press release critique

Marc Eberhard m.a.eberhard at
Thu May 3 12:53:59 UTC 2001

Hi Jos!

On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 12:13:20PM +0200, josX wrote:
[... lots of interesting points to think about skipped...]
> My proposal for the "organaization" of the FSF(E)/free(dom) software:
> 1. There will be no decisions, there will only be personal initiative.
> 2. There will be no concentration of power, there will only be personal action.
> 3. There will be no official style or logo, there will only be available
>    certain beautifull things to use or not use according personal preference
>    if someone takes the initiative to make them.

I do see one serious problem with this approach. The current political
systems work in a way, that you need some sort of organized lobby. You will
not be recognised as an individual. That means, you cannot change something.
The idea behind the FSF and the FSFE is to provide exactly this kind of
lobby as far as I understand it.

> structures that some seem to want to erect around that which is by nature
> an anarchy. A working thriving anarchy I must say!!!!

Well, it will remain like that. People will write and contribute software,
if they want to. They will do this without accepting any deadline or
pressure. That's not the point. The organisation is needed to explain this
to those, who are not part of it. Especially people, bodies and companies
that influence decisions and laws in Europe.

> What would happen with communications with the press?
> The press can simply go to some projects and ask the people themselves
> instead of going to the ""official director of the core-team Europe".

Talk with someone working for the press. They would never do that. They are
already flooded with enough press statements every day, that they just
choose from what they get. This is usually more than they can handle before
the next news. So it is your job to send something to them, if you want to
get recognised. Otherwise you will be ignored. That's why we need the FSFE
to _actively_ promote free software.

> So, I would claim that the FSF-E is not representing and cannot represent
> the free(dom) software movement, especially because it is a anarchy-based
> movement. Therefore it cannot say this or that about free-software without

The FSFE should not represent free software, it should promote it. That's a
different thing.

> Do I want a revolution? Shure I do, but I am only one voice, and I don't

That's exactly the point: You are only one voice. The same is true for all
of us here. That's why we try to gather in some way to become something,
that is not just one unheard voice. We try to build something, that is
recognized and heard. And that's why we need the FSFE.

> to head anything (but myself). About leaving people in the rain that
> want to work within free-software and make money: you may note I said it
> is fine, it only should not be /actively/ encouraged, only made possible
> so it does not contaminate free-software. This can then be seen as a
> gradual step towards total freeness, or not, time will tell. I am not
> against that, I only think an organization as the FSF(E) should not
> /actively/ get involved with it, it should limit itself to setting borders
> around it so we are not destroyed by it.

I agree with you. The FSFE should be very careful with comments regarding
commercialisation of free software. It should clearly express, that the main
issue is free software. If it is necessary to attract money with it to
create more free software, that's OK. But not more. I think, this is a very
crucial point for many authors of free software. A statement like "We want
people to make as much money as possible of free software" should always be
commented in a way, that this is only ment as a method of creating more good
and free software. Maybe that's an important message to the core team of the
FSFE. I would advise to avoid such statements altogether. It's too easy to
understand it in the wrong way.

> with this post. Converting people is always a bad thing, making people
> think and see other options not, and I want to do the latter only, not the
> former.

Yes, that's definitely the right approach.


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