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Comment Re: The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

To be clear: in your post you didn't mention Sweden, or the pirate party, or escrow.

Because Stallman's call for legal restrictions in the face of copyright being weakened was only an example based on following the philosophy of the Free Software Definition. Once you accept that being given access to source code is a "freedom", Stallman's position with regards to escrow naturally follows. That's why I say words and meanings matter, and fight against Orwellian propaganda.

Comment Re: The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

There's nothing new here, except the explicit quote from Stallman which backs up what I had alluded to earlier. The only thing new is that you're removing the crust from your eyes and letting go of your narrow focus on GPL in a copyright world. Perhaps, in this new light, you'd like to re-read the thread and pay attention to what I did say, and not what you wanted to argue against.

Comment Re:Physics and economics don't care (Score 1) 165 165

said fuck it and bought some LED ones as they last much longer than even the long life incandescent ones and are brighter than the regular incandescent ones

Yup, way too bright. As a driver caught in those lights, I hate the new LED headlights.

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

If it is a strawman, you provided it. it shouldn't be this hard to find out what you are arguing.

It isn't hard, you just refused to accept it and insisted on your narrow argument based on the GPL and existing copyright, despite the fact that I repeatedly told you otherwise.

But certainly in your extract here, he is not arguing for any particular laws or losses of freedom, only stating the conditions required to preserve freedom for all people.

He says, further in the article:

"So what would be the effect of terminating this program's copyright after 5 years? This would not require the developer to release source code, and presumably most will never do so. [..] So I proposed that the Pirate Party platform require proprietary software's source code to be put in escrow when the binaries are released. The escrowed source code would then be released in the public domain after 5 years." (bold mine)

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

Well yeah of course you are. It isn't 1993. Back then you wouldn't have been. The X11 was a disaster.

I had a 486/66MHz running Debian in the 90s. X11 wasn't a "disaster". I did end up abandoning Debian for a few years around the time of Windows 98, not because of X11, but because Linux in general wasn't worth the pain. I ended up going back to Debian, not because X11 was no longer a "disaster", but because I was again willing to endure the pain of Linux.

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

Linuxes are using commercial Xs mostly.

You state that without anything to back it up. I'm using the standard X11 that comes with Debian just fine, and so are many other distributions. It gets the job done. It certainly isn't "some free almost worthless version hanging out under the BSD license".

As for Apache if the value adds on top of Apache are proprietary than Apache is not thriving.

Are those "the norm"? You haven't given any evidence they are. I gave an example of a giant company talking about how to tune Tomcat, not some proprietary offshoot. Is the mere existence of a proprietary add-on now considered a failure?

You insisted that BSD-style software ends up "almost worthless", but you have been proven wrong, and now you're just blathering on, blindfolding yourself to the successful BSD-style software that's thriving, far beyond "almost worthless".

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

The fact that 20 years ago it was so far behind and that many people were using commercial X's for Linux is the evidence of how badly the BSD model had failed.

You started out saying, "systems that were once free become in practice proprietary and unfree even though there is some free almost worthless version hanging out under the BSD license". Yet it served Linux fine for over 20 years, while most of the commercial Unix's died out. Your point is invalid.

At the same time the extensions into app servers like Tomcat have forked over into proprietary products. So in this case the ecosystem doesn't work.

You seem to think because a proprietary fork exists that counts as a failure. Yet Apache itself is still thriving. And hey, look, here's a blog post from 3 days ago where a huge commercial company, Netflix, describes how to tune Tomcat to take care of a problem:

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

You seem to think that granting additional freedoms conditional on preserving them to others is a restriction merely because it is not unconditional, or because it is less that you hoped.

You are intent on arguing a strawman, probably because your argument falls apart otherwise. Again, I'm discussing the Free Software Definition irrespective of copyright law, whereas you are talking about the GPL in a state of copyright law.

You were actually discussing the conditional transference of a car that was your property.

I explicitly linked to the Free Software Definition in my first post. The discussion of the car analogy is in that context.

Rubbish, copyright was being excercised to his detriment, not undermined

An excerpt:

"The bullying of the copyright industry in Sweden inspired the launch of the first political party whose platform is to reduce copyright restrictions: the Pirate Party. Its platform includes the prohibition of Digital Restrictions Management, legalization of noncommercial sharing of published works, and shortening of copyright for commercial use to a five-year period. Five years after publication, any published work would go into the public domain.

I support these changes, in general; but the specific combination chosen by the Swedish Pirate Party backfires ironically in the special case of free software. I'm sure that they did not intend to hurt free software, but that's what would happen.

The GNU General Public License and other copyleft licenses use copyright law to defend freedom for every user. The GPL permits everyone to publish modified works, but only under the same license. Redistribution of the unmodified work must also preserve the license. And all redistributors must give users access to the software's source code."

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

The result of the BSD license was a disaster for free software one of the worst free software disasters ever.

Uh huh. X11 has only served as the de facto windowing system for Linux for, what, over 20 years? What a disaster. Also I see you have no response to OpenSSH and Apache.

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

I think then that you know what Stallman is talking about when he uses the term "freedom" but you are taking the hard way in accusing him of dishonesty when you seem to really mean that he is using the wrong words.

Words matter, and calling for restrictions under the guise of "freedom" is propaganda and dishonest.

Software is non-tangible and as a licensee you have no ownership rights, and only those rights granted by the licensor (author/owner). This point was not represented at all in your analogy.

It's immaterial. We're talking about whether source code must be provided (or "made available") when providing a binary. That's imposing an extra restriction that could equally be applied to tangible objects, as in the car example.

With software where the GPL applies, they are not the new owner, they are just a licensee.

I'm discussing in particular the Free Software Definition, of which the GPL is a particular license designed to enforce it. The GPL only draws its power because of copyrights on software. In a theoretical world without copyrights on software, and hence no licenses, the Free Software Definition is still a valid position statement. It would just label all software without corresponding source code as "non-free".

But I hardly think copyright laws will go away and it's not relevant to your misapplication of the analogy.

Stallman made his proposal because copyright was being undermined practically, and under serious debate in the public sphere. Don't be so sure they won't go away. It's like saying you can't ever imagine slavery going away, or the Berlin Wall coming down, or the USSR dissolving, or gay marriage, or legalized pot, or legal abortions, or any number of things that at one time seemed impossible... until they were a reality.

Anyways, even if copyright on software is here to stay, the theoretical argument remains. My argument applies to the Free Software Definition irregardless of the status of copyright.

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

It has a long proven track record of failure where systems that were once free become in practice proprietary and unfree even though there is some free almost worthless version hanging out under the BSD license.

OpenSSH? Apache? X11? Those are all licensed under BSD-style licenses and not GPL, and they are still widely used today, moreso than any proprietary version.

You are just assuming what you are trying to prove with your rhetoric.

That's funny, because that's exactly what you just did with your "a)" and "b)".

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

I think you need reminding of the origin of the free software movement.

I'm well aware of the printer story. But it changes nothing, as you're conflating freedom with capability.

It's also notable that you had to use a car analogy to make a point, which suggests that the point you are trying to make cannot reasonably be made in the software scenario; if it could it would be a more effective argument.

I didn't "have to" use it, but I chose it because it illustrates the point while being familiar and tangible objects.

I suggest that the first flaws are that the car and the manual are physical artefacts that can't be in the possession of the donor and recipient at the same time, this alone disqualifies the analogy.

You're grasping at straws without addressing the argument. I have no use for the manual. Maybe I lost it. Or maybe I'm just being a jerk and don't want to give it to him. Whatever the case, it's a bullshit argument to say I've taken away from somebody's freedom when I gave them a car. They didn't have a car before, now they do. They could have refused the car. They can still attempt to fix the car on their own. That's freedom. Would they have an easier time with the manual? Yes, but that's capability.

But you might say to the recipient: I give you MY car and MY manual on the condition that when you pass the car on you must also pass the manual on. Nobody compels the recipient to pass the manual on, he willingly accepts it as a condition of receiving the car.

Yes, but if you do that you place a restriction on the new owner of the car. They are less free. It may result in more capabilities and an overall better outcome, but it's not one based on freedom.

You don't mention what "such laws" you are talking about. Is Stallman arguing FOR any laws?

"Free Software" requires the binding of copyright to be enforced. Stallman has argued that if copyright laws were to go away, a law that requires giving source for software should be put in its place. That's a consumer protection law, not freedom. It shows exactly how the GPL is not based on freedom.

Which brings me to the second analogy I gave, that being the consumer protection law of requiring ingredients to be listed on packaged food. You could argue that it gives people the "freedom" to choose food appropriately, but that's capability, not freedom, and we know these are regulations that curtail the free market but most people are in favor of them anyways without crying "freedom!".

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

the freedom to restrict other's freedom

Conflating freedom with capability. While it would be nice and useful to give somebody the source code, I have not made them less free by not doing so.

Your loss of freedom to restrict others freedom whether by direct or indirect action increases not decreases freedom.

And this line of thinking leads us to Orwell's, "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." It's propaganda.

Comment The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 344 344

The The Free Software Definition states as one of the "four essential freedoms": "The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this." (bold mine)

Let's say I gave somebody a car out of charity, but I didn't give them the owner's manual. Are they now less free because they will have a harder time fixing the car than before I gave them the car? If I was compelled to give the person the owner's manual with the car, or not give the car at all, am I not less free?

My point is this. The Free Software Definition conflates freedom with capability, and does so at the cost of what freedom really means. It's nice for propaganda purposes, but it's Orwellian in nature.

It could be argued honestly that in the name of consumer protection we limit freedoms for the greater good, such as requiring a list of ingredients in packaged food. However, it would be dishonest to argue for such laws in the name of "freedom".

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon