251 words — 2 minutes read

Tweakfest - Open Source is not enough

Georg C. F. Greve, President, Free Software Foundation Europe

A long presentation that covers the basics of free (as in freedom) software, touches Open Source Software, and moves on to show that proprietary software is a danger to society, because code (software) forms the basic structure of an (internet based) society. By using proprietary software (and out of the same reasoing) Digital Restriction Management (DRM), the users put themselves UNDER the control of software or media monopolies.

The original copyright, patent and trademarks were a “limited monopoly granted by society, for the benefit of society”. The new intellectual property (IP) based monopolies and their hunger for stronger and stronger protection transfer this power away from society towards monopolies controlled by companies. This for sure will not benefit the users.

Proprietary software puts the user UNDER control, while free software puts the user IN control. It’s a free choice, and the outcome of this choice is shaping our future societies. It’s up to the individuals to choose - and to choose wisely.

Again this resonates with things said yesterday by Bruce Sterling and discussed in the “Big Brother” panel. We are moving into a future where the control over our lifes and being is not controlled by democratic elected governments, but by larger, trans-national corporations. The future, that Neal Stephenson paints in “Snowcrash” with control divided between the mafia, the church and large multi national companies doesn’t seem that far fetched as it did on first reading.

Technorati Tags: freedom, free, tweakfest05

Jens-Christian Fischer

Maker. Musician