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LinuxLookup: Why Should Software be Free?

Mar 26, 2003, 04:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mayank Sharma)

"Yes, why should it? For the 19 years of my existence in the world, I have seen nothing but copyrighted software. Ah, copyright. That's the first word they teach in Journalism school; that is the first thing we learn in 'programming classes.' I have done all the hard work, writing the software, spend countless sleepless nights pondering over bugs, why shouldn't I be paid for my efforts? Why should I let people have it for free? There's no such thing as free lunch or free beer or free world. We are all slaves. Yes, slaves of the new World. A world that begins and ends in computers.

"For the Star Trek literate, this is the world of The Borg. Collective consciousness. We are a part of the hive. 'Buy this [proprietary name here] software,' says the queen. She doesn't have to order. There's no resistance.

"I was born in this world of bondage like most of you without realizing it. Screw the new world. I am not here to talk about the new world. It doesn't exist any more. I live in a void. That's why I can think beyond it. I choose to fill my void with Free Software. I choose to talk Mexican. I choose to call software 'libre.' I have the right and freedom to speak my mind. This document is a proof of that. This is what 'libre' means. Freedom.

"Every world has a system, a norm. People who go against the norm are termed rebels. In the information age, these rebels are hackers. Yes we are rebels. We are hackers. But we are respected. We do productive work. We don't break into computers. Richard Stallman is a hacker. Eric Raymond is a hacker. Linus Torvalds is a hacker. Alan Cox is a hacker..."

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