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[directory-discuss] s/w that requires a middleman to liberate it -- is i

From: Anonymous
Subject: [directory-discuss] s/w that requires a middleman to liberate it -- is it free?
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 20:34:18 +0100

Ineiev said:

> > Please note that this is a bandwagon fallacy (e.g. "one million
> > smokers can't be wrong..").
> I don't say we can't be wrong. I say that we don't understand your
> points.

You've used the bandwagon fallacy when you said:

> Please note that this is not just Svetlana's and Ian's position,
> it's shared by all people on this list who have spoken so far
> except you,

The "one million smokers can't be wrong.." is a model instance of
someone else using the bandwagon fallacy, mentioned purely as a
reminder as to what the bandwagon fallacy is.  Here you've taken that
classic scenario and (strawman-like) you've separated your claim from
the example.  That's insufficient.  Your bandwagon fallacy
(specifically the "Authority of the Many" variety) remains a fallacy.

Please try to avoid using fallacies, it wastes a lot of time, and only
weakens your position.  It also adds excessive bulk to the list
particularly when you don't do your homework on the fallacy that has
been called out, needlessly compelling further explanation.

> but when there is a conflict in license interpretations by different
> parites, the court asks what the copyright holder meant.

Are you trying to claim there's an interpretation discrepency here,
without actually saying it?  What is your point?

The court can ask GNU Radio what they meant, but it's not GNU Radio
who drafted the GFDL.  It'd be like asking Donald Trump what he means
by "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude.." in the 13th
amendment.  Trump didn't write it.

We obviously know that GNU Radio didn't draft the GFDL, so for this
(court-external) discussion it would be foolish to ask GNU Radio what
they meant by it.

To the extent that GNU Radio may be treated as drafting the document
despite copying a template verbatim, this works against them anyway.
Those who draft contracts with ambiguity are subject to the
interpretation that is least favorable to the author in the course of
legal problems.  This is the legal system's way of compelling those
who draft legally binding text to be unambiguous.

For example, if you're a landlord and draft a lease with the rule "no
dirty pets allowed" without defining "dirty", and then you try to use
this clause against your tenants, the tenants will say they bathe
their pet pig regularly and have interpretted this to comply with the
lease.  The court will side with the tenants because the landlord
drafted the ambiguity.

Not that it matters, because so far we don't have a "conflict in
license interpretations", as neither you or I have yet called out an
interpretation discrepency in the licensing text.

> > You're recycling an argument that has already been made.  And it
> > was already defeated here:
> You can't claim it's defeated until your opponents understand your
> points, and so far we don't.

Of course I can.

In formal debate an argument not countered is an argument that stands.
You have to be sharp enough to understand your opponent to succeed in
a debate.  If you try to debate on a debate team or in a courtroom,
your failure to understand is wholly a disaster for you and those
you're trying represent.

In a formal high-stakes situation, I'm quite happy for you to not
understand what I've said.  But in this case, I'm willing clarify
whatever point you're struggling with.  ATM you've only said vaguely
that you don't understand a whole post.  It's very cute that you think
this lack of understanding on your part means you've succeeded.  If
you cannot understand an argument well enough to respond, you've lost.
It is therefore in your interest to do the necessary to understand it,
and rightfully so.  In this case, it means you need to quote directly
what you're not understanding, and explain specifically what you don't

> > Your claim that "the position of the GNU project" does not favor GNU
> > user freedom in this case
> Please don't attribute to me the clams I've never made.
> this is unhelpful.

I see why you would take an issue with that.  First realize that I
took a direct quote.  That is, speaking on behalf of a lot of people,
you made the general claim that this text from an advice guide:

  "The criterion for free software is not about who has “access” to
   the program; the four essential freedoms concern what a user that
   has a copy of the program is allowed to do with it."

is the same as "Svetlana's and Ian's position" and also the same
position as "all people on this list who have spoken so far" and also
the same as "the position of the GNU project".  This is *your* claim,
however far-reaching.  Presumabley that much is clear.  Although if
you want to deny this, feel free to clarify, and tell us what you
actually meant to say.

Let's call that whole blob of ideology "Thesis A".  Thesis A is what
you believe.  It is your thesis.

My thesis (call it "Thesis B") favors GNU-user freedom.  Specifically,
(but not limited to) all the user freedoms that I've enumerated here:

along with other user freedoms mentioned in other posts over the past

Now for (what I suspect is) the point of contention: Your position (as
you've expressed it so far in replies to me) is clearly *against*
those GNU-user freedoms(*).  Hence why I said: 'Your claim that "the
position of the GNU project" does not favor GNU user freedom in this

Alternatively, mathematical proofs sometimes start with a bogus
assumption deliberately, and then use deduction until it fails.  So
let's try that angle.  Suppose we reverse my statement about your
position and say you actually intend to support freedom of GNU-users.
Your advocacy to protect the copyright holder by flagging their
artifacts as "free" obviously does the opposite of giving the
copyright holder a compelling reason to take a direction in favor of
user freedoms.

The "position of the GNU project" is (as you see it) a part of your
thesis.  Of course, it's a wild claim that you've made, as the whole
GNU project is not something that you can claim has a single undivided
position, which happens to be right beside you on team

(*) but exceptionally you apparently endorse the "4 essential
freedoms", although you've still not addressed circumstance of GNU
Radio violating the users right to use their software how they want
("freedom 0").

> > doesn't only fail legally, it fails also as a philosophy in light
> > of the full treatise on the topic.  The SaaSS article was a work
> > devoted to entirely treating the scenario of access denial.  BTW,
> > this was also already mentioned in the above-cited post.
> In,
> I see no reference to any article; could you be more specific?

I referenced both the Gnu Free Documentation License and the SaaSS
philosophy in that post.  If you need links, these are the links:

> OK, but I see no violations. please list them again.

The GFDL states:

  "free software needs free documentation: a free program should come
   with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does."

This is an important clause.  If this clause were not present, a
project could distribute free software in a freedom-respecting manner,
and then force users to give up copious freedom to obtain the
documentation.  This is exactly what has happened with The GNU Radio
Foundation, Inc. through a breech of that clause.  Many user freedoms
have been compromised because of it.

It is therefore essential for the to highlight this,
if it is to act as a service for users.  ATM it's disservicing users.

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