Craig A. Adams, co-leader of the Ubuntu ZA LoCoTeam, wrote an insightful piece on the Principles of Free Software a while back which I have been meaning to comment on.
It made me think that, in order to guarantee freedom, we place restrictions. It sounds ironic at first: Wikipedia defines Freedom as “the ability to act without restraint”.
But the freedom in software and intellectual property isn’t arbitrary and it needs to be protected. In my view, the GPL is often misunderstood as too restrictive. But what if the BSD licence was the best we had? Where would “Open Source” be today without Free Software?
A lot less Free.
Published May 2, 2007
freedom , ubuntu
It’s one thing when an organisation takes action restricting the community temporarily to keep some breaking news from leaking out early – news which would be coming out officially anyway, and which is still published elsewhere, just not on a site clearly linked with the organisation…
but what if the freedom to publish IS the product? What if the community IS the value they provide? What if the conflict of interests between the organisation and the community affects their very operation?
Digg fights user revolt over HD-DVD ban – Digg founders took HD-DVD sponsorship.
I think in the Ubuntu case, minor adjustments will be made, and business as usual will continue with a stronger community. In Digg’s case, well this had to happen sooner or later… I wonder about their survivability.
And now, back to business as usual! :-)