Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Jan 2011 11:53 UTC, submitted by SReilly
Internet & Networking "In the physical world, we have the right to print and sell books. Anyone trying to stop us would need to go to court. That right is weak in the UK (consider superinjunctions), but at least it exists. However, to set up a web site we need the cooperation of a domain name company, an ISP, and often a hosting company, any of which can be pressured to cut us off. In the US, no law explicitly requires this precarity. Rather, it is embodied in contracts that we have allowed those companies to establish as normal. It is as if we all lived in rented rooms and landlords could evict anyone at a moment's notice." Recommended reading. I'm no fan of Stallman, but despite a bit too much dramatisation towards the end, this article aptly illustrates in layman's terms why the 'net needs to be free, open, and unregulated.
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Verging on self-parody
by BallmerKnowsBest on Mon 3rd Jan 2011 17:08 UTC
BallmerKnowsBest
Member since:
2008-06-02

Ah, Stallman. He's just as pushy and painfully-transparent in his agenda as any marketdroid or propagandist in history, and yet he gets lauded for it. Aside from grooming habits, the only real difference between RMS and Steve Jobs is that Jobs gets paid to be an obnoxious ideologue.

In the physical world, we have the right to print and sell books. Anyone trying to stop us would need to go to court. That right is weak in the UK (consider superinjunctions), but at least it exists. However, to set up a web site we need the cooperation of a domain name company, an ISP, and often a hosting company, any of which can be pressured to cut us off.


This is painfully stupid. To get a book released to a market of any significant size, you need a publisher/printer, a distributor, and retailers - any of which can be "pressured to cut us off."

In the physical world, we have the right to pay money and to receive money — even anonymously. On the Internet, we can receive money only with the approval of organizations such as PayPal and MasterCard, and the security state tracks payments moment by moment.


There are 2 possibilities here. Either Stallman is being disingenuous, or he's truly unable to grasp the reasons why an electronic transfer of money (possibly crossing international borders) differs from an in-person cash transaction. The guy sounds so paranoid, he probably thinks that the "Memo" field on cheques are part of some Big Brother-esque conspiracy to spy on him.

With free software, we can at least control what software does in our own computers. The LOIC program used for Anonymous protests is free software; in particular, users can read its source code and change it, so it cannot impose malicious features as Windows and MacOS can.


Wow. So software designed specifically and solely for malicious use is A-OK in Stallman's eyes, just so long as it's Free Software(tm)? But not closed source software, because it might, potentially have hidden malicious functionality?

At least we now know the origin of the "all proprietary software should be assumed to be malware" idiocy that lemming2 was spouting recently. It's exactly the same reasoning as "if you want privacy, then you must have something to hide", just applied to source code.

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