dick wrote:
Ah, looking at the sparse and indelicate correspondence here, I guess this is
where all the crazies go to shout into the ether.

I will try my best to assume that your message was written in good faith and ignorance in writing this reply.

*Gratis* and *libre* are the best things to have happened to software since
Multics.  But why emplace them to the exclusion of non-gratis and non-libre

Free Software refers to freedom, not price. (<URL:http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html>) Charging for the service of providing a copy of free software is entirely acceptable, particularly if that copy is on physical media, which itself has costs. The "Free" in "Free Software" as we advocate is well-known to be "free as in speech, not as in beer" although modern network-based software distribution has such trivial costs, most of which are effectively borne by the recipient (such as disk space to store the new copy), that most Free Software is now distributed gratis.

Non-libre software has additional issues, covered below.

Can RMS accept into his moral universe nonfree's "right to exist"?
Can nonfree refrain from abusing users, even beyond the basic injustice of failing to respect user's freedoms? The track record highlighted at <URL:http://www.gnu.org/proprietary/proprietary.html> suggests otherwise. Further, can nonfree refrain from attacking libre's right to exist with tyrant devices (also explained there)?

And if so, can cooperating with nonfree be as morally permissible as say,
supporting public schools while sending one's own kids to private, or
supporting climate activism while occasionally chartering a Gulfstream?

Your other examples are both rank hypocrisy, so why would the first be any different?

I find "climate slacktivists" who cheerfully fly to junket conferences on chartered flights while complaining about my gasoline-powered car (which will most likely burn far less fuel in its entire useful life than the chartered flights to *one* such conference) particularly offensive. If you are serious about avoiding CO2 emissions, then your conferences should be video teleconferences. Be the change you wish to see in the world. The volunteers behind GNU wish to see more free software, so we write it.

If RMS can reconcile this, then all his parishioners will follow, and there's
no telling how far GNU can fly.

The GNU project does not follow RMS as a man; he is as much a flawed human as all of us. The GNU project follows the *philosophy* RMS has set forth. This also seems to be an argument along the "open source" lines of seeking only to make better software. While better software is an inevitable consequence of software freedom as user-developers improve the programs, software freedom is necessary for the purported benefits of "open source" to be realized in practice. (<URL:http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html>)

-- Jacob

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