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RE: tlug: RMS and Amazon...

>You think they might pay attention to a "poison pill" clause that
>revokes their license to use free software?  This has been seriously
>proposed by Karsten Self.  (The LPF seems to be a dead letter,
>unfortunately.)  I think this contradicts the definition of "free"
>(although Stallman does not, evidently), so I oppose it on principle.
>But I also wonder if it would be effective.

Who is going to enforce it?  When viewed in terms of the interests
they are intended to protect, open source licenses like the GPL should be
widely enforceable, by parties with an interest in seeing
the line toed.  But because they are cast in terms of a central
rights holder (as they must be to work within the legal framework
that they rely upon), they must be enforced by a particular party
(like the FSF).  This may lead to underenforcement.  I don't know of
any instances in which the GPL has been litigated.  I wrote to Stallman for
information about a year or so ago, and he said that
a warning had always been enough to get compliance.  Maybe ...

If a class of open-source rights (what that would be is a separate
problem) are legislated as legal rights enforceable by *anyone*,
you gain a lot of cred.  As things stand, I think that in trying to pull the
trigger on a poison pill clause (to coin a mixed metaphor) you would end up
shooting yourself in the foot.  Amazon may say "So what?" to
your face, and appeal to the general public that a bunch of geeks are
trying to bully them out of legitimate gains from trade.

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