RE: Free Software Company

Subject: RE: Free Software Company
From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 02:45:41 -0700
You must add:
"7. From each developer, according to his ability, to each world citizen
according to his need" for this to truly represent the free developers.
Then I too will join the glorious revolution.

Also off-topic, is radhakrishnan a malayalan name?  Evokes the statesman who
annotated my favourite version of the "gita", but I did not expect he was
from Kerala?


As always, speaking for myself only

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Radhakrishnan C V [mailto:cvr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Monday, September 11, 2000 10:09 PM
> To: xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Free Software Company 
> What I am giving below is off topic but relevant to everyone 
> associated with free software.
> I hope most of you might have heard about Richard M. Stallman
> (RMS) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF), and the free software
> movement ignited by RMS.
> An intense discussion is going on at freedevelopers@xxxxxxxxxx
> for the formation of a Free Software Company entirely owned by
> the free developers world wide (100,000 developers expected) to
> safeguard the moral, social and ethical foundations on which FSF
> was built up, to provide appropriate monetary compensation and
> quality life to a free software developer he deserves in all the
> fairness and to fight the merciless commerce of the proprietary
> software corporates. These being the primary objectives,  Tony
> Stanco <TonyStanco@xxxxxxx> (an associate of RMS, who moderates
> the list) describe it in the following way:
> 1. Proprietary code is the enemy. It must be destroyed for
>    developers and the world to be free. Open source is an ally. 
> 2. Developers can be paid salaries and/or stock options to work
>    on free code without violating the core principles of free
>    code. 
> 3. Mergers and acquisitions of proprietary companies are not
>    objectionable in defeating proprietary. 
> 4. A company of free developers, by free developers, for free
>    developers is an acceptable vehicle to achieve the ends of free
>    code. 
> 5. A requirement in the certificate of incorporation that all
>    code owned by the company is licensed under GPL or other tying
>    to FSF is appropriate to ensure that the core principles of
>    free software are observed going forward and to protect from
>    slipping back to proprietary. 
> 6. A democratic, free developer run corporation does not require
>    special safeguards to protect ordinary world citizens. 
> As one of the developing nations, in India or in any developing
> nation, where automation has just started, Free Software Company
> and FSF have plenty of implications.
> 1. In the first place, our poor economy cant afford to the fancy
>    prices of proprietary software (maybe due to the foriegn
>    exchange conversion magic).
> 2. Free Software can meet any objective, functionality that is
>    claimed by the proprietary.
> 3. The huge man power resources generated in each and every
>    place of higher academic learning in this country get a
>    chance to contribute to the free software movement, while
>    he earns a substantially increased income comparable to his
>    counterpart in any proprietary corporate, as an employee
>    of the proposed company. The discussions tend to provide
>    the standard wages in India as in any part of the world.
>    That will surely solve the disturbing problems of migration
>    in many an Indian family.
> 4. There are plenty of requirement for software in this country
>    for meeting its target of total automation for which each
>    and every government or other agencies stand for today. Free
>    software can meet their objectives on sound moral, ethical and
>    social foundations than any other proprietary corporate.
> A Case Study:
> ------------
> The Govt. of Kerala has formed an IT mission to automate the
> 1000 and odd Gram Panchayats (the lowest unit of elected body at
> village level) of this state. It is a massive and aggressive
> project to bring details of all the citizens of this state into
> a huge database, each Panchayat becoming a resource center for
> the government and at the same time act as the information
> exchange medium between the public and the government. 
> This is an ideal project for the free software movement. The
> government have earmarked around Rs. 800,000 per Panchayat for
> using proprietary software and related development as initial
> investment and Rs. 150,000 as annual recurring expenses. While
> this came as a proposal, the Linux Users and TeX Users Groups
> came forward to negotiate with the government to do the project
> at a cost of Rs. 150,000 per Panchyat as initial expenses and
> rs. 20,000 as recurring expenses.
> But we were turned down, just because, we were considered to be
> a group of free thinkers, whom no responsible government can
> rely upon.
> Had there been a corporate entity with FSF objectives to compete
> with the proprietary agencies, the public exchecquer would have
> saved millions of rupees, the developers in this or neighbouring
> states would have got employment.
> Still the project is not finalized due to the media stir we
> raised and the seminars of users groups wherein the government
> nominees were special invitees. To make matters difficult for
> the government, the Cochin Linux Users Group came up with a
> viable, stable, functional software model which the political
> bureaucracy cannot overlook or deny. The final decision was
> postponed and still lingering.
> That means we have not lost the race, the global Free Software
> Company can still fight it out once it is formally incorporated.
> Tens of thousands of projects are in the offing which we all can
> undertake. This is the case in many other countries world wide.
> There are a quite a number of posts in the freedevelopers list
> similar to this from West European countries.
> Therefore, if you believe in the non-exploitative future of your
> country and the world at large and if you believe in the objectives
> of free software movement, you are always welcome to make the
> Free Software Company a reality. It requires the developer in
> you, not for free, but for a standard compensation as in any
> other proprietary corporate.
> Why don't you subscribe to the discussions by sending a mail to:
>   freedevelopers-subscribe@xxxxxxxxxx
> with a word `subscribe' in the subject line?
> You are not alone, but you are going to meet/associate with some
> of the greatest minds of this era in this movement. And
> remember, Free Software Company is going to be the greatest
> event in the history of Internet and every country should have its 
> fare representation and share.
> Comments are welcome.
> -- 
> Radhakrishnan
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