Re: Thanks, and a Brief Survey


Philip Van Hoof wrote:
> Lefty gave accurate definitions for the words he used. For example the
> word "illegitimate": Richard clearly questioned the legitimacy of
> proprietary software and asked us to mirror this statement. This is
> archived if you don't believe me.

"illegitimate" is not a synonym for "illegal". The way Stallman uses
sthe word, it is more accurate to consider it a synonym of "immoral".

> Secondly:
> Lefty's last survey's exact words:
> "Legitimate" means both "not contrary to existing law" and "in accordance
>  with recognized or accepted standards or principles". Do you believe
>  that proprietary software is "illegitimate"?
> Possible meanings according to an English dictionary:
> 1. born of parents who are not
> married to each other; born out of
> wedlock: an illegitimate child. 
> 	-> Not relevant here
> 2. not legitimate; not sanctioned by
> law or custom.
> 3. unlawful; illegal: an
> illegitimate action. 
> 	-> Relevant, Richard used "illegitimate" within the context of
>            laws and legality. When talking about the proprietary nature
> 	   of a work, you are discussing legal aspects of its license.
> 4. irregular; not in good usage.
> 	-> Somewhat relevant, it's clear that "proprietary" sets the
> 	   context firmly to law systems and legality. Richard could
> 	   have used less ambiguity if he meant this. He didn't.

It appears to me that RMS is using illegitimate in the sense "not
sanctioned by custom" perhaps - or more likely, "irregular; not in good
usage". From the two options Lefty lists, "not in accordance with
recognized or accepted standards or principles"


Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary gnome org

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