This column says it's not enough to enforce the freedom of the
software itself... you also need to make sure software isn't being
used to deprive others of their freedom (which the author maintains
is simply abhorent to any open source developer.) To that extent,
he offers up a remedy sure to get discussion going.
So it is possible to turn Free Software against itself
and the ethics it stands for (I hold it to be implausible that any
Open Source programmer could want this). The possibility is
frightening, but if it is possible, someone will do it.
What should be done about it? For a program published under the
GPL, the copyright holder could extend the license so that the use
of the software shall not infringe on anyone's rights, but how
should this restriction be phrased? What would be a reasonable
demand? A company denying its employees access to porn sites
probably seems reasonable to most, but what about a government
doing the same to its citizens?
The best one can hope for is a symbolic move, perhaps a clause
appended to the GPL stating that in using the program or any
derived work, the user explicitly acknowledges, fully supports, and
complies with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (or
something similar, to avoid suspicion of moral imperialism).
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