Jim Garrett | 31 Jul 04:37 2015
Jim Garrett <jimgarrett001@...>

Re: Gratis software being released as proprietary

I can hardly pick a place to start.

Let me quickly note that the four reasons you mention are rebutted 
easily.  But telling them that won't help.  If you'd like me to offer my 
specific rebuttals, I can.

I think your colleagues may have some basic misconceptions that you may 
need to address.  One misconception about Free software that I encounter 
is that the development is uncontrolled, i.e., anyone on the internet 
can add a change (to the official release).  You should make clear that 
under the GPL, or any license for that matter, copyright holders control 
the official release.  With Free software others are free to fork a 
package, but not release their own version under the same name.

Similarly, many think Free software doesn't have the quality assurance 
of proprietary software.  It's true that proprietary software companies 
employ software testors.  Of course, there exist Free software companies 
that do the same.  Regardless, the quality of the software depends on 
the people writing it, whether it's Free or proprietary.  Just remind 
people how bad some proprietary software is, or has been.  A QC 
department is hardly a guarantee of quality.  Also, EULA's generally 
absolve proprietary software companies from any liability accruing from 
bugs.  (You might mention that if they release proprietary software, 
even gratis, they will have to write a EULA.  That alone may suffice!)

It may be that your colleagues think there's a possibility of selling 
the software down the road.  This could be a very seductive idea, and in 
this case it could be hard to dissuade them from the possibility.  
However, I think people see the revenue stream, but don't think about 
how much work it is.  How much money and energy would your colleagues 
(Continue reading)

Terry | 30 Jul 18:36 2015

Re: libreplanet-discuss Digest, Vol 65, Issue 3

I think the single most important strength of open source software is
trust. OSS is by it's very nature open to audit and inspection. This
means the undesirable features like spyware while common-place in closed
source are extremely rare in open source. Also closed source software
may be engineered to game the end result, whereas open source is
completely transparent. I would think that for their software and their
motives to fully be credible, transparency such as that provided by open
to inspection source code is key.

At least that is why I require open source for software with essential

Pen-Yuan Hsing | 29 Jul 23:27 2015

Gratis software being released as proprietary

Dear Libreplanet,

I believe I am faced with an opportunity to spread the news about Free
Software this coming weekend, and would love to get your suggestions
on how best to proceed.

In a few days, I will be attending an international wildlife
conservation meeting, and a group of conservation scientists are
scheduled to present a new piece of scientific image management and
analyses software specific to certain cases of wildlife surveys and
management. To achieve maximum "benefit" to wildlife conservation,
they have committed to continued support and updates for the software,
and will release it gratis/free of charge. The problem is that the
software will be proprietary!

I have yet to meet these scientists in person (but will this weekend),
but some common "reasons" I've heard for not releasing gratis software
as Free (as in Freedom) is that they (1) "want to make sure all users
get our most up to date and definitive version"; (2) "want to make
sure the software is well maintained/taken care of"; (3) "afraid of
their hard work being 'stolen' or misappropriated"; and (4) "sounds
like too much extra work when our resources are already streched so

For (4) above, this is especially true for non-profit organisations
since their resources truly are very limited, and they are afraid of
more burden (I know Free Software is actually liberating, I'm just
saying that's what some people are afraid of). For (3), obviously a
Free Software license makes sure that the original developer is fully
attributed. Even then, I wonder what would be some good responses to
(Continue reading)

Minifree Ltd | 22 Jul 23:15 2015

anyone here own a librem?

Please contact me off-list if you do have one in your physical
possession. I have a few questions about it.

Francis Rowe | 23 Jul 01:14 2015

anyone here own a librem?

Please contact me off-list if you do have one in your physical
possession. I have a few questions about it.

aurelien | 21 Jul 06:45 2015

Community project to free programming language packager

Hello hackers,

Most of us that run servers, programming or as simple users, use
programming language package manager like pip, go, rubygems and much

Most of them contain free software, but some are non-free.

We need free version of them to improve the quality of works from the
user to the programmers by invoking free version.

It is right that each project request people, knowledge, time and money.

But we also need fluend tools to works fluently.


Joel Kahn | 25 Jun 18:00 2015

US Navy on Windows XP

As a veteran of the United States Navy, I must confess
that I'm not especially proud of this report:


If you live anywhere near a US Navy base, take your Trisquel DVDs down and storm the gates. If you're a US
citizen, write your congressperson and senators!


Algot Runeman | 24 Jun 22:37 2015

Microsoft and a version of R

I stumbled across this post:
and felt compelled to write a comment.

"It sounds as if Microsoft should just buy TIBCO. The result won't be R, 
perhaps. R is important because it is not buried cryptically in 
commercial products, R is important because it is Free Software, out in 
the open where scientists can evaluate the analysis of data from top 
right down to the bottom, not being forced to "believe" that a company 
has done a creditable implementation in its black box software.

The GPL is designed specifically to ensure the visibility of software 
upon which our analysis relies."


k054 | 22 Jun 13:54 2015


Hi there,

I just added a WikiEditingGuide to the LibrePlanet wiki. It's in Spanish
but I hope it's enough visually self explanatory.

I'll try to translate if and any help will me wellcome.




John Sullivan | 19 Jun 18:45 2015

LibrePlanet wiki updated!

Many of you have been waiting patiently for this for a very long time.
libreplanet.org is now finally on a current version of MediaWiki, thanks
to some hard work by our sysadmin team, especially Stephen Mahood, and
kosa, who volunteered his help and did much of the work!



John Sullivan | Executive Director, Free Software Foundation
GPG Key: 61A0963B | http://status.fsf.org/johns | http://fsf.org/blogs/RSS

Do you use free software? Donate to join the FSF and support freedom at

Mike Gerwitz | 12 Jun 16:51 2015

Mozilla and Pocket

Has anyone seen any useful campaigns against Mozilla's integration of
Pocket?  It's distributed with Firefox and is a third-party service that
is not only proprietary (in the sense that I cannot host my own instance
of it), but also serves proprietary JavaScript.

Recent response from them here:

Perhaps the FSF would be interested in calling them out, along the same
lines as they did with Adobe and EME (although those are more
fundamental issues).  I'd be willing to write something up.

Mike Gerwitz
Free Software Hacker | GNU Maintainer
FSF Member #5804 | GPG Key ID: 0x8EE30EAB