[Foundation-l] Re-licensing

Mike Godwin mgodwin at wikimedia.org
Fri Jan 23 16:12:19 UTC 2009

Thomas Dalton writes:

>> I understand what the *rhetoric* of moral rights is.  But in the
>> absence of law establishing and protecting moral rights, you don't
>> have any.
>> [snip]
> There is a world outside the legal profession, Mike. Either learn
> that, or restrict the recipients of your emails to other lawyers. I,
> for one, don't care about your extremely narrow minded views.

I'm sorry, Thomas, but until people learn to use jurisprudential  
concepts such as "moral rights" properly, I have a moral obligation to  
point out where they are used mistakenly.  This is not a question of  
"the world outside the legal profession" (and, indeed, if you were a  
member of the legal profession -- or a philosopher -- you wouldn't  
make the mistake of supposing this).  Philosophy of law is accessible  
to people who aren't lawyers -- even you. But it's clear that the word  
"moral rights" is being thrown around here by people who are only  
casually familiar with the concept. When you have actually given some  
study to jurisprudential philosophers (see, e.g., H.L.A. Hart and Lon  
Fuller) and can offer some more sophisticated philosophical analysis  
than you offer here, I will be able to take your pronunciamentos more  

Do you understand what the term "term of art" means?

By the way, most members of the legal profession are not students of  
the philosophy of law. It is your misfortune that, in me, you have  
come across someone who is. I'm not disqualified from pointing out  
philosophical mistakes merely because I can hang out a shingle.


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