BSD, Gav, LGPL, Jeremy, and business

Brett Glass brett at
Sat Feb 16 12:08:44 CST 2002

At 10:47 AM 2/16/2002, Patrik Stridvall wrote:

>> If users are fully informed about what a Trojan horse REALLY does, 
>> they may think twice about "running" it.
>Obviously everybody should be carefully before using a tool
>and study and understand for yourself what it really does
>an not rely on what other people say about it.
>But that doesn't mean that the tool inherits any
>"evil" purpose that the creator of it had in the
>process of creation.

I disagree. A Trojan horse that, for example, trashes hard
disks or creates zombies for DoS attacks is fundamentally
bad. This is why it's called "malware."

>I think the difference is that I don't consider Stallmans
>agenda unethical, only unrealistic.
>Forcing people to releasing small bug fixes is one thing

It's a start down a slippery slope -- toward appropriating
any or all of their code at will.

>> >Hitler supported building new autobahns (motor ways).
>> >I support build new autobahns (motor ways).
>> >
>> >However this doesn't make me "evil".
>> I could invoke Godwin's Law here, but I won't. ;-)
>> In the analogy above, suppose you find out that the
>> autobahns in question won't actually go anywhere that 
>> citizens (including you!) want to go, but are designed 
>> to support military invasions of other countries in
>> which many innocent people will be needlessly hurt
>> or killed. Do you still support them?
>Yes, because the motor ways that can transport troups
>can also transport trade goods or people visiting
>other countries in friendship. The more trade the
>more interdepence and the less risk for war.

Ah, but the government's terms won't let commercial 
vehicles on the road.

>> Yes, it can. You can forfeit your fair use rights via
>> a contract. And the FSF licenses are profferred contracts.
>That remains to be decided in court. 

Actually, no. Fair use rights can be signed away.
Non-disclosure agreements, for example, prevent people
from doing things that might otherwise be allowed
as fair use.

>> >I don't think they will have much luck though,
>> >they have already tried to stretch the boundaries
>> >of copyright law with the GPL, 
>> This is another reason why the GPL is likely to be
>> ruled invalid. An attempt to use copyright law to
>> do anything beyond the purposes stated in the US
>> Constitution can be invalidated as "copyright abuse."
>> (This argument has been made in the Napster litigation
>> and Judge Patel has taken it quite seriously.) Certainly,
>> "turning copyright on its head" (these are Stallman's own 
>> words for what a "copyleft" license does) would qualify
>> as copyright abuse. Hence, all "copyleft" licenses are
>> probably invalid and unenforceable.
>I think saying that the GPL is copyright abuse it taking
>it little far. 

Not at all. Read the case law. Type "copyright abuse" into
any search engine.


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