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SubjectRe: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in proprietary drivers?
Date
Thank you for forwarding that message to me.

Any attempt to discuss an ethical issue, any statement about what is
right or wrong, is likely to encounter obstructive responses. One
common obstructive response is to change the subject from "What
conduct is right?" to "Who decides?" For instance,

*I* get to decide what brings value to me and what I consider to be
freedom.

Everyone here believes in freedom of thought, as far as I know, but he
is arguing with some imaginary person who he imagines tries to say he
has no right to decide his own views.

Apparently that imaginary person was unsuccessful, because the writer
has stated his views clearly.

I, for one, put my money where my mouth is. I am squarely in the Open
Software movement. I support (with money) NVidia, Code Weavers, and in
the past, 4 Front Technologies, for example.

We see here a person who doesn't particularly care about freedom to
cooperate with others. His statement indeed reflects the values of
the Open Source Movement. (I think "open software" was a slip of the
keyboard; later on he did write "open source".) That movement denies
that freedom to cooperate is an ethical imperative, and considers it
just a convenience.

Millions of people who use free software have views like this today,
and millions more have never heard or considered the question. No one
can deny that. But those people, even numbering millions, would never
have developed a free operating system like GNU/Linux, because they
don't particularly feel it is important to have one.

The reason GNU/Linux exists as a free operating systems is because of
people who do care.

Communism advocates public ownership of *all* property and you advocate
public ownership of *all* software.

"Public ownership" means that the government decides what to do. We
believe that you should really own your copies of software. You
should decide what to change, and when to redistribute it. This is
not much like Communism. Communism operated by command; free software
recruits voluntary cooperation. Communism failed; free software is
succeeding.

Calling us Communists is actually a second method of evading the
issue. Instead of confronting our actual views, they can attack
Communism. Communism is easy to attack.
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