EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.08.10

It’s Free as in Freedom

Posted in America, Finance, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Videos at 2:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A rebuttal to Dana Blankenhorn, who redefines “FOSS” in a very unhelpful way

Philips has a murky history when it comes to Free software. Philips is attacking software freedom with aggressive patent fronts like Sisvel [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], but things are hopefully about to change.

A couple of days ago we showed that Philips decided to add Free software to an appliance/gadget it develops. Dana Blankenhorn wrote about this and he added a sort of slur against the term “FOSS”:

Songbird, the open source media player, is now being embedded in Philips’ GoGear line.

This is a win-win.

[...]

This is the way open source is supposed to work. It’s supposed to connect with the market. If you don’t want your hands stained with filthy lucre you’re FOSS, not open source.

The “F” in FOSS represents “freedom” and Blankenhorn clearly understands this. What is that last sentence intended to achieve then?

In another very recent post, Blankenhorn seems to be painting FOSS as anti-capitalist, so with the repetition appears a pattern which is worth addressing and hopefully tackling. He wrote:

Legally, the analysts telling mySQL’s community to shut up are saying, yes, it could. And you couldn’t say a thing about it. That’s just capitalism.

It may be, just as Tom Sawyer’s game to get his friends to whitewash Aunt Polly’s fence was capitalism. But when Mark Twain wrote that his sympathies weren’t really with Tom. He was satirizing capitalism itself, and telling young readers to be wary of its glib promises.

Blankenhorn has been citing someone whom he calls “Big Money Matt” for just over a year; his cold attitude towards GNU/Linux and perhaps an increased emphasis on money seems to be missing the point. It is worth remembering what the “F” in “FOSS” is all about. It was never about cost at all. Free software is very capitalist by nature; it also obeys other important pillars like liberty and competition.

In the following video from Digital Tipping Point, Professor Larry Lessig (a current flag holder for the FSF’s membership rally) explains how the public was led to the point of totally misunderstanding Free software and associating it with “communism”, especially in the United States.

Part I (preceded by a minute or so of introduction in Portuguese)


 

Part II


 

Part III


For referencing, the above is Larry Lessig’s keynote speech at FISL Con 5 in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2004). He speaks slowly for a crowd whose English is a secondary language.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. hexx said,

    January 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Gravatar

    There are some technical issues with the Larry Lessig speech videos: I can only play the first 5 to 7 seconds of each part (using firefox 3.5.6).

  2. morris said,

    January 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Why not “Software Livre”?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I thought it was the Dutch word.

What Else is New


  1. White House Intervention Harms Android and Every Software Developer on the Planet

    US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli urges the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to let APIs be covered by copyrights, rendering almost every program a potential copyright violation



  2. Microsoft Lobbying in India Shoots Down or At Least Weakens Free/Libre Software Policy

    Microsoft's covert efforts (lobbying with the help of public partners like NASSCOM) to eliminate an India-leaning software policy in India is finally paying off



  3. Propaganda Mode for UPC Agreement Whilst EPO Increasingly Grants Patents on Software

    In order to make the Unitary Patent a reality (towards a 'no place to hide' patent approach) misleading claims are being made



  4. Patents Are Not Source Code

    Ford is once again misleading regarding Open Source, mischievously associating a patent pledge with Open Source



  5. Links 29/5/2015: ALT Linux 7.0.5, Google I/O 2015

    Links for the day



  6. Links 28/5/2015: SourceForge Hijack, RIP Marco Pesenti Gritti

    Links for the day



  7. Censorship on Reddit Has Gotten (Condé) Nasty and Silent, Even Actively Silenced

    Condé Nast has turned Reddit into a platform of censorship after the acquisition



  8. The Supreme Court of the United States Helps Patent Trolls

    In an unforeseen kind of ruling, the same court which slapped down a lot of software patents last year is now legitimising the actions of a patent troll



  9. Patent Lawyers Fight Hard for the Future of Software Patents

    Media that is dominated by patent lawyers and targets an audience of patent lawyers refuses to accept the post-Alice reality



  10. Fortune Glorifies Patent Troll Jay Walker (Patent Utility)

    Jay Walker, a patent troll, creates a Web-based trolling/'licensing' service and the corporate media helps him



  11. Stealing Android's Thunder, Making It All About Apple and Microsoft During Google I/O

    Misleading articles and conjoined media/analyst attacks on Android coincide with Google's event where major Android announcements are being made



  12. British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

    The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software



  13. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  14. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  15. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  16. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  17. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  18. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  19. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  20. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  21. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  22. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  23. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  24. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  25. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  26. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  27. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  28. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  29. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  30. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts