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

From: Barry Fitzgerald
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]"Open source" is not what we do here
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 07:39:46 -0500

"Matthew C. Tedder" wrote:
> >       However, given
> >     Linus' current statements, someone would be hard pressed to claim that
> he
> >     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.

Actually, that's not true at all.  In his very public response to the
recent bitkeeper issues, he called people who have ideological beliefs
stupid and said that if you don't choose software based on what's
technically the best, then you're just thinking with your gonads. 
That's a direct paraphrase from Linus.  You'd better believe that he
judges people.  Does he believe in Free Software?  I don't know - I
can't speak to that.  But he certainly judges others for their beliefs.

(See kerneltraffic for references - it's not up right now so I can't
give a reference.) 

> 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?

One may have a right to be an asshole, but not have a right to do
certain things that make them assholes.

> 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.

Yep - I agree completely here.


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