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Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed


From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 11:29:46 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss amicus_curious <address@hidden> wrote:

> "Alan Mackenzie" <address@hidden> wrote in message 
> news:address@hidden
>> In gnu.misc.discuss amicus_curious <address@hidden> wrote:

>>> "David Kastrup" <address@hidden> wrote in message
>>> news:address@hidden
>>>> "amicus_curious" <address@hidden> writes:

>>>>> "David Kastrup" <address@hidden> wrote in message
>>>>> news:address@hidden


>>>>>> Now I would not put it past you to try to set up a business centered
>>>>>> around this purportive loophole.  But nobody in his right mind would
>>>>>> care to do important business with you anyway.  You come across as
>>>>>> far too willing to take unnecessary risks.  Your compulsive desire to
>>>>>> prove yourself clever and the rest of the world stupid is simply too
>>>>>> dangerous in a business partner.

>>>>> Very few have ever succeeded in any business centered around open
>>>>> source software.

>>>> More than those in any business centered against open source software.
>>>> Most of the openings against open source software appear to be in Usenet
>>>> trolling.  The former is a billion dollar market.  The latter does not
>>>> appear to feed more than a handful of people.  And they occupy
>>>> identities like busy Potemkin villagers.

>>> What use do you anticipate for pulling something that stupid out of thin
>>> air?  You folk seem to think that a mere sneer is an adequate response to
>>> anything that you cannot answer otherwise.  That is why you are still in
>>> last place.

>> Well, what a comparison!  I wonder who would come top in a "get a life"
>> poll - There're people like David, who write and maintain useful free
>> software.

> Is that so?  What software ....

Emacs.  Possibly other bits I don't know about.

> .... and why do you think it useful?

It's self evident.  Note the aggressive way you put the second part of
that question; it seems you were so uninterested in finding out what David
actually does, that you prematurely fired off your disparagement.

> I would rather that he was able to make intelligent comments in regard
> to the topic thread, of course, but I am always curious.

<sigh>  That's the sort of stuff that makes a forum like this unbearable -
Constant denigration.  Go and have a read of Paul Graham's article on
disagreeing at <http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html>, where he
classifies types of disagreement on a quality scale.  Your last paragraph
is equivalent to "he is an idiot" and falls into Graham's category "DH0 -
name calling".

> He made the rather audacious and totally unsupported statement that the
> "GPL software market is worth billions by now" and he ducks and runs
> from the challenge that his notion is simply false.

Oh <insert your favourite deity here> help us all!  This continual narky,
itsy bitsy, mean spirited attacking on the exact meaning of words we can
well do without.  Everyone knows what he meant, and everybody knows it's
true.  If he'd said the world was round, you'd find some way of attacking
that.


>>Then there're people like you, who spend their time and energy
>> beavering away through legal reports searching for something which can be
>> twisted to attack the GPL, or just posting general disparagement about
>> free software.

> I think that you yourself are over sensitive as well.  I do not
> "attack" the GPL at all, nor am I disparaging free software.

Hah!  I think you have, and you do.  I can't recall you posting a single
positive thing about the GPL or free software.  Maybe my memory's a bit
dim.  Perhaps you could cite one of your recent posts where you've been
positive about any of these topics.  

> I have merely pointed out, perhaps gleefully, .....

No, you haven't "pointed out".  Authorities "point out", whereas the
unskilled, ignorant, or unknown merely express opinions.  Those opinions
vary from useful to mistaken to plain crass.

> .... that its tortured constructions have now resulted in a 
> sort of NOP status if/when the case under discussion here becomes widely 
> referenced.

"tortured constructions" - more denigration.  I thought you just wrote
above that you don't attack the GPL?  Would you hold that your continual
disparagement of it isn't an attack?

> The GPL is what the GPL is and nothing that I do can directly affect
> that.

For which I, for one, am grateful.

> I have taken pains to show .....

No, you don't "show", you merely express your opinion, because you have
no credibility to speak authoritatively on these topics.

> ..... where free software has a value and would have an even greater
> value if it were ever free of the GPL as asserted in the harassing
> tactics of the SFLC and FSF.

Is that right?  It's just as likely that you, comfortably shielded by
an anonymous posting account, are trying to subvert and undermine free
software.  In fact, more likely.  Somebody genuinely wishing to foster
free software would have little need to hide away.  Would you care to
tell us all what your interest in free software actually is?

> I personally think that the GPL is a diversion of focus on what really
> might help the world in general and, as such, should be done away with
> along with the cultism evoked by Stallman which similarly diverts
> attention from real issues.

OK, that's fair enough.  You and Stallman would likely disagree on what
help the world needs and what the real issues are.  You're perfectly free
to create your own software license or set up a project on your own
lines, as many other people have done, or to join such a project.  You
were also free to make suggestions about GPL3, and maybe you did.

>> Tell me, curious friend, do you actually do anything positive and
>> constructive in your free time?  Something which makes the world a
>> better place?

> What if I did?  Or what if I did not?  Does that affect the intrinsic
> truth of the issues raised here?

Yes, it does.  There's a type of person, thankfully rare, who goes around
disparaging and denigrating other people's achievements (and failures),
and rarely has anything nice to say about anybody or anything.  Such a
person doesn't actually do anything himself which could lead to him being
criticised - he doesn't serve as an official for his local social club,
doesn't help look after his neighbours' children, doesn't paint pictures,
doesn't write free software, doesn't maintain a lovely garden which might
lift the spirits of passers-by, doesn't play bowls in his local team -
he's basically a social non-entity.  Because such people are negative
and nasty about pretty much everything, their views are not held in much
regard.

On this mailing list, you give the impression of being such a person.
So, let me ask you again - do you actually do anything in your free time
to make the world a better place?

> Would you be happier with the idea if it were presented by Stallman
> himself?

Yes.  Or Martin Luther, or Mahatma Ghandi, or Enoch Powell, or Rowan
Williams (the Archbishop of Canterbury).  Or the guys I work with, or
even Bill Gates, for that matter.  People of substance who have done
things, who have failed and achieved, people of courage who are not
scared to stand up for what they believe in.

> Other credentialed open source leaders seem to have taken a dim view of
> the FSF and the GPL shenanigans, .....

Yet more nasty disparagement.  Perhaps that would be more accurately
expressed as open source leaders disagree somewhat with the aims of the
FSF, and run their own projects on somewhat different lines.  Funny,
really, how many of them license their software under the GPL, though,
and how, in practice, they all work together and use each others'
software.

> ... too, for example Linus himself or Eric Raymond.

Linus Torvads licenses Linux under GPL2, and created Linux to mesh with
GNU software.  Eric Raymond still contributes to GNU software.  And all
these people treat each other with respect, and when they disagree, they
express that disagreement in a high quality and respectful manner.

-- 
Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).



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