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Mark Kirchner mail at
Thu Nov 17 22:39:40 CET 2011

Am 17.11.2011 21:31, schrieb Robert J. Hansen:
> On 11/17/2011 2:39 PM, Mark Kirchner wrote:
>> But please let me re-phrase: Those rules seem to deny people the 
>> freedom to discuss software alternatives on a public mailing list?
> If this was a public mailing list, I'd agree with you.

I used "public" as in "open to the public". At least that was what I was
trying to do, but since I'm not a native speaker, I might have mis-used
the word.

> Saying, "please do not recommend proprietary software" is not a rule 
> that gives me the moral heebie-jeebies, so I'm happy to comply with
> it.

Well, I haven't broken the rule and now that I know of it, I will
certainly not do so in the future. But still, I'm questioning the
reasonableness of the rule.

>> Or to put it differently: Any mailing list or forum about some
>> piece of proprietary software that sets up rules like that ("you
>> are not allowed to mention free software here") would be called
>> intolerant and freedom-of-choice-denying - and rightfully so.
> No: *you* would call them intolerant and freedom-of-choice-denying. 
> Please be careful about making universal statements about what the
> world in general would say: the world generally does not conform to
> our expectations.

Yes, you're right, it is my personal opinion which could only backed by
anecdotal evidence - if at all. Anyways, I'm still quite confident that
quite a lot of people would feel that way.

> Do you feel you have the right to stand in the middle of an Audi 
> dealership and loudly extoll the praises of the Peugeot?  Or would
> the dealership owner be within his rights to tell you, "look, I'm
> very happy you love the Peugeot RCZ, but you need to take your
> advocacy of it somewhere else"?

Hm, in my totally personal opinion that comparison is a bit skewed: The
rule of not mentioning proprietary software should -also in my opinion-
better be compared to "not being allowed to ask the dealer / another
customer / a random bystander what he thinks of a Peugeot at all".

Yes, the dealer could choose to try to enforce his rights in such a
case. Would it be wise to do so? In my opinion: No, he has way better
alternatives than that.

Kind regards,

P.S.: Any further answers from my side will not go to the list; I feel I
have stretched everybodys patience enough.

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