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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] fork with better wording, perha

From: hellekin
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] fork with better wording, perhaps ?
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2014 21:52:10 -0300
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On 08/20/2014 06:01 AM, Riley Baird wrote:
> Negative freedom, if not restricted in parts, defeats itself quickly
*** Negative freedom defeats itself because it works in an abstract
world that is infinite.  Murder is not a freedom, it's a crime.  Freedom
amplifies possibilities, and does not restrict them.  All your
argumentation about "negative freedom" is nonsensical given the previous
sentence.  All of it.

> So why should I be able to stop you from publishing the book I wrote?
**** Copyright was not created to prevent anyone from publishing the
work of other people, but to give a chance to the author to establish a
trade out of a work that is not a commodity.  Turning creative work into
a commodity is the problem that Copyright was supposed to solve by
giving a head start to the author, an exclusivity suitable for them to
receive a fair payment for their prior work, that would allow them to
produce more.  Now, the issue with Copyright arose when publishers
managed to subvert the intention of the law and took over its meaning
for their own profit.  This is how you could have creators dying in
poverty while their producers made millions out of their work.  Copyleft
subverts the subversion by preventing it.  It does not allow the creator
to make a head start like the original Copyright law, but it doesn't
matter, because the market has changed: reaching an audience is much
easier, and virtually gratis, so the audience is larger, and creators
can be rewarded fairly by the mass.  That also means competition is
harsher, so the solution is not optimal.  But at least it stops
publishers from pirating the creators.

> But when we consider reality, we are in a society where the institution
> of copyright exists. If we put our software into the public domain, then
> others can take them and then deprive others of their freedom. So we
> need a copyleft that gets us closer to this ideal of no copyright.
*** Fair enough.

> A license which guaranteed everyone the right to give away, sell and
> modify a work provided that any derivative software remained under the
> same license would do a much better job than the permissive licenses do
> at guaranteeing freedom, whilst not requiring the redistributor to give
> away the source.
*** Actually, the GNU Affero General Public License v3+, but I may be
wrong, does not require the redistributor to give the source, but simply
to make it accessible: so if the source is publicly available somewhere,
linking to it would be enough.  Isn't that the case?

> If people are granted the right to give away copies for
> free, then it becomes difficult for an industry to form around this
> sourceless software
*** Hmmm, I guess I misread you.  And in that case, you're wrong on two
accounts: first, there are industries formed around distributing
"sourceless" software without restriction.  It's called freeware, and
the Opera browser is a good example of that.  The second point is that
you missed the requirement to exercise freedom #1: in order to be able
to study how the software works, one must have access to the source code.

> I do not believe that property is necessarily a part of freedom.
*** I agree.

> Objectivity does not suppose an objective subject - in fact, it does not
> suppose a subject at all. If there were no conscious beings, an
> objective reality could still exist.
*** That's debatable, but humans have been doing it since they have the
capacity to do so, and still didn't reach any conclusion.

> However, you are correct that all writing is, to some degree,
> propaganda, and the person writing it will still insert bias even if
> they are actively trying not to. That is why I suggested that two people
> with opposite bias write their respective parts of the guide.
*** If the case were "the existence of God", I would agree: some would
say it does not exist, some would say it exists, and nobody could prove
anything.  If the case were "intelligent design", I wouldn't: it's
proven that the Earth is older than 4000 years by orders of magnitude,
that dinosaurs and humans didn't walk the Earth at the same time (unless
you count the few species still alive who did, like giant turtles or
squids), etc.  There are cases where contradiction is good and
warranted, and others where it is not.  War is not peace, freedom is not
slavery, and copying music won't kill the music industry.  What will
kill them is their inability to be honest and fair.  And no, if I'm
producing a guide on choosing a free software license, I don't want to
hear about what proprietary software vendors have to say about it.

> "Man comes from monkey who comes from a tree" would never be said by a
> person arguing for evolution.
*** Of course not.  And framing Copyleft as restrictive would never come
from someone who is arguing in favor of software freedom.

BTW, I don't think "man *did* come from a monkey" nor that evolution is
gradual.  I think that human is the most complex animal humans know,
that it came about by a wide range of gradual and sudden mutations, and
is mostly an aggregate of bacteria and unicellular organisms that
entered a fruitful symbiosis, leading to more complex symbiosis,
mutations, and integration of the "human" organism.  Similarly then, I
propose that a contender of the Theory of Evolution would only say that
"man comes from monkey" in a pedagogical sense, not a literal one.  The
matter with pedagogy is the abusive simplification that can create the
wrong image in the mind of the audience, such as the extreme example I gave.

> Similarly, when presenting copyleft to someone for the first time, it is
> not a good idea to simply state it is a restriction and leave it at
> that. Explain that copyright law is broken, and then explain that
> normally the law would make restrictions for the good of humanity (like
> how it restricts murder), but since the law isn't fair, you have to
> restrict people from making other restrictions yourself.
*** I hope my second paragraph above makes for a better explanation that
does not require framing copyleft in terms of restriction of someone's
actions, but rather of prevention from abuse.  "Copyleft restriction"
makes no sense to me.

> That sounds horrible. Please tell me that no-one is seriously thinking
> of bombing cities to help the construction industry.
*** When I look at what happens in Gaza, honestly, I can't.

> freedom to murder. Seriously. Fear of being murdered would prevent me
> from using my freedoms
*** I don't think "freedom to murder" makes any sense at all.  I don't
think either that freedom is any kind of enumerable object that you can use.

> But anyway, and I'm being entirely serious, is anyone actually
> blowing up cities purely for the construction industry's profit? If so,
> is there a campaign to raise awareness of this?
*** You can't be serious.  Of course there's no such "purely"
intentional city blowing for the sake of the construction industry.
Reconstruction is a by-product of bombing, there's causality in action:
if the city is destroyed, and there are people still willing to live
there, they have to rebuild it.


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