09.05.21

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The State of Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Microsoft at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Third “E” in full swing yet?

Interesting, so Microsoft is integrating VSCode into GitHub. Press dot (.) on any GitHub repo while signed in to see. PS. Seems to have issues with service workers on Firefox

Summary: Microsoft is trying to leverage GitHub to plug developers — in a sort of a ‘shotgun wedding’ — into its proprietary toolsets that spy on both developers and users; the FSF needs to become vocal about it (recently it offered money for essays on such threats)

STATE it upfront: Free software does not have a state. It does not have a country or “territory” as such. It’s not controlled by one single company; if you think that it is, then it’s likely not Free software but just openwashing. Check carefully because “code available” isn’t the same as freedom, no matter whose licence. With regards to its state as in status quo, at the moment it is under a vicious attack by Microsoft, notably through GitHub. What else do you think Microsoft paid for (to only operate at a loss)? Microsoft is still submitting petitions under the name “GitHub”, intervening in court cases over software copyrights and APIs; moreover, Microsoft is trying to kill the GPL (or copyright-based copyleft) by making enforcement very hard (or pushing lots of people to violate copyright law inside code, then use “HEY HI” as an excuse… yes, that's what GitHub Copilot is for!).

We urge readers to politely caution all who still host code (or participate in GitHub in any way) to refrain from it. Moreover, GitHub is not a Web site hosting platform (someone needs to explain that to Libera)… nor a blogging platform; those who treat it as such say a lot about themselves. They’re OK with proprietary software and Microsoft (where no such need ever arose; Free software does this job vastly better at no cost). Any momentum given to that Microsoft-owned platform is more surveillance (business intelligence) for Microsoft and more fire power to be harnessed by those who attack our movement. The anti-FSF petition was set up on there, the people who signed it had accounts there (Libera hosts both its site and code there), and it is generally getting worse and worse over time. It’s a surveillance and censorship platform designed to steer developers away from freedom (autonomy/self governance) and towards more proprietary software, more Microsoft control, and more surveillance both for users and for developers. They already control far too much of our communications — something that should never have happened.

If there’s one very big threat to Free software, it’s GitHub. Delete Github.

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