Re: Stallman Admits to Copyright Infringement
Raul Miller wrote:
> On Tue, May 16, 2000 at 01:44:46AM -0500, Paul Serice wrote:
> > It bothers me to no end. I would like to see Debian take active
> > measures to distance itself from these statements.
> Why do you so much enjoy taking informal statements and casting them
> as legal issues?
> Based on a couple observations, I'd guess you're trying to produce
> anti-GPL propaganda, but I'd like to hear your version of what
> you're trying to do.
First, let me say that I really, really, really respect Stallman.
Well, up until recently. Now I only really, really respect him.
Second, if you've heard Stallman talk about the difference between
"free" and "open source", then you know that he prefers "free" because
it better informs the future programmer about how it all came to be and
why they should continue the tradition. So, it Stallman who puts the
morality card in play, not me.
Third, for substantially the same reason, he wants it to be called
"GNU/Linux," not just "Linux." This helps direct people to the GNU site
where they can come to understand the GNU philosophy.
Fourth, we are called "Debian GNU/Linux." I think this means we are
taking active steps to direct people to the GNU philosophy. If you're
going to help direct new people to a site with moral dimensions then
perhaps you should provide them with a complete picture.
I can live with all of the above without crying out, but its the next
one that I think has real destroying power.
Fifth, it's called "Copyleft" for a reason. It's pure genius to turn
copyright law so that it protects open source. This was a conscious
decision, and when things like that shrink-wrap law are up for
consideration, Stallman goes into overdrive because they undermine
the copyright laws upon which the GPL and scads of other software are
I thought this next point was obvious, but here it goes. One of the
best ways to undermine a law, as so many people have pointed out, is to
just ignore it and don't obey it. Why would Stallman intentionally
undermine the very law that protects so much? (And, yes, letting
anybody copy your records violates and undermines the very laws Debian
has so much invested in -- at least in the United States.)
So to summarize, my position is not anti-GPL; just the opposite. If you
want to protect the work we do, then you have to give other copyright
holders the same respect you would want them to give you.
This isn't just any person and this isn't just any law.