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Re: The Show So Far

* Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> [030317 10:20]:
> I don't think so; the fundamental premise of free software is:
>  * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose
>  * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs
>  * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
>  * The freedom to improve the program
> Historically, the only way you could access a program at all was to
> possess a copy of it, so it made sense to worry about how you could
> possess a copy, but not have those freedoms. These days, people use
> software they don't possess every day, in pretty significant ways.

So why not require anyone running public available services on some
computer to give anyone shell accounts, so that they can run the
program for "any purpose", and not limited through some user-interface?

Or giving anyone the right to change every GPL-ecomerce system on the
computer it is running, as those high prices really need an "improvement"?

Having to distribute the source with the binary is already quite
limiting freedom of the user. It's accepted, because distributing
source together with the binary is a large but not overall large deal. 
(Anything going with the source is in the binary, too. Any algorith, 
password, secret in the source can be found in the binary, too. And no 
liability is added, as the program is distributed anyhow). And because
it artificially limiting the freedom of those having the binary.
( As it is their computer, their area of control, where they can do
  anything and are only limited by the damn long time it needs to
  dis- and reassemble a program, if one is not used to it[1].)

I know there is also the opinion around, that access to computers is
a freedom and setting passwords is oppression. I'm of the opinion a
person running a computer should have the freedom to control it.
I'm strongly against any licence where setting up a firewall, a
filtering proxy or making a local adaption will cause a breaking of

> > That you may not think my arguments prove the point is obvious, since
> > we have a disagreement.  But there's a difference between "haven't
> > made any arguments" and "we have a disagreement."  
> What I mean by "haven't made any arguments" is that the things you've
> said simply don't make any sense unless you already hold your worldview.
> Distinguishing between "possessors" and "users" and [...]

The fundamental problem here is the question: "What is a user?".
This is in general a weak term. Consider many debian-documentation
speaking of the person setting the system up as the "user" of Debian,
while other documentation speaks of "user" as the person sitting before
the computer after is set up.
So the question is who is the "user" in the sense of the basic freedoms?
Am I already a user of some system if I do a "ping <ip>" and get no
response? What if I do a "ssh <ip>" and get a prompt for a password?
Or if I start the sshd-daemon? 

  Bernhard R. Link

Sendmail is like emacs: A nice operating system, but missing
an editor and a MTA.

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