[Fsfe-ie] Re: ethical interpretations of FS

Fergal Daly fergal at esatclear.ie
Mon Jan 26 21:52:44 CET 2004

On Monday 26 January 2004 14:34, Ian Clarke wrote:
> Fergal Daly wrote:
> > If Ciaran changes his statement to 
> > 
> > "I believe the philosophy of free software is that you should have access 
> > the source code to the software that *you* run on *your* computer and that
> > you should be able to do all your necessary computing tasks on your own
> > computer."
> > 
> > Then I think you cannot come up with a Christian Aid equivalent,
> You are correct, but I could point out that the second component of that 
> philosophy would preclude use of the Internet (among other things).

It would only preclude the use of non FS services (which was what started this 
discussion) which of course is a large part of the consumer web but it's far 
from the entirety of the net.

Strict FSF free-softwareism is not an easy path, it is not designed for short 
term practicality. The long term goal is the freedom of all software.

> and it most certainly isn't 
> the philosophy of the free software movement.

I'm not sure about it personally but it most certainly _is_ the philosophy of 
the FSF.


It is essential for people to have the freedom to make modifications and use 
them privately, without ever publishing those modifications. However, putting 
the program on a server machine for the public to talk to is hardly "private" 
use, so it would be legitimate to require release of the source code in that 
special case. We are thinking about doing something like this in GPL version 
3, but we don't have precise wording in mind yet.

You could says it's not the philosophy of some parts of the the Open Source 
movement but if you're ever trapped in a lift with RMS you better not say FS 
when you mean OS :-)


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