[Fsfe-ie] Re: ethical interpretations of FS
ian at locut.us
Tue Feb 3 16:07:40 CET 2004
Aidan Delaney wrote:
>> My answer to this question is that source code should only be part of
>> the commons when it is in control of OTHER PEOPLE'S computers. If it
>> is just running on my hardware I have no obligation to disclose what
>> it is doing.
> I accept your point and ask what about services? If my non-Free
> software controls your services (Banking etc...) how is this different
> from me controlling your computer, considering computers are just tools
> to use services.
Well, I think it is important to know what you mean by "your services".
I am not sure that I have a right to know what goes on inside my bank,
except as it directly affects my money.
For example, ff the whole thing is run by highly trained chimps I really
couldn't care less provided that they don't lose my money and do the
other things that a bank is supposed to do.
Were I the bank I would feel that I have no obligation to disclose that
my entire operation relies on our furry friends provided my organisation
does its job and does it well.
I think it has to be a question of property rights. I have a right to
know what people are doing to my property, be they a plumber or the
author of some software running on my computer. I think you get into
very dangerous territory when you try to extend this notion to argue
that I have a right to know what other people are doing with their
property. Yes, if what they are doing affects me, then I have a right
to know how it affects me, but that is where my right of knowledge ends.
> At the point where the Acmesoft source code starts controlling my
> computer, Free Software philosophy states that the user should be
> entitled to view the source code.
No argument there.
> I'm extrapolating a little and stating that when your source code (in
> compiled form etc...) starts controlling my services, that I would like
> to see the source code (I'm not sure of the FSF line on this).
This is the dangerous extrapolation I am taking about, because if you
extend your right of knowledge beyond what affects you or your property,
it is impossible to draw a line as to where it should stop. Before long
you are arguing that nobody should have any secrets about anything.
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