[Fsf-friends] Item-9 in Open Source Definition
raju at linux-delhi.org
Wed Nov 26 09:11:38 IST 2008
On Tuesday 25 Nov 2008, Mani A wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 7:36 AM, Raj Mathur <raju at linux-delhi.org>
> > Er, why? All that the clause says is that you are allowed to
> > distribute, e.g., nVidia drivers along with Ubuntu on the same CD
> > if you want. It doesn't impact the freedom of free software in any
> > way.
> It does deprive users of many of the advantages of FOSS and even OSS.
> Users are required to trust more closed source stuff. FOSS should
> mean 100% FOSS not something like 90% OSS and 10% closed source
It doesn't deprive users of anything. To be quite frank, 99.9999% of
users don't care what licence the software on a Linux CD falls under as
long as it works for them and they can obtain and use it for free.
There have been and will continue to be pure FOSS Linux distributions,
but you probably won't see them gaining much traction in the market.
The users who care enough about the differences between FOSS and
proprietary software are in any case clued in enough to be able to
choose a distribution which meets their FOSS needs. I prefer not to
use proprietary software, so I use Debian which also has a non-free
repository. Requiring a licence to prevent bundling of free and
non-free software together seems like overkill.
To sum up, people who care about FOSS principles will be able to sift
out non-free software anyway. People who don't care about those
principles will probably not use a pure-FOSS distribution at all.
> Yes, GPL does say that. But most concepts of FOSS try to go beyond
Wasn't it RMS who wrote v2 and approved v3 of the GPL? Are you saying
that the concepts of FOSS extend far beyond RMS' vision? Be very
Seriously, though, let's distinguish between FOSS as a usage model and
FOSS as a concept. I don't necessarily subscribe to the view that
everyone should only use FOSS -- IMO everyone should use whatever works
for them. If Autoc*d happens to be non-free and my sister-in-law
(who's an architect) needs to use it, more power to her! I wouldn't,
but then I'm (a) not an architect and (b) slightly more fanatical about
IMO the important goal is to eliminate proprietary software altogether,
not to eliminate proprietary software users. If you believe in that
goal then you can stop worrying about non-issues like bundling of free
and non-free software together in a distribution and instead work
towards making the principles of FOSS more entrenched in peoples'
minds -- once they believe they will stop using non-free stuff
automatically. Make better software so that it is difficult or
impossible for proprietary software companies to profit from leasing
out software, work towards getting Governments to adopt FOSS and FOSS
principles, tell people about the benefits and ideology of FOSS
wherever possible (don't become a bore at parties, though :) -- IMO
these are some of the ways to eliminate proprietary software.
Raj Mathur raju at kandalaya.org http://kandalaya.org/
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