[Fsf-friends] Re: [??.??.??.?] Red Hat signs MoU with Kerala govt

V. Sasi Kumar sasi.fsf@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Sat Jun 9 13:19:40 IST 2007

On Fri, 2007-06-08 at 19:44 +0530, Praveen A wrote:
> 2007/6/8, Mahesh M <maheshmukundan at gmail.com>:
> > I agreee with Sandeeps' view... Unless anything like a commercial
> > institution come up locally, we wont be noticed. Govt works are completly
> > strict. Its not a user group tat they would try to contact but an
> > organisation tat is wel established.
> We don't have anything against it -- How many times we have to repeat it?

Actually, it is the prevailing wisdom that is the culprit. The
prevailing wisdom says that unless there is a commercial entity, things
won't work properly. This is a result of another piece of prevaiing
wisdom that people will not do anything without a profit motive. We have
demolished the idea that creativity will not flourish without monetary
incentive -- worse, that creativity will not flourish whithout
exclusionary rights, without monopoly. Prof. Patnaik theoretically
showed this to be false in his speech at the seminar in
Thiruvananthapuram on 6th and Prof. Eben Moglen showed how this is false
in real life. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who believe this
to be true, including some people who themselves may not act
accordingly. The adoption of Free Software in IT at School could have
happened much earlier but for the belief that a commercial entity is
needed for support.

> "Hiran asked them to explain the difference between Windows and
> GNU/Linux and pat came the reply - GNU/Linux is free software! But
> then, Windows too is "free software", isn't it, I intervened. The kids
> were quick to point out that with Windows, you don't have certain
> `freedoms', like the freedom to copy! 

Here is another incident about which I heard from a teacher. A debate
was organised in a class about Free and proprietary software. The first
person to speak happened to be a teacher. He said that whatever we get
free of cost is bound to be of low quality and so on. The next speaker
was a student. He just demolished the teacher's arguments and explained
what Free Software is!

>  we were *not* talking to clueless
> `software engineers' from Bangalore 

Well put!

V. Sasi Kumar <sasi.fsf at gmail.com>
Free Software Foundation of India

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