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I'm not the one who downvoted you, but I do think that casual users aren't quite the opposing goal post to RMS. They are greedy, but more than that, they are short-term thinkers. They can't (even collectively) cause quite as much harm as the guys like Jobs, Gates, Ballmer, and Ellison can when they manipulate the market.

Big corporations led by big egos have the power to kill products and permanently remove innovations from the market: by [ab]using software patents, buying and killing threatening start-ups, or under-cutting competitors to drive them out of business. One of the most attractive aspects of a Free Software ecosystem unencumbered by patents is that ideas don't have to die while they are still useful to somebody.




  Big corporations led by big egos have the power to kill
  products and permanently remove innovations from the market
They also have money to sponsor development: Sun (R.I.P.) and JRuby, Apple and LLVM/Webkit/CUPS, Google and Android, and many more.


And that's why the GPL (and its derivatives/workalikes) is important - because it prevents any company or individual from taking away the freedoms of the users downstream.


Not all projects I mentioned are under GPL and some chose non-GPL license specifically to give more freedom than GPL and likes allow.


Like I said, the only added freedom you enjoy by having MIT/BSD-ish rather than GPL is the freedom to remove freedoms downstream. And the ones that are not GPL are so precisely because the vendor wants to be able to remove freedoms downstream should the need or opportunity arise.

Are you aware of any other freedom I don't know about?


Yes. To allow "downstream" to do whatever they want with a piece of code I gave them being free from my command what to do.


Including denying its users any freedom.

Tell me one freedom that does not involve denying freedoms and I'll give you the point. If, however, the only freedom you want is the one to deny freedoms, then, this argument became circular a couple messages back.

Using the GPL you deny no other freedom to your downstream users that that.


Yes. Including denying its users any freedom.

"Freedom" is not black and white. Sometimes you need to deny users one freedom in order to give them another. For example, Spotify is a non-free application and it has DRM and lock-in and nasty things like that (no doubt required by the music industry). However, it's completely changed the way I listen to music and given me freedom to listen to more music than I could have done before. I have essentially traded the freedom to tinker for the freedom to listen to music.


Actually, you traded your freedom to tinker for your ability to play whatever they chose to offer you. I hope you like their offering.


  you traded your freedom to tinker
What kind of nonsense is this?


Can you alter the music in any way for your consumption? Can you even listen to it in places a Spotify client is not available?


Indeed. I have no doubt people like Jobs, Gates, Ballmer and Ellison (among many others) oppose the freedom ideals Stallman stands for. Still, I think they rely (willingly or not) on the casual user and its disregard/unawareness of the freedoms they thrown away to reach their goals. Without uninformed users, they are harmless. Tools will be developed and willing users will free themselves from their power.


I dont know whether they 'oppose' the software ideals that stallman stands for or not.

I agree very strongly with Stallman and the points he regularly makes regarding the dangerous of proprietary software, and I am very grateful for the things he has done to push his ideals and to increase awareness of the issues and dangers surrounding copyright abuse and the freedom of software users.

I also create and sell proprietary software, and I disagree with him that it is immoral to do so.

No need to oppose him, I can simply disagree with his conclusions while agreeing with a very large number of the points that he makes.


> I disagree with him that it is immoral to do so

Agreed. I won't go as far as he does, but I thank him for making a stand. As far as the user makes an informed choice, I am not against selling proprietary software. Still, God kills a kitten every time a proprietary license is sold.


Still, God kills a kitten every time a proprietary license is sold.

Even if it's your startup selling it?


Even if it's my grandma's startup selling it. Even if it's the girl scouts selling it.

Seriously, when your user knows and willingly enters what has a good chance of becoming an abusive relation (depending on your upgrades, being unable to migrate their data, forcing you to support ancient versions because they don't have the money to upgrade), I believe it's fine.

But I would prefer another model.


Of course there are risks involved, but don't your users usually pay you because they consider your software worth paying for?

They probably don't feel like they're resigning their fate to an abusive relationship.




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