What do you mean you can’t Skype?!
Open World Forum
Paris, France

John Sullivan
Executive Director
johns@fsf.org
http://s...
Nice to meet you

I’ve been the Executive Director just since 2011, but I’ve been with the
Free Software Foundation since ...
Happy Birthday, GNU!

John Sullivan (FSF)

What do you mean you can’t Skype?!

October 3, 2013

3 / 35
Our goal

At the FSF and in the GNU Project, we want all computer users to be
able to do everything they need to do on any...
Our organization

In order to be the change we wish to see in the world, the FSF uses
only free software and free formats....
Our organization

In order to be the change we wish to see in the world, the FSF uses
only free software and free formats....
Communication

We work internationally, so communication is an issue if we want to avoid
large phone bills.

John Sullivan...
Communication

We work internationally, so communication is an issue if we want to avoid
large phone bills.
We are often a...
“What do you mean you can’t Skype?!”
What do you mean you can’t Skype?!

Well, we could, but we won’t.

John Sullivan (FSF)

What do you mean you can’t Skype?!...
What do you mean you can’t Skype?!

Well, we could, but we won’t.
Skype is not free software.

John Sullivan (FSF)

What d...
“Wait, what do you mean Skype isn’t free software? You can download it
for free!”
Four Freedoms

From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html:
Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose...
Four Freedoms

From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html:
Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose...
Four Freedoms

From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html:
Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose...
Four Freedoms

From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html:
Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose...
Licenses and freedom

There are several ways software can be proprietary – copyright license,
EULA contract, software pate...
Skype’s license makes it not free software: Freedom 0

While you can download the program without charge, Skype denies you...
Skype is not free software: Freedom 1

Skype denies you the freedom to read and modify the program’s source
code.
You may ...
Skype is not free software: Freedom 2 and 3

Skype denies you the freedom to share modified or unmodified copies of
the prog...
Why are you picking on Skype?

John Sullivan (FSF)

What do you mean you can’t Skype?!

October 3, 2013

15 / 35
Why are you picking on Skype?

Because it’s owned by Microsoft?

John Sullivan (FSF)

What do you mean you can’t Skype?!

...
Why are you picking on Skype?

Because it’s owned by Microsoft?
No.

John Sullivan (FSF)

What do you mean you can’t Skype...
Stallman on Skype

When Microsoft bought Skype, RMS said:
The Skype client program is nonfree software: it gives its owner...
So why then?

Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software:

John Sullivan (FSF)

What do you me...
So why then?

Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software:
It does not cost any money.

John Su...
So why then?

Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software:
It does not cost any money.
It works...
So why then?

Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software:
It does not cost any money.
It works...
So why then?

Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software:
It does not cost any money.
It works...
So why then?

Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software:
It does not cost any money.
It works...
But also . . .

The essence of the free software movement is collaboration and
communication. Many other kinds of movement...
Our best thing is becoming our worst

Skype is software to do a very important and sensitive job –
communication. If we do...
. . . and it’s going to come back and bite us

Much like PayPal can and does shut down payments for politically
controvers...
Not just hypothetical

We should never wait for proprietary software owners to abuse us before
switching to free software,...
Not just hypothetical

Skype messages are not encrypted, and Microsoft can read them:
http://arstechnica.com/security/2013...
Not just hypothetical

Skype messages are not encrypted, and Microsoft can read them:
http://arstechnica.com/security/2013...
Recap

When you use Skype, you:
Help create a norm that Skype usage – and proprietary software usage
in general – is okay....
Recap

When you use Skype, you:
Help create a norm that Skype usage – and proprietary software usage
in general – is okay....
Recap

When you use Skype, you:
Help create a norm that Skype usage – and proprietary software usage
in general – is okay....
It’s not worth it

Don’t be deceived by the price. Skype is not actually free. There are costs
to using Skype. Those costs...
It’s not worth it

Temporary gains in efficiency in communication are simply not worth these
costs, or the cost of undermini...
It’s not just Skype

Of course, it’s only an example. Everything I’ve said can also be said
about Google Hangouts, or Face...
So how do we communicate?

At the FSF, we don’t use Skype. We use the free software phone server
Asterisk, and SIP – a sta...
What free software is there?

There are many programs, but some of the main ones we are following
right now are:
Mumble (v...
But I need Skype!

You probably don’t need it. And if you are using Skype, that part of what
you are doing is working agai...
We’re hiring

If you want to help us make a difference in this area, and others, we are
hiring for a GNU/Linux systems admi...
Support Freedom and GNU

Our work is funded primarily by grassroots contributions from thousands of
individual members.
Re...
Support Freedom and GNU

Our work is funded primarily by grassroots contributions from thousands of
individual members.
Re...
Support Freedom and GNU

Our work is funded primarily by grassroots contributions from thousands of
individual members.
Re...
Make it happen

The theme of this event is “Make it happen!”
It’s an excellent theme. We need to make free software happen...
Make it stop.
Stopping proprietary software

Change happens through resistance as well as creation. “Living free in a
nonfree world” mea...
Stopping proprietary software

Change happens through resistance as well as creation. “Living free in a
nonfree world” mea...
Stopping proprietary software

Change happens through resistance as well as creation. “Living free in a
nonfree world” mea...
And if you won’t stop . . . we have ways.

John Sullivan (FSF)

What do you mean you can’t Skype?!

October 3, 2013

35 / ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

OWF13 - John Sullivan

428 views
306 views

Published on

Keynote address, under GNU licence

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
428
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

OWF13 - John Sullivan

  1. 1. What do you mean you can’t Skype?! Open World Forum Paris, France John Sullivan Executive Director johns@fsf.org http://status.fsf.org/johns http://twitter.com/johns FSF Slides available at https://libreplanet.org/wiki/User:Johns/Presentations Free Software Foundation October 3, 2013 John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 1 / 35
  2. 2. Nice to meet you I’ve been the Executive Director just since 2011, but I’ve been with the Free Software Foundation since 2003. The FSF was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1985 to fight for the freedoms of computer users worldwide, and to sponsor the GNU Project, which has a goal of making a fully free operating system. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 2 / 35
  3. 3. Happy Birthday, GNU! John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 3 / 35
  4. 4. Our goal At the FSF and in the GNU Project, we want all computer users to be able to do everything they need to do on any computer, using only free software. We have been working toward this goal since it was announced in 1983. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 4 / 35
  5. 5. Our organization In order to be the change we wish to see in the world, the FSF uses only free software and free formats. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 5 / 35
  6. 6. Our organization In order to be the change we wish to see in the world, the FSF uses only free software and free formats. We also encourage (and often require) everyone we work with to use only free software, free formats, and free fonts. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 5 / 35
  7. 7. Communication We work internationally, so communication is an issue if we want to avoid large phone bills. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 6 / 35
  8. 8. Communication We work internationally, so communication is an issue if we want to avoid large phone bills. We are often asked to use Skype for this. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 6 / 35
  9. 9. “What do you mean you can’t Skype?!”
  10. 10. What do you mean you can’t Skype?! Well, we could, but we won’t. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 8 / 35
  11. 11. What do you mean you can’t Skype?! Well, we could, but we won’t. Skype is not free software. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 8 / 35
  12. 12. “Wait, what do you mean Skype isn’t free software? You can download it for free!”
  13. 13. Four Freedoms From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html: Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 10 / 35
  14. 14. Four Freedoms From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html: Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose. Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 10 / 35
  15. 15. Four Freedoms From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html: Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose. Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 10 / 35
  16. 16. Four Freedoms From http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html: Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose. Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor. Freedom 3: The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 10 / 35
  17. 17. Licenses and freedom There are several ways software can be proprietary – copyright license, EULA contract, software patents, etc. As the GNU General Public License begins: The licenses for most software and other practical works are designed to take away your freedom to share and change the works. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change all versions of a program–to make sure it remains free software for all its users. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 11 / 35
  18. 18. Skype’s license makes it not free software: Freedom 0 While you can download the program without charge, Skype denies you the freedom to run the program for any purpose. 4.2 Restrictions. You may not and you agree not to . . . use the Software or cause the Software (or any part of it) to be used within or to provide commercial products or services to third parties. (License quotes are from http://www.skype.com/en/legal/tou/.) John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 12 / 35
  19. 19. Skype is not free software: Freedom 1 Skype denies you the freedom to read and modify the program’s source code. You may not and you agree not to . . . undertake, cause, permit or authorise the modification, creation of derivative works or improvements, translation, reverse engineering, decompiling, disassembling, decryption, emulation, hacking, discovery or attempted discovery of the source code or protocols of the Software or any part or features thereof John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 13 / 35
  20. 20. Skype is not free software: Freedom 2 and 3 Skype denies you the freedom to share modified or unmodified copies of the program. You may not and you agree not to . . . sub-license, sell, assign, rent, lease, export, import, distribute or transfer or otherwise grant rights to any third party in the Software; John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 14 / 35
  21. 21. Why are you picking on Skype? John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 15 / 35
  22. 22. Why are you picking on Skype? Because it’s owned by Microsoft? John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 15 / 35
  23. 23. Why are you picking on Skype? Because it’s owned by Microsoft? No. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 15 / 35
  24. 24. Stallman on Skype When Microsoft bought Skype, RMS said: The Skype client program is nonfree software: it gives its owner power over its users. Presently it will give the same power to a different company. The identity of the master is just a detail, because freedom means not having a master. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 16 / 35
  25. 25. So why then? Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software: John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 17 / 35
  26. 26. So why then? Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software: It does not cost any money. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 17 / 35
  27. 27. So why then? Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software: It does not cost any money. It works very well. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 17 / 35
  28. 28. So why then? Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software: It does not cost any money. It works very well. It leverages a network effect. To talk to someone using Skype, you also have to use Skype. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 17 / 35
  29. 29. So why then? Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software: It does not cost any money. It works very well. It leverages a network effect. To talk to someone using Skype, you also have to use Skype. It runs on otherwise free operating systems like GNU/Linux. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 17 / 35
  30. 30. So why then? Skype is an example of the most dangerous kind of proprietary software: It does not cost any money. It works very well. It leverages a network effect. To talk to someone using Skype, you also have to use Skype. It runs on otherwise free operating systems like GNU/Linux. That’s why. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 17 / 35
  31. 31. But also . . . The essence of the free software movement is collaboration and communication. Many other kinds of movements – in journalism, in culture, in political decisionmaking – are focusing on the lessons learned from the incredible grassroots, broad-based collaboration that happens in free software development and advocacy. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 18 / 35
  32. 32. Our best thing is becoming our worst Skype is software to do a very important and sensitive job – communication. If we don’t control the infrastructure we use to do our communication and collaboration within this movement, then what do we control? What are we doing to that example I just mentioned? We are showing that we need proprietary software in order to conduct the most fundamental business of our movement. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 19 / 35
  33. 33. . . . and it’s going to come back and bite us Much like PayPal can and does shut down payments for politically controversial groups, Skype can shut down communications. We should not be dependent on them. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 20 / 35
  34. 34. Not just hypothetical We should never wait for proprietary software owners to abuse us before switching to free software, but in fact Skype has already demonstrated such abuses. Skype gave personal info about a WikiLeaks supporter to another company with no legal obligation to do so: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/11/09/ skype_gave_data_on_a_teen_wikileaks_supporter_to_a_ private_company_without.html John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 21 / 35
  35. 35. Not just hypothetical Skype messages are not encrypted, and Microsoft can read them: http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/05/ think-your-skype-messages-get-end-to-end-encryption-think John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 22 / 35
  36. 36. Not just hypothetical Skype messages are not encrypted, and Microsoft can read them: http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/05/ think-your-skype-messages-get-end-to-end-encryption-think ...and Microsoft does read them: http://fossforce.com/2013/ 05/microsoft-snoops-in-skype-dissed-by-hp-more/ John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 22 / 35
  37. 37. Recap When you use Skype, you: Help create a norm that Skype usage – and proprietary software usage in general – is okay. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 23 / 35
  38. 38. Recap When you use Skype, you: Help create a norm that Skype usage – and proprietary software usage in general – is okay. Put your communications and the communications of your organization at the mercy of a company that does not have your interests in mind, and that has been found to repeatedly betray its users. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 23 / 35
  39. 39. Recap When you use Skype, you: Help create a norm that Skype usage – and proprietary software usage in general – is okay. Put your communications and the communications of your organization at the mercy of a company that does not have your interests in mind, and that has been found to repeatedly betray its users. Contaminate one of the shining values of the free software movement – not just open communication but free communication. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 23 / 35
  40. 40. It’s not worth it Don’t be deceived by the price. Skype is not actually free. There are costs to using Skype. Those costs include our own individual freedom, the freedom of others, the autonomy of our organizations, and our privacy. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 24 / 35
  41. 41. It’s not worth it Temporary gains in efficiency in communication are simply not worth these costs, or the cost of undermining the ethical commitment to free software. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 25 / 35
  42. 42. It’s not just Skype Of course, it’s only an example. Everything I’ve said can also be said about Google Hangouts, or FaceTime, or any other proprietary software often used in the course of free software development. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 26 / 35
  43. 43. So how do we communicate? At the FSF, we don’t use Skype. We use the free software phone server Asterisk, and SIP – a standard protocol spoken by many clients for doing voice and video communication. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 27 / 35
  44. 44. What free software is there? There are many programs, but some of the main ones we are following right now are: Mumble (voice) Jitsi (voice and video) WebRTC (voice and video) GNU Telephony (voice and video) Pidgin with XMPP/Jabber (instant messaging) Asterisk John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 28 / 35
  45. 45. But I need Skype! You probably don’t need it. And if you are using Skype, that part of what you are doing is working against the free software movement. You may be doing a lot of other things to help free software (thank you!), but I cannot sugarcoat the fact that this one thing is hurting us (and you!). If you don’t want to stop using it, ask yourself what your blocking issues are, and then support free projects working to address those issues. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 29 / 35
  46. 46. We’re hiring If you want to help us make a difference in this area, and others, we are hiring for a GNU/Linux systems administrator. http://www.fsf.org/news/ fsf-seeks-full-time-senior-gnu-linux-sysadmin I’m looking for people for whom knowing they are helping humanity is as important as money. I view this as a way of enabling dedicated people to devote their full energies to working on GNU by sparing them the need to make a living in another way. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 30 / 35
  47. 47. Support Freedom and GNU Our work is funded primarily by grassroots contributions from thousands of individual members. Replacing Skype is an FSF High Priority Project: fsf.org/campaigns/priority-projects Join the FSF at http://www.fsf.org/join (use referrer #8096 if you like me). Or donate what you can at https://donate.fsf.org. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 31 / 35
  48. 48. Support Freedom and GNU Our work is funded primarily by grassroots contributions from thousands of individual members. Replacing Skype is an FSF High Priority Project: fsf.org/campaigns/priority-projects Join the FSF at http://www.fsf.org/join (use referrer #8096 if you like me). Or donate what you can at https://donate.fsf.org. Support specific free software projects, especially in this area. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 31 / 35
  49. 49. Support Freedom and GNU Our work is funded primarily by grassroots contributions from thousands of individual members. Replacing Skype is an FSF High Priority Project: fsf.org/campaigns/priority-projects Join the FSF at http://www.fsf.org/join (use referrer #8096 if you like me). Or donate what you can at https://donate.fsf.org. Support specific free software projects, especially in this area. Stay informed by subscribing to our Free Software Supporter newsletter at http://www.fsf.org/fss. It’s also available in Spanish. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 31 / 35
  50. 50. Make it happen The theme of this event is “Make it happen!” It’s an excellent theme. We need to make free software happen. But we also need its corollary. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 32 / 35
  51. 51. Make it stop.
  52. 52. Stopping proprietary software Change happens through resistance as well as creation. “Living free in a nonfree world” means helping to develop free solutions, but it also means saying no to some tempting things when those solutions don’t yet exist. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 34 / 35
  53. 53. Stopping proprietary software Change happens through resistance as well as creation. “Living free in a nonfree world” means helping to develop free solutions, but it also means saying no to some tempting things when those solutions don’t yet exist. Next time someone asks you to Skype, or Hangout, or FaceTime, please say no. At least periodically try the free replacements, and report any bad experiences you may have. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 34 / 35
  54. 54. Stopping proprietary software Change happens through resistance as well as creation. “Living free in a nonfree world” means helping to develop free solutions, but it also means saying no to some tempting things when those solutions don’t yet exist. Next time someone asks you to Skype, or Hangout, or FaceTime, please say no. At least periodically try the free replacements, and report any bad experiences you may have. As the GPL says, “To protect your rights, we need to prevent others from denying you these rights or asking you to surrender the rights.” John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 34 / 35
  55. 55. And if you won’t stop . . . we have ways. John Sullivan (FSF) What do you mean you can’t Skype?! October 3, 2013 35 / 35

×