What's so important about the ethics of free software?

Charles Cossé ccosse at gmail.com
Mon Dec 19 21:12:43 UTC 2016

Dear Jonas,

Hello, and thank you for your thoughtful replies.  When I refer to "unjust"
etc., one recent place that I am taking my info from the RMS video that I
watched, carefully, which is posted towards the end of J.B.'s blog
<https://digitalcitizen.info/>.  In that video he says "... other software
puts the user under somebody else's unjust power".  But I've seen numerous
references in FSF documentation, at least, suggesting moral imperatives.

I understand (at least now) the separation between FSF and FSFE, but I
assumed that RMS's own words would be a common denominator.

I noticed in your previous reply that you seemed reluctant to play the
"ethical / moral" card, yourself, in some situations.   My point is that
the moral/ethical argument is used (at least by RMS) as a cornerstone for
the whole doctrine, i.e. _all_ situations.  Actually, my original point was
merely that Uber doesn't even care about their own drivers.  But it's been
interesting to debate this ethics business, and I do prefer your personal
position in the last paragraph of your previous post, which sounds much
less rigid and more inclusive.  And I'm essentially asking whether it
wouldn't be better if FSF(E) doctrines were more like the personal opinion
you offered.

Best regards,

On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 1:32 PM, Jonas Oberg <jonas at fsfe.org> wrote:

> Hi Charles, J.B.;
> > If you are going to quote me then please quote the relevant context,
> which
> > was:
> I will agree with Charles here. J.B., I believe you misread Charles'
> intention. Alternatively, you mean to say that only through the
> acts of sharing, and modifying a program, can you learn how it works.
> > According to FSF(E) doctrine, however, I am "unjust" and "immoral".
> I would kindly ask you here, Charles, from refraining from lumping
> the FSF and FSFE together: while working towards the same goal (free
> software), we are distinctly different: organisationally, personally,
> financially, and otherwise. Our opinions often overlap, but not always.
> If you find wording which would support your view that the FSFE would
> consider this "unjust" or "immoral" on the FSFE website, I would like
> to know them.
> --
> Jonas Öberg, Executive Director
> Free Software Foundation Europe | jonas at fsfe.org
> Your support enables our work (fsfe.org/join)


Linkedin <https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-cosse> | E-Learning
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