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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Sale of Libre-Software Artwork

From: Joel Kahn
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Sale of Libre-Software Artwork
Date: Sat, 26 May 2012 13:54:11 -0700 (PDT)

In reply to my comments about connections between software freedom and
artistic freedom, Michał Masłowski wrote:

>Wouldn't it be technically easy to generate the pictures using any
>programming language and already available programs? I think this
>doesn't imply that it needs free software.

If Michal really believes that all graphics-capable programming languages
are equivalent, and that translating programs between them to produce
the same results will always be a "technically easy" task, I'll be glad to
provide him with the source code of one of my BASIC-256 projects and
observe as he attempts to generate similar output in Scratch, VPython,
or ImageMagick. I'm confident that the process should be almost as
educational as it would be entertaining.

But this is not the essential point.

I'm not really talking about the strictly technical capabilities of different
programs in side-by-side comparisons; I think discussions of libre vs.
non-libre software get bogged down in this sort of nonsense far too much.
For artists, as for a lot of other people, it is the *total* environment that
determines the final result.... And that environment involves many different
psychological intangibles apart from narrow quantifiable technical issues.
Using a Libre programming language allowed me to experiment in ways
I would not have pursued if I'd been fighting with some Adobe bloatware.

The Libre context also allowed me to have unrestricted communication
with the program's project leader so we could work on customizing the
software towards my artistic needs. In short, I'm pretty sure I used all of
the Four Freedoms multiple times in the process of developing my works.
And the pictures I made would not have been the same without the Four
Freedoms, if I could have produced the artworks at all.

I hope I'm making my position more clear. If not, let me know.


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