root almighty

Jim Ancona jim at
Wed May 20 00:51:44 CEST 2009

On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 4:25 PM, Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <rms at> wrote:
> Well, since Freedom 0 is hampered in practice, as well as freedom 3, and
> without freedoms 0 and 3, 1 and 2 aren't of much use, I can't label software
> oriented towards being DRM friendly as Free Software, in practice.

How are Freedoms 0 and 3 hampered? (For those who don't know what
we're talking about, see
On my Freerunner, I can run Android for any purpose, I can make
changes to the software and release those changes to the community.

OTOH, it's possible that someone could port OM2009 to proprietary
hardware. That wouldn't make the hardware free or OM2009 non-free.
Arguably it would make the entire system (phone+software) more free
than it was.

How is Android DRM-friendly?

> And software that is only Free Software in theory... well, that doesn't quite
> cut it, for me.

Again, the FSF, the same folks who define those four freedoms say that  is free

>> >> Android is under the APL2, which has even less restriction than the GPL,
>> >
>> > Only on a superficial level can that be true. It has less restrictions than the
>> > GPL because the later tries to make sure everyone has all the essencial freedoms.
>> According to the FSF, Apache 2 is a free software license:
> We're miscommunicating. What I'm saying is that the end result is more restricted
> software rather than more Free Software, hence only from a superficial level can
> it be considered as less restricted. At an atomical level, yes, but life doesn't
> end there :(

I see the end result as more free software and the possibility of more
restricted software (since someone can always make a proprietary

> I can't properly configure IBM HTTPd Server because IBM (in Portugal) is claiming not
> to support our configuration (more PCI:DSS oriented), so bummer for APL :)

If you wanted free software you could have used Apache's HTTP Server,
not IBM's. Note that Apache is still free software, even though IBM
sells a fork of the Apache code.

>> To the extent that the Freerunner is a "free phone" (proprietary bits
>> like the GSM modem and wifi notwithstanding), if you run Android on it
>> you will be using a free phone with a free as in freedom operating
>> system.
> Yes, but I am using my freedom of choice to choose not to support a model oriented
> towards reducing user freedom, and my freedom of speech to advocate against it. :)

Of course you can make that decision. I see Android increasing the
total amount of user freedom, especially in the mobile world, which
has been almost totally closed up until very recently. Imagine how
many more people might be using Freerunners (and how much better shape
Openmoko might be in) if Android had come out a year earlier than it
did. I hope the availability of Android will eventually drive the
release of more open hardware, opening up more choice for all of us,
including those like you who don't want to use Android.


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