Re: “Gno” and “Gyes” campaigns - About positive Free Software campaigning

Kostas Boukouvalas boukouvalas at
Wed Jun 23 20:25:43 UTC 2010

On 23 June 2010 22:34, MJ Ray <mjr at> wrote:
> Matt Lee wrote:
>> On 06/23/10 10:58, Matthias Kirschner wrote:
>> >   “Gno” and “Gyes” campaigns - About positive Free Software campaigning
>> >
>> >
>> > We always try to do positive campaigning. Do we achive that? I am
>> > intersted in your opinion.
>> DRM and Windows 7 are attacks on user freedom, like software patents and
>> proprietary file formats. It's not a negative thing to talk about these
>> problems, and these campaigns are positive steps against a negative,
>> designed to hopefully cancel it out.
> To answer the first question, FSFe is *much* more positive and I think
> that it's probably the influence of the rank and file which encourages
> that, but thanks to FSFE's workers for acting on it.
> In general, I feel it is a negative thing to talk about these problems...
> but that's no bad thing, *as long as* we give people help with direct
> positive actions that they can do to address them.  Does FSF do that?
> For example Windows 7: my recent first encounter with it is described at
> with a link to but I found that site little help
> myself.  Maybe I'm thick, but the long essay overwhelmed me and I'm
> not installing Sugar on the netbook of an adult who works in an office.
> What would help most on is:
>  1. obvious links to what you think I should be installing when faced
>    with a Windows 7 machine (I contemplated debian, but installed
>    Ubuntu Netbook Remix in the example, which is imperfect about
>    freedom but infinitely better than Windows 7);
>  2. links to what the current approach(es) to getting a Windows Refund
>    is(/are), in general, not only Amazon;
>  3. more social media than a signup box for an unspecified mailing list.
> I feel that the essay-based approach and purity policy are two of the
> biggest problems seen in FSF campaigns - and I boggle that anyone
> posts that "the absence of similar antifeatures form some of the
> easiest victories for free software".  Features do not sell and
> antifeatures doubly do not sell.  We need to highlight benefits: "One
> of the basics of selling is to sell on benefits rather than features."
> and lots and lots of texts and guides and courses.
> But, however, the page is the usual Stallmanesque expressions-of-
> opinions-cannot-be-improved verbatim/No Derivatives/non-free rubbish
> "Gno you can't" licensing, with no links to its source code or
> authors, so I wrote up my experiences, which I know have helped a few
> people, and then gave up on the FSF site.
> Until now.  Would FSF open to the crowd, please?
> Turn the "Gno you can't" into a "Gyes we can"?  It's not like it's
> shown as the expressed opinion of any one author in particular!

I think that attacks on (computer users) freedom are the non ethical
(or say ground) state. Yes, positive campaigning is always good, *but*
its very important to react when some people have already done so much
positive work on a subject and wake up one day and see that they are

We cannot - or we should not - reinvent the wheel every time we are
threatened. What if tomorrow Oracle decides to stop OpenOffice from
being free software? We' ll say, "wel, its ok, lets write another
OpenOffice from scratch?". I don't think so.

Basically I believe that this is the very meaning of all the Free
Software effort. That there *was*, in late 1970s, computer freedom,
there *was* free exchange of programs and files between hackers, but
one day this freedom was threatened and the hole story began.

These are just my thoughts, I'm in to support every "Gno" or "Gyes"
campaign. I don't think that we should compare them.

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