[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [school-discuss] Some questions about OSS in education:

On Sunday 15 August 2004 11:45 am, Daniel Taylor wrote:
> Daniel Ajoy wrote:
> > BTW, Why doesn't Stallman like the the word "pirate" applied
> > to software?
> because it is stupid to equate helping people with attacking a ship,
> attacking a ship is bad, helping people (by giving software for
> free) is good. Hence the dislike of the term.


First off, OSS is, in my opinion, the way to go for a number of reasons.  In 
this Stallman is correct, although he dislikes the name "Open Source."

But, if I create a piece of software, investing my time and money and 
equipment so to make it work, and if I decide to sell the binary and keep the 
source as a secret, it is my creation to do with as I so desire.  I have no 
moral obligation to take something which I created and give it away.

If I choose to give the source to the community, with certain restrictions 
such as with the GNU Public License, that is also acceptable.  I can 
determine what to do with that which I create.

For me to use something that I have no permission to use is stealing or 
piracy.  Even if I don't agree with the terms of usage but need the program, 
I can not take it on my terms.  I don't have that right.  If I have 
permission to use the program with certain restrictions -- such as under the 
GPL -- then I have the moral obligation to follow that license agreement.

For moral reasons, especially the planned obsolescence of proprietary 
software, I do not choose to use it.  Morally I believe the GPL and other 
open source licenses are more defensible, thus I choose to use open source 

I personally refuse to use Microsoft products.  But where a shop or individual 
uses Microsoft products, I believe we must encourage them to act in 
accordance with both the spirit and the letter of the End User License 
Agreement.  Indeed, we need to be so anal retentive about it, showing the 
absurdity of the EULA, that people will reject the products covered by the 

I am a school board member.  I am insisting that we can prove that every piece 
of software is covered by a proper license.  This means, because we have not 
used site licensing, that for each copy of Windows 95/98 which we run, we 
must have a proper certificate of authenticity and the proper EULA.  If we 
can't do that, those computer systems can not be powered on.  (Oh, let's just 
load Linux and open source software and be done with the problem.)