It’s a simple and easy question: Is it possible to make the software free?
That’s the question that was asked by Free Software Foundation’s Director of Advocacy and Policy Eric Rabe at its annual convention in San Francisco.
The answer, Rabe said, is no.
“We’ve tried it before,” Rabe told the audience.
“It just didn’t work.”
In fact, he said, the software is already freely available in the form of the open source community, and there are countless ways to get started.
The Free Software community, he added, is a community of people who want to be free software.
“That’s why we’ve always tried to keep our focus on the community,” Rabbesaid.
“The software is not proprietary.
It’s open source, and we try to make it easy for people to learn and use.”
The FSF also says it is open to working with anyone to create a free software project.
But what about people who can’t afford to pay a license fee?
If the FSF doesn’t make the project free, how does that affect the value of the software?
That was the topic of a discussion in which a software developer named Joe Tackett argued that, while a free project is valuable, he was willing to pay to get access to a part of the project.
He was able to get his software to work on the iPhone after paying $100 for an app that makes it possible for the iPhone to connect to his home Wi-Fi network.
“If you want to make your software free,” Tacketsaid, “then you can pay a fee.”
That’s a fair point, but Tacketts argument was that, as long as the software was still free, there was no real incentive to get involved with the project and contribute to it.
Tackette’s argument seems to be that, since people don’t have to pay for the software, the value to the community is simply that the software can be used without having to pay.
But Tackettes argument also assumes that, in the long run, free software projects will have a significant effect on the value that is produced.
But as Tacket pointed out, there’s no way to determine that from the data.
The value of a free program is largely a function of the value it creates in the marketplace.
And the FSA argues that, because the project is free, it doesn’t necessarily matter if a program is free or not.
“In general, the marketplace values free programs because it is a free market, and a free marketplace is a market in which people can compete with one another,” the FSSaid in its statement.
“To say that the free software movement has a negative effect on software developers is not true.”
But it seems to me that Tacketeres argument is a bit of an oversimplification.
A free software community is an online marketplace that exists outside of the control of a single developer.
The FSSays the software exists in “a community of programmers, who have developed the software freely, without charge, and without any financial reward.”
This is the foundation for the free culture movement.
In that context, it makes sense that, if you want a free and open software project, you should be willing to fork over money to contribute to the project itself.
And it makes more sense to be willing than to pay the price to get the project running.
The fact that the FOSan has not responded to my requests for comment on Tacketeers arguments suggests that he is not interested in giving people the freedom to make money from their contributions.
Tacks statement also suggests that, when it comes to the value generated by free software, there are many variables that need to be considered.
The most important of these is how well a free community functions as a community.
TACKETT SAYS THE FREEDS SOFTWARE COMMUNITY IS AN OPEN-SOURCE COMMUNITY “The Free Software Community has developed a set of standards and guidelines that define the community, the community can’t be regulated, and it is allowed to innovate,” he said.
“For example, there is a core set of rules that govern the software.
These rules are the foundation of the community.
There are many others that help make the community run smoothly.
The community does not have any external regulators, or a single external authority that dictates what software can and can’t do.”
If that sounds a lot like the code of a proprietary company, it’s because it should.
The idea that there are some “rules” about what can and cannot be done in the community means that the community will have to adapt to a number of unforeseen problems.
In other words, the free community will not be a closed system.
“There is a strong expectation in the Free Software Movement that we will maintain the community as open and free as possible,” the statement said.
Tackingett also makes the claim that the project doesn’t have any real value to users, but that