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Someone posted a quote I really like - Journal of Omnifarious

Oct. 26th, 2006

03:10 pm - Someone posted a quote I really like

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There are conflicts over which license is the best in the Free Software/Open Source community. The two major camps are BSD and GPL.

I do not like the BSD license because it leaves the door open for the code to be closed up and sold as a secret proprietary technology. If the proprietary product takes off, then this will significantly reduce the usefulness and relevance of the non-secret code because of network effects.

A lot of people think this is a silly way to think, or think that you're being anti-commercial (which I'm not) by using the GPL.

I look at the GPL as being the set of rules everybody can play by that ensures that everything remains free (as in speech, not beer). This is a way of thinking I've only recently distilled out of the various ideas in my head, and I recently posted a response in a Slashdot discussion in which the idea is presented in a purer form than most places I've expressed it.

As with most good ideas, it turns out someone thought of it before. And I was treated to a fantastic quote:

Between the weak and the strong one it is the freedom which oppresses and the law that liberates (Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire)

That so perfectly sums up my idea. :-)

Edit 2006-10-31: This quote was mistakenly attributed to Jean Jacques Rousseau, and I corrected this.

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[User Picture]
Date:October 26th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I can't parse that quote. Can you help me?
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[User Picture]
Date:October 26th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)

It's basically saying that the law stands between the ability of the strong to use their freedom to oppress the weak.

I love the quote because it so succinctly describes the situation. I'm of a somewhat anarchist bent though, and I'm not so sure the law is the best tool. It is so easily turned in the opposite direction.

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[User Picture]
Date:October 27th, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)
The law requires an honourable and dutiful civilization to function.

I myself believe that it is each individual's responsibility to police their own surroundings. But it is the law's responsibility to prevent a tyranny of the majority.

If that law can be gets turned down, then your civilization is ready to collapse. What can mere law do against the force of an unwilling people?
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