Brussels / 1 & 2 February 2020


The core values of software freedom

If you are a Free Software (Open Source Software) developer, do you have to follow an open development model or a certain business model? Do you have to believe in or be a supporter of socialism, capitalism, or liberalism? Do we, when we work for software freedom, have to agree on certain positions on privacy, intelligence services, the military, the climate catastrophe, nuclear power, vaccinations, or animal rights?

Or should we accept to have different views or even allow each other not to discuss certain views, because what brings us together are other values?

I will argue that the core values of our movement are that everybody, no matter what background, can use the software for every purpose without discrimination. That everybody is allowed to study how software works. That you are always allowed to share your software with others, either to help other human beings or to make money. And that no individual, organisation or government should be forced to change their behaviour because of the software, but according to our principles, adapt and thereby improve the software for themselves and others.

Furthermore, the talk understands itself as a plea for more respect and diversity in Free Software communities. It will be argued that while sticking to those values we should treat others decently who might have other believes, or another or no opinions at all about a topic we ourselves care about. That we should not try to put an emphasis on our other believes while working together on Free Software/Open Source Software, but instead work together with other groups or movements to bring our other topics forward.


Photo of Matthias Kirschner Matthias Kirschner