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Re: Open source - Free software

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Open source - Free software
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 09:54:09 +0200

Stefaan A Eeckels wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 23:13:59 -0400
> Al Klein <rukbat@pern.invalid> wrote:
> [alt.comp.freeware dropped]

Restored (just to annoy curious Susan and others topicality police 

> > On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 14:53:19 +0200, Stefaan A Eeckels
> > <> wrote:
> >
> > >But unless you talk about a box in a shop, software isn't "any
> > >product in commerce".
> >
> > It's *A* product in commerce.  Whether the method of transport is the
> > postal service, your arm reaching for a box on the shelf or a download
> > is irrelevant to the fact that it's a product in commerce.
> Software is -recognised by the fact that it's covered by copyright-
> a means of expression. Free software is like free speech, and a product

Free speech is a concept of being able to freely express ideas (speak 
freely without censorship, etc.).

If free speech is taken to mean the right to express an idea then free 
software has very little to do with free speech. In software terms, free 
speech means the right to write a program or library that performs
certain tasks. Free software does nothing to protect the right to write 
a program about something, although most subscribers to the free software 
ideal would, presumably, support such a right.

In Eldred v. Ashcroft (which the FSF board directors Lessig and Moglen 
lost miserably), writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 
maintained: "First Amendment securely protects the freedom to make--or 
decline to make--one's own speech; it bears less heavily when speakers 
assert the right to make other people's speeches. To the extent such 
assertions raise First Amendment concerns, copyright's built-in free 
speech safeguards are generally adequate to address them."


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