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View Full Version : Linux is free, but is Linus too?



mr.propre
March 5th, 2009, 10:53 PM
This what I wonder. Linux is free because the thought behind open source is that information should be free and accessible for everyone. But what if Linux (or another open source guru like Stallman) talks at conventions or universities, are they also doing that for "free". Unlike other people who mostly ask (allot) money.

Because a few days ago, my old school called me and asked if I would like to talk about my experience after school for free. And I didn't had any problem with it, I'm even going to take a day off for it. Because from my point of view, I can understand that people ask money for working programmes, like Windows, Office package or a Computer game. But I find it hard to understand that people ask money to talk, to exchange knowledge.

In my opinion, that knowledge MUST be free, imagine that the "inventor" of the wheel never exchange his knowledge because he wanted to be payed. It would have stopped our evolution because of greed and wouldn't that be a shame. I think that exchanging knowledge is part of our life, about our existence.

Onoskelis
March 5th, 2009, 10:56 PM
In my opinion, that knowledge MUST be free, imagine that the "inventor" of the wheel never exchange his knowledge because he wanted to be payed.

The world runs on money. That's reality.

If I worked hard on an idea, and spent thousands developing it, I would expect to be paid for it. Nobody likes working for free.

HammerOfDoubt
March 5th, 2009, 11:14 PM
This what I wonder. Linux is free because the thought behind open source is that information should be free and accessible for everyone. But what if Linux (or another open source guru like Stallman) talks at conventions or universities, are they also doing that for "free". Unlike other people who mostly ask (allot) money.

Because a few days ago, my old school called me and asked if I would like to talk about my experience after school for free. And I didn't had any problem with it, I'm even going to take a day off for it. Because from my point of view, I can understand that people ask money for working programmes, like Windows, Office package or a Computer game. But I find it hard to understand that people ask money to talk, to exchange knowledge.

In my opinion, that knowledge MUST be free, imagine that the "inventor" of the wheel never exchange his knowledge because he wanted to be payed. It would have stopped our evolution because of greed and wouldn't that be a shame. I think that exchanging knowledge is part of our life, about our existence.

So he should work and speak publicly for free because you have an over enlarged sense of entitlement?

This is one constant attitude I encounter in the FOSS community that I cannot stand.

lukjad007
March 5th, 2009, 11:15 PM
This what I wonder. Linux is free because the thought behind open source is that information should be free and accessible for everyone. But what if Linux (or another open source guru like Stallman) talks at conventions or universities, are they also doing that for "free". Unlike other people who mostly ask (allot) money.

But I find it hard to understand that people ask money to talk, to exchange knowledge.

There is a difference between ideas being free, and being paid as a lecturer. If I go to speak about something, I'm being paid, not only for the information which I could send to you as a PDF, but for my time and presentation skills. Also, it's not like each and every member of the audience will get up and make a speech, so it's not really an exchange.

Also, you going to your friend's school on a day off is not the same as someone who leaves his country to make a speech at a seminar. I have the right to sell Ubuntu CDs, so long as the person who gets them (the person who gets the information if you will) also has all the same rights as I did, namely to redistribute, sell, and modify the information.

Skripka
March 5th, 2009, 11:22 PM
This what I wonder. Linux is free because the thought behind open source is that information should be free and accessible for everyone. But what if Linux (or another open source guru like Stallman) talks at conventions or universities, are they also doing that for "free". Unlike other people who mostly ask (allot) money.

Because a few days ago, my old school called me and asked if I would like to talk about my experience after school for free. And I didn't had any problem with it, I'm even going to take a day off for it. Because from my point of view, I can understand that people ask money for working programmes, like Windows, Office package or a Computer game. But I find it hard to understand that people ask money to talk, to exchange knowledge.

In my opinion, that knowledge MUST be free, imagine that the "inventor" of the wheel never exchange his knowledge because he wanted to be payed. It would have stopped our evolution because of greed and wouldn't that be a shame. I think that exchanging knowledge is part of our life, about our existence.

Professionals in any field normally expect compensation for their knowledge and time. I do. I enjoy my field and work-but I LIVE by my work. If I don't get paid for my work and knowledge-I don't eat or have a place to live.

Some people are rich enough to do things pro bono. Most are not.

koenn
March 5th, 2009, 11:30 PM
This what I wonder. Linux is free because the thought behind open source is that information should be free and accessible for everyone. But what if Linux (or another open source guru like Stallman) talks at conventions or universities, are they also doing that for "free". Unlike other people who mostly ask (allot) money.

Because a few days ago, my old school called me and asked if I would like to talk about my experience after school for free. And I didn't had any problem with it, I'm even going to take a day off for it. Because from my point of view, I can understand that people ask money for working programmes, like Windows, Office package or a Computer game. But I find it hard to understand that people ask money to talk, to exchange knowledge.

In my opinion, that knowledge MUST be free, imagine that the "inventor" of the wheel never exchange his knowledge because he wanted to be payed. It would have stopped our evolution because of greed and wouldn't that be a shame. I think that exchanging knowledge is part of our life, about our existence.

You assume that Linus and rms share your opinion that information should be free, and you draw conclusions from that assumption, but afaik, rms says software must be free (as in speech), or users must have certain freedoms when it comes to using that software. It doesn't follow from that that speaking engagements should be free of charge as well. Same thing, or similar, with Torvalds.
Furthermore, as lukjad007 pointed out, you shouldn't confuse free (as in free speech, exchange freely, unrestricted, ...) with 'free of charge', get it for free.

That said, rms is sort of a hippie and a strong believer in his cause, so it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't charge for at least some of his lectures, if they help the cause, but that's not an essential point.

Giant Speck
March 5th, 2009, 11:43 PM
If I had to go anywhere to make a speech in front of people where I'd have to pay for a plane ticket, hotel, food and some sort of taxi, not to mention my time to do so, you're damn right I'd expect to be compensated in some shape or form.

liamnixon
March 5th, 2009, 11:51 PM
Everybody's gotta eat. ;)

Nothing wrong with making a little money. Besides, Linux isn't great because it's free of charge (though that certainly doesn't hurt), its great because of the freedom that comes with it.

cmay
March 6th, 2009, 12:19 AM
i once worked 70 hours a week and only got paid for the 36 hours. it was my own choice to work for free some hours and i did it becouse the animals i was working with was under a special welfare that i liked to work with and support the idea of free and happy animals. so if an idea is good and someone burns to do something they will do it for free and let the pay be the work in it self.
sadly we all gotta live and there is nothing wrong with taking an offer of just about what you need to get by but to ask for more than just the food on the table and the morning cigarrette and at the same time get to do something that means a lot is only a few that can get them self in a position where that can be done i think.

mr.propre
March 6th, 2009, 12:21 AM
After reading I need to say that there are some good points and I need to change my own opinion. I can understand that people pay if you would come from far and/or if you would talk to professionals like a company or a convention. But for student? I don't know, I find it a task as an adult to give those people information so that they can prepare themselves for the future.

On the other hand, if it is the only form of income, I also could agree with it. But for most speakers, I find it somewhat eum... mean/brutal they ask money. For example the (ex-)prime minster from Belgium Guy Verhofstad, when he was minister he talked allot in schools and asking money for it, while he already was royally payed by the tax payers, the parent of the children he talked to.

For Linus and open source it is a little bit odd. It's like he gives the code for free but you need to pay him to decrypt it.

geoken
March 6th, 2009, 12:38 AM
Because a few days ago, my old school called me and asked if I would like to talk about my experience after school for free. And I didn't had any problem with it, I'm even going to take a day off for it. Because from my point of view, I can understand that people ask money for working programmes, like Windows, Office package or a Computer game. But I find it hard to understand that people ask money to talk, to exchange knowledge.


You find that hard to believe?

You just stated you 'even took a day off work' meaning you do something else for an income. If people wanted you to do speeaches 5 days a week requiring you to quit your job would you still do them for free?

HammerOfDoubt
March 6th, 2009, 02:17 AM
After reading I need to say that there are some good points and I need to change my own opinion. I can understand that people pay if you would come from far and/or if you would talk to professionals like a company or a convention. But for student? I don't know, I find it a task as an adult to give those people information so that they can prepare themselves for the future.

On the other hand, if it is the only form of income, I also could agree with it. But for most speakers, I find it somewhat eum... mean/brutal they ask money. For example the (ex-)prime minster from Belgium Guy Verhofstad, when he was minister he talked allot in schools and asking money for it, while he already was royally payed by the tax payers, the parent of the children he talked to.

For Linus and open source it is a little bit odd. It's like he gives the code for free but you need to pay him to decrypt it.

1. Linus Torvalds is not a highly ranked highly paid government official.

2. If you think asking for compensation for your time and knowledge is mean and brutal, you need to a serious reality check. I don't mean that in an insulting or condescending way, just being honest. What you're saying is an absurd twisting of the definition of meanness and brutality.

3. You don't need to pay Linus Torvalds to decrypt Linux. You seem to be trying to paint it as some sort of scam, but it isn't.

Sporkman
March 6th, 2009, 03:07 AM
FOSS people are just against charging for, and ownership of, information - however, they're all for charging for time & labor.

koenn
March 6th, 2009, 03:22 PM
For Linus and open source it is a little bit odd. It's like he gives the code for free but you need to pay him to decrypt it.
Learn C and download the source, that's all there is to it.
However, if you expect L. to come over and explain it to you in person because figuring it out by yourself is too much of an effort, why wouldn't you pay him for his effort ?

koenn
March 6th, 2009, 03:24 PM
... But for student? I don't know, I find it a task as an adult to give those people information so that they can prepare themselves for the future.
So, school teachers should work and not get paid ?

billgoldberg
March 6th, 2009, 03:40 PM
After reading I need to say that there are some good points and I need to change my own opinion. I can understand that people pay if you would come from far and/or if you would talk to professionals like a company or a convention. But for student? I don't know, I find it a task as an adult to give those people information so that they can prepare themselves for the future.

On the other hand, if it is the only form of income, I also could agree with it. But for most speakers, I find it somewhat eum... mean/brutal they ask money. For example the (ex-)prime minster from Belgium Guy Verhofstad, when he was minister he talked allot in schools and asking money for it, while he already was royally payed by the tax payers, the parent of the children he talked to.

For Linus and open source it is a little bit odd. It's like he gives the code for free but you need to pay him to decrypt it.

He gives the code away for free, but he and the other developers get paid (pretty good too I presume) for their work.

Verhofstad shouldn't ask money, that greedy sob.

bryncoles
March 6th, 2009, 06:26 PM
i imagine if Linus Torvaldis talks to you, you're allowed to remember what he says, write it down, even tell your friends what he said.

so yeah, id say Linus was Free too.

Erik Trybom
March 6th, 2009, 06:50 PM
You can sell Linux distributions on CDs or DVDs and charge whatever price you want. The GPL doesn't forbid that. Services based on GPL software are usually not free, and in fact is many companies' greatest source of income, including Red Hat and Novell. These services include support, management and yes, also lecturing. (There was even an event a few years back when Richard Stallman got tired of writing autographs and started charging for them in order to shorten the queue.)

If you believe everyone working with free software must do everything for free, then you have gravely misunderstood what free software is.

swoll1980
March 6th, 2009, 06:55 PM
@ op
For real? No really, for real?

Depressed Man
March 6th, 2009, 07:27 PM
The world runs on money. That's reality.

If I worked hard on an idea, and spent thousands developing it, I would expect to be paid for it. Nobody likes working for free.

Not true. Money is not the only incentive that runs the world. Some of us actually want to do something that betters humanity without charging for it. That isn't saying that you don't receive some form of compensation however. Fame and renown can be just as important as money. And it'll even last longer too (even when your dead). Money just happens to be the most convient way of running large societies. Because in smaller societies your less likely to screw your neighbor over because everyone will know about it. You would become a social outcast. In large societies it's relatively easy. Particular business fields such as fashion, cooking, and others such as science operate on similar principles. Your name, your identity is important. You can often find clones of famous clothing, but as long as you aren't using someone's name isn't a problem. I think Louie actually commented on this himself a while back.

bobbob94
March 6th, 2009, 08:07 PM
The world runs on money. That's reality.

If I worked hard on an idea, and spent thousands developing it, I would expect to be paid for it. Nobody likes working for free.

Of course people need to earn a living somehow, but don't underestimate how much volunteering goes on as well. Many community groups, charities, political organisations and so on couldn't exist without people working for free. Financial rewards aren't the only possible rewards for your work after all!