DRAFT FAQ: Free vs. Open

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Fri Jan 11 19:35:00 UTC 2008

David Dillard scripsit:

> Thus, *if* the OSI believes that open source is ethical and closed
> source is unethical then it should not approve licenses which allow open
> source to be used in closed source applications.  

Non sequitur.

Even if I admit your assumption (which I do not), it may still be
possible to allow open source to be used in closed-source applications
if that serves some other principle considered to be more important.
It is unethical to kill an innocent person, but it may be done if the
direct consequence is to prevent the deaths of other innocent persons --
at least, most ethical systems, legal systems, and individual moral
judgements agree on this.

> Conversely, I think it would be reasonable to say to Nigel that since
> the OSI does approve licenses that allow open source to be used in
> closed source applications, that demonstrates that the OSI does not
> believe that closed source is unethical.

Same reply.  Since your original entailment is not valid, its
contrapositive is not valid either.

Said Agatha Christie / To E. Philips Oppenheim  John Cowan
"Who is this Hemingway? / Who is this Proust?   cowan at ccil.org
Who is this Vladimir / Whatchamacallum,         http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
This neopostrealist / Rabble?" she groused.
        --George Starbuck, Pith and Vinegar

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