[License-review] Submitting CC0 for OSI approval

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Sat Feb 18 18:44:43 UTC 2012

On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 11:21:13PM -0500, Russ Nelson wrote:
> Bruce Perens writes:
>  > The content of the last email was entirely ad-hominem and did not belong 
>  > on the list. Please take appropriate action.
> Nonsense. I wasn't arguing. I was just pointing out that you're a
> pompous self-promoting jerk. That says nothing about whether the CC0
> is an open source license or whether the OSD says anything about
> patents. It's just simple abuse.
> Google "ad hominem fallacy fallacy."

Not that I want to be involved in this fracas, but . . . I don't recall
Mr. Perens (for all his flaws) having used the word "fallacy".  He just
used the words "ad hominem".  His statement means your comments were
"against the person", in rough translation -- not that they were a
fallacy of arguing against the person rather than against the foregoing
argument.  I guess, then, it's accurate to say that a statement
deprecating another person is "ad hominem", even if it's not an ad
hominem fallacy.

Of course, that doesn't mean he wasn't trying to claim it was an ad
hominem fallacy; a lot of people mistakenly say "ad hominem" solely or
"ad hominem attack", when they actually mean "ad hominem fallacy", just
as there are a lot of people who claim an ad hominem fallacy when there
was no fallacious use of an "ad hominem" deprecation.

If your assignment of the word "fallacy" here was intentionally
misleading (I don't believe it was; I believe you were either consciously
interpreting Mr. Perens' words in the manner you thought overwhelmingly
most likely or just didn't notice the lack of "fallacy" in the
statement), I think we could call what just happened the "ad hominem
fallacy fallacy fallacy".

Now that I have substantially confused the issue, perhaps beyond any hope
of making a meaningful discussion of it, I hope we can drop the whole
thing about who wrote what at what time, how it was originally
distributed, what it all meant way back when insofar as it is irrelevant
to current issues, and move on to discussing the actual, current state of
affairs with regard to the purpose of the OSI, the status of the CC0
license, and whether an explicit disavowal of patent license is
substantively different from a lack of explicit patent license for
purposes of Open Source Definition compliance certification.

(I have my own opinions of the matters I suggest ignoring so we can get
back to current matters, but I don't think they're relevant, so I'll keep
them to myself for now.)

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]

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