No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful.

Discussion in 'Linux Networking' started by Penang, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Penang

    Matt Giwer Guest

    And if I am a teacher and from my experience with linux I describe Windows as
    a rip-off, which it is, am I liable to civil suit from MS?

    A teacher of a subject is presumed to know the subject. There is are no
    excuses permitted when the teacher acts as an agent of to school system which
    she did. If she wishes to publicly proclaim ignorance of the subject she
    teaches fine with me. That is not in the report.

    These are not the school marms of my day. These are unionized, over paid,
    under performing whatevers.

    Clearly this person is unqualified to teach the subject. Fine with me. Admit
    it and move on.

    However, to assert NO SOFTWARE IS FREE is such a blatant example of
    ignorance, incompetence and ignorance that I exhaust my vocabulary of
    adjectives to further describe it. To threaten legal action in writing goes
    far beyond a mistake in the classroom which is expected.

    I started writing very free software nearly 30 years ago. I was not alone. 16
    of them were published by COMPUTE! magazine for the Atari 800. I went through
    the 80s on free software that worked on MS-DOS X.x. And that should bring the
    majority of the readers here to the 1990s and that free software.

    To falsely teach children there is no free software does nothing less than
    make a laughing stock of this teacher and, if I remember my time in the school
    system correctly, make a laughing stock of the entire educational system.
    Matt Giwer, Jan 1, 2009
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  2. Penang

    Unruh Guest

    To lie requires intent. You cannot lie unknowingly.
    And apparently you recognize that as well, which is why you are trying to
    stop people from point out that it is you that are lying, since you are
    mistating the case on purpose and with malicious intent.
    There was no evicence whatsoever that he STOLE. A teacher has the right to
    temporarily confiscate objects from students, especially from students
    causing a disruption with them.

    Ignorance OF THE LAW is no legal excuse, is the phrase. Ignorance is often
    an excuse and a valid one.

    And you are a slanderer and a liar.

    Physician, heal thyself.
    Unruh, Jan 1, 2009
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  3. Penang

    Unruh Guest

    She saw the student as handing out copyright protected software to
    students. As such, in her ignorance of licenses like the GPL, she saw this
    as an example of copyright violation and of encouragement of such. Given
    the mass hysteria of people like RIAA re copyright and given that obeying
    the law IS one of the lessons the school should be teaching, she saw the
    encouragement of such copyright violation as being an actionable offense,
    which it would have been, were it not for the license. That she was
    unfamiliar with say the GPL (Have you actually read the license?) IS
    ignorance. That she was upset with someone encouraging violation of the law
    to her pupils, as she saw it, was exactly what it should be.

    Had she seen the student handing out free crack samples and being told that
    someone had encouraged him to do so, would she have been overreacting?

    Just as you make a laughing stock of the whole "free software" movement?
    Unruh, Jan 1, 2009
  4. 'He' is a 'she'. Please read the blog post next time.
    Giorgos Keramidas, Jan 1, 2009
  5. Penang

    Jerry Peters Guest

    Haven't been keeping up with modern "education" have you? They suspend
    & expel kids now for things like wearing a fireman's costume on
    Halloween with a toy plastic fire axe, or bringing a table knife to
    school to use with your lunch. Not to mention the "sexual harrassment"
    by 6 year olds. The modern educational establishment is run by people
    with zero common sense and a whole lot of political correctness.

    Jerry Peters, Jan 1, 2009
  6. Penang

    Bob Eager Guest

    And having a baseball bat in their car. A miniature one on a trophy. A
    trophy given by that same school.
    Bob Eager, Jan 1, 2009
  7. Penang

    Unruh Guest

    She also knew that software was copyright and that handing out free copies
    is illegal. That in this case it just so happened that the copyright
    license allowed such redistribution was as if the crack handed out happened
    to have a chemical formula which brought it outside the narcotics laws.
    She was ignorant, but that ignorance is not outrageous, nor malicious.
    The kid was disrupting the class.
    Sorry, I pointed out what her assumptions were. Under thos assumptions both
    actions were appropriate and sensible. Had she discovered that a third
    party was telling kids to distribute copies of Microsoft Word to everyone,
    her actions would have been appropriate in both cases.
    Nuts. Teachers are people trying to do a tough job with little knowledge
    (my father's first teaching job after he had gotten advanced placement in
    Science was history, because the school happened to need a history teacher
    and not a science teacher.) And like in war, the luxury of deliberation is
    often not there.

    Now, where exactly is the hysterical reaction? As I have pointed out to
    you, on the basis of her assumptions all of her actions are reasonable.
    That those assumptions happened to be wrong makes her guilty of ignorance,
    not of unreasonableness (or hysteria).
    Unruh, Jan 2, 2009
  8. Penang

    Unruh Guest

    Yes, they are examples of the worst, not the typical. They get trotted out
    by people who do not want to think but rather parrot their prejudices. (I
    guess if youtake them as examples of the US education system you would come
    up with the conclusion that it was pretty poor as well.) As
    in any country, there are a huge range of teachers and teacher competence.
    Some are brilliant, some pretty poor-- but most try hard to do a good job
    in pretty high stress circumstances.
    Unruh, Jan 2, 2009
  9. Penang

    Unruh Guest

    You needed to read the followup post.

    She DID talk the the kid. That was in the original post. It was through
    talking to the kid that she discovered that he was encouraged to hand out
    the disks by the third party she wrote to. Given her knowledge, she felt
    that this was criminal activity-- encouraging youth to flout the copyright
    law. Her knowledge was defective, and her anger at what she preceived as
    counciling young people to break the law caused her to do insufficient

    If every time someone shot off their mouths in these newsgroups without
    adequate knowledge, they were shot, we would have very very few posters
    here. "He that is without sin...."
    Yes, more research would have been good. Especially since we know that her
    assumptions were wrong. Mind you had she delayed acting when she found a
    kid handing out crack-- because maybe it was OK under the special
    circumstances-- we would all be screaming at the incompetence of the
    teacher. Copyright violation is far less serious than drug law violation
    (although I suspect I would get some argument on that from some people) so
    more deliberation would not be remiss, but under the pressure of a teaching
    day, I can understand it not happening. She now knows that there
    is such a thing as a software license which permits redistribution,
    something that would NOT have happened had she not written that letter. So
    it was actually a good thing.
    Unruh, Jan 2, 2009
  10. Penang

    Bart Lateur Guest

    Sorry, that is not a FOAF blog, that is *the* blog of the guy who had
    the personal experience. Not hearsay.
    Bart Lateur, Jan 2, 2009
  11. Very well said. Thank you :)

    It is amusing in a very twisted way to see people write that the teacher
    was too quick to "shoot then ask". Especially if these very same people
    have failed to read the entire story through, to see that the main
    problem (not knowing that there *IS* such a thing as free software) has
    long been resolved by the original parties.
    Giorgos Keramidas, Jan 2, 2009
  12. Penang

    Bob Eager Guest

    I posted a link to a news story...
    Bob Eager, Jan 2, 2009
  13. Penang

    kkt Guest

    That's right. There isn't a USA education system as such. Education
    is still almost entirely a local matter, with little standardization
    from the states and almost none from the US federal government. So
    some schools are very good and others horrible.

    -- Patrick
    kkt, Jan 3, 2009
  14. Penang

    Jerry Peters Guest

    The hysterical reaction was threatening legal action in the email
    *without* bothering to do the slightest bit of research. I mean, how
    hard would it have been to google "linux" or "free software"?

    Jerry Peters, Jan 3, 2009
  15. Penang

    mathewm Guest

    The brilliant ones are often held back by the crappy system they work in,
    or at least that was my experience in Australian schools.
    mathewm, Jan 4, 2009
  16. Penang

    mathewm Guest

    "When you make an assumption, you make an ASS out of U and ME."

    Her actions were neither reasonable nor sensible. All she needed to do was
    spend about five minutes on Google to find that were was no legal problem
    with the kid handing out that software. Its fair enough to discipline the
    kid for being distruptive, but to make silly assumptions and threats
    regarding the legality of the software without taking the most basic steps
    to check her "facts" was another matter entirely.

    It's a good thing she's not working in a field like intelligence assessment,
    where basing decisions on assumptions without any fact checking or evidence
    can cause really serious damage.
    mathewm, Jan 4, 2009
  17. Penang

    terryc Guest

    Chuckle. We have that discussion here. Apparently it is intentional to
    provide roll models for the less capable. Personally, I think it just
    allows them to hide the really bad kids away.
    terryc, Jan 5, 2009
  18. Penang

    Matt Giwer Guest

    Have you forgotten the reaction of a teacher when another teacher is quoted?
    They don't give slack. They don't get slack.
    Matt Giwer, Jan 9, 2009
  19. Penang

    Matt Giwer Guest

    Crack is criminal. Copyright violation is civil. That is the huge difference
    and all important difference. Selling copyrighted material for a profit can be
    criminal under some circumstances. With software piracy the risk is losing in
    civil court.
    Matt Giwer, Jan 9, 2009
  20. Penang

    Matt Giwer Guest

    I have. Show me what you think is criminal which makes a difference in what I

    Now think back to all the RIAA horror stories you have heard of and think of
    which ones were actual criminal cases that resulted in arrests. The reason you
    have heard of none outside of where cash changes hands is that part has not
    had a substantial change.

    What you will read are dozens of new provisions which lawyers can cite in
    threatening letters to extort money. It is called barotry using the law to
    make a profit. Because they started with targets they knew could not put up a
    legal fight they established court precedents for their claims to be correct.
    That is another dumb thing about the law.

    If in fact those things were crimes the RIAA would not send a letter they
    would send a sheriff with an arrest warrant.

    Every year Jews around the world spend tens of millions on public relations
    advocacy of Israel. I wonder if any of them ever ask themselves why this is
    necessary. No other country needs it. Public opinion of Israel continues to
    -- The Iron Webmaster, 4090 a9
    Matt Giwer, Jan 11, 2009
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