User Mode of Production

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Patrick Anderson: "the GNU GPL is very clear in it’s goal to insure the virtual Means of Production (source code) should be in the hands of the CONSUMERS.

When Richard Stallman speaks of freedom it is always about the User (consumer), not developer, author, producer, worker or owner.

For instance, says “‘Proprietary software is an exercise of power. Copyright law today grants software developers that power, so they and only they choose the rules to impose on everyone else—a relatively few people make the basic software decisions for everyone, typically by denying their freedom. When users lack the freedoms that define Free Software, they can’t tell what the software is doing, can’t check for back doors, can’t monitor possible viruses and worms, can’t find out what personal information is being reported (or stop the reports, even if they do find out). If it breaks, they can’t fix it; they have to wait for the developer to exercise its power to do so. If it simply isn’t quite what they need, they are stuck with it. They can’t help each other improve it.’”

And the recent interview “Three Minutes with Richard Stallman” at,137098-c,freeware/article.html says “‘With free software, the users are in control. Most of the time, users want interoperability, and when the software is free, they get what they want. With non-free software, the developer controls the users. The developer permits interoperability when that suits the developer; what the users want is beside the point.’”

If a “Mode of Production” is defined by who controls the “Means of Production”, then the GNU Mode of Production is one in which the Consumers and NOT the Producers are at the helm." (

More Information

For the views of Patrick Anderson, advocate of such a mode of production, see User Ownership.