Public Money Public Code: a good policy for FSFE and other non-profits?

Erik Albers eal at
Fri Jun 15 09:21:52 UTC 2018

On 14.06.2018 08:01, Alessandro Rubini wrote:
>> But did no-one see any merit in the idea? Maybe one of the many
>> other, non-Fellow/member/supporter Assembly members might share
>> their thoughts with us.
> I am a member, and I think Max well explained the reasoning. But I see
> one more: we do not need to publish a "hall of shame".  It would
> mostly help internal frictions, or attacks by anybody who wants to
> paint himself as holier than us ("himself": women are usually more
> intelligent than that).

totally agree here. And as a staffer that is also hired for doing a good
outreach I see two problems here:

a) the work-time I need to invest to "[...] maintain a public inventory on the
wiki listing the non-free software and services in use, including details of
which people/teams are using them, the extent to which FSFE depends on them, a
list of any perceived obstacles within FSFE for replacing/abolishing each of
them, and for each of them a link to a community-maintained page or discussion
with more details and alternatives."

I am sorry, but I really think my work time is better invested in promoting
FSFE and Free Software instead of overanalysing every single step or supervise
my colleagues.

b) the negative approach in the proposal aka "hall of shame". I second, it
would mostly help internal frictions and give unnecessary arguments into the
hands of our opponents ("look, even the FSFE is not able to operate without
proprietary software" [link] or "the FSFE is a not reliable in their request
to use Free Software because they do not do this themselves" etc).

If at all, we should maintain a public inventory to list all the Free Software
we are using to run our services, that we self-develop and what we achieve
with them. In contrast to Daniel's proposal, this could help our own
reputation and the reputation of Free Software. And it would show the FSFE to
lead by example (what we actually do).

However, I still fear this list will create internal frictions about the
purity of some software.

So, I propose you trust us that we use Free Software always and that this is
minimum 95%, including our phones, landlines, printers etc.

And then we concentrate on our work not our software in use.


btw: I also cannot follow the argument in Daniel's blog post, that "tax
deductions given to our supporters" means we are supported by public money.
But well, this is another story.

No one shall ever be forced to use non-free software
Erik Albers | Communication & Community Coordinator | FSFE
OpenPGP Key-ID: 0x8639DC81 on

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