Subject: Re: Ransom GPL Licensing: ethically and legally viable?
From: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller <>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 14:29:36 -0600

>b) There is an ecology at work.  Development of esoteric skills (such
>   good programming skills) imposes a financial burden on both
>   individuals and their supporting communities of origin that, for
>   example, blue collar work does not.

Excuse me.

I spent a lot of time and money becoming an excellent auto mechanic and 
hands-on electronics technician, and I resent the fact that these "blue 
collar" skills are considered inferior to those needed to sit in front 
of a TV-like screen and type funny squiggles all day.

I believe the current U.S. societal respect for people like programmers, 
lawyers, drug dealers, politicians, investment bankers, salespeople, 
wealth inheritors, TV anchormouths, and other non-physical workers -- 
and the consequent lack of respect for people who actually grow food, 
make  things, fix things, and otherwise keep society cranking -- is a 
major social  problem. (Yes, I knew Jerry Brown when we were both kids, 
so it's not suprising that he's said the same thing many times in 
slightly different words. His parents and mine were both in the old 
California Democratic Council that was often accused of being a 
socialist front by the John Birch Society et al.)

Now away from politics, back to "ransom licensing."

This has got to be the worst name anyone has ever come up with for a 
software licensing scheme. "Threshold Licensing" would be better, and 
I'm sure many other phrases I haven't thought of would be better yet. 
Maybe I'll go around the corner to the Standard/Chevron gas station 
where I take my car for work I don't feel like doing myself, and ask 
Chris and Chris (both mechanics there are named "Chris") what they 
think. They have plenty of esoteric skills and they're both quite smart, 
even if they have grease under their nails when they get off work. :)

- Robin