press release critique

Eneko Lacunza enlar at
Thu May 3 21:34:55 UTC 2001

Hello Lutz!

 >>  1. We (meaning the FSF and FSF Europe) very deliberately speak of
 >>     Free Software in the "freedom, not free beer" way. We would
 >> speak    of "Free Software as in freedom AND free beer" otherwise.
 > With this you say that you (meaning the FSF and FSF Europe) don't care
 > about the commercial world and that you have no intention to make any
 > statement that touches the political implementations of Free Software
 > in an the realm of economics.

    Well, AFAIK the previous statement is allways used to show people the 
real meaning of the word free; outside that context we could derive your 
argument, but I don't think anybody in the free software movement is unaware
of the economic impact it has.

 > Of course you can restrict yourself to this postition but you should
 > accept that others try to take this postition and try to develop new
 > and more political thoughts based on it and the idea of Free Software.

    I think that you're right in some way, but look at GPL carefully: as it 
gives people the freedom to make money with GPL'd software, it protects 
people "against" it as well, because any pre-existing GPL'd software can be 
provided or downloaded for free, if anyone is willing to, as anyone has the 
freedom to copy and/or modify it.

 >>  2. One of the freedoms that is very important is the freedom to
 >> make    a living off good work. Personally I believe Free Software
 >> is good    work.
 > 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.

    Of course, we could talk about social structures, capitalism, comunism 
and all other flavors lot of time... but, I don't think free software has 
anything to do with it. A capitalist system can be free, and a comunist 
system can be non-free; as they can be the other way.

    IMHO, the fact is that currently most people has to live from his work, 
and programming free software is as good as any other profession. Do you 
have you car repaired for free? Can you travel around the world fo free? No.
Why? Because all people that are helping you in those matters, need to live.
And in today days, the "compensation" for that "help", the help a programmer
gives his contractor when developing a free software the contractor *needs*,
is money.

    Maybe one day we'll go back to good/work "swithching" (sorry; don't know
the exact english word for spanish 'trueque'); or maybe someone will invent 
a better system; but I think free software we'll be as good as now it is.

 >> As Pim van Riezen stated quite correctly: the central goal of Free
 >> Software is freedom, not money. But there is nothing bad or
 >> unethical about making money with Free Software.
 > That's your postition which of course can be questioned. Since you
 > don't question the goal of making money you of course can't ask any
 > ethical questions about the status of Free Software concering
 > commerce.

    Making money is making your live go on, at least today. Changing that 
system, if you'd like to do so, is not a matter of freedom, and is something
free software doesn't try to do.

    Anyway, free software is changing big corporations slowly...


Eneko Lacunza
Enlar/RgBa : Where all begins


enlar at

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