3rd Fellowship Raffle to attract more Fellows

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at gnu.org
Thu Mar 15 14:17:06 UTC 2007

   > In my opinion? No.  It would not.  The end result is the same, FSFE is
   > distributing non-free softawre to people, and asking them to pay to
   > get this non-free software.

   The process is a high chance that there is more freedom in the end.
   Compromises like this - take proprietary stuff to liberate it -
   have been made by GNU hackers and FSF before, e.g. running on
   proprietary operating system when the other have been unpractical.

The process is that there is a random chance of more freedom at the
end.  You simply have no clue if these people will be able to liberate
these devices.  You have no knowledge about these developers are
capable of.  People have suggested several ways that the FSFE could do
better instead of having a raffle that gives out non-free software to
people, my personal favourite is that the FSFE gives it to the first
person(s) to liberate the device in question, and on top of that, you
should give them a life time membership in the FSFE.  _That_ would
make it a high chance of more freedom in the end, but not by
distributing things randomly, and on top of that asking people to pay
for it.

   > While this makes things it a bit better, it still does not make
   > it right.  What would happen if nobody does replace the non-free
   > software on these devices?

   Then it is likely that it was too hard.  We cannot be sure that it
   can be done, until somebody has done it.  Writing a report about
   this, will be quite an effort. If this person has demonstrated the
   technical abilities the time of the report will be worth more money
   then the device itself.

So since it was too hard, then it is OK to distribute such devices?

   > Does the person(s) send it back to the FSFE?  Do they keep it?
   > Do they get a refund?

   They keep it and do not get a refund, because of the time spend
   trying to liberate it and writing the report. Also it might be that
   they later get better ideas and progress with the liberation.

And distribute non-free software to people?  I'm really questioning
what the heck is wrong with the FSFE, are you really only looking for
money to fund non-free software or are you trying to spread freedom?

   > This opens up alot more problem than it solves, and probobly alot
   > more work on FSFE's side that could be spent doing something more
   > useful.

   It is just a proposal for doing something useful with the devices.
   Sending them back will also not be good, as the necessary public
   reasoning will be quite a lot of work and negative one as well.

Distributing the device will do even less good: The FSFE ends up
supporting non-free software and distributing devices that contain
non-free software to Fellows.

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