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Re: non-free and users?

Remi Vanicat wrote:
Sergey Spiridonov <sena@hurd.homeunix.org> writes:

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

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 you have enough resources for living without your job, why not to drop your job? If you don't have enough resources and working on free software does not bring you enough resources for living, you will die of starvation, which is definitely not good.

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.

Yes, you are right. Doing nothing is a neutral action. But the situation when your reject to help because you agree not to help contradicts human ethics. If nobody ask you to adapt a software you are doing nothing - it is O.K. The situation when someone asks me to help with software, and I am willing to do this, but reject to do this because I agreed not to do this contradicts human ethics. Notice, I do something: I agree, reject, will. Important thing about this is the reason, why do I in this stupid situation, being not able to help anybody. There can be two cases.

1. Person 'A' distributes non-free program to person 'B'. Person 'B' come to me and ask for help. I reject to help, since the program is not free. In this case I suffer from being not able to help person 'B' because of the actions of persons 'A' and 'B'[1].

2. I, myself, using my own hands distribute non-free software to person 'B'. In this case I will suffer mostly[1] from my own actions! Probably at this moment I will decide to cry "It's not me, who put me in such a situation. It is an author of this program, who does it. I want to help people.".

[1] Note, person 'B' in most cases is much less acquainted with possible consequences of agreeing to non-free licence.

Best regards, Sergey Spiridonov

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