press release critique

Josef Dalcolmo dalcolmo at
Thu May 3 08:57:13 UTC 2001

lh at said:
> This can be only a derived freedom. First has to come the freedom for
> the individual to live a good and comfortable life free of danger. It
> may be possible to achieve this freedom by means of selling your time
> and power for money. But this does not mean that making money is the
> only or the preferd way to reach this freedom. I'd dare to say that
> there are better ways to reach it and that one is shown by the removal
> of Free Software from the sphere of capitalistic utilization. 

freedom and "free of danger" exclude each other. Freedom means risk. If you 
want safety, you have to give up freedom.

And to state it again: the GPL allows making money off free software, but does 
not force it. This indifference gives you the FREEDOM to charge money, or not, 
and in any case you get the benefit of the software, because anyone is allowed 
to copy it for money, or not.

This gives the widest possible availability of free software.
This allows some people to work on free softare during working hours, not 
This allows companies to be distribute free software for a fee.

How many on this mailing list use Debian? I would bet that many more use 
RedHat, SuSE or another commercial distribution. And even if you use Debian, 
did you get it for free? I for example paid for my Debian distribution (not 
much). I have no problem that the provider makes a couple of $ on the CDs, 
because otherwise I would probably have to pay even more $$ to get a DSL 
connection in order to download the thing in a reasonable time.

If we look at the practical aspects, free software a la GPL seems to work. 
Forcing it to be free as in "free beer" would actually be a restriction, not a 

- Josef

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