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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Re: Rethinking Licensing

Eric Armstrong wrote:
> I don't see the issue. What about the system makes it more
> domination-prone than other alternatives? What alternatives
> do you suggest?    (01)

The point is that we need a system that fights domination prone systems.
Your system just is another domination prone one -- not a
meta-domination-unprone one like the GPL.    (02)

> Most importantly, if I google "gui toolkit" today, none of the
> considerations below necessarily result in MS being the only
> alternative I see -- or even the first alternative I see.    (03)

Yes, but so what. They aren't used much in practice (and by that I mean
not that they are invisible or that thousands don't use them, just that
almost everybody uses VB and MFC.)     (04)

> Tell me how the kinds of the user-rated sorted we've discussed
> previously on this list would not completely obviate your concerns.    (05)

Any kind of user feedback will improve things...
Still doesn't mean the system can't be monopolized.    (06)

> And finally, there is no one who would begrudge MS total
> domination of the market, to the extent that is earned. Certainly
> not I. If the functions I need consistently work better, faster, and
> more reliability with software they provide, then they are more
> than welcome to make a buck on any unit I sell.    (07)

I would at this point.     (08)

Do you really want to entrust all your personal data, all your medical
records, all your bank balances, all your everything, to any one
provider, no matter how good they are or seem to be now, when you can't
have the foggiest notion of what is going on behind the scenes because
it is proprietary. Do you want to use systems where you have no right to
audit the vendor or their products, but you have to agree to let the
vendor in your door to audit you accounts and your machines anytime they
want (as Microsoft site licensors must agree to)? Do you want to use
products whose licenses prohibit you from discussing them?    (09)

Countries across the world are starting to reject Microsoft software and
potentially full of hidden trapdoors and spyware and security problems.
Do you want to undo that by giving their proprietary approach more power
by making all systems in the world rest upon a fundamentally unfree
approach?    (010)

> Nor have you addressed the possibility of limiting revenue streams
> to a pre-determined percentage of a sales price. Such a move
> prevents some "monstor" from owning 99% of the revenues for
> anything you write, doesn't it?    (011)

Yeah, well copyrights were supposed to be for a limited time too. They
are effectively infinite now. We'd probably see the "Bill Gates" revenue
extension act to make the maximum 99.999% "to promote innovation" down
the road.    (012)

Remember, you have to assume Microsoft or another monopolist will set
the policy.    (013)

> What exactly is the problem?    (014)

The problem is that proprietary software is unfree. Unfreedom in one
arena of society may easily translate to unfreedom in other areas. It
currently is. Unfreedom in drug laws has created and still sustains a
variety of social ills as well as undermining respect for the justice
system. Unfreedom in software and content will almost certainly do
likewise, especially as laws get increasingly passed to restrict fair
use and to ultimately force payment for every viewing.     (015)

Or, as a story, this is the problem:
  http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html    (016)

-Paul Fernhout
Kurtz-Fernhout Software 
Developers of custom software and educational simulations
Creators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator
http://www.kurtz-fernhout.com    (017)