FSFE minutes, or a vendetta?

Jean Louis bugs at gnu.support
Thu Oct 17 22:28:28 BST 2019


* Roland Häder <roland at mxchange.org> [2019-10-18 02:21]:
> I like your statements a lot as I tend to speak the truth over lies out
> and I may include horse and rider, means responsible persons in it.
> But one thing starts anoying here and that is this constant attacks on
> FSF/E/A (and maybe not limited to them). I'm a recurring anually donor
> and I keep it as long as I can effort, so I'm a FSFE member. But this
> campaigning is in some way hilarious to me simply because what the
> main goal of the FSF/E/A is, the spread use use free-libre open source
> software (FLOSS).

That is fine for you and your viewpoint.

Issue with free speech:
=======================

The issue is defaming RMS over free speech. He did nothing illegal. He
is founder of GNU project and the FSF, and FSFE would not exist
without him. Joining in defamation of RMS is disgraceful. I am not
member of the FSFE, but for as long as present President remains same,
and same people, I would not donate anything to FSFE for that reason
of denying free speech and taking rumor mongering biased side.

If we are talking about freedom zero, that software shall be used by
whomever for whatever reason, we are talking also about free speech in
the first place.

If we are talking about the free speech than there shall be no
Thoughtpolice in free software movement.

That is contradictory to each other.

Can it be simpler?

I expect from any free software organization to first respect free
speech of everbody. And I expect that they fight for users' freedom in
computing and software.

The issue is: one cannot promote freedom zero by shutting the mouth of
different-thinking people whoever they may be in the community. RMS is
in fact quite a strong person to resist all the slander. But there are
other people who would not even raise their voice and would simply
disappear from community.

If then fighting for freedom zero that EVERYBODY CAN USE SOFTWARE FOR
WHATEVER REASON -- that is serious free speech issue, and only people
who never thought about it, they will never understand it.

We are fighting for good and bad people, irrelevant of their political
views, to use software how they wish.

In very bad extremist viewpoint, that would mean that free software
could be used to damage humanity, even terrorists could use free
software, thus also people with negative views, positive views, nazis,
and anti-nazis, fashists, and anti-fashists, communists, and for Trump
and Angela Merkel to use it how they wish, IRRELEVANT to opinions or
political views of those people.

Thus we are promoting freedom zero in the first place as free
speech.

Thus we cannot bash on the founder for his personal viewpoints which
were anywhere never the point of GNU community.

There is big difference if money is to be spent to organization that
is truly transparent and truly pushes free software furtherance or if
money will be spent to organization that pretends to be transparent,
but is not. See how money is spent, here is example:

On this page:
https://fsfe.org/about/about.en.html

There is statement: "To be an independent voice for Free Software, we
depend on your donation. See how we use our funds and who donates to
us." linking to: https://fsfe.org/about/funds/funds.en.html where I
can see following:

2017 	542,772.73 	447,394.08

linking to:
Income and Expenses 2017

Income 	EUR
Donations1 	198,820.36
Supporter contributions and membership fees 	208,581.31
Paid services 	107,783.06
Merchandise 	28,580.78
Interest and currency exchange gains 	7.22
Total income 	543,772.73
Expenses 	EUR
Basic infrastructure costs2 	142,724.77
Public awareness3 	116,770.30
Community support 	1,641,50
Legal work 	83,132.44
Policy work 	76.760,25
FOSS4SMEs project 	2.939,16
Merchandise 	23,425,66
Total expenses 	447,394.08
Surplus 	96,378.65

I am sorry, but that is not telling me "how funds are used". That is
maybe enough for children, not enough for me.

What means "basic infrastructure costs"? If FSFE is truly transparent
then why not publish the full balance sheet?

What means "legal work"? Who exactly was paid among those attorneys?

It is less transparent than any government that I know!

"Open Source" issue:
====================

Other issues are staying truthful to original ideas of free software
philosophy. Organization like FSF is not same as FSFE. FSF is not same
as GNU. While it was same before, it is not same now. There are
serious differences in promoting true free software philosophy or
promoting "open source".  There is difference between people promoting
free software philosophy and people programming free software. Or
people who are putting it all together in one box. It is not same,
small details are making the difference.

There are issues and there are differences, see:
https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html

Driving people to use non-free software:
========================================
Every page of FSFE.org website is driving people to Twitter and
Facebook, thus to using non-free software in their non-free Javascript
pages.

If those issues are not important, than what is important? Differences
matter. If nothing matters, what matters?

Jean


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