Free Software died when the proprietary software industry realized that Open Source was the perfect weapon to use against it, and then along with ESR (who is arguably even worse than RMS) recruited developers and users away from Free Software to become free (or sometimes paid) labor for proprietary software.

The FSF themselves have demonstrated that they will die with Stallman.


@freakazoid That's why I think we need a new term. I'm using "cooperative technology": cooperativetechnology.codeberg

@be I think it's a good idea, though I think it may be difficult to build a movement based on opposition to something as vaguely defined as "capitalism".

The current capitalist approach to producing software harms users for very specific reasons, and I think it's possible to convince people of that even if they otherwise think capitalism is great or necessary.

@be I think that a big mistake that the Free Software movement has made is to almost completely ignore how to fund the development of Free Software. Funding is a problem capitalism has no problem solving. Governance is another problem Free Software has mostly ignored, even though it may well be an even harder and more important problem to solve than funding.

@freakazoid Funding and governance are deeply intertwined.

@be Governance is required for funding. Is there some requirement in the other direction as well?

@freakazoid No, governance can and does exist without funding.

@be Ok, was just trying to understand if "deeply intertwined" implied some dependency I hadn't thought of.

@freakazoid This. Most of the #softwarelibre advocates never got tired claiming that "libre" is more important than "gratis" while at the same time, virtually everywhere (software, of course, but also music, movies, ...) the effect of these approaches most tangible to end-users _is_ things being "gratis". A much better approach, then and now, possibly would have been "libre is opposed to gratis", at least if you have software and services that somehow can compare.


@z428 @be What do you mean by "libre is opposed to gratis"? You mean you should be paying for libre software?

@freakazoid Possibly depends on your definition of "should". 😉 I wonder where we would be by today if we made a requirement for software to be "libre" to not depend on any funding by disputable corporate entities. So: No GSoC money. No devs that are paid by GAFAM in dayjobs. No software built on tools developed by corporations and being "just" OpenSource. Plus, however, still software that is somehow enabling technically untrained end-users to use computers and technology too. At the ...


@freakazoid ... moment, a lot of FLOSS seems to be built around spare-time devs and techies that enjoy tinkering on some tools together with other spare-time techies, mostly left "open" because "if you don't like it, fix it yourself". For an end-user who will never remotely be able to do that, there's no difference to using a "gratis" proprietary tool by GAFAM that just works (but that they pay by throwing in their personal data) - at this point it's just about price. This, however, ...


@freakazoid ... also seems partly caused by the fact that a lot of FLOSS projects are hobby/spare time/side projects. If you do something in your free hours, something that doesn't fill your fridge, it's not something that makes you consider someone elses needs. If we were able and willing to pay money for #SoftwareLibre, to make sure devs can make a living working on #SoftwareLibre full time, this could change quite a few things.


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