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

V. Sasi Kumar sasi.fsf at gmail.com
Sun Nov 30 16:29:08 IST 2008

On Sun, 2008-11-30 at 14:54 +0530, sarath ms wrote:

> Amazingly, these are from the same paragraph. When FSFI accepts money
> there are not strings attached, but when some one wants to donate they
> need to accept a stand. Thats a nice deal.

Yes. FSF and FSF India are organisations that advocate an ideology. We
are not willing to compromise on it. If you feel that this ideology is
good, you are free to donate money or help them in popularising it.
There would, of course, be plenty of companies willing to give money if
we are willing to compromise on our stand. If our intention was to make
money, that would be the best way. Sorry, we don't do that. Our freedom
is not for sale.

>         We objected to IKM using proprietary software, and we have
>         also written letters about various other governments opting
>         for proprietary software.
> No one ever knew when these happened. 

Sorry, a lot of people on this list itself know. You also would have
known if you had joined the list early. The conflict between IKM and
Free Software was an issue that was even discussed in some of the local

> Lets hope the letters were written 'to' the governments and not
> 'about' the governments. 

Of course. To whom can we write 'about' the government?

> How many responded and what corrective actions were taken? Why is
> everything made known only when asked like this? Is it because its a
> company with 'limited liabilities'?

These are old stories, and I guess the old material has been removed
from the website. We had written to the Government of India too, to
adopt Free Software and free formats. We had written to the CSIR, DST
and some other organisations to mandate Free Software and to mandate
Open Access in scientific publication. Nothing much happened in this
matter. We had written to the Kerala counterpart of CSIR too. Nothing
happened here either.

For your information, FSF is a section 25 company. It is easy to be

>         The protest against IKM was stronger because there is a
>         stronger FS movement in Kerala compared to other places. 
> There are strong FS movement in other places also. Why is that we are
> not putting efforts to make other states to turn to Free Software? Why
> only on those which themselves have already announced their support to
> Free Software?

Such movements naturally grow fast in some places. You can ask, "Why was
FSFI inaugurated at Thiruvananthapuram, and not in other places?" You
could also ask, "Why is the left movement strong only in Bengal, Kerala
and Thripura? Why not put effort to make it strong in other places too?"
Or, for that matter, "Why is the BJP strong in some states only? Why are
they not putting efforts to make it strong in other places too?" I am
also looking for an answer to questions like these. If you are able to
find out the answer, please let me also know.

And let me remind you, the support for Free Software from the government
of Kerala did not suddenly appear from no where. It was the result of
the efforts put in by the community and FSFI. Things happened the other
way around, Sarath. And we are especially thankful to the current Chief
Minister for having taken an interest in Free Software and for promoting

>         We have explained the accusation of being "undemocratic" in
>         another thread, and I don't propose to repeat it here.
> That was hardly an explanation. When one doesn't believe in democracy
> in functioning itself, how can one even think of a 'democratic
> protest' without properly exercising their freedom of speech.
> Unfortunately, when democracy and freedom of speech is typecast only
> to 'protests', all kinds of cats are bound to jump out.

Yes, yes. We seem to be seeing new cats around. Just wondering where the
bags came from.

V. Sasi Kumar
Free Software Foundation of India

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