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View Full Version : Stallman Sells Autographs for the Cause



professor_chaos
April 30th, 2006, 06:10 AM
I thought this was an article with such irony. I thought I would share.

http://www.linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/2006042900726NWCY

I guess its "free" as in beer.

Sef
April 30th, 2006, 06:18 AM
I don't think it is irony. If I was in his shoes, I'd probably do the same.

The idea of the GPL is not software for zero dollars. It is being able to see all the code, modify whatever code as one wishes, and release it back to the public for the process to start over.

briancurtin
April 30th, 2006, 06:29 AM
i dont see anything wrong with this, nor do i see any irony there.

professor_chaos
April 30th, 2006, 06:38 AM
Yes, I don't think he's not within his right to charge for autographs, but I think considering his position in the free software movement it comes across a bit rude to "charge" for such a stupid thing as a signature.
Maybe in signing his signature, he gives the purchaser the right to copy and distribute the signature under the GPL. :-D

briancurtin
April 30th, 2006, 06:40 AM
its not rude, it is a donation. did you even read the article?

professor_chaos
April 30th, 2006, 06:50 AM
its not rude, it is a donation. did you even read the article?

I did read the article! ???????
"its not rude, its a donation" ???? Huhhh. Charging for a signature is just that a charge. It's a cost for a product. Do you understand the concept of a donation??? A donation is a voluntary contribution. Now if stallman gave out autographs for free and then ask for a contribution, that would be a donation.

briancurtin
April 30th, 2006, 06:55 AM
its an indirect donation, which is a donation. got it now? thanks.

it took stallman no effort, he did nothing. he either wrote his name down, or he stood there while someone stood next to him. he then gives 100% of that to FSF, a donation. its called incentive.

professor_chaos
April 30th, 2006, 07:00 AM
its an indirect donation, which is a donation. got it now? thanks.

I guess when someone buys a copy of MS office, we will consider that an indirect donation to microsoft then. ;)

aysiu
April 30th, 2006, 07:04 AM
I guess when someone buys a copy of MS office, we will consider that an indirect donation to microsoft then. ;) No, that's a direct "donation" to Microsoft. If Microsoft said all proceeds from Microsoft Office would then go to a particular charity, it would be an indirect donation to that charity.

professor_chaos
April 30th, 2006, 07:17 AM
No, that's a direct "donation" to Microsoft. If Microsoft said all proceeds from Microsoft Office would then go to a particular charity, it would be an indirect donation to that charity.

a donation is a "free contribution". Otherwise it is a "sale". Indirect is an irrelevant term here. A charge for a good is a "sale" not a donation. A donation is a charitable gift, if you will. If I charge for product X and then give all proceeds to a non-profit organization Y, then I "sold" product X and then made a donation on my behalf to Y.
I dont really care to much about semantics here, but cringe when I hear about some sports star charging some kid $10 for a signature. And to see stallman do it, boggles my mind. I guess we live in a capitalistic society and everythings for sale. This makes me sad, and I will resist such things whenever possible. I guess its people like me that propel some to call Linux users as a socialistic group.

aysiu
April 30th, 2006, 07:19 AM
I was just pointing out the flaw in your comparison.

In any case, selling the autograph isn't the donation. What happens to the money afterwards is the donation. It makes me cringe no more than if Mother Theresa had sold books to fund her charity work.

professor_chaos
April 30th, 2006, 07:26 AM
I was just pointing out the flaw in your comparison.

In any case, selling the autograph isn't the donation. What happens to the money afterwards is the donation.

aysiu, yes I know... I was intentionaly making a far fetched analogy to try and show the similarity (even though the two slimly relate), in how stallman is charging some cost, which proceeds go the the very same orgainization in which he is a part of.

briancurtin
April 30th, 2006, 07:55 AM
its a donation, glad we got that far...

GeneralZod
April 30th, 2006, 08:03 AM
The idea of the GPL is not software for zero dollars. It is being able to see all the code, modify whatever code as one wishes, and release it back to the public for the process to start over.

This can't be emphasised enough - the GPL has little to do with giving software away for no cost. Back in the day, Stallman would sell tapes of GNU software for hundreds of dollars at a time (i.e. well above the cost of the media and distribution), and encourages others to do the same: especially if the proceeds finance further Free (note the capital "F"!) software:



Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of software, or that you should charge as little as possible -- just enough to cover the cost.

Actually we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If this seems surprising to you, please read on.


http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

The big "F" is far more important than the small.

As for Stallman selling autographs for money - I would cringe slightly if he was doing it solely to line his pockets, especially as he will likely never have any money worries for the rest of his life, but, as others have noted, this is not the case.

prizrak
April 30th, 2006, 09:05 AM
I agree with the General here. FSF never said software (or any product/service) has to be free of charge. In fact the GPL says that you are allowed to charge any price you want. The whole point of the FSF was always freedom to do anything with that software provided any changes are introduced back into the community. That is the important freedom, we DO live in a capitalistic society and all those organizations that give things out for free do have operating costs. Look at Canonical they have paid support as well investments to keep them funded otherwise the devs will have to find a different job because we all need to eat. In this case all the proceeds from what RMS does go to his foundation, it is no different than charity concerts often done by celebrities, you pay the money that you know are going to a charity.

Kvark
April 30th, 2006, 12:08 PM
I think he should have charged the double and kept the money. Writing autographs is a service, not a product. It takes some of your time to add value to someone's convention badge or other item by writing your name on it. One autograph is not enough work to charge for but several hundred in a row is and Stallman's autograph is worth paying a little for (or if it's worthless, then why ask for it?). Many Free software companies including Canonical charge for services too and nobody seems to complain about that.

PS. Why did you link to a link to the story instead of directly to the story itself? :?

briancurtin
April 30th, 2006, 07:07 PM
PS. Why did you link to a link to the story instead of directly to the story itself? :?
thats what i was wondering. i didnt even think he read the actual article.