Subject: Re: Unexercisable rights
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 23 Jun 1999 16:52:50 -0400

   Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 16:13:02 -0400
   From: Brian Bartholomew <>

   > Me, because I charged you $20M?

   Yes.  The price is so high that you've eliminated any practical
   opportunity for gratis redistribution.  I believe this puts a serious
   dent in calling the essay libre.

I say that you abandoned the right (to the extent to which you did
abandon it, a topic I will not address here) by agreeing to pay $20M
for something which you could not afford to give away at that price.
I never took it from you.

Consider, if Bill Gates bought the essay he would not lose any rights
by anybody's definition, because he would never notice if he lost

On the other hand, if I charge $100 to give the essay to a third world
peasant, by your argument I would have taken his or her right to
redistribute the essay, although at that price I would not have taken
your right.

So in the end you are going to have to say that the only way I can
avoid taking away anybody's right of redistribution is to give the
essay for free.

That violates my common sense definition of ``right.''  So I think I
have to ask you to define ``right,'' so we can see whether we are
talking about the same sort of thing.