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The basic fact about the free software movement and the problem, the sol

From: Snuffelluffogus
Subject: The basic fact about the free software movement and the problem, the solution
Date: 16 Jun 2004 11:42:04 -0700

The basic fact about the free software movement is that it is
split into two camps --

1. The libertarians, who are excessively pro-business and 
in particular pro-corporate, who often have corporate jobs
and often proclaim free software is a free ride for business
interests, therefore good. The libertarians are responsible
for adding numerous business- and government-friendly packages to Linux.
Libertarians are enthusiastic about making Linux competitive with
Windows to the point of making it look-and-feel almost identical.
The motto of a libertarian is "might makes right" or the equally
ugly phrase "one dollar one vote". Libertarians would argue
endlessly against a public license that prohibits
large firms from using free software.


2. The anarchists, who want to tear down big business because
it's a frankenstain monster that abuses workers, consumers,
and governments and who thus prefer small firms, if any firms
at all. Anarchists are more likely to talk about how free software 
empowers individuals and they would never, as a rule, use M$ software.
Anarchists are just as like to use the command line as X Windows.
The motto of an anarchist might be "watch David slay Goliath".
Anarchists would not mind seeing a public license that prohibits
large firms from using the software. 

The problem is that it is the libertarians who are winning
the struggle for control of Linux, and because the general public
naturally will view the libertarians as the weaker-willed
and less virtuous of the two camps, since nobody loves someone
who caves into the bully (big  business), or who represents the bully.
And this is a loss for Linux. Linux is no longer the David against Goliath
but seems to be Goliath's sidekick. Thus the public has less and less 
inclination to use Linux and free software as time goes by.

The solution to this problem is to dump the GPL and instead
use a non-corporate license that specifically prohibits companies
over perhaps 5 people from using the software, on pain of
lawsuit. To ensure compliance, software should be written with
a kind of pinger that accesses a server ; if the ping comes from
a known-to-be-corporate site e.g., then the server software 
tells the program to shut down.

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