Free Software Foundation Europe has received many comments, both from Fellows and members of the community, confused by the fact that some of the items being raffled weren't real prizes but devices that needed liberation. Since the confusion couldn't be cleared easily, FSFE we have decided to take the following items out of the raffle
- 1 Qtopia Greenphone by Trolltech
- 3 Developer Discount codes for Nokia N800 Internet Tablets, by Nokia
- 2 Free Software based routers KWGR614, by NETGEAR
and will pass them to developers for full liberation at a later stage.
FSFE sees its Fellows as a part of itself, as people with very strong committment to freedom and strong ethics, who would always do the right thing. We always assume honesty and strong principles.
This perception has been part of the Fellowship idea from the start and is reflected in many details, like the — from a minimum — freely chosen Fellowship contribution, which has never been checked.
Unfortunately this perception has clouded our vision to the potential negative interpretation of putting these items into the raffle. We were sure that if we pass these along to Fellows they would do the
right thing and work on liberating the devices with more freedom as the logical consequence. But it seems that some people got the impression we were simply distributing them as prizes. This would
amount to distribution of the devices with proprietary software for usage, not liberation, and would be against our principles.
We have to admit that the communication allowed that conclusion, which at the time seemed so remote to people in FSFE that we failed to consider this interpretation enough. For this we apologise.
We obviously will not continue what we now see as a mistake, and therefore we have decided to take these items out of the fellowship raffle. They will be replaced by 15 copies of "Free Software, Free
Society" and the remaining items in the raffle will be raffled as planned.
After the raffle is over, we will have a dedicated call to liberate these devices where people can apply for them and they will be given the devices under certain conditions. In setting this up we will pay
attention to the Fellows who have already applied to be allowed to work on liberating the devices.
We hope that you will understand and support this decision, and that you will continue to be a part of our work in the future.
With best regards,