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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Machine learning and copyleft

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Machine learning and copyleft
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2016 14:18:43 -0500

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Looking at this scenario, my conclusion is that the training program
is effectively a compiler: the training data set is the source code it
compiles, and the trained model is object code that it produces.

Thus, I agree that the trained model made from a private modified
version of the training data set is unethical.  It's a compiled
program, released without sources.

I don't think it makes sense to try to prevent this problem by
changing the license of either the training program or the inference
program.  That would be comparable to licensing an interpreter so that
it can only be used to run free programs -- it wouldn't be wise, and
(from what lawyers have told me) is not lawful use of copyright in the

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (,
Internet Hall-of-Famer (
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