Free Software and the Death of Proprietary Culture

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* Article: Freeing the Mind. Free Software and the Death of Proprietary Culture. By Eben Moglen. 56 Me. L. Rev. 1 (2004). (Maine Law Review)

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"The subject matter we are going to talk about is variously named and the words have some resonances of importance. I am going to use the phrase “Free Software” to describe this material, and I am going to suggest to you that the choice of words is relevant. We are talking not merely about a form of production or a system of industrial relations, but also about the beginning of a social movement with specific political goals, which will characterize not only the production of software in the twenty-first century, but the production and distribution of culture generally."


From the reading notes of Michel Bauwens, 2004:

In the industrial era, information production and distribution was costly, and the market principles had to operate, while the exclusionary effects were tempered by a public domain (public libraries, universities). But now, distribution costs are marginal, since it is not more expensive to send an item to one, as to everybody! In such a situation, how can it be moral to exclude anyone!

Software is an inherently incremental product, and since it is massively parallellisable, and that process now costs zero, non-proprietary solutions are inherently superior (in the long run).

Similarly, creation is a by-product of putting minds together, so looking for incentives is the wrong question: one has to look instead at the 'resistance factor' in the network. And the main resistance is: IP and property laws