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Re: [DotGNU]"Open source" is not what we do here

From: Matthew C. Tedder
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]"Open source" is not what we do here
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 23:22:42 -0800

>       However, given
>     Linus' current statements, someone would be hard pressed to claim that
>     is a member of the Free Software community or of the Free Software
>     movement.

Yes... But I like Linus.  He believes in Free Software
but just doesn't judge the beliefs of others.

I remember an RMS quote at a University speech about a
year or two ago using the term, "asshole" to describe
those who denied users the right to modify a printer
driver to resolve their printing problems.

I fully agree that it was "unethical", but I wonder what is
exactly intended when one calls it, "immoral".  Do people
have the right to be "assholes"?  Why don't they?
Perhaps you would say that in some circomstances
but in this case, they had sold the Printer to their
customers for money.  The customers, therefore, should
have every right to use it for whatever they so choose.

But the Printer was "sold" and the driver was "licensed"
and therefore not legally owned by the customer.  In my
opinion, this would suggest that we need a new law
on the books saying that when a product is sold,
any software that is required to make it work should also
be sold, not licensed.  Otherwise the Printer was also
effectively licensed and therefore still owned by the seller.

As per copying rights and source code, isn't a person
allowed to modify the Printer hardware as needed or
desired?  For technical reasons, one can't modify the
driver also without copying.  In terms of source code,
you can always disassemble and edit it in Assembly.
So I think I still see that part as being unethical, rather
than immoral.  Or, perhaps, it is equal to the Printer's
technical manual that describes its inner workings and
parts?  How to repair, etc?  Such manuals for hardware
are becoming rare in the technology industry today.


> The community of people who use GNU/Linux and other free software was
> built by the efforts of the Free Software Movement, so we're entitled
> to call it the free software community.  Like any community, ours
> includes people who disagree on political questions.  It includes
> people who support the Free Software Movement, people who support the
> Open Source Movement, and others with different views.
> Linus is clearly not a supporter of the Free Software Movement, but he
> is part of the free software community.
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