1998-10-09 - Re: propose: `cypherpunks license’ (Re: Wanted: Twofish source code)

Header Data

From: Sunder <sunder@brainlink.com>
To: rms@gnu.org
Message Hash: ceec6c9fef5cc2825ac37d0ce7ba6bd96d938f8c9ccca73653689d516febe1b9
Message ID: <361E522D.1082C33C@brainlink.com>
Reply To: <199810071026.GAA20270@germs.dyn.ml.org>
UTC Datetime: 1998-10-09 18:40:47 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 02:40:47 +0800

Raw message

From: Sunder <sunder@brainlink.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 02:40:47 +0800
To: rms@gnu.org
Subject: Re: propose: `cypherpunks license' (Re: Wanted: Twofish source code)
In-Reply-To: <199810071026.GAA20270@germs.dyn.ml.org>
Message-ID: <361E522D.1082C33C@brainlink.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Richard Stallman wrote:

> Public domain gives person P the ability to make modified versions and
> give users no freedom in using them.  The result is that people in
> general have less freedom.

Untrue.  Person P may make proprietary versions of the program, however,
the program's users may simply chose to not use them and instead take
the original public domain program, write their own modifications as needed
and do what they will with them.  In fact, they may even develop a function
clone of Person P's program and put it back in the Public Domain if they
so chose.  

How does this restrict anyone?  Oh, they can't code you say?  Well, too bad,
if they want to use other people's code, let them learn.  If one choses to
learn to code, one frees himself.

Nobody is forcing those users to use Person P's code any more than
anyone is being forced to use Windoze 98.

Cypherpunks Write Code is something I believe in, and practice.   For
example, someone today needed to modify several bytes in a binary file
that got corrupted in transit.  Not having any sort of hex editor he asked
if I knew what I could use.  I told him to try gdb or adb and such, but
he wasn't able to, so I wrote the bit of code following this message.

Now, I could make this trivial bit of code proprietary and charge money for
it, but others could simply spend some time and write their own.  I could
make it GPL, and thus let everyone use it, but nobody would be able to
copy this code and incorporate it in their code if they didn't want to 
make their code GPL'ed.  So instead, I am making this available as
public domain.  Do what you like with it.  Hell, if you'd like go ahead
and modify it and GPL it, do so, but that won't stop anyone wishing to make
commercial versions of it from finding this original bit of code rather
than the GPL.  Nor will it stop anyone who just wants to use the code.

So what's the point?  As long as public domain software exists and can
be tracked down and use, it frees everyone.  GPL on the other hand does
not.  Sure, it frees the users, but limits the authors.

Of course the GPL has one advantage that you forgot to mention (or that
I haven't noticed.)  Should Microsoft decide to grab Linux and produce
Microsoft Linux (with or without the GNU utilities) they'd have to
produce their sources.

 --- twiddler.c ----->8 cut here 8<-------------------------------------

#include <stdio.h>
#include <errno.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
 FILE *myfile;
 long loc;
 unsigned char val[2];
 char *endptr;

 if (argc!=4)
    printf("%s filename address value\n all values preceded by 0x are hex,\n \
 0 are octal, else decimal.\n address is 32 bit, value is 8 bit\n",argv[0]);


 if (!myfile || errno) {fprintf(stderr,"Unable to open file:%s\n",argv[1]);
 val[0]=(unsigned char) strtol(argv[3],&endptr,0);

 fprintf(stderr,"write %d to file %s at %ld\n",val[0],argv[1],loc);

 fseek(myfile,loc,0); if (errno) {fprintf(stderr,"Unable to seek to %ld in file
%s\n",loc,argv[1]); exit(2);}
 fwrite(val,1,1,myfile); if (errno) {fprintf(stderr,"Unable to write %d to file
%s at %ld\n",val[0],argv[1],loc); exit(3);}
 fflush(myfile); if (errno) {fprintf(stderr,"Unable to flush file\n");
 fclose(myfile); if (errno) {fprintf(stderr,"Got error on closing file\n");

 return 0;


.+.^.+.|       Sunder       |Prying open my 3rd eye.  So good to see |./|\.
..\|/..|sunder@sundernet.com|you once again. I thought you were      |/\|/\
<--*-->| ------------------ |hiding, and you thought that I had run  |\/|\/
../|\..| "A toast to Odin,  |away chasing the tail of dogma. I opened|.\|/.
.+.v.+.|God of screwdrivers"|my eye and there we were....            |.....
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