Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

Declaration of Software Freedom Leaked Early; Release Was Planned for MS Court Date

Feb 16, 2001, 23:26 (44 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Tony for this. ] Yes, information wants to be free. And this is an excellent thing, but leaking information early can cause confusion.

Yesterday, a beta version of FreeDevelopers' Declaration of Software Freedom was published by LinuxToday, LWN and NewsForge within hours of each other. While we greatly appreciate the attention that major community media outlets have given the Declaration, the early release of the Declaration can cause some confusion:

1. It referenced a developer's home machine! And he had problems doing his own work yesterday, because of the unexpected volume of traffic. The correct url is FreeDevelopers.net/Freedomdec.

2. RMS was still providing wording changes, some of which were received AFTER the Declaration went public.

3. Using the form of the Declaration of Independence seems presumptuous without some explanation as to why it is appropriate to use such a serious document for what we are doing.

4. The Declaration is the first shot across the bow of proprietary and was to be released with an announcement that FreeDevelopers would be proposing a new, revolutionary form of commercial organization for the development of software.

Since our hand has been tipped, here is a rushed version of a press release that was to be issued closer to the news cycle around the February 26-27 court date for Microsoft.

Press Release:

Software Developers Fire First Shot Over Bow of Proprietary with Declaration of Software Freedom. The War Over Who Will Control Software Development in the Internet Age Has Begun.

Software Developers from around the world dusted off the 225 year-old Declaration of Independence and show that its founding principles of human dignity, rights and freedoms endure and apply even in the Age of the Internet by proclaiming independence from monopolistic software hegemonies.

Specifics of the completely new and revolutionary Commercial Organization for the development of software will be announced in the coming weeks.

See Declaration of Software Freedom at www.FreeDevelopers.net/freedomdec

Original Post:
FreeDevelopers.net: The Declaration of Software Freedom(Feb 15, 2001)