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The Connection Between Free Software and Piracy

Oct 15, 2010, 17:34 (0 Talkback[s])

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[ Thanks to Marcel Gagne for this link. ]

"In every major culture, there are subcultures. Within those subcultures, you may find other, smaller, groups interested in something that seems completely unrelated to the larger group. An individual may tell you they hate loud music but later you catch them rocking out to AC/DC. These aren't contradictions. They are non-intersecting curves of interest that have nothing to do with each other. Or to put it another way, one doesn't have anything to do with the other.

"So it is with cultures of freedom. In the free and open source community, we toss around the expressions "Free as in speech" and "Free as in Beer". That's because free isn't always a question of cost. When referring to software, somebody might give you a live Ubuntu Linux CD just as a friend might hand you a beer at a party. It didn't cost you anything and you get to enjoy your drink, or software, as the case may be, without shelling out some money. In the case of your software, you also have the freedom to make additional copies and hand them out to other friends. Once the beer is gone, it's gone. But I digress . . . Legally. If you are technically inclined, the source code is available and suddenly, you have the freedom to modify or extend the software in ways that are useful to you and others.

"That's the cool thing about a Linux distribution like Ubuntu."

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