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Practicality of GNU project and libre movement

From: Sagar Acharya
Subject: Practicality of GNU project and libre movement
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2020 18:48:59 +0200 (CEST)

I read "Free as in Freedom" by Richard Stallman and am a strong supporter of 
GNU project. I strongly want it to succeed.

However, when you keep money away from the free software movement, such a 
movement cannot survive against people who actively charge money for binaries 
without source code. All power arises from concealment. When you understand a 
system very well, the power goes away and it looks ordinary. When GNU or libre 
movement asks contributors or volunteers (both fancy words for "work for me for 
free"), you present making libre software as a secondary thing rather than a 
central thing. When projects licensed GPLv3 rely almost completely on 
"donations" from other, you rely on the donor's generosity for getting food at 
your table. I really want people to remove reliance on external things and make 
GNU central and very active.

With such a system, when a coder has to choose between working for Microsoft, 
Google or GNU projects, I really doubt whether he'll go for GNU. GNU project is 
not bigger than survival. 

Having libre hardware(none yet wrt computer), libre booting software(most 
hardware is incompatible), libre OS(Done) and libre basic tools(Done) like 
compilers and building tools are central for freedom. Applications still can be 
proprietary when their ability to exploit can be limited. With the above 4 
things under control of power-hungry people today, I don't see Windows going 
away. It's getting worse with smart devices and surveillance devices 
everywhere. (I really don't get the point of why a smart fridge is even 
required!!) Today, in the worst case scenario, thinking silently is the only 
thing one can do without giving your data away.

GNU project needs to have clear concept of how it will generate funds and 
incentivize people(reasonably talented) to create free software and free 
hardware and it is not possible with "donations" and "volunteers". It needs to 
get money with a significant business and marketing force and needs to provide 
an alternative computer with every component libre which can be used for some 
purpose like designing (2D graphics with inkscape say). Products can be cheap 
with minimal profits but profits must be present.

Thanking you
Sagar Acharya


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