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Re: Irony of RSA Encryption

Paul Serice <serice@bigfoot.com> writes:

> The tone of the FSF and the GPL is one of moral superiority.  For
> example, look at http://www.fsf.org/gnu/thegnuproject.html where you
> can find the section entitled: "A stark moral choice."

Yes, it's entirely a moral issue according to the FSF.  Others believe
it's an economic issue.  Noone at the FSF would deny this charge,
certainly not RMS.  From now on, when I say moral or immoral, it is
meant within the context of the moral system which the FSF assumes and
illucidates in their writings.

> This is what it boils down to: "anything added to or combined with a
> copylefted program must be such that the larger combined version is
> also free and copylefted."  This is a restriction -- and a rather
> large one.

Yes it is, and it's a restriction guided by a moral imperative to
share with others.  The economic argument for Free Software is based
on the belief that restrictions of any kind are bad, they cause
unneeded friction in the software production cycle.  However the FSF
is NOT operating under the assumptions of the economic argument for
Free Software, restrictions are not necessarily bad, but instead must
be measured against their effects on the moral imperative to share.

Part of the immediate goal of the FSF, guided by this imperative to
share, is the creation of a pool of software which anyone who also
believes in the imperative to share (or whose immediate goals are in
compliance with it) can use, modify and change.  Another part of that
goal is a reduction n the amount of non-free software.  Taking these
two goals into consideration, the restriction of the copyleft is
sensible within the argument of the FSF.

> This is a good choice for some things, but it's insane to consider it
> to be a morally superior position.

Why?  The motivation for it is moral, a belief that cooperation with
others and sharing, the social instinct, is the moral imperative by
which we should live, or at least develop software.  The restriction
of the copyleft is intended to protect the product of this sharing
from being alienated from those who produced it.  It also serves to
discourage an immoral practice, hoarding.  Those who would wish to
make things, particulary software which was made available to all and
meant to be shared, are acting immorally.

What is more insane is the rhetoric of the economic argument which
pretends to not be moral at all.  It disguises itself with
psuedo-scientific and rationalist rhetoric, but lays down moral
imperatives for all of us to follow.  It's language no longer contains
the word "moral", but it's admonitions to comply are nothing but.  The
moral ruler is no longer the effect of our actions upon others, but
the compliance of our actions with the accepted psuedo-scientific and
social ideals with regards to production.

Yes, the copyleft does not comply with the economic argument against
restrictions of any type being placed on the use of intellectual

Craig Brozefsky               <craig@red-bean.com>
it's alright 'cos the historical pattern has shown / how the
economical cycle tends to revolve / in a round of decades
three stages stand out in a loop / a slump and war then peel
back to square one and back for more -- Stereolab "Ping Pong"

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