Subject: Re: Unexercisable rights
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 08:58:57 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "DJ" == DJ Delorie <> writes:

[Brian Bartholomew writes:]

    >> 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.

    DJ> If the vendor did something to deny that practical
    DJ> opportunity[1], I'd say that was a problem.  Otherwise, caveat
    DJ> emptor.  The vendor is not liable for your own misfortune.

Caveat lector: Brian doesn't use the term "free software" the way the
rest of us do.  He means "charity software", ie, a gift to the world.

I have sympathy for that point of view; the particular case we are
discussing, where the vendor and the client essentially form a cartel
and agree to restrict distribution to the rest of the world, can
easily be instantiated in examples where the lost benefits to society
are quite large (sorry about the obscure syntax).  But I don't see how 
we can reconcile any attempt to pry open the source with free and
voluntary trade.

N.B. Trying to argue logically with Brian is difficult and
unrewarding, but possible.  Trying to argue logically with Brian when
he uses different definitions is a guaranteed waste of your time.

University of Tsukuba                Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences       Tel/fax: +81 (298) 53-5091
What are those two straight lines for?  "Free software rules."