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Re: The Show So Far

On Mon, Mar 17, 2003 at 07:19:48PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 16, 2003 at 08:01:33PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> > The fundamental premise of free software is that copyright is an
> > artificial limitation on what I can do whit a piece of software, and
> > that I should be able to modify it and copy it.
> 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.

You guys are talking past each other.  Copyright law traditionally
restricts at least some of the activities you (Anthony) describe, and
has done so since before the days of von Neumann.  Media cartels are
applying greater and greater pressure to ensure that copyright laws in
fact restrict *all* of the activities you enumerated.

Therefore, I cannot perceive your statement as anything but an
elaboration of Thomas's, rather than the contradiction your posit it to

G. Branden Robinson                |    A celibate clergy is an especially
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    good idea, because it tends to
branden@debian.org                 |    suppress any hereditary propensity
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    toward fanaticism.    -- Carl Sagan

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