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GPL and Linux loadable kernel modules

GPL and Linux loadable kernel modules

Posted Aug 13, 2005 20:32 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
In reply to: GPL and Linux loadable kernel modules by GreyWizard
Parent article: Interview: Eben Moglen

The law degree still isn't relevant because it isn't relevant to your argument whether the law practice of which you speak is legal.

There are cases of people practicing law illegally for long periods of time, and people generally admit that these people have, and have gained through the practice, expertise equivalent to what legal practitioners have.

Incidentally, there are still some states where there are ways to practice law legally without a degree. You always have to have a license (except in the case of some elected judgeships), but a degree isn't always a prerequisite to a license.


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GPL and Linux loadable kernel modules

Posted Aug 15, 2005 14:25 UTC (Mon) by GreyWizard (guest, #1026) [Link]

The law degree still isn't relevant because it isn't relevant to yourargument whether the law practice of which you speak is legal.

I didn't know that one could get a license to pratice law without a law degree, so thank you for enlightening me on that point. Still, my error in conflating the two doesn't undermine the point I was making (since you start with "incidentally" I suppose you agree). Similarly, those who do practice law illegally probably have less experience on the whole than their licensed colleagues who are less likely to be jailed. At any rate claiming someone has credibility because they practice illegally probably isn't a useful argument.

I mentioned Moglen's law degree in the context of supporting his opinion on dynamic linking and derivative works. I did not say such support was absolute, that it should end the discussion or that people without law degrees cannot be right where he is wrong. I also accept that someone who practices law but works as, say, a divorce attorney or public defender might know less about copyright law than someone who reads LWN obsessively. Nevertheless it seems obvious that someone who spends time studying the law is in general more likely to have a correct opinion on a legal question than someone who doesn't, at least in the absence of more specific details. Thus a law degree lends legitimate credibility to opinions about the law, just as being any kind of trained professional lends credibility to opinions about that particular domain. I stand by my original statement.


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