Could there be a law to protect the free choice of operating system?

Vicen Rodriguez Vicen_Rodriguez at
Mon Mar 4 23:47:12 UTC 2013

Hello Alessandro,

First of all, thanks a lot for your complete and detailed answer.

> btw: why only the EU?

It is a start point. I'm in Europe and this is a FSF Europe list. If it
works for EU, maybe it could be adopted in other regions.

> Likewise, while I understand not everyone can replace the engine, I'd
> love to buy a car without wheels and without a battery, so I can
> install the ones that best match my needs and use pattern.
> Back to the software/hardware split, I would love to buy a cell phone
> without software and put the one of my choice, and the same applies
> to the music player, the TV set, the dishwasher, the microwave oven
> and the espresso machine.

Maybe those are similar cases. Despite it, I prefer to start for laptops
and OS.

> While I sympathise, reality is exactly the other way round. The
> profit, the companies and the holy "marketplace" are the most
> important things out there.

Maybe companies and marketplace seem to be considered sometimes most
important than citizens' freedom and rights. We should work to fix that,
at least regarding software. 

> So, the right path to attack the problem you describe is requesting a
> split of the contract.


> Thus, if we use the proprietary vendor's efforts in promoting wider
> knowledge of their "intellectual property", and we help them in
> reminding their users to not "pirate" that crap to friends, then we
> may have some (little) chance of suceeding.  We can request rules to
> split out the *sell* from the *license* in monetary exchanges for
> computing devices, in order to raise awareness about what is allowed
> and what is not, to help software vendors defending their own rights
> and better protect "intellectual property" overall.
> As a side effect, we'll automatically achieve more awareness about how
> licensing *that* crap is not really mandatory, and there are cheaper
> and sweeter pieces of crap out there, that run on the same hardware.

Maybe I don't understand completely the idea.
Please, correct me if I'm wrong:
- Buying a computer we buy an object and, then, we own it.
- Buying software we buy a license, a right to use the software under
certain conditions.
- If the software manufacturer and/or vendor wants to correctly protect
his product, the license, from a bad use, being able to demonstrate the
buyer has really acquired the rights specified on the license and then
there is an agreement, the software purchase should be differentiated
(split) from the computer purchase (point #1).
- If that happens, it could be easier for some buyers, in a next step,
to decide not to buy the OS license recommended by the computer seller,
but only the computer (point #2).

Is it right?
If yes, it seems roughly the same idea I had and the same conclusion
from a different perspective, with the emphasis in the protection of the
software licenses and not in the rights of the buyers.
Perhaps both views could reinforce each other.

> Unfortunately, and I'll conclude, this technological market is
> disappearing, and we are late as usual. [...], but maybe it would be wasted time because by the time we
> achieve the result that market place would be inexistent already.

If we fight for freedom, we should be prepared for long in coming. If we
do not fight for it, it will never arrive. 

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