...making Linux just a little more fun!
Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]
----- Forwarded message from Steve Bibayoff <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 15:04:50 -0700 From: Steve Bibayoff <email@example.com> To: Rick Moen <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Moglen And O'Reilly exchange at OSConHi Rick,
Found a video of the Eben Moglen/ Tim O'Reilly exchange at OSCon. It was titled "Licensing in the Web 2.0 Era". Unfornatley, the video appears to be in a .mov quicktime format, but seems playable on Free software players(w/ unFree codecs). http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/3282956/ http://blip.tv/file/get/Radar-EbenMoglenLicensingInTheWeb20Era126.mov
Funny comment about trying to get the O'Reilly OSCon copy of the video/audio: "Regrettably, we missed the assault. Stories needed to go out, and we assumed the chat would follow familiar, boring lines. After about ten people later asked if we caught the spectacular show, The Register contacted the OSCON audio staff to obtain a recording of the session. "No problem," they said, "It will just take a couple of minutes, but you need to get O'Reilly's permission first." O'Reilly corporate refused to release the audio, saying it would cause a slippery slope. (We're still trying to understand that one.) They, however, did add that Moglen appeared to be "off his meds." http://jeremy.linuxquestions.org/2007/07/29/open-source-and-the-future-of-network-applications/
ps. What was that name of that book that you where discussing at Linux Picnix about the Renaissance? It was a case study done about Florence Nightingale, the father of the rugby school, and someone else. TIA.
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----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <email@example.com> -----
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 17:54:43 -0700 From: Rick Moen <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Steve Bibayoff <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Moglen And O'Reilly exchange at OSConQuoting Steve Bibayoff (firstname.lastname@example.org):
> Found a video of the Eben Moglen/ Tim O'Reilly exchange at OSCon. It > was titled "Licensing in the Web 2.0 Era". Unfornatley, the video > appears to be in a .mov quicktime format, but seems playable on Free > software players(w/ unFree codecs). > http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/3282956/ > http://blip.tv/file/get/Radar-EbenMoglenLicensingInTheWeb20Era126.mov
I'll be checking this out when I'm next at a computer with the necessary software. (My Xubuntu iBook will play many Quicktime .mov files, but, since it's a G3 PPC, the unfree codecs are out, even if I wanted them present, which I really don't.)
Meanwhile, there have been a number of text excerpts from Moglen's commentary. Here's a typical one, from http://www.linux.com/feature/118201 :
[snipping some valid and cogent points about hosted applications not being new, and per Moglen not being all that important over the long term, in any event.]
The idea that Google and other "Web 2.0" providers are somehow making licenses irrelevant is wrong, says Moglen, because those companies are exercising freedoms that Richard M. Stallman sought to protect with the GPL -- namely, the right to run software for any purpose, and the right to make private modifications. While those rights may conflict with others -- namely the right to study modifications -- Moglen says that "binary thinking" won't solve the problem. Instead we need diplomacy to protect and ensure the rights of all parties. "We've got to conclude that what Google does, they have a right to do in freedom. They shouldn't need permission to run programs. If you need permission to run programs, you can't have freedom."
This is precisely the except that stopped me cold, in my attempt to make sense of the badgeware issue. To the extent that one can fairly consider an off-the-cuff riposte from Prof. Moglen to reflect the considered position of FSF (which might be: not much), this seems to say that FSF opposes any attempt to enforce copyleft concepts in ASP scenrios, because the modifications added to those hosted apps by third parties are "private modifications", and amount to merely "running the program", for which users "shouldn't need permission".
I respect Prof. Moglen. Regardless of whether he speaks for anyone else when he says things, I always listen carefully.
So, I feel vaguely guilty when I find myself wondering if he's simply missed the point. Surely that can't be?
My understanding is that the reason conventional copyleft licences' reciprocal provisions are linked to distribution isn't because there's anything especially crucial about distribution per se, but rather because the nature of copyright law makes it an obvious point of leverage by reserving that right by default to the copyright owner: Licensors would prefer to say "If you do something significant with this codebase, and if outside parties are using your mods, you must give everyone else access to the latter" -- but "outside parties using your mods" is not something copyright owners are entitled to control, because, as Moglen has often pointed out, usage as such requires no permission in the first place (absent contract restrictions).
IIRC, the remedy taken by OSL, ASPL, and Honest Public License, and Affero is to apply a very modest contractual obligation linked to a particular type of ASP usage. So, per Moglen, we're supposed to think those obligations are evil because they encumber "private" usage? Really?
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