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Stallman Calls Ubuntu Spyware; Asks FLISOL Not to Recommend It at Events in South America ~pj
Sunday, March 24 2013 @ 12:39 AM EDT

I am, of course, researching Nokia, but while I am doing that (do send me anything of interest on that topic), I thought you'd be interested to see an email that Richard Stallman sent to Lista Nacional de FLISOL, the FLISOL mailing list. He asks them not to promote or distribute Ubuntu at their events, and it's in Spanish, so I'll put my translation, imperfect though it is, afterward, section by section:
Los eventos FLISOL frecuentemente promueven y distribuyen Ubuntu. Eso siempre era un problema. Aunque Ubuntu es una distro de GNU/Linux, contiene también programas privativos. Ha olvidado la meta de un sistema libre. [PJ: FLISOL events frequently promote and distribute Ubuntu. This is always a problem. Although Ubuntu is a GNU/Linux distro, it contains proprietary programs. It has forgotten the goal of a free system.]

Ubuntu ya hace algo peor: espía al usuario. Las funcionalidades malevolas, que son comunes en el software privativo, son inusuales en el software libre; pero nuestra defensa no es perfecta. Uno de los pocos ejemplos de spyware en el software libre es Ubuntu. [PJ: Ubuntu does something worse. It spies on its users. Malevolent functionality which is frequently part of proprietary software is rare in free software, but our defense is not perfect. One of the few examples of spyware in free software is Ubuntu.]

Véase por favor [PJ: Please read this (at the link). The same material in English is here.]

Les pido entonces que, en sus eventos FLISOL, no distribuyan ni promuevan Ubuntu. [PJ: Therefore I ask you that in the FLISOL events, you don't distribute or promote Ubuntu.]

When his request was turned down by that event organizer, saying that it limited users' freedom of choice, he followed up with another to the whole list, giving his reasons and asking them to reconsider. It has touched off quite a discussion, needless to say. Look for the theme on that page: [Flisol] Eventos totalmente libres (pedido de Richard Stallman) if you'd like to follow along. Google has machine translation here, if you wish to check it.

Here is his explanation, in Spanish, with my translation afterward:
El 24/03/2013 06:09, "Richard Stallman" Un organizador de un evento FLISOL me dijo que "no acataremos [mi petición] mientras se brinde la libertad de elección al usuario." [PJ: An organizer of a FLISOL event told me that they rejected my request as it would limit the user's freedom to choose.]

Pienso que mi respuesta a su objeción puede interesar a más gente, entonces la envío a la lista, aquí abajo. [PJ: I think my reply to your objection may interest more people, so I send it to the list and here, below.]


El asunto que planteo se trata del comportamiento de un evento FLISOL. ¿Da copias de Ubuntu o no? ¿Recomienda Ubuntu o no? Pido a los organizadores del evento que adopten la política que el evento no distribuya ni promueva Ubuntu. [PJ:The issue I raise is about what should happen at FLISOL events. Give away copies of Ubuntu or not? Promote Ubuntu or no? I asked the organizers of the event that they, as a policy, not distribute or promote Ubuntu.]

La libertad del usuario es otra cosa y no hay ningún conflicto entre su libertad y mi petición. Si algún usuario decide instalar Ubuntu, lo considero un error, pero es asunto suyo porque actua él. Les pido a ustedes que se nieguen participar, ayudar o sugerir que lo haga. No les sugiero actuar para impedirle de hacerlo. [PJ: Freedom of users is somthing else, and there isn't a conflict between a user's freedom and my request. If someone decides to install Ubuntu, I would consider it a mistake, but it's his own choice to do it. What I ask is that you don't participate, help or suggest that he do it. I didn't request that you block him from doing so.]

La libertad no es "la libertad de elección", es algo mucho más amplia. La libertad es tener el control de tu propia vida. Si usas la informática en tu vida, tener el control requiere que los programas que empleas sean libres. [PJ: Freedom isn't "freedom of choice". It's much deeper than that. It's having control of your own life. If you use a computer, it's having control by requiring that the programs you use are free.]

Como asunto de principios, no creo que nadie tenga moralmente derecho de publicar software privativo, es decir, software que priva de la libertad a sus usuarios. Pero no pienso prohibir que alguien lo instale. Cuando el usuario tiene el control cabal de su software, puede instalar lo que quiera porque nadie tiene el poder de decirle que no. Pero el asunto de hoy no se trata de qué hace él, sino de qué hacemos con él. [PJ: As a matter of principle, I don't believe anyone has a right, morally, to distribute proprietary software, that is, software that deprives the users of freedom. When the user controls his own software, he can install what he wants and no one can stop him. But today's issue isn't about him, what he does, but rather what you do with him.]

Entonces me parece que su regla de respetar la libertad del usuario no implica el rechazo de mi petición. Mi petición apoya la libertad del usuario, hasta de instalar un sistema que lo espíe, si quiere. Les pido reconceptar. [PJ: Therefore, it seems to me that your rule of respecting users' freedom doesn't conflict with my request. My request strengthens the liberty of the user, even to install spyware if he wants to. So I ask you to reconsider.]

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software. Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call

Flisol mailing list ______________

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