RMS interview

Rainer Trusch rainer.trusch at students.uni-mainz.de
Wed Jul 10 00:16:30 UTC 2002

Hi Bernhard,

On Fri, 5 Jul 2002, Bernhard Reiter wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 02, 2002 at 10:03:29PM +0200, Rainer Trusch wrote:
>> On Tue, 25 Jun 2002, Bernhard Reiter wrote:
>> > On Tue, Jun 25, 2002 at 09:38:00PM +0200, Rainer Trusch wrote:

>> >> Another point is the separation from some of the less free
>> >> licenses. Even the beloved yast licence gives you the complete
>> >> control. The problem is the distribution issue.
>> > 
>> > The yast license renders yast to be non-free software.
>> Apart from the general woolliness of the words free or freedom 
>> the yast license gives you a lot more freedom than the 'usual' 
>> proprietary licenses from Redmond&Co and it is lot
>> nearer to a real free license than to the others ones. 
> We could in theory make further differences among the proprietory
> licenses.  I'm just convinced that the criteria we have for Free
> Software which are well explained by the four freedoms are a good to
> draw the line.  The criteria have been discussed quite some time now
> and are consensus by a broad number of experts and organisations.
> There have been attempts to further explain or rephrase these
> criteria like the DFGL or the OSI license definitions.

I don't disagree with the four freedoms and a license like yast
disqualifies a programm for me (apart from a game perhaps ;-) ). At
certain discussion there should space for a bit more differentiation,
which was important for my original point. There are still enough
arguments for free software. Sometimes it is more convincing to
discuss this way with the right selfconscious, than building a lingual
defence wall around it.
>> > The freedom to redistribute the software and use it for any
>> > purpose is crucial. Without it, peer review and further
>> > development is effectively prohibited. Every user profits from
>> > the freedom because they and other developers depend on the
>> > proprietor of the software.
>> Oh, the well known tape is running, but at least you agreed with my
>> main argument, because you didn't give an comment against it. To
>> remind you, I was talking about control and not about freedom. ;-)
> I did talk about control.  Without the actual permission to study
> the inner working of things and publish the results, you cannot
> effectively contol it.  Thus democratic control means to have the
> right processes in place.  Like neighbours studing all new versions
> and the source code of software.  The "four freedoms" ensure that
> the process can be established.

Sorry Bernhard, I don't get the point, even trying hard. The RMS
statement was basically about control over your computer and your
conclusion sounds very abstract. I assume we are discussing about
arguments for others and not to assure people in the list. As I stated
in another mail about the other control arguments, they are good
arguments for free software, but I doubt less technical persons, who
aren't into the free software issue, would identify these arguments as
control or would even think of them without a longer discussion like
we had.

I wan't to stop the control thing, because there are other arguments
as well. Nevertheless the language is quite often very abstract and
intellectual and many people are likely to ask "What do you wan't to
tell me?" or don't listen at all. Free software is going beyond the
freak stadium and language has to to be adepted.

The new booklet of the FSF Europe is a positive example, whiches uses
a clear language. You see, I'm not just complaining :-)



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