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Re: LGPL vs. GPL

From: JohnF
Subject: Re: LGPL vs. GPL
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 00:12:21 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.8.3-20070201 ("Scotasay") (UNIX) (NetBSD/4.0 (i386))

David Kastrup <> wrote:
> JohnF <> writes:
>> Ciaran O'Riordan <> wrote:
>>> JohnF <> writes:
>>> > > One thing that's for sure is that he'll have to distribute
>>> > > MimeTex's source with the binary (or an offer to send people
>>> > > the source on request).
>>> > 
>>> > I'd thought a link to its homepage (where the source can be
>>> > downloaded) satisfies that requirement.
>>> Yes, I think so too.
>>> > The free-of-charge version of his program helps society
>>> > (assuming it's useful in the first place)
>>> In the short term, in technical ways, maybe, but it will also compete
>>> against truly free applictions that are trying to do the same thing.
>> Hadn't thought of that.  But, on second thought now, I'd say,
>> "let the best program win."  If the commercial application is
>> truly better, maybe its superior functional specifications will
>> inspire an open source "knock off."  If that doesn't happen,
>> then the superior commercial application has every ethical right
>> to dominate the market if users are willing to pay the price
>> (dollar price as well as closed source price).
> If people thought like you, child labor and slavery would be the
> dominant ways of producing goods even now.  You not only mandate to let
> the market decide about good or bad, but you also request that one
> should not talk about morals or responsibility.

You have GOT to be kidding me, right???  What kind of utterly
specious argument is that supposed to be?  For one thing, child
labor typically manufactures the cheaper product to compete
with the more expensive one, so you're applying the analogy
backwards.  More importantly, you seem willing to speciously
inject political correctness into the discussion, apparently
trying to appeal to emotions rather than reason.  That'll almost
always backfire on you as follows...
    There are four kinds of people: (a)those who already agree
with you, (b)those who already disagree with you, (c)those whose
minds are not made up, and (d)the vast majority of humanity that
couldn't care less.  (d)-people aren't reading any of this.
(a)'s and (b)'s minds are already made up, so your argument
(specious or otherwise) won't affect them.  That leaves (c),
who are the only people your words can affect.  Now, they don't
share your one-track, polarized viewpoint, so most of them
will immediately see through the kind of thinly-veiled 
political correctness indoctrination you're trying to pull over
on them.  And they'll conclude that you have no rational argument,
because if you had one you'd use it.  That is, since you're
trying to appeal to emotion rather than reason, you probably
have no reasonable argument to begin with.  So, they'll just end up
inferring that your viewpoint is probably the wrong one.  Thus, even
if you're right, a silly argument will convince undecided people
that you're wrong.

> The market will always decide against morality when left to its own
> devices.  90% of the buyers are apathetic to the origin of their goods.
> You have to raise awareness to a level that regulation sets in,
> regulation that actually overrides that what most people would do on
> their own.
> Changing perception is an important first step for change to happen.  It
> is not tantamount to changing behavior, but behavior does not change all
> on its own.

Making money isn't immoral in itself.  If you're implying that
it is (I can't tell for sure what, if anything, you're saying),
then that's just hypocritical.  From your own words at
we have
   "...for the last few years I tried working on TeX-related tasks
    self-employed, but this will have to change soon since it does
    not pay the bills -- partly because of the expectation of people
    that free software should be written for free..."
Right.  Everyone has bills to pay, children to feed and put through
school, etc.  If some people want to write software and then sell
it, that's their right to choose how to distribute their own
creations.  If you don't like it, you can ignore those people.
But you've further taken it upon yourself to tell the rest
of the world to ignore those people, too.  Perhaps the rest of the
world would prefer to make up their own minds for themselves.
In my experience, few people like morality preached at them,
especially with specious arguments, and especially by people
who (as quoted above) don't completely believe what they're saying.
John Forkosh  ( mailto:  where j=john and f=forkosh )

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