The Invisible Hand

Greg London greglondon at
Mon Oct 1 21:14:10 UTC 2001

Everyone breath for a second.

My understanding of David's original post was
to assert that "open" and "free" were meaningless
distinctions. because of Adam Smith's 
notion of Invisible Hand, it didn't matter 
where you start, you end up at effectively
the same end point.  Therfore there is no
need to divide the community into factions.

What then flamed up was a debate that basically
highlighted the very rift that David spoke of.

The question is whether "open" and "free" are
effectively meaningless distinctions.

>From a legal standpoint, I think they are
meaningless. But not because of any invisible
hand coming in and mucking up the works.

You cannot create a license that says
"this work shall be open" or
"this work shall be free" and
have it have any concrete meaning in court.
At least not in the sense of "free" or "open"
we're talking about.

The only distinction that has any
real world effect is the wording of
the license, the rights granted to the
world by the copyright holder.

anything else has little real meaning.

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