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[gNewSense-users] [en] FSFLA's petition for Canaima GNU/Linux to be Free

From: Alexandre Oliva
Subject: [gNewSense-users] [en] FSFLA's petition for Canaima GNU/Linux to be Free
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2010 08:29:26 -0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1 (gnu/linux)

For immediate release.

--- Begin Message --- Subject: [en] FSFLA's petition for Canaima GNU/Linux to be Free Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2010 08:24:03 -0200
The Venezuelan Presidential Decree 3390, specifically in articles 2
and 7, explains and backs up the reasons why the Venezuelan state
should develop a Free Software distribution.  Canaima GNU/Linux is
this distribution, so it ought to be a Free distribution, without
parts that threaten its users' freedoms.

Some institutions have computers with devices that cannot work without
privative drivers and “firmwares”.  In the long term, they ought to be
replaced, but in the short term there will be wishes to install these
drivers so as to use them, as if it was normal to include them,
without any warning, and as if they didn't amount to any problem or

Canaima GNU/Linux ought to resist the temptation to include these
programs in its base distribution and in its future versions.
Specially, it ought to avoid at all costs including them as if they
were normal and acceptable, for this amounts to legitimizing and
accepting them submissively, without actual plans or explicit
intentions to avoid this dependency.  There are regulations that will
require that computers purchased or produced by the Venezuelan state
be capable of working with Canaima GNU/Linux.  If Canaima GNU/Linux
includes privative drivers, it will enable the purchase of far more
hardware that demands Privative Software to work, preventing the
achievement of our dreamed Technological Sovereignty.

If an institution, for hardware already acquired, requires privative
parts to be able to use these devices, then it will have to name and
install these parts, optionally and with notification on the documents
generated in the process, as established in Presidential Decree 3390.
Privative Software is a problem, and not offering resistance amounts
to losing many past achievements.

Accepting Privative Software amounts to making entire institutions
dependent on the wishes of a business or a small group of people.
It's carrying on in the Privative model.

If Privative Software is integrated with Canaima GNU/Linux, we hope it
isn't with conscientious acceptance by the project, but rather with
the regret and the consciousness of losing Technological Sovereignty,
depriving ourselves of our freedom to learn in informatics, and to be
able to improve these technologies.  Besides, many times nothing can
be done with them without approval and blessing from the developers of
these privative parts.

Using Privative Software (in any amount) risks the stability and the
operation of any system, including the defense ones.  A tiny privative
program can easily spy on, delete or copy information in such a way
that the user cannot realize it.

Finally, regarding the “freedom” to choose Free Software or Privative
Software in order to be free: it is possible to accept that someone
else controls your computer.  It is usual to see those who agree that
someone else makes the decisions on their computers, spy on them or
deny them some features, in addition to preventing studying and
improving its software, for sure.  It is true that they can choose to
use Privative Software.  We know it and we understand it, though with
much disappointment, for it is unfortunate that someone wants to
choose this option.  What we do about this is not to force them or
make them reject Privative Software: we notify them that by taking
this action (which is not a freedom, neither in fact nor by law) they
lose many actual freedoms, of the most important kind, of the kind
that affects entire countries and peoples.


== About FSFLA

Free Software Foundation Latin America joined in 2005 the
international FSF network, previously formed by Free Software
Foundations in the United States, in Europe and in India.  These
sister organizations work in their corresponding geographies towards
promoting the same Free Software ideals and defending the same
freedoms for software users and developers, working locally but
cooperating globally.


Copyright 2010 FSFLA

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
entire document without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the
document's official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.

Permission is also granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of
individual sections of this document worldwide without royalty
provided the copyright notice and the permission notice above are
preserved, and the document's official URL is preserved or replaced by
the individual section's official URL.

--- End Message ---

# # #

Alexandre Oliva, freedom fighter
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! --   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist      Red Hat Brazil Compiler Engineer

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