Linked by Linux Review on Tue 20th Mar 2012 17:07 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source It's been a while since we caught up with Stallman. But a couple months ago we took a look around at what's happening with law, politics and technology and realized that he maybe perhaps his extremism and paranoia were warranted all along. So when we were contacted by an Iranian Linux publication and asked if we would like to publish an English translation of a recent interview they had done with Stallman, I thought that it was a particularly rich opportunity.
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RE[3]: I just don't follow...
by WorknMan on Tue 20th Mar 2012 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I just don't follow..."
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

If I am not convinced of this being an ethical issue in the first place surely preferring software that functions better is not superficial?


Not only that, but there are some areas... actually a lot of areas, where there is no free software solution. For example, I have a piece of software that allows me to edit/organize sounds from my Yamaha synth on a PC, which takes me minutes to do, instead of the hours it would take to do it directly on the synth. This software is not free, and there is not a free alternative, and I sure as hell don't have the time or expertise to build my own. So I'm just not supposed to use this software for ethical reasons? *pfffffffffffft* Whatever ;) Stallman is off his rocker.

My own personal philosophy is to use free software when it suits my needs, but to use non-free software when this isn't the case. For example, there are better (as in technically superior) non-free mail programs than Thunderbird, but TB does everything I need it to do, so that's what I use.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: I just don't follow...
by Tuishimi on Tue 20th Mar 2012 22:03 in reply to "RE[3]: I just don't follow..."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

O.K. I agree with you... but I think by his standards/ideals that makes us unethical. But thank you because I just thought I was missing something and not clearly understanding his position.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: I just don't follow...
by r_a_trip on Wed 21st Mar 2012 11:40 in reply to "RE[4]: I just don't follow..."
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

but I think by his standards/ideals that makes us unethical.

No, not unethical, but subjugated. Remember, you are using the software and accepting someone elses unethical restrictions. You didn't distribute it to someone else and placed restrictions on someone else.

Stallman is the pure endpoint of the Free Software ideals. I don't think it is possible to be more Stallman than Stallman. So he should be used as a checkpoint on where you yourself stand with regards to software freedom. As with many things, this issue is full of shades of grey.

Reply Parent Score: 4

danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

Not only that, but there are some areas... actually a lot of areas, where there is no free software solution. For example, I have a piece of software that allows me to edit/organize sounds from my Yamaha synth on a PC, which takes me minutes to do, instead of the hours it would take to do it directly on the synth. This software is not free, and there is not a free alternative, and I sure as hell don't have the time or expertise to build my own. So I'm just not supposed to use this software for ethical reasons? *pfffffffffffft* Whatever ;) Stallman is off his rocker.


Only inasmuch as anyone taking a principled moral stand is off their rocker. While I agree with you that no real harm is being done, in a philosophical vacuum you are, by using that software, contributing to the larger problem and helping to remove the impetus to have free software developed that fills that need. An idealist can often have difficulty stepping outside the vacuum, but I'm not sure that this is a bad thing. The world needs idealists.




My own personal philosophy is to use free software when it suits my needs, but to use non-free software when this isn't the case. For example, there are better (as in technically superior) non-free mail programs than Thunderbird, but TB does everything I need it to do, so that's what I use.


That's fine. But Stallman is tackling what he percieves to be a social issue, not meeting of the needs of individuals. As such, from his perspective, this attitude is part of the problem. You are meeting your needs at the expense of the larger potential for social improvement.

Again - not saying that I agree But I can certainly understand where he is coming from.

Reply Parent Score: 2