"Every Free and/or Open Source Software based/located/maintained/served/related to the USA and its companions IS NOT a Free Software, since there’s no freedom of use, access and study, at-least for 80 Millions of individuals."


If you host any #freesoftware in the USA, please consider moving your code outside USA.

@praveen They are talking about projects and services run by some US corporations, not gnu.org. Useful for dramatic effect, if a little disingenuous.

Surely US law punishes Iranian people unfairly and unnecessarily. But like they've stated, that is not something free software projects or people can control directly.

They must also know what they can do: use free software (Tor, I2P,...) that is created for circumventing these barriers. Not ideal, but free software solutions do exist.


There's also the myth that free software license grants enough freedoms on its own.

Free software Iicense is worth very little without the ability to meaningfully participate in a free software project, as this post shows. After all, free software is about communal ownership. If a person is ostracized from the community, they can't meaningfully say that the communal ownership benefits them.


That is not entirely true. People who don't actively control also benefits from other people having the freedom to control. For example Fahad Al Zaidi adding Arabic support in Scribus directly benefited every Indian language user as well.

Though ideal is being able to fully control. And in this case people who don't want to exclude Iranian contributors should move out of US hosting providers.

@akshay @popolon @sajith
And we have track record of moving servers outside US in the past. See wiki.debian.org/non-US for the history of Debian serving crypto software from The Netherlands.

@praveen @akshay @popolon Strictly speaking about projects listed in the blog post, they are all controlled by US corporations. What incentive they have to move their stuff? (They are fluid with their tax jurisdiction, but that is a digression.)

I would not look for "community" in corporate-controlled projects, given the asymmetric power relation. I suppose that depends on your definition of community. Fedora comes close, and might have a reason to move, if RH's lawyers approve the move.

@praveen @akshay @popolon The trend all over the world has been governments grabbing more power and more centralization, and technology has been enabling that. By moving outside the US, projects might be trading one set of problems with a new set of problems.

A technical strategy that makes location irrelevant might work too, like geographic distribution or not revealing your real location or p2p.

@praveen @akshay @popolon Also, as problematic as the US can be, they can also be a part of the solution. Let us not completely and permanently give up on that.

Back in the days of Crypto Wars, Phil Zimmerman printed and shipped PGP source code to circumvent export restrictions. Eventually governments saw the light. I believe that was a case of successful activism. Things like that can happen again.

@sajith @praveen @akshay Because they loose customers, that's what's done RISC-V. Has hardware related foundation, and most products made in China in this area.

@popolon @akshay @praveen They are made in China, but the west is their most profitable market. China and the US has an existing trade relationship. Nothing like that exists between Iran and the US.

If US corporations do business with embargoed nations, they will be trouble and that will hurt their bottomline. They are extremely capable of influencing their government's decisions, but it doesn't seem that they have made an effort in that direction.

These kind of moving out of US can put pressure on these corporations as it will affect their bottom line if a large number of projects/people do it. Also both options can be tried in parallel.
@popolon @akshay

@sajith @akshay @praveen RISC-V has to move to Switzerland to avoid « sanction » of US against China. Today US exportation historically fallen down, this make the export from china more expansive, because most containers come back empty. There is still Canadian/Mexico, European and south American export, but this is a big fall. I suppose Chinese people boycott in large part US products due to pressure they make of them.


@popolon Ok, that is a big complicated topic.

My understanding is this: because of absence of social safety nets and limited private property rights, Chinese households save a large portion of their income. They are not big spenders.

Westerners spend more, and save little. They consume what China produces, and their spending is financed by Chinese savings. Also, following China's entry to the WTO, most US industrial production has moved to China.

Hence the empty containers.

@akshay @praveen

@popolon US has been exporting agricultural products (wheat and soy) to China, but since the previous US administration's trade war, China has started buying from other countries. That also might explain the trade imbalance.

There's friction between governments, but I don't know if Chinese people en masse are boycotting US products. Perhaps they do. I don't know why shipping costs have recently started to raise, because overall trade imbalance between China and US is not new.

@akshay @praveen

@sajith @akshay @praveen On the other way, beside USA export general crisis, 15 countries of ASEAN (asia pacific inter-state poilitical organization) agreed at the end of 2020, for free trade program (called RCEP) between 15 big countries including, Vietnam, China (Taiwan not recognised UNO country, has de facto free trade with mainland China since 2008), Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, New-Zealand, and excluded USA of this free market. India isn't in the agreement, but ASEAN countries say they have kept open to door for it.

@sajith @akshay @praveen Well in China private property is limited to 99 years, as in UK, but it come back to public state, not the the queen. That was the case for the Hong Kong concession to UK, Macau to Portugal, Qingtao to germany or Guangzhou wan to France. This was kept in modern China rules. Instead the family/household (家 jia also used for some professions names, that give also ka in japanese) is the center of Chinese han (and mongolian too the same name is used for yurt and family) culture and the most precious one. Instead they are also big spender. They spend a lot to have a good house, often a big car, and to invite people in restaurants (where one people pay for all the guests). Western capitalists, including USA one moved huge part of their production to China, Vietnam, North Korea (animation, like Hanna & Barbera) since 1970s, China enter in WTO only at the begining of the 21th century I believe.

The empty container is also from USA to Europe, you can see (on the link to worldwide container princes) all the price of containers toward USA have records, and from USA to all of the rest of the world are at least half (up to 3 or more times) less expansive for the same country exchange. Western Europe capitalists also offshored production in part to Eastern Europe. So UE keep a little part of the production of it's Industry. Europe also have lot of well known luxury product. Chinese love luxury products and travel to Europe to spent huge money for them. In all Europe luxury products shop, at least half of the people speaks han chinese mandarin, sometime other chinese languages too. Chinese tourist bus are often striked by poor suburb citizens in France (as train in 19th century US), because of all goods and money of chinese tourists. Most Chinese big cars are from Japan and Gemany, I see some Italian ones too (like Ferrari/Lamborghini)I I rarely seen US cars in China. Their domesticaly mades cars start to be liked with their high production of electric cars (they use numerous electric motorbike around the country for at least ten years, and has the biggest world electric train (and high speed train) network, made in about 10 years) and their high and growing electric grid capacity (they have near half of the world top 10 electric dam, that are far in front of any nuclear plant) + Solar/wind plants everywhere. Their own phones have great success too for things I know.
Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon for Tech Folks

This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!