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Re: Licensing.

On Mon, Jul 24, 2000 at 01:50:57PM -0700, Poet/Joshua Drake wrote:
> Hello,
> This issue has been given over to the users, readers and authors of the
> LDP to decide. It has been posted to http://www.kuro5hin.org,
> http://www.linuxdoc.org and several others.
> People have been asked to send their comments to thoughts@www.linuxdoc.org
> In about a week to 10 days I will compile all of the responses and we can
> go from there.
> If you have an argument for or against, please just send it to
> thoughts@www.linuxdoc.org so we can settle this is a simple fashion.
> Joshua Drake

It is a severe conflict of interest to have someone who is partisan on
an issue (Joshua Drake) conduct a survey on that issue.  There are
many ways to "stack the deck" (i.e. cheat) on such a survey.  One way
is to ask persons and organizations which you think support your
point of view to participate, thereby resulting in a biased sample.
Another is to delete responses you don't like.  Still another way is
to word the question in such a way as to encourage the response you
are looking for.

The way the question has been worded is "... that authors should be
able to place commercial printing restrictions on their documents."
This seems OK at first glance but it is very misleading because it
fails to state that by putting in such a restriction, an author may then
sell the rights to print to a favored publisher while prohibiting all
other publishers from using the material.  People that don't
understand this may erroneously reason that by prohibiting commercial
publication, the document will be always free in price, and
erroneously conclude that such restrictions are good thing.

Furthermore, according to out Manifesto (like our constitution) it's
we the authors who decide, not the users and readers.  We (the
authors) decide by reason and informed consensus.  What is being done
is to ask outsiders who have no say in the matter for an uninformed
input.  It's doubly uniformed because people who respond are not even
being shown the pro and con arguments on each side.

                                David Lawyer

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