Do you rember when
- Open Source was about adding new options, not taking away old options?
- Free Software didn't means "as in beer"?
- The liscenses we choose were tools, not clubs?
- We respected the rights of others to use different liscenses for their software?
- Comments in Slashdot actually used to link to resources?
- FUD wasn't moderated up as informative? Even FUD that supported us?
- We remembered why open source was supposed to be more secure?
I'm beginning to suspect those days are over now. No. That's a lie. I'm convinced those days are over now. Even surfing at 4 and above, I see so much FUD, and so many people for whom free software has become a religion for the greedy that I've grown to have the same opinion or worse about the slashdot user base than Rob has been accused of.
Once upon a time I supported open source as an alternative. It was a wonderful way for programmers to share their creations and to encourage people to build off of their creations provided they were willing to also share. It allowed people to look at the code, learn, find places it could be improved and, amazingly enough, improve it.
That was a long time ago. Now, the very tool that has given us that freedom is a club used to take freedoms from others.
I won't develop open source anymore. I can't afford to. It's no longer a way for me to release code under my control, because the "movement" seems to not trust anyone unless I release the code to be under their control. And yes, there is a difference. Because now I have to make sure I have all my i's dotted and my t's crossed before I even think about making any of it public, lest I fail to be perfect and suffer the wrath of the critics.
What was once about freedom is now about greed. There are people in this community that want the source because it means free (as in beer). They rally against anyone who chooses any liscense other than the ones they approve of, and they are more than willing to use tactics we once swore we wouldn't sink to. Their wrath isn't limited to specific targets anymore, anyone within or without the community needs to meet their standards or they will rant and rave and...
And that's the hook dear people. They can't take their money elsewhere, simply because they don't pay. And because of that, the model is now skewed. The people who do pay. The people willing to give me money for my creation. The people who will be the reason I can feed my children. Well, they don't care about open source. They don't care about security or privacy. They don't want the rights or even the ability to distribute my creation how they choose.
But the people who cared? The ones that belived in open source and sharing? They're surrounded by people who can't and won't pay. Not only for software but for music and entertainment. They're the people who could care less about copyright simply because copyright is a tool that prevents they from getting what they want for free.
I can't come here and say "Sony is wrong because they're taking away rights I used to have", when I'm saying it to a crowd of people who exchange music files amoung themselves on a regular basis. It's like complaining about sales taxes to a group of black market merchants.
When Macromedia is no longer bashed for chosing a unapproved open model. When people admit that maybe the people who own the copyright, own the distribution rights and should be able to choose their own marketing method. When Slashdot comments stop getting moderated up for being FUD. Maybe then we have a chance in heck of not looking like a hoaky religion.
Until then, I think I'll be out there with the agnostics where it's safe.
"They called it paradise, I don't know why. Call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye." - The Eagles.