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Re: GNU License and Computer Break Ins

Raul Miller writes:

> On Thu, May 18, 2000 at 06:32:49AM -0500, Paul Serice wrote:
> > I guess I didn't say that too well. I feel betrayed because I thought
> > the GPL was about respecting the work of other people. If those people
> > only want their work to be used openly, then GPL is the license for
> > them (or so I thought). If you want your work used in a different
> > manner then just say so. After all, it's your work. Of all the people
> > in the world, you should have the largest say regarding how your work
> > is used.

Let's distinguish "you should have the largest say regarding how your
work is used" from "you should have legal authority to control how
your work is used".

The GPL is about one thing, and the social and political program of
Richard Stallman is about that _and other things, too_.  You can still
use the GPL even if you don't agree with those other things -- there
is no clause in the GPL which constitutes a loyalty oath.

Of course, if you don't think the FSF is trustworthy, don't use
"Version 2, or, at your option, any later version".

> > But this is not what GPL is about . . . apparently. Apparently,
> > even if the original author wants his or her work used in a certain
> > non-GPL-ed way, it doesn't matter. The moral thing to do is to
> > disregard the wishes of the author and to copy it anyway -- even in
> > violation of laws of a democratic nation.
> [...]
> I don't see *any* justification for the assumption that he was illegally
> trading anything.
> And, since your entire rant seems to be based on the idea that laws are
> being broken, I think it's up to you to come up with the details.

It is true that Richard Stallman has said that violating current
copyright laws is not wrong in all circumstances, and that he
would not want to make legality under 17 USC the only consideration
in whether or not he does something.

That would be the same Richard Stallman who wrote

   Copyright apologists often [...] ask us to treat the legal system
   as an authority on ethics: if copying is forbidden, it must be wrong.


   The idea that laws decide what is right or wrong is mistaken in
   general. Laws are, at their best, an attempt to achieve justice; to
   say that laws define justice or ethical conduct is turning things
   upside down.


<shock> <horror>

Seth David Schoen <schoen@loyalty.org>  | And do not say, I will study when I
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/  | have leisure; for perhaps you will
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF)  | not have leisure.  -- Pirke Avot 2:5

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