Re: "Private Foundation-List" Petition for referendum

Hi there,

Right now I think we should do the vote Behdad is calling for. I'm
waiting until the discussion about it goes to sleep to make up my mind
about it (and then either add or don't add my name to the wiki page).

I think the implementation should be broader than only foundation
members. I think foundation members should always be allowed to join,
and then other people can ask the foundation members to be voted in.

I think the vote should present us with a few such implementation ideas.



ps. The rest is off topic. It's a bit silly that yet another off topic
thread is starting. Richard, the topic is Behdad's call for a vote. Not
your ethical believe system. No matter how important you think that is.

Brendan also wasn't talking about your movement, but about open source.

People who want to reply to this part: consider taking it private.

On Wed, 2009-12-16 at 01:01 -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:
> Doesn't this undermines the values of the open source community?
> To cite the "values of open source" as an ethical standard is ironic,
> because the motive for open source was to avoid presenting an ethical
> standard.

To deny a group or a person the legitimacy to keep intellectual property
proprietary goes against criteria five of the Open Source Definition:

5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
        The license must not discriminate against any person or group of

And against criteria number six:

6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
        The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the
        program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not
        restrict the program from being used in a business, or from
        being used for genetic research.
And "very much" against criteria number nine:

9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software
        The license must not place restrictions on other software that
        is distributed along with the licensed software. For example,
        the license must not insist that all other programs distributed
        on the same medium must be open-source software.

And when broadly interpreted against criteria number ten:

10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral
        No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual
        technology or style of interface.

I conclude that would the Free Software Foundation's (= your) ethics
have been written down in the form of a license, that it wouldn't be
compatible with the Open Source Definition at all.

In fact, would the minimal support for GNU be that the FSF's ethics
would have to be compatible with the soul of the GPL (which you
summarized in "The Foundations of the GPL"), then neither would FSF's
ethics be compatible:

o. The freedom to use the software for any purpose.

You, however, as as head of the FSF, claim that proprietary software is
illegitimate. Meaning that you say that it's 'unlawful' under FSF's
ethical code.

This suggests (strongly) that the FSF's ethics denies a person the right
to choose a proprietary license for his own work (you called it
illegitimate. In multiple posts and under that context).

> The founders of open source split off from the free software movement
> in 1998 with the aim of rejecting our ethical principles and values --
> for instance, the idea that we must respect the freedom of the users
> when we develop software.  They decided to present the matter as
> purely a practical recommendation, and not as principle at all.
> (See
> for more explanation of how open source differs from free software.)
> So it is ironic that some see it as a principle in itself.
> Openness as a principle is no substitute for freedom, which is why
> GNOME needs to remember the free software ideals and not identify
> primarily with "open source".  But openness does have value, so I'd
> prefer not to limit access to this list.
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-list mailing list
> foundation-list gnome org

Philip Van Hoof, freelance software developer
home: me at pvanhoof dot be 
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org

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