Defining Free Software Business

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at
Tue Jun 27 09:42:22 UTC 2006

You're a prolific writer! :-)

   > Since these companies will be listed as GBN friendly companies
   > (with a little sign saying something about their "status"), you
   > tell users that these companies are OK.  When

   I dispute this claim. The "status" is the TYPE of "ok", not every
   user has the same standard of ok-ness; (the significance of this
   will be made clear)

Right, but in this case it is the GBN that says what is listed or not.
And not the user.

   You are providing MORE information to the users instead of saying
   "trust your holy masters"

Sometimes providing more information will cause the user to use
non-free software.  This is why one of the policies for GNU projects
is not to mention non-free software at all in manuals, unless they are
well known.

   >  infact, they are not, since they recommend/develop non-free
   > software.  What is the point to classify businesses that do
   > something that is not acceptable?
   So that
   1) people can see WHAT it is they do that is not acceptable
   2) what sort of behaviours are ideal.

One can do both by simply speaking of it in general terms.  I do not
see a need to make a `black list' of evil companies.  The GBN could
simply state that companies that do this and that are not ideal
without the need to list each specific company that does something
less than ideal.

   I'm suggesting that FSF goodness in its pure form cannot be
   appreciated by most people. I suggest this as a plain fact; I
   suggest we help people to choose the FSF goodness that they CAN
   appreciate and understand; the religious principle here being "line
   upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little", or
   in other words don't damn people for not having finished their
   education already.

I agree with you, but we disagree on the means how we should spread
the word.  I think the difference boils down to:

- Show a list of evils.
- Speak of the evils.

You wish to do the first, I wish to do the later.  I think the first
is far to prone to misabuse and misrepresentation that it can be used
as something to further the evils that one wishes to abolish.


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