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Re: A GNU “social contract”?

From: Samuel Thibault
Subject: Re: A GNU “social contract”?
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2020 21:43:25 +0100
User-agent: NeoMutt/20170609 (1.8.3)

Jean Louis, le jeu. 02 janv. 2020 17:12:16 +0100, a ecrit:
> * Mark Wielaard <> [2020-01-02 13:43]:
> > Thanks. Attached is an updated version and a diff with this change and
> > a few other small nitpicks mainly aimed at making the text more
> > concise.
> > 
> > - Put the introduction text in one paragraph.
> > - Add "all" users for which the Four Essential Freedoms should hold.
> To add "all" users is not necessary, as the freedom zero is very clear
> that it is for everybody.
> See: and where it says:
> "The freedom to run the program means the freedom for any kind of
> person or organization to use it on any kind of computer system, for
> any kind of overall job and purpose, without being required to
> communicate about it with the developer or any other specific
> entity. "
> Thus "all" users is not necessary, as that would mean nobody is
> reading the actual freedom, but focus on your "social contract" which
> is not "social" at all.

Just to give an example on why we'd want to emphasize "all".

We have been discussing with RMS on this precise kind of point, about
accessibility. He first said that accessibility was a "desirable
feature", but not a priority, and freedom #0 does provide the right
to run the software, so it was seeming all good already to him, even
if the software happens to be unusable for some people. He said that
making a program available, that unfortunately can't be used by e.g.
blind people, is not hurting them. But that's *precisely* ignoring
that you can't get completely away from social questions: as a program
becomes more and more used by a lot of people, it becomes more and
more mandatory to be able to use it (and not just run it...) in
order to be able to participate to the society, because not being
able to use it makes you excluded from that part of the society. The
UN definition of discrimination does include "denial of reasonable
accommodation". Eventually accessibility was made a priority on
just like internationalization.

I do believe it is important to emphasize "all".


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