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Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Ubuntu !free

From: Dave Crossland
Subject: Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Ubuntu !free
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 21:04:08 +0100

2008/5/21 MJ Ray <address@hidden>:
> Noah Slater <address@hidden> wrote: [...]
>> Religion's are a very familiar example of entire systems of society built on
>> moral absolutes, which is probably why a lot of Free Software supporters have
>> these charges leveled against them.
> Only some religions are built on moral absolutes.  See
> http://www.religioustolerance.org/abs_true.htm

Thanks for reminding us, I wouldn't have noted this.

> Using religion as a metaphor for some Free Software supporters often
> insults both.  Then again, I've met Free Software supporters who
> really are religious about it...

Are you referring to Saints in the Church of Emacs? :-)

>> [...] As a young intelligent white male I feel your perspective of the job
>> market might, possibly, be a _little_ skewed. ;)
> Please play the ball, not the man.

Yes please :-)

>> > Joining a picket is unlikely to change things; quitting and starting a
>> > company to provide free software that meets banks' needs is more
>> > likely.
>> Why does it matter what software a bank uses in-house? As it is not 
>> distributed
>> the Four Freedoms do not apply to this. IIRC, Stallman explicitly stated 
>> this in
>> his talk in Manchester last Month.
> Network effects.  The bank's crap software works better with other
> software from the same supplier, so it encourages the bank's customers
> to abandon their freedom.  Slightly surprised Stallman stated that.

I can't speak for Richard, but I understood him to mean that software
which is used "invisibly" within a company - as in, that which
interacts with customers without requiring them to submit bitstreams,
like a cash machine - is not an issue for the customers, but for the
bank. The bank is the user of the software running its ATMs, so the
software ought to be free software _for the bank_ - if customers can't
inspect the source code of their ATMs, this is okay, because they are
not the users of the software. If the bank requires its customers to
use proprietary software on their computers, that's a totally
different situation, and one I imagine Richard would criticise


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