Re: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Miriam English (
Date: Sat Jul 21 2001 - 20:27:56 MDT

At 09:41 AM 21/07/2001 -0400, 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.

The philosophy of open-source is about making software that will always
have the source code freely available, not about taking other people's
software. There is a big distinction.

The idea is that companies that restrict customers' freedom will be less
successful in the long run than those that give their customers maximum
freedom. Would you prefer to get software that comes with the source code
so that it is maintainable into the forseeable future? Or would you prefer
to buy some closed-source software in the hope that the company will still
be operating in 6 months when the inevitable bugs are found and that they
will have fixed them... or even be interested in fixing them?

I am sure there are anti-property anarchists in the computing industry in
general, and some of those are bound to be in the open-source movement. But
I have actually met very few anti-property anarchists in the computing
arena, and suspect that they are mostly good saturday paper scare material.

Even Richard Stallman, the most hard-line free software advocate doesn't
suggest people steal software. He wants people to cease using any
closed-source software -- bought or stolen. His point is that it is not in
their best interests. He alway reminds people that he means "free" as in
free speech, not free beer.


         - Miriam

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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