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Re: The Spirit of Free Software, or The Reality

Hello Lumin,

I am not an active member of the debian community, just a listener on this thread, but you got my attention. I also admire free software makers although I think one must always keep in mind the reality of the world and the rules of the game called 'trade'.

Software is a product like any other. It requires care, time and considerable effort to develop. With the advent of cheap, affordable computers people somehow started to think that everything in this domain should be free. Well, I don't really think so. If you go to the market and want to get some apples, it's only fair that you pay for the apples. It's your way to say to the apple-seller: Hey, I appreciate what you're doing. Take the money and continue growing and delivering apples so that me and people like me can buy them when we want. I think non-free software is not inherently bad. Every programmer likes to get paid (or at least I do). Programmers usually get paid a lot and that gives them some room - that allows them to give something back for free. But you must carefully decide where the line is - what you can give for free and what you must charge others for. Because the reality is there. If you give everything for free you won't be able to survive in this global 'game of monopoly' that we are all playing - and that also means you won't be able to give ANYTHING back.

I think the free software movement is partly an outgrowth of the times when just a few people really had the software-making know-how, or a few companies. And these companies charged ridiculous prices. It's very good that these companies have competition today in the form of free software so that users can ask: Hey, this software I can get for free. What extra can you give me? Why do you charge so much? I am definitely against over-pricing. But I am also definitely not against charging a reasonably price.

It would be really nice if we didn't have to care about money at all. Let's say you would make software and give it for free. If you needed a house, you would go to someone who specializes in that and he would build the house for you, for free. If you needed shoes ...  you get my point, right? Then we could live like a huge happy tribe, sharing everything we have. This is a very nice philosophy. It has a history though. It also has a name. Communism. And history has shown us that communism on a large scale does not work.

So from my perspective - feel free to use non-free software, but remember to pay for it, at least if the price is reasonable ;-). And if it is not - make a better alternative and either charge for it or give it away for free. All depends on how much money you need for your own survival.


On Sat, Jul 4, 2015 at 6:55 PM, lumin <cdluminate@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello Debian community,

I long for becoming a Debian member, always. However now I get into
trouble with the problem of "Spirit of Free software or Reality".
I wonder how Debian interprets it's "Spirit of Free Software".
(Certainly Social Contract and DFSG don't refer much detail)

As we know, getting into the stage where as the same as
Richard.M.Stallman (i.e. Resists any non-free stuff, thoroughly )
is very hard for an ordinary person, as well as me. Even though,
many people are trying their best to protect their software freedom,
with several careful compromises to non-free blobs.

Several years ago I was influenced by Debian's insist on Freesoftware,
and then trying to gradually block non-free matters away, and was
very happy doing that, because I protected my computer away from those
terrible non-free softwares and got myself stayed in a clean, pure
computer environment.

Blocking non-free blobs away, does it means partially blinding
one's eye for teenagers? In order to get touched with the world
outside of freesoftware, sometimes indeed we need to compromise with
non-free blobs, at least temporarily. After all freesoftware communities
and opensource software communities occupies only a tiny proportion
of human.

Hence my strategy was changed. I compromised with more and more
non-free blobs when I want to experience what I haven't experienced,
when I want to gain what I don't possess, when I want to explore the
outer world that I haven't seen.

Then I got into a stage, where I strongly insist on Freesoftware,
but sometimes accept to use non-free blobs.

I'm aware
 * Insist on freesoftware != totally the RMS way.
then that weird way of "insisting my so called 'freesoftware' I thought"
was developed.

I have no trouble on making my personal choises, what I want to know
is, what would you do to protect your software freedom, when the
reality requires you to touch non-free blobs?

Keep the "freesoftware" spirit and faith of "freesoftware" in mind,
and actually at the same time touch non-free blobs by hands?
How to resolve this tough situation?


I see many people fighting for software freedom.
i.e. #786909 and [...]
Sincerely, Thank you all the free software fighters !
Fighting for what a person believes in is noble and respectful.

Thank you, fighters, from my bottom of heart.


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