Sunday, March 01, 2009

The taste of salty summer brine

While installing SecureZIP, I noticed the following text in the license, right under the part where you say that you're not in North Korea and/or a former Nazi party member:

The software will not be used for any nuclear activities or for the design, development, production, stockpiling, or use of missiles, chemical or biological weapons. Nor will the software be used at any facilities involved in such activities.

I can have some respect, I suppose, for a pacifist not wanting his stuff being used for warlike purposes. But the specificity here is rather strange, and I'm not sure what it indicates. It's ok if you work for a company that produces land mines and/or Gatling guns, or even bunker buster bombs, but once you attach a motor to that thing it's immoral? Doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

As far as nuclear activities - I would assume that the author would not want this software used in a hospital where radiation treatments were being carried out? Ok so he probably means large nuclear reactors or something similar. Which are in general decently safe, give or take a few Soviet models designed mostly to blow up.

But still, I don't think it sends much of a message except that it's better to use GPL'd software. Free as in freedom and all that.

+2 points for anyone who gets the reference in the title without consulting the source of all knowledge.


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