press release critique

josX joshb at
Thu May 3 13:01:40 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.

I see. hmmm. Well, as long as we have to live with these politics, it may
indeed be a good idea to have some org they can relate/speak to, since that
indeed seems the only way they can view things.

> > 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.

Ok, so it will be a self-imposed "task-force" that will take upon it the
actions of forming a `picture' of free(dom) software in a simulated 
org-situation, so politics can be influenced for the better. So it will
seem to be an org from the non-understanding outside, but it will be a
simple group with no power or control inside (since that cannot and must
not exist). If this is going to be it, it is good I guess :-).

> > 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.

Ah, that makes sence. Can we be democratic then pleaze ;-)!!

> > 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.

I sleep better already... 

> > 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.
> Bye, Marc

Alrighty, if that is going to be /it/, I'm for it. And `money' and 
power-concentrations are so dangerous they simply should not exist 
What about heavy democratization....... we don't need no power-structere
do we!, we are all self-motivated etc. why should we need things like
`core' teams and such stuff, and "lower"-orgs in countries. We are grown-up
enough to have a totally flat structure, not?!

And we don't have to differ anything from FSF in my opinion, that will
only weaken us. We know we can trust RMS for example, we should not
do away with such a "help" structure already good in place. There seems
to be LOTS and LOTS of discussions goin on within for instance Debian
and Gnu, almost to the point they are "discussion-based". I think we can
be "action-based". Want an Logo? start designing! want a website? start
writing html! Want a standard-press focal-point? start gathering views
from within the "movement", and try to present them honestly, and in a
way the local-press can relato to (may differ from country-to-country and
from medium-to-medium). That is a lot of work, but if you are for instance
only on you own, just start with the local etc. That would be more usefull
than setting up all kinds of orgs and a mother-org and all that drag.
Want influence politics? sent pamflettes, print T-shirts and sell them...

Action-based, not discussion-based. What about it!
The only discussion-item needed would be "we don't need a power-structure
to control us", and "if you think that is needed, get to it".

Would shure free up a lot of energy if you ask me :). Logo? take your
pick for that T-shirt/web-page/letter-head/*, we got several of them!
Influence politics?
yeah, here are some prints you can put on T-shirts and sell at the
mall/*... make shure you choose high-quality shirts, we don't people getting
the wrong ideas...

And about talking to the press: I have my doubts about the effectiveness
of that. What are they going to report. T-shirts and free cd to schools
is going to do a hell of a lot more if you ask me!


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