Bonum Certa Men Certa

Free Software Groups Aren't Dying; But There Are Assassination Attempts With Corporate Money as the Weapon (Greed as the Collective Weakness)

Free software was never fundamentally about making money or sustaining a business model; it's about dignity, integrity, users' freedom etc.

Money in FOSS not a problem; If you know how to say 'NO!'



Summary: Groups must learn to reject the seduction or the allure of corporate cash; they should decline offers from rich 'donors' or 'sponsors' or 'patrons' (amongst other convenient and whitewashing euphemisms)

THE FSF, based on what we've heard, lost many members. Yes, even after Stallman had left. We already saw some FSF numbers and heard that its campaign to enlist new members is regarded as a failure. It's hard to tell for sure until the IRS filings for 2019 be come available (which can take a long time).



"This money comes with strings attached to it and salaried (by the 'donor') people take over the seats or make decisions by proxy... in exchange for money, always or at least sometimes. "Moments ago we wrote again about the OSI taking Microsoft money, previously we mentioned the FSF taking Red Hat money (while Red Hat celebrates Stallman's removal) and so on and so forth. How about EFF and Google? Days ago we also wrote about OSI misrepresenting its sources of income, omitting all the corporate cash (including a large lump of cash from Microsoft). Well, we'll never accept any corporate money (no matter the amount); we'd rather die as a site -- like Groklaw ~7 years ago -- than become an embarrassment to our legacy and track record.

The FSF isn't dying; diminishing maybe, even for sure (if judged by the type of revenue sources), but it's never too late to save it. We believe that money from patrons kills their mission; when we say "patrons" we mean companies such as Red Hat, i.e. IBM. This money comes with strings attached to it and salaried (by the 'donor') people take over the seats or make decisions by proxy... in exchange for money, always or at least sometimes. This neatly relates to the article Jagadees published the other day (about a "One Dollar-One Vote World").

"Dr. Stallman habitually got 'in trouble' (negative press) because of views expressed by him about corporations and their corrupting influence."Over the past few months Bernie Sanders showed, as he had shown 3-4 years ago, that it's possible to raise a lot of money from a lot of people, not few very affluent individuals and corporations. If the FSF isn't able to do that anymore, maybe there's a trust problem. It needs to work towards restoring that trust instead of accepting corporate donations. We've published many articles to that effect lately. I personally know several people who canceled their membership because of how they perceived what had been done to the FSF's (and GNU's) founder, Richard Stallman. Dr. Stallman habitually got 'in trouble' (negative press) because of views expressed by him about corporations and their corrupting influence. Views like the one below...

“DRM is nearly always the result of a conspiracy of companies to restrict the technology available to the public. Such conspiracy should be a crime, and the executives responsible for it should be sentenced to prison.”

--Richard Stallman



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