T-shirts and more ...

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Wed May 23 12:05:12 UTC 2001

On Wed, May 23, 2001 at 01:51:04PM +0200, Josef Dalcolmo wrote:

> bernhard at intevation.de said:

> > A T-shirt cannot have the same freedoms attached as digitial
> > information can have, because a T-shirt is physical item  and will be
> > a property of somebody all the time.  You also cannot copy it without
> > much effort. 
> That is difference of scale. Actually, software although not
> physical itself, is always bound to some physical entity. 

With this reasoning, you are voting for software patents, giving
away a crucial way of making a useful distinction.

> The design of a T-shirt, is not physical either, but printed on a
> physical material.

This is what I have said. Unfortunalty it is a long story to tell.

> I think this idea would explain the difference between free beer
> and free as in freedom, which is really one of the main problems
> the FSF(E) is faced with. Unfortunately there is this ambiguity,
> but such a slogan could help to make it clearer, because people
> would say: what do you mean with free - I have to pay for this
> T-shirt! - a good start to explain the difference.

I could, if the statement on the T-Shirt would be correct,
but it is not. The T-shirt itself is not a piece of work that you
can copy, the artwork is.

I know that there is some analogy. You might have a box with Debian
GNU/Linux and it says: Free Software on it. But this does not mean
that you can steal the box from the owner, but you can copy the data.
The same with the T-shirt. Unfortunaly you cannot just copy the
T-Shirt, because it comes without source (unless Peter gets even
more crazy and also prints the .sk or .ps source on it, too). 
So a worn T-shirt is not a complete distribution, you need to offer
the source somewhere. Hey we can do this, still I do not think most
people could understand this.

> Apart from that, according to German law, software that is sold is
> automatically property of the buyer e.g. all sales are final
> (there is no such thing as "this software remains property of
> company MegaXXX ...". 

This is not correct IIRC.
You are usually buying a license to use the software under certain
conditions and you own the license after this.

> in some cities
> in Belgium and the Netherlands there used to be "public domain"
> bicycles around, for use for anyone who needed them (in terms of
> property they belonged to someone too, but one was allowed to pass
> them on freely, use them, and was not allowed to restrict other
> people in doing the same).

I know. The experiment was not successful IIRC.
If you are sitting on one of the bikes can you let anybody else have
it without your useage being affected? No.
With Free Software you basically can.

> The difference of scale you are mentioning makes it easier to
> distribute software under the terms of freedom

The difference in scale actually changes the whole situation.

>  However I see no principal reason why other things could
>  not be produced the same way. 

That is true for the design, but not for physical things.
For some design or let us call it "works" it is less useful.
(Read Stallmans speach on Globalisation and Copyright to see how he
proposes to treat different types of work differently.)

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 248 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.fsfe.org/pipermail/discussion/attachments/20010523/e60a0e9a/attachment.sig>

More information about the Discussion mailing list