[...] when the people who produce the software are denied by a license the freedom to determine the future of the software [...]
I have no idea which specific circumstances you are referring to, if any, but it sounds like a simple licensing error to me. Why would a person who produces software and who wants to retain the kind of control that you talk about over it and its source code choose the GPL? They want to write proprietary software, by the sounds of it. The GPL is there for people who don't want to retain that kind of control and want to give the software to the world.
the Open Source movement, rather than the FSF, is the reason we have such major open source software
This goes without saying. I'm sure the free software movement, rather than the OSI, is the reason we have such major *free* software.
That's cute, but I wasn't engaging in a semantic definition. [...]
While it may be convenient for you to discount any difference between free and open-source software, it is not a premise that I, the FSF, other free software developers and most open-source developers (for that matter) are likely to accept. If you want to talk about what the FSF has and has not achieved, you need to be prepared to talk about their specific goals over those of open-source. Otherwise what you are saying is meaningless.
if you notice, most [major open source software] are not GPL
That is because they are probably not as concerned with software and user freedom [...]
Not just that, but there's also the fact that the people who work on those projects need to survive on that work [...]
This is not something specific to the GNU GPL, but to all free and open-source software licences. Releasing your source code under one of these licences is akin to giving it away to the community, for free, in perpetuity. And this is usually the reason for choosing the licence.
No, [Linus] is explicitly on record as saying that he personally doesn't want to convert any of his code [to GPLv3]
OK, yes. I was trying to point out that there there is doubt as to whether it would be possible to relicense the kernel. But you are correct: my point is moot if Torvalds doesn't want to.
The FSF is not hostile to corporate interests.
Okay, name me one company whose policies on 'software freedom' the FSF endorses.
As I said in relation to RMS: just because the FSF do not endorse any companies, it doesn't follow that they are *hostile* to corporate interests.
I'd wager that the number of employees working in companies that do proprietary software is larger than the 'community' of which you're so proud of.
I'd wager you are correct! But they should still be enormously proud of their community -- they've achieved a great deal, and in the face of some stiff opposition from the larger corporate world. I see no merit whatsoever in insinuating that the community doesn't exist. On the contrary, I think they deserve a lot of credit.
Why should he? And why would not doing so make free software hostile to business? It doesn't follow.
But one does follow from another. Let's say a company wrote a software, and decided to dutifully make the source code fully available. [...]
But that doesn't make it "hostile to business". It just means that licensing your code under a free (or open-source) licence is likely to significantly hamper your ability to sell the software its self. That said, many companies still do sell FOSS directly. These companies also usually accept donations towards their efforts. And it is not uncommon to see them selling services around the software, such as support, management (of the software, not people), publishing and merchandise.
The point here is that free and open-source software is at odds with proprietary software. But it's not at odds with business in general.
Another thing - you just used the 'profit motive' like it's a less than altruistic thing
I'm afraid profiting certainly is "less than altruistic". It's entirely the *opposite* of altruism, in fact.
Very simply, if the creators and producers of 'free software' are unable to make the money needed to enable them to continue working on it, how is that in any way useful to the users (aside from those technical enough to actually understand that source code and make their own improvements, which is an asterisk even within the 'community'.
Many people who write FOSS are volunteers, but even where they are businesses, these are simply not concerns that the FSF *should* have. The FSF are concerned with furthering software and user freedom, not with how businesses make their money. Expecting them to take a less absolute stance is unrealistic - it's not that they are against business, it is simply that it's outside of the remit of the organisation. It would be like asking a human rights organisation to turn a blind eye to human rights violations because it would be more costly, or convenient for businesses not to have to bother with worker safety, or pollution regulations (for example). As with those organisations, the FSF's position is always going to be that software and user freedom should come first and that businesses should make money in such a way as not to violate those principles.
Another thing to consider is that you only seem to be evaluating FOSS from the position of a business. Many other perspectives exist that are valid and important: For education, free and open-source software is extremely useful, both practically and as an educational tool. For scientific purposes, or high-load server systems, it can often be essential to be able to get at, understand and modify the workings of software. In any scenario where security is important, such as in countries with oppressive (or failed democratic) governments, or high-profile organisations, running software where you are able to confirm that it does what it is supposed to, rather than having to implicitly trust a software vendor, is a sensible policy. And for every single home user (which, let's face it, includes all of us, our children, parents, grandparents, family and friends), having software that we know works for our benefit only is good and proper; more than just an "ideal". So this is about much more than just giving a small minority of people access to source code.
P.S. Note that in all of the above, I didn't even begin to describe my objections to the term 'free software',
On this point, we agree completely -- It's very confusing indeed. I tend to use the terms FOSS or "software freedom". On the bright side, I have noticed RMS use the term "libre software" a few times recently, so perhaps a gradual shift towards that has already begun.