[CS-FSLUG] [Linux4christians] Response to a Libre Software Skeptic

Marco Tedaldi marco.tedaldi at gmail.com
Fri Jan 13 12:39:20 CST 2012

Hello everyone...

On 12.01.2012 23:28, dcolburn at bibleseven.com wrote:
> It seems to me that he postulates a straw man then knocks it down.
Christians around the world seem to waste a lot of time on stuff like
that. Inventing problems that are not issues at all to discuss them at

> Commercial software and Libre software have nothing *legal* in common.
I don't get this... but the rest seems prettty clear.

> Commercial software is just that, commercial.
right. And it is wrong to use it without a legal license. Just remember.
Even if a law seems wrong, we're obligated to respect the authorities!

> Someone creates it and decides that rather than give it away they will
> sell the right to use it.  Nothing whatsoever wrong with that.  The
> commercial software developer has to eat the same as the farmer, laborer,
> manager, and preacher.
That's another question.
I  the bible I only find goods and services that are traded. But not
ideas. Intellectual property does not exist in the bible. And I think
that there is a reason for that!

> Libre software is free, as in salvation.
> Someone creates it and chooses to give it away.  Nothing wrong with that.

> I fail to comprehend why there is an argument.

I think it is not about making free software. It is more about using
commercial software without having a propper license. Even if I think
that the whole IP (Intellevtual proberty, not tcp/ip) stuff is wrong
from the ground up I am obligated to fallow the rules of the creator of
the software if I want to use it.

> No one has the right to acquire and use what I have created without my
> permission, nor to make copies and give-away or sell copies - unless I
> have explicitely given them permission to do so.  This is foundational to
> a functional free-market economy.
That's what the law says... And it is by no means fundamental for a
working free-market economy (as the free-market economy around free
software proves since more that 10 years).

> No one has the right to profit from what I have created and have chosen to
> give away, but they are free to distribute it without charge.  Also simple.
Hm... but this is, what linux distributors do. Sure, they basically sell
the service of putting together to software in packages in a more or
less usable way, but they could not do this if the software did not
exist. So basically they are making the profit from free (as in free
food) software.

> Did I miss anything?
Yes... who do I have to pay to sing the psalms? Or where did david give
me explicit permission to recite his words? Who did david pay when he
was singing and dancing?

As stated earlier: It is not right to use stuff without a propper
license. That's the law today and we have to fallow that.
But that changes nothing that the whole IP-stuff (copyright and patent)
is fundamentally wrong.
Paying for goods and services is ok. But ideas have to be free. You
can't "own" an idea (if it is a song or an invention). So there can't be
property rights on ideas anyway.

I'm not saying, that programmers should not be paid. Since writing can
be a service. Either a service to an individual, to a legal entity or
even to the public...

This model works since a long time. Way longer than we can can remember.
Think of preachers! Do they explicitely enforve the copyright on the
stuff they say? Most of them do not (I don't know if there are any that
do). So how can they live? They get paid for the service they do to the
community by the community.
Think of all the researches at the universities. I know, it's more and
more commercialized and this is bad! Because it prevents new findings to
be useful to the broad public but gives some few companies new ways to
make a lot of money!
But there is basic research done in many areas where there is no money
to be made (at least at the moment) and the researchers can't turn the
findings into money directly. So how do they live?
They are paid by the public to provide services to the public...

We don't need copyright and patents! These things only benefit some few
big companies. And the broad public pays for expensive lawsuits and a
closed market! Patents hinder competition. We don't get the best product
because the competition is held out of the market...

Now to politics: Why are the people that call for "free markets" the
loudest the same people that also call for even more restrictive IP-laws
(which are basically monopoly-rights granted by the state)? IP-laws are
the pure opposite of a free market... not think how honest people are
that preach "free market" and "IP-laws" at the same time...

Ok... rant is over, maybe someone reads that stuff to the end...



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