Carsten Agger on Tue, 30 Oct 2018 13:50:33 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> Interview with Richard Stallman in New Left Review (September-October 2018)

On 10/29/18 3:00 PM, Emery Hemingway wrote:
A fight for economic rights for software workers is a fight for paid/dual
licensing model of open source, and a fight against the entire open source establishment. First against the naive/senile GNU theorists, next the Open Source Initiative, then IBM and Microsoft (they love open source), and then
the Chinese multinationals, who have profited most from an environment of
"free as in free".

As someone who worked as a software worker since 1996, I disagree completely. Using proprietary licensing would not improve our economic wellbeing at all. Companies will always charge their customers as much as possible and pay their employees as little as possible. Using proprietary licenses allow companies to cheat their customers by charging many times over for the same work, but that  doesn't necessarily benefit their employees.

On the other hand, the vast infrastrucutre of free (as in Freedom) tools for whatever purpose makes the life of a programmer much easier and makes us much efficient, which also augments the value of the work we do.

Also, it's interesting and important for the potential democratization of modern technology that we can all download, use and even change absolutely top-notch, state of the art software in a lot of areas.

On Sunday, October 28, 2018 10:02:53 PM CET, Florian Cramer wrote:
Today, IBM announced that it will buy up Red Hat for $30 billion. That value was mostly created by the labor of volunteer, un- or underpaid developers of the Free/Libre/Open Source software that makes up Red Hat's products. These people will not see a dime of IBM’s money. There need to be discussions of economic flaws and exploitation in the FLOSS development/distribution model.

Most Free/Open Source Software is in fact not created by unpaid volunteers or even by underpaid workers, but by professional developers at the companies or organizations who sponsor the projects.

And Red Hat's value is not as much the free software it has used as its knowledge and infrastructure - which has arguably not been built by unpaid volunteers.

In general, I'd say, top-professional FOSS tools are not built by amateurs or volunteers - though maybe by people who like to make them and who also can get paid by consulting or doing other works related to that.

But as I said, it's not the licensing regime, but the exploitative nature of capitalist companies, that's the problem. Going proprietary wouldn't help a bit. Creating cooperatives that shared the income without any need for "bosses" or "owners" would be a safer bet.



#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact:
#  @nettime_bot tweets mail w/ sender unless #ANON is in Subject: