[sclug] Cheap'n'nasty Tesco Linux machines

Sean Furey sean-lists-sclug at furey.me.uk
Mon Mar 17 00:01:04 UTC 2008

On Sun, Mar 16, 2008 at 01:40:47AM +0000, mail at europa.demon.co.uk wrote:
> 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. This is perfectly normal regulatory control to prevent
> abuse of buyers by vendors; indeed copyright itself is an equally
> artificial though perhaps not justifiable statutory monopoly imposed
> by government...

The rights and wrongs of copyright can be argued until the cows come
home (and it seems that's being demonstrated here, ditto for capatilism
vs communism).  But you're suggesting an extra step beyond destroying
copyright.  In ensuring everyones "freedom" to use and modify code,
you're destroying my freedom to do whatever the hell I like with what I
produce.  It's one thing to remove my legal ability to prevent
redistribution of my work by anyone I give it to (and I'll not take any
position here on the merits or otherwise of doing so), it's quite
another to introduce legal compulsion for me to give it to anyone in the
first place.

At what point do I need to distribute in your system?  Can I write some
code that makes use of some cunning hacks, compile it and give it to a
friend as a puzzle to reverse engineer, or will he be legally entitled
to compell me to give him the answer to the puzzle?


More information about the Sclug mailing list