Original Message -----
From: "IT@School" <itschool(a)asianetindia.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 05, 2002 5:08 PM
> Mr.Manjush G. Menon
> We are not giving to depend totally on Ms. Products. Rather MS
> Office is taught along with open office and Windows along with Linux
> from this year. Arranging the resource persons for training an open
> software, making available the software, the maintenance of a help desk
> etc. are logistical issues which could not be immediately undertaken.
> We plan switch out to open software within three years.
> Executive Director
---- Original Message -----
From: Manjush G. Menon
Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 5:46 PM
Subject: Respected sir,
Manjush G. Menon,
Sofker Solutions Pvt Ltd,
The Executive Director,
'IT @ SCHOOL' Project,
SUB: In protest against the inclusion of products from multinational companies
in the syllabus of 'IT @ SCHOOL'
It's a very dissappointing fact that when the whole world is moving towards
Free software, we at kerala are going behind a major MNC - Microsoft. I hereby register
my protest in such an act from 'IT @ SCHOOL' Project team.
Breaking of prototypes will definetly help us in finding economical and high quality
products for our future generation.
For students and programmers, the GNU Linux contains 'GNU Compiler Collections'
which includes C, C++, FORTRAN, PERL, TCL etc. Also, for DTP and other publishing purposes,
it includes GNU Office utilities like Abi-Word, gedit, and other worksheet utilities,
all these with a nominal cost of Rs 700-800/-. The software as it is, is free and
the cost is accounted towards the media (CD + Documentation) included.
By this letter, I urge you to take this matter seriously and suggest necessary modifications
in the action plan of 'IT @ SCHOOL' project.
Wishing you all the best and wishing all 'Students @ SCHOOL' a bright future,
Manjush G. Menon.
Check out all the latest outrageous email attachments on the Outrageous Email Chart! - http://viral.lycos.co.uk
Thanks to George Lessard for posting this across. FN
---------- Forwarded message ----------
PERUVIAN EFFORT COULD BAN MICROSOFT ON GOV. COMPUTERS
Peruvian Congressman Edgar Villanueva is pushing legislation to obligate all
public institutions to convert exclusively to open-source software.
Open-source programs, embodied by the Linux operating system, have
underlying code available to anyone who wants to modify or customize it.
Such software, in unadorned form, can be downloaded from the Internet for
free. Villanueva hopes his measure triggers activity in Peru's software
industry by freeing programmers from the constraints of working with coding
controlled by a few large companies. Open-source could take the expense out
of software upgrades; which is important for a country like Peru that owes
about $30 million in overdue software license fees.
[SOURCE: San Jose Mercury, AUTHOR: Associated Press]
There is an animadversion that proprietary software is given away
"free" and therefore, Free Software is ambigious. Let us see if there
is any truth in this criticism. Since the literal use of the word
"free" is involved, let us have a look at what "free" means.
Upon the word "free", the OED says:
~ not in bondage to another, having personal rights, social and
~ inheriting citizen rights and liberties
~ member of fraternity for mutual help and brotherly feeling
~ unfettered in action, unimpeded
~ open to all comers
~ spontaneous, unforced, unearned, gratuitous, willing
~ voluntary, not concealing one's opinions, blunt
~ released from difficulty
~ no fees charged
~ make free, set at liberty
If the word "free" is used to qualify software, then it would naturally
and literally mean and include all the above meanings listed above. If
the object qualified with "free" is not free in any sense of the word,
then the overapplicability should be restricted, to convey the true
qualities of the software without ambiguity.
We rightly use "free" in Free Software scoring a clean 10 out of 10,
whereas, the proprietary software companies use the word "free"
incorrectly, inappropriately, ambigiously and with overapplicability,
really scoring a poor 0 out of 10, meaning they cannot use the word
"free" correctly or honestly and is only a misnomer. Let us closely
examine the context in which the word "free" is used by the free
software community and the proprietary software entities to qualify
 No bondage to others:
Free software is a collection of software like GNU/Linux or FreeBSD that
is a full fledged system, for single or multiple users or processors.
Every thing including the kernel (Linux, HURD, FreeBSD), shell (bash,
sh, csh, tcsh), compiler (gcc), office suites (OpenOffice), browsers
(Netscape and Mozilla), database servers (PostgreSQL etc), networking
applications (apache, sendmail, including general scripting software
like PHP, Perl, guile, elisp), graphics applications (gimp), and
hundreds of other utilites (tar, bc, cat, less, more) required to serve
our needs are available under the GPL or like Licence, with full source
code, making it possible to freely share, copy, and modify software for
our use. New tools and utilities are created by every new generation of
developers, and in the same traditions the software is added with
liberty. Free software if free for every user, and for every type of
use, personal, commercial or governmental, without any restrictions.
Any one can freely share and use Free Software without seeking
permission from anyone else. Free means freedom, totally negating the
restrictions imposed by proprietary software licenses. For example, a
school could use Free Software and freely give copies of the software
used to its teachers and pupils without restrictions. Governments could
freely use and distribute free software in the welfare of its citizens.
Now, proprietary software companies release just a trivial application
like a browser free of price and claim to having released "free
software". The word "free" here is a misnomer, because, to use this
piece of proprietary software, the user should have paid and purchased
other components - the kernel, shell, or other systems under a licence
from the proprietor. The ingenuius proprietary software licence will
carefully give a full working system free of price, without source code,
to governments and to educational institutions, just to ensure that the
citizens and their children will forced to use proprietary software, and
ultimately buy and use their proprietary software in their homes and
offices. In reality, the "free" proprietary software is not "free" but
merely mis-branded as "free" solely for marketing purposes.
 Inheriting citizen rights and liberties
Free software is freely inherited by the whole global community and
society. Every new generation will freely inherit a rich body of code
produced by the free software community. With proprietary software, one
should always be ready to purchase new licences at the drop of a hat.
To keep the free software free for the community, developers who modify
the free software source code and release to the public are required to
release the modified free software under the same terms of the licence
of the original software. The copyright holder of free software can
always sue the author who modified the software, for not freely
releasing the modifications. This is the only right the author of the
software code reserves for himself, just to ensure that future versions
of the free software remains free for the whole community. The spirit
of the free software movement is all pervasive, and sharing is
practically automatic and happily done with grace.
 member of fraternity for mutual help and brotherly feeling
Sharing is free with Free Software. Proprietary software licences
restrict sharing, and further will even prosecute for sharing which is
even worse. There is an air of fraternity, brotherhood and freedom in
the free software community, which is simply unknown in the proprietary
software world, where users are chained and tied with a licence that
will not allow any sharing or modification.
 unfettered in action:
Free Software may be used freely for commercial, office, home,
education, governmental or other purposes. There are no fetters on
copying, sale, exhibition, trading or installation of Free Software.
With most proprietary software, one has to spend a lot of time studying
licence restrictions on using components and literally several practical
actions required to use the software itself are fettered in one way or
the other. The proprietary software licence may say that even the
licenced user can use only one instance on any one computer at any given
point of time making realistic practical use of the software cumbersome.
 open to all comers:
Free Software has promoted the principle of equality like never before,
and all are welcome to the free software community. With proprietary
software, all doors are closed to people who cannot afford to purchase
 spontaneous, unforced, unearned, gratuitous, willing:
The whole free software community acts spontaneously and voluntarily to
develop high quality software to add well deserved honour to their
names, and willingly and gratuitously give away the software under the
GPL or like Licence. These freedoms are not possible or imaginable with
 voluntary, not concealing one's opinions, blunt
Free software is used voluntarily, and enables users to express their
opinions about the software plainly and fruitfully in a way promoting
the interest of the entire community. If a user finds something amiss,
he may set out to correct the fault on his without wasting another
moment, and release his work to the public, happy to have been of help.
 released from difficulty:
The souce code for most free software is mostly written in ANSI C, and
free software applications can be compiled with gcc using standard
procedures. This gives great freedom to port software on to a number of
platforms and wide range of hardware, to suit a variety of needs.
Proprietary software companies do not release source code, and they
cannot be compiled with this kind of freedom, and are often tied to a
particular platform, or even worse, to a unique version of a particular
 no fees charged
Free Software is free of price, if downloaded from Internet, or shared
between friends. The truth is that free software is more valuable than
being merely available free of cost. Since further copying and trading
is free, we can only say Price is Free plus profit if you can earn it.
If the same free software is distributed through a "commercial
package" the distributor gives the free software for a price greater
than zero, which may be the cost of providing warranty cover and other
distribution costs of CD/DVD media, printed manuals, packaging, shrink
wraps, advertisement and tranportation costs, dealership margins,
sometimes at a premium to those who can afford, and other business
costs. All users know that the free software included in the commercial
package is available at no cost elsewhere, and deliberately chooses to
buy a commercial package to suit their convenience or to promote the
Some criticize that the cost of implementing and maintaining free
software may be as high as proprietary software. This is for a short
span of time when documentation and other forms of help have not yet
evolved, mostly because free software developers spend most of the time
developing the software, and find little time to write elementary
manuals. But with time, excellent free online manuals are published,
through which a user can learn without spending any money on purchasing
documentation or training. One is free to learn through public mailing
lists, and even public libraries.
Proprietary software companies sometimes give away their software like
soap samples, only to promote purchases, and cannot qualify to be free
for all the above reasons. Even documentation for proprietary software
cannot be shared or freely reproduced.
 make free, set at liberty:
Free Software makes software users free and promotes their liberty in
several ways. Proprietary software can do only the opposite.
Therefore, while we correctly and meaningfully use the word "free" in
Free Software, proprietary software entities use the word "free" without
any substantial meaning or content, with overwhelming ambiguity and
Actually many words in english may have various different meanings in different context.
This is bound to linguistics rather than software or GPL.
So is the case with word 'free'. When it cames to software we can use as 'free as in freedom'.
But we cannot stop the usage such as 'free with this pack'. because it's a common usage. and I agree with eiidp's view that
GNU should focus on the 'GPL concept'.
----- Original Message -----
From: eiidp <eiidp(a)md3.vsnl.net.in>
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 10:31:19 +0530
Subject: Re: [Fsf-friends] Free without ambiguity and overapplicability
> > Freedom is the noun form of the adjective free. Freedom is derived from
> > free.
> The reverse is the fact. And through this only a single meaning of the word
> 'free' is evolved. And that same word 'free' is used for various other
> > What is needed is curtailment of the abuse of the word "free" by
> > proprietary software entities.
> There is no question of abuse, It is a question of common usage which may vary
> spatially, sector-wise and cultural-wise.
> > The whole point is that there is little need to explain the correct and
> > proper usage by the free software movement. When the words we use exactly
> > fit and match our matter at hand, our joy doubles.
> To fit and match it exactly, the explanation should be accompanied. 'Joy' is
> a state of mind. This can also be attained if one is prepared to accept
> something else.
> The most valuable contribution made by GNU to the society is the concept of
> GPL. The war on words contriutes little.
> Fsf-friends mailing list
Check out the latest SMS services @ http://www.linuxmail.org
This allows you to send and receive SMS through your mailbox.
Powered by Outblaze
I am a new member in fsf-friends
Check out the latest SMS services @ http://www.linuxmail.org
This allows you to send and receive SMS through your mailbox.
Powered by Outblaze
Since the "deal" involves a huge amount, I don't think press releases are enough. Those in power would do anything to get it on. Merely relying on "Opposition" to take up the case also would result in a lost case.
When LDF took up the project with M$, it was MM Hassan who voiced against the move from the opposition benches. Now when MM Hassan's team is in power, Achuthanandan is trying to make noices. This cycle would continue. The case would have been different if the civil servants played a sensible role. They too are bothered about losing out on their commission. So why would this nexus try to shed all inhibitions, glory and money to cry for the common man? That would never happen.
I think we are now strong enough to plan a legal engagement.
The free software movement forked in 1998 with the open source initiative labelling free software as "open source". We have seen why "open source" is superficial and why it cannot distinguish itself from proprietary software. If the OSI forks again, and continues its "open source" line for businesses, but joins the main stream "free software" movement in actions connected with the law, it would be in the best interests of both the movements and the community. Hence I sent a mail to Mr. Eric Raymond of the OSI. But my mail was rejected as follows:
>Your message cannot be delivered to the following recipients:
> Recipient address: esr(a)thyrsus.com
> Reason: Server rejected MAIL FROM address.
> Diagnostic code: smtp;550 5.0.0 <ramanraj(a)md4.vsnl.net.in>... net.in blocked"
Then I sent the contents to osi(a)opensource.org, and the replies revealed that they have also blocked reasoning, which is far worse.
Mr. Russell Nelson of the OSI fairly wrote:
>Please accept that we'll call it open source, and you'll call it free
>software, and that we both mean the same thing.
This however missed the concern how the law should call it. Therefore, I replied inviting the attention of Mr. Russell Nelson to this specific issue, which was replied as follows:
>Microsoft gives away free software.
>... "free software" is inherently confusing. Why do you think
>RMS always has to give his free speech/beer footnote? Why do you
>think proprietary software companies give away free software? Because
>they're our friends? I don't think so.
>The solution to all of this nonsense is to establish a certification
>mark, which is what we've done.
>I don't want to continue this discussion.
A "certification mark" assumes discerning users, who might very well distinguish directly between "free software" and "proprietary software", without the aid of a third party certification. Law and software thrive upon building through reasoning, with an open mind, anticipating future scrutiny.
Since Mr. Russell Nelson closed the discussion, we are free to ignore the fork that would meet its nemesis on its own.