Subject: Re: "University-style" vs "Berkeley" licenses
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 08:34:36 -0400 (EDT)

On 27 Aug 1998, Ray Jones wrote:
> i am not concerned with the legal arguments regarding enforcability of
> BSD-style licenses.  my statements were judgements based on my own
> moral views, which are not based on laws.  i think it is morally wrong
> to violate an author's wishes regarding the use of their work with
> only a profit-motive as justification.

With Thomas Jefferson and the US Constitution, I do not believe that
authors have any natural right to control the use of their work, except
to be acknowledged as its author and to not have it used in despicable
ways.  We have set up copyright laws establishing authors' rights to
control certain uses of their work in order to encourage more people to
spend more time as authors, in the expectation that they would be able
to get money through copyright, rather than through, say, patronage.

I believe we have a moral obligation to observe the law.  Absent that
obligation, I believe our only obligations with regard to the creative
works of others are to properly credit the original author.

So I do not believe it is morally wrong to violate an author's wishes
regarding the use of their work, unless doing so also means breaking
the law.

(To answer the obvious question: yes, I do drive under the speed
limit.  Well, most of the time. :)

> however, ignoring the licenses of open source works rather than, for
> instance, microsoft, strikes me as attacking those you should be
> allying with (...if that were your POV).

Well, there's certainly the human-relations aspect.  If you violate
someone's express requests with regard to their work, they may not be
very cooperative if you need help from them in the future.

Kragen

-- 
<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
We are forming cells within a global brain and we are excited that we might
start to think collectively.  What becomes of us still hangs crucially on
how we think individually.  -- Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web