Frederick Noronha on Wed, 31 Oct 2018 01:17:42 +0100 (CET)

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

> Interview by Rob Lucas
> Free software is software that respects users’ freedom and community.
> It’s not about price. It’s libre, not gratis. 

At this point, I disagree with RMS. The 'freedom to afford software' should be actually included as the Fifth Freedom of the Free Software Campaign worldwide. As things stand, the outrageous pricing of software (notwithstanding the FOSS challenge) has made it unaffordable to maybe 80% of the world's population. Talking from an Indian context, it has been sometimes roughly calculated how much a license fee would cost in terms of the income of an average person, or even a middle-class person.

People are excluded by the pricing (apart from the Freedom aspect). Many millions more.

It might be that RMS would not want to alienate the potential coder with this sad reality. But then, this is like the Left worldwide also made the mistake of reassuring the worker that his rights would be superior and protected. Today, the reality in many parts of the globe is that a tiny, organized working class has become a labour aristocracy of sorts, while large swaths of unorganized workers (or migrant workers, or those in another part of the globe) are the slaves of the 21st century... 


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