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[Discuss] Govt Source Code Policy

IngeGNUe <ingegnue at> writes:
>> Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its
>> victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under
>> robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's
>> cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated;
>> but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end
>> for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be
>> more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell
>> of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be
>> "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard
>> as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the
>> age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants,
>> imbeciles, and domestic animals.
> Is that a quote from like, John Stuart Mill? So, in other words a despot
> with good intentions is worse than bad intentions for the whole of the
> population? In any case, libre-lovers aren't despotic, the free software
> world is more of a lightly-regulated market.

It's a nice quote but I agree. Free software advocates could only wish
to have this kind of power now or in the foreseeable future. I haven't
understood the thread, not seeing how it is that the U.S. government now
can hold copyright on its works and thus it be possible for them to use
the GPL.  But even if they did, it's a fairly small thing IMO. The
slippery sloop would have to have superconducting magnets installed to
get to this dystopia Richard invokes via C.S. Lewis.

But instead suppose copyleft terms or some other way of ensuring each
recipient of software has rms's four freedoms were mandated by law for
all software in the country. Plainly this doesn't fit with the present
majority will, since not even 50% of this linux user group here seems
all that enthusiastic about copyleft. Do you or Greg have another
philosopher you'd invoke to support the argument that such a law is
justifiable without being popular? Or do you not think so.

Mike Small
smallm at

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