John Cowan jcowan at
Thu Oct 24 19:27:02 UTC 2002

Lawrence E. Rosen scripsit:

> You "own" a copy of the software under a license from the copyright and
> patent holders.  

Why the horror quotes?  Ownership is not absolute _alodium_, right enough,
but subject to the copyright owner's enumerated interests, ownership
of a lawful copy looks to me much like ownership of any other chattel.
You buy a book, you get to read it, scribble on it, burn it, use it to
check erosion in a gully.  Same story for free software.

John Cowan  jcowan at
"The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly limited size of his own
skull; therefore he approaches the programming task in full humility, and among
other things he avoids clever tricks like the plague."  --Edsger Dijkstra
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