... have not understood, much less responded to the points I made, and then go on to lecture me. ...
I am sorry I did not respond to every point you have made and I will now.
Terms like "user's freedom" and "user's rights" are being bandied about, with absolutely no inkling of what their meaning is, any conceptual grounding or justification for them, neither any effort on the part of their proponents to actually rationally justify their case.
User's freedom and user's rights refer to having the four freedoms I listed. It is very simple to understand. It is rational because users of proprietary software are deprived of these freedoms. There is no better way then referring to those rights as freedoms and it is justified to see them as such.
Apparently, being passioned about an issue is all it takes to elevate it to a moral case.
I am passionate about this issue exactly because it is a moral question. I don't make it a moral question. And I want to help other people to see it, and to the decide for themselves.
How is my freedom being curtailed if I *freely* enter into a contract with a software vendor to buy their product and use it under specified, agreed-upon conditions, e.g. I buy working software but with no access to the underlying source code? What is the argument that ties a user's freedom to use the computer he bought (presumably with no strings attached, other than maybe lack of support if the user chooses some software options rather than others), in having a right to the source code of programs software companies produce?
The fact that you can *freely* sign away your freedom does not mean that your not actually giving up your freedom. I will gave you a more drastic example where people used to singh to have their freedom removed. In the days of the Roman Republic people would sold themselves to slavery to repay their debts. They also *freely* sign away their freedom. Remember that freedom is often taken away from people but sometimes people give up their freedom. Users should have those freedoms so they are in control of their computers rader than the companies that make proprietary software. That includes having access to the source code. You have the freedom to change and repair your own house, and all house appliances. Same freedoms should apply to software. Main reason why users should have access to source code is to check for malicious code and unwanted features and antifeatures, and to be able to remove them.
Do people seriously want to prohibit such contracts to be made, a flagrant violation of freedom of association? And if not, what exactly is the point of all the posturing?
I never said that I want to prohibit such contracts to be made, licenses that are not free software. I don't understand where do you get that. I have never even heard from someone in the free software community to say such things. I am hear to tell people about free softwere and to convince them to not give away their freedom. Not to use proprietary software. That is the piont.
In the more rational times of Aristotle and his medieval Scholastic progenie, a right existed to safeguard the ability of persons to fulfill their God-given *duties*; or in short, rights exist only because, and insofar as, men have real duties, towards themselves, their families, their community, God, etc. But we have done away with God, human nature and any idea of (transcendental) duties, and yet people keep on talking about "rights", these free-floating realities, as if they had any substantial grounding or rational justification -- a grounding or justification that they never bother to give, or as if the underlying assumptions they are working under are self-evident and non-controversial. It is just pathetic.
If I understood you, you are saying that human rights are relativistic? That describes me. The human rights exist on moral grounds and the way they are changing is that their number is growing through history. For example people didn't have the right to sexual orientation and they have now. Before that people did not have the freedom of religion and they do now, and so on. Software is a new thing and now we are campaign for human rights in software world.
And to forestall a certain species of ad hominem, I use arch linux; the only mod I made for Morrowind was released under the most liberal license possible. I made some mods and tools for Dominions 4 and 5 and released them under the same conditions. My work as a mathematician is also free for anyone to peruse. Etc. and etc.
Thank you very much for your contribution. You have my gratitude.
This is undoubtedly a polemical rant; I do not wish to stoke an already burning fire, so unless I find it *really* necessary, I do not plan to say anything more on the issue -- in part, and as a last jab, because as I said there really is not much to respond to.
Well, have fun, this is a party that bores me to death.
You keep saying that but you keep posting with long posts. I see that you have interest in this subject but an opposite view on it.
As I predicted; you presume I know nothing about the subject (have you read Villanueva's letter to Microsoft?), use the word "freedom" glibly without any justification for your particular use and the implications you wish to draw from it, have not understood, much less responded to the points I made, and then go on to lecture me.
I don't think that using the word freedom for software user rights is gullible and it is perfectly justified. I am sorry if I offended you in any way. I did not mean to do it if I have. But you seem hostile towards me. I don't want for us to be enemies.