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Re: Should we take steps to reduce russian access to Free Software?

From: Thomas Lord
Subject: Re: Should we take steps to reduce russian access to Free Software?
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 16:48:13 -0800
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/1.3.17

Setting aside the legal restrictions imposed on speech by the
free software foundation, who would decide what the FSF view
of particular armed conflicts between nations should be?
Who would be alienated?  Who would be in reactionary
opposition to the statement?

Similarly for a project.  Typically, a software project
is itself the work of many hands and typically it is
mostly made up of code written by many other projects.
Who gets to speak in this way for "the software" produced
as end-product by a project?

In the specific case, are you sure you want to say the
Russian Army shouldn't use free software?  Do you know
well enough how they might be using it to decide if it
is increasing violence or helping to reduce or resist it?
Is the army a monolith on such questions?

It's one thing to say that a circumstance is bad and that
everyone should do what they can to end violence and harm.
Another thing entirely to advocate for something as
distantly connected to what we know of what software systems
are in play and how.

Lastly, I would think we'd want free software to be thriving
in Russian and every society because that gives *users* greater
freedom to do what they think is best.  If all humans at least
on average tend towards non-violence and international
solidarity, my best is on as much access to free software
as possible, everywhere.


On 2022-02-25 07:32, Aaron Wolf wrote:
Oh ABSOLUTELY, 100% support your suggestion!

There is NO conflict between software freedom and making political statements!

It is perfectly sensible for anyone, including FSF or individual
projects or developers, to make a strong public statement condemning
acts of war and stating explicitly that we do not support the use of
our software by the Russian military, even though their use is legal.

I think it makes complete sense for anyone who makes free software or
any other resources to go ahead and make political statements. It's
still free software if it includes a note saying "I don't want anyone
to use this in support of war or violence" or any similar sort of
political statement. It's not a license, it's not discrimination
through legal power, it's just a message on a human level.

Acknowledging that we don't have the power to stop the use of software
and don't support discriminatory licensing, we are still totally free
to make statements and requests about the use of software!

In solidarity,

On 2022-02-25 04:15, Devin Ulibarri wrote:

Jean Louis:
Overall do not forget Freedom 0 -- all people are free to use software
as they wish.

Yes, and I take it somewhat as a given that most people subscribed to
the list already know this, and its implications.

That being said, the economic sanctions affect distribution of
membership cards and shop items to Russia -- as they would for any other
US organization at this time.


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