Limiting the use of an OpenSource application

John Richter jmrichter at
Sun Mar 3 23:54:12 UTC 2002

On Sat, 2 Mar 2002, David Johnson wrote:

> On Saturday 02 March 2002 14:55, John Richter wrote:
> > I ask this because this requirement puts companies with "ethical
> > practices" rules in a strange position. A company might have a rule saying
> > that it won't do business with companies that use sweatshop labor, for
> > example. They couldn't release any code they wrote as open source, because
> > to do so could violate their ethical practices rule (a sweatshop-using
> > company might decide to use their open source accounting software, for
> > example).
> Personal opinion coming up. You have been warned...
> To sell a product to a sweatshop is immoral. To deny someone else the ability
> to sell a product to a sweatshop is also immoral. You have the legal and
> moral right to refuse to license your software to anyone. But that is a much
> different thing from telling others what they can or cannot do. Tyranny in
> the name of freedom is still tyranny.

I agree with you, but I'm not sure how this follows from my example. Is
the argument that it is immoral to deny someone the right to extend or
resell a piece of software? If so, could you flesh out the argument a
little more?


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