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Re: The Show So Far

On Mon, Mar 17, 2003 at 02:44:31PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Then, please, describe for me what your standard is.  What freedoms
> count?  

If I felt confident being able to do that in advance, I'd be writing up
a Debian Free Software Definition that defined them.

> You seem to take the tack that these are *all* restrictions on
> freedom;

Yes, and that this is a trivial and uninformative statement. The state
of being allowed to exercise an ability is "freedom" by definition, not
being allowed to do so in some cases is a restriction on that freedom,
also by definition. Freedoms are restricted all the time, it's simply
not useful to say "restricting freedom is bad", as it causes you to
have to start babbling on about how the freedom to fire bullets in
any direction you please isn't a "real" freedom, and we degenerate to
completely uninformative semantic editor wars.

> then you have to say which restrictions you think are
> acceptible and which you think aren't.  I've sketched out my method of
> analyzing such a question, but you haven't.  Would you care to do so
> please?

No, I'm sorry; I reserve my right to do so on a case-by-case basis. I
can answer for the cases we already have though: I don't think the
freedom to distribute binaries without source is a key freedom, nor do
I think being able to make changes that you can keep private forever
is a key freedom. I don't think removing those freedoms should be
forbidden from free licenses. I do think both freedoms have value in
some circumstances. I don't think it's particularly onerous working
around not having those freedoms. I don't think hiding source code is
in anyone's long term interests, either companies or activists.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

  ``Dear Anthony Towns: [...] Congratulations -- 
        you are now certified as a Red Hat Certified Engineer!''

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