about free software

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at fsfe.org
Tue Aug 23 14:38:46 UTC 2005

Rui Miguel Seabra <rms at 1407.org> writes:
> On Mon, 2005-08-22 at 02:52 +0200, Markus wrote:
> > 1. "Why does i need this freedoms?

> Maybe answer with:
>  1. "Why do you need Free Speech?

Or "you benefit from freedom of the press without being a journalist"

> > 3. This is the economy argument. That there is some kind of software who
> > just no one write in the spare time. Either because there is not much
> > personal need for it or because if you don't work in this special area you
> > don't know what exactly is needed. The argument is that for this kind of
> > software you need a company who write it and it's cheaper for the particular
> > customer if the company uses a non-free license and distribute  the costs on
> > all costumers than one customer have to order a "special-development" and
> > have to pay the whole development costs.
> Why, that's easy. Why not paying developers to create that Free Software
> into existence?

I don't think that addresses the problem.  The economic argument is about
the situation when there's no capable free software and it's financially
cheaper to buy a license for proprietary software instead of paying for a
free software replacement to be written.

The cost can be eased by sharing the cost with others that want the
software.  But that mightn't be enough for some.

I think the way to answer this is to explain the value of being able to help
yourself and the value to software users of being able to cooperate with
eachother.  Some people are not very receptive to this, but unfortunately
for them they will probably learn this lesson later on when there's a bug
they can't fix, or a price increase, or a change in file formats, or
spyware, or adware, or their wishlist feature is never implemented, or the
product is discontinued, or a combination of the above.

CiarĂ¡n O'Riordan,                               |  Support FSFE's work against
http://www.compsoc.com/~coriordan/              | software patents by becoming
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