Forcing students to use nonfree network services and software as a topic of a future campaign

Nico Rikken nico.rikken at
Fri Nov 29 22:02:39 UTC 2019

On Sun, 2019-11-24 at 18:25 +0200, Demetris Karayiannis wrote:
> Hi Nico,
> thanks for reading
> > Personally I believe we already have so many different topics to
> > focus
> > on (governmental policies, PMPC, Open Standards, Router freedom,
> > DRM
> > exemptions, eduction, etc.) and so I like to align my efforts with
> > the
> > FSFE campaigns to have a greater impact. Doing a few things right,
> > rather than a lot of things badly. But of course you are free to
> > initiate an effort yourself.
> Yes, that is more than fair enough. I was already aware of that, and
> in 
> my original email I extended the proposal to readers of the list
> working 
> on the issue beyond their FSFE affiliation.
> Even with the idea for a campaign set aside, I'm looking forward to 
> reading more people's takes on the topic.

Thanks for clarifying.
I certainly support the cause. There are multiple arguments to be made:

Privacy: schools migrating their infrastructure to cloud SaaS
companies, with questionable licenses.

Independence: what good is it learning skills if you learn them on
proprietary software. Sure it might an industry standard (e.g. Adobe
Creative suite), but your skills now depend partly on the policy of the
software vendor.

Reuse: educational institutions should help education. And having
material that can be shared freely, advances education as a whole.

Improvement: students can actively contribute to learning materials, to
improve it for next generations of students.

> > From your writing I get the impression that this was an incident
> > uncommon at your institution.
> It was probably unwise to make so much of my email about this
> specific 
> instance.
> It was one of the least problematic examples of forced use of 
> proprietary software
> in academia. But it was the incident that sparked the idea, that's
> why I 
> brought it up.

Alright, than that troubled your message. But thanks for clarifying
your intent.

Kind regards,

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