Site Map - skip to main content

Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes every weekday Monday through Friday.
This page was generated by The HPR Robot at

hpr3553 :: Freedom of speech in open source

Is it free speech if you have to leave?

<< First, < Previous, , Latest >>

Thumbnail of Some Guy On The Internet
Hosted by Some Guy On The Internet on 2022-03-16 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
Free Speech. 5.
The show is available on the Internet Archive at:

Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Play now:

Duration: 00:23:52

Freedom is not Free .

Examining the difference between freedom and free of cost. In the world of free software the main emphasis is on the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software, not on its lack of cost.

  1. First Amendment (United States Constitution).
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  1. Read arch users the riot act.


Subscribe to the comments RSS feed.

Comment #1 posted on 2022-03-16 15:52:05 by Trey

Great Intro

Love the automated voice intro for this one. Much easier to understand when listening at 1.5x speed.

Comment #2 posted on 2022-03-16 15:58:11 by Trey

Important topic

SGoTT, this is a very important topic. It is challenging to balance freedom of expression among a diverse group of users with different social and moral frameworks. We often forget that, in the United States, government supports freedom of public speech (also within certain guidelines), but organizations may impose their own restrictions on the platforms they own/administer. Their choices are then influenced by their customers' choices to continue to do business with them or leave.

Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to your next amazing podcast!

Comment #3 posted on 2022-03-17 11:02:21 by Beeza

Free Speech

Hi "Some Guy"

A great episode, raising excellent points, but I feel the crux of the issues you raise is courtesy and dignity rather than free speech per se.

Free speech generally refers to the ideas you are expressing. How you express them is where courtesy comes in. There is a world of difference between "If you look at the online manuals you should find the information that will solve your problem" and "RTFM!"

You'll probably be aware of the controversy about Richard Stallman's ejection from the FSF and subsequent readmission. This was a result of his expressing what most people felt were distasteful ideas. Very little of what followed was criticism of RMS' views based on rational, level-headed argument. It was all about personal insult and trying to shut RMS down, saying he shouldn't have expressed his views. There was no respect of his right of free speech. Much as I similarly rejected most of what RMS had said, the episode demonstrated to me that even in the world of "free culture" that we claim to support the adherence to the right of true free speech is as tenuous and conditional as it is in wider society.

I have asked many questions on free software forums over the years and generally found nothing but help and courtesy. However, every now and then I've come across respondents whose primary aim is to show how clever they are and to belittle my relative lack of knowledge. They are the people who give FLOSS a bad image. On the plus side, though, in the same way as you, me and everyone else come to realise that these jerks don't represent the majority I think most newbies will as well, provided they don't encounter one on their first ever request for help.

Comment #4 posted on 2022-03-17 20:41:04 by Ken Fallon

My thoughts


Thanks for the thought provoking show. A few observations if I may.

The show focused on the concept of freedom of speech from a US centric perspective. It's important to remember that other (democratic) countries have their own laws

Having time to consider your points, I feel it's fair to say that the Linux Foundation should be running Linux on their computers. Would Steve Jobs be seen in front of a Windows computer, or Bill Gates a Mac ? It's' just bad business to not run your own products.

Furthermore the "Shur Mac is Unix" ideology is dangerous and can be shown to be damaging to the community by focusing people on convenience over moral values. Case in point. Despite the fact that so many "Linux" developers run Mac Books, it is still one of the most under supported platforms out there. I tried to get Linux to run on a MacBook with the same specs and release date as my Dell. While there were many issues with the Dell that have been fixed over the years, it's still not possible to get a MacBook to run Linux. This is a direct quote from a developer I asked for help. "I actually gave up on Fedora on my macbook, too many things are broken (wifi, audio, webcam)."

I also do not agree that we should welcome developers of closed or even open core applications. This is akin to McDonalds expecting a warm welcome in a vegan club because they put lettuces on a Big Mac.

Developers and the community have a right to a belief in Free Libre and Open Source software, the Commons and related views. It is valid that they should not be welcoming with open arms developments that run against that belief. Provided of course that it is done with courtesy.

Comment #5 posted on 2022-03-22 19:16:33 by jezra

the show

The Linux Foundation is a 501c6 non-profit trade association. Their purpose is to help their members use Linux to increase profits. The promotion of desktop Linux, is not a priority of the Foundation.

The steam deck will use Arch Linux because it is cheaper to use linux than it is to pay licensing fees for a proprietary OS. Using a high quality rolling release Linux is also cheaper than writing one's own OS. In this regard, Valve is standing on the shoulders of the devs who have put decades of work into making Arch what it is today. The Arch community owes absolutely nothing to Valve; and without Linux, Valve wouldn't have a product to sell.

Leave Comment

Note to Verbose Commenters
If you can't fit everything you want to say in the comment below then you really should record a response show instead.

Note to Spammers
All comments are moderated. All links are checked by humans. We strip out all html. Feel free to record a show about yourself, or your industry, or any other topic we may find interesting. We also check shows for spam :).

Provide feedback
Your Name/Handle:
Anti Spam Question: What does the letter P in HPR stand for?
Are you a spammer?
What is the HOST_ID for the host of this show?
What does HPR mean to you?