February 14, 2012, 10:28 AM —
Basically, the idea is to create a single page on your site that contains a table with the standard attribute
There is also the problem of the one-more-thing scenario. Rightly or wrongly, the GPL and copyleft family of licenses are being perceived as a hassle to deal with, while permissive open source licenses do not seem to have this stigma. This is not a statement of agreement with that assertion, but there is no denying that FUD or no, this is a problem for the restrictive copyleft licenses. This program, while not really arduous by itself, is just one more thing that potential free software developers would have to contend with.
Obviously, those dedicated to free software principles will have no problems participating in this program. But that's just preaching to the choir, isn't it? The FSF needs to reach out to those developers who are not using free software and convince them that it's a good idea to use copyleft licenses, and this web label program isn't really it.
Instead, these web labels seem to be taking an self-punitive approach: put these labels on and watch all your free-software-loving visitors leave your site. Or switch to free software. Yeah, that'll win over web developers.
The philosophical concern I have with this program is that it doesn't address (again) the education gap. The FSF is correct in saying that people are using non-free software all of the time, but that means absolutely nothing to the average web site visitor, who may not even understand the dynamic technology that's running right before their eyes, let alone any back-end scripts that might be phoning home or performing some other nefarious function.
Nor, for that matter, is open source software, which the FSF takes great pains not to acknowledge, but still provides a measure of transparency.
Users need to be educated on how web-enabled software works in the most basic terms before such a program could really be useful for the general community. Then they would know what to watch out for. But, since most users are oblivious to even why they should learn how the web works, this is going to be a very hard row to hoe.
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