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Re: The Show So Far

On Wed, 2003-03-12 at 04:12, Anthony Towns wrote:

[Much good stuff snipped]

> I think it would be really nice to be able to justify tests like:
> 	(d) can you use it completely naively - without reading,
> 	    understanding or thinking about the license - without running
> 	    the risk of violating the license
> 	(e) can you modify it to make it useful, then use it similarly
> 	    naively?
> on similar technical grounds; since those things do have real benefits
> to users.

I think at least (d) should be a reasonable test.  Consider trying to
argue the opposite in front of a judge.  "Well, your honor, I know that
the software looks like it's designed to do x, y, and z, and the default
installation of the software does x, y, and z as soon as it's installed,
but the license clearly states that ....."  This seems far too similar
to "By reading this message you agree to send me $500" to me.

(e) seems to me to be (d) under the assumption that software should be

Not having these carries with it the implicit message that freedom is
only for those willing to do the equivalent of subscribing to
debian-legal, and not at all for the casual user, which just enforces
the erroneous thought that "Well, I can't program, so having the source
isn't any good to me anyway".

Stephen Ryan                                        Debian Linux 3.0
Technology Coordinator
Center for Educational Outcomes
at Dartmouth College

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