Thousands of open source advocates and enthusiasts from around the world are expected to take the message of free and open source software to the streets on September 15 for the fourth annual Software Freedom Day.

Full story »
Jimbob's picture
Created by Jimbob 14 years 43 weeks ago – Made popular 14 years 43 weeks ago
Category: Community   Tags:
J.B.Nicholson-Owens's picture


14 years 43 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago


Unless Software Freedom Day has

Unless Software Freedom Day has become a sham, the message of the day is the very thing the Open Source Initiative (which started the open source movement) was founded to reject--software freedom.

I wouldn't deny anyone wanting to embrace freedom for freedom's sake, far from it. But let's give credit where credit is due and not confuse a splinter movement that advocates for a development methodology for a movement that embraces user's freedom to run, inspect, share, and modify software at any time for any reason. The two aren't the same and sometimes their different philosophies reach radically different conclusions about how to address proprietary software.

Proponents of the older free software movement flatly reject proprietary software as unethical and antisocial because proprietary software denies user's aforementioned freedoms. This movement encourages social solidarity and it notices how proprietors keep users helpless and divided to help themselves.

Proponents of the younger open source movement will accept proprietary software because they judge software on technical basis. For this movement, reliable and powerful software is paramount even if that comes to be through a process other than the open source development methodology.

So, as the FSF describes in their new essay 'Why "Open Source" Misses the Point of Free Software' http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html

"A pure open source enthusiast, one that is not at all influenced by the ideals of free software, will say, “I am surprised you were able to make the program work so well without using our development model, but you did. How can I get a copy?” This attitude will reward schemes that take away our freedom, leading to its loss.

The free software activist will say, “Your program is very attractive, but not at the price of my freedom. So I have to do without it. Instead I will support a project to develop a free replacement.” If we value our freedom, we can act to maintain and defend it."

Best karma users