Re: US Encryption Policy Change Now Official!
>>>>> "Bear" == Bear Giles <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
Bear> But an application which has no legitimate purpose, e.g., a
Bear> program that extracts the PIN number from an ATM card, may
Bear> be considered a criminal tool and the author might face
Bear> legal difficulties.
My point is that while the author has the choice to limit their
software to what they consider "legitimate" use, it has then crossed
the line into non-free software, because they have placed an arbitrary
restriction upon its use.
The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (Freedom 0), is the
most critical component of free software.
If a software author decides that their software has no "legitimate"
purpose other than some specified activity, they have made a decision
which is necessarily based on their moral views, their opinions on the
laws of their country and other countries, as well as other personal
What you want doesn't fit with my definition of free software.
Setting aside the "minor" issue of the arbitrary restriction on the
use of the software, how would you suggest we define "free software",
then? Should we allow arbitrary restrictions on software that are
based on the laws of countries X, Y, and Z, but not Q?
People have differing points of view on what is "legitimate" and what
is not. The moment you try and make the laws of your country or your
moral views a restriction on the use of your software, you have made
Colin Walters <email@example.com>
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