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Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows? 2016 2017 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Monday, 25 August 2003
The Washington Post reports the story but misses the most important part, which Lessig brings out to some degree on his blog. Listen: Open Source and Free Software crusaders are not against such things as intellectual-property rights. What the General Public License (for example) basically says is this:
  1. You get this software for free. It is being given to you. You can do pretty much anything you like with it as long as you follow a couple of simple rules.
  2. Rule: This software came with source code. If you copy this software to give to someone else, you have to give them the source code, too.
  3. Rule: If you alter the source code to improve the software, or use it as a starting point for a creation of your own, and you choose to share your work with the world, you must share freely, source code included.
See, what we have here is a license. A contract, for Pete’s sake. Which can be imposed by the creator of the software because the creator owns the copyright to the software, and as such, can distribute it under any ruleset he likes. See? Free Software is all about copyright! The problem seems to be that what Free Software geeks like to do with their rights is different from what Microsoft likes to do with its rights. Microsoft wants to make scads of money and stamp out all competition. Free Software geeks want to create and share, and encourage further creation and sharing so that full promise of the personal computing era can be realized. So that personal computers can be every bit as simple and every bit as rock-solid and dependable as your toaster.

Someday that vision will be reality, and I do not think Bill Gates will get us there.
posted to /tech at 12:25am :: 0 responses



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