Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re: The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 359

No way do you make that argument in your post. Not even in your dreams:

The meaning of freedom (+1)
Raenex 2 days ago
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".

Comment Re: The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 359

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

I didn't narrow your argument, you didn't even make that argument. Not even your car analogy mentioned that the manual would have to be given only after 5 years.

I suggest you repost you question based on the past I am replying to.

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 359

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.

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

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.

You certainly failed to make it clear what you were arguing, and your car analogy did not help.

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

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/...

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."

In my remark about copyright working to his detriment, I thought you were talking about his original proposals behind the GPL and FSF based on the Xerox printer incident.

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 even states that he supports these changes in general. I don't know how that could lead you to argue that he is dishonest and in fact wanting less freedom!

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 359

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.

Words matter, but you are the one who is using dishonest propaganda.

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.

But you've had to resort to faulty analogies to make the argument because otherwise it could be dismissed as easily as I have just done: A conditional freedom is not a restriction, it is just a definition of the freedom.

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.

Nonsense. When providing the car, you are transferring ownership to your uncontested property.

When providing a binary based on someone else's source it is not your uncontested property. And without a license you have absolutely no rights to distribute that binary. The media may be your uncontested property but the binary is not.

The trouble with an analogy is that you have to prove your point with the analogy and then prove that the analogy applies. You get two arguments instead of one.

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".

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

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,

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

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,

Well, I based my guess on the monied lobies that argue for it and keep extending it. You may be right, and I suspect that when/if you are there will be other great social upheavels.

the theoretical argument remains. My argument applies to the Free Software Definition irregardless of the status of copyright.

Your argument remains, in the dust. You've repeated your argument but now I invite you to see the state without any confusing car analogies:

If I have a copy of someone else's software, I have the capability to distribute copies, but not the freedom to do so.

If I have a copy of someone else's software and a GPL license then I also have a freedom to distribute the software.

The license did not restrict me, but gave me a freedom I did not previously have. Without the GPL I could not distribute binaries OR source. The GPL gives permission to distribute binaries+source. Because it doesn't give you freedom to distribute just binaries you call it a restriction!

I wonder if your argument is really that if RMS were supporting "freedom" that he would have chosen the BSD license or recommended public domain because they offer more "freedom"?
Is that so? If so you could make it without resorting to car analogies.

The answer would be that GPL preserves the freedom for more people. Perhaps RMS doesn't want more quantities of "freedom" hoarded up in a few places, perhaps he wants all people to be free.

But even then, your accusation does not apply; even though you might not be satisfied with the additional freedoms you have on someone else's property.

Comment Re: The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 359

I can't explain the point he was trying to make. I don't think his analogy helped. I think his claim was that the GPL removed freedom.

Without a licence I can possess a copy of someone else's software and have the capability but not freedom to distribute copies.

With the GPL licence I get a freedom to distribute copies.

The licence added freedom I did not have before.

The licence is only relevant to one who does not have rights of ownership to the software and therefore has capability but not freedom.

He can argue that the BSD licence gives more freedom and he would be right, but the GPL gives preserves freedom to more people.

But he didn't argue that.

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 359

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.

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.

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.

It doesn't illustrate any point, because it is about tangible objects, to which you have ownership rights.

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.

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.

You made an argument about a car and manual which you own, which does not correspond to the software situation where you are the licensee, as I described above.

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.

You don't place the restriction on the owner of the car. They place it upon themselves. But it doesn't apply to software because the licensee who receives a COPY is not the new owner.

They are less free. It may result in more capabilities and an overall better outcome, but it's not one based on freedom.

Less free than what? This is where the car analogy breaks down again. As the new owner of the car they may feel less free because as owner they have obligations that you did not have as owner, but it is not about a car. Your analogy is hindering you because it is fault.

With software where the GPL applies, they are not the new owner, they are just a licensee. They may use the software without owning it! A new freedom! Just as they may use the car but they are not the owner of the software and have no inherent rights to it distribute it. But yet they may distribute it! A new freedom! As long as they follow the license.

But they do not have to distribute it (and it is not theirs to distribute). They can continue to use it without worrying about any of the license terms! They only have to follow the terms as they excercise the permitted freedoms, not as a price of those freedoms but as definitions of those freedoms.

But to keep you your car analogy, if they buy the software (the ownership of the software, not a license) from the OWNER or the OWNER donates the software then they are not bound by the license (do you know what license means? It means "permission") because they don't need the license. They operate as owner, not licensee. And so when we stick properly to your misapplied car analogy we see that freedom has not been restricted at all because the license does not restrict the owner.

You misunderstood the difference between owning the software/car and licensing the software/car.

To stick to your analogy, you cannot sell a car that you only hired. You have the capability - yes, but not the freedom. But its not yours...

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.

I don't know if he argued that it should be put in place or that it should be put in place if the FSF clauses were to remain in force. But I hardly think copyright laws will go away and it's not relevant to your misapplication of the analogy.

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!".

Your analogies are not helping you and I can't see how this one does any more than demonstrate your misuse of the terms capability and freedom. I don't think there is any doubt what RMS means by the term freedom, and I don't think there is any doubt that you confused license from the owner to distribute a copy, with ownership.

Comment Re:The meaning of freedom (Score 1) 359

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

It was in a fight back against loss of previous common freedom, that are not so common these days. Having been born into a greater captivity than Stallman you maybe never had those freedoms and do not feel the loss.

"When Stallman noticed the jamming tendency in the Xerox laser
printer, he thought of applying the old fix or "hack" to this printer.
In the course of looking up the Xerox laser-printer software, however,
Stallman made a troubling discovery. The printer didn't have any
software, at least nothing Stallman or a fellow programmer could read.
Until then, most companies had made it a form of courtesy to publish
source-code files--readable text files that documented the individual
software commands that told a machine what to do. Xerox, in this
instance, had provided software files only in compiled, or binary, form."

http://www.quora.com/What-is-t...

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.

Tip: Analogies are good for explanations but not good for arguments. Often the point in discussion has implications on whether or not the analogy applies. Your analogy may only make sense to people who already take your view.

But in this case your analogy is faulty.

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.

More specifically because your analogy is incorrectly applied.

No-one compels you to give YOUR car with YOUR manual. 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.

This analogy as applied means that if you choose to COPY or DISTRIBUTE someone else's copyrighted works, you may only do so lawfully, which means by license or by legal recognized exceptions (e.g. fair use). You may therefore accept the terms of the license, or refrain from copying, or be in breach of copyright.

The license clearly grants additional freedoms that copyright does not grant.

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

Submission + - Comic strip shows that vision is always prey to execution->

samjam writes: So many conflicts between technology and marketing are manifest in this short comic strip. Vision is destroyed by execution which is forced by finance, technology is destroyed by the need to sell to ignorant but wealthy customers. Does Zambian represent Apple or Google to you? Or a variety of other companies? Maybe it is a dogfood failure: perhaps Zambian developers are not permitted to use two-monitor setups? Have you ever had an executive make his first "executive decision" to release something that is totally broken?
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:But they support it already (Score 1) 178

What is this rubbish? Didn't we have these talks a long time ago already?

- Office 2007 and Office 2010 support ODF 1.1

- Office 2013 also supports ODF 1.2

Go open your Microsoft Office, and the option to save in OpenDocument is right there in the Save As dialog.

Whether anyone actually uses it, is the real question.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what+is+o...

"Office 365" refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services), such as Lync web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business, and additional online storage with OneDrive and Skype world ...

It doesn't seem to be the same as Office 2007 or Office 2010 or Office 2013.

There was a bit of a clue in the name, but we don't read articles and we don't even read the summary these days

Comment MS will do a bad job like Outlook Web Access (Score 2) 178

I always wondered why Microsoft weren't terminally ashamed that they were the only company in the world that could

1. produce a very good web based email/calendar client
and
2. yet have it not work properly on any browser other than MSIE

surely that fact hurt them when bidding for contracts?

But I don't doubt that their ODF implementation will be equally poor.

Comment Re:Yes, but the real problem is being ignored. (Score 1) 461

>> It may surprise you to learn that most people in the U.S. today are not "offended" by simple nudity.

> Yet they still manage to be insufferable puritans. If they are not, they should fight against unconstitutional laws against public swearing, public nudity, FCC censorship, etc. But they don't.

I get it. Because MOST people don't fight YOUR cause, THEY are the insufferable ones. Gotcha.

Biology grows on you.

Working...