[sclug] Cheap'n'nasty Tesco Linux machines

Simon Huggins huggie at earth.li
Sun Mar 16 09:56:46 UTC 2008

On Sun, Mar 16, 2008 at 01:40:47AM +0000, mail at europa.demon.co.uk wrote:
> On Saturday 15 March 2008 12:11:06 Simon Huggins wrote:
> > > > Copyright is evil and morally and ethically wrong.
> > My point was that copyright is required for Free Software (the licences
> > depend on it) in the same way that it's required for proprietary
> > software.  Saying it's "evil and morally and ethically wrong" doesn't
> > show much understanding of software licensing issues.
> As a "rodney" (please retract that if we are to continue any
> discussion) I understand "licensing" perfectly well, I simply consider
> it morally and ethically wrong, and I can inform you that copyright is
> not required for Free Software, it is merely a mechanism (the
> "copyright hack" to turn it into copyleft) which we use under the
> current legal system that recognises copyright to enable Free Software
> in the society we live in today.

Yeah fair enough, that's an interesting point.  If you'd made it that
way to start with you might be more persuasive than just stating it's

> We can equally easily legislate that anyone distributing software must
> provide to the recipient the source code to that software, and that
> there may be no restriction placed on how that can be used by the
> recipient.

Setting aside the fact that this won't happen, I think this would skew
incentives somewhat.  For instance, it could lead to people hiding
software-alike systems in firmware/hardware in order to cirumvent the

How would you persuade people to invest time and money in large software
projects under your suggested model?  Or are you advocating a decline in
software in general as well?

> > But you're misrepresenting my views when you say I'm getting
> > moralistic.  I really don't mind what you run.  I like Free Software
> > and I tend to choose it in preference to proprietary software when
> > it works but I'm pragmatic.
> Many do just that... However, we may choose as a society to disallow
> the concept that information and ideas can be owned, just as we once
> decided that persons could not be owned, and that women should vote...

Can I still own my bank card PINs though?  Please?


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