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Open source is an amoral, depoliticized substitute for the free-software movement… [I]t's not the name of a philosophy – it refers to the software, but not to the users. You'll find lots of cautious, timid organizations that do things that are useful, but they don't dare say: users deserve freedom. Like Creative Commons, which does useful, practical work – namely, preparing licences that respect the freedom to share. But Creative Commons doesn't say that users are entitled to the freedom to share; it doesn't say that it's wrong to deny people the freedom to share. It doesn't actively uphold that principle.

Of course, it's much easier to be a supporter of open source, because it doesn't commit you to anything. You could spend ten minutes a week doing things that help advance open source, or just say you're a supporter – and you're not a hypocrite, because you can't violate your principles if you haven't stated any. What's significant is that, in their attempt to separate our software from our ideas, they've reduced our ability to win people over by showing what those ideas have achieved…

For a long time, Microsoft was the main enemy of users' freedom, and then, for the past ten years or so, it's been Apple. When the first iThings came out, around 2007, it was a tremendous advance in contempt for users' freedom because it imposed censorship of applications – you could only install programs approved by Apple. Ironically, Apple has retreated from that a little bit. If a program is written in Swift, you can now install it yourself from source code. So, Apple computers are no longer 100 per cent jails. The tablets too. A jail is a computer in which installation of applications is censored. So Apple introduced the first jail computer with the iPhone. Then Microsoft started making computers that are jails, and now Apple has, you might say, opened a window into the jail – but not the main door.


This doesn't seem to be different from his stance stated in "Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software":


He's not totally wrong. Open Source by itself isn't that big a deal without the other freedoms needed to actually use the software. I wouldn't go as far as to call it "amoral".


> I wouldn't go as far as to call it "amoral".

he says it's amoral, not immoral.
do you really disagree?


It depends if you mean "amoral" as in "without regard to morals at all" (so a naive developer who releases code by itself thinking he's doing the right thing would be a counter-example) or "amoral" as in "does wrong but doesn't understand that it is wrong" (where the naive developer doesn't realize that his source code is useless if no one is free to use it, so we care that he didn't really do the "right thing"). I would accept the latter as making it "amoral".


Defiantly not immoral, open source isn't evil.
But Open Source doesn't really help unless it's under a free license


amoral = neither moral nor immoral

All RMS is saying is that something being Open Source doesn't make it more or less moral.
He is responding to the idea that Open Source -> moral.

Amoral isn't a bad thing, even though it kind of sounds like it would be.



It almost sound like good thing for certain class of people under capitalism really.

Most developers releasing their software under non-libre as in non-GNU license is implying (s)he does not care or want to deal the ethics of software. They want to share their work for the sake of easier collaboration of any kind and does not care who benefits in what ways in particular.


>Open source is an amoral, depoliticized substitute for the free-software movement
Yes, and that's a good thing. Open source should be about making source code available and having whoever wants to be able to modify it being able to do whatever they want so long as they provide credit. No one should have to play ball with Stallman's communist "never make money" philosophy of trying to force users to give away their work without being able to profit from it. Funny how he never mentions Unix which existed long before his "free software" lunacy and was implicitly open source. Just look at how when Linus used his GNU command line tools he never shut up about how HE should get to decide how someone else names their work. It's amazing that anyone takes this guy seriously.


1. You don't have to "play ball" with GPL. You don't have to agree to any of the terms to receive, copy, use, or even modify GPL software.
2. Research UNIX was open source because AT&T was a state sanctioned monopoly and forbidden from creating separate commercial enterprises. Kind of an ironic thing to bring up.


never make money
stallman never says that.
You can release under a GPL (which allows unlimited non-commercial use) and also have a pay-to-use liscence for companies.


The GPL allows unlimited commercial use too. Revenue from GPL code is generally limited to support and consulting. See Red Hat.


Basically, free software combines capitalist, socialist and anarchist ideas. The capitalist part is: free software is something businesses can use and develop and sell. The socialist part is: we develop this knowledge, which becomes available to everyone and improves life for everyone. And the anarchist part: you can do what you like with it. I’m not an anarchist—we need a state so we can have a welfare state. I’m not a ‘libertarian’ in the usual American sense, and I call them rather ‘antisocialists’ because their main goal is a laissez-faire, laissez-mourir economy. People like me are the true libertarians. I supported Bernie Sanders for President—Clinton was too right-wing for me—and the Green Party.
From same as OP's quotes.


[_] You understand what Free Software means
[X] You are a dumb troll who should fuck off back to 4cancer


Open Source, Free Software and software licenses in general are a sub-topic of politics. As such, I'd limit it to boards dedicated to politics where it belongs. Stallman is an unpaid politician not employed by any government.

Politics discussion is the idle pastime of lesser minds only concerned with ensuring that they'll keep getting free meals by upholding or establishing a system where they are eligible. Proprietary people want free meals as money for their past work, hoping it blows up into popularity and then they're continuously paid for a one-time effort. Free software people people want free meals in the form of software others worked on but they don't have to thank or pay for, and can do whatever they want with it too.


>Funny how he never mentions Unix
GNU literally stands for GNU is Not Unix.

>No one should have to play ball with Stallman's communist "never make money" philosophy of trying to force users to give away their work without being able to profit from it

The point is that the software itself is the reward. Everybody contributes and everybody benefits.
The only restriction is on the redistribution, you can't just take GPL code and turn it into a closed source product (the way Apple and Sony did with FreeBSD for example).
People still make plenty of money though. RedHat is/was a billion dollar company. There are even people who straightup sell GPL software for money like Grsec, it's not impossible.






The GPL implies it. I say this in support of it.
Under capitalism, intellectual property rights are necessary to make money from anything like software, media, art.
The GPL is an attempt to use intellectual property law to prevent the establishment of intellectual property rights.
Like saying "this is my property and with my property rights I declare it free for the common use of all Present Day, Present Time! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)))"


as well, the only workarounds to this infringe on peoples control of their software in ways that are contrary to the free software movement, prompting it to write new licenses to try and protect against.
Such as representing the software over a web browser so that the firm is in full control of everything.

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