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Re: LGPL module linked with a GPL lib

On 8/3/05, Jeff Licquia <licquia@debian.org> wrote:
> 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.

You seem to have completely missed my point.  Ethics is not dictated
by economics; it's the other way around.  What possible use is an
economics -- a science of human motivation -- that is not informed by
ethics?  My personal ethics extend into areas that economics cannot
reach; but when making an ethical argument for a public policy, I
recognize that it must be supported both by an argument from the
public good (utility) and an argument that it is fair to individuals.

> 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.

Wow, that's some straw man.  If you think you can make an argument
from the public good for legalizing assassination for pay, I'd like to
hear it.

> 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.

No, I just explained where I was coming from in characterizing RMS's
public posture as "preach[ing] the economic superiority of the free
software system".  How you can call this an attempt to shut down the
debate is beyond me.  If you think it's a "grievous error" to use the
word "economics" for an inquiry into the conformability of RMS's
expectations about GPL "enforcement" with the balance of public and
private interests embodied in the law, then it is an error from which
I have no wish to recover.

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

What inconvenient evidence did you have in mind?

- Michael

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