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[f-cpu] Far from the last word about license ;-) (long and rambling)

On Sat, 22 Sep 2001 22:12, Michael Riepe wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 22, 2001 at 10:42:38AM +0200, Andreas Romeyke wrote:
> BTW: Since almost everybody on this planet seems to be preparing for
> war (some also call it "justice"), I've been thinking about some usage
> restrictions.  I don't want my work to control a cruise missile that
> kills thousands of people.  IMHO, the freedom to use the F-CPU can not
> be infinite.  It must end at the point where F-CPU users actively take
> away other people's freedom to live (or any other freedoms / personal
> rights -- free speech, privacy, and so on).  The GPL is a little too
> "blue-eyed" with respect to that.
I can sympathise with the sentiment.

Trouble is: Who gets to define human rights? There is a convention but some 
(such as myself) find it lacking. For example, I believe that there is a 
basic human right to a productive life. To be denied this right is degrading 
and results in (socially expensive) mental problems - I have personal 
experience of this. Such a criteria would eliminate distribution in nearlty 
every country in the world today, particularly those in the West who have 
failed to provide near full employment in the face of technological-driven 
redundencies. And don't say it is a difficult problem to solve - it isn't, 
but it has been left so long that the solution would now take more than a 4 
year term and measures would be unpopular until it was completed - most 
people can't think in terms of giving something now to get more later. The 
people on this list and the FREE community in general are an exceptional 
group and it is too easy to assume most people are like that (how I wish most 
people were like you all). But they aren't, though that is mostly a result of 
inadequate social education. It is a pleasure hanging around egalitarian 
people but it is, unfortunately, not the real world. I just have to step out 
the door into the debauched and unregulated capitalist anarchy of modern 
China to have all my idealistic fantasies of humanity blown away. (I recently 
switched my day job from teaching MBAs at a business college to science 
postgrads at the local Academy of Sciences. Things are looking up). 

Also, is there really any productive point in such restrictions? Do you think 
someone who designs weapons of mass destruction is going to care about the 
licence terms? The military isn't subject to patents, so why would they care 
about GPL or a derivative. You try getting permission for a software/hardware 
audit on the US defence arsenal! If a government can re-define copyright to 
flip the rights from the artist and consumer to the distributor, they can 
certainly exempt any department they like from it. Especially if it's 'for 
the children' or 'for national security'.

Further, even if you could ban the use in places like China and the USA, who is 
penalised? Do the governments or the big businesses really care? It is the 
small developers and the users that would suffer. If this processor is for 
the people, that is a situation to avoid.

OT: Did you know the constitutin of China includes the right to freedom of 
speech? - It just has a caevat that you cannot say anything to destabalise 
the country, which the goverment uses much more than they should or really 
need to. If used properly (which it isn't), this freedom would be quite 
appropriate. In the US, on the other hand, freedom of speech (when recognised 
at all) is used as an excuse to shout in other's faces with impunity, and to 
as a lame justification for UBE. 

On the other hand, the trade lockout on South Africa did eventually have an 
effect. So the idea certainly has merit. I Just don't see how it would work 
with just one instance of IP. I have recently recieved provisional patent 
approval on a fairly broad-reaching hardware technology and, if fully 
granted, will be implimenting a non-linear licencing scheme based on (among 
other things) what I think of the particular country's treatement of its 
people, but I will not be with-holding the technology, particularly from the 
world's poor and repressed (besides, developing countries are my key market 
as I can drive very high volumes and very low cost and still get a good 
returns). Actually, FCPU would make a good core for the device. In the mean 
time I'll likely use an Axis ETRAX MCM chip - It's heavily integrated enough 
that I can design the prototype boards myself (I come from the days of 40pin 
DILs, 8-bit busses and board design done in coloured tape on plastic sheets - 
though I use basic CAD now, I am unconfident with high-speed busses).


What a long blah-blah. Sorry about that. I seldom have something to say, but 
when I start I have trouble stopping! :-/

Glenn Alexander - The man with no surname and a silly hat.
(B.Teach, B.Ed Major IT Education, University of Wollongong Australia)
(Now avaliable in China!)

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~glenalec (last update: 2001.07.29)

I use GNU/Linux: http://www.gnu.org / http://www.linux.org
from Debian: http://www.debian.org
and   KDE  : http://www.kde.org
I break for penguins!
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