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Comment Re:It is more subtle than you think (Score 1) 371

That would be a potential response from the plaintiff (AVW) to the defendants (Cybits) defense, basically 'we can comply with the GPL and still forbid you to modify our code under normal copyright law'. From the article, I gather the plaintiff did not use this response, for whatever reason. In any case, I think the article is not whether Cybit is in compliance with the GPL (as the grandparent post assumed), but about whether AVW is in compliance with the GPL, and whether they have to allow Cybits actions in order to remain in compliance with the GPL. Your reasoning weighs in on the side of 'AVW does not have to allow Cybits actions in order to remain in compliance with the GPL', and apparently the FSF is arguing the other side, but its still the same discussion.

Comment Re:Do we even use the right terminology? (Score 1) 564

Mathematics predates the scientific method, so mathematics can't be dependent on the scientific method for discovery.

The conclusion does not seem to follow from the premise. For one thing, it ignores both the possibility of mathematics 'adopting' the scientific method after it was formalized, and the possibility of mathematics using the scientific method without naming it as such.

However, even granting your conclusion that mathematics does not use the scientific method, it still does not follow that 'formal science' is merely science without the scientific method. In other words, if something does not use the scientific method but does fit all the other criteria of an empirical science, that does not automatically make it a formal science.

Generally, formal sciences use a method similar to the scientific method except that theorems 'must be proved', instead of 'should not be disproved with a counterexample even after a certain amount of testing'. The 'must be proved' requirement is actually equivalent to 'should not be disprovable with a counterexample regardless of the selection of testcases', so is a stronger requirement.

Following that line of reasoning, one could argue that formal sciences are the only true sciences, and that empirical sciences have been accepted as also-sciences merely because nothing better than the scientific method is available for the respective subject matter.

I don't subscribe to that point of view, but I do not think that 'mathematics is not a science' can be stated as a matter of fact.

Comment Re:Do we even use the right terminology? (Score 1) 564

So a "formal science" is like other science, except without the scientific method?

Well, mathematical research usually initially involves observing a pattern in abstract models, crafting a hypothesis, and testing the hypothesis in specific abstract models to find a counter-example. So to that extend mathematics uses the scientific method.

Of course, afterwards you need to find an actual step-by-step proof of your conjecture from commonly accepted axioms: it doesn't suffice to merely fail to find counter-examples. By necessity, empirical sciences are less strict that way.

Comment Re:Users only infringe *once* per file (Score 2, Insightful) 252

This is a very strange argument. If I torrent a movie and let it seed indefinitely, I will almost certainly have distributed more than one copy of the film. Did the justice really believe that torrenting is a one-for-one kind of activity where a downloaded work is uploaded once and only once? I haven't read the decision, but I wonder how much of it concerned downloading versus uploading.

Actually, the judge is correct. Some people seed more, some people seed less, but on average the number of uploads for each bittorent participant is equal to 1.

The reason is, for any given file distributed through bittorrent, the average number of uploads or downloads per person is each equal to the total number of uploads or downloads, divided by the number of persons participating. Since each kilobyte downloaded is uploaded by someone else, the total number of uploads and downloads are equal. So the average number of uploads per person has to be equal to the average number of downloads per person. And for any participant, that average number of downloads is 1.

I'm ignoring the possibility of incomplete downloads, blocks that needed to be re-downloaded, or the fact that the original seeder didn't need to download the file, but those are fairly minor factors that will not substantially alter the result.

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