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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Just a Minute

From: Martin Coxall
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Just a Minute
Date: 15 Apr 2002 16:42:12 +0100

> I'd prefer to phrase it in terms of what happens to free software when its
> supporters fail to see the threats to the wider environment they inhabit,
> but I agree roughly with the idea.
> Software patents, the DMCA/EUCD, DRM, the DPA, and most importantly of
> all, the network effect, all threaten to make free software pointless or
> unusable. Well may you be able to run your GNU/Linux system, but when it
> only runs on illegal, out-of-date hardware and can't interoperate with
> anything other than other free software systems. No internet, etc.
> I think RMS has got to go and get out his new message more clearly,
> otherwise the people who've been following him are going to march off a
> cliff.

IMO, that's exactly what the AFFS did on Saturday. Straight off the
cliff, and into a see of Free Software trivia.

As I see it, the battle at hand is about freedom, from government
tyranny and corporate oppression. In a truly free environment, free
software would advance itself and flourish, all other things being
equal. Free Software is a symptom of a free society. Promoting it is
meaningles unless we adress the larger issues of freedom.

I think the realisation that RMS has made is that we cannot separate the
notion of Free Software from the notion of freedom itself, nor should we
seek to try. Instead we must engage head on those threats to freedom
which exist, and *in so doing* ensure the future viability of free
software as some happy byproduct of the Utopia in which we find ourself.

That is what I think the AFFS should be all about, rather than some
wishy-washy nonsense about "advancing free software", which sounds to me
alarmingly like burying our heads in the sand.


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