Objective of IFSO Re: [Fsfe-ie] stuff from the past week [adelaney at cs.may.ie]

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at nedprod.com
Sat Nov 1 18:35:41 CET 2003

On 31 Oct 2003 at 10:40, Aidan Delaney wrote:

> > I don't like "free software" much either because I don't think
> > software should be free in money terms.
> Free Software does not explicitly state any economic model.  You are 
> free to use Free Software within the economic model of your choice.

Oh yes it does! When people see the word "free", they think "lacking 
in monetary cost". That is a trick of the English language - and 
everyone can bang on ad nauseum about free as in beer and free as in 
speech, but it's totally a storm in a teacup best solved by no longer 
using "free" in the title.

EXCEPT that this misinterpretation is actually PR by some elements of 
the free software community. They WANT businesses and people to think 
it's free in monetary terms even though most of the cost of software 
is in support and maintanence - but something which costs nothing 
initially is psychologically more attractive than something which 
does. Which is why shops price things with .99 rather than a round 
value and there's "buy now pay later" schemes.

Now that's dishonest, manipulative and IMHO unethical. Of course, 
we're up against even less ethical people, but what I consider to be 
free software is just as much free of ALL exploitative practice - 
including lying to users.

> > Ideally I'd like a term reflecting that the /use/ of software must be
> > as free as possible whilst maintaining a viable & sustainable revenue
> > model. How about we maintain the 1500 year tradition of Ireland
> > improving on the status quo by being a little bit better and use
> > "fair use" software? This term I believe most accurately describes
> > what we all agree upon.
> I think Free Software describes what you want to describe without 
> explicitly mentioning an economic model. 

We can choose to be like all the others or else set a higher, more 
inclusive standard. I view the GPL as fundamentally immoral as a 
Microsoft license, the term "free software" as unethical and "open 
source" as too unspecific and thus liable for hijacking.


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