Friday, March 24, 2006

it's so simple

Eben Moglen, pro bono lawyer for the Free Software Foundation was recently interviewed on ZNet UK. Moglen hits the nail on the head in response to Church of Intellectual Property leader Bill Gates. Moglen was asked -
"Various people have accused the free software movement of being anti-capitalist, including Bill Gates. What's your response?"
After pointing out that capitalism is not only making money from free software but also investing money in its development, Moglen goes on to say -
"Some people decided to make knowledge into property. That wasn't capitalism speaking; that was a greedy scam. There wasn't anything normatively acceptable about it. It contravened the freedom of speech and ideas. We didn't engage in it because it was excluding people from ideas.

This is an especially bad thing in the digital world. In the analogue world, excluding people makes sense as you've got to raise money to manufacture something — a book, or a tape. So you have to say to people, "this cassette tape costs a dollar to make, if you don't give me a dollar I can't make another one." In the digital world, nothing has a marginal cost. Once you make the first one you can make an additional million at no extra cost, so you should only have to pay that cost once."

It's so simple.


Post a Comment

<< Home