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Re: [directory-discuss] s/w that requires a middleman to liberate it --

From: Anonymous
Subject: Re: [directory-discuss] s/w that requires a middleman to liberate it -- is it free?
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2017 11:38:06 -0500 (EST)

Ineiev said:

> > The "one million smokers can't be wrong.." is a model instance of
> > someone else using the bandwagon fallacy, mentioned purely as a
> > reminder
> I still don't understand. what was the actual claim as opposed to
> the example?

You're still trying to treat the example as an analogy.  It's not.
The expectation was that either: 1) you had already known what a
bandwagon fallacy is (in which case you simply needed the example as a
reminder); or 2) you would be able to inductively learn from the
example what a bandwagon fallacy is.  Both those expectations turned
out to be incorrect.

The only reason for me to call out the fallacy in the first place is
to save time.  Calling out the fallacy is not in itself an argument.
Unlike logical arguments, an argument that uses a logical fallacy does
not even need to be addressed b/c it fails the moment it's given.

The efficiency gained by calling it out normally follows from
prevention of further uses of that fallacy.  But at this point more
time has been wasted because you think it's a point that needs to be
argued.  It's not.  And worse, you reuse the fallacy again (further

> > 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.
> The analogy is not complete. it wasn't Trump who gave that amendment
> its legal force, but it's exactly GNU Radio copyright holders who
> authorize using GNU Radio.

They're not the drafters.  Every analogy of course has differences,
but the difference you state is not meaningful to the scenario.  The
analogy served its purpose, which was to clearly show the absurdity of
asking someone who didn't write something what they meant by what was
written.  That was the sole purpose of the analogy.

And even if the anecdotal difference were meaningful (e.g. if the
court were to treat the party w/a claim as the drafter of the text),
it only works further against GNU Radio to have responsibility for the

> I think even if they use a license text drafted by someone else they
> still may have a say in what terms apply to GNU Radio.

This is speculation.  And it goes nowhere.  So then what?  Your
speculation is probably correct, but without showing what relevant
terms GNU Radio has changed, there's no point here.  Are you actually
saying that GNU Radio has altered the text so that it differs from the
template that I quoted?

> > We obviously know that GNU Radio didn't draft the GFDL,
> This is not that simple. in fact, the FSF holds copyright both for
> GNU Radio and the GFDL.

My statement is simple, and correct.  Your reply below it is
orthoganol to that point.  My statement was about who the drafter is,
not the copyright holder.

Of course if you're suggesting that FSF could be hauled into court
(instead of The GNU Radio Foundation, Inc.) and then held accountable
for actions of The GNU Radio Foundation, Inc., that would be
interesting, but it's unclear what your overall claim is under that
circumstance.  You have an unfinished idea that you've not fully

> > 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.
> I'm not sure the analogy holds, license is not a contract

First of all, it's irrelevant whether the document is treated as a
license or as a contract w.r.t drafters being subject to unfavorable
interpretations of ambiguous terms.  What can matter is whether the
drafter has superior bargaining power (and they do).

Secondly, although it doesn't actually matter whether a license is not
a contract as far as the above goes, a license can (and has been)
treated as a unilateral contract (see Jacobsen v. Katzer).

> (and I'm even less sure the court will side with the tenants).

It's well-established how courts treat ambiguous documents.  In fact
it's central to what courts do.  It's also sensible.  Can you say
*why* you think the contrary?  You've given another unfinished idea;
so ATM it's useless as it doesn't serve to refute what you've replied

> > 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.
> Why, you say that GNU Radio distribution violates the license, and
> GNU Radio maintainers don't seem to agree. do you deny this?

Of course.  How do you figure they "don't seem to agree"?  On what
basis?  They aren't even in the discussion.  It's worse than heresay,
b/c you're actually making a wild leap in claiming that GNU Radio
maintainers have examined and analyzed the text I've cited through the
lens of my argument and taken action (or inaction) on that basis.
Where are you getting the information that leads you to believe this
has happened?

> do you deny this is a conflict in license interpretations?

Of course.  Unless someone actually presents a different
interpretation, there's no conflict to discuss.  It doesn't mean there
isn't one, but timing is important.  I'm not going to argue about a
point of contention until it actually first presents itself.

Even now, you still do not yourself claim to have a different
interpretation of the GFDL.  You've only just now argued that the text
is not legally binding on the basis of generality, which is not an
opposing interpretation of the text itself - just a prediction of what
you think the court will do with the 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.
> You don't understand me: you continually interpret my words
> in a sense I've never implied (I assume that "to succeed" and
> "to defeat" mean the same).

It's important to make statements like this in the relavent place.
It's non-sequitur with what you just responded to.  This micro-thread
is over your (refuted) claim:

  "You can't claim it's defeated until your opponents understand your

> > 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.
> I don't think I succeed. I think that both parties fail.

Nonsense.  You've still failed to establish that someones failure to
understand an argument somehow serves to refute an argument.  Not
understanding an argument means you're not equipped to refute it.

It's baffling that you're struggling with this.  Suppose I ask a
non-English speaker (who is sure to not understand your arguments) to
listen to your arguments, and then conclude from that persons
inability to understand that your arguments have been defeated.  Do
you still think that this line of reasoning makes sense?

> it's you who put Sveltana and Ian together,

Nonsense.  Your words:

  "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.."

> so I suppose that it is not necessary to explain that they
> agree. Ian pointed to words-to-avoid[0] which is a page where the
> position of the GNU project is explained
> ...
> yes, the whole GNU project has a single undivided position.

Nonsense.  The GNU project is a collaborative effort of many people,
and many documents.  There are differences of opinion among the people
as well as conflicts from one document to another.  Now to hold a
terminology advice guide up as "the position of the GNU project",
which you've simultaneously claimed to be a single undivided position
of a single organism, despite the conflicts among more detailed and
legally-binding documents, it's quite perverse.

> WRT "other people", in fact, it's only one more person who spoke [1].
> It seems to me that nobody on this list positively stated
> they shared your viewpoint (apart from you).

Nothing I've said relies on me sharing a viewpoint with anyone.  This
is return of the bandwagon fallacy.

> [0]
> [1]
> > 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(*).
> I don't think I speak against freedoms. I just think that
> there are means unappropriate for achieving some of them.

What are you holding back here?  You're again afraid to directly say
what you think.

So far your /have/ spoken against freedoms (regardless of intent).
That is, you've advocated against a means to protect freedoms b/c you
consider the means "unappropriate" (you meant inappropriate).  To say
that you do not "speak against freedoms", but then some subset of
freedoms needs a different kind of protection literally means you
embrace *all* of the freedoms I've described.  Did you mean to say
that?  If not, which freedoms are you discarding completely?  If yes,
then how is it "inappropriate" to inform visitors of
as to which projects are freedom-abusing?

> > (*) 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").
> I'm sorry, I have to beg for a concrete instaince of this violation.

This has been demonstrated in the wget session output that I've
posted.  The GNU Radio Foundation, Inc. is using CloudFlare, Inc. to
deny GNU users the possibility of using GNU wget how they want
(freedom 0).  Specifically, they cannot use wget over Tor.

> > I referenced both the Gnu Free Documentation License and the SaaSS
> > philosophy in that post.  If you need links, these are the links:
> > 
> >
> >
> Thank you. the article was written after the GFDL; do you think
> the requirements of GFDL were written with that article in mind?

What article is "the article"?

I hope you don't mean the SaaSS article (first copyrighted 2010) or
the terminology advice guide (first copyrighted 1996).  Revision
history is unavailable for both those articles, making it hard for you
to substantiate any claims about revisions.

What is evident is that you're trying to neglect a ~5+ page detailed
treatise of the access issue with the idea that a short 5 paragraph
abstract in terminology guide trumps it.

Moreover, the GFDL is *legally binding*.  The date is irrelevant w.r.t
the dates of philosophy articles in terms of what's legally

> > > 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 too general,

It is general, but not too general to violate.  And to the extent that
it's "general", this only works against the drafter.  The copyright
holder should not have used those words if they didn't want to be
bound by them.

> the actual freedoms need to be stated more specifically;

No they don't.

All parties bound to a legal text have a responsibility to honor the
terms and conditions.  Terms and conditions may have no explicit
rationale (and they usually don't), and of course there are countless
implied freedoms and side-effects.

> of course, not all possible freedoms are guarded by the GFDL. could
> you point at violated parts of the GFDL that discuss specific
> freedoms?

Can you state why you think this matters?  It's bizarre to claim that
an obligation is somehow satisfied or voided in the absence of an
explicitly stated "freedom".

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