E L Tonkin py7elt at bath.ac.uk
Wed May 9 17:33:28 UTC 2001

You're quite right; the T-shirt thing is a pure sideline, and rather
off-topic for this list. If it's ok with everybody, I'll take it off this
list, maybe somebody would kindly put together some sort of list for
requests, suggestions and so on; the commercial side of things doesn't
need to be entirely on the discussion list. However, I will volunteer to
get the T-shirt thing fixed if people want this. Who's in Official Control
of FSFE commercial sidelines, and could they fix a separate list from

Otherwise, I'd rather see a bunch of annoyed answers leading to a six-week
thread war, than I would a sort of stunned silence... Or have we
elsewhere, previously, discussed the points that came up? 

Stuff like

* what /are/ the short-term aims of the fsfe? Establishing GPL for each
country, first? Then what?

* What about long-term aims?

* Is the FSFE structure good enough? What's wrong with it? What do we need
to fix? What about the sub-FSF chapters? Do geeks really fit into a
hierarchy? (hint: no) 

* Policy on finances, financial gain, industry freebies... 

* Exact structure of the FSFE, granted that those in power have absolute
authority. How 'reachable' an organisation should the FSFE be? What do you
do if you have this Great Idea you want to put before them? The FSFE need
to listen, or they'll end up out of touch...

* What about your average idiot, who thinks Windows is complicated? I am
sorry to say it, but we've been working on it for several years and we
STILL don't have a version of GNU/Linux that installs and /does stuff/
painlessly. Is that an FSF(E) problem? Do we care about Software For Your
Average Idiot? or do we tell them to go hang?... or do we grit our teeth,
take a copy of The Inmates Are Running The Asylum, and work out what they
/do/ need?

* Directing software development. IMHO the things that GNU/Linux currently
needs ought to be defined, decided upon, and integrated into Debian or
whatever. No doubt Debian think this too, and are busy doing it. Is this
at all a FSF(E) problem? 

* What about community? Does the FSFE have interest in getting into
establishing any LUG-style initiatives? 

* If the free software community, what about trade union stuff, people
being forced to sign NDAs then getting hobbled by them in their free
software work? What about working out reasonable NDAs in the spirit of the
GPL? (NDA==Non Disclosure Agreement)

* How about tracking evil DMCA-style laws in each country? That's an FSFE
issue. Who does it? What do you do if you want to contribute info?

* To repeat myself once more, what about the whole damn woman issue? (And
/be/ political, people, would you? This is a discussion list. If you
think it's all a non-issue, say so)

* What about stuff like legal defence, patents, all that? Does the
FSFE get into all that? How much?

* How about stuff like DVD regionality, and blah? Would the FSFE consider
working out which countries having region-free DVD is legal in, to be part
of their job? True, it's hardware, but it's ABOUT the freedom of
individuals, and DeCSS is about software. I consider this to be a place
that /somebody/ has to work in, if the word 'free' is to continue having

I noticed earlier that somebody has a .sig file asking what they'll do
when their child asks them where they were when freedom of speech was
taken away from the Internet. Well, that day is more or less here. Idiot
companies are verging on the side of total corporate paranoia, attempting
control of every media file out there. True, they won't stop the
determined, but... 

And there are things we can do. On all issues that threaten free software.
Logos, believe me, are neither here nor there. And there's lots of things
people can do, today, to help, and we're all sitting here discussing
logos, when we should be ripping the legal throat out of immoral
industry initiatives and Saving The World From The Evil Software
Industry... (emphasis added)

All rather confusing, really


// OLDSIG "All bad art is the result of good intentions." - Oscar Wilde 

/* START NEWSIG */ Processor: (n.) a device for converting sense to
nonsense at the speed of electricity, or (rarely) the reverse.  - Tonkin's
First Computer Dictionary

On Wed, 9 May 2001, josX wrote:

> How conveniant this `T-shirt' initiative pops-up on the list,
> just when we talking about what really matters.
> What an interesting coinsidence!
> oh, no, sorry.... I just got a little distracted from goals and target,
> sorry, blinders keep falling off.... 
> Jos
> -- 
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