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Re: r0ml on FLOSS

As we iconoclastically tear down The Founder’s Religion, rid ourselves of our pasts as reverse Goya Saturnus, scrub ourselves and throw out the filthy bathwater of ages…

…it’s important to not accidentally also toss out the baby with that water: our invaluable copylefted, DFSG-free, four-freedoms software.

I have zero nostalgia for wildebeests and TLAs and I’m not eager to keep associating with a certain horrible and dangerous person and self-appointed saint, but,

re: “Free Software”: An idea whose time has passed

If the guy expects a warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, all I can say is that I don’t think that’s going to happen, my friend.

We release this stuff as gifts to you. A nickel tossed. A bad old horse, mouth all crusted up. Nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free. Believe it if you need it. If you don’t, just pass it on.

Don’t come to me with this bull:

Put me down as being in favor of additional legislation to hold software authors liable for any damages they cause. And also of additional legislation to require them to warrant that the software is merchantable and fit for some purpose.

We cut off our own fingers daily and served you, and now you are eager to feast on our arms?

We uploaded a tarball once and now you have your hooks in us for all time?

It’s a grotesque demand, is what it is.

Don’t worry. That is never, ever going to happen, which is a good thing because that means our repos will remain open for all your cloning and fetching needs. A precious eternal forest of code and poetry and janky-assed shell scripts. Freely given. To each other, and, to you, too, if you promise to not blame us when it inevitably borks and dumps core. That’s the deal.

(In before someone says the obvious, which is that you can optionally sell warranties and support contracts and merchantability and fitness, even with FOSS code, and that is all well and jolly good. Those things are not things I’ve automatically gratis given you, though, so RTFWD and recite it like an evening prayer.)