Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jan 2012 19:12 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia - but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
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The 4 freedoms are not bad per se, but when strictly enforced, they can not exist in a world that gives users the freedom to use software who's license does not specifically adhere to these concepts. Hence, not real freedom.

The GPL is completely moot when a user uses a GPL based work. It comes into effect ONLY when the work is about to be distributed and hence you are no longer talking of users but of distributors when discussing GPL restrictions. users != distributors, this is an important distinction to make.

Think of it this way, i can not give you the right to live and give others the right to kill you for whatever reason simultaneously. If i give to one, i have to take from the other. GPL takes power from distributors and give it to users. Again, if you are complaining of GPL restrictions, then you are a distributor, not a user.

Why should the software itself be free (as in speech), so long as it is able to output non-proprietary formats? For example, would it be considered 'immoral' to use a proprietary word processor that could save documents in ODF format?

You are talking about usage of software here, not distribution and hence should not be complaining of GPL restrictions since they are moot.

you are free do as you wish on your computer and i am free to do as i wish on mine. If we have to collaborate, i should not care what tool you use as long as we can collaborate seamlessly and this only happen when we collaborate over open standards.

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