3rd Fellowship Raffle to attract more Fellows

Sean DALY sean.daly at wanadoo.fr
Wed Mar 14 00:42:12 UTC 2007

>> It is a terrible way to start

Alfred - where do you suggest we start?

* Lobbying for mandated free software in government-procured hardware?
* Boycotting every company which distributes hardware containing proprietary software?
* Refusing to use any hardware containing nonfree software?
* Raising funds to pay Free Software developers to work on reverse-engineering devices?
* Raising funds to buy hundreds of nonfree gadgets for study by Free developers?
* Creating a startup on the basis of a revolutionary idea: a totally Free GSM phone or PDA?

I believe most companies value the GPL first because it guarantees a level playing field for a superior development methodology, and second because it is the right thing to do. That's the nature of business. Seen in this light, a manufacturer does not operate in a vacuum, but facing competitors. I think great strides could be made if competitors could "disarm" simultaneously. It's what we are slowly but surely seeing throughout the software industry and I feel sure the embedded and gadget industries will follow suit. The near-total absence of Free GSM phones and PDAs is, I think, largely because the manufacturers and their partners the telcos remain better able to make high margins on proprietary gadgets. A successful Free gadget would break the mold, but to be Free, developers need experience. So what's the suggestion?

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