3rd Fellowship Raffle to attract more Fellows

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at gnu.org
Wed Mar 14 14:37:55 UTC 2007

    ams> It is _very_ different, a notebook works without non-free
    ams> software.  These devices do not.

   Exactly. You explained very well why the situations are different.

   Notebooks now work with Free Software after people got them while
   Free Software was not running on them and made Free Software run.

   Embedded devices are behind in terms of freedom compared to

And yet the FSF, nor anyone else who cared about freedom distributed
laptops with non-free software to people in the vauge hope that
someone might write a free replacement.  The FSF wasn't distributing
Flash to developers when Gnash was started, nor was the FSF
distributing Sun Java to developers when there was no free Java.

It is beyond bewildering why the FSFE is doing this, and trying to
justify these actions.

    ams> That is exactly what people are being told right now with the
    ams> FSFE distributing this device to fellows.

   Getting your hands on hardware that you want to run Free Software
   on, even if you have to buy these devices, is the only practical
   way to get Free Software to run on them.

More excuses, Georg.  The probobaility that someone knoweldgeble
enough to write this missing pieces will win the raffle is about as
probable as me getting hit by a meteorite.  I might understand this
whole thing _if_ the FSFE was activley looking for one or two people
too actually work on this, but this is just a publicity stunt, that
ends up distributing non-free software to random people.

    ams> But giving them away you are indeed recommending them, a
    ams> message stating that you are not does not change the fact.

   What you state as fact is an allegation based on disregard of
   stated intention. But intention is central for recommendations, and
   the recommendation here is very clearly and expressedly that these
   devices should *not* be seen as devices that are good enough.

The FSFE is still distributing them to people!  How is this not
recommending them?  It doesn't matter how clearly, and expressdely you
state that it is not `good enough'.  This is exactly why Debian is not
a recommended system by the GNU project, Debian claims the exact same
thing you are claiming right now: But we aren't really distributing
things, we are only providing them.

   So what you may have meant to say is that FSFE is setting a bad
   example if it passes on hardware to people who want to set it free.

No, since the FSFE is not attempting to making these devices work with
free software.  The FSFE is simply distributing non-free software to
people.  It doesn't matter how many times you repeat that you are
"really" trying to get people to write a free replacement.

That you, as the president of the FSFE, have completely lost the goal
of what free software tries to work for is what is the most
frightening part of this.

Please, end the raffle, and reevaluate all the things you are going to
give as prizes; enough people have complained that it should be quite
clear that people feel that there is something wrong with the FSFE
distributing non-free software.

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