Of hypocrisy and the FSF (Libervis)
Posted Dec 6, 2006 22:13 UTC (Wed) by drag
In reply to: Of hypocrisy and the FSF (Libervis)
Parent article: Of hypocrisy and the FSF (Libervis)
Ya no shit.
Sure the guy isn't very good at getting points across sometimes, but RMS isn't saying what the OP thinks he is saying.
It's not evil to use Free software. There is no goal to make all software Free in the FSF's defination or anything like that.
Take firefox for instance:
Firefox is obviously free software.
So it's perfectly fine and ok to distribute firefox..
But the problem from RMS/FSF's point of view is that:
A. The binaries you download from Mozilla.org contain a tiny amount of propriatory software. (I don't know if they fixed that by now)
B. It encourages the use of propriatory software.
So what happens is that you go to a flash site, for instance, Firefox will prompt you to download propriatory software to deal with it. It'll tell you should use the propriatory software, it will download it and it will install it on your machine.
So you have free software actively encouraging users and aiding them to take their freedom away.
Of course for us it's easy to say 'no thank you', but a naive person will probably misunderstand this and still think they are running Free software, if they care about that sort of thing.
So it's the same thing with Debian and non-free. You have a free software operating system that actively encourages it's users to install propriatory software and aids in it.
At least it's not as bad as Ubuntu, which claims that it's free software, but then installs many megs of propriatory software by default.
That is why they don't recommend stuff like that to users.
Look at this way.
Say you have a webcam your trying to install on Linux. It requires that you have to be knowledgable about patching kernels and you have to modify the c code a bit to get it to compile properly and then you have to write some system scripts to setup the special device file with correct permissions which gets launched by Udebv.
Now it works ok and all that, but are you going to recommend that peice of hardware to normal people?
NO, of course not. There are other devices that would work much easier.
Is it then hypocritical for you to continue to use that webcam even though you can't feel that you can recommend it to others?
So we both know of course not, that would be retarded.
So it's the same thing with FSF and RMS. Their goal is to encourage the use and development of Free software. So they can't realy recommend any OS that promotes the use and development of propriatory software.
It's unethical from their viewpoint to promote such things. It's not unethical to use it, it's still Free software.. But you have to be carefull and knowlegable about the licenses and such when your using it.
Also you notice that FSF and such have changed licenses and worked with people and have done things that made it easier for people to use Free software for specific situations even if it made it easier to use propriatory software.
This is a hell of a lot better then some orginizations like Apache which are much much more inflexible with it's licensing requirements.
I am not saying RMS is god or that he is perfect or anything. I am just saying that if your going to accuse him or FSF of being hypocrites then you need to find something that they are actually guitly of instead of just making up bullshit that sounds good if you don't think about it to hard.
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