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Re: FSF successful blather

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: FSF successful blather
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 15:50:19 +0200

Here's video commentary from Fred Davis.

He eloborated:

RE: Amy's Comment "You can charge for distribution!"
written by Fred Davis, June 18, 2007 

Hi Amy, 

I saw your post on iJoomla re: my video commentary. Yes, I know that the
GPL allows people to charge, technically... and it really is
technically. It also allows anyone who buys something to then
re-distribute it for free. So you are only guaranteed of one sale, after
that the horse is out of the barn and it becomes free. Which in the real
world makes it impossible to charge for it on an ongoing basis, which is
what I meant. 

I know this is a controversial debate, and I certainly understand the
value of open source and free software. In fact, Richard Stallman has
been my houseguest. My ex did his PR pro bono. I have other friends
involved with the FSF, including one of their board members. I support
open source ... for those that want to use that model. I also support
commercial developers. I feel it should be up to the customer to decide.
Having this choice taken away from customers, and dictated by above –
whether that is OSM or FSF – is what I feel to be counterproductive.
Free, as in free markets. Free, as in freedom to choose. 

I understand that the creators of Joomla put in a lot of hard work and
effort. I applaud that. I volunteer in my community as well. Commercial
developers don’t exploit Joomla... quite the contrary, the add value to
it. Having a lot of professional software developers create products for
Joomla only make Joomla stronger and more popular. No-one is forced to
buy commercial add-ons... but Joomla now wants to force their opinion on
the developers. That’s why many people (both developers and end-users)
are upset. 

The GPL allows non-GPL software to be run together with GPL software.
There was no need to change anything. Joomla was popular and thriving
with commercial developers as part of the community. Changing the rules
in the middle of the game to try and exclude commercial developers from
the Joomla community is not really a very noble gesture... even if they
are wrapping themselves in the garb of freedoms. 

Whose freedoms are really being hurt by this change? Joomla’s? Not
really. But the freedoms of Joomla developers and Joomla users are being
challenged. The way things were was a win-win-win. Joomla won by having
great add-ons. Users won for the same reason. And developers won because
they could devote their full-time efforts to creating these great
products. The about-face by Joomla is a potential lose-lose-lose. Joomla
could lose the support of developers, who are among the biggest Joomla
enthusiasts there are… they devoted their full-time lives to Joomla.
Joomla users lose because developers will not be able to afford to offer
them the great products the have come to love. And developers could lose
their livelihood, and be forced to turn to other platforms to earn their
livings so that they can pay their bills and feed their families. 

I understand your passion for Joomla. I share it. But please think about
the negative impact that this controversial issue is having. A
significant amount of damage to the community has already been done.
Passions on both side of the issue have been inflamed, and people are
upset. This type of divisiveness is unhealthy for any community. 

The developers did not start this. They were happy with the way things
were. The users of Joomla did not start this. They were happy with the
way things were. Joomla/OSM started this. I have asked myself why many
times. I don’t know what they were unhappy about. Some comments made by
members of the core team lead me to believe that there was some jealousy
about commercial developers having success… jealousy is a close cousin
of greed, and is not a generous trait. Let’s hope that was not the seed
for this tragic poisoning of what was once a vibrant and happy community
where users, developers, and Joomla all lived happily together creating
one of the world’s best CMS communities. 




"Live cheaply," he said, offering some free advice. "Don't buy a house,
a car or have children. The problem is they're expensive and you have
to spend all your time making money to pay for them."

        -- Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman: 'Live Cheaply'

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