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

01.28.20

Guest Post: Free Software is About Software Ownership

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 5:17 am by Guest Editorial Team

By Jagadees

Wake up

Summary: “In effect, companies will lose control and profit. Will they accept that?”

“Free software” is a confusing name/term. The “free” here means freedom. So it is freedom software. But to exercise freedom you need something more. What is that? You have to own the software. Therefore, free software is about ownership of software.

All software is free software for its owners

Take any software. Who owns that software? User, seller, developer, lawyer or whoever it is, if they have the ownership of some software, then that software is a free software for him/her/them. Majority of software/programs used nowadays are owned by software companies. So we can say majority of software/programs are free software for those companies.

Private software

These companies can sell software, modify software, share, or ‘open’ their software. They can have or exercise full rights over it. Others — including users — have limited ownership; only things which are allowed by the owner/company. In other words, these software programs are privately-owned software. So let’s call them private software.

Problems with private software

“Majority of software/programs used nowadays are owned by software companies.”There are lots of issues with private software. As a user, you can only run the software if you’ve paid the license fee. You cannot use it in a different way from what they they allowed (for example, a 10-user licensed software cannot be used by 11 users). You cannot give it to a friend. You cannot modify anything in there. You cannot know what the software does behind the scenes. The list goes on.

Public software

Because of all these issues, in 1983 a person named Richard Stallman began a movement. Its aim was to give full control, full rights and full ownership of software to the person who uses it. That was the Free Software Movement. At that time it was an Utopian idea. Nobody cared for it. But because of his and his group’s persistence and commitment they could made it a reality. So software got public ownership. That is Free software. Let us call it public software.

Impact of public software

What will happen if the public gains ownership of software? Then, no private person can control software.

- Cannot sell copies of software.
- Companies can charge a price for software (maximum) only one time.

In effect, companies will lose control and profit. Will they accept that?

“In effect, companies will lose control and profit. Will they accept that?”No way. Anything that that is publicly owned will cause reduction in profits of companies. Look around and learn about the idea of public education, public health care, public housing, and public utilities. So, they will find ways to destroy the idea of public ownership. If anything publicly owned is still existing, they will make it corrupt and finally dismantle it, because people don’t understand their value when they exist and they are always distracted.

They know that if you attack anything directly, that will always strengthen that. Understand please, they have 10,000 years of history in ruling humankind. So to attack public software they’ve created decoys. Then they attribute some ideas of public software to those decoys and they’ve slanted the game. For all these games there’s no need for any secret conspiracy or anything like that. The system is self-sustaining. So it will work automatically. Whatever we do in this system, it only strengthen the system unless we’re consciously and purposefully doing something against it. Still, that also not 100% effective.

So instead of dealing with public software, i.e. Free software, they are playing with decoys. There are lots them now. Open Source (OSS), FOSS etc. are among the notable examples.

What do OSS and FOSS do?

They imitate the Free Software Movement. They turned the idea of public ownership of software upside down by ignoring the user or removing the user from the picture. They marked users as dumb and passive actors. (They appear only when talking about their dumbness, which means “user friendliness”.[joke]) Now, who is in the picture? It’s the software providers. Who are they? Programmers and mostly companies.

Then again, they introduced another twist. They hide companies. They put the spotlight on a poor, intelligent, isolated, expert programmer who is trying to save the world from some “xyz”. With these two twists they completely changed the narrative.

Then, they introduced yet another twist. That is, changing the objective. Instead of a user’s ownership they use “opening” of source code. Does software closed in some container help? What you mean by open? What a stupid idea. Source code is always open. Problem or dilemma is whether you have rights or not. They are just fooling all the people, who should get full ownership of all software in the first place.

By hiding the user they removed/concealed the politics of ownership and rights of users. By hiding the companies as the main actors, they concealed the profit motives and vested interests of companies. By hiding the objective of Free software, they reduced it to nothing. Now there is nothing left in Free software. What a perfect decoy!

“They know that if you attack anything directly, that will always strengthen that.”From 1998 onwards they not only started but exacerbated this. Since companies are backing them they have had huge funds, they could literally buy all media, pundits and of course the developers. Now all these developers are doing Gig 2.0, which means unpaid voluntary work for companies, dreaming that their code is saving the planet (which actually is destroyed it by the same masters themselves). Media is flooded with their narcissistic “success” stories. These high-end organised works may have completely destroyed the Free Software Movement within its founder’s lifetime.

First-generation Free software activists retired. Second-generation Free software activists are in the OSS/FOSS trap. Third-generation Free software activists actually don’t know what Free software is. These people think that the OSS/FOSS things are the movement. The bad things these companies are doing stomped/stepped on the movement, too. They fired the founder from his own organisation. But there is a complete silence from these kids. They are busy writing gratis code for the masters. This is the situation now.

Wake up, Free software friends

This is nothing new. Think about the Great Depression. People suffered a lot. They politically organised and forced the person in charge to implement their demands. The New Deal era began. Then what happened to it? Gradually it got destroyed, causing another great depression in 2008. So, if we loosen our attention a little bit, they will turn things upside down in their own favor. Same thing has happened to the Free Software Movement, too.

“So to attack public software they’ve created decoys.”Software freedom is like democracy. Initially it was just ‘there’, albeit only for white land-owning men. There were other people and they protested to get representation. With a long struggle — one by one — new groups got chances in democracy.

Like the above, nowadays software is only free for the private owners. We cannot let this current status quo continue. We have to fight to get the ownership and rights. We have to end this rebranding of Free software by OSS/FOSS kind of ‘corporate pimps’. So let’s work for a strong software freedom movement that empowers users as well as developers.

Long live the GPL.

Note: This is part of the software freedom series. To see all posts please go to Neritam.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/2/2020: MX Linux 19.1 and MyPaint 2.0

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 15, 2020



  3. Guest Article: Au Revoir, GNU/Linux

    "Funny how OSI just ended up being another vehicle for their takeover of the computing world..."



  4. Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

    A noteworthy message we've received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside



  5. Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft Views 'Open Source' as a Zero-Cost Heist Opportunity (Making Proprietary Software/Spyware Using Other People's Free Labour)

    Making GPL-licensed (copyleft) software and hosting it outside Microsoft’s jaws is the best way to counter the abusive monopolist, which still says it “loves” what it is actually attacking



  7. Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

    A look at what ZDNet tells its readers (screenshot from this morning) and a rare look at how its writers are censored/suppressed



  8. Anatomy of a Crime and Protection From Prosecution

    It’s hard to forget what António Campinos hides for his friend



  9. Today's EPO is a Fraud Managed by Frauds

    Beneath the scandals associated with systematic abuse against staff, union-busting (silencing whistleblowers) and en masse granting of invalid patents — the hallmark of grotesque maladministration — lie a bunch of even greater crimes



  10. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 14, 2020



  11. One Need Only Look at ZDNet's 'Linux' Section to Understand It's a Microsoft Propaganda Operation

    A timely new snapshot (or screenshot) that demonstrates what ZDNet became after hiring Microsoft employees as ‘journalists’ and censoring on behalf of Microsoft, defaming Free software figures and so on



  12. Links 14/2/2020: New Release of KStars, OpenSSH 8.2, Rhythmbox 3.4.4, Flatpak 1.6.2

    Links for the day



  13. The Uselessness of Social Control Media and Why We Need RSS Feeds' Resurgence More Than Ever

    Social control media became pure noise or misinformation, usually in pursuit of financial expansion alone, and it is also a censorship machine which discourages not falsehoods but unconventional thinking



  14. Another New 'Clown' for the UPC 'Circus'

    A former writer of IPPro Magazine (which seems to be defunct now) reports another shuffle -- perhaps the fifth in a few years -- of "IP" [sic] Minister for the UK; it doesn't bode well for the Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 13, 2020



  16. Links 13/2/2020: Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, Septor 2020, Endless OS 3.7.7, Wayland 1.18.0, KDE Plasma 5.18 and GTK 3.98 Released

    Links for the day



  17. The Microsoft Propaganda Model

    Classic new examples (real screenshots) of how Microsoft-funded media entraps people looking for information about "Linux" to actually push Microsoft talking points and marketing, cover-up, face-saving lies etc.



  18. What's Evil is Forcing People to Use Something They Don't Want and Typically Dislike

    The difference between Google Search and Microsoft is that many people actually want to use Google (and don't have to)



  19. 2020: The Year Microsoft Became Honest... About Being Corrupt and Criminal

    Microsoft is destroying any past attempts to portray itself as a reformed company or 'recovering criminal'; nothing is really changing and everyone has noticed



  20. Free Software is Being Abandoned by Opponents of Software Patents and It's Being Attacked by Patent Trolls

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is rotting away as an advocate against software patents; Patents on algorithms are still being granted (even when courts repeatedly reject these) and Red Hat's Chief Patent Counsel remains Manny Schecter, one of the loudest proponents of such patents (citing the likes of Adam Mossoff this week, in effect Koch operatives); this is a very big problem because Free software projects come under a barrage of lawsuits, using patents like those IBM lobbies ferociously to legitimise



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 12, 2020



  22. Links 12/2/2020: KDE Neon 5.18, Tails 4.3 and WordPress 5.4 Beta

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 11, 2020



  24. Links 11/2/2020: New Firefox and KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  25. Sometimes ILO-AT is Good for Nothing But Law Firms in or Around Switzerland

    ILO-AT’s latest judgements are out. But ILO — and by extension the UN — are still morally deficient and they give the impression that don’t care about people (or that ILO is in bed with the same businesses WIPO (UN) serves, i.e. no better than WB/IMF).



  26. The European Patent Office Continues to Violate the European Patent Convention (EPC) With Impunity While the European Commission Lets That Happen

    The European Commission (and Union) can be seen as increasingly complicit in the EPO's abuses; this means that the EPO has become a liability or source of accountability for the integrity of Europe as a bloc



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 10, 2020



  28. EPO Staff Representatives to Challenge Ridiculous and Unnecessary Austerity Measures

    The EPO's President of Nepotism "is currently finalizing his “package” of financial measures in order to reduce an alleged coverage gap of 5.8 B€ following a heavily biased and flawed Financial Study," according to EPO staff representatives who have already demonstrated it's a fake crisis that distracts from the real crisis and profound corruption



  29. You're Almost Guaranteed to Lose the Argument When You Call People Who Plant Seeds 'Pirates'

    The EPO's patent maximalists are damaging the reputation of the institution and harm its perceived legitimacy (people are getting fed up instead of fed)



  30. Unified Patent Corruption

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is more dead than ever before; but UPC hopefuls — people who lied their way into this fraudulent pact (designed to enrich only themselves by violating many constitutions) — try telling us otherwise and they’re weaponising corrupt media


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