Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Defending Software Freedom

With so much propaganda around the notion of defending freedom, it's no wonder why many are becoming disenchanted with the concept. For many in the United States, freedom means being able to make as much money as legally possible - even if the law that allows such profiteering is misguided. Going to war against another country for $$$ under the guise of freedom is perverted enough - and this same perversion is happening in the software world.

When freedom is actual as it is with the GNU GPL - and not just propaganda for profit as it is with many traditional copyright licenses - it threatens the status quo to the point where freedom fighters are negligently labeled as "modern-day communists" by corporate software executives.

You know it's a sad software world we live in when organizations like the SFLC have been recently set up in the face of copyright and patent litigation threats. These threats are even worse than the simple analogy of the big fish going after the little ones. At least in that scenario, it's fish eating other fish. But the free and open source software ecosystem is a wholly different approach.

Free software was designed to benefit the entire world. It was not designed for profit though the beauty is that it is still commercial. That is, profit can be had, but it is not the motivating factor nor is it had under the false rhetoric of "Intellectual Property". The motivating factor is to design a product that every computer user can use, adapt, and freely share with others without needing the permission from a company or corporation. The GPL provides these freedoms and because this freedom is the real deal - not propaganda - it makes the traditional proprietary software developers very nervous.


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