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Re: Fwd: reiser4 non-free?

Hans Reiser <reiser@namesys.com> writes:

> What alternative do you offer to ensure that attribution occurs?
> None.  There is no alternative actually.

Exactly: we offer no alternative.  This is not a disagreement about
which method of ensuring attribution is correct and acceptable, but a
disagreement about whether or not it is appropriate to force attribution
according to some particular standard.

It is entirely within your rights as copyright holder to push whatever
social agenda you wish with your software license -- but debian-legal's
position is that that will make the license non-free.  If you wish to
require that it not be used in nuclear facilities, fine: non-free.  If
you require that people who use the software spend a moment to think
about the plight of the homeless, fine: non-free.  Just as, when you
require attribution in a particular format and with a particular text,
that's fine, but non-free.

Though it may not be obvious given the rhetoric surrounding the issue,
this is at its heart about pragmatism and compromise.  In a free society
we allow others freedoms that we sincerely hope they will not avail
themselves of.  But we allow it, because people disagree, and
disagreement is (or can be, at least) good and productive.  We prefer to
use arguments rather than force (whether legal or physical) to get our
points across, because in doing so we improve everyones understanding of
the issues (including our own).

If we disagree on the above paragraph, we disagree on fundamental
principles.  If, however, you agree there (though perhaps not with the
rest) please explain where you think the disagreement shows up, because
we may be able to make sense of things.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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