Before we begin kiddies I need to express my thanks to Joshua from the FSF who posted the following:
"In either case, we make the premise that a user of software is no less important than an author and that their interests and needs have equal weight. If you do not share this premise, then it is likely that there will be many fundamental disagreements between us."
(The full post from Joshua can be found as the first comment from the previous post. I will leave it posted for reference and posterity.)
Thanks for replying Joshua. Now in to the gritty: it's fluff. It's the kind of stuff that you tell your kids because you want them to drink their milk and get big and strong. It's like repeating the ages old 'sticks and stones' saying to yourself. Try it when you're getting reamed by a loved one. Or a friend. Yeah, words fucking hurt. And comments and idealism, like that expressed by the FSF (in large part, anyway), are detrimental to the entire OSS world. I have a number of friends who have really begun to hate the FSF because of zealots like this. It hurts the cause, guys. A lot. To be honest I don't consider myself equal to a developer. If I did I'd be writing code, contributing to the projects. But I'm not a programmer, therefore I'm not equal to one. Let me put that a different way to better illustrate my point:
string gryyphyn = new string("user");
string programmer = new string("author");
if (gryyphyn == programmer)
console.writeline("Gryyphyn == programmer");
console.writeline("Gryyphyn != programmer");
Gryyphyn != programmer
That clear enough for you?
Really, if you want to release your software for free I applaud you and appreciate the work that you do, as well as thank you for allowing me to use your software without charge. Having said that I'd also like to thank the paid software world: thank's for making software and not charging ungodly amounts of my money for me to use it (obviously I'm not talking to Microsoft here).
Joshua states that we'll have 'fundamental differences'. I think that's simply because I believe in freedom of choice, not just freedom for beer (yeah, that's a badly adapted phrase... oh well). I don't think it's right for anyone to force someone to patent their software and, in the current state of affairs, it's not forced on anyone. But I also think that people should be able to patent their software if they choose so.
Let's all remember something here: it is possible to patent software and still make it available freely. As much as I like it there are other licenses out there besides the GPL that allow for such distrobution. Abolishing patents doesn't keep an author from distributing freely, nor does it force them to charge; it just protects their creative property claim. It's like a signature. Like a sticker on a box. It's there to make sure that someone can defend themselves when someone tries to steal their work, in this case by not giving due credit. So tell me, FSF guys: where, in all fucking honesty, is the harm in that? Why do you want to force everyone to do it your way?