Bonum Certa Men Certa

FSF Hostility From Novell's Former Managers Amid Fight Against ACTA



Summary: Advocacy of freedom seen as "negative" by so-called 'pragmatists' who chose to serve Novell

The former community manager of OpenSUSE (who left Novell some months ago) continues an old tradition. Sometimes he lies about the FSF and sometimes he only daemonises. There are other Novell employees who do this, including Microsoft MVPs who still work for the company.



"Joe Brockmeier Has a Bad Day," argues Pogson in response to this new piece.

He declares the campaigning of the Free Software Foundation for Free Software is negative and must change.

Talk about a narrow point of view. The FSF must advocate for Free Software. That is its purpose. There is nothing negative about requiring software to be able to be run, examined, modified and distributed under a global and popular licence. There is a battle raging with the forces who would take freedom away. It is necessary to have sentries guarding the boundaries. It is necessary to have leaders rally the troops.

Brockmeier would have us believe that open source is good enough, or something. It is not clear what he wants. I see FLOSS as widely accepted and growing constantly in share of usage. What does he see? Negativity!


Need criticism be forbidden? It was only a week ago that we last wrote about this subject, having written about it extensively in 2009 [1, 2].

Here are two more responses to Brockmeier's piece:

i. Shooting The Messenger

There's been another round of criticism on various blogs of the FSF's media campaigns to draw people's attention to the harm that not respecting software users freedom does. But the FSF's campaigns explaining why Microsoft and Apple's failure to respect users freedom is harmful have been successful in getting out the message that alternatives are needed. In the mainstream press as well as in the tech and tech culture media.

The FSF's critics are ignoring the fact that most of the FSF's work consists not only of the positive promotion of the idea of free software, but in practically supporting and protecting its creation and use.


ii. More Anti-Free Software Spin

Secondly, the lead anti-FSF person is - surprise, surprise - Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, who not only is consistently confused[1] about the FSF, he’s also amusingly fond of distorting FSF claims to try to make them appear like they support his position.

Mr. Brockmeier’s writings on the FSF reveal a misunderstanding so deep and profound of the FSF and its mission that I have a hard time accepting it is honest. It starts at the very first sentence, where Mr. Brockmeier falsely implies the FSF has no “positive way to push for software freedom” and continues to the very end, where Mr. Brockmeier idiotically implies that the FSF is not at the “center” of “folks concerned with protecting software freedom”.

Another example: Mr. Brockmeier’s ignorance (or maliciousness, take your pick) is revealed when he insinuates that RMS is “taking the FSF out of the game” by telling users not to use Saas, without mentioning that the FSF is in fact developing alteratives like GNU Social and LibrePlanet.


We won't address the article from Brockmeier simply because 3 other people have done this already. There is no need for more rebuttals and some people would characterise this as a "personal attack".

In more important news, "FSF Starts Anti-ACTA Campaign," says Slashdot. We have included more references about it in our daily links.

My presentation will not be a very technical one but instead will be an analysis of where we are and where we are going. I will start by speaking of the economic and political context in which ACTA is being discussed. Then, I will give an overview of elements of EU IP enforcement legislation that is related to the ACTA text and that is at the centre of EU legislative debate. Finally, and most importantly, I will reflect upon the movement critical of ACTA and similar measures of IP enforcement the strategic options, coalition building, contradictions, strongpoints and pitfalls.


Florian Müller drew our attention to his comment about it. He speaks about the impact of ACTA on software patents. "Just thought I'd mention because the thing about EU responsibility for patents being included may be an angle of interest to you next time you write about ACTA," he told us. From his comment:

My concern about ACTA is not related to copyright law but to its effect on patents. Copyright law is practically always infringed by intent, while patent infringement in the field of software is in most cases inadvertent (that's the most fundamental problem I have with software patents). It would be desirable to introduce into patent law, at least in connection with software, an independent invention defense. However, ACTA in the version I saw might do quite the opposite, treating a patent infringer as a "pirate" once he is made aware of an infringement (for an example, by a cease-and-desist letter). That's unreasonable and unjust in my view.


Here is the feedback from Pogson and from a former MEP. Nobody except Hollywood and other monopolists seems to like ACTA. In fact, everyone hates it. It's part of the class war. There are loads of links here for those who wish to read further about the subject.

One reader drew our attention to this insulting article from The Register. It calls the FSF "freetards" (right in the headline) and our reader mailed us the following screenshot from the article to show how they are being daemonised where Microsoft is glorified.

Black helicoptors and Visual Studio



Here is a better article about the FSF's action:

Richard Stallman and the Free Software Federation have issued a call to arms for the free software movement to mobilise against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) currently being negotiated.

In an extended posting on the FSF web site Stallman [pictured] called on people around the world to sign a declaration calling for severe limits on the powers being proposed in ACTA, or better yet the scrapping of the entire treaty currently being hammered out by politicians and industry.

“Those politicians serve the big music and movie companies,” he wrote.


The Inquirer says that the "Free Software Foundation calls for ACTA fight"

In a statement, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) said that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) treaty is designed to attack the rights of computer users in some 40-odd countries.

"ACTA threatens, in a disguised way, to punish Internet users with disconnection if they are accused of sharing, and requires countries to prohibit software that can break DRM," the FSF statement said.


The FSF clearly fights for people's rights. So why the hostility from those whose rights the FSF is defending? It's rather absurd.

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