Subject: Re: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: Rich Bodo <>
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 23:02:13 -0700

> And also FWIW, I've been castigated as recently as last year by the 
> FSF for saying that.  See my attempt to interview Eben Moglen about 
> this issue at OSCON 2007: 
He's got the same frustration on his face that RMS did back at the first 
open source developer day - "stop writing these books - we'll have to 
re-write them all!"  He clearly wants and probably deserves a forum and 
some help - he's just not the most skilled of diplomats all the time.  
Eben is right that FOSS now has powerful allies - entrenched ones that 
are reinforcing viral FOSS peer production and licensing models.  I 
think you're one of them.
> But this isn't all bad.  The world is a better place than it was in 
> 1999. 
Glad to see a little glimmer.  I can't help it: figuratively, I pop a 
champagne cork every day.  Life is good and users and developers of FOSS 
should be stoked at the opportunities available to them.
> What is the right battle to fight for user freedom today?
I suppose this depends upon what freedoms will do the most good tomorrow?

I guess this is how futurists must feel before they answer a question.

Generally speaking, users will need the freedom to connect to one 
another and share information without undue restriction.

More specifically, the four freedoms of the free software definition 
would remain important.  The ability to access the internet and form 
massive, ad-hoc peer-peer networks might also be particularly 
important.  The ability to protect those networks from crackers hired by 
the MPAA would be nice as well.

The battle that most of us fight though, is in shining the light of 
these freedoms on others, so that they start asking these questions.