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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Crud! My original response got eaten by my browser, after I accidently pressed a bookmark. Typing a different one:

    I never claimed that an author should be forced to "open-source" his work. For example, the CC-by-nc-nd licence is anything but open-content, but is still a valid and acceptable copyright licence, that permits non-commercial redistribution of works under it (and other digital and tangible fair use). In my older article [] I made the claim that it should be illegal for anyone to prevent non-commercial redistribution of the public works of their (or other people) and gave many good arguments for that. I still support that article and find it valid.

    In my new article (the "Closed books" one) I took a less fanatical approach, and just claimed that in this day and age, not making a book available online causes you to lose money, causes a lot of feelings of resentment, is an admission of failure ("the online documentation sucks and thanks to me will remain so"), and something an author should voluntarily consider against, at least until the laws are changed for the better, which won't be bad for anyone, including the publishers/media-distributors/etc.

    You said you enjoy your digital copies. That's good, but you cannot put them online, cannot link to them, and may not be able to quote substantial parts from them. I'd like to change that. I want O'Reilly (or whoever) to allow that for their books. I'm not forcing them to do so, but I think it would be good for them and certainly good for us.

    ( My family and I bought and are still buying many paperware books, BTW. )

    • I would agree that making available != open sourcing but I would lean towards it being a moral decision by the author but not a Kantian Moral Imperative.

      I think making a text available is very nice thing an author can do for the text and the audience.

      • OK, based on what Wikipedia says about "Kantian Moral Imperatives" [] , I think I understand what you mean. I never claimed that an originator of an artwork must make it available online for free distribution. He may also try to prevent people from doing so by using copyrights protection (which I find undesirable and bad, but not unethical) or by not providing an electronic copy.

        However, what he must not do is try to harass the people who redistribute it non-commercially by using such measures as DMCA taked