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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Freedom is not merely choice


From: Michel Van Eeckhout
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Freedom is not merely choice
Date: Tue, 15 May 2012 18:55:43 -0400

I think that people can play with words and twist some of the meaning, but what is important here is not choices imposed by others, but my own choice, which is what I understand from Richard-qbiciii 's post.  In the case of the browsers on Windows ARM, my choice might not even be available, artificially, because of proprietary choices to limit users.  To really be able to even have a true personal choice, I think you necessarily need to have the freedom to run whatever you like and modify the system itself if that is the limiting component.  If you don't have that, you don't have true choice.


On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM, J.B. Nicholson-Owens <address@hidden> wrote:
Richard-qbiciii wrote:
Freedom is choice... not free. I don't want my choices or money
messed with. That is my voice and power.

Actually, if all you focus on is freedom of choice your software freedom can disappear.

A recent example of this is Harvey Anderson's post to the Mozilla blog:

http://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2012/05/09/windows-on-arm-users-need-browser-choice-too/

Anderson points out that the upcoming proprietary Microsoft Windows variant (which runs on ARM processors) will only allow web browsers to run in the less featureful "Metro" environment instead of the more featureful "Windows Classic" environment.  He surmises "In practice, this means that only Internet Explorer will be able to perform many of the advanced computing functions vital to modern browsers in terms of speed, stability, and security to which users have grown accustomed."

The solution?  Anderson argues that "Windows on ARM users need browser choice".

Anderson's call for more browser choices would be met if Microsoft allowed only other proprietary web browsers to run like Internet Explorer can.  Anderson isn't arguing that computer users deserve the freedom to run, share, and modify the programs they have.  Choice can be satisfied without respecting users' software freedom.



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