Between us (and especially if we agree), I believe we can speak *with
regard to this question* for 95% of the open-source community. This
does not make either of us power-mad dictators intent on domination,
just most peoples' recognized experts on what constitutes an
acceptable open-source license.
Just for the record, I don't think you and RMS are power-mad dictators.
But ... I'm not sure you represent nearly as many people as you think
Here's my problem: I personally know a lot of people who don't agree
with you and RMS when it comes to open-source licensing. That's fine,
IMHO ... everyone's entitled to their opinion. But out of the people
that I know who have an interest in it, a _very large_ majority
disagree with you and RMS, and would be very indignant if you or RMS
claimed to be speaking for them (FWIW, I don't agree with you and RMS
either, but it doesn't bother me enough to make a huge deal out of
it). So I have an issue with your 95% figure.
Now, there are some obvious problems with my "sampling". I'm not
hugely active in the open-source community; you and RMS are, so it's
very likely y'all have a better idea what the "pulse" is of the
open-source developers. Also, any such sampling I do has the
self-selection problem ... I probably hang out with people who think
like I do more than I hang out with people who don't think like I do,
so obviously I know plenty of people who think like me when it comes to
open-source licensing. But ... I think the self-selection problem
applies equally to you and RMS.
In addition to the self-selection problem, I can't really see any way
you could accurately determine how many people agree with you out of
the open-source community. In a previous email, you talked about some
SourceForge poll ... I'm a SourceForge user myself, and I've never
participated in such a poll (and I don't think that even if I did, it
would truely be represenative of the "open source community" ... I'm
not sure we could even agree on who is an open source developer. Sure
_you_ could tell me who think is an open-source developer, but again,
I'm not sure everyone would agree with you).
So, in summary, I guess my point can be summed up as follows:
- Have you and RMS thought a lot about open source licensing? Absolutely.
- Should your opinions on IPR claims be considered by the IETF? Absolutely.
- Do you speak for 95% of open source developers on this question? I
- Do you speak for a majority of open source developers on this question?
But I can't back up the last two statements with any facts; I'm just
going with my gut on this one.
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