Re: [ox-en] non-commercial software lic
- From: august <august alien.mur.at>
- Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 16:33:59 +0200 (CEST)
Sure, why not? I see no reason for software to carry restrictions on
its use, for a number of reasons:
1. Software is a tool, and tools by themselves are not good or bad,
right or wrong, desirable or undesirable.
George summed it up well, I thought. So what you are essentially saying
is that "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" ??
It would be much more productive in the long run if you started
educating people about the ``crimes'' themselves and how and why they
should not be committed rather than revoking potential ``criminals''
access to the tools used to commit the ``crime''.
how do you educate a governing body or some other body with power over you
about the "crimes" it commits to it's own people and the world at large???
2. Who decides who can use a particular piece of software? The
yes, that is what I am thinking. That _some_ control be given back to the
If that is the case, I may write a software that,
e.g. carries a restriction that it cannot be used by Microsoft.
Sounds fine and dandy, doesn't it? But if we continue along that
road, we can more or less reasonably extend that restriction to
include Sun, IBM, Boeing, USA, United Kingdom, The EU, any
predominantly white nation, China (because of Tibet), all of the Far
East, Asia-Pacific, the Congress Party of India, the people of the
state of Gujarat, the judges who found the killers in Gujarat not
guilty, my neighbour who plays rotten Punjabi music all day long, my
other neighbour whose car makes a horrible sound when reversing,
.. ad nauseum in the list of entities not permitted to use the
software. Do we really want authors to tag their software with their
pet hates and peeves?
except for your neighbor who plays rotten Punjabi music all day, are these
really "pet hates and peeves"? for me, they are not.
3. There will never be consensus on a list of ``undesirable''
activities for which, or entities by which a software should not be
I'm not so sure it would have to be incredibly clear. the IRS or
finanzamt allow you to make deductions from your taxes based on
descriptive catagories, like educational use, use for making income. it's
not crystal clean, but has some functional leaway.
4. Restricting software usage is a double-edged tool. If you and I
can restrict, e.g. paedophiles from using our software, paedophiles
can also restrict you and me from using software they write.
this is a good point. I don't really want to restrict individual usage.
But, I may want to restrict usage and distribution to large bodies that
may have certain power advantages over me. On one hand, I'm not really
trying to make a distinction between good and bad, .....but between large
and small. The GPL is very good at releasing control. but, maybe I don't
want to release THAT much control at the very beginning of a project, when
it is first getting off the ground.
one part is the commercial aspect. if a large software company is going
to redistribute/use a Free Software application, then I feel like that
company is exploiting the free labor of the programmers, unless perhaps,
bindings can be made to firmly encourage the company to pay a contribution
of finances or time.
the other part is one of ethics....and I admit this is the hairiest of
all. maybe the point wouldn't be to restrict use to individuals or
groups...but to restrict certain applications of the software.....like
database technology not being used for ethnic profiling, or xyz software
to be used for personal and educationl purposes only. of course, I
wouldn't want to restrict our dear paedophiles.
words, if implemented properly your suggestion will lead to complete
fragmentation of the free software mass.
it already is and always was fragmented.
People will be producing
software that can only be used by smaller and smaller groups of users
as time goes on, and the primary objective of free software --
increasing the amount of wealth in the world by eliminating software
hoarding -- will be completely subverted and lost. I for one am not
pleased at this picture.
well said. but, the problem is that the world isn't perfect and many
can't enjoy the wealth. for example, Free Software programmer X
enjoys the wealth of software provided to her by means of the
software community, but can't enjoy the fruit of her own labor in the real
world because she has just spent 2 years programming something without
making any revenue and can no longer afford her rent.
the GPL only addresses the virtual world of discrete computation. That
world is perfect and well defined. But, outside of that, there is a world
of reality that is neither perfect nor well defined.
paranoid as always -august.
Organization: projekt oekonux.de