs, so the
>> software ought to be free software _for the bank_ - if customers can't
>> inspect the source code of their ATMs, this is okay, because they are
>> not the users of the software. If the bank requires its customers to
>> use proprietary software on their computers, that's a totally
>> different situation, and one I imagine Richard would criticise
>> strongly.
> Two aspects to this: first of all, ATMs and other public faces of the
> bank are not invisible.  They are shown to customers and influence
> customers either as advertising or by requiring certain connections
> from customers (in the case of internet banking services, for example).

I understand that they are very publically visible, which is why I
wrote invisible in quote marks and defined my unusual meaning in
parentheses as "that which interacts with customers without requiring
them to submit bitstreams."

> Secondly, I believe that banking service providers should be owned by
> their customers, but that's a wider issue.

I agree on both counts :-)


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