press release critique

Marc Eberhard m.a.eberhard at
Thu May 3 07:51:36 UTC 2001


On Wed, May 02, 2001 at 09:26:12PM +0200, josX wrote:
> Maybe we can make the FSFE more european by being more confrontational
> (in philosophy) and less capitalistic, USA is the land of the capitalists,
> we should not outdo them there I think.

... if you think, the USA are the land of capitalists, visit good old
England! This is where the idea of capitalism was born and this is where and
why Karl Marx wrote his ideas of a better world. And if you live in this
country for a while, you will understand why it happened in the UK and not
somewhere else in Europe. Needless to say, that most people here have never
heard of Free Software. Though this is slowly changing, the UK is and will
be a challenge for Free Software and the FSFE in the future. That's why it
is especially important to form a chapter UK as soon as possible.

> I add too, and on top of that: "freedom as in speach and as in beer".

The statement "free as in speech, not as in beer" doesn't imply, that you
have to pay money for software or for support. It is just to emphasize the
point, that free is ment in a certain sense. Free can mean a right or a
price. The only point in that statement is to make clear, that the "right of
freedom" is ment, not "getting it for no cost".

The aim is to protect this right. This means, that you can choose to offer
software and support completely free of charge. But it is also OK, if you
choose to offer the software under the GPL, but charge a company for
implementing a special feature for them into the code (which is still
available for zero price under the GPL). The goal is to have a huge base of
high quality source code, that can be exchanged and modified without any
restriction other than keeping it in this legal state. That's the idea. And
yes, we all would like to see a better world, where we can do what we want
and where we don't have to pay for the beer at the pub around the corner.
But that's not how the world works, at least not at the moment.


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