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

10.11.19

Guest Post: An Open Letter to Matt Lee Regarding freesw.org

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 12:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

Matt Lee
Via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons CC BY 4.0

Summary: “I realise you and I probably don’t agree on very much. What I think we do agree on is the importance of getting Free Culture and Free Software right.”

Here is a great idea: https://freesw.org/

The webpage states: “Starting today we are going to start an effort to unite our community around our shared values and to document, promote and publicize any and all software, artwork, documentation, and supporting material that meets the Debian Free Software Guidelines.”

There are hints that this won’t just be about software:

“Thanks to the work of hundreds of thousands of individuals and dozens of organizations, we now have free and open music, movies, books, and encyclopedias, as well as software.”

The Free Media Alliance promotes this sort of idea and encourages people (including Lee) to pursue building such collections.

I would personally recommend that such a collection be licensed CC0, to maximise its usefulness to a global network of such libraries. Library-like Listings of works do not add value by restricting what other people can do with them; on the contrary, the more we build these libraries online the more we can contribute substantially to each others’ libraries — simply by managing our own.

I don’t have any details on the plans regarding freesw.org, nor do I assume that anybody will make use of any of this advice, but if they don’t then I would offer the same advice to anybody else creating a library online.

The choice to provide “supporting material that meets the Debian Free Software Guidelines” is a particularly good one. In the past, the DFSG was used to discourage people from choosing a “documentation license” over one suitable to OER; I support the GNU GPL but the “Free Documentation License” restricts paper copies.

For OER, restrictions on paper copies are not ideal, and the FDL was unsuitable enough that Wikipedia worked to migrate from that license to a proper Free Culture license for its encyclopedia project. Fortunately for us, the FSF helped them.

If textbooks are better off with Free Culture licenses, then we are better off scrapping special licenses for “documentation” and just use the better (also more free) OER standards. If those OER standards do not offer the 4 freedoms, then we should create a “Libre Education Resource” standard that does. GPL compatibility is a serious bonus.

As for this library, the easier we make it to find works (both software works and cultural works) under free licenses, the better these licenses and their associated freedoms will be known — the better promoted and considered by all as a means of communication and spreading intellectual freedom.

It was my hope, years ago, that Students for Free Culture would both change their name to the Free Culture Foundation and create a library such as the one Lee describes. Today, the Free Culture Foundation website seems to be missing, the freeculture.org wiki seems to be vandalised and even the Creative Commons wiki has deleted valuable data on freely-licensed books that they used to host.

What is it about Free Culture that makes people walk away?

As each iteration of a major Free Culture resource has risen and wavered, my hope is that we will finally build a collaborative network of libraries that together serve the many different needs, desires (and perhaps demands) of different people. Each year, more Free Culture and Free Software works are created. Free Software has a directory; Free Culture still lacks one (though I continue to find new things to add to the Alliance Library, and people are gradually contributing more works.)

I cannot even find the Free Culture Foundation’s collection now, but I predicted that what would keep them from growing was a very narrow definition of what they were looking for — the licenses weren’t the issue; it was their expectations of people and of works that I found too exclusive.

Speaking of which, I believe you still work for the FSF; would you ask whomever is in charge of email to stop censoring Daniel Pocock? Thanks.

I realise you and I probably don’t agree on very much. What I think we do agree on is the importance of getting Free Culture and Free Software right. That leaves a lot of things to differ on, but make no mistake — I would like freesw.org to succeed. My hope is that it gets the most important things right.

Long Live Stallman and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Ask
  • Digg
  • Mixx
  • Slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • Alltagz
  • BarraPunto
  • blinkbits
  • BlinkList
  • Bloglines
  • blogmarks
  • BlogMemes
  • Fark
  • Gwar
  • Klickts

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

What Else is New


  1. There's a Lot More to Race and Racism Than Colours (and Names of Colours)

    The push towards speech restrictions is being framed as tolerant people against bigots; in practice, however, there are salient points and angles that media chooses to overlook



  2. Commissioner Thierry Breton, Acting Like a Patent Maximalists' 'Mole' (as Expected All Along), is Now Formally Lying for Team UPC

    The rogue Commissioner who was put there by people in positions of power (to perpetuate their power) is doing exactly what we'd expect from officials who work against the people (like a force of occupation rather than service, as in public service)



  3. The Web is Drying Up, Journalism is Coming to an End

    There's not much of value left in the World Wide Web as a source of news; people's minds are preoccupied with meaningless divisive wars and misinformation spreads rapidly, giving rise to more widespread censorship (in the name of 'protecting' us)



  4. EPO Management Has Hunted Down Journalists and Killed Journalism

    Buying, controlling and even censoring the media isn't that hard when you gather billions of euros from stakeholders (who have nowhere else to go because you have a monopoly in Europe) and enjoy zero oversight/regulatory assessments



  5. [Meme] Reminder: EPO Management Failed to Provide Staff With Facial Masks (as Advised/Required by Law)

    The health of staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) is still at risk; EPO management only cares about patents, not patients (monopolies, not people)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 15, 2020



  7. Links 16/7/2020: FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report, LibreOffice Has Plans, FSF Warns Against 'Online' Voting

    Links for the day



  8. Links 15/7/2020: New PinePhone, GCC 10.2 Release Candidate

    Links for the day



  9. [Humour/Meme] Stop Shaming Free Software Geeks Over What They Wear While They're Coding and Testing

    The corporate media repeatedly shamed Linus Torvalds because he's not wearing a suit and sometimes works in a bathrobe instead; this is the sort of ‘cancel culture’ psyche that looks to remove geniuses and achievers (Torvalds made Linux and Git) based on dumb assertions and superficialities



  10. Free Software as a Tree (It's Hard to Cut Off the Roots)

    Free software is extremely difficult to ban or to eradicate; it's almost inevitable that, by one route or another, 'world domination' will be attained in many sectors



  11. Censorship is for Pussies

    The attempts to remove words that aren’t in any way racist (or even suggestive of racism) are misguided at best; they don’t solve actual problems, but they pretend to be making people feel good (like the activists who push for it; that gives them as sense of power and morality)



  12. Twitter in 2020 is Where Information Comes to Die or to be Corrupted

    Twisting words, lying about the cited articles, declaring people dead (who are still alive!) are just some among the many reasons to quit Twitter and not bother with that noise machine (except maybe in a write-only fashion, copying from elsewhere and never receiving (mis)information from tweets)



  13. Mr. Lovenstein-Derived Joke about Microsoft's WSL (an Attack on GNU/Linux)

    Mr. Lovenstein's cartoon (or someone's modified version of it) about WSL/WSL2 sort of nails it (credit MinceR for the pointer)



  14. [Humour/Meme] Code of Conduct and Language Wars: Another Tool by Which to Oust Community Voices and Poor/Opinionated People of Colour (Because War Must Go On)

    The coup against GNU/Linux isn’t hard to see; Intel and Microsoft viciously attacked poor people in Africa (because they had adopted GNU/Linux) and now they get a say on who to kick out from Linux (based on entirely nontechnical things, including cultural differences)



  15. Links 15/7/2020: Deepin OS Expansion, openSUSE Board Non-Confidence Vote

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 14, 2020



  17. Twist and Turn, Show Us Your Face

    A little poem about digital privacy



  18. The Race to the Bottom of Tech Rights

    Tech rights (not to be confused with Techrights the site) are going down the drain; people are made complicit using fear tactics, having been told a lot of lies about so-called contact-tracing borderline pseudoscience



  19. [Humour/Meme] OIN Wants Us to Make Peace With Software Patents

    The way things stand, OIN is really not interested in solving the patent problem the Free software way; rather, it's looking to impose its own way on the Free software community



  20. The Last Thing Open Invention Network (OIN) Needs Right Now is Public Association With a Patent Trolls' and Software Patents' Propaganda Site

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) seems to be choosing rather odd platforms; the above publisher, a judge-bashing software patents extremist, cannot possibly improve OIN's image (by association)



  21. The EPO's Misleading 'Studies' Are Just More of the Same Perception Management Routines

    EPO management pays sites to publish a bunch of EPO-controlled propaganda; and we've meanwhile noticed that almost everyone in the press team of the EPO has left (to be replaced by the President's confidant)



  22. Links 14/7/2020: More Laptop Models With GNU/Linux and WordPress 5.5 Beta 2 is Out

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft Has Not Changed at All (Only the Shallow Marketing and Control of What's Left of the Media Has Changed)

    Microsoft wants everybody to come closer so that everybody can be crushed; the tactics are largely the same



  24. The Founder of Black Duck Still Works for Microsoft

    Black Duck‘s founder, Doug Levin from Microsoft, isn’t doing a terrific job hiding his real loyalties and ‘masters’



  25. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, July 13, 2020



  26. Links 14/7/2020: Claws Mail 3.17.6 and RSS Guard 3.7.0 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft Has Put the String “0xBIGBOOBS” Inside Linux (Kernel Driver for Microsoft's Windows-Only Proprietary Software, Formerly a GPL Violation); Reddit (Condé Nast) Bans You For Mentioning Such Things

    In this increasingly crazy atmosphere of mass sanctioning and permanent banning (removing everything or everyone that's perceived to be impolite) even "Linux" forums are banning people who point out Microsoft being a rogue corporation that's attacking GNU/Linux



  28. There's Apparently a New Boss (or Policy) at Red Hat/IBM

    The Fedora project doesn’t seem to care much about free speech, no matter one’s seniority in the project; as the person who relayed it to us has just put it, “they even eat their own.” (Longtime contributors) “He’s not a troll. He’s a contributor who rubbed some people the wrong way and now the banhammer is coming out. Fedora KDE was already collapsing and now it finally will.” (Note: Rex Dieter leads or led this project)



  29. There Cannot be Software Freedom Without Free Speech (Which is Nowadays Being Wrongly and Creatively Conflated With Racism)

    The time to speak out in favour of free speech is now; because the next phase typically involves removal (to be sold as "voluntary") of people whose political views are seen as professionally inadequate (recall what they did to Richard Stallman last September)



  30. [Humour/Meme] 'Offensive' Jokes

    Even humour itself is under attack now; people who cannot take/tolerate cartoons and banter are targeting the stand-up comedians, the cartoonists and so on


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

Recent Posts