[sword-devel] is OSS unBiblical?

Leon Brooks sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sun, 23 Dec 2001 09:38:02 +0800

Somebody wrote (sorry, I missed the original):
> While I think there are practical benefits to the O.S. movement, I
> believe their is an ideology or better a philosophy that tends to
> undergird it which is unbiblical, that is, to own something is wrong.

Marxism and derivatives, yes. Socialism in general has no such requirement.

Consider the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); would you not like to be given 
working programs to build apon? If so, then you fulfill the golden rule when 
you give away working programs for others to build upon.

> The socialist view is very analogous to an ant colony or bee hive.

True, but with some important differences for OSS. In the OS movement, not 
only is each bee queen (or king), in that every contribution is important, 
but any bee can go and found their own hive, so to speak.

There are clauses in the GPL (http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl.html) which 
make this plain. One of them is that YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO GIVE AWAY 
MODIFIED SOURCES unless you also give away, sell, lease or whatever the 
binaries derived from them (segment 3, numbering from 0).

A pertinant quote from segment 2:

] Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest
] your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to
] exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or
] collective works based on the [GPLed] Program.

> Each ant or bee means nothing it only the nest or hive that is
> important.  This view stems from its evolutionary roots.

You are also (same segment) REQUIRED TO MAKE MODIFIED COPIES OBVIOUS, which 
is the exact opposite of the all-are-one hive mentality.

It is also wise to distinguish between ``mere'' Open Source (which includes 
BSD licences and the like, see http://www.opensource.org/) and Free/Libre 
Software (see http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html).

Cheers; Leon