It sickens me that some of the biggest media figures in #Linux and #FreeSoftware are alt-right or adjacent, making these spaces actively hostile to the groups already excluded from tech and making young people in particular easy to target with hateful rhetoric.

Oh, and just a casual reminder that the mass surveillance and data mining infrastructure you're so nervous about runs on free and open source software, including most prominently Linux servers. No that doesn't mean Linux, its developers, or users are necessarily badwrong or no one should use Linux or whatever, but it does mean that the vague and ill-defined idea that free software is some kind of guarantee of moral purity or would set us all "free" from corporate control was always a lie. To the free software ideologues, here's your freedom: The freedom of corporations to pay pennies to build a digital Panopticon. To the open source utilitarians, here's your efficiency gain: You've helped build truly impressive tools to violate our privacy. Fuck you all and your laughable moralization of technology.

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@ljwrites software freedom is always severely compromised as long as copyright is enforced. what keeps tech giant huge and together is their monopolies on software and hardware designs.

@sofia God why do FOSS ideologues sound just like libertarians "anything that's wrong with our model is because it wasn't implemented Purely enough! Let's double down on what has proved disastrous, and it'll work out this time! Promise!" Oh and let's just casually destroy small developers' ability to make a living in the process, because what are real-life consequences in the face of ideological purity? 🤷


@ljwrites i sound like a libertarian because i'm an anarchist 😺.

and "proven desastrous"? are you actually saying open source made surveillance worse? i thougt you merely saying it didn't sufficiently address the surveillance problem…

surveillance is pretty much by definition about unequal access to technology, a select few having vastly asymmetrical access to information.

i also don't think neither open source nor copyright abolition would harm developers, but that's another topic…

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@sofia so glad you're happy about sounding like the advocates of an inhumane and failed ideology.

Unlike you I don't moralize tools, but there is moral content in how we advocate for tools to be ussed and shared. So yeah, I advocating for "freedom" without considering, and in fact explicitly forbidding consideration of, power disparity has made it a whole lot easier for large corporations to exploit the work of developers while giving nothing back and to use free software for repugnant purposes. Not exactly rocket science.

Lmao so copyright is the only disparity of power between corporations and average users? And given the exact same free & open source software Google and the average consumer have exactly the same access to technology and information, right? 😂

@ljwrites so anachism is a failed ideology too? oh well…

and who is it exactly who forbids considerarion of power disparity? are you proposing a particular way if addressing it that is incompatible with FOSS? like a license excluding big corporations and governments or something?

"copyright is the only disparity of power between corporations and average users?" no, but it's a key component in maintaining it. that's what monopoly-enforcement is for.

@sofia The way you espouse it, disregarding power differentials and putting ideological purity over reality, it's a failed ideology, yeah.

In order to be considered free software you can't exclude corporations from the license. This is written by Richard Stallman and is up on the Free Software Foundation's website.

I think communal software is a much better formulation than free software, where those who use the software to make profit are required to pay back and it is possible to set limits on usage.

So it's almost like you're admitting there are other power disparities than copyright and so copyright going away by itself won't solve all problems, hmm.

@ljwrites i do agree that many libertarians (basically all "right-wing" and "centrist" ones) are regrettably narrow in their criticism. but the oppression and exploitation remains a real issue worth criticizing and resisting. but their critisism would be a lot more impactful if they would consider the oppression though bosses as well. it's probably similar with FOSS.

"So it's almost like…" almost like i never suggested ignoring power disparities in the first place. but fine, let's move on…

@ljwrites regarding communal software, i'm not sure how you think this could be ensure in practice? how would you exclude big corporations and states without excluding regular users?

i don't think that can be done though licensing, it's as long as the the validity of licenses is decided by state-owned courts, anyway. i think the best we can do is resist them and build resilient structures outside their control…

@sofia I'm saying that the free software movement puposefully ignoring power disparities in their pursuit of software freedom resulted in more benefits to corporations, because sophisticated actors will always have more power to capitalize on free software than average consumers will. And that is why I argue that abolishing software copyright will have only limited effect, because even if all software were free Google will still be miles ahead of the average grandpa. Plus, under free software licenses like GPL corps don't even have to make their mods to free software public unless they distribute the binary, so server-side applications and internal corporate software are allowed to be opaque 🤷‍♀️

Limited software licenses have existed for a long time. It's the free software people who want to get rid of them, not the big bad state-owned courts lol.

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