[License-discuss] Language, appropriateness, and ideas

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Thu Feb 27 21:49:28 UTC 2020

On Thu, Feb 27, 2020 at 1:01 PM Josh Berkus <josh at berkus.org> wrote:

> To paraphrase the above: "It's only deplatforming if it's me or my
> friends.  If it's someone I don't agree with, they're just whining."

Decades ago my actual friends bought me a T-Shirt
It said "Everybody Loves Eric S. Raymond (except me)", given there were
many political ideas (including Geeks with Guns) that ESR held that I
disagreed with.

But that is in fact the point of the non-discrimination core of Open
Source, which is that people who otherwise strongly disagree with each
other can work together on software projects.  It was only threats to Open
Source that we accepted discrimination against, making the political text
which the GPL contains fundamentally different than any political topic not
centered on software.

As soon as you introduce more reasons to discriminate, Open Source ceased
to exist because there is no longer a mechanism for people to work together
if they bring all their personal politics into software projects.

I consider expansion of patent, copyright and related rights that threaten
Open Source to be unethical.  That would put on my PNG list companies like
Apple and IBM, and the drafters of the AGPL (performance of software,
etc).   I would not put companies like Google or Amazon on my list as I
don't see what they do as harmful, but if I were designing my own PNG
license it would explicitly be incompatable  with PNG licenses which
exclude cloud native companies since I consider that descrimination to be

I believe the logical outcome of the PNG concept should be obvious.

> Free speech is not your exclusive right, Russell.  Nor ESRs, no matter
> how much you seem to think so.  If you want a "safe space" where only
> people you agree with can speak, it's cheap and easy to create your own
> mailing list, and I wish you the joy of it.

I think you have this backwards.   The mailing list to discuss ideas
compatable with the OSD are the lists hosted by opensource.org.  This
community will (most often politely) inform people when their ideas are
incompatable with one of the fundamental tennants of Open Source.  If
people insist on continuing to disrespect the community by trying to
unethically get around the fundamental tennants of Open Source, then the
pushback will become harder and harsher.   People can't disrespect a
community, and then get upset when harsh words are eventually used to
defend the community.

If you want to discuss concepts which are incompatable with the fundamental
tennants of Open Source, and not be critiqued for your unwillingness to
accept these fundamental tennants, then you are free to create your own
mailing lists.

Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>

"The government, lobbied by legacy copyright holders and hardware
manufacturers, can pry my camcorder, computer, home theatre, or portable
media player from my cold dead hands!" http://c11.ca/own
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