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TheNetworkAdministrator: What Would Our Forefathers Say About Open Source

Mar 24, 2004, 02:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by William Nett)

[ Thanks to William Nett for this link. ]

"'Open Source or GPL software will doom the economy, and is against the capitalistic foundation of our country...' so says Steve Ballmer and SCO. But is it really? I think Benjamin Franklin would roll over in his grave at Microsoft and SCO's view of Open Source software. Education up until the 1700's used to be for the rich and powerful. You either came from money and went to school, or you were poor and worked the fields. Ben however, came up with the idea of.. and get this, 'A free and open public library.' He also came up with the idea of free public fire departments, bifocals, the lightning rod, etc... but none the less his reservations were for the benefit of the public. Last time I checked, there was no patent on any of them.

"I can't imagine what would happen if my local library suddenly began charging my children to read books, or what if Anti-Open Source proponents deemed that the ability to read books from libraries was robbing the writers of their IP rights by people benefiting from their writings? Should my daughters in the future have to sigh a non-disclosure agreement to take math or English? Should they pay a royalty fee to Spanish speaking countries for learning Spanish...?"

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