[Fsfe-ie] Patent letter #3

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at member.fsf.org
Fri Jan 23 19:41:19 CET 2004

You've justified IFSO using this software because it fulfils two
criteria :
1/ IFSO wouldn't be running the software - you would
2/ the source isn't a secret to you

By these criteria, it would be ok for IFSO to accept an offer from MS
of shell accounts on MS Windows boxes.  (or whatever their version of
a shell account is)

The crux of these criteria is: who's "running the binaries"?
a/ The person that started the service (you in this case)
b/ The person that's interactively executing commands (albeit over a
   network) (ifso contributors in this case)

If a, MS shell accounts are ok.  If b, http requests to a proprietary
webserver are not ok.  Since the only possible answers give bogus
results, the question must be wrong, so the criteria are wrong.

To get back to the original point:

Should IFSO use 3D17?

Well, the first thing we face is: "You have to let me run the software
because I own it and no one's getting a copy".

Surely that's not the FS ethic.

Ciaran O'Riordan
Irish Free Software Organisation: http://ifso.info/

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