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Re: [DotGNU]Revision 4 Philosophy file

From: Peter Minten
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Revision 4 Philosophy file
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 09:14:26 +0200

I've made a few modifications to the previous (4) version, with thanks
to Stephen Compall for some suggestions.

There aren't many real changes in this version, mostly just rewriting
the details, but there is one important thing: the file has double
copyright at the moment. Double copyright can be legally tricky in some
countries so that the copyright stuff may not prove to be stable. The
solution to this would be a single copyright assignment, but there is
the problem that the copyright would have to be assigned to
FreeDevelopers or to the FSF meaning that one of the parties would have
to be left out. That would be a bit unfair in my opinion, but workable.
In this case the copyright would most likely go to the FSF, since
FreeDevelopers doesn't seem to have a legal assignment procedure for
these things (or am I missing something here?). What should be done with
the copyright?


DotGNU philosophy file

Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Copyright (C) 2002 FreeDevelopers.Net.

TODO: Solve double copyright.


Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
of this document, but changing it is not allowed.


This software is Free Software, not Open Source software. The Free Software 
movement is 
idealistic and tries to tackle questions related to freedom, ethics, principle 
improving society. The Open Source movement avoids these questions.

Please note that when this document refers to free it refers to freedom to use, 
modify and distribute, not to freedom of price.

This program is part of the DotGNU project. The goal of the DotGNU project is 
to create 
an 'operating system for the Internet'. DotGNU provides a platform on which web 
applications, so called 'webservices', can run. Microsoft is also working on 
such a 
system called .NET, we believe that the concepts and intentions behind .NET are 
for the user. To prevent Microsoft from gaining yet another monopoly on the 
platform, DotGNU was called into existence.

One of the bad things in .NET is the possibility of what is called vendor 
Vendor lock-in is what happens when a user has been using a resource and wants 
to move to a 
different, competing resource, but the resource provider makes that difficult 
or impossible, 
through 'closed formats', much like how word processor document formats force a 
user to use a 
certain word processor. Without the old webservice, the user cannot access the 
data in its files
and is therefore forced to use that webservice.

DotGNU solves this problem by giving users ownership of their data. When an 
owner of data 
on a webservice want's to move to another webservice, then the webservice 
provider must give 
the user the executable code and in some cases (look in the DotGNU faq for more 
info on this) 
the source code of the webservice.

Another problem we have with .NET is the single-authentication service called 
Microsoft Passport. 
This system lets users store their data on a central server controlled by 
This creates great security threats because a cracker can then crack that 
server and get the 
personal information of millions of people. Also the government of the country 
in which the 
server is located could pass legislation allowing it access to that perhaps 
private data. 
This would allow that country to spy on people. And of course the 
service will be a major monopoly, which is bad for the users.

As an alternative to Passport, DotGNU provides several competing but 
interoperable single-authentication 
systems. Our systems can run on either a remote server under the same 
conditions as webservices 
or it can run on the user's own computer. This will make it harder for 
unauthorized individuals 
or groups to get at confidential personal information.

Please note that DotGNU is not in any way anti-commercial. We are 
anti-oppression, we can't
stand the legal tricks that some commercial firms use to tie the consumer to 
them and to
keep him/her from using the software optimally. 

An example of that is product activation.
If a consumer has bought a box with a certain software product in it, he/she is 
free to install
it on a computer and to upgrade that computer. It isn't correct that the 
consumer has to prove,
after upgrading a certain number of components, that he/she has bought the 
software legally.
Instead common court logic (a suspect is innocent until the opposite has been 
proven) dictates
that the software company must prove that the user has bought the product 
illegally and may not
expect help from the consumer (nobody needs to help in a case against 
himself/herself). Thus
product activation is completely immoral. 

We fight for the rights of users, but we don't fight against commercial 
businesses; we see 
it as everybody's right to benefit financially from the production or 
distribution of software, 
as long as it's fair to both the producer and the consumer.

Though DotGNU is supported by two organizations (GNU and FreeDevelopers) not 
all DotGNU 
developers agree with the principles of these organizations. If you would like 
to find
out more about these organizations, please visit their websites.

 DotGNU homepage:

 GNU homepage:

 FreeDevelopers homepage:


 The differences between Free Software and Open Source: 

 Why we use the term GNU/Linux

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