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Re: LGPL module linked with a GPL lib

On 8/4/05, Diego Biurrun <diego@biurrun.de> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 03, 2005 at 07:24:33PM -0700, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> > If a public figure as remarkable as RMS does not choose to gather
> > sizable donations to his preferred charity in return for his speaking
> > engagements, then perhaps conference organizers should be prepared for
> > the eccentric behavior that is occasionally reported.
> You wouldn't - AGAIN - be saying bad things about somebody in public
> with nothing more than rumors to back it up, would you?

It's controversial to say that RMS is occasionally reported to behave
eccentrically?  And that being a conference speaker doesn't
necessarily stop him?  Try the CODE conference in 2001, reported at
.  Bruce Perens was also a speaker; I wonder how he remembers the

> Not being a native speaker I'll have to admit that there are subtleties
> in English that escape me. You are directly questioning another person's
> character with your - unsubstantiated - theories and spreading those
> claims in public. This is extremely rude and at some point crosses over
> into the realm of what dict.leo.org translates into English as slander
> or libel.

Dude, the guy's a public figure, he advocates public policy positions
which are intimately tied to his personal fortunes, he participates in
and condones the repetition of what my research (IANAL) says is a
false set of claims about how copyright licenses work -- claims whose
truth or falsity has real consequences -- and if you actually bother
to _read_ what I wrote you'll see that I never stated more than a
suspicion based on what public evidence I had dug up so far. 
"Slander" and "libel" are serious accusations and if you don't know
what they mean it's incautious at best to sling them around.

Just as a little reminder, here are the things I wrote that you called

# Although I have no personal knowledge on the financial side, it
# certainly looks to me like it has made them both rich men.  Little
# snippets in the public record -- Jim Blandy's comment at
# http://www.jwz.org/doc/lemacs.html about RMS's "luxurious pad on the
# fourth floor of posh NE43", the indications from Moglen's letter to
# Vidomi and Fluendo's defense of GStreamer that he has ways of
# extracting revenues from his role in the FSF, back-of-the-envelope
# calculations involving the typical conference speaker fee -- suggest
# to me that their tax records would make interesting reading.  I could
# be completely wrong; they could be scraping by on nominal salaries
# from the FSF and Columbia University, plus a MacArthur fellowship here
# and there; but it's enough for me to take their bizarre,
# uncorroborated assertions about copyright law with a grain of salt.

# There's a lot of money to be made in this
# area (although it's a pretty hard life if you have close friends and
# like your home); and if RMS had a way of laundering the money ("don't
# give it to me; but donate to the FSF if you like") so as to appear
# saintly, he wouldn't be the first.

Although I regretted the use of the word "laundering" immediately on
re-reading the latter, and went to some effort to find what facts I
could in the public record so as to lay that particular suspicion to
rest, you will find neither untruth nor malice in the above. 
Skepticism, yes, shading over into cynicism in the latter paragraph;
but the typical (profit-seeking) conference speaker's fee, and the
typical retainer for a "legal opinion" effectively estopping your
prospective opponent's lawyer from arguing otherwise in court, are
real money.  I have no compunction about saying that I want to know
where that money goes -- and if RMS doesn't collect speaker fees, what
favors (if any) he asks instead.

> This should be a dead giveaway that you should not have speculated in
> the first place, much less on a public mailing list that will be
> archived from here to eternity.

I'd sure rather look back on what I've written, errors and all, than
on ignorance and complacency.

[snip fairly empty flames from both sides]

Diego, I don't care whether you get anything out of what I write or
not.  Nor do I think that anyone who gives two shakes about what the
truth is cares whether _you_ "judge [my] evidence poorly researched";
they're presumably going to judge for themselves.  But I do feel a
little down about this particular episode (my cynicism got the better
of me, in a mild sort of way, thinking about the enrichment potential
of the rubber-chicken circuit), and I don't particularly like being
kicked while I'm down.  I doubt it impresses anyone else, either.

- Michael

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