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Re: Practicality of GNU project and libre movement

From: Davis Remmel
Subject: Re: Practicality of GNU project and libre movement
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 15:44:25 +0000


I'm going to pretend in this daydream there's actually $10M instead of $2M, and 
I would spend $4M on a Chiat-Day-produced advertisement with some catchy slogan 
like Get Free (something with lots of layers like a David Lynch-esque thing to 
appeal for multiple viewings, showing off the best-working free software, and 
quickly explaining the steps to Get Free (1. "Make a USB", 2. "Throw Windows 
out the window", 3. "Get Free" -fast intercut IE throw in trash and get 
Firefox- "Get Free" -fast intercut deleting MS Office and installing 
Libreoffice- "Get Free" -fast intercut of angry Microsoft executives- etc. 
-->"") Set the ad to some catchy-but-indie music like "Can't 
Keep Checking My Phone" (by UMO).

Then spend $3M on a 30-second Superbowl ad + various regional news stations for 
continued broadcast for the next 4-8 weeks.

Then spend $2M to send 20 people to various college campuses, when classes 
start again, with USB drives of GNU/Linux installers and little manuals

Use the last $1M to form an organization, a union, of free software developers. 
Get collective clout among talented developers in key places (like US 
government) and key IT people, to be able to say to their employers, "I'm 
writing free software or I'm not writing software." This will likely result in 
a strike, where union members storm the White House lawn and halls of Congress 
to demand all US citizens have software rights, making an appeal to Liberty. 
Collect union dues to make this organization self-perpetuating, and use the 
clout to first win small victories (like using Firefox instead of IE on work 


‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Thursday, July 23, 2020 8:55 PM, Stephen Paul Weber 
<> wrote:

> > Where could free software be if authors were paid equally with their
> > nonlibre-authoring peers?
> > [...]
> > Even $50M could completely fund a coherent free operating system on-par with
> > proprietary counterparts.
> I find that while having/getting money is a bit of an issue, an equally
> (actually, I expect much bigger) issue is how to spend it.
> If you (where you is anyone reading this email!) had $2M to spend on software
> freedom: what would you do?
> Could just give it to the FSF, but approximately $0 of FSF donations goes to 
> any
> developer (or UX person or other contributor to any software) so while the FSF
> does good work that cannot be what we are talking about in this discussion.
> Debian famously has too much money already and no idea what to spend it on.
> Could do a lot of Outreachy interships for that, and that would be very good
> for the community and the world, but would it move the needle on any strategic
> software improvements people in this thread have in mind?
> I'm not saying there's nothing we could do with money, but what should we do
> with money? Buy ad campaigns? Hire designers and product managers to help
> create forks of popular projects that need polish? Fund existing full-timers
> who create things we already use and need but who just scrape by (if that)?
> Find people who wish to go full time and pay them to do that on their existing
> project? Which projects?
> I mean with infinite money we could maybe just fund everything in this list,
> but even the Biggest Of Tech do not have infinite money. They have a lot, but
> more than than what they have is leadership. Good, bad, right, wrong, they 
> have
> a system in place to allocate the money they have to further their goals.
> Ok, I'm rambling too much, let's focus on the question at hand: if you had $2M
> right now to use on furthering the cause of free software, what should be done
> with it?
> I'm very interested in your answers.
> libreplanet-discuss mailing list

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