[Humanist] 27.416 corporate open source

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Oct 8 08:21:08 CEST 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 416.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:43:22 -0700
        From: Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org>
        Subject: Re:  27.410 corporate open source
        In-Reply-To: <20131005063820.79AA53AB0 at digitalhumanities.org>

On 04/10/13 11:38 PM, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
> For the rest see www.radicalphilosophy.com/commentary/corporate-open-source.
> Comments?

"The catch, as we have seen, lies in the meaning of ‘shared’. With the
spread of corporate open source, ideas can be shared and owned, credited
and appropriated, open and proprietary at the same time."

It's very easy to say this sort of thing about "Open Source" as the term
was adopted specifically to appeal to corporations and to avoid moral
considerations. And as for "sharing", it's become a synonym for "rental".

Software cannot however be owned, appropriated, or proprietary and have
its users remain *free*.



Corporate use of free software is not something to oppose in itself
(whatever else about corporations needs reform). Corporations producing
or adding value to software that respects the freedom of its users is a
positive thing.

To oppose "corporate open source" as identified in this article:

1. Use the GPL. Copyleft prevents appropriation.
2. Don't assign copyright to corporations, however nice they are.
3. Learn about the history and philosophy of free software.

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