RE: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story) ---> open source

From: Reason (
Date: Sat Jul 21 2001 - 14:09:51 MDT

---> Technotranscendence

> On Saturday, July 21, 2001 6:41 AM Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > The problem is that the open source movement is heavily populated by
> > anti-property anarchists who think its a cool thing to steal other
> > people's work, that it is a moral imperative that people give their work
> > away, or have it stolen from them in retribution for being selfish
> > enough to want to own one's own labor. I don't see open source as
> > 'improving' on capitalisms alleged failings. OSM has plenty enough
> > failings of its own.
> That's true, but the nature of the movement itself is not
> anti-free market.
> That's the problem with people confusing free markets and property with
> hierarchy and conservatism.

Grrr. The open source movement is absolutely not "heavily populated by
anti-property anarchists". In my entire participation and involvement in
open source projects, I have yet to meet one single anti-property anarchist.
In general, open source developers are motiviated self-starters who are
there because it gives them a tangible benefit; either a) it looks good on
their resume, b) its (correctly) viewed as a good way of improving their
skills, c) they want to make use of the code that they are working on and it
isn't quite right yet.

IMHO, most "anti-property anarchists" don't have the self-control and work
ethic to make good developers. I'm sure those of them that understand open
source ( and free software ( have an opinion
on it, but does that really matter? No, because they're not participating.

Another correction: open source is not about "giving your work away."
Authors retain ownership. Open source is about licensing in a way that
encourages other people to add to your code openly. Free software is about
much the same thing -- including authors retaining ownership -- but with a
few added restrictions to prevent people from making alterations in secret.
Go read the docs at the above linked sites.

Both open source and free software arise in a capitalist, property-related
environment. They deal with issues of licensing, not issues of ownership.
The two movements arose to address a number of tangible, specific problems
that came about due to copyright and intellectual property laws (more
government interference in a market introducing convolutions) encouraging
inefficient (closed source) software development processes.

As is put by a number of people; why would you buy a physical product that
you are not allowed to take apart and repair? What if your car has the hood
welded down and only the car manufacturer is allowed by law to repair it?
Open source is the default state of affairs -- it's just that IP laws
(market interference through legislation) led to closed source becoming more
profitable back in the day.


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