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Why Libertarians Should Celebrate Free Software

Jul 18, 2007, 00:00 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Timothy B. Lee)

"I still shop at a commercial grocery store. But I also think my criticism of the co–op was a little bit off base. There's no reason that libertarians should object to shopping at a co–op. Some people simply believe that the intangible benefits of a less commercialized shopping experience are worth the costs. It's a peaceful, voluntary form of social organization, and as long as no one is forced to shop there, there's no reason libertarians should object.

"Some libertarians seem to have developed a similar knee–jerk reaction against free software. Free software is produced through the cooperation of volunteers without anyone receiving exclusive rights in the finished product. This volunteerism has produced such widely used software as the Linux operating system, the Apache web server, and the Firefox web browser..."

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