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Re: Free Software Logo -> Where does FSF go?

From: Matt Ivie
Subject: Re: Free Software Logo -> Where does FSF go?
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2020 08:52:41 -0600

On Fri, 2020-10-30 at 10:14 +0100, al3xu5 / dotcommon wrote:
> Thu, 29 Oct 2020 09:26:17 -0700 - Aaron Wolf <>:
> > [...] The FSF is not opposed
> > to legal enforcement of trademarks and copyrights (copylefts in
> > this
> > case).
> Sorry but I am very amazed to hear this statement.
> I believed that the ethical spirit that originated GNU and GPL
> (copyleft),
> and that is the basis of the FSF, was exactly that of opposing
> trademarks,
> copyrights and patents. 
> I believed that the primary objective of the FSF and copyleft should
> be on
> the social level, at the service of the freedom of persons, of the
> community, of justice and equality; and not on the technical, legal
> or
> economic one. 
> I have been an FSF member for many years. Perhaps the FSF has been
> changing for some time. Or maybe I'm the one who doesn't understand.
> Maybe
> I never understood. 
> However, if things are really like this (and it seems to me more and
> more
> that they are or that they are becoming) I don't think I will renew
> my
> membership beyond that.
> But I really hope the FSF makes it clear that this is not the case,
> in
> words and above all in deeds.
> Regards
> al3xu5
I wouldn't look at this negatively. Because copyright does exist, the
hack that was used to make it advantageous for Free Software was to
write a license that uses copyright itself to guarantee freedoms to the
user. If copyright didn't exist at all the GPL and other Free Software
licenses would mean very little. If nobody ever did enforcement then
there would be people using Free Software and not following the license
to share it back. This has happened and out of the work of people
enforcing the licenses legally we have software projects born out of
the source code that was finally released.

In terms of trademark, there are valid reasons to defend rights there
too. For one there are people and companies with malicious intent that
might try to use an FSF trademark to make the FSF look bad. If you
don't protect that trademark what is to stop them? How would it look if
every company that wanted to sell more computers just slapped an FSF
logo on the box to attract users of Free Software? You'd buy the
machine thinking the FSF endorsed it only to get it home and find out
it is running spyware and malware as the OS and the FSF logo meant

As for patents, and someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but the FSF
and many other people don't support ePatents. The patent system itself
can be good, but should never be used to patent software or math of any
kind. That is currently happening and I don't think you'd ever hear the
FSF in favor of that. The upside to regular patents on physical devices
and processes is that they do expire. They were designed to be limited
as copyright originally was and patents have stayed that way.

Before you write off FSF membership, I'd encourage you to collect some
more information. Perhaps reach out the the FSF for a better
understanding on their stance on these issues. There is a lot of
literature from the FSF and from Richard Stallman regarding these
issues as well. Of course there are many knowledgeable people on this
list too.

> _______________________________________________
> libreplanet-discuss mailing list
"Under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family."
        --Bruce Lee

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