Chad Perrin: SOB

3 July 2006

RMS and the FSF: one map, one flashlight, no ass in sight

Filed under: Cognition,Geek,Liberty,Metalog — apotheon @ 11:26

You've gotta love the hypocrisy of some people — or at least hate it with some humor. These guys couldn't find their own asses with a map and a flashlight. Thus the title.

As requoted from Slashdot in an OPEN . . . post entitled RMS on DRM, Richard Stallman said of the difference between Free Software and Open Source Software as approaches to development, "In Free Software, our values are freedom and community. We want to be part of a community of free people."

(By the way, Glyn Moody, in case you see this — I tried to post a response to that post of yours about RMS on DRM, and it didn't display the sekrit code I needed to enter to validate me as a real human being.)

If that's the case, perhaps Richard Stallman should rewrite the GPL so that it doesn't (rather effectively) hinder small, grass-roots, free software development and distribution projects. Perhaps he ought to use his influence to stop the Free Software Foundation from using the clauses already in the GPL as an excuse to bully small free software development and distribution projects with its legal heft. MEPIS wasn't the only distribution targeted: also take note of the threat of legal action looming over other projects such as Kororaa Xgl LiveCD. John Andrews of Damn Small Linux reportedly agrees with the estimation of MEPIS' founder Warren Woodford that a great many small Linux distribution projects are at significant risk, and new projects are considerably less likely to spring up in the evolving legal climate of the "free" software community. After the comical failures of SCO and Microsoft in their attempts to destroy the FLOSS development community, the Free Software Foundation may succeed to a frightening degree, as it holds copyrights to many of the core tools that make up the heart of Linux distributions everywhere.

The hypocrisy demonstrated by Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation's intellectual pressgang approach to "freedom" recently, in addition to these little booby traps in the GPL that have been there all along, frankly sickens me. Perhaps more worrisome is the deafening silence that is the FLOSS community's reaction to the manner in which the FSF has adopted the tactics of Microsoft, the MPAA, and the RIAA (sue your fans).

It's time to start releasing our software under another license. I vote for the Open Works License, of course — but any copyfree license will do in a pinch.

All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License