Kari Pahula kari at sammakko.yok.utu.fi
Mon Nov 27 14:39:21 UTC 2000

I wish to voice my opinion...

I'm a mathematics student (no, a programmer really, just don't tell
anybody I said that) from Finland, with a keen interest in free
software and the state of things in general.

On Mon, Nov 27, 2000 at 12:02:13PM +0200, Georg C. F. Greve wrote:
>  || On Sun, 26 Nov 2000 18:00:22 +0000
>  || "Lord [INSERT NAME HERE]" <lordylordy at mad.scientist.com> wrote: 
>  l> I was also wondering exactly what we'll be doing- will we engage
>  l> in direct political lobbying, for example?
> This can be answered with a clear *yes*. In fact it is one of the
> prime tasks for the FSF Europe as we see it.

When I met the FSF first time, it was about a guy, who was unhappy
with not being able to share with others, what he perceived as a right
thing to do.  So, he decided to do something about it.  Did he go to
protest to Washington DC?  Most certainly not...

The work of the politicians is to serve people only in rhetoric.  They
react to any change demanded by the grassroots, but seek also to
control them for their and their supporters' vested interests.

Now that free software as a movement and an economic factor is strong,
you may try to deal with politicians all you wish.  You may even gain
some reforms and avoid the worst from happening.  But for the long
term I'd just ditch em'.  I haven't seen much need for them so far,
why would that change all of sudden?  The politicians may have power
to decide what goes where and what policies are adopted, but the
people actually living down here have the final say.

I'd like to see things continue as they have so far.  Let free
software spread subversively as it has so far, and if there's some
government policy somewhere as an obstacle, convince the grassroots to
decide, not the government.  Government is all about control, just as
proprietary software.

Ironically, that's one of the reasons why free software gains
considerable support from governments in Europe.  They perceive to
have more control with uncontrollable free software than with US
controlled proprietary software.  But, contrary to what some open
source types might think, software by itself is not magic.  If nobody
cares about free software, they'll just outlaw it or work around it
(embedded systems anyone?) and proceed with controlling things.  But I

Ok, just my random thougths.  I'll watch with interest where FSFE will
go.  Just because something has a "FSF" in its name doesn't mean it
does any good.

More information about the Discussion mailing list