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I went to listen to Richard Stallman at U.C. Berkeley on “Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks”. At the end I asked Richard about my publishing software under LGPL with one part free (PHP and javascript code) and another part copyrighted (flash code.) He told me I was unethical. From his talk and writing, I gather the ethics are that I’m not allowing someone else the ability to see and modify the code I’ve written in the Flash portion.

I respect Richard’s personal ethic to share all code that he’s written. I disagree with him imposing his personal ethics and methods on others.

Not everyone else has the same needs and requirements with software and other products as Richard. Many do not want to and will not modify computer code. More essential, an exchange of work performed is a contract between two or more individuals. It’s a negotiation where both parties find the best agreement for a product. In the future some or all of the Flash source code may be available. And it is likely available on a negotiated basis. But to require only one method of disseminating coded takes away the freedom to distributing and negotiating work. That is unethical.