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www/philosophy free-software-even-more-importan...

From: Richard M. Stallman
Subject: www/philosophy free-software-even-more-importan...
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 18:11:10 +0000

CVSROOT:        /web/www
Module name:    www
Changes by:     Richard M. Stallman <rms>       15/01/18 18:11:10

Modified files:
        philosophy     : free-software-even-more-important.html 

Log message:
        Major rewrite of first section to bring the main points forward, so
        the article serves better for readers who have no idea what free
        software is or why it matters.  Don't mention SaaSS until the section
        that explains it.  Use mainly "developer" with "owner" as secondary


Index: free-software-even-more-important.html
RCS file: /web/www/www/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html,v
retrieving revision 1.15
retrieving revision 1.16
diff -u -b -r1.15 -r1.16
--- free-software-even-more-important.html      5 Jan 2015 12:55:20 -0000       
+++ free-software-even-more-important.html      18 Jan 2015 18:11:10 -0000      
@@ -19,39 +19,40 @@
-<p>It is 30 years since the launch of the Free Software Movement which
-campaigns for software to respect the users' freedom and community.
-We call such software &ldquo;free&rdquo; and &ldquo;libre&rdquo; (we
-use that word to emphasize that we're talking about freedom, not
-price).  Some proprietary programs, such as Photoshop, are very
-expensive; others, such as Flash Player, are available
-gratis&mdash;either way, they subject their users to the program
-owner's power.</p>
-<p>Much has changed since the beginning: most people, in advanced
-countries, now own computers (sometimes called &ldquo;phones&rdquo;)
-and connect to the Internet with them.  Nonfree software still makes
-the users surrender control over their computing to someone else, but
-now there is another way to lose it: Service as a Software Substitute,
-or SaaSS, which means letting someone else's server do your own
-computing activities.</p>
-<p>Both nonfree software and SaaSS can spy on the user, shackle the
-user, and even attack the user.  Abuses are common in services and
-proprietary software products because the users are not in charge.
-That's the fundamental difference: nonfree software and SaaSS are
-controlled by some other entity (typically a corporation or a state),
-and the users have no say.  Free software, by contrast, puts the users
-in control&mdash;of the software, and thus of their computers
-(assuming those <a href="/philosophy/loyal-computers.html">loyally</a>
-do what the users' programs tell them to do).
-<p>Why does this control matter?  Because freedom means having control
-over your own life.  If you use a program to carry out activities in
-your life, your freedom depends on your having control over the program.
-You deserve to have control over the programs you use, and all the more
-so when you use them for something important in your life.</p>
+<p>Since 1983, the Free Software Movement has campaigned for computer
+users' freedom&mdash;for users to control the software software they
+use, rather than vice versa.  When a program respects users' freedom
+and community, we call it &ldquo;free software.&rdquo;</p>
+<p>We also sometimes call it &ldquo;libre software&rdquo; to emphasize
+that we're talking about liberty, not price.  Some proprietary
+(nonfree) programs, such as Photoshop, are very expensive; others,
+such as Flash Player, are available gratis&mdash;but that's a minor
+detail.  Either way, they give the program's developer power
+over the users, power that no one should have.</p>
+<p>Those two nonfree programs have something else in common: they are
+both <em>malware</em>.  That is, both have functionalities designed to
+mistreat the user.  Proprietary software nowadays is often malware
+because <a href="/philosophy/proprietary/proprietary.html">the
+developers' power corrupts them</a>.</p>
+<p>With free software, the users control the program, both individually
+and collectively.  So they control what their computers do (assuming
+those computers are <a href="/philosophy/loyal-computers.html">loyal</a>
+and do what the users' programs tell them to do).</p>
+<p>With proprietary software, the program controls the users, and some
+other entity (the developer or &ldquo;owner&rdquo;) controls the
+program.  So the proprietary program gives its developer power over
+its users.  That is unjust in itself, and tempts the developer to
+mistreat the users in other ways.</p>
+<p>Freedom means having control over your own life.  If you use a
+program to carry out activities in your life, your freedom depends on
+your having control over the program.  You deserve to have control
+over the programs you use, and all the more so when you use them for
+something important in your life.</p>
 <p>Users' control over the program requires four
 <a href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">essential freedoms</a>.
@@ -111,12 +112,12 @@
 <p>If the users don't control the program, the program controls the
 users.  With proprietary software, there is always some entity, the
-&ldquo;owner&rdquo; of the program, that controls the
+developer or &ldquo;owner&rdquo; of the program, that controls the
 program&mdash;and through it, exercises power over its users.  A
 nonfree program is a yoke, an instrument of unjust power.</p>
 <p>In outrageous cases (though this outrage has become quite usual) <a
-href="/philosophy/proprietary.html">proprietary programs are designed
+href="/philosophy/proprietary/">proprietary programs are designed
 to spy on the users, restrict them, censor them, and abuse them</a>.
 For instance, the operating system of Apple iThings does all of these,
 and so does Windows on mobile devices with ARM chips.  Windows, mobile
@@ -245,7 +246,7 @@
 software.  But the word &ldquo;advantages&rdquo; is too weak when it
 comes to freedom.  Life without freedom is oppression, and that
 applies to computing as well as every other activity in our lives.  We
-must refuse to give the owners of the programs or computing services
+must refuse to give the developers of the programs or computing services
 control over the computing we do.  This is the right thing to do, for
 selfish reasons; but not solely for selfish reasons.</p>
@@ -340,7 +341,7 @@
 <p class="unprintable">Updated:
 <!-- timestamp start -->
-$Date: 2015/01/05 12:55:20 $
+$Date: 2015/01/18 18:11:10 $
 <!-- timestamp end -->

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