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Richard Stallman Talks On Copyright Vs. the People 329

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the it-takes-a-village dept.
holden writes "Richard M. Stallman recently gave a talk entitled Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks to the University of Waterloo Computer Science Club. The talk looks at the origin of copyright, and how it has evolved over time from something that originally served the benefit of the people to a tool used against them. In keeping with his wishes to use open formats, the talk and QA are available in ogg theora only."
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Richard Stallman Talks On Copyright Vs. the People

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  • by ameyer17 (935373) <slashdot@ameyer17.com> on Friday July 20, 2007 @03:40AM (#19924087) Homepage
    Why is there no transcript? I'm not saying I couldn't download the video and watch it, but I'd rather not spend at least an hour downloading it and then have to watch it.
  • Re:oh boy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2007 @03:43AM (#19924105)
    Did you notice it was hosted by a computer club at the university? I bet they want some excuses for the university to give them upgraded bandwidth for their club server(s)... and putting 600MB files on the front page of slashdot should get them... hmmm... 2 x 1gbit links?

    Good plan!
  • Re:anime industry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Friday July 20, 2007 @03:44AM (#19924107) Journal
    Because the anime industry is one of those really quirky things where they let fans do things which is against the law.

    Fansubbing is illegal the way it's most often done. They pirate TV programs with added text and then give them to hundreds or thousands of people. Now the companies could start being assholes and try to shut these groups down, but instead they have a gentleman's contract. Subbers stop subbing when a series is licenced and a blind eye is turned to the subbers.

    In this way companies learn what is popular and get free market research, fans get what they want when they want it and then in an ideal world the fans buy the official releases to support the original companies and the ones who licenced the anime.

    So basically, it's a good way to show copyright isn't always the answer. If you allow people leeway they will repay you back at a later date by supporting you. One could argue fansubs work as the perfect advertisement for merchandise to people outside of Japan and if copyright was put down on it, it would hurt the industry more than if they ignore it. :)

    So anime is a good example of copyright done correctly in a lot of people's opinion.
  • choice of license (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pigscanfly.ca (664381) * on Friday July 20, 2007 @03:44AM (#19924109) Homepage
    I find his choice of CC license odd given his talk.... He spends most of the time talking about the importance of derivative works, but then releases his talk under a no-derivatives license. Oh well :(
  • by Valacosa (863657) on Friday July 20, 2007 @04:06AM (#19924183)

    Not everyone who saw the lecture agreed with the contents. A counterpoint can be found here. [slashdot.org]

    I didn't write that counterpoint, but there's one thing the author and I agree on: Richard Stallman is a lot more crazy in person. One guy in the audience asked how he was supposed to pay for his university education by releasing free software. Stallman didn't really give him an answer, he just told the student that he didn't have to go to school, and he had no right to release closed source software in an attempt to earn money. Stallman has compared closed source software to "a crime against humanity", yes?

    I talked to Stallman after the lecture. I asked him how he paid the mortgage after leaving MIT in 1984. He said that that he's never had a mortgage and "he lives cheaply". I later heard that he basically squatted on the MIT campus.

    See, here's the problem with Stallman's philosophies: they're highly incompatible with the status quo, and there's no clear path for change. If you want people to do $Y instead of $X, $Y has to be relatively pin-compatible with $X. Telling people to write free software is well and good, but your paradigm isn't going to have much success if it also requires programmers to buy a house, get married, and otherwise have a normal life.

    On a related note, I also asked Stallman what he thought of the wedding photography industry. For those of you who don't know, typical wedding photographers cost over a thousand dollars, show up at your wedding to take pictures, and then make you pay through the nose for prints. They don't even give you the copyright, if you want more prints you have to go back to the photographer! One must shop around to find a photographer who'll actually give you the digital originals. Anyway, I asked Stallman if he thought this was analogous to what was happening in the software world, and he said no. He thought closed source software was a greater imposition on freedom than holding wedding memories hostage.

    The man is too close to his particular pet cause.

  • by init100 (915886) on Friday July 20, 2007 @04:17AM (#19924237)

    He probably don't want his detractors to have fun cutting something together from the clip that gives people the impression that he said things he didn't say. For recorded speeches, this is a very reasonable demand.

  • Re:I attended (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Friday July 20, 2007 @04:33AM (#19924305) Homepage Journal
    No-one said it did.

    The argument RMS puts forward is that Copyright was a good deal for the public when the only people it affected was a small percentage of the population.. when it was seen as a restriction on trade. Now, with the PC, we all copy, all the time and Copyright is just in the way. It's no longer just a restriction on trade.. it's a restriction on private acts and requires intrusive policing to enforce.

  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Friday July 20, 2007 @04:43AM (#19924339) Homepage Journal
    People are doing something you find amoral. They ask you how they are supposed to pay the rent/mortgage. You tell them that it's not your problem, they should just stop doing what you find amoral.

    Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

    Do I have to make a stupid analogy or do you get why?

  • Re:anime industry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sortius_nod (1080919) on Friday July 20, 2007 @04:59AM (#19924399) Homepage
    it's the goose that lays the golden egg syndrome... quick cash is better than become established and making more cash over time in the minds of most companies.
  • by Valacosa (863657) on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:01AM (#19924405)

    You've been modded as funny, but somehow I don't think you're joking.

    Sadly, the only analogies I could think of involve the Catholic Church, but I'm not sure they'd support your point.

    Church: You can't say the Sun is the centre of the universe. It's amoral.
    Galileo: But all the evidence says it is!
    Church: That's not our problem.

    So yeah, you're probably going to have to come up with an analogy.

    Anyway, sure, Stallman can call whatever he wants amoral. My point is, if he wants a wide audience to actually listen to him, he needs to offer a means for a programmer to make at least a modest living while avoiding amorality. As I've said, his alternative isn't "pin compatible."

  • Re:I attended (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unlametheweak (1102159) on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:05AM (#19924415)
    Copyrights ARE artificial limits... whether they be five years or fifty years after the author's death. Nothing is natural about copyright. It's an unnatural legal construct that's quite unintuitive. That's why we need organizations like the RIAA to educate children about the importance of copyright.

    It's more a matter of being fair (and practical). Copyright doesn't loose value like material property. With copyright people can still make money off of work they have long since done. It's bizarre. Laws are easy to create, and the non-power brokers like me have no defacto say. Five years is plenty fair IMHO for getting paid for (in some cases a few hours worth of work), over and over again for the rest of one's life.

    I'm sure, all-things-being-equal, RMS wouldn't mind having an "artificial limit" placed on the GPL, but that would be assuming a fair and equal playing field.
  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:17AM (#19924491) Homepage Journal
    I use your software every day, and I am really am grateful for your varied contributions. But can you go home now, and keep to yourself, please? All that crazy is just hurting our cause.
  • by Valacosa (863657) on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:20AM (#19924503)

    He's right : who cares about your wedding pictures besides your own family ?
    Any trivial software can easily have hundreds of users, so it being proprietary or Free Software is more important than your own pictures.

    What's more important: something that matters a little to a lot of people, or matters a lot to a few people?

    Your argument is flawed, and here's why: according to your logic, closed source software is more of a crime than the murder of one of your family. I mean, who's going to miss your wife or daughter? Unless she's especially notable, a couple hundred people tops. But free software can benefit all of humanity!

    That's not to mention that a lot more people care about wedding photos than free software. If I had to pick one of those causes, I know which one I'd get behind.

  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:20AM (#19924505) Homepage Journal
    Oh, I see, I *do* have to make a stupid analogy. What's wrong with you people who insist that we make stupid analogies. Fine. Here goes.

    If you're a whaler and people tell you to stop whaling your response is most likely going to be "but how will I feed my family?" And the response will likely be "look, I know you've been a whaler all your life, and I know your whole family were whalers for generations and generations, but whales are becoming extinct and to continue whaling them into extinction is just wrong!" To which the whaler may reply "you didn't answer my question!"

    It's irrelevant. It's his problem. Go become a fisherman.. or drive an oil tanker, err, cruise ship, or something.

  • by Swift2001 (874553) on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:21AM (#19924511)
    What needs to happen in a lot of circumstances is that copyright should not be transferable. So, if I write a song, it belongs to me. If a company wants to promote it, we can make a service contract. But the copyright is mine, not theirs. The labels are my agents, they could provide studios, or off-site storage for my works, and people with marketing savvy. But guess what? The industry that gave us the indentured servitude of the recording contract is no more. iTunes is more of a music company than any label out there. All they are are assholes with legal degrees.

    Not being able to force artists into loan sharking arrangements with the labels would mean, however that all the labels as they exist now are effectively and instantly bankrupt. Yay. Without this leverage, The artist writes contracts with agents, and grants his or her managers a piece of his copyright for say, five years. So, the more tracks of mine they sell, the more they make. The more concerts I give to the bigger audiences, the more money they make. But the artist is in control. He has the copyright. I might spare them 10% of revenues, or 50% if I'm a newbie. But it will revert to me.

    Because, after all, what function do the huge conglomerated labels have? They used to provide money for manufacture and distribution. They no longer have any significant burden, since once the final track is laid down, all they have to do is sell copies for more than it costs to download. And they were loan sharks. Game over. Finita la commedia.
  • Re:I attended (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unlametheweak (1102159) on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:40AM (#19924595)

    What or who decides what is "plenty fair"?

    Good question. I know it's not me. In the US it's members of congress who get lobbied by the copyright holders (which usually aren't even the creators of the work, but just the marketers). Yes "five years is plenty fair" is a bit flippant, but think of it more as an example of something that is MORE fair than, say, fifty or 70 years after an authors death. 10 years maybe, or even 20? ... I'm just aiming at something a little more realistic and intuitive than what the current trend is, which is making copyright laws even MORE bizarre and unintuitive... like charging restaurants for having background music; something that was taken for granted just a few years ago.
  • Re:anime industry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:41AM (#19924601)

    Now the companies could start being assholes and try to shut these groups down, but instead they have a gentleman's contract.

    There is no such gentleman's agreement. The owners of the copyrighted works despise fansubbing, and the companies that license the distribution rights overseas despise them even more. There have been enough instances where producers and artists have openly said that they don't approve of fansubbing. The only reason fansubbers haven't been sued by the japanese distributors is because they realise they would gain very little compared to the time and effort wasted.

    Subbers stop subbing when a series is licenced and a blind eye is turned to the subbers.

    Biggest load of bull ever. Fansubbers don't always stop, they officially stop when the company that licensed it sends them a cease and desist. That's what happened when Viz picked up Death Note. What happened after the C&D was that the people originally subbing it, changed their name and continued to sub it.

    In this way companies learn what is popular and get free market research,

    I think companies get a reasonable amount of fan research from the original market already. What's popular in Japan is bound to be popular with the non-japanese anime fans if it isn't too localized (eg. containing jokes that are very culturally dependent). Market research isn't that expensive by the way that companies would start depending on fansubbers to do it for them.

    in an ideal world the fans buy the official releases to support the original companies and the ones who licenced the anime.

    In an ideal world, yes... In our world, the words "lol 'buy'" come to mind. You could start by arguing that those people were never going to buy it in the first place, but that's beside the point really. Fansubbing is a copyright violation, and it is viewed as such, but not actively pursued because it simply wouldn't be advantageous for the original copyright owner. There is more money to be made by selling the rights to an overseas distributor and let them deal with the lawsuits, than by trying to squeeze a few cents out of a college student. Fansubbers that stop distributing once it's licensed by an american company don't get C&Ds or lawsuits because they acquired the rights after the fansubbing took place.

    In short, fansubbers aren't as "tolerated" as you would argue, they just aren't worth investing time and money in yet.

  • by Valacosa (863657) on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:53AM (#19924659)

    Since you didn't want to come up with an analogy in the first place, I know you wouldn't appreciate it if I picked holes in it. So I won't.

    Problem #1: There are some things generally considered amoral by the population. Murder. Rape. Hunting a species to extinction" Sure, we can get behind that, throw that on the list. "Closed source software" isn't something that leaps into people's heads, and even if it did I doubt most people would put it in the top fifty. "That guy who drives past all the waiting cars and then cuts into the turning lane" would likely rank higher than "closed source software".

    Richard Stallman is not the pope of PCs. His saying closed source is immoral doesn't mean anything. You may agree with him, and I agree that closed source isn't preferable. But while most people mind murder and rape and extinction of cute animals most people don't give a damn about software. For them it's a means to an end, and nothing more. Hence our current situation.

    Problem #2: I'm pro free software, but think Stallman is going about promoting it in the wrong way. He's literally giving talks to the programmers of tomorrow and saying, "Don't release closed source. It's immoral." Does he offer alternatives? Somewhat - he did say that one can program for open source on commission, but can one earn a good living at it? He's hardly a proof of principle himself. I know there are examples and whole business models, but he didn't talk about them.

    We're talking about two different things. You're assuming that average people, when faced with two options, will pick the difficult one with no benefit to themselves, magically listening to an inconvenient person telling them that the easy option is "amoral". I'm more concerned with how Stallman will get people to actually listen to him. At this rate, he's bound to have as much success as the anti-whalers. [newscientist.com]

  • by jeevesbond (1066726) on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:54AM (#19924665) Homepage

    One guy in the audience asked how he was supposed to pay for his university education by releasing free software. Stallman didn't really give him an answer, he just told the student that he didn't have to go to school, and he had no right to release closed source software in an attempt to earn money. Stallman has compared closed source software to "a crime against humanity", yes?

    I was sat directly behind the guy who asked that question and don't remember it like that at all. To me it seemed like a case of: 'ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.' It's stupid because he was mixing up Free (as in Freedom) with free (as in beer). It's a common misconception.

    Personally when Stallman was answering I really wanted to shout out: 'I get paid for developing Free software!' Which I do, now seeing this weird post on /. makes me wish I had shouted out. Also it was a lecture about copyright in general, not Free software in particular.

    So please stop spreading FUD and mis-conceptions about Free software. If that chap in the audience can't make Free software pay then why the heck are Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Novell et al. still in business?! Just because Stallman's a dirty hippy, doesn't mean everyone in the business is. Maybe, just maybe money isn't important to him? Why are you judging him to be a failure just because he hasn't made millions from his ideas?

    It was a stupid question, that's why Stallman had a problem answering it, I also don't remember him answering in the way you've described, but will check later.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday July 20, 2007 @07:33AM (#19925101) Journal
    Even if copyright isn't transferrable, you will still be able to give someone an exclusive license to do anything that copyright lets you do. I have signed a contract with the Free Software Foundation assigning copyright to them for contributions to GNUstep, for example, and in this contract they then give me back the non-exclusive rights to do whatever I want with the code. I can still act as if I were the copyright holder (including releasing it under non-Free licenses), the only things I can't do are:
    • Sue for copyright infringement, since I would have no standing. They could have designated me the right to do this on their behalf, but they didn't since the whole point of copyright assignment is to allow them to do this.
    • Release the work into the public domain. I can, however, release it under a license which does not place any demands on the recipient (allows them to distribute in source of binary form, without attribution).
    Even without transferring copyright in name, you can still do it in deed. There's nothing forcing artists to assign their copyrights. If they are good, then they can always take out a loan to finance themselves, or release a few tracks online for free and get their fans to invest in their future to cover their costs (would you buy a share in a band you liked? I probably would).
  • by krasmussen (891165) <krasmussen&gmail,com> on Friday July 20, 2007 @07:40AM (#19925145)

    We're talking about two different things. You're assuming that average people, when faced with two options, will pick the difficult one with no benefit to themselves, magically listening to an inconvenient person telling them that the easy option is "amoral". I'm more concerned with how Stallman will get people to actually listen to him. At this rate, he's bound to have as much success as the anti-whalers.

    If your goal with life is improving society rather than achieving personal success, this works perfectly fine. It's just about the same choice that Stallman made [oreilly.com] and it's the same choice that thousands of free software programmers make when they use their spare time making software that the whole society benefits from.

    Besides, Stallman has on numerous occasions mentioned ways to make a living while making free software, and many of the aforementioned free software programmers use these. Making private software (software that will never be released to the public, intended for use in only one place), doing [redhat.com] support [canonical.com], making donationware [bittorrent.com] or doing something other than programming all make you a living, whilst avoiding making proprietary software.

  • Re:I attended (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Drew_9999 (750818) on Friday July 20, 2007 @07:43AM (#19925165)

    It's more a matter of being fair (and practical). Copyright doesn't loose value like material property. With copyright people can still make money off of work they have long since done. It's bizarre. Laws are easy to create, and the non-power brokers like me have no defacto say. Five years is plenty fair IMHO for getting paid for (in some cases a few hours worth of work), over and over again for the rest of one's life.
    You say "a few hours worth of work" as though that has anything to do with determining the value of art.
  • by PietjeJantje (917584) on Friday July 20, 2007 @07:55AM (#19925259)
    >So please stop spreading FUD and mis-conceptions about Free software

    Ah yes, the usual reply to critics of Stallman/the GPL. "You don't understand." "You are stupid." I think -that's- amoral. Know what? A black box ain't amoral. It's sold as a black box. The GPL is not about freedom, it's a arrangement to get stuff back. Freedom is what you read about on the site of Amnesty International. A redefinition of that word to serve your puny software purpose, is called "decadence". If you think otherwise, perhaps you should empathically try to imagine how true victims of a lack of freedom (see Amnesty's site) would feel about someone who redefined it for software programming and a mis-conception about black box morality, and someone who can only apply that kind of luxury live philophosy, because he was born on a very rich, capitalist country. Sir, -you- are stupid. (I don't really mean that, but hey, I'm freely copying your demeanor.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2007 @08:06AM (#19925321)
    no right to release closed source software in an attempt to earn money

    And that's where Stallman is wrong. There is only one question to ask here: Where is the coercion?

    There is none. It's nowhere to be found. There is no coercion, and therefore no aggressor and no victim. Compiling source code and selling the binary result is clearly -- drum roll please -- an act of voluntary association. There is nothing coercive about it.

    Now, when government and IP law gets involved, THEN you're talking coercion. But that's a debate that I'm not interested in right now. My point is that simply selling compiled source code cannot possibly be interpreted as an act of coercion, and therefore the act is entirely moral and just -- not because government says so, but because human nature says so.
  • Assumption (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mikkeles (698461) on Friday July 20, 2007 @08:08AM (#19925339)
    From the abstract

    But if we seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of copyright -- to promote progress, for the benefit of the public -- then we must make changes in the other direction.

    I would suggest that 'promoting progress for the benefit of the public' being the only legitimate purpose of copyright requires justification.

    Another possible purpose is to protect the right of the creator to be the sole beneficiary of his labour.

    Points to consider include dependence on earlier work and novelty and the benefits of the creation vs. the costs of protection with respect to those who have to pay.

  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Friday July 20, 2007 @09:15AM (#19925851) Homepage Journal
    The whaler analogy was stupid, deliberately so, but it was explaining my point, which was that asking RMS how you are going to pay your rent/mortgage is just irrelevant. The only answer you will get is: do it some other way. Which you already knew. If you agree with RMS's view that making proprietary software is immoral then the only question you have to ask is, am I a moral person or can I be bought? The only person you can ask that question is yourself.

    Thing is, most people don't like thinking of themselves as being someone who ignores their beliefs and lives an immoral life. So it's easy to convince yourself that you don't really believe in any of the RMS crap anyway. Especially if there's no negative repercussions.
  • by Crazy Eight (673088) on Friday July 20, 2007 @09:20AM (#19925889)
    "...non-power brokers like me have no defacto say...

    Every /. story about the RIAA involves a conflict between principals dejure and the defacto state of affairs.

    "Five years is plenty fair IMHO for getting paid for (in some cases a few hours worth of work), over and over again for the rest of one's life."

    James MacNeil Whistler sued John Ruskin for libel. On the stand Whistler was asked how he could ask for two hundred pounds for two days work. He responded that he was charging for knowledge "gained in the work of a lifetime." Among musicians that don't appreciate his work, Handel will still remain immortal for writting The Messiah in a mere three weeks. IIRC, Dostoyevsky "knocked off" Notes from the Underground. When you argue that monetary compensation derived from copyright should be tied to hourly measures of time you assume equivalence in the value of work by Beethoven and one by Madonna. Hell, in this day and age, a fella can make millions by playing a game of basketball. How long does that take, an hour and a half?

  • by moeinvt (851793) on Friday July 20, 2007 @10:03AM (#19926361)
    "How would making instructional works copyright-free lower their quality?"

    I think he/she was definitely talking about future "to be created" work as opposed to existing stuff. Maybe the intent was to suggest that the set of instructional works on a particular topic would be of less quality overall. There would certainly be smaller body of material available. I'd sort of consider that "lower quality", even though the quality of an individual work might be ~ the same.

    "The value of a manual (to the company making it) is not in it's royalties. It is usually given away for free, so there are no royalties."

    I guess you've never purchased the service/maintenance manual for an automobile. These typically run in the $100-$200 range. There are 3rd party alternatives in similar price ranges, but I *think* they must license the specs from the manufacturer as well.

    I see no reason why instructional works should get different treatment.
  • by crimperman (225941) on Friday July 20, 2007 @10:37AM (#19926749) Homepage
    Stallman has never claimed to be a fan of "openness", he talks about freedom. You are confusing the four freedoms with the ability to distribute in the currently popular formats. Information cannot flow freely if it is frestricted by patents, licences and other legal wrangling.

    MP3 has a history of licencing and patenting issues, OGG Vorbis is patent free and open. Thus, of the two, the latter format is more likely to ensure continued access to the data.

    Yes, the popular ( read: pre-installed with an OS ) music playing software make it difficult to play Ogg but there are plenty of players [vorbis.com] around. You call it fanaticism and say he has compromised to make a point. I (and many others I suspect) would say he is absolutely not-compromising and this decision is completely in line with Stallman's aims and philosophy and those of the FSF.
  • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Friday July 20, 2007 @03:36PM (#19931363) Homepage

    In the talk, he separates works into three categories: Functional works, artistic works, and position statements (like this lecture, where he gives his personal opinion on a topic). For position statements, he thinks it's reasonable for authors to be able to restrict modification - since modifications would mostly just allow people to mis-represent the opinions of others.

  • by Freed (2178) on Friday July 20, 2007 @04:01PM (#19931737)
    >The GPL is not about freedom, it's a arrangement to get stuff back.

    On the contrary, the GPL is what its creator says it is. Why should anyone care about your arbitrary characterization--particular without any justification whatsoever? Consider the definition of "letter" and "spirit" and note my emphasis:

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, he is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the "letter") of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, he is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not adhering to the literal wording.

    "Law" originally referred to legislative statute, but in the idiom may refer to any kind of rule. Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language. Following the letter of the law but not the spirit is also a tactic used against an oppressive government.
    [1]

    >If you think otherwise, perhaps you should empathically try to imagine how true victims of a lack of freedom (see Amnesty's site) would feel about someone who redefined it for software programming and a mis-conception about black box morality, and someone who can only apply that kind of luxury live philophosy, because he was born on a very rich, capitalist country.

    The same kind of argument is used against those who fight for democracy in China. Moreover, your claim of "redefinition" is ridiculous, as if people advocating software freedom automatically discount any other kind of freedom. You have tried to set up a false dilemma fallacy: freedom is either defined by Amnesty International or by someone else. In reality freedom will always be an incompletely specified notion, as long as changes such as technology occur in the world. Advocates for software freedom have never pretended that it encompasses all possible freedom. Please use your brain.

    One of the things you failed to acknowledge is that issues of freedom around software will continue to be far, far more important simply because of the always increasing dependence of society upon software.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_of_the_law [wikipedia.org]
  • by Freed (2178) on Friday July 20, 2007 @05:12PM (#19932777)
    >Ah yes, "you don't understand" and "you are stupid." again.

    OK, I stated a whole counterargument, with one piece of advice mixed in: "Please use your brain."

    I am sorry if that hurts your feelings. However, my counterargument otherwise remains unchallenged by your appeal to pity, just like the other challenges you have received.

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