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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] OT: Slavery???

From: Tom Lord
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] OT: Slavery???
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 15:23:12 -0800 (PST)

    > From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden>

    > I would like to know just what justifies the outrage that rms and
    > others such as Tom feel.  What justifies "outrage" at the offer of a
    > private contract that one is not party to, and one is free to accept
    > or refuse as he chooses, and one is free to advocate publically that
    > others not accept, either?  

Simply put, you have an oversimplified, really "overidealized", view
of the roles of contracts in society.

That an exchange of rights by contract is, under the law, permissable
does not automatically excuse it (or the offer for it) from the realm
of things which are morally outrageous.

In this case, the offer is morally outrageous first because it asks
those who would accept the offer to give up certain software freedoms,
and second because it is made by an entity that has aquired sufficient
power in the free software community to frame that offer as a faustian
deal: give up these essential freedoms if you want to achieve these
other goals of yours.  Those of us who believe in software freedom
reject the idea that such an offer is ever a bargain or good deal --
and thus are led to the conclusion that BM is abusing its power to
make such an offer.  We are led to the conclusion that BM is seeking
to exploit the free software community for its own gain and at the
cost of the community's progress -- a morally outrageous act.


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