>Way better than the billions of dollars and thousands of vaccinations Bill and Melinda Gates gave to them.
RMS and the free and open source community have given way more billions of dollars and jobs that Gates ever has. Let me explain. Many governments have switched to Gnu/Linux and are saving billions of dollars each year for the last ten years such as Brazil ($1 billion per year http://www.brazzil.com/2004/html/articles/mar04/p107mar04.ht...). Given that many governments have switched to gnu/linux and free and open software, that's billions of dollar saved each year for the last 5 to ten years. Those are billions that can be spent on health, education, employment and more, it's an invaluable gift to humanity. I know Bill Gates fortune doesn't exceed $50 billions so I'll let you do the math. RMS and the free software world have given way more to the world than Bill Gates ever will. And Free Software will continue to give while Bill's fortunes will soon be over.
> In all seriousness, if we're going to argue the ethics of charging for software,at the end of the day who has done more good?
> Bill Gates who made himself rich, gave thousands of people jobs, created products that made the lives of millions of other people easier
Free and Open Source software give millions of jobs too. I'd say even more especially with the internet. Do you think Google could have been done without Gnu/Linux when they needed to install thousands of servers and didn't have yet the money to pay licenses? How about the internet? It's all free/open source software, a way bigger revolution than the PC which was a boring work machine before for most people.
> When I compare the more calculus of capitalism and propreitary software against Stallman's dogmatism, it's obvious to me that capitalism is utlimately more moral and does more good
Well, think and try to calculate again. Gates' done way less.
It's funny how you can make the argument about money that "would have been spent". Many open source zealots (and Stallman himself) talk about how the software industry can't equate piracy to dollars people would have spent. Why should this be any different?
Software licenses are also a very small part of the entire cost. The biggest costs are support (this is how most open source companies make their money).
Even if governments had saved as much money as you want us to believe, I seriously doubt it would go into healthcare, education, and employment.
"Do you think Google could have been done without Gnu/Linux when they needed to install thousands of servers and didn't have yet the money to pay licenses?"
There are other variants of unix that have even less restrictive licenses. BSD comes to mind. Gnu/Linux was a means to an end.
"It's all free/open source software, a way bigger revolution than the PC which was a boring work machine before for most people."
Most users don't use a variant of linux on their desktop. Microsoft brought computers in every home and made computers "interesting".
"Well, think and try to calculate again. Gates' done way less."
Gates has proof that he has helped the poor with billions of dollars. Stallman has possibilities and no direct proof of anything.
Stallman is the guy who pushed the asteroid and watched it sail harmlessly past. In alternate reality, Gates is the guy on the ground helping the survivors clean up after the asteroid hit.
Metaphorically, of course. Stallman's good is causing unknown amounts of freedom restriction and consequent problems to not ever have happened - which isn't really tangible.
Without Stallman and the GNU, we would still have just as much software on the market. Many of the people and companies would have most likely released it under the BSD license (or public domain).
..and like I said. I still don't buy it. Piracy causes unknown amounts of damage to commercial software companies. If the community comes to terms with this, I might be more apt to come to terms with the amount of unknown "good" Stallman has done.
It's still billions of saving that are not being used in taxes/licensing and being used for doing actual things for the public which is the job of the government and yes, that includes health, employment, education among other things.
> Microsoft brought computers in every home and made computers "interesting".
No, the internet did. I have yet to find "regular" people who were actively using computers at home before the internet era. Give a computer with no internet connection to a non geek, in most case he'll tell you it's useless.
> Gates has proof that he has helped the poor with billions of dollars. Stallman has possibilities and no direct proof of anything.
The cost of a Gnu/Linux distribution is estimated to the billion dollar, not to forget other big free software projects such as Samba and others. And it's all for free. Plus the saving done by governments are very real, they are real proof. This is huge for both governments, people trying to build a business and people living in 3rd world like myself (Peru) where people cannot afford to pay billions in licensing. I'm glad our governments is not wasting their money on Microsoft licenses as they are switching to free software. This is real proof, real benefit no matter how much you want to deny it and it's way bigger than all of Gates billions put together because once spent they won't be there unlike Gnu/Linux and Free Software which will benefit the world for many many generations to come.
The Gates Foundation vaccination programs are expected to save 7.6 million children's lives over the next 10 years. You don't think 7.6 million children living who would have otherwise died isn't a benefit that will last for many generations?