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Re: The General Public Licence (GPL) as the basic governance tool

From: Ruben Safir
Subject: Re: The General Public Licence (GPL) as the basic governance tool
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2020 11:26:43 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 01:55:02PM +0100, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
> Hi Christophe,
> Christophe Poncy <> skribis:
> > Simple user here.
> >
> > On 2/16/20 20:28 PM, Jan Nieuwenhuizen wrote:
> >> Of course it is a personal choice for every one of us whether or not to
> >> uphold these basic GNU values.  I know that GNU maintainers are not
> >> required to adhere or uphold even any free software values and I must
> >> say that was pretty shocked when I learnt that, but it makes me happy to
> >> be able to make this commitment of freedom towards our users.
> >
> > FWIW: I do NOT need it. We have the GPL to protect that freedom. Please,
> > don't take users hostage. This anti-social contract could make us lose
> > it. Let’s call a cat a cat. It's a tool for you, not for us. Anyway, it
> > misses the point of free software, his glory, and all that it embraces.
> > It could help to produce better software by establishing the social
> > domination of programmers, but in a world governed by code, we have to
> > focus on the GPL. [1]
> As a GNU user, you may not know it but GNU maintainers do not currently
> agree to uphold the free software values that we care about; they merely
> agree to more specific GNU policies.

And that is how it should be.  It is also true about end users of the
software in all respects
:coders, people who run the software, and maintainers

Everyone has equal opportunity to use GNU software under the terms of
the GPL.  As usually, you pretend that you represent all the GNU
maintainers, and you don't.  iBut even if you did, it wouldn't matter.
You are qualified or vetted to be of the group of individuals with the
qualities needed to make global leadership and political decisions for
GNU.  Furthermore, GNU flatly refuses to make your proposed restrictions 
prerequisites for being a GNU user, even when that users is a maintainer.

The GPL, which was thrashed about by great minds for years, like
Stallman, and Moglin, are the only binding contracts between GNU and the
public.  What your proposing is a farce.

> The Social Contract is a way for interested GNU maintainers to state
> their will to uphold these core values.  As we wrote before:

No that is another misrepresentation.  Your social contract is an
attempt to force GNU users to accept terms for interacting and
contributing to the GNU project that you approve of,  and that are 
not required or request by GNU leadership.  In addition, you are adding
restriction to users who use GNU software which add additional burden
to coders and maintainers and people use just run the code.  You are
essentially changing the entire terms of GNU's mission and additionally
make it subject to the trends and whims of the core maintainers, people 
who are completely unqualified to make these decisions, exposing
the entire project to be kidnapped by a few interested parties at the
expense of the public at large.

>   The goal of the GNU Social Contract is to state the core values GNU
>   maintainers who have endorsed it are committed to uphold.  It is both
>   an agreement among us, GNU contributors, and a pledge to the broader
>   free software community.

No, that is yet another fallacy.  The goal of the social contract is to
rest control of the GNU project from its responsible leadership to a
bunch of unvetted and unqualified coders who are trying to set
themselves up a leaders of GNU based on there own self-created criteria.

Like the opensource movement, you toss about the terms "open" and do an
end run around the term freedom.

GNU is a freedom fighting organization that used copyleft GPL licenses
to assure political and cultural freedom.  It doesn't make social

> You are right that the software license gives you, the user, a guarantee
> that the four freedoms apply.  But there’s more to a project like GNU
> than its licenses: 

No there really isn't, unless you mean that we continually discuss,
lobby and promote the Four Freedoms. 

This is what WE at GNU do.

Your contribution to that cause is not nearly important as you think.
You have, as a maintainer, a very small roll to fill in a larger
machine.  You just right code and for that we appreciate your
contribution.  But as you continue to reach for this power grab, your
usefulness to GNU is greatly diminished.

> there’s the people who make it and their vision for
> the project.  I think it’s good to have a shared vision among the makers
> of GNU, and a well-defined relation between them and their users.
> I hope this sheds some light on the rationale!

The rational is that you thing GNU is a fun toy and you want to steal
it.  For that, you should be banned.

> Thanks,
> Ludo’.

So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998 

DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002 - Leadership Development in Free Software - Unpublished Archive - coins! 

Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and extermination camps, 
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013

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