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[Access-activists] Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: [Access-activists] Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 14:32:21 -0400

    I have tremendous respect for what RMS and so many on the list have 
    achieved. Our  effectiveness however depends on achieving a balance 
    between energy spent on our "vision" and on how to get there from here.

The only way to get there is to follow a road which leads there.
Acceptance of nonfree software is a road that never reaches the goal
of freedom.  It leads somewhere else instead.  So we reject it here.

In the long term, no software task inherently requires nonfree
software.  In the short term, there are proprietary programs that do
things that free software currently cannot do.  There is no dispute
about this fact.  The question is what conclusions to draw from it.

To draw the conclusion that we should grant legitimacy to those
proprietary programs tends to lead to more use and more development of
proprietary programs.  It may seem convenient in the short term, but
in the long term it perpetuates the problem.  It does this both
directly and indirectly: directly by encouraging the use of specific
nonfree programs, and indirectly by pouring water on the fire of our
movement to eliminate them.

Thus we must steel ourselves to refuse the sort of short-term
"compassion" that makes injustice and dependence worse.  Work carried
out under GNU auspices must be consistent with our principles.

Improving Orca is an example of work that supports freedom while
advancing access techmology.  That is the sort of work we can endorse.

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