On Libervis.com we explore the good uses of technology, those that put technology in the service of individual liberty, personal empowerment, betterment of society as a whole, and building a better future. We provide key resources that can help you use technology to advance these purposes, and we discuss the implications that technological trends, meshing with social trends, have for these values.
With this article I want to point out how Free Software provides a secure environment and how important the community is.
Security is not only limited to "technology to keep crackers away from your data", but it also is about secured freedom. Just as laws in many countries secure that you have the right to voice out your opinion, Free Software secures its own freedom through its licenses.
1 SECURE FREEDOM
Freedom is important to every human being. We do not want to be limited or restricted in any way.
"Don't talk about Microsoft" is a meme some people would gladly adopt for it is true that many in the Free Software community often appear obsessed with what Microsoft does and how could that be a part of a plan to hurt Free Software and GNU/Linux specifically. However, there are certain facts that can't be validly denied; Microsoft has a reputation of being quite a devious "competitor", if we can even fairly attribute such a noble term to them. They simply shown that they will use every trick in the book, regardless even of legality or ethics, to stay on the top.
Since I wasn't yet as clear as I'd like to be on what can we consider to be free (as in freedom) among works which are not software and not functional and wasn't yet sure what exactly was Richard Stallman's view on this issue I decided to ask him directly. Here is the resulting email conversation.
My original message:
Danijel Orsolic wrote:
I must admit I tend to be in a state of confusion about what are minimal freedoms that we should expect for works of art and other non-practical non-software works. In an interview I once watched you stated something that the absolute minimum should be to allow for non-commercial use and distribution of the work, yet people on the FreedomDefined.org seem to have come up with a definition which would exclude works licensed for use only in a non-commercial way as "free". Their definition seems to mostly be a conversion of four freedoms for software for cultural works.
It's the big problem of the net: how do you make money if everyone can access the files you produce for free?
Earning money is not evil, it makes it possible to produce more art or information. It's a waste of talent to need a day job to support what you consider your real work.
It is not enough to have Richard Stallman travel around the world endlessly giving standard Free Software speeches among other things repeating how Open Source is not the same thing as Free Software and how the operating system widely known as "Linux" is actually "GNU/Linux" (because GNU project in fact started that OS). It is not even enough to have Free Software supporters constantly keep pointing these things out and arguing why they believe so.