Subject: Re: Unexercisable rights
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 15:30:48 -0400 (EDT)

Brian Bartholomew writes:
 > > the *right* to redistribute still exists, even if the *desire* to
 > > redistribute does not.
 > I find that line of argument contrary to practical usage.  For a right
 > to exist, the user must have a practical opportunity to exercise it.

Nonsense.  I have no time to hack on gcc (no "practical opportunity"),
but I still receive 100% of the benefit of gcc's freedom.  What
matters is not that *I* hack on gcc, but that J. Random Hacker can
hack on gcc.  A substantial amount of the value of freely copyable
software is not that *you* can improve it, but that someone *else*
can.  Perhaps you and that someone else are merely the same person
separated by time?

-russ nelson <>
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