[RC5] P4 Speed Question

Peter Cordes peter at llama.nslug.ns.ca
Thu Jun 28 05:47:13 EDT 2001


On Sat, Jun 23, 2001 at 02:22:34AM +0100, Andreas D. Landmark wrote:
> At 20.06.2001 22:45, you wrote:
> >  Some people think that all software should be free, so the give away
> >other people's software for free, even when the people who own the
> >copyright don't want them to do that.  They suck.  I'm not talking
> >about them.  I'm talking about people who think that software should
> >be Free, and so they write Free software.  When I say capital-F Free,
> >I'm talking about free-speech free, as in freedom to modify and
> >redistribute, not just free-beer free as in zero-cost.  (The French
> >had this separation figured out already: libre and gratis are two
> >different words.)
> >
> >  warez dudez who pirate binary only software aren't even helping make
> >more Free software.  A cracked game is still not Free software,
> >because people who get it still can't see how it works and make
> >changes, let alone redistribute it.  Like I said, warez people don't
> >help promote Free software _at_ _all_.  Worse, they are easily
> >confused with people who use and write real Free software, and make
> >the whole Free software movement look bad.
> >
> >  (obviously, there are people who like Free software and free warez,
> >but not everyone who supports one supports the other).
> 
> Yes there are free software and free software, that's why we call some of
> it GPLed software, some BSD-licensed, some mozilla-licensed, some
> <your-favourite-license-here> software.

 Yes, of course.  I'm distinguishing between legal (Free software) and
illegal (warez) here.


> What microsoft has been slagging off lately has been the GPL licensed
> software as it's license makes it very hard to use GPLed software in commercial
> software... That could also be a reason why BSD licensed stuff are so popular
> amongst companies like Apple (MacOSX) and Microsoft (the w2k tcp/ip stack
> or something is alleged to be ripped out of FreeBSD).

 You talk about it ("ripped out of") as if it was a bad thing.  The
point of the BSD license it to let anyone and everyone do whatever
they want.  That's what the authors wanted companies to do, otherwise
they would have used the GPL.

 I'm just glad the MS didn't invent their own version of TCP or IP and
try to take over the world from that angle.  The BSD license is useful
for reference implementations and stuff that you want to be widely
adopted.  Ogg Vorbis changed from the LGPL to a BSD-style license so
console game developers could use Vorbis in embeded stuff without
worrying about what is linking and what isn't, and whether they'd have
to make their source available.

> 
> Anybody confusing pirated software with free software aren't smart enough to
> be allowed near a computer.

 Many people express concern that (legal) Free software will become
associated with (illegal) free distribution stuff like songs, movies,
and software.  It's the media I'm worried about.  I agree with your
last sentence, but that doesn't stop idiots from using computers, or
the media from making wrong associations.

> That's like confusing a free car with a stolen car,
> most people are able to differ between a stolen car and a free car.

 The difference between physical objects and data is that you can copy
data and leave the original with its owner.  We're talking about the
difference between a free car and one that you duplicated, with a Star
Trek gizmo, without paying Ferrari for a license to make cars that
look like theirs.  If you steal a car, the person you steal it from
doesn't have it anymore.  If you illegally copy software, you have
copied it, not stolen it.  It's hard to define this as stealing,
especially if you wouldn't have bought the software if you couldn't
have gotten it for free.

> They are both free of charge, but while one takes you from A to B, the other
> one takes you from A to prison. I leave it up to you to figure out which is 
> which ;-).

 I came down hard on piracy in previous messages because I'm concerned
about piracy being associated with Free software.  Piracy is currently
illegal.  That doesn't necessarily mean it is morally wrong.  I once
tried a game I got through warez, a while ago, to see what it was
like.  (I'm not afraid to admit this here, since everyone reading this
list should be smart enough to understand my point above that
experimenting with warez has nothing to do with my views on Free
software, etc.)  Some people do believe that copying shouldn't be illegal
(usually out of greed, I think...), since it doesn't deprive anyone of
anything as long as you weren't going to buy the software in the first
place.  (I won't comment on the soundness of this argument.)  See:
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#Piracy

 Personally, I think it's a good idea to respect authors' wishes about
the distribution of their software.  If they don't want to share,
fine, I don't want their software, and I won't take it.  OTOH,
copying software that was put out by companies that are no longer in
business is more or less OK in my book.

-- 
#define X(x,y) x##y
Peter Cordes ;  e-mail: X(peter at llama.nslug. , ns.ca)

"The gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish the hours!
 Confound him, too, who in this place set up a sundial, to cut and hack
 my day so wretchedly into small pieces!" -- Plautus, 200 BCE
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