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Re: Obscene content in cygwin file.

Gary R. Van Sickle wrote:

The question stands: What is the reason Cygwin should provide this obscene content?

This is not the question.

Yes, it is.

Arbitrary pronouncement, in light of this I see no flaw in my reasoning. The content exists, it has already been provided. "Should it be provided" is moot. Support your position or yield it.

Cygwin already provides the content.

Accidentally, and without the knowledge or consent of the user.

Bugs in software can an should be reported as such, operational failure of software is not uncommon and in no way need of debate. The debate arises from the position you put forward that the content should not be there even in properly operating software.

Therefore the question is: should it be removed?

The answer to that is yes. Again I ask: why should Cygwin provide this

Again arbitrary pronouncement, without supporting argument. Not compelling. I still see now flaw in my analysis.

You argue that it should, because you asses some of the content as obscene, and are personally offended by it.

You're late to the party Josh. As I stated in my second post on the subject, I am in no way personally offended by it. I simply find it purile and unprofessional.

I am not late to the debate, I simply had to assume that you were putting forward your own opinion. If you are not putting forward you opinion then there is no debate, because there is no one who is offended. Arguing someone else's potential position is meaningless.

Further you imply that removing the package from your own system is inadequate to address this offense. (please correct me if I miss state your argument)

You have almost completely misstated my argument. Allow me to restate it in
convenient bullet-list form:

- The limericks in question could realistically get somebody fired or sued.

<>- I am realistically one of the many parties that could conceivably get

So to understand better you are not offended by the limericks your are concerned that you are inviting a lawsuit from someone who is offended? Are you denying people an opportunity to uninstall the software? Do you require people to use fortune to keep their job, and fail to inform them of this when they began?

Unless you force an employee to use the software and you didn't not make it clear they would be working with that software from the beginning you can not be held liable, you can be sued but they would not win the suite. In fact you can be sued at any time for any reason, the question of liability is what determines who will win. I, for example, work in the entertainment industry where such potentially offensive material is worked on every day, our employees are not obliged to work on offensive material, and/or have been informed of the content before being employed. So they can not succeed in any law suite against us for having such material online, or in an area where they may happen upon it. If you do not follow the guidelines then fortune/cygwin is the least of your worries.

No one is being forced to read dirty limericks, and with out such force dirty limericks are protected by freedom of speech. In all such cases it is the responsibility of the viewer to stop viewing. I recommend getting a laymans book on harassment in the workplace it seems you are not very well informed in this area. I recommend "Sexual Harassment Awareness Training: 60 Practical Activities for Trainers," however there are others.

- Red Hat is even more realistically one of the many parties that could
conceivably get sued.

This, while considerably more plausible, is still not a valid argument as Red Hat wave such warranty of responsibility in their license agreement. And again they don't force anyone to use there software or to read dirty limericks.

- The limericks in question are installed without the knowledge or consent
of the installer.

Francis Litterio wrote:

The user does not know he is giving consent to installing fortune when
he is doing a full install of Cygwin.  There are over 500 hundred
packages in a full Cygwin install.

This, in and of it self, is not a problem. You must first demonstrate that such action can cause damage. As it is, every cygwin package can be selected to be installed our not. Therefore, this is not a meaningfully argument regardless if it where true or not.

- The limericks in question are of interest only to junior-highschool-age
sysadmins and lawyers.

This is also a week argument, as it assumes we agree with your subjective assessment of the limericks, which we don't. This also is not a meaningfully argument regardless if it is true or not.

- Redacting the limericks in question from Cygwin will eliminate the risk
they cause.

You have failed to demonstrate risk, and you have failed to demonstrate that the limericks are the only risk. Who should be responsible for reviewing and judging the risk level of the code? How much code must be reviewed? To what standard should it be held? Shall Cygwin packagers now warrant that the code is free from such potentially offensive material.

- Redacting the limericks in question from Cygwin has no realistic chance of
destroying Western democracies or throwing the world into an oppressive
Stalinist nightmare.

This is not at issue, and can be said for leaving the limericks in as well.


Additional, unnecessary, evaluation reveals that while you have two options to address your offense, I would have none if the tables were turned.

You could download the source and build it yourself. Just like you could with all the software which isn't provided in the Cygwin distro. Most of which contains no questionable material.

I am not offended by the content (or lack there of), as you apparently are, I am offended by censorship. My ability to correct the censorship does not address my offense, where as your ability to remove the content does address yours.

I think it is fairly clear. The limericks do not cause any direct damage in the united states. We leave it to the user to decide such issues in their own country, as they are most equipped to do so. Cygwin maintainers do not wish to take on the responsibility of warranting the software against objectionable or illegal use. We recommend that all cygwin software be well documented in the installer so that users can make proper judgments for themselves for every package. However, we recognize that this is only a recommendation, and because cygwin maintainers can make no warranties it is purely at their discretion that these recommendations be implemented, beyond the current level.


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