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Re: A GNU “social contract”?


From: Dmitry Alexandrov
Subject: Re: A GNU “social contract”?
Date: Sat, 02 Nov 2019 23:13:57 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Andreas Enge <address@hidden> wrote:
> Proposal of a “GNU Social Contract”
>
> This document states the core commitments of the GNU Project to the broader 
> free software community.  All current GNU Project members have agreed to 
> uphold these values.

In other words, you suggest to tighten the screws even more than 
@address@hidden (his ‘contract’ concerns only maintainers), do you?

Iʼm deeply afraid, you have to choose one of that and “GNU welcomes 
contributors” below.

> The purpose of the GNU Project is to provide software and systems that 
> respect users' freedoms.
>
> * GNU respects users' freedoms

> All software written by us is distributed under copyleft licenses, designed 
> to ensure that developers cannot strip off users' freedom from GNU software.

Iʼd like to remind, that promoting a copyleft from a just a tool applied 
strategically to a unyielding principle would be in contrary to the effective 
recommendations published on gnu.org [1].

[1] https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-recommendations.en.html#libraries

> Besides upholding the four essential freedoms, we pay attention and respond 
> to new threats to users' freedom as they arise, such as services as a 
> software substitute (SaaSS), use of non-free scripts on web pages, mass 
> surveillance, digital restrictions management (DRM), etc.

Yet again, only the surveillance is _besides_ four computing freedoms.  SaaSS 
is bad exactly because it effectively provides none of them, while DRM and 
nonfree webapps are just nonfree programs.

> * GNU welcomes contributions from all and everyone
>
> We want to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to our efforts on any 
> of the many tasks that require work.  We welcome all contributors…

Many GNU subprojects value ‘recordkeeping’ (per Prof. Moglen [2]) and 
‘protection for FSF’ (per @address@hidden [3]) more than giving anyone an 
opportunity to contribute.   Are you calling for change in priorities?   If 
yes, I would appreciate it, if you name few concrete steps.

[2] https://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-assign.html
[3] <address@hidden>

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