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Re: More FSF hypocrisy

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: More FSF hypocrisy
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 20:22:40 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Rjack <> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> Rjack <> wrote:
>>> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>>>> Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <> wrote:
>>>>> On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 12:46:40PM -0400, Hyman Rosen 
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Rjack, Therekov, amicus something, and all those trolls 
>>>>> will NEVER see this or that. Their sole purpose is to make
>>>>>  people loose time answering them and to polute mailing 
>>>>> lists.
>>>> Oh no, we're still here.  :-)  I do moderation on some other
>>>>  GNU mailing lists, but not this one.  The moderation is 
>>>> purely to exclude advertising and, occasionally, excessive 
>>>> swearing.  Once you get into censorship, no matter how good 
>>>> the reasons, you are on a slippery slope to being no better 
>>>> than the people you're shutting out.

>>> The posts by the above mentioned "trolls" are, in general, 
>>> constrained to the topic of intellectual property and copyright
>>>  licensing.

>> Yes.  There's much more to GNU than licensing and "intellectual 
>> property".

> There isn't anything to "GNU" except advancing the core belief
> that intellectual property and those who practice its principles are
> evil.

Don't be silly.  GNU is primarily a collection of high quality software
which is almost (but not quite) a complete operating system.  The bit
about "intellectual property" being evil is a fairly minor facet of GNU,
and apart from 1 or 2 people, I don't know anybody who takes it

> The GPL is *THE* holy grail of the GNU World. Expose the GPL
> licensing scheme for what it is and the GNU World is relegated to
> the dustbin of failed socialist history.

Ah, so you're a knight in shining armour, bravely standing up those
helpless people oppressed by the wicked GPL.  Where do you get all
these prolix phrases like "relegated to the dustbin of failed socialist
history" from?  Have you been watching "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"?
How many people do you think see things the way you do?

Tell me, what harm has GNU or the GPL ever done to you personally?  What
drives you to attacking it obsessively in this mailing list/newsgroup?
Do you not have some more interesting hobby to fill your time up with?

>> Your (plural) posts on one small (if significant) aspect of the 
>> GPL are so repetitive that they are spam.  Their effect is to 
>> drive out all meaningful discussion on other topics. That is 
>> Rui's complaint.  Consider whether or not you want this 
>> newsgroup/mailing list to work as it was intended.  Consider also
>>  whether you've been getting a kick out of all this obsessive 
>> posting, and whether it's consistent with the sort of person you
>>  want to be.

>> Just another thing: this mailing list and newsgroup was set up by
>> the FSF to promote its purposes.  Seeing as how you're using FSF
>> infrastructure (in particular, its mailing list servers) to 
>> spread your views, perhaps some respect for that organization on
>> your part is called for.

> Although you may think that the Free Software Foundation owns Usenet
> it doesn't. If you don't want to read criticism posted to Usenet
> then unlink the FSF servers from Usenet or moderate (censor) them. I
> post to servers owned by Giganews.

<sigh>.  The FSF doesn't own Usenet, and I'm quite aware of that.  But
there's a golden principle behind all the detailed netiquette, a single
overriding principle, and that is "don't be a dick".  You've been
violating that principle on this mailing list for a long time.  What
you post isn't "criticism" - it might be, if you posted it once or twice,
discussed it, then moved on.  What you post is spam.

>> Note that even as you continue to bombard GNU with continually 
>> repeated insults (yes, insults), there is no call to censor you,
>>  and I can guarantee to you that Richard Stallman would not 
>> countenance any such censoring, were he to express a view.

> One man's perceived insult is another man's ode to truth.

There's nothing "perceived" about your insults - they're not to do with
the other person's interpretation, they're crude insults however you look
at them, regardless of whether they might be "true".

>> Note, I'm not saying that the legitimacy of the GPL isn't a valid
>>  topic here; it clearly is.  I'm saying that hundreds of posts on
>>  the topic, sometimes that many in a single week, is an abuse of
>>  this forum.

>> If you want to continue attacking GNU and the FSF, and you've any
>>  sense of decency in you, you'll go and do it somewhere where you
>>  won't be abusing the FSF's resources.

> I've never considered truthful and accurate legal analysis as "abuse".

Join the ranks of the Jehovah's Witnesses and others who "have the truth"
and feel this entitles them to bludgeon it into others.

The "truthfulness" and "accuracy" of your "legal analysis", which are
anything but uncontroversial, don't excuse abusiveness.  But your
abusiveness will certainly ensure that nobody who matters will take you

>> On the other hand, if you want intelligently to discuss a variety
>>  of topics relevant to GNU, I'd be more than happy to engage you
>>  in debate.

> The GNU core belief is the socialist's dream of the destruction of
> intellectual property. Its leaders love to spout vitriol concerning
> people who hold contrary beliefs.

You've been reading too much Richard Stallman.  Far too much.  You have,
I think, a wierd fantasy that GNU is some sort of pseudo-religion, where
masses of "GNUtians" gather in satanic rituals, summoning Mephistopheles 
in persuit of the destruction of whatever it is, if anything, you hold

The reality is much more prosaic.  GNU is about softwre, not religion or
politics, and those who write the software have a vast variety of
outlooks, probably including any political and religious afiliation you
can thing of, and quite a lot you can't.

How seriously do you think the typical GNU hacker takes the rantings of
RMS when he starts spouting the views you've been quoting here?
Certainly, nowhere near as seriously as you do.  Yet his somewhat
extreme arguments serve a purpose, giving non-thinking people a jolt to
start considering things they've taken for granted for too long.

> Before you launch into a long-winded denial why not read Richard
> Stallman:

I have done, many times.  There's a lot he says that I agree with, and
a lot that I don't agree with.  Much of it, including what you quote
below, is hyperbole.  Why do you take it so seriously?  I doubt RMS
takes himself as seriouly as you seem to.

> "That's unethical, they shouldn't be making any money. I hope to see
> all proprietary software wiped out. That's what I aim for. That
> would be a World in which our freedom is respected. A proprietary
> program is a program that is not free. That is to say, a program
> that does respect the user's essential rights. That's evil. A
> proprietary program is part of a predatory scheme where people who
> don't value their freedom are drawn into giving it up in order to
> gain some kind of practical convenience. And then once they're
> there, it's harder and harder to get out. Our goal is to rescue
> people from this."

> How about Eben Moglen:
How about him?  He'd be a great guy to meet up with for a beer.  I
appreciate his work in formulating the GPL, thus leaving me free to
concentrate on writing software without having to worry about licensing

> When you represent an organization dedicated to churning out
> propaganda supporting such provocative "GNU" ideals then you should
> expect return fire.

GNU isn't an organisation such as you're picturing.  It's a loose
collection of hackers, steadily building and enhancing high quality
software.  I don't "represent" it; well, OK, I do when I'm moderating
its mailing lists or arranging for code contributers to assign their
copyright to GNU, but certainly not most of the time, and definitely
not at the moment.
> Stop whining!

<sigh> Please think about the dictum "don't be a dick".  Please also
get out a bit, socialise with people other than RMS and go for a
reality check on what GNU is.

Attacking the FSF, GNU and Richard Stallman isn't exactly an original
stance.  The people who've done it, at least those who are credible and
worthy of being taken seriously, have set up their own projects and web
sites to assert their own message.  Look at the Open Source Foundation,
XEmacs, Linux, all projects whose originators disagree with what you
disagree with.  Go and air your views on their forums.  You might get a
more interesting reaction than what you get here.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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