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[ox-en] press release critique

Hi Stefan,

"Stefan" == Stefan Meretz <stefan.meretz> writes:

    Stefan> Hi everybody, I want to explain my critique why I think
    Stefan> that -- in my view -- FSFE differs from FSF, and this is
    Stefan> bad.

    Stefan> The sense of copyleft is to keep and increase the freedom
    Stefan> using software. The way to do this is to exclude the
    Stefan> possibility of making software scarce (freedom is
    Stefan> inherited). These principles are introduced and explained
    Stefan> in GNU Manifesto.

    Stefan> GPL says that it is allowed to take a fee for distributing
    Stefan> free software, however this is only a means to balance
    Stefan> some expenditure -- not the goal!

I don't see this either mentioned or implied anywhere in the GPL or
the GNU manifesto.

    Stefan> Press release about founding of the FSFE says that free
    Stefan> software has the goal to make money with it. This is
    Stefan> exactly the opposite of the spirit of GPL and GNU
    Stefan> Manifesto! This is because making money presuppose making
    Stefan> things scarce. If you have free software which is
    Stefan> inherently not scarce, you have to make other things
    Stefan> around free software scarce in order to be able to sell
    Stefan> free software or the things around. And this is exactly
    Stefan> what Eric Raymond in his propaganda says (see the magic
    Stefan> cauldron:

I don't agree that everything around Free Software should be free.
The whole idea behind Free Software is being able to distinguish
between Intellectual Property (IP) and other kinds of property.  It is
evident that today the incremental cost of duplicating and
distributing most, if not all kinds of IP is close to zero, and hence
hoarding software and IP is a moral crime.  The same is not true of
resources which diminish by sharing: if I have 10 Rupees and give you
5, the total amount of wealth in the world does not increase.
Similarly, if I have 10 hours of consulting time available in a given
period of time and give you 5, the total amount of consulting time
available in the world does not increase either.

While I may also dream of a world where Free Software results in free
everything, I'm willing to take things one step at a time and make
money out of Free Software while still being a staunch advocate of
Freedom from IP.

    Stefan> Free software and freedom in general cannot survive on an
    Stefan> island. All other things around free software have to be
    Stefan> free as far as possible. Therefore we have a special
    Stefan> license for documentation (FDL) etc. Other examples are
    Stefan> support - we help people to use free software, however no
    Stefan> for the purpose of making money!

    Stefan> A fee is ok, but "making money" in Raymond style is
    Stefan> against the spirit of GNU Manifesto.

    Stefan> Last point is the slogan "equal chances for people and
    Stefan> economy" on the web site. I can't understand the
    Stefan> message. Equal chances between what and what? Between
    Stefan> people and people?  Between economy and economy? Between
    Stefan> people and economy? The first is ok (but not really good:
    Stefan> equal chances is not the same as freedom). The second
    Stefan> doesn't make sense (economy is one 'entity' so there is no
    Stefan> 'between'). And the third is crazy, because people never
    Stefan> have same chances as 'economy'.

    Stefan> Increasing freedom for people always implies reducing the
    Stefan> opportunity for economy to make things scarce. Freedom
    Stefan> finds its borders where the freedom of others is
    Stefan> touched. Making things artificially scarce by companies
    Stefan> touches freedom of the people. This has clearly explained
    Stefan> by RMS in GNU Manifesto.

    Stefan> As RMS said: We should more talk about freedom. And not of
    Stefan> making money, I add.


-- Raju

    Stefan> Ciao, Stefan

Raju Mathur          raju 

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