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Re: LGPL module linked with a GPL lib

On 8/3/05, Jeff Licquia <licquia@debian.org> wrote:
> I consider it a "grievous error" to claim that RMS "preach[es] the
> economic superiority of the free software system".  You were not calling
> for an inquiry of any kind in that statement; you were simply snarking.
> And you were called out for making an incorrect statement.

I think my statement is correct as it stands; have you any substantive
argument against it?  RMS seems to think that it would be a superior
economic model -- more conducive to the public good and more fair to
individual creators -- if copyright were abolished and copyleft
enacted in its place.  He also seems to think that the creation of a
copyleft microcosm, and the prohibition of its use in conjunction with
works outside it, is consistent with the economic bargain embodied in
current law.  I differ on both points -- and if it's snarking to point
out that, by relying on his unique public notoriety to put food on the
table, he's not exactly practicing what he preaches, then yes, I'm

> What I'm curious about now is why you felt the need to blather about the
> nature of ethics and economics, instead of just letting the stupid
> comment go, and then get even more defensive when someone points out the
> absurdity of your blathering.

This point is rather central to my rejection of his claim to the
ethical high ground.  An "ethical" stance that fails both
economic-model ("what if this were the social bargain imposed on
everyone?") and economic-tactic ("is it at least marginally
productive, at an acceptable cost to society, for some people to act
thus within the existing social bargain?") tests is no basis for an
equitable claim as far as I am concerned.  There is of course no
reason to demand that any particular activity of his, driven by his
personal ethics, be marginally productive; but if he wants to ask that
society at large recognize and honor his ethical system with a
privilege of exclusivity granted to no other, he's going to have to
defend it on utility grounds.

> You are, of course, free to refuse to admit error, just as we are free
> to draw whatever conclusions we might from your refusal.  But I'm
> curious to see how far this rabbit hole goes.

Now who's snarking?  Which is fine by me; but I do not yet find you
particularly persuasive on the substantive issues.

- Michael

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