Subject: Re: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: Russ Nelson <>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 21:21:36 -0400

Thomas Lord writes:
 > All that time we spent and spend talking about Open Source is time
 > we've been IGNORING freedom itself as the main issue.

What you (and many others) have completely missed over these past ten
years is that Open Source has never been about the Open Source
Definition and the licenses that comply with it.  Free Software has
never been about freedom.

Open Source and Free Software live and die by their COMMUNITIES.
Anybody who thinks they can fail to distribute the code they use is
cutting off the branch they're sitting on.  To the extent that
propretary web services [Web 2.0(tm)] do that is the extent to which
they punish themselves for their success.

 > That is by design, of course.  That is the form and function
 > of the original intent when inventing "open source" -- to
 > make a rhetoric palatable to business and polarized away
 > from RMS.

Because RMS didn't/doesn't know how to sell freedom to people who
didn't IMMEDIATELY grokk it.  Since, at the time, RMS owned the word
freedom (and you continue to try to make it his proprietary term), it
was impossible to talk about freedom without invoking RMS's failure to
break out of the developer track/trap.

 > Rather, what we face is what Eben calls a "conflict of rights":

Rights never conflict.  If you think they do, they're not rights.
They're grants.  Example: the right to free association.  Yours
doesn't conflict with mine.  Counter-example: the right to education.
Conflicts with the teacher's right to free association (aka they can't
permanently remove a misbehaving child from their classroom).

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