Subject: Re: [fsb]Re: Franklin Street Statement and Free Network Services
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 14:33:56 +0900

Russ Nelson writes:
 > Stephen J. Turnbull writes:
 >  > Seriously, this is obviously a long-standing conversation between you
 >  > guys,
 > 
 > No, it's not.  I had no idea that anybody would say that because
 > software distribution (of either source or binaries) cannot be done
 > without cost, that libre software does not exist.

I still don't see that he said *that*.  I see that he's saying that
the open service definition can impose excessive costs on developers,
in addition to kneecapping their revenue possibilities (relative to
non-libre distribution, not relative to some notion of "fair
compensation").  And he doesn't want those costs imposed.

There are also the desert island and dissident tests which pretty much
exclude publication requirements.  I think those are a sine qua non if
you are a liberal advocate of libre software rather than a socialist
antagonist of private property.

After some thought, I don't find his arguments (which I may not
understand, as they are mostly implied) as plausible as I originally
did.  I myself still object to "publication as open source" as a
requirement.  However, bandwidth etc are just costs of business, and
(once an Affero-like clause is in place) no different from the
existing GPL requirement that allows choice of immediate distribution
of source or a written offer to distribute (which is actually somewhat
more strict since it can extend up to 3 years after you stop
distributing the binary).