GPL really free was Re: [Fsfe-ie] 1-page (Even the subject is unwieldy)

David Golden david at
Mon Sep 29 06:32:26 CEST 2003

On Mon 29 Sep 2003 00:35, Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> Ok, this debate has gone off the rails.  The length and
> content is unwieldy to most people.

I grow weary of the thread myself, and it has probably long since served its 
purpose in exploring where Niall's views (despite his repeated presentation 
of them as absolute truths ;-)) may be at odds with a sensible direction for 
an FSF list.   I have to actually get back to real work - in my view, the 
best way to overcome proprietary software is to drown it in a deluge of 
high-quality and  (tee hee) innovative free software as soon as possible. 

I will make this observation before I shut up (I will not continue
this thread off-list):

> Oh but we're not hiding it. These discussions merely go on behind
> closed doors where the enemy(TM) have difficulty getting to it.

Thinking in terms of "the enemy" is not really very useful. Free software is 
pretty inclusive.  Even Microsoft is welcome to play if they abide by the 
rules.   Talking behind closed doors will cause suspicion, and may even make 
enemies out of the previously indifferent.  You can defend against espionage 
and infiltration attempts by openness and accountability.  A spy can't make 
off with damaging-if-revealed secrets if you have none, and an infiltrator 
can be bound by accountability to either do the right thing or immediately 
reveal himself.

>  He who controls information creates the potential for power. Therefore 
>  putting this stuff in public is counter-productive in the current climate.

Not at all counter-productive, if you're out to empower the public rather than 
seeking to become the next tyrant.

More information about the FSFE-IE mailing list