Subject: Re: the walls have ears
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 18:40:41 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "kms" == Karsten M Self <> writes:

    kms> RMS isn't concerned with authors' rights, except to the
    kms> extent that if an author wishes to grant the four freedoms
    kms> enumerated above, that the author's directive be honored.

True.  And as I (speaking only for myself) read and interpret the
Manifesto, in the light of the implementation in the GPL, that's all
it's about, really; the benefits to the users and mankind in general
are important but accidental.  According to the GPL, the users have no
rights, only freedoms granted by the license.

    kms> Early in the history of emacs, RMS found himself in the
    kms> position of having written and distributed as free software a
    kms> product which was being remarketed as proprietary, excluding
    kms> _even him_ from using, viewing, distributing, or modifying
    kms> _his own_ software.

Excuse me.  Are you saying that the vendor of the proprietary product
collected up and somehow destroyed all copies of the source code?  Or
was it the license that was buggy, allowing the vendor to somehow
acquire his copyright?

Or, as would be true of BSD-licensed code (remember where we started),
are you asserting his property right in code that was not written by
him, because the code written by him was still available (to him and
everyone else)?

In none of those cases is the example germane to the "relative
freedom-enhancing ability of GPL".  Perhaps there's a fourth
possibility I'm unaware of?

University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
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What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."