Giving proprietary devices to hackers fo liberation (was: 3rd Fellowship Raffle to attract more Fellows)

Bernhard Reiter reiter at
Thu Mar 15 14:40:27 UTC 2007

On Thursday 15 March 2007 15:17, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
> 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.  

Your answer does not fit the threat of the discussion anymore.
I was discussing your opinion about 
not doing a raffle but have developers apply with provisions 
that they will do work to free those devices.

>    > 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?

> 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?

> 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.

I am getting the impression that you suggest that we treat fellows or hackers
that we would distribute devices to as children. 
Those proprietary devices are out there and hard hacking work is one way to 
help freeing them. If someone approaches us with: I am capable, commiting to
a public report and willing to put in the time, here are my references! 
Why should we not appreciate this person's efforts a little by giving 
them one of those proprietary devices? 
Most of FSFE's fellows do not need hand-holding about what is Free Software
and what is not, they are quite educated and can make their ethic choices
by themself. If they would have said: No - we abstain from registering, 
because we believe there is no chance to use those devices to progress
freedom, that would have been a clear statement - but guess - this is not what 
has happened. A lot of qualified people registered.

Yes, we do mention Nokia or Trolltech in the process 
which have done things we do not like, but they have also done some steps 
in the direction we like. So criticing them with for the bad things
and giving them recognition for the good things they do
seem to be the right way for me.

FSFE -- Coordinator Germany                                   (
Your donation makes our work possible:
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the Discussion mailing list