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Re: Turning GNU into a bottom-up organization

From: Colby Russell
Subject: Re: Turning GNU into a bottom-up organization
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 20:55:02 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.8.0

A few months ago, I wrote a post about how sufficient free software /
the four freedoms are.

On 10/22/19 1:08 PM, DJ Delorie wrote:
>> It has already its constitution in GNU manifesto and other articles of
>> free software philosophy as written by Dr. Richard M. Stallman.
> Can we distill this down to a minimum set?  Would the Four Freedoms
> alone act as a "constitution", as everything else is based on those
> anyway?

The case I sketched out in "Free software is not enough"
asks that you consider the case of bona fide spyware that turns out to
be released by its author under GPLv3.  It therefore guarantees your
ability to exercise the four freedoms, but does it actually *respect*
the user's freedoms (or respect the user at all)?

I later reread "Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software"
<> and
saw that the subject was already broached in the section "Powerful,
Reliable Software Can Be Bad".  RMS writes:

  This software might be open source and use the open source development
  model, but it won't be free software

If that's the case, then it has to be true that the four freedoms are
necessary but not sufficient to say that a piece of software is free

> I do not agree that human rights - as its own topic - belongs here,
> except insofar as they directly relate to exercising the Four Freedoms.
> "Because software" can be an excuse to add anything to our goals, but we
> must remain focused on our core - the Four Freedoms.

I think that that strays into some related but new territory covered by

- Ethical Design <>
- Seven Laws of Sane Personal Computing <>

(Note that the latter is actually even more stringent, making GNU/FSF
seem lax by comparison, and all on purely technical grounds; not even a
machine that runs libreboot at power on to boot directly into GNU Emacs
on a linux-libre kernel would satisfy the principles laid out in the
Loper OS charter.)

Colby Russell

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