[svlug] Subject change - Ubuntu Is Not Evil

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Wed Jan 20 10:00:48 PST 2010

begin Alan DuBoff quotation of Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 11:20:54PM -0800:
> On Mon, 18 Jan 2010, Don Marti wrote:
> >No corporation, as such, is a decison-making agent.
> >Everyone inside the corporation has his or her own
> >agenda.  Some of those align with software freedom,
> >and others don't.
> Where I see a bigger problem is where we have entire countries that
> are not privy to open source development. This exists today, and
> this threatens to damage the commons.

There is no "commons" in software.  The term of
copyright is longer than software has been around.
(Snip rat-hole discussion of the rare "public domain
dedication" licenses.)  What we have is a useful set
of software that all belongs to _someone_, and a set
of norms for cooperating to maintain it.

This article by  Yochai Benkler ought to be required
reading for participants in licensing arguments:
  http://www.yale.edu/yalelj/112/BenklerWEB.pdf (PDF)

> I 'spose this is no different than a corporation, other than it
> seems wrong that such masses consider free software to ultimately be
> free beer.

The biggest problem is aggressive promotion of
proprietary software through the marketing program
called "software piracy." 

  Ariel Katz. "A Network Effects Perspective on Software Piracy"

One of the easiest things you can do for Software
Freedom is to report the people who make infringing
copies of proprietary software to the Business
Software Alliance.

Don Marti                                 +1 510-332-1587 mobile
dmarti at zgp.org

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