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Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS strategy (Was: Beyond bitching...)

From: Jason Clifford
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS strategy (Was: Beyond bitching...)
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 12:22:30 +0100 (BST)

On Wed, 29 Jun 2005, Tom Chance wrote:

> I find the notion of members totally confusing as well. There are many 
> hundreds or thousands of people in the UK using, contributing to and 
> advocating free software. If the aim of the AFFS is, as the website suggests, 
> to "to promote the freedom of computer users in the UK through free 
> software", then in a sense all of those people are "members". IMHO membership 
> is a fairly artificial thing tacked on to give tangible benefits to those who 
> donate money to fund the AFFS' activities. Maybe UKFSN users are members too?

Nope, UKFSN users are customer not members :) and many (most?) of them 
have little or no interest in the political realities of Free Software.

I know that a few are members of AFFS.

Given that many Free Software advocates have differing views on what Free 
Software is and on why it's important surely it's better for AFFS to 
properly understand and promote its FSF view based approach.

Membership of AFFS is fairly meaningless of itself right now. It doesn't 
give AFFS a great deal of leverage as the membership is small and seems to 
exclude corporate membership - whether anyone likes it or not the 
government is not going to take AFFS seriously if it is seen as not being 
representative of commercial interests. It also doesn't carry any 
responsibility and I'm not aware of any AFFS promotion aspect of 
membership - ie website buttons of similar - by which to grow AFFS and 
thus extend it's representative leverage.

There don't seem to be any benefits to membership other than receiving the 
newsletter and a warm feeling that one is supporting a Free Software 

UKFSN.ORG               Finance Free Software while you surf the 'net
http://www.ukfsn.org/    2Mb ADSL Broadband from just £14.98 / month 

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