11.26.20

Free as in Freedom Should Not be Associated With Cost

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sometimes being freer is more costly (in financial terms) in the short term

Free bicycle? No thanks

Summary: It’s important to remind people that so-called ‘free’ services (Clown Computing, centralised spaces that ‘farm’ their so-called ‘users’) aren’t really free; we need to advocate freedom or free-as-in-freedom alternatives

THE fake Open Source ‘movement’ wanted us to think that the term Free software was bad because it implied “cheap” and “shoddy”; this straw man argument helped them sweep a lot of media attention over to their side and, in turn, promote monopolies and surveillance companies as “good citizens” that are “open” (because they upload some code portion to proprietary prisons/PRISM like GitHub). “They already whitewash Windows 10,” Ryan told us moments ago. “Wikipedia lists it as “partially open source”.”

“GitHub is proprietary and “free of charge”; does that make it “Free”? Ask developers/projects such as YouTube-DL, which got terminated (along with all their mirrors) without even a warning; then, Microsoft reportedly threatened everyone else who ‘dared’ make a mirror.”Thankfully, more and more disillusioned people can now see that for what it really is. As we set aside some EPO affairs (we’re not abandoning that, we’ll carry on covering those matters at least once a day) we intend to focus again on advocacy for Free software. There seems to be a resurgence of it. Recently I’ve been seeing some truly encouraging signs for the #DeleteGitHub ‘movement’ or ‘campaign’, more so after the YouTube-DL debacle. Some high-profile projects have initiated their departure process (leaving Microsoft and GitHub behind). YouTube-DL and other projects (with almost no media attention paid to the latter take-downs, as Microsoft bombarded the media with face-saving PR about ‘defending’ developers) were the last straw to many. As Ryan points out, we should “also mention that after “byuu” left Higan, his successors moved it to GitHub, where it is at risk from Nintendo, who likes to abuse the DMCA as it pertains to emulators.”

“Whether they’re in the right or not,” Ryan adds, “they have a history, and Microsoft won’t fight them, so the current Higan project is at risk of being black bagged and progress lost one day because of lawyers and Microsoft.”

Free software (or libre, some say livre) is about freedom of users; that extends to things such as privacy and free speech, of course. We need to stress this point more and more. GitHub is proprietary and “free of charge”; does that make it “Free”? Ask developers/projects such as YouTube-DL, which got terminated (along with all their mirrors) without even a warning; then, Microsoft reportedly threatened everyone else who ‘dared’ make a mirror. So much “free”, eh? Like "free" food in a slaughterhouse/abattoir.

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