Accusations, accusations, always accusations

John Cowan cowan at
Wed Oct 20 17:02:07 UTC 1999

Alex Nicolaou scripsit:

> I think you accidentally edited out the context that makes this more
> clear. The "you" in this sentence is not RMS or a plural you referring
> to developers of the GNU system; it is specifically the person I was
> responding to (John Cowan) who wrote "failing to give credit to prior
> researchers is the act of a morally  worthless person".

I was talking about scientific research, not programming.
Furthermore, I was talking about whether the GNU GPL should
*demand* credit.  There is no *law* that makes giving credit to one's
predecessors a requirement, but justice is not the only virtue.

> John's implication is that the Linux kernel development
> community is morally worthless for failing to name it GNU/Linux and I
> think that this is quite out of line.

It would be, if I had either said or implied that.  I didn't.
I have no opinion on the Linux vs. GNU/Linux dispute.  I do have
an opinion, which I was defending, on whether the GNU GPL should
demand credit as a condition of creating derived works: namely,
it is neither practically advisable nor morally justifiable.

John Cowan                                   cowan at
       I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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