everything wrong with free software
"free as in speech"
=> i-am-exactly-the-same-person-i-was-when-i-wrote-for-techrights.html i-am-exactly-the-same-person-i-was-when-i-wrote-for-techrights
*originally posted:* jan 2022
roy does some weird things, but this one takes the cake.
for years, techrights has been under a cc by-sa (3.0) license. it uses a template for this, which is irritatingly vague, but just practical and common enough to not be more useless. it hasnt abandoned this template.
not new is the fact that some articles post an exception to the template. this too is irritating (in fact its precisely one of the reasons why the template itself is) but oliva does it too, and both (honestly do) get away with it. we can complain but it certainly wont change anything.
in practical terms, this arrangement has worked just well enough if you want to respond to an article critically and point-for-point, without worrying about being stifled by copyright nonsense.
of course fair use (see also: fair dealing) provides allowances for this as well. now tell me if they apply here, how much and to what extent? exactly how much of it can we quote then, and how often?
this is why a free license is such an excellent thing. of course most reuse of free works (throughout the history of free culture) has been positive, and most negative reuses (especially the most heartless or dishonest) have tended to not care about license requirements in the first place.
the idea that "all rights reserved" or "verbatim copying only" (even the latter is not as shit-awful as "no-derivs" cc licensing, which incredibly is MORE restrictive than "verbatim copying only", at least on paper) provides any sort of "protection" against abuses in practice is naive claptrap which stallman vigorously campaigned against regarding software... before plastering "verbatim copying only" and "no-derivs" on every OPINION he ever stated. and the fsf website followed suit, actively campaigning AGAINST free culture (i withdrew my membership over this)... before all his "no-derivs" and "verbatim copying only" opinions were taken out of context and used in an attempt to murder him ides-of-march style. (et tu, revoy?)
every rule has an exception, but im sure if it were worth it i could go to the trouble of sidestepping roys fuck-awfully-stupid new license choice and continue to skewer the things he says for the bullshit it is, but instead i will simply point out the cowardice this license change represents.
since early 2021 (or even earlier) roys video posts have been steadily on the rise. note again, this is against a backdrop of FIFTEEN YEARS of text posts on the same identical rss feed / blog address. accompanying the videos are text summaries which i ASSUME are faithful enough; i certainly am not going to watch all his videos as it would take fucking ages, as it seems to take for roy to BEEEP! change the BEEEP! in his sodding fucking BEEEP! detector (holy fuck roy, are you actually deaf, or just fucking with everybody?)
im not a lawyer (and if i were, id be LESS careful) but since the placement of the no-derivs text is closer to the rest of the post than the cc by-sa logo (yes, its still there) i can only presume that the TEXT of the post is no-derivs as well. im certainly not going to ASK someone who has spent years lying to me over email if its COOL if i point out what a lying sack of shit he is in point-for-point detail. youve got to be kidding.
oh, and after im pretty sure he plagiarised one of my articles in march, but whatever. not everyone appreciates recursive humour, but on this matter techrights is absolutely a recursive fucking joke. too bad he didnt do it with a video, he could plagiarise me and then make it too much trouble to comment on it in detail, yuk yuk yuk.
all speculation aside, there are more than 30,000 blog posts on techrights under an ACTUALLY free license. this more or less site-wide practice (exceptions where necessary) spans a decade and a half. SUDDENLY and without fanfare (perhaps i will find an explanation later) techrights has just become a LOT more conservative in its approach to free culture works. with leah rowe switching to no-derivs for their default license, it seems to be a theme (but again, this is the kind of shit that free software has done to free culture. in truth, we need both and both have been a disappointment regarding each other).
id love to know what the official narrative on this is, but there probably isnt one. maybe for further recursive laughs, "we" (aka roy) will make a video explaining the reason, but not put it in the text. obviously it is possible to comment on that without ANY direct quoting, it is simply worse.
this will, barring (i can joke too) a law degree or an effective equivalent, put an effective stop to much serious commentary on roys "video" slash accompanying text posts on my part. PRESUMABLY he will continue to write OTHER blog pieces, under a free license just like he did for the past 15 years, though any time he does a video ill have to imagine the fellow on whatever patent blog who used to say:
SCHESTOWITZ, FINGERS OFF!
as if that magically made it somehow impossible to comment on the (already public) material.
maybe roy can hire him to do "textovers" (text-only voiceover work) magically "protecting" his own blog.
roy, seriously now-- what is it youre suddenly afraid of? you know "mr. gafam" (regardless of what readers may imagine, just one guy) is more likely to disregard your license than i am, so it cant be that.
its not like an official narrative from techrights will necessarily get us closer to the truth, but even a lie is a starting place or else why would he quote microsoft?