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Stallman Calls Valve Games on Linux ‘Unethical’


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#31 Vice

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 23:13

So what exactly is his problem? He should be glad that Valve is doing this for Linux. No one is forced to pay for anything. If Linux users want to pay for the games, then they will. If they don't, then they don't. I don't see the issue here.


He believes that software should be like human languages. Free for anyone to learn, modify or invent. If you invent a word and it gets notoriety you don't "own" that word as anyone can use it for free, they can modify it, say their modification and show others how to say your word. No royalty, no "word police" telling you that you are unauthorized to use that word without paying a license fee.

So when Steam launches on linux and it sells games and locks them behind digital rights management (you need to login to access your games after paying a license fee to play them) it goes against his principles that software should be open and free for modification and redistribution.

He is against closed source software from a fundamental freedom paradigm where by he believes all people should have access to the source code of software so that they can learn from it, modify it, improve it, fork it, redistribute it etc

I guess he could be described as the ultimate socialist I don't think in his world it is really possible to own a piece of software. I don't agree with his views, I think developers should have the choice to release open or closed software and deserve the right to decide who can and cannot use their software based on any criteria they like including a monetary one.


#32 +Karl L.

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 23:14

That simply isn't true. If anything RMS's incessant moralising and absolutist rhetoric "scare off" far more people than it draws in.

Eric S. Raymond wrote a brilliant blogpost about RMS here that sums the matter up nicely.


While I don't completely agree with you, I understand your point. That is a common complaint lodged against the FSF in general. Also, I read both the post you linked to and the "Evaluating the hard from closed source" post that it referenced in their entirety. The latter is by far the best and most pragmatic look at the matter of open source versus closed source software that I have ever read. I highly recommend that everyone reading this thread take the time to read it as well. I also agree with the former, and I don't think it conflicts with Majesticmerc's post, as you indicate. It is merely a slightly different vocalization of what is essentially the same opinion.

#33 Athernar

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 23:15

I agree entirely that his expression of opinion is off the rails (hell, one need only point to his opinions on paedophilia to see what we mean), but his unwaivering belief in the ideals he stands for is admirable in my opinion. We need fanatics like Stallman around to counter the fanatics like Ballmer that consider free software a cancer, and a man who's equally off the rails when it comes to expressing his opinions.

ADDENDUM

Any half-smart person should be able to see that most of what he says is hyperbole, but then the people at the other end of the scale try equally as hard to make people close their software to the disadvantage of the consumer.


Fanaticism is willful ignorance, and does nothing but harm whatever the context. Rationality is what you should respect, not extremism.

Men like Stallman should be spurned and rejected, and the sooner the greater OSS community wakes up to this and moves away from his non-free GNU/GPL bile the better. (Something FreeBSD seems to be aiming for already)

Freedom is freedom, no conditions.

#34 brianshapiro

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 23:47

That simply isn't true. If anything RMS's incessant moralising and absolutist rhetoric "scare off" far more people than it draws in.

Eric S. Raymond wrote a brilliant blogpost about RMS here that sums the matter up nicely.


Re: what Raymond was arguing. I don't think that's the problem with Stallman at all, there's a role for moralizing and sometimes focusing on consequences just leads to people trying to compromise, "bargain with the devil." But, if you are going to moralize, don't overshoot the target and become a zealot. ie. talking about the virtue of modesty is okay, but don't go around shaming people for not covering themselves with burqas. He turns people off not because he moralizes, but he talks like a zealot.

#35 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 23:50

Fanaticism is willful ignorance, and does nothing but harm whatever the context. Rationality is what you should respect, not extremism.

Men like Stallman should be spurned and rejected, and the sooner the greater OSS community wakes up to this and moves away from his non-free GNU/GPL bile the better. (Something FreeBSD seems to be aiming for already)

Freedom is freedom, no conditions.


Equally so people like Ballmer and Ellison should be spurned and rejected, but that won't happen any time soon...

Respecting rationality is a given, and Fanatacism isn't good by any stretch, but sometimes extremism needs to be fought with extremism. People like RMS need to exist lest the world start listening too much to the proprietary bile that spews from the mouths of the likes of Ballmer and Ellison. What I'm trying to say is that people should reject both extremes (both complete freedom and complete closed-ness are detrimental to software development) and find a middle ground by rejecting the parts of the extremes that they dislike, or at the very least form their own opinion of what constitutes software freedom.

Rationality prevailing in a world full of fanatics is nothing more than a fantasy.

The key here is to allow people to form their own opinions. RMS serves to represent the extreme end of software freedom and hacker culture (something which I find contradictory, since the GPL supports both and is actually quite restrictive as a software license) in the face of a world out to make $$$ by restricting our freedom use our software as we see fit.

Like I said, the problem with RMS isn't his belief system, it's the way he expresses it. Which is what ESR was referring to.

#36 brianshapiro

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 23:56

Equally so people like Ballmer and Ellison should be spurned and rejected, but that won't happen any time soon...


Does that mean you equally appreciate Ballmer and Ellison as much as Stallman

#37 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 00:11

Does that mean you equally appreciate Ballmer and Ellison as much as Stallman


Perhaps not as much, being a FOSS preferrer myself, but yes. Ideally none would exist, and rationality would prevail.

#38 Andre S.

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 00:20

If RMS was to say "Well, I'm normally against DRM restrictions, but in Valves case I'll let it slide because they make good games", the free software movement has lost. The free software movement maintains unreasonable ideals because at the end of the day, even if the majority of software only manages to be 50% free according to RMS' beliefs, it's a victory for free software and consumer rights.

I disagree with the notion that someone needs to push an idea to the point of absurdity for others to follow it in moderation. I think Stallman causes more harm than good to free software by making it look like some kind of utopia instead of the very useful development and publishing model that it can be it certain cases.

#39 Javik

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 00:23

Under FOSS licenses it's very hard for developers to be rewarded for their talents and time. Sure, a lot of people contribute for free and that's great but there's nothing wrong with developers being compensated for the utilisation of their time and talents. They deserve freedom as much as users do.

#40 Athernar

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 00:41

Equally so people like Ballmer and Ellison should be spurned and rejected, but that won't happen any time soon...

Respecting rationality is a given, and Fanatacism isn't good by any stretch, but sometimes extremism needs to be fought with extremism. People like RMS need to exist lest the world start listening too much to the proprietary bile that spews from the mouths of the likes of Ballmer and Ellison. What I'm trying to say is that people should reject both extremes (both complete freedom and complete closed-ness are detrimental to software development) and find a middle ground by rejecting the parts of the extremes that they dislike, or at the very least form their own opinion of what constitutes software freedom.

Rationality prevailing in a world full of fanatics is nothing more than a fantasy.

The key here is to allow people to form their own opinions. RMS serves to represent the extreme end of software freedom and hacker culture (something which I find contradictory, since the GPL supports both and is actually quite restrictive as a software license) in the face of a world out to make $$$ by restricting our freedom use our software as we see fit.

Like I said, the problem with RMS isn't his belief system, it's the way he expresses it. Which is what ESR was referring to.


An eye for an eye makes the world blind.

Extremists alienate people, that is their purpose. Steve Ballmer is OSS's biggest supporter, and RMS is it's biggest enemy.

Likewise, RMS is a great asset for the likes of Apple and Microsoft, his rhetoric only ensures that developers like myself, who sit on the border between closed and open, only move further to the other side.

#41 remixedcat

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 00:42

stallman can go lick the crud off the floor in my kitchen and bathroom and my entryway for his comments.

#42 vetsanctified

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:26

The level of maturity and reading comprehension here is above the charts... :rolleyes:

#43 Solid Knight

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:40

RMS's software is unethical. His licenses force users to abide by terms. That isn't freedom. That is slavery.

#44 Athernar

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:05

The level of maturity and reading comprehension here is above the charts... :rolleyes:


So you decide to contribute by posting a useless comment? Step down off your pedestal to consort with mere mortals much?

RMS's software is unethical. His licenses force users to abide by terms. That isn't freedom. That is slavery.


Exactly! How on earth he can stand up there and claim he advocates "Freedom" when the GPL is a long document full of restrictions is hilarious.

There are no conditions on freedom.

#45 vetsanctified

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:33

So you decide to contribute by posting a useless comment? Step down off your pedestal to consort with mere mortals much?


Stop kidding yourself, no one is really contributing here.