GNU discussion

Renaissance Man renaissanceman at
Sat Jan 27 18:12:54 CET 2007

Well you managed to miss the point of my *metaphor* (not straw man),  
even though I spelt it out for you:
"The point is real "freedom" is measured on a "whole picture" basis,  
not on an individual basis."

> How are you "less free" as a result?

Apple's iPhone, for instance, contains open source software, but  
because it's totally reliant on un-free software I can't add VoIP via  
WiFi to it for instance, effectively nullifying the freedom aspect of  
the free software component for its users. All the effort that went  
into that free software to make it free is nullified for me as a user  
and Apple (a large purveyor  or largely un-free software) gets a leg  
up (boosting it's ability to compete against free software) that it  
wouldn't have had if that software had been licenced under the GPL,  
effectively making the society I live in less free.

Renaissance Man

On 27 Jan 2007, at 4:15 pm, David Schlesinger wrote:

> >If I am free to beat someone up that does not mean the sum total of
> >freedom for society is increased.
> Sorry, pointlessness alert. There's _never_ a "freedom" to beat  
> someone up, and--outside of the very limited contexts of, e.g., law  
> enforcement or military activities--no one can grant one, so let's  
> put this straw man to rest right away. Beating someone up is  
> assault and battery, which are either misdemeanors or felonies,  
> depending on the degree of severity, and you're never "free" to do  
> either one.
> Granting the freedom to extend a piece of code in whatever ways  
> one's ingenuity allows, and do what one likes with those changes,  
> doesn't take anything away from the original situation. If Apple  
> takes BSD code and makes it do interesting things it couldn't  
> before, you no worse off than you were before they did so, whether  
> or not they share the source code for those changes with you.
> Who do you imagine is getting "beaten up"? How are you "less free"  
> as a result? If Apple's changes--and unwillingness to share--offend  
> you, don't buy anything from 'em. If others don't mind, do you feel  
> that you "know better" and should be able to restrict _their_  
> freedom to buy Apple's products...?

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