[ox-en] press release critique
- From: Raju Mathur <raju linux-delhi.org>
- Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 17:22:23 +0530 (IST)
"Stefan" == Stefan Meretz <stefan.meretz hbv.org> 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> 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
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.
Stefan> Ciao, Stefan
Raju Mathur raju kandalaya.org http://kandalaya.org/