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Re: Actual Damages in JMRI Case

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Actual Damages in JMRI Case
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 2009 12:52:40 +0100

Alan Mackenzie wrote:
> Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:
> > Alan Mackenzie wrote:
> > [...]
> >> Chances are, that excerpt was written by a lawyer who knows a lot
> >> about the law, and little to nothing about free software.  He's
> >> obviously wrong in his assertions, since he appears not to understand
> >> what the goals of free software actually are.  They certainly aren't
> >> about "creating software that [somebody] can truly call his own".  He
> >> appears to belong
> > I'll try to explain it to you silly. Suppose you wrote a piece of
> > software and it is judged to be truly yours and only yours (not
> > infringing the rights of others).
> Yes.  This is usually known as "proprietary software".
> > Guess what: you've got all your "four freedoms" and can enjoy freedom.
> Yes, but nobody else has.  The software isn't free.  As I've just said,
> it's usually categorised as "proprietary software".

What you mean is categorized by the GNU.ORG as "free software in a
trivial sense" aka "private or custom software".

"Private or custom software is software developed for one user
(typically an organization or company). That user keeps it and uses it,
and does not release it to the public either as source code or as

A private program is free software in a trivial sense if its unique user
has full rights to it.

In general we do not believe it is wrong to develop a program and not
release it. There are occasions when a program is so useful that
withholding it from release is treating humanity badly. However, most
programs are not that important, so not releasing them is not
particularly harmful. Thus, there is no conflict between the development
of private or custom software and the principles of the free software

Nearly all employment for programmers is in development of custom
software; therefore most programming jobs are, or could be, done in a
way compatible with the free software movement."

> > On the other side of the spectrum is the same piece of software but
> > infringing based on idiotic expansive GNUish theory of derivative
> > works... now say goodbye to your "four freedoms."
> Say what?  That doesn't even parse.

Go to doctor Alan.


(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can 
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards 
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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