Free Choice: The “Social Business” Model and Free Software

“Free Software developers fall into two main categories: those
that stand by the principles behind free software–patent-free,
license-free and unrestricted distribution (for example, Richard
Stallman’s admirable stance); and those that are simply happy to
compromise to some extent, for example to download libdvdcss to
watch DVDs, or to install proprietary software such as Skype, on
the basis that there is simply no (or no better) alternative (for
example, Ubuntu which supports all kinds of proprietary firmware
and binary drivers, and gets itself into enormous difficulties as a

“These ‘level of integrity’ choices are decisions that we, as
Free Software developers, are free to make. Yet the average person
is simply unaware of these issues of ‘integrity,’ or they are but
do not value them highly, choosing ‘interoperability with their
friends and businesses’ as ‘more important.’ Or worse, they agree
that integrity is important yet are forced into making decisions to
use–and stick with–proprietary software. In such instances, the
level of experience of (and thus the offerings available from) Free
Software developers in a particular area of specialist expertise
that the users absolutely must have before being able to consider
migration, is close to or literally zero…”