Free Music License?

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at
Thu Aug 18 09:29:55 UTC 2005

On Tue, 2005-08-16 at 10:24 +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> "Alfred M\. Szmidt" <ams at> wrote:
> > Sorry, you are wrong.  Software and programs are equivialent; and
> > software is not music, documentation or whatever.  Atleast in the
> > world of computing science.
> The word "software" was first used in print in January 1958
> in American Mathematical Monthly by John W Tukey as a sort-of
> opposite to "hardware" (the machine parts) for the situation when
> "stored program" did not cover all the things held in memory
> being described. It was used *because* it is not equivalent
> to programs. At least in the world of mathematics.
> If you define software and programs as equivalent, then you lose
> detail and must start claiming that data can never be software!

Thanks for the etymology lesson, unfortunately, commonly programs and
software are synonymous and I think that's true even for the term "Free
Software". If that's the problem than you better ask FSF what does
Software mean in their definition of Free Software and propose to add a
FAQ on that topic.

> >    [...] The author of a verbatim-copy opinion piece is cutting their
> >    own nose off to spite their face, too: if I need to adapt an idea
> >    to my audience and I can't adapt their expression, then I don't use
> >    their expression and I'll probably only cite the primary sources.
> > 
> > You can use their expression, aslong as you don't change it.  You can
> > also quote pieces (fair use).
> The situation given was I need to adapt the idea to the audience, so using
> their expression unchanged is not useful. I could quote it, but why?

Grow up please! Copyright covers expression not meaning, so you can use
another author concept using your words as much as you want, you can't
just ascribe the new expression to the author that make you think the
new analogy, but you can, of course credit him as the originator of your
concept. (And do not forget freedom of expression rights).


Simo Sorce - simo.sorce at
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