On philosophy, hierarchy of orgs, definitions, and the logo

MJ Ray markj at cloaked.freeserve.co.uk
Tue Jan 2 22:13:04 UTC 2001

Jonas Oberg <jonas at gnu.org> writes:
> If at some point it is appropriate to widen the goals of the
> Free Software Foundation, I would be most happy to support this,
> but that's a discussion that is best taken with RMS and others in
> the FSF. The FSFE must try to follow the same founding principles
> as the FSF. 

Isn't that really for the FSFE to decide?  And hopefully, that
decision will be taken by Georg and the others after consultation,
rather than decreed by "RMS and others in the FSF".  If there is to be
no room to tailor the campaign to our circumstances, why bother with
the sister organisation?

> Personally, I think that expanding the area that we
> focus on is premature and that there exists other organisations
> that are more efficient and more suitable to deal with them at
> this time.

Fundamentally, I agree, but I think Europe is a different environment
to North America at the moment.  The USA has bodies such as the EFF
defending other aspects of Freedom, while Europe has largely depended
on ad hoc single-issue groups like STAND (UK group against our
nonsensical anti-crypto laws).  How much FSFE should be involved in
defending other digital liberties is an interesting question, but the
primary concern should be software, like the name says.

> As I said earlier though, we should definitely support such activities,
> and the FSF makes a point out of linking and in other ways supporting
> free music, free books and everything else where the freedom associated
> with it is similar in philosophy to that of the freedom of software which
> we advocate.

How can one support other activities to defend freedoms in a field
where there are no such activities?  Should one try to act as a
catalyst for their formation in those fields too?


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