Tim O'Reilly Responds to "Freedom or Power?"
Subject:   FSF vision passes flurbage test
Date:   2001-08-23 01:01:00
From:   broom
In his recent article "Who Threatens Your Flurbage", ESR states ... "I have the condition of flerbage when I can behave in the confidence that nobody will take my life, my
physical property, or my time without my consent. " He then goes on to say that his flerbage would be reduced if the FSF was able to get a law passed which made offering
proprietary licences punishable by jail time or death!

I have tremendous respect for ESR, but this is truely an absurd distortion of the FSF's position. Their goal is more to reduce the scope of copyright law for artistic works (e.g.,
novels, poems, and music), and to role back copyright restrictions completely for functional works (i.e., works valued because they help people get some job done) such as
recepies, manuals, software, and reference materials. Under the FSF's vision, proprietarty licence agreements simply would not be enforcable in a court of law, but nobody's
life, physical property, or time would be taken without their consent.

The important question is whether the law should restrict the general public from modifying and redistributing published functional works (note: for most artistic works, only
noncomercial verbatim copying would be permited). How you answer this question depends on whether or not you think this activity benefeits society overall.