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11.09.12

Linux is Not Enough

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tux illustration

Summary: Remark on the context in which we achieve software freedom

I wish to interrupt our flow of news-related commentary and discuss something that has bothered me for over a year. The FSF, one of the few (if not the only) bodies that truly ‘get’ freedom and technology’s effects on it, has lost a lot of key staff. I won’t name them, but it is clear that plenty of brain drain occurred there. The Linux Foundation, which has many members that promote software patents and sell proprietary, freedom-disregarding software, recently accepted money from Microsoft as well. At the same time, the platform which takes over (in FOSS form) is Android, where applications are mostly proprietary and there is no GNU.

Celebrating “victory” when Android takes over is like liberals/progressives celebrating victory just because Romney lost. There is a broader fight to fight.

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12 Comments

  1. mcinsand said,

    November 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Gravatar

    Is there any way we can find out the background of The Linux Foundation accepting MS’ money? In a previous company, we had to be worried about just how we turned away certain customers; if their money was good, then we could have been sued for refusing something we sold on the open market. I’m not making excuses, but just wanting to be sure that I understand.

    As for excuses, where I simply cannot make one is in the fact that I have not personally donated to The Linux Foundation. I remember in the ’80′s wishing that I could afford Unix, rather than suffer with MS, but college students couldn’t handle $500 or so in license fees. Now, things are different, and we can have something much better than the toy OS’s (Windows XP-8 or OSX) for much, much less. Those of us that don’t (or no longer) code should contribute in other ways, and it wouldn’t take a lot to make a huge difference. Humble Bundles have shown how much more willing Linux users are to spend money on things like games, and maybe we need to stop being so blithe about downloading the cutting technological edge for free. If we all even contributed 5€ per year, the Linux Foundation wouldn’t have to prostitute themselves out.

    Given what The Humble Bundle has seen with respect to FOSS users, do you think that there could be a chance to have a bundle with a higher minimum price, where the difference goes to The Linux Foundation? Given the attention the Humble Bundle gets, the awareness could excite even more Linux users to buy one, thus benefitting The Linux Foundation and the HB crew.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    If we all even contributed 5€ per year, the Linux Foundation wouldn’t have to prostitute themselves out.

    Same with political parties.

    NotZed Reply:

    Donating to the LF wouldn’t help: they are there to push the agenda of those with the biggest purse. It would be like pretending having a couple of shares in any company would let you have a hand in their decisions – merely statistical noise at best.

    They are not a union for people, they’re a union for money.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    You know it when they insist on saying Open Source and never Free software. It’s about business, not freedom.

    Michael Reply:

    Linus Torvalds:
    —–
    Microsoft isn’t evil
    —–
    There are “extremists” in the free software world, but that’s
    one major reason why I don’t call what I do “free software”
    any more. I don’t want to be associated with the people for
    whom it’s about exclusion and hatred.
    —–

    Amazing how you think the very guy who created Linux is in it all for business reasons. You really have no clue about the open source community.

  2. mcinsand said,

    November 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Gravatar

    On another note, since you brought it up (*wink*), celbration over Romney’s loss is a lot broader. Anyone that believes in actually believing in a position from one minute to the next should be opposed to Romney; he changes views more often than some people change their socks. The only consistency was that he would say anything that he thought an audience wanted to hear, if it might possible garner a few more votes. He ended up wasting few opportunities to discredit himself and, by association, the Republican party.

    In all seriousness, I would not think that the Democrats would be celebrating too much. Although the electoral college count was firm, the popular vote was close, and that is with a non-candidate like Romney. The Dems dodged a bullet this time, and I have no doubt that the US would be looking to change presidents in January if someone in Republican leadership had taken 5 minutes to consider the importance of a candidate actually believing something.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I think that election fraud has done more to discredit GOP than Romney did.

    mcinsand Reply:

    We may have to disagree. I think GW Bush did more do discredit the GOP than any election issues. He could not have more clearly, consistenly, or completely shown that the GOP’s age-old messages about reducing the role of big-brother government and responsible spending were empty.

    Personally, I am strictly nonpartisan. Both liberal and conservative perspectives have some value, but the problem is that the two sides now take extreme, tribalistic approaches. We have to get away from each issue being about one party winning to focus on what is best for the country.

    Sorry. Off my soapbox now.

    Regards.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    We may have to disagree.

    We don’t disagree. If you add Bush to this discussion, then I agree.

  3. mcinsand said,

    November 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m not so sure, at least when it comes to my country. We would have to have a major culture change, although we definitely need to rewrite corporate law to revoke individual status. No matter how much individuals contribute, our two parties will depend on their corporate special interests to have any potential advantage over the other party.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Obama won’t address this issue; after all, it would make him a hypocrite.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/contrib.php?cycle=2012&id=N00009638

  4. Michael said,

    November 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Gravatar

    The FSF gets freedom? Based on what? There double-talk BS about how a restrictive license is “free”? Listen, if you want to “free” your code then make it public domain.

    Do not take that to mean I am in any way against the GPL. I am not. It is a fine license and if you want to use the protections it offers for your work I am all for it. Great choice and thank you for using a license with such open terms. Amazing how many people are willing to do so and I commend them for it.

    Just do not lie and say you are making your code “free”. You are not. You are placing restrictions on how your code is used. Period. Enough with the cult-like double-talk from the FSF and its ignorant followers.

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