A new software licensing paradigm

Tuesday, 03 February, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The problem with commercial software licenses isn't, as you might think, that they are commercially motivated. Sure, someone somewhere's making money off of it. So they should, if it's any good, because nothing's worth doing that's not worth paying for. The problem however is that they're wholly dependent on a meanwhile obsolete paradigm of organising commerce. You might as well defend yourself by building a physical wall around which you dig a ditch which you fill with water. Cool story, but it didn't even work too well against cannonballs, and we have rockets and helicopters now. What's that moat going to do ?i

The problem with FOSS software licensesii is that they aim to use the same mechanisms that make commercial software licenses powerful (ie, a reliance on the enforcement borne out of the obsolete, fiat-contract) but without any of the actual underpinings that make such an approach work (control of capital, through which of the means of production, through which of the pseudo-democratic political process). The recent decay of "open source" as perhaps best typified by the systemd rot is simply that old wrathbird coming home to roost. Of course they were going to let a bunch of excited kids work their excitement into perhaps some sort of useful stuff, and of course they were going to come and root through that, find the eggs and keep them.

To remedy these defects - wilful as they may be they do not reflect either our will nor our best interests - and to enforce once and for all a properly functioning networkiii, here's a proposed alternative software license :

I. You do not have, nor can you ever acquire the right to use, copy or distribute this software ;

II. Should you use this software for any purpose, or copy and distribute it, to anyone or in any manner, you are breaking the laws of whatever soi-disant "sovereign jurisdiction" you may be deemed to be located within, and you promise to continue doing so in the indefinite future.

Short and sweet. Let the whole old world burn, it wasn't any good to anyone anyway.

  1. If you think that protecting yourself with obsolete fiat contracts is not quite as laughable as Bashar al-Assad digging a water filled ditch around Syria, you've not spent too much time thinking about these matters. But then again, neither has Oliver Bussmann, and he's convinced UBS he knows about Information even! Sure, you'll starve in the near future, but at least you'll starve in good company. Just like all those dukes, counts, princes and fursts overfilling Paris in the XIXth century - at least you'll have your honor! Meanwhile your daughter won't, but... parents can't think of everything now can they. []
  2. People that have been looking at this for too long from too close to the point they've given themselves mechanical myopia tend to imagine there's some sort of difference between open source and rmsource. There isn't, not really. []
  3. Freedom is not a matter of rights. Freedom is that which is traded to slavery by virtue of the accounting mechanism of rights.

    Similarly, "net neutrality" is not in any way related to network freedom. To best understand the competing paradigms : the artificial perspective - as proposed by the obsolete governments and the rest of the numerously various paper fiat arrays - revolves around the "rights" of the "owners" of hardware, and the "intentions" of the writers of software. In this perspective, using a computer "against the will of its owner", even if you're using it exactly in the manner it allows itself to be used, is "criminal" whatever that may mean anymore.

    Exactly contrary to that, the natural perspective : if you don't want me to use your server to print all the nude photos your users entrusted you, write your software and provision your hardware in such a way that I can't. Because if I can, then it is not my right but my freedom to do so.

    A parallel with human sexuality is not unwarranted here. At a past time when the ownership of female humans was the principal method to control capital formation and the political process, the same sort of dead hand fictions proposed that they in fact control the usage of women, that anyone owning a woman does so only as a sublicense from their sovereign ownership of all women, and may proceed only in furtherance of the regulation they emitted as to how women may be used and may not be used and so on and so forth. Specifically excluded from all this - the woman in question. Particularly "criminal" at the time - using a woman in the manner she herself wishes to be used.

    Times have changed, women are now worthless, but computers aren't, and these same dead hand fictions propose anew : that they own all computers, that if you own a computer it's only a sublease from them, subject to furthering their regulations and so on and so forth. Specifically excluded from all this - what the code actually says and does. Particularly "criminal" - using a computer in the manner it itself allows to be used.

    I will never subscribe to this point of view. I own my women, as well as my computers, outright and immediately. Anyone wishes to dispute this point better bring along a [large enough] army, for I'm not merely willing to kill in its defense : I am entirely willing to destroy the entire world, if the choice ever comes between destroying the entire world and having as much as a hair snipped off my freedom. []

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5 Responses

  1. Gabriel Laddel`s avatar
    Gabriel Laddel 
    Wednesday, 4 February 2015

    "Our right lies in force. The word "right" is an abstract thought and proved by nothing. The word means no more than: -- Give me what I want in order that thereby I may have proof that I am stronger than you. Where does right begin? Where does it end?"

    From the Learned Protocols of the Elders of Zion

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 4 February 2015

    In the context of the article, "right" is understood as a grant from an authority. Using a right necessarily reinforces both said authority and the submissive relationship with it. Oposite to this, freedom. So if there's a spring, freely taking water means one thing, rightfully taking water means quite another.

  1. [...] ############################################################################## prolog = ''' (C) 2015 NoSuchlAbs. You do not have, nor can you ever acquire the right to use, copy or distribute [...]

  2. [...] instead to be using her father's daughter ; or the priest's own god-given cunt he borrowed under license ; or some such theoretical device is however pretty expensive, not to mention very inconvenient - [...]

  3. [...] instead to be using her father's daughter ; or the priest's own god-given cunt he borrowed under license ; or some such theoretical device is however pretty expensive, not to mention very inconvenient - [...]

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