Python is slow?

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Wed Oct 1 01:54:18 CEST 2008

On Wed, 01 Oct 2008 09:06:08 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:

> Terry Reedy <tjreedy at> writes:
>> Steven D'Aprano wrote:
>> > We agree that the restriction is artificial, and I think irrational
>> > (although I'd be interested in hearing the gnuplot developers'
>> > reasoning before making a final judgment).
>> I believe it is a matter of preserving clarity of authorship, just as
>> is the quoting mechanism we take for granted in posts like this. If I
>> removed the quote marks above and silently edited what Ben and you
>> wrote, I might upset someone and certainly could confuse readers.
> That, if it were to be prosecuted under law, would be a matter already
> covered by laws other than copyright: fraud, libel, etc.
> Note that I consider a work free even if it fails to grant “the right to
> distribute misrepresentations of the author's words”, because that act
> is an exercise of undue power over another person, and so falls outside
> the limit imposed by the freedoms of others.

But distributing modified source code *does* misrepresent the author's 
words, because you confuse authorship. Given only the modified version of 
the source code, how is the recipient supposed to identify which parts of 
the source code were written by the original authors and which parts 
where written by you?

If that is why the gnuplot people do not allow you to distribute such 
modified documents, then the only "freedom" they fail to grant is exactly 
the one you don't consider necessary for a free licence: "the right to 
distribute misrepresentations of the author's words".


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