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Re: non-free and users?

On Mon, Jan 19, 2004 at 07:24:17PM +0100, Remi Vanicat wrote:
> Sergey Spiridonov <sena@hurd.homeunix.org> writes:
> > Daniel Burrows wrote:
> >> On Mon, Jan 19, 2004 at 12:43:22PM +0100, Sergey Spiridonov <sena@hurd.homeunix.org> was heard to say:
> >>
> >>> Producing and distributing non-free is ethical. If I produce a
> >>> package with closed source and distribute it, it is ethical, since
> >>> it help people to solve their tasks. It compels me to non-ethical
> >>> action when someone, for example, will request sources from me.
> >>   Suppose you package foo-nonfree, a package whose source code is not
> >> available.  Some time later, a user requests the sources from you.  You
> >> reply, "I'm sorry, I don't have the source code and so I can't give it
> >> to you."
> >
> > I do not have ready example on how one can compel himself to act
> > unethical if he distributes program without sources. I propose to
> > finish discussing the example which I already presented, before we
> > will start to  discuss other cases.
> Well, I've read it again, and I will put it here :
> > I will try to present an example. Let's say we have program 'A'
> > without permition to distribute modified sources. It's not
> > absolutely non-free - you have freedom to learn how program works,
> > to modify it for your own needs, to distribute it without
> > modifications. It is unique and there is no free analog. 
> > If developer agrees with such a limitation he is not able to modify
> > this program to help his friend to adapt it for his needs. Developer
> > will not be able to distribute modifications to others who also need
> > such an improvenment. This contradicts human ethics, because help is
> > ethical. 
> So, if I'm not able to modify a free software because I lack time, I'm
> contradicting human ethic ? so I must drop my job to have more time
> and to be more ethical ? I'm not sure it was what you said, but it
> look like. If I don't adapt a software to someone needs, I'm not doing
> any good, but I'm neither doing any bad, so it is a neutral action on
> the ethical scale.
> By the way, my friend will be better with an ocaml-doc with an error
> than without an ocaml-doc, and it will be even better if this
> ocaml-doc is well integrated into the debian system (with doc-base and
> all other interesting thing). 

And furthermore, because of our good communication with ocaml upstream,
if there is really an error in ocaml-doc, it is absolutely no trouble
getting it fixed. 


Sven Luther

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