Explaining the value of software freedom (was: Re: The fellowship meeting in Italy)

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at fsfe.org
Fri Sep 29 14:22:00 UTC 2006

"Shane M. Coughlan" <shane at shaneland.co.uk> writes:
> It does affect every phone, computer, car and television on the planet.

When using this argument, we have to be ready when the person responds: "but
my phone works fine, so does my TV, car, and often my computer".

We need to highlight the differences in software developed by a community
and software developed by a company.  I think.  But we also have to be
careful not to fall into open source style arguments about collaborative
development making better software.

Free software is sometimes limited, but the limits are not there because
they have to be there to support a company's business model or contracts or
business relationships.  Any limitations in our software are due to an
honest lack of resources and those limitations can be fixed as soon as the
resources are available.

(My digital camera won't let me record audio without also recording video,
 so my gigabyte of memory can only record 47 minutes of audio.  This causes
 frustration, which could be fixed if users of that camera were free to
 modify the software.  The next technology purchase I made was a digital
 music player.  I made sure it could run the Rockbox GPL'd firmware.)

CiarĂ¡n O'Riordan __________________ \ http://fsfeurope.org/projects/gplv3
http://ciaran.compsoc.com/ _________ \  GPLv3 and other work supported by
http://fsfe.org/fellows/ciaran/weblog \   Fellowship: http://www.fsfe.org

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