[Fsf-friends] Statement of FSF India board on recent incidents

V. Sasi Kumar sasi.fsf at gmail.com
Sun Nov 30 13:50:54 IST 2008

This is very interesting. You say some cat has come out of some bag. I
don't understand what the cat is and where the bag is. The FSF India
objected when the name "Second National Convention" was used because we
believe that the first conference was convened by FSF India and others.
We objected to someone else organising the second in the series even
without informing us. You call that "war"?

Subsequently, the organisers changed the name and some of us who were
invited decided to participate, though FSF India was not involved in
organising the conference. You call that "war"? You mean, we should not
have participated?

Hope you understand that a symbol cannot be patented. And I hope that
you understand that when the logo of an organisation is used, it
normally means that the organisation is involved or it has approved the
use of the logo. Otherwise there is no purpose for a logo. Who has
imposed a ban on the term Free Software? Please explain.

You say that if an organisation accepts money from another, then the one
that accepts money should not criticise the donor. This is absolute
nonsense. This can happen only when the money is paid with the intention
of silencing the receiver. Please be clear about it. FSF India will not
accept money with conditions attached. That is what we understand about
ethics. Not changing our stand when someone pays. Or supports in any
other manner. Only those who are willing to support under this condition
needs to. We don't ask money from people who do not accept our stand. If
someone willingly gives money, or support, we will accept it. That does
not change our stand on any matter. We are not coming out with any other
theory. We have made it clear that neither FSF nor FSF India has a
Boycott Novell campaign. Our protest was against the suppression of a
democratic form of protest against Novell. When the freedom of speech is
denied, what is the point in speaking about the freedom of software?

We objected to IKM using proprietary software, and we have also written
letters about various other governments opting for proprietary software.
The protest against IKM was stronger because there is a stronger FS
movement in Kerala compared to other places. And why do you pick only on
these things? We have been supporting the IT at School project in Kerala
even since it decided to use Free Software, and continue that support
even today. We have been highly appreciative of the decision of the
Kerala government to promote Free Software and have been providing all
support that we can. Why do you see only one side and start criticising?

We have explained the accusation of being "undemocratic" in another
thread, and I don't propose to repeat it here.

If you want to see positive changes in FSF India, be positive in your
criticism rather than simply throwing allegations. If your intention is
to tarnish the image of FSF India (and, as it appears, FSF Boston also)
please go ahead.


On Sun, 2008-11-30 at 12:41 +0530, Arvind Kumar Chinniah wrote:
> Now the cat is out of bag. It is clear from the statement from Board
> of directors that the on going battle against the Kochi conference got
> the covert and overt blessing from the whole board of FSF though some
> of them participating in the conference. The name Free Software
> Foundation (FSF) and its emblem, the wheel symbol might have be
> patented by FSF in any of Indian Patent office if not in US and the
> ban imposed by FSF, not to use the name FSF is understandable but the
> FSF cannot extend its territory to impose a ban on others not to use
> the term Free Software.
V. Sasi Kumar
Free Software Foundation of India

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