Re: [dwm] Freedom (was: Re: sic ipv6 patch)

From: Sander van Dijk <>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 20:54:38 +0200

On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 7:22 PM, Szabolcs Nagy <> wrote:
> you missed my point
> the analogy is to show that removing a restriction may cause more
> restriction globally in some way (which also shows the flaw in your
> interpretation of freedom)
> i thougth this was trivial, but here is a less abstract analogy:
> - remove restriction 'copyright notice should be included'
> - one can sell dwm, with different copyright notice
> - he may restrict * (include some evil, anti-freedom restrictrions here)

Up until here you're making sense.

> - ppl won't know about original source because it's not named, so they
> will face evil restrictions

Here's where you're wrong. The reason ppl will face "evil
restrictions" here, is not because of a lack of freedom, but because
of a lack of knowledge. You basically say so yourself: the reason is
"because the original source is not named". Hence, the problem here is
not the freedom of the original source, but the receivers ignorance of
what the original source is, and the rights it gives him. How to deal
with that is an interesting question, but it is _not_ a freedom issue.
Ignorance != lack of freedom (which demonstrates, again, how some
people try to attribute an incorrect meaning to the word "freedom").

> - restrictions == less freedom

You're talking about restrictions of the new product, not of the
original source (see my comments above).

> - so removing restriction might mean less freedom

_Never_ for the original source. Btw, I really hope that you can see
the contradiction in your own statement.

To reitterate:

MIT/BSD just make software free.

GPL on the other hand is not just trying to make software free, but
also to govern in what way the receiver can use it. Now this may or
may not be morally right, but that's a discussion all in itself. What
isn't a discussion is that it's a restriction of freedom.

In some situations, a benevolent dictator may be better for the people
than total freedom, perhaps even better than democracy. Regardless of
the level of benevolence though, a benevolent dictator is still a
dictator, no matter what way you put it.

Greetings, Sander.
Received on Tue May 20 2008 - 20:54:39 UTC

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