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Re: Another way of thinking of the Chinese dissident test

On Sun, 2003-03-09 at 20:23, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Anthony Towns' excellent criticisms have provoked me to think of
> another reason that the Chinese Dissident test captures something
> important about free software, and thus why the QPL's forced
> publication or the Affero bit are onerous.
> Free software should create a sort of economy in which things are the
> way they would be if there were no copyrights at all.  That's the
> intuition. 


> One thing remains: the requirement of the GPL that source be
> transmitted.  In a no-copyright world, you would not have to give
> source, so why am I happy with this requirement?  Precisely because
> the important rights are the right to copy *and* the right to modify,
> and the distribution of the source preserves everyone's right to
> modify.  This is a wrinkle built in to the nature of software.

Actually, the GPL goes beyond this, because of sections 6, and 7.  In a
world without copyright, there would be no limitation on other
restrictions (such as contractual) being placed on distribution. 
Effectively, these sections prevent non-copyright restrictions from
being placed on the code.  

But what say you about Section 4, a section whose sole purpose is to
make the GPL more easily enforceable?  This section couldn't even exist
without copyright law.

-Dave Turner                     Stalk Me: 617 441 0668

"On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters 
of principle, stand like a rock." -Thomas Jefferson

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