Copy-Back License draft for discussion

John Cowan jcowan at
Wed Apr 27 01:37:25 UTC 2005

Gregory Aharonian scripsit:

> But the real crime is that such crucial words as "idea", "expression",
> "method", "process" are no where defined in the copyright statutes,
> and very inconsistently defined in caselaw, making the whole mess one
> big vague arbitary mess.

# The object of the Tract was to prove that there was nothing in
# the Thirty-nine Articles incompatible with the creed of the Roman
# Church. Newman pointed out, for instance, that it was generally supposed
# that the Articles condemned the doctrine of Purgatory; but they did
# not; they merely condemned the Romish doctrine of Purgatory; and Romish,
# clearly, was not the same thing as Roman. Hence it followed that believers
# in the Roman doctrine of Purgatory might subscribe the Articles with a
# good conscience. Similarly, the Articles condemned 'the sacrifice of
# the masses,' but they did not condemn 'the sacrifice of the Mass.' Thus
# the Mass might be lawfully celebrated in English Churches. Newman took
# the trouble to examine the Articles in detail from this point of view,
# and the conclusion he came to in every case supported his contention in
# a singular manner.
# The Tract produced an immense sensation, for it seemed to be a deadly and
# treacherous blow aimed at the very heart of the Church of England. Deadly
# it certainly was, but it was not so treacherous as at first sight
# appeared. The members of the English Church had ingenuously imagined
# up to that moment that it was possible to contain in a frame of words
# the subtle essence of their complicated doctrinal system, involving
# the mysteries of the Eternal and the Infinite on the one hand, and the
# elaborate adjustments of temporal government on the other. They did
# not understand that verbal definitions in such a case will only perform
# their functions so long as there is no dispute about the matters which
# they are intended to define: that is to say, so long as there is no need
# for them. For generations this had been the case with the Thirty-nine
# Articles. Their drift was clear enough; and nobody bothered over their
# exact meaning. But directly someone found it important to give them a
# new and untraditional interpretation, it appeared that they were a mass
# of ambiguity, and might be twisted into meaning very nearly anything that
# anybody liked. Steady-going churchmen were appalled and outraged when they
# saw Newman, in Tract No. 90, performing this operation. But, after all,
# he was only taking the Church of England at its word. And indeed, since
# Newman showed the way, the operation has become so exceedingly common
# that the most steady-going churchman hardly raises an eyebrow at it now.
#	--Lytton Strachey, _Eminent Victorians_, "Cardinal Manning".

Andrew Watt on Microsoft:                       John Cowan
Never in the field of human  computing          jcowan at
has so much been paid by so many      
to so few! (pace Winston Churchill)   

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