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    SubjectRe: Bitkeeper outrage, old and new
    On Mon, Oct 21, 2002 at 11:12:53PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
    > Nobody's evil or stupid or naive just because they make a certain
    > licensing choice.
    >
    > It is a stretch to conclude anything about the general attitude or
    > character of a person from one action, so I would not say the people
    > who distribute non-free software are "evil people" in a general sense.
    > I will say they have done one thing that is evil: distributing a
    > non-free program.
    >
    > Non-free software licenses are designed to divide and dominate the
    > users, denying them the basic freedoms for software users. That's
    > what makes them non-free, and that is what makes it wrong. Non-free
    > software is a social problem, one that we need to solve if computer
    > users are to have freedom.
    >
    > There are many different ways people make money; some are ethical
    > while others involve mistreating others. If we accept "making a
    > living" as a valid excuse to mistreat people, we will be mistreated
    > constantly. There comes a time when we have to say that we are not
    > impressed by the argument that "We need to do this to people in order
    > to make a living."

    It's a simple concept. I produced it, it's mine until I say otherwise.
    You grant other laborers the right to profit from their labors, do you
    not? Setting standards the way you have is arbitrary and high-handed.
    Calling people (or their actions) "evil" because they prefer to code
    for a living rather than dig ditches or answer telephones is rather
    arrogant and self-righteous. My charging for software *I* write is not
    immoral or unethical - it is what I do and it is perfectly legitimate.
    It is NOT the same as claiming a criminal/immoral/unethical act - you
    still want me to produce software - you just want me to do it for free.
    And no, I am not doing anything to people - they are free to not use my
    software. The majority of the world gets along just fine without it.

    --
    Murray J. Root
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