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Re: LGPL module linked with a GPL lib

On Wed, 2005-08-03 at 13:11 -0700, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> On 8/2/05, Patrick Herzig <patrick54@gmail.com> wrote:
> > RMS doesn't preach the economic superiority of free software. If you
> > fail to understand even such a well-explained position I wonder what
> > your references to all kinds of precedents and such are worth.
> You've got a fair point, in that RMS doesn't see his arguments as
> preaching economic superiority; and certainly many commentators have
> contrasted RMS's "ethical" perspective with, say, ESR's "economic"
> perspective.  I don't entirely agree with the way this contrast is
> portrayed, and in particular I think the "ethical"/"economic"
> dichotomy is a false one.  "Ethical"/"financial", perhaps; but that's
> a calculus of personal motivations that isn't really all that fruitful
> to discuss.  Implicit in my perspective is the view that ethics is the
> study of human motivation, and economics is the application of the
> fruits of this study to the public sphere; finance is just
> probabilities and algebra.

I may not be much in the legal department, but you are now commenting on
a field I am trained in.  Suffice it to say that you have not thought
seriously about the implications of your conflation of ethics and
economics--or that if you have, then I want nothing to do with you, and
you have no business lecturing this group on any subject.

If ethics is allowed to be more than sociology, then RMS's position is
quite clear: ethical concerns must have priority over economic ones.
Stipulating any particular set of ethical standards, I'd say that's not
only a clear position, but a rather uncontroversial one.  We take a dim
view of killing for profit, for example, even if such a decision
adversely impacts the hired gun's ability to make a living.

Obviously, the question of software freedom is not on the same level as
killing for hire, and there are many disagreements regarding the
specifics of the ethical questions and their importance.  But you seem
intent on shutting down the debate (or, less charitably, trying to
regain ground from making a grievous error and being called on it) by
simply defining it out of existence.

If this is your way of handling inconvenient evidence, then I have even
less confidence in your legal analysis.

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