Fw: Query about GNU-GPL

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at nedprod.com
Thu Mar 31 02:22:06 UTC 2005

On 30 Mar 2005 at 22:34, MJ Ray wrote:

> Niall wrote:
> > No, theft is when you lose what was due to you by right. [...]
> I was very disappointed that you religicised the discussions
> here with talk of "zealotry" and "believers". Now you are
> appealing to strange dictionary definitions too. Stop it.

You yourself have watched my transition from a GPL believer into a 
non-believer - indeed, you and I had conversations about my then new 
realisations of what the GPL must mean in the long run. We agreed to 
disagree, but I have continued to evolve my understanding along those 
initial lines. I now realise that most people who believe 
wholeheartedly in the GPL are either (i) misguided, because they 
haven't thought it through to where it must lead (ie; because it's 
"cool", the "in thing" etc) or (ii) they have a broken worldview, 
where somehow the GPL is going to save software.

Now the former is just fashion mostly, but the latter definitely 
smacks of the faith, illogicality and blinding oneself to 
uncomfortable realities which only a religious take can create - 
hence I say so. And okay, it's not popular I say these things here on 
a list like this - and I wouldn't on a Debian list for example. But 
this is a free software list, not "the one true free software" list - 
and my view of software freedom I think everyone here can agree with, 
it's more long-term & requiring of structural change than some futile 
fight within stupid and unsustainable laws.

Now if you guys don't like diversity of opinion, then I'll leave. But 
hey - I mostly keep my mouth shut until someone overannoys me with 
their unfounded zeal when I feel obliged to say something. You can't 
claim I'm not being consistent - I continue, despite being very alone 
here, to advocate my interpretation of things.

Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong. At least I have my own opinion for 
my own reasons which I take time to try and explain (though obviously 
not very clearly, as I haven't convinced anyone yet - but maybe I 
will someday), and that has to be worth something.

> I don't know whether to argue with you about the other aspects.
> This is probably not the best forum. I do not think that we "live
> under" a pure capitalist system and I am quite glad for that. It is
> not a silver bullet. Then again, we seem to agree on some of the
> problems, despite differences over reasons or solutions.
> Please, if you continue, can you keep it on-topic and polite?
> There is no need to use religious language or extreme politics.

Well I don't have time for protracted discussions reiterating what 
I've already said in the past, so I'll keep the replies to a minimum 
and try to stick to free software and how I think the GPL negatively 
impacts that. I hope that's okay with everyone.


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