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Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: US court says software is owned, not licensed
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 17:00:36 -0400

"Alan Mackenzie" <> wrote in message news:hav3va$1am9$
In gnu.misc.discuss amicus_curious <> wrote:

"Alan Mackenzie" <> wrote in message
In gnu.misc.discuss amicus_curious <> wrote:

"David Kastrup" <> wrote in message
"amicus_curious" <> writes:

"David Kastrup" <> wrote in message

Now I would not put it past you to try to set up a business centered
around this purportive loophole.  But nobody in his right mind would
care to do important business with you anyway.  You come across as
far too willing to take unnecessary risks. Your compulsive desire to
prove yourself clever and the rest of the world stupid is simply too
dangerous in a business partner.

Very few have ever succeeded in any business centered around open
source software.

More than those in any business centered against open source software.
Most of the openings against open source software appear to be in Usenet
trolling.  The former is a billion dollar market.  The latter does not
appear to feed more than a handful of people.  And they occupy
identities like busy Potemkin villagers.

What use do you anticipate for pulling something that stupid out of thin air? You folk seem to think that a mere sneer is an adequate response to anything that you cannot answer otherwise. That is why you are still in
last place.

Well, what a comparison!  I wonder who would come top in a "get a life"
poll - There're people like David, who write and maintain useful free

Is that so?  What software ....

Emacs.  Possibly other bits I don't know about.

.... and why do you think it useful?

It's self evident.  Note the aggressive way you put the second part of
that question; it seems you were so uninterested in finding out what David
actually does, that you prematurely fired off your disparagement.

You stated that it was "useful free software". How is asking what and why such an agression? I think that you are reading a lot into my words that was never there. Why are you so defensive? And I do not consider Emacs all that useful either, but that would be another discussion entirely.

I would rather that he was able to make intelligent comments in regard
to the topic thread, of course, but I am always curious.

<sigh>  That's the sort of stuff that makes a forum like this unbearable -
Constant denigration.  Go and have a read of Paul Graham's article on
disagreeing at <>, where he
classifies types of disagreement on a quality scale.  Your last paragraph
is equivalent to "he is an idiot" and falls into Graham's category "DH0 -
name calling".

Perhaps I will read it. OTOH, do you suggest that his immediate reference to trolling is something nobel? I didn't say he was an idiot at all, I said that his response was not useful.

He made the rather audacious and totally unsupported statement that the
"GPL software market is worth billions by now" and he ducks and runs
from the challenge that his notion is simply false.

Oh <insert your favourite deity here> help us all!  This continual narky,
itsy bitsy, mean spirited attacking on the exact meaning of words we can
well do without.  Everyone knows what he meant, and everybody knows it's
true.  If he'd said the world was round, you'd find some way of attacking

Why would I attack the notion that the world was round? What is unsaid here is the notion that open source somehow is a plan for victory and the advocates have taken it as a postulate that it is already successful. That is not at all true, I believe, and I think that it is worthy of being challenged. The advocates do not seem to be able to justify their assumptions in so many words, so they resort to calling the challenger names. Like you are doing here.

Then there're people like you, who spend their time and energy
beavering away through legal reports searching for something which can be
twisted to attack the GPL, or just posting general disparagement about
free software.

I think that you yourself are over sensitive as well.  I do not
"attack" the GPL at all, nor am I disparaging free software.

Hah!  I think you have, and you do.  I can't recall you posting a single
positive thing about the GPL or free software.  Maybe my memory's a bit
dim.  Perhaps you could cite one of your recent posts where you've been
positive about any of these topics.

There is nothing positive to say about the GPL, of course. As to free software, I have often agreed that it is a fine thing to use as a sample implementation or even in the case of agreed upon system infrastructure as the only thing to use. I have often said that open source software does not provide any opportunity to differentiate one's products, though, and that is the essence of both change and success.

I have merely pointed out, perhaps gleefully, .....

No, you haven't "pointed out".  Authorities "point out", whereas the
unskilled, ignorant, or unknown merely express opinions.  Those opinions
vary from useful to mistaken to plain crass.

You just don't like to hear anything that disagrees with your fantasy.

.... that its tortured constructions have now resulted in a
sort of NOP status if/when the case under discussion here becomes widely

"tortured constructions" - more denigration.  I thought you just wrote
above that you don't attack the GPL?  Would you hold that your continual
disparagement of it isn't an attack?

Right. It is simply disparagement. Are you affected in your thinking? No. Anyone else? No.

The GPL is what the GPL is and nothing that I do can directly affect

For which I, for one, am grateful.

I have taken pains to show .....

No, you don't "show", you merely express your opinion, because you have
no credibility to speak authoritatively on these topics.

Do you have any credibility yourself? Is that your only measure of an idea? You cannot apparently find any means to counter the opinion other than your hope that it is wrong because you hope that I lack any credentials.

..... where free software has a value and would have an even greater
value if it were ever free of the GPL as asserted in the harassing
tactics of the SFLC and FSF.

Is that right?  It's just as likely that you, comfortably shielded by
an anonymous posting account, are trying to subvert and undermine free
software.  In fact, more likely.  Somebody genuinely wishing to foster
free software would have little need to hide away.  Would you care to
tell us all what your interest in free software actually is?

I think that open source software is a great vehicle for studying how things might be made to work. There is a lot of free software in the world. Microsoft itself publishes billions of lines of code as samples and tutorials on how to do things or by way of explanation of how things work. Many others do the same in countless articles on every subject imaginable in regard to computer programming. The only blemish that I see in this is the rather snotty attitude of the GPL crowd who disparage anyone who wants to gain from their individual innovation and cleverness by coming up with something newer and more useful than what has gone before.

I personally think that the GPL is a diversion of focus on what really
might help the world in general and, as such, should be done away with
along with the cultism evoked by Stallman which similarly diverts
attention from real issues.

OK, that's fair enough.  You and Stallman would likely disagree on what
help the world needs and what the real issues are.  You're perfectly free
to create your own software license or set up a project on your own
lines, as many other people have done, or to join such a project.  You
were also free to make suggestions about GPL3, and maybe you did.

Tell me, curious friend, do you actually do anything positive and
constructive in your free time?  Something which makes the world a
better place?

What if I did?  Or what if I did not?  Does that affect the intrinsic
truth of the issues raised here?

Yes, it does.  There's a type of person, thankfully rare, who goes around
disparaging and denigrating other people's achievements (and failures),
and rarely has anything nice to say about anybody or anything.  Such a
person doesn't actually do anything himself which could lead to him being
criticised - he doesn't serve as an official for his local social club,
doesn't help look after his neighbours' children, doesn't paint pictures,
doesn't write free software, doesn't maintain a lovely garden which might
lift the spirits of passers-by, doesn't play bowls in his local team -
he's basically a social non-entity.  Because such people are negative
and nasty about pretty much everything, their views are not held in much

All you are saying here is that you do not like to listen to anything that does not properly play to your predjudices. You want to cast aspersions on the bad news messenger and diminish his value to the world as well. I find it curious that you feel it necessary to demonize your opposition.

On this mailing list, you give the impression of being such a person.
So, let me ask you again - do you actually do anything in your free time
to make the world a better place?

I do and have done quite a bit to affect things over the years, mostly on purpose as a career though. Is it more noble to do things in your spare time than as an advocation?

Would you be happier with the idea if it were presented by Stallman

Yes.  Or Martin Luther, or Mahatma Ghandi, or Enoch Powell, or Rowan
Williams (the Archbishop of Canterbury).  Or the guys I work with, or
even Bill Gates, for that matter.  People of substance who have done
things, who have failed and achieved, people of courage who are not
scared to stand up for what they believe in.

I guess that if you have no confidence in your own assessments, you have to stick with the opinions of the perceived leaders. It's more interesting to have your own understanding, though.

Other credentialed open source leaders seem to have taken a dim view of
the FSF and the GPL shenanigans, .....

Yet more nasty disparagement.  Perhaps that would be more accurately
expressed as open source leaders disagree somewhat with the aims of the
FSF, and run their own projects on somewhat different lines.  Funny,
really, how many of them license their software under the GPL, though,
and how, in practice, they all work together and use each others'

... too, for example Linus himself or Eric Raymond.

Linus Torvads licenses Linux under GPL2, and created Linux to mesh with
GNU software.  Eric Raymond still contributes to GNU software.  And all
these people treat each other with respect, and when they disagree, they
express that disagreement in a high quality and respectful manner.

I wonder if they would do it again, knowing what they know now. Raymond seems to think now that the whole idea is unnecessary and that the attention given to it is counter productive.

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