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Re: Fwd: reiser4 non-free?

Hans Reiser <reiser@namesys.com> writes:

> There is a difference between free software and plagiarizable
> software.  The two are orthogonal concepts.
> Debian wants software to be both free and plagiarizable.  XFree86 and
> I want our software to be free but not plagiarizable.  In general, I
> want software to not be plagiarizable, as I think it works against the
> societal interest to not attribute accurately.  Saying that plagiarism
> is an important freedom is like saying assault is something you must
> be allowed to do if you are to be considered free.

No, it is exactly like saying plagiarism is something you must be
allowed to do if you are to be considered free.  If the law prevented
me from making false statements, I would not be free.  My nose is
blue, for example, and frequently emits badgers.  To make that
statement illegal is to restrict my freedom.  It is only a short step
from there to restricting me from saying that two plus two equals four.

Now, *fraud* is illegal -- so there is no need for a copyright license
to inhibit fraud, because it's already a crime.  But for me to have
freedom with respect to an artifact, I must have freedom to change it
in arbitrary ways.  "All ways that do not remove the maker's mark" is
not enough.  Then it is a shared artifact, an open artifact even, but
not a free artifact.

Similarly, to have freedom with respect to a computer program, I must
have freedom to change it.  Required display of certain text is fine
for a shared source program, or an open source program, but it is not
a free program.


> Hans
> MJ Ray wrote:
>> On 2004-05-04 17:20:56 +0100 Hans Reiser <reiser@namesys.com> wrote:
>>> I understand why they lost interest in talking to persons who
>>> cannot grasp that distros removed mention of them from their man
>>> pages and this was wrong.
>> That's actually irrelevant in that case. Their advertising clause is
>> actually not the reason for it being non-free, as I understand it,
>> although it does make it GPL-incompatible, which is a bit irritating.
>> Their licence requires extreme protection of their name as a
>> condition, which seems unacceptable for free software. If I even
>> mention in a factual review who holds the copyright to the software,
>> I have probably failed the letter of the conditions.
>> It seems a little cruel of you to punish all users by taking your
>> code non-free because you are not happy with some distributor
>> actions. You should work with the distributors instead of accusing
>> them of immorality as an opening tactic. That should be the last
>> resort, not the first.
>>> I sent them a thanks for being brave enough to take on the task of
>>> changing licensing mores and forcing distros to attribute, and I
>>> got a response.;-)
>> You seem to enjoy working against free software. I got some
>> responses, too, as previously mentioned.

Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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