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Article:
  Why Human Rights Requires Free Software
Subject:   Human rights require truly free software, not the FSF's "Free" (Not!) software
Date:   2002-10-12 14:39:59
From:   brettglass
In this essay, Andy Oram uses the term "Free Software" -- with initial caps -- implying that code encumbered by the FSF's anti-commercial "GNU General Public License" is necessary to human rights efforts.


Nothing could be further from the case. The GPL, with its "poison pill" provisions, hurts the development of technology businesses in developing nations by preventing them from creating, valuable innovations that improve upon existing works. For this reason, GPLed software should not be used in such efforts. Instead, they should insist upon using use software which is truly free and unencmumbered -- such as that which is in the public domain or licensed under the MIT, BSD, or Apache licenses. Otherwise, the GPL's agenda -- to undermine business and forestall any chance of good jobs for programmers -- will hurt the very countries that human rights workers are attempting to help. The GPL deprives programmers of rights, and therefore it is inappropriate for human rights workers to use it or software under which it is licensed.


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  1. Another tragic error...
    2002-10-13 13:29:16  brettglass [View]

  2. John W. Adams photo Brett, your objection is pointless
    2002-10-12 17:50:13  John W. Adams | O'Reilly Blogger [View]

    • Brett, your objection is pointless
      2007-08-09 02:41:37  crosbie [View]

    • The above is dead wrong.
      2002-10-13 00:03:46  brettglass [View]

      • John W. Adams photo Now that you've clarified...
        2002-10-13 06:30:46  John W. Adams | O'Reilly Blogger [View]

        • Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
          2002-10-13 13:25:57  brettglass [View]

          • which point...
            2002-10-17 21:40:13  david_given [View]

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