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Stallman On the UK Digital Economy Bill 228

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the no-bits-for-you dept.
superapecommando submitted a blog entry written by Stallman about the UK's bandwidth initiatives. RMS says "When I read about Gordon Brown's plan to give the UK more broadband, I couldn't restrain my laughter. Isn't this the same clown now busy circumventing democracy to take away broadband from Britons who already have it? And what good would broadband do them if they're punished for using it (or even being suspected of using it)? Laying cables would be a waste of resources if people are not allowed to use them. Brown did suggest another possible use for broadband. He said that it would enable MPs to better communicate with their constituents and keep track of what they want."
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Stallman On the UK Digital Economy Bill

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  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @09:08AM (#31747014) Journal

    If you're in the UK, 38 degrees have made it easy to write to your MP [38degrees.org.uk] about this bill.

    Over 20,000 people have already done so [bbc.co.uk].

  • by selven (1556643) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @09:44AM (#31747356)

    That's a pretty incorrect understanding of RMS's economic model. He never advocated a pure donation economy and has clarified multiple times that there is nothing wrong with making a profitable business around open source software. If you want to try relying on the viability of his model, go work for Red Hat for a few years.

  • by slim (1652) <john AT hartnup DOT net> on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:08AM (#31748378) Homepage

    "And can you point out any place where some people actually honestly tried to implement communism on a national level?"

    Is this a trick question? The bolsheviks were true communists and they've been followed by Mao, kim Jong Il and various other tin pot african, asian and south/central american dictatorships.

    In fact the Bolsheviks never achieved the communist state they dreamt of.

    Lenin replaced Tsarism with "the dictatorship of the proletariat" described as "An immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the rich: . . . and suppression by force, i.e. exclusion from democracy, for the exploiters and oppressors of the people — this is the change which democracy undergoes during the transition from capitalism to communism.”

    Lenin, Trotsky etc. believed that there had to be some harsh times, during which enemies of the revolution had to be taken out of the equation (massacred, sent to the Gulag, whatever), during which the proletariat would be re-educated (to destroy the religion and royalism that was supposedly keeping them chained), creating the conditions under which a utopian communist state would emerge, as Marx and Engels predicted, whereupon the dictatorship could cease, not being required any more.

    They were idealists, but they were ruthless idealists and they performed atrocities in pursuit of their dream. We can agree, I'm sure, that the anticipated ends did not justify the means. Then Stalin took over, a ruthless, paranoid, corrupt madman, and really wrecked the whole thing. It's likely however, that no matter who had been involved, they'd have succumbed to inevitable corruption and madness.

    As the GP said, aside from some village sized communes, genuine communism has never been achieved.

    Plenty of dictatorships modelled after the Soviet Union though. I'll give you that.

  • by damburger (981828) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:34AM (#31748764)

    You are wrong.

    Unlike you, Stallman recognises the difference between sharing for personal use and taking for commercial expoitation. He is also aware of how free licenses depend on copyright law and that a complete abandonment of such law would screw free software. In fact, he spoke at length to the Pirate Party UK about it, a conversation that had a fair influence on our final manifesto, which now includes special provisions for FOSS.

  • Re:Don't compare (Score:4, Informative)

    by kaiidth (104315) on Tuesday April 06, 2010 @11:35AM (#31748782)

    Bottom line is - there is a more-or-less one-to-one correlation between
    the sets of people who:

        1. outright violate copyright on a grand scale.

        2. are poor earners, social misfits...

    What a post. I'm reminded of O'Reilly, in conversation with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart [youtube.com]: "You got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night. 87% are intoxicated when they watch..."

    Tell me, do you find that outright manufacture of statistics is generally an effective mechanism in successfully debating complex issues? If you do, do you find that this mechanism is:

    a) a good thing, because you get to win arguments based on totally uncited shit you pulled out of your ass, or
    b) seriously concerning, because entire areas of governmental policy are set via arguments based on totally uncited shit that lobbyists pull out of their asses?

    Your post is an example of extremely lazy ad hominem argumentation, and possibly also extremely lazy thinking as well. Here are some statistics for you. Given that this is a story about filesharing activities in the UK, here's a stat from the UK:

    Harris Interactive conducted research among the UK general public aged 16-54 from February to March 2009, which gave a 23% incidence of music file-sharing using peer-to-peer networks in the UK population aged 16-54, or 8.3 million file-sharers based on ONS population data. This number omits people under 16 completely.

    Additionally, Jupiter Research conducted consumer research on behalf of the BPI in August 2007, which predicted 6.7 million peer-to-peer file-sharers during 2008, and 7.3 million for 2009.

    Source: http://www.theunsignedguide.com/news/795/facts-about-file-sharing/ [theunsignedguide.com]

    It is not impossible that 23% of individuals in the UK all share the same characteristics (poor earning, social misfits, highly vocal complainers) - although if that is the case it is surprising to me that only 20684 [telegraph.co.uk] emails (rather than the expected 7-8 million) have been sent to MPs regarding the Digital Economy Bill. But can you really characterise 23% of the population as 'a minute fraction'?

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