Re: Proposed: Debian's Five Freedoms for Free Works
Branden Robinson <email@example.com> writes:
> I personally have advocated a fifth freedom:
> 5) The freedom to retain privacy in one's person, effects, and data,
> including, but not limited to, all Works in one's possession and
> one's own changes to Works written by others.
I think (though I'm not sure) that I agree with what you're trying to
do, but I don't like using privacy as its basis. Reasonable people
can disagree, of course, but I think it's important to understand that
privacy and the free flow of information are competing values, and the
optimum is some point between either extreme that maximizes other
To give a concrete example, accurate attribution of changes (e.g., a
changelog) is a good thing because is strengthens the social
structures that keep Free Software working, yet it's clearly a limit
on privacy, albeit relatively minor.
I'd say that there are two ideas implicit in the desert island test,
and neither of them are really about privacy:
* The only two parties involved in the exchange of Free Software are
the distributor and the distributee. Requirements that arbitrary
third parties play a role can not be met if that third party isn't
on the desert island. I think of this as symmetry.
* That the distributee isn't required to give any sort of
consideration to the distributor. If the distributee finds the
software on a note in a bottle (or perhaps on a computer in the ship
that crashed on the island) he should have all the necessary rights
to the software. I think of this as not requiring consideration.
I think both of these are somewhat controversial, though.
 Much as I dislike the guy, I find I agree with Brin in that making
privacy into a fundamental right is likely to be more damaging
than helpful to society.
Jeremy Hankins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333 9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03