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my annual complaint

From: Thomas Lord
Subject: my annual complaint
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 15:14:16 -0700

I will not drag this out and do not expect
it to change policy.   I do not mean it to be an
insult to the mentors or students who I hope
will have a wonderful and productive experience
and who I expect are likely to have such an experience.
If you think I'm saying otherwise you misunderstand
what I'm about to say.

On Fri, 2009-04-10 at 16:40 -0500, Karl Berry wrote:
> FYI: According to, the GNU project has
>     been allocated 8 slots.
> Thanks.  I wish they used the announcement list to make announcements.
> 17 -> 8 is about the usual. 

So, roughly speaking, Google who has received
so much advantage from the free software movement
will contribute back about $50,000 in payouts
and their internal expenses and only on the 
condition of definitely getting detailed reports
about the 8 students and on the expectation of
getting a lot of free publicity out of it.  The
quantity of labor spent by mentors, Karl, and students
here, at fair market value, would significantly
exceed $50,000.

The process of running the show as it pertains
to those 8 slots has, we can safely presume, produced
at least a few thousand cases "viral marketing" 
ad impressions upon a highly (almost perfectly) 
targeted audience.  In its business practices Google
remains an enemy of software freedom (though quite
keen on tactical application of "open source" modalities
for driving down labor costs).  It remains an enemy
of freedom, of legitimate uses of copyright law, 
of privacy, and so forth.

GNU is selling out, when they deal with Google
in this manner.

Perhaps next year, coincident with SoC, and to 
avoid the penalty of my annual complaint (and
all the significant weight it carries around here :-) 
the GNU project should announce that it can not,
in good conscience, accept money from Google
under such conditions and that therefore, an 
appeal is made to the general public to make contributions
directly to a fund administered by the FSF for a 
GNU-specific SoC-like program. 

In my opinion, Google is a vendor selling 
"Happy FUN BALL!"
and is not a friend of software freedom.  
Not at that price level, anyway.


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