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Great Satan & Allah team up for higher profits

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Jun. 1st, 2002 | 11:15 am

According to this article on law.com, a cleric in Egypt declares a fatwa on piracy.

In February, the Business Software Alliance, the group that represents Microsoft, Adobe, and other software makers concerned about piracy, signed up another unusual partner -- the grand muftis at Al Azhar in Cairo. The highest religious authority in Sunni Islam, Sheikh Ibrahim Atta Allah, issued a fatwa, or edict, against piracy. "Piracy is the worst type of theft and is prohibited by Islam," Atta Allah declared.


Just to really torment rampling, I wanted to point out that the free software community makes arguments to support itself based off of the ideals of equality and freedom promoted by the enlightenment, none of this needing to invoke god to get people to cooperate. (Okay, the open source groups make arguments based on pragmatism, and not idealism, but it's still not looking for support from religion.)

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Comments {6}

Robin

(no subject)

from: solri
date: Jun. 1st, 2002 05:19 pm (UTC)
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OTOH, statements like "Information wants to be free" are pretty metaphysical.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Jun. 1st, 2002 11:35 pm (UTC)
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I can partially escape the metaphysical in that case by claiming that is a more poetic representation of the actual sentiment--that a free society is best served by having few restrictions on the flow of information.

Since rather obviously, information cannot want something another possible phrasing of the sentiment could be "I want information to be free."

Do you think those represent the actual meaning of "information wants to be free" sufficiently?}

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Robin

(no subject)

from: solri
date: Jun. 2nd, 2002 04:46 am (UTC)
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Pretty much. Statements like "Information wants to be free" or "This kitchen wants a good clean" are a kind of personification where you project your desires onto the personified object (I think it was fauxpas who pointed that one out). We often avoid direct statements of desire because they sound weak, so we use phrases like this, or substitute words like "should" or "need".

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Nafees

Chants

from: nogbogfrog
date: Jun. 1st, 2002 07:27 pm (UTC)
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I dunno, some of RMS's singing is pretty religious.

http://www.gnu.org/music/free-software-song.html

-n

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Diane Trout

Re: Chants

from: alienghic
date: Jun. 1st, 2002 11:37 pm (UTC)
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I'd claim that it's merely leaning toward the fanatic which doesn't necessarily imply religious convictions.

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Nafees

Re: Chants

from: nogbogfrog
date: Jun. 2nd, 2002 10:19 pm (UTC)
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Don't you think it is human nature to need to "deify" and "martyrize" people in any movement. Whether intended or not, the free software movement has all the elements of "religion." Prosletyzers, martyrs, evangelists, fanatics, scripture, and esoteric references in mass media. And of course, masses of fools following it blindly (as can be seen by the quality of posts on slashdot).

I'm a big fan of free software, and I definitely don't think you a fool. And it's as absurd to say open source == religion as it is to say open source == death of capitalism. But if one wanted to stick to the argument and spin it a bit, but it is not an impossible point of view.

While the good Imam probably doesn't know a line of code, from a line of scripture, publicly decrying piracy doesn't sound like a bad thing. Is piracy any better or worse than say some company violating the GPL on your open source code?

-n

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