Strategy (was Re: Improving copyright)

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at
Mon May 17 10:26:05 UTC 2004

Hash: SHA1

On 16 May 2004 at 20:22, Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:

> I agree that what is important are the ideals of Free Software, but
> what you're saying is stick the ideals on the freezer and just show
> free appliations that work on non-free software.

No, that's running free software on a non-free operating system. It's 
quite a different matter the other way round.

> That's not the purpose of Free Software, you're not getting the
> ideals, I'm afraid.

Y'see, I'd say that's exactly what "the movement" is doing right now. 
It is obvious to anyone that some day all common bits of software 
will be communal. However the strategy, which this thread is about, 
will determine when that day arrives.

I think how we're doing things now will cause a petering out of 
growth. I don't see the market being able to support more than 15-20% 
free software boxes. That leave 80-85% of the market for MS to 
continue to exploit to the detriment of all mankind.

> You're promoting freedom wearing shackles.

As they're noticing in Iraq, you don't spread democracy by going in 
and stamping it on people who don't understand it. Instead you plant 
the seeds and it's the people themselves who generate their own 

To draw an analogy, free software has founded its own democracy but 
is separated by great distance from the rest of the world. The rest 
of the world looks at us and is impressed but feel far too uncertain 
to follow. Thus the repressive dictatorships continue unabashed.

If we really want to maximise the spread of this ideology (as we 
should for the good of mankind), we need to plant seeds. Setting an 
example is not enough - we need something others can take hold of and 
make their own revolution. That means not requiring them to install a 
new operating system - as BeOS, Nextstep and countless others have 
found, it must have hardware & software compatibility for people to 
feel safe enough to try it out. Hence cloning Windows! :)


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