Open letter to Karen Sandler and Bradley Kuhn of “Free as in Freedom”

A public response to “FaiF oggcast 0x43“, or at least to the second section (after the FOSDEM talk recording starting at 0:54:31):

Sometimes you guys just drink your own cool-aid, while being completely out of contact with reality. This is a prime example – in FaiF 0x43, at 1:12:40 Bradley says “Proprietary Javascript … is the new form of [vendor] lock-in, and People are locked in to GitHub”, which is just the worst of a large tirade where Bradley just compares people who create useful services and want to finance them – while contributing to open source and free software – to the worst proprietary software vendors, for the crime of creating their website with unlicensed Javascript code. All the while Karen just says “yes”.

A) It is horrible how you continuously throw around adjectives such as “Horrible” and “Insidious” to vilify people who support free software and whose only crime is that they do not produce only 100% GPL-licensed software. If you are true to yourselves, I would have liked to hear the same type of arguments towards RedHat (also developers of proprietary software, including “web-based” services with “proprietary Javascript” parts), but being large contributors to the GNOME project and GNOME foundation, I’d doubt we’d see that.

B) GitHub (who I am not affiliated with in any way) do not lock in their users – the main service they provide (a remote git repository service) is obviously available from other vendors and free software projects with identical interfaces and all data and meta-data can be easily exported and even synchronized continuously. All of their auxiliary services have an open API that many 3rd parties (free software or otherwise) take advantage of. Accusing them of vendor lock-in just goes to show how much fanatical FaiF has become.

C) In response to the concern raised by Karen and Bradley towards the end of FaiF 0x43, I would like to say that having long delays between releases will not cause me to delete their feed, but the amount of poison and hatred from them towards anything not GNU – will.

Best regards,

Oded Arbel

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