press release critique

Lutz Horn lh at
Thu May 3 18:48:30 UTC 2001

Hi Josef,

On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 10:57:13AM +0200, Josef Dalcolmo wrote:
> 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.

Why do you think this is the case? We have the means to provide
everybody with a comfortable and enjoyable life which is, yes, free of
danger. We only put ourselves under so called unavoidable conditions,
which force us to compete, to use our neighbour only as a tool for our
own ends. The risks and dangers which according to you form the basis of
freedom are not natural.

> 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.

And again we argue about the meaning of the word freedom. Clearly there
are diffrent ways of using it and that the both of us use it in
different ways.

> 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.

Actualy I downloaded the ISO image of Debian 2.2r2 using my employes
leased line. So it cost me, but of course not my employe, zero $$. But
of course that's not the difference between the Debian Project and
commercial Linux distributors. I could easily have downloaded the Red
Hat ISO image instead of the Debian one. Why didn't I do this? Because
the Debian project is the work of people work for their own enjoyment,
to reach their very personal goals of building a free GNU/Linux
distribution. The goals of Red Hat or SuSE or all the other commercial
distributors is different. They want to make money out of GNU/Linux. If
they can make more money out of it by paying some hackers, fine. But if
they couldn't, they wouldn't.

> 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 freedom.

We shouldn't force anything. But we should discuss things under
political, economical, and, yes, moral aspects, too.

> - Josef

Lutz Horn <lh at>
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