Gemini version available ♊︎

Free is Beautiful, Freedom is Paramount

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 8:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Beautiful stone

Summary: Clarification regarding “Software Freedom” and what it practically means; those who demonise the concept are vastly worse, as they conflate monopolies and deregulation with things like “free market” (which has little to do with “Freedom”, it’s about exploitation and obliteration of accountability)

THE widespread concern about “too much freedom” typically conflates freedom with something else. The concept of “Freedom” in the United States has long baffled me. Many equate “Freedom” with things like guns and hateful groups. As if “Freedom” is ridding oneself or excluding one’s group from basic human dignity. Does “Freedom” mean cannibalism? Will “Freedom” mean that babies are free to “have sex” with adults? See, this whole “Freedom” thing can spin out of control…

“They demonise the concept and call proponents of “Software Freedom” some words like “zealots” and “radicals”.”In the context of software, “Freedom” means a particular thing; “Software Freedom” means not the “Freedom” to kill using software but the “Freedom” to use, modify ans share software without restrictions. It’s mostly about abundance and lack of discrimination based on one’s means (financial typically) and personal views. “Freedom” is, in that respect, about removing artificial restrictions that typically serve nobody and protect nobody.

“Freedom” does not need to be associated with gun fanatics or libertarians who reject state taxes. “Freedom” has been getting a bad name because people who want “Freedom” only for themselves (oligarchs who refuse to pay tax and threaten states that they will leave if they don’t get a cheap workforce without labour rights). They demonise the concept and call proponents of “Software Freedom” some words like “zealots” and “radicals”. What is more radical, wanting to share a good computer program with a neighbour or putting in prison people for making a digital copy of something (a victimless ‘crime’)?

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.


  1. Canta said,

    August 25, 2020 at 2:06 pm


    This issue is absolutely key this days.

    > The concept of “Freedom” in the United States has long baffled me.

    Right-wing “freedom” usually means “freedom of enterprise”, or even just plain “free market”. In the USA it also seems to mean something closer to “freedom to do whatever I want”, at least from what I can see on video clips from time to time.

    Thing is, that apropiation of the word freedom is wreaking havoc in political debates all around the world: anyone of us has to explain several times what kind of “freedom” we’re talking about, and that’s just when on the other side there’s someone with the will to listen.

    And also the “whatever I want” side of freedom seems to be growing worldwide too, as one can see with the COVID right-wing claims and behavior. “Freedom” is right now like honey for lunatic bees: take a look at the anti-quarintine and anti-mask movements all around the world, and you’ll have a very sad picture of what kind of people ALSO get attracted with the “freedom” ideal.

    Freedom means many different things in different contexts. And a lot of those things are frankly nasty.

    Of course I concede it’s mostly word twisting and bad faith what causes this. Media has its place in this scenario. But my problem with that is that “freedom” actually allows for that to happen, so we can’t blame anybody but ourselves. Is too ambiguous: it may mean “personal freedom” (instead of a social relation) without any bad faith in the middle.

    As years passes, I’m more close to the idea of rejecting the term. It’s barely useful this days to me. Freedom has its place in my political fights (here in LATAM we have the shadow of military dictatorships all over us, so freedom is no joke), but being honest with myself and my peers what I want is rights for the users, which most likely means several agents in the IT ecosystem will lose freedoms (including users) as regulations will take place. “Rights” is so much less ambiguous, and so much closer with Free Software Movement end goals, that I’m having trouble to keep talking about freedoms instead of rights.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, you did mention in the past this erosion of the term “freedom” in relation to LatAm as well.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 29/05/2023: Snap and PipeWire Plans as Vendor Lock-in

    Links for the day

  2. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: GNU/Linux Pains and More

    Links for the day

  3. Links 29/05/2023: Election in Fedora, Unifont 15.0.04

    Links for the day

  4. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: Rosy Crow 1.1.1 and Smolver 1.2.1 Released

    Links for the day

  5. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 28, 2023

  6. Daniel Stenberg Knows Almost Nothing About Gemini and He's Likely Just Protecting His Turf (HTTP/S)

    The man behind Curl, Daniel Stenberg, criticises Gemini; but it's not clear if he even bothered trying it (except very briefly) or just read some inaccurate, one-sided blurbs about it

  7. Links 29/05/2023: Videos Catchup and Gemini FUD

    Links for the day

  8. Links 28/05/2023: Linux 6.4 RC4 and MX Linux 23 Beta

    Links for the day

  9. Gemini Links 28/05/2023: Itanium Day, GNUnet DHT, and More

    Links for the day

  10. Links 28/05/2023: eGates System Collapses, More High TCO Stories (Microsoft Windows)

    Links for the day

  11. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 27, 2023

  12. No More Twitter, Mastodon, and Diaspora for Tux Machines (Goodbye to Social Control Media)

    People would benefit from mass abandonment of such pseudo-social pseudo-media.

  13. Links 28/05/2023: New Wine and More

    Links for the day

  14. Links 27/05/2023: Plans Made for GNU's 40th Anniversary

    Links for the day

  15. Social Control Media Needs to be Purged and We Need to Convince Others to Quit It Too (to Protect Ourselves as Individuals and as a Society)

    With the Tux Machines anniversary (19 years) just days away we seriously consider abandoning all social control media accounts of that site, including Mastodon and Diaspora; social control networks do far more harm than good and they’ve gotten a lot worse over time

  16. Anonymously Travelling: Still Feasible?

    The short story is that in the UK it's still possible to travel anonymously by bus, tram, and train (even with shades, hat and mask/s on), but how long for? Or how much longer have we got before this too gets banned under the false guise of "protecting us" (or "smart"/"modern")?

  17. With EUIPO in Focus, and Even an EU Kangaroo Tribunal, EPO Corruption (and Cross-Pollination With This EU Agency) Becomes a Major Liability/Risk to the EU

    With the UPC days away (an illegal and unconstitutional kangaroo court system, tied to the European Union in spite of critical deficiencies) it’s curious to see EPO scandals of corruption spilling over to the European Union already

  18. European Patent Office (EPO) Management Not Supported by the EPO's Applicants, So Why Is It Still There?

    This third translation in the batch is an article similar to the prior one, but the text is a bit different (“Patente ohne Wert”)

  19. EPO Applicants Complain That Patent Quality Sank and EPO Management Isn't Listening (Nor Caring)

    SUEPO has just released 3 translations of new articles in German (here is the first of the batch); the following is the second of the three (“Kritik am Europäischen Patentamt – Patente ohne Wert?”)

  20. German Media About Industry Patent Quality Charter (IPQC) and the European Patent Office (EPO)

    SUEPO has just released 3 translations of new articles in German; this is the first of the three (“Industrie kritisiert Europäisches Patentamt”)

  21. Geminispace Continues to Grow Even If (or When) Stéphane Bortzmeyer Stops Measuring Its Growth

    A Gemini crawler called Lupa (Free/libre software) has been used for years by Stéphane Bortzmeyer to study Gemini and report on how the community was evolving, especially from a technical perspective; but his own instance of Lupa has produced no up-to-date results for several weeks

  22. Links 27/05/2023: Goodbyes to Tina Turner

    Links for the day

  23. HMRC: You Can Click and Type to Report Crime, But No Feedback or Reference Number Given

    The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ were reported 7 days ago to HMRC (equivalent to the IRS in the US, more or less); but there has been no visible progress and no tracking reference is given to identify the report

  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, May 26, 2023

  25. One Week After Sirius Open Source Was Reported to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for Tax Fraud: No Response, No Action, Nothing...

    One week ago we reported tax abuses of Sirius ‘Open Source’ to HMRC; we still wait for any actual signs that HMRC is doing anything at all about the matter (Sirius has British government clients, so maybe they’d rather not look into that, in which case HMRC might be reported to the Ombudsman for malpractice)

  26. Links 26/05/2023: Weston 12.0 Highlights and US Debt Limit Panic

    Links for the day

  27. Gemini Links 26/05/2023: New People in Gemini

    Links for the day

  28. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 25, 2023

  29. Links 26/05/2023: Qt 6.5.1 and Subsystems in GNUnet

    Links for the day

  30. Links 25/05/2023: Mesa 23.1.1 and Debian Reunion

    Links for the day

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