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Re: propose: `cypherpunks license' (Re: Wanted: Twofish source code)
This assumes that writing and selling proprietary software is 'the
ability to control other people'.
Making a program proprietary is controlling people, pure and simple.
It is a matter of restricting users from sharing, studying and/or
changing the program--restricting users from cooperating.
but people *choose* to accept the restrictions of non-free
software for any number of reasons.
People often choose to give up important freedoms--usually because
they are offered a limited choice, and the other alternatives seem to
involve short-term pain. One can understand why people do this, but
the effects are still dangerous. When almost everyone gives up
certain freedoms, those few who keep them may be subject to various
sorts of pressure that only a few determined people would resist.
The crucial question is not whether people had some limited range of
choice available. It is, what limited the choice? Was it limited by
nature, or did someone deliberately deny people the other better
choices? And if so, was that wrong?
I do not see anyone being coerced into
using it by threat of physical force.
Physical force is not the only thing that can hurt people or
systematically degrade society, so whether it is employed not a
crucial issue. But, as it happens, physical force generally does play
a role in proprietary software. Most proprietary software developers
make use of laws that place the power of the state at their service in
stopping users from sharing.
Using physical force is sometimes justified--for example, to prevent a
wrong. In this spirit, copyleft uses laws and state power to prevent
others from using the very same laws and power to restrict users.