Linux Freedom Under Attack

khess 0 Tallied Votes 271 Views Share

Do you need a reality check? Freedom isn't free. You have to work hard, and possibly even die, for it. Fortunately, free software doesn't require you to sacrifice anything but restrictions. Unfortunately, the powerful marketing machines constantly bombard and tempt you with semi-clever TV commercials, discount offers, inexpensive upgrades or feature hype in order to restrict your freedom. Purchasing proprietary operating systems and applications restrict you without cause. Actually, that isn't 100 percent true. There is a cause.

You're restricted with the intent of imprisoning you and making you conform to their version of reality. That's the opposite of freedom.

"Everybody's had to fight to be free."
--Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers - Refugee

GNU/Linux isn't prepared for a freedom fight. Our cause is only spread by word of mouth. There are no megabuck-backed TV commercials, no slick feature hype and how do you give a discount on something with no cost? Do you see how the opposition has the advantage in this freedom fight?

So, what can you and I do to oppose these relentless attacks on our freedom? I'm happy to provide you with options.

1. Join the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

2. Donate money to your favorite GNU and other free software projects to help with development efforts.

3. Spread the word within your network. Tell your friends, family, co-workers about GNU/Linux and the concept of free software.

4. Demonstrate your own experience with free software by giving demonstrations for anyone who wants to see something free and cool.

5. Write your Congressman and Senators and inform them about free software and how our government should use it. For those of you outside the U.S., write to your government officials and explain what free software is, why it's a good idea and help free your country from the stranglehold of proprietary software prison.

I think we also need to send Richard Stallman to meet with new Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, to discuss our government's obligation to use free software. Stallman told me, himself, that he would like an opportunity to meet with Mr. Kundra. So, if any of you have any connections or contacts in that realm, let's help RMS go to Washington.
We deserve a voice in Washington because we know there are those in the opposing camps with lobbyists and representatives to promote their side of the story. We need ours.

alinuxguru 0 Newbie Poster

After I strip out the advocacy portion of the article, nothing is left but the title. So where exactly is the attack coming from?

khess 95 Practically a Master Poster

From proprietary software vendors.

alinuxguru 0 Newbie Poster

Providing a solution other than Open Source is not an attack on Open Source. Like Open Source is an option from Closed Source solutions, the inverse is equally true. If I share "the version of reality" of a closed source vendor it is not an assault on my freedom. It is a choice.

khess 95 Practically a Master Poster

What I'm saying is that the other two major vendors have budgets to advertise, offer discounts, etc. It's a constant attack on freedom to take up proprietary software instead of free software. Yes, you have a choice but we don't have a huge "in your face" voice like they do. It's an attack for which we currently have no defense.

alinuxguru 0 Newbie Poster

Granted, some software makers have engaged in off-color behavior. However, these proprietary vendors are probably more honest and up-front about their activity than some "open source" proponents. For example, what is the difference between SharePoint and the enterprise version of Alfresco? I clearly know where Microsoft stands on SharePoint and Codeplex.

However, if there is any putative attack on open source, it is the dilution of the open source community by Enterprise editions of otherwise free software. Do not look outside of the open source community for attacks against open source. Look within first. Look at any open source product that has a fee-based model for Enterprise features.

What am I, as an enterprise customer going to utilize? The enterprise version of alfresco that fails to deliver some core SharePoint functionality or SharePoint? Why should I "buy" open source for the pleasure of Open Source.

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