05.07.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Matthias Kirschner (et al) Should Not Have Taken Microsoft Money, as Per the Agreement With the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FSF, Microsoft at 12:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

15 years ago this was unthinkable; and Microsoft has not changed (except its entryism strategy)

FSFE Donors in 2005
People and firms that supported FSFE a year after the current President had joined

Summary: The corrosive impact of Microsoft money and why the FSFE wasn’t supposed to take it; supporting members would likely disapprove because Microsoft stands for the very things they sought to put an end to

WE RECENTLY wrote about the problematic payment from Microsoft to Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), which was founded 19 years ago, 5 years before the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC). The FSF-Relationship-Framework (2005) document is shown below, as it appeared sort of publicly on the Free Software Fellowship‘s mailing list.

To quote: “These things will never be done by any FSF: [...] Formally ally itself with an organization or person that develops or distributes non-free software or non-free software documentation.”

“The biggest fact is the memorandum,” told us a reader, “which has never been published.”

The reader saw it in the above mailing list. “Notice it is not a legal document,” the reader said, and “it doesn’t have the usual clauses that would allow FSF to terminate the agreement and protect their trademark. Maybe FSF was just naive, we can’t be sure. This document seriously dilutes the value of the FSF brand.”

“Months after SFC took money from Microsoft the SFC’s Web site called for the resignation/removal of RMS.”As we noted before, after RMS was ‘ousted’ (from the FSF’s Board, which he left after pressure) the FSF 'lifted its kimono' like the Linux Foundation had done, hoping to attract sponsors for LibrePlanet, which was eventually canceled due to the pandemic and became just a webstream (like many other cancelled events, still in denial about their cancellation in order to save face, calling webstreams “virtual events” or something ridiculous along those lines).

“Unfortunately,” our reader concludes, “anybody holding this document could go and create an FSF today.”

And then take money from Microsoft…

Marked in/as bold below is one of several relevant bits:

$Id: FSF-Relationship-Framework.txt 2221 2005-09-02 08:21:16Z greve $

Written by Lisa M. Goldstein, opus@gnu.org,
and Richard M. Stallman, rms@gnu.org

    A Relationship Framework for FSFs.

This a draft framework for the relationship between the FSF sister
organizations in various parts of the world.  It says which activities
are to be carried out which FSFs, either individually or working
together.

FSF-NA refers to the original Free Software Foundation with
headquarters in Boston.  A "major FSF" refers to an FSF that covers a
region which is a whole continent or contains a large fraction of the
population of the continent it is in.  The hope is that the number of
major FSFs will be limited.

A. The following activities will be carried out initially by the
FSF-NA after consultation with the other FSFs.  We intend, in the
future, after we have gained experience working together, to develop a
system wherein these decisions are approved jointly by a specific list
of several major FSFs.

1. Set policy regarding free software licenses, including
   the criteria for free software, the development of licenses,
   and the criteria for choosing the license to use for a program.

2. Define official positions on major new circumstances, such as new
   technologies, new legal issues, etc, which globally impact the Free
   Software movement or our licenses, and publish position papers to
   state these positions.

3. Make major changes in the management of the GNU Project.

4. Approve translations of licenses into languages other than English.
   (Translation of licenses requires special care and we will have to
   approach this cautiously.)

5. Decide whether an organization qualifies as an FSF.

B. The following activities will be carried out by one particular FSF
initially, and may be extended to individual other major FSFs if need
arises:

1. FSF-NA: Certify as a service to businesses that products comply
   with the GPL.

2. FSF-NA: Be the official copyright holder on GNU software and manuals
   (when the developers do not keep the copyright).

3. FSF-NA: Hold the primary copies of the copyright assignments
   themselves.

4. FSF-Europe: Manage and operate the GNU Business Network.

C. The following activities are to be carried out by every FSF:

1. Encourage the development of globally-useful free software
   packages.

2. Develop new free software and manuals, and adapt existing free
   software and manuals, to meet its region's special cultural and
   linguistic needs.

3. Following the overall policy set as in A, create and issue
   official positions for local events and new local laws that may
   have impact on the Free Software movement or its licenses.

4. Translate FSF position papers into local languages.

5. Advocate FSF official positions developed in A to national and
   local governments.

5a. Study possible local threats to software freedom and possible
   countermeasures.

6. Recruit more volunteers for the GNU Project and
   other free software projects.

7. Raise funds to spend on free software development and other
   free software activities.

8. Sell copies of free (as in freedom) software, free manuals, and
   other products to raise funds to pay for local staff and local
   events.  FSFs will resell their products to each other at cost for
   redistribution in other countries by sister groups.

9. Develop media relations to create awareness of the FSF and Free
   Software positions and events.

10. Advise free software developers on licensing matters
    and technical questions.

11. Enforce and defend the GPL and its sister licenses internationally
    for software that it holds copyright on.

12. Assist, in its region, efforts by other FSFs to enforce and defend
    the GPL and its sister licenses for the software they hold the
    copyright on.

13. When asked to, hold duplicate copies of copyright
    assignments and other legal papers for other FSFs.

14. Maintain a speaker's bureau.

15. Develop free (as in freedom) class materials for training and
    education in use of GNU and other free software.

16. Raise awareness of the unethical and antisocial nature
    of non-free software.

17. Assist other organizations in upholding the GPL
    and other activities that benefit the free software cause.

18. Encourage general cooperation with the GNU Project.

19. Send information about its main projects to the other FSFs.

19a. Keep its board of directors in contact with the boards of
     other FSFs, and keep its executives in contact with the
     executives of other FSFs.

20. Cooperate generally with all other FSFs.

D. These things will never be done by any FSF:

1. Distribute or develop non-free software or non-free software
   documentation.

2. Promote or encourage the use of any non-free program or non-free
   software documentation.

3. Formally ally itself with an organization or person that develops
   or distributes non-free software or non-free software
   documentation.
   
   

If FSFE is willing to take money from Microsoft — as SFC did last year and this year (in effect selling Microsoft a keynote speech in a conference about something Microsoft viciously attacks) — who next? What next? Days ago they spoke about their accomplishment in Munich. Will they still ‘disparage’ Microsoft (sponsor) by speaking about what Microsoft did to GNU/Linux in Munich? Months after SFC took money from Microsoft the SFC’s Web site called for the resignation/removal of RMS. Guess what the FSFE said in its press release when RMS stepped down (and before).

Imagine giving a portion of your salary for several years to support the same FSFE (or SFC) that treats the very founder of Free software like that. While taking money from Microsoft…

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  2. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day



  3. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  4. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  5. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  8. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  9. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”



  10. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)



  11. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub



  12. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022



  14. Peak Code — Part II: Lost Source

    "Debian and Mozilla played along. They were made “Yeoman Freeholders” in return for rewriting their charters to “work closely with the new Ministry in the interests of all stakeholders” – or some-such vacuous spout… because no one remembers… after that it started."



  15. Links 22/1/2022: Ubuntu MATE 21.10 for GPD Pocket 3, MINISFORUM Preloads GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  16. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)



  17. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."



  18. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022



  20. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects



  21. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices



  22. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU



  23. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day



  24. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems



  25. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022



  27. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  29. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  30. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication


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