Third Party Ideas
These articles give other people's philosophical opinions in support of free software, or related issues, and don't speak for the GNU project — but we more or less agree with them.
Many of the Organizations that Work for Freedom in Computer Development and Electronic Communications also have philosophical opinions in support of free software, or related issues.
- Introduction by Lawrence Lessig to Free Software, Free Society: The Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman.
- The Trouble with “Free Riding”, by Timothy B. Lee.
- The Future of Copyright, an essay by Rasmus Fleischer.
- The Digital Stockholm Syndrome: reflections over some psychological responses to market forces, by Pedro Rezende, University of Brasilia.
- QuestionCopyright.org is a web site about the history and effects of copyright, dedicated to raise awareness of the harmful consequences of today's copyright system.
- How Vista Lets Microsoft Lock Users In by Cory Doctorow. Note: We think it is a mistake to use the enemy's favorable-sounding propaganda terms such as “trusted computing” to describe a malicious plan.
- movingtofreedom.org, Scott Carpenter's blog with many freedom-related articles.
- A couple of lessons on the hazards of proprietary software.
- Multiple doctors cut off from records by Dr. Notes, an example of how proprietary software gives the developers unjust power over the users.
- Jimmy Wales explains why Free Knowledge requires Free Software and Free File Formats. In this paper, he also exposes why Wikipedia needs to be free software.
- Software patents under the magnifying glass. In this article, the author uses arguments based on lambda calculus to show why software cannot be patented.
- Free gadgets need free software, an editorial reporting a firmware “upgrade” that removes the ability to record radio broadcasts.
- Lakhani and Wolf's paper on the motivation of free software developers says that a considerable fraction are motivated by the view that software should be free. This was despite the fact that they surveyed the developers on SourceForge, a site that does not support the view that this is an ethical issue.
- Groklaw sends a Dear Darl letter: a group from the free software and open source community has put together a response to SCO CEO Darl McBride's Open Letter to the Open Source Community.
- Hardware Central [Archived Page]. We disagree with one aspect of this article's conclusion: It's not legitimate for Microsoft to help Disney and the RIAA impose Digital Restrictions Management on you, any more than it is legitimate for Disney and the RIAA to try it. The full power of computing should be available to you, not just to the owners of information.
- The SCO Sue Me Petition has overwhelmed its inceptor and the petition is no longer taking votes. The author of the petition, John Everitt, was expecting only several responses but instead he had thousands of participants. In the last available public communication about the petition, he urged people to help FSF in any way possible.
- Senator Alberto Conde's answer to CESSI regarding Bill E-135/02-03 which proposes use of Free Software in the public sector for the province of Buenos Aires. The bill has been submitted by Senator Alberto Conde himself.
- Some economists argue that copyright and patents
promote the progress that they supposedly exist to promote.
This article takes a narrowly economic view of its subject, measuring social alternatives only by what goods are available for what price, assuming that you the citizen are a mere consumer and place no value on your freedom in itself. It also uses the misleading term “intellectual property”, which is misleading because it lumps copyrights and patents together. The article also lumps them together, which it can get away with because it ignores the (different) social issues that copyrights and patents raise.
Despite those flaws, it is significant. If one can judge copyright to be harmful even on narrow economic terms, disregarding the ethical wrong of stopping people from sharing, it can only be more harmful once we consider the ethics as well.
- Two articles by Duncan Campbell describe how NSA backdoors were hidden in proprietary software programs: Only NSA can listen, so that's OK and How NSA access was built into Windows. Both are clear demonstrations of how users of proprietary software can often be unaware of what they are actually running.
- Copyright C.P.U., by Harry Hillman Chartrand, is a good summary of the history of copyright.
- Malla Pollack's What is Congress Supposed to Promote? explains how the United States' government's recent tendencies to provide maximum control to copyright holders defies the justification for establishment of copyright set out in the constitution.
- Peruvian Congressman Dr. Edgar David Villanueva Nuñez wrote a letter to a Microsoft manager after they wrote expressing concern about the country's pending Free Software in Public Administration bill. It does an excellent job of allaying concerns about free software often raised by Microsoft and others. The English translation of the letter is here.
- British historian Thomas Macaulay had ideas about copyright in 1841 which still hold true today.
- openrevolt.org was a site devoted to providing information about the European Copyright Directive and similar legislation. It concentrated on the two principal problems of the EUCD, which make it easier for copyright holders to censor webpages on ISPs and give legal protection to copy-protection measures.
- Chilling Effects is a collection point for cease and desist notices concerning online activity — we invite visitors to enter C&Ds they have received or sent. The website collects the C&Ds in a searchable database and hyperlinks them to explanations of the legal issues.
- Coding is a Crime, by Shannon Cochran, is a commentary on the indictment of Jon Johansen on felony charges for helping write DeCSS.
- The Second Enclosure Movement and the Construction of the Public Domain, by James Boyle.
- Intellectual Property: The Attack on Public Space in Cyberspace, by Howard Besser, describes how various industries are using their leverage with copyright to make fewer locations on the Internet less and less public.
- Locating Copyright Within the First Amendment Skein, by Neil W. Netanel, argues that the United States court system has been wrong in its dated assumption that fair use eliminates the conflict between copyright law and the First Amendment.
- Richard Stallman co-signed a joint statement responding to comments by Craig Mundie of Microsoft [Archived Page].
- In Patent Reform Now!, Don Marti calls for free software supporters to nominate Richard M. Stallman to US Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Public Advisory Committee.
- Stop H.R. 3028, “The Trademark Cyberpiracy Prevention Act of 1999”.
- The GNU Project FTP Site: A Digital Collection Supporting a Social Movement [Archived Page], by Michelle Bejian.
- UCLA discriminates against students using GNU/Linux. One part of their justification is supporting the power of software owners. [Archived Page]
- Read Them And Weep [Archived Page], by Simson Garfinkel, talks about the pending bills that would give information owners sweeping new powers, and restrict the activities of users.
- Applying Copyleft To Non-Software Information, by Michael Stutz.
- Only the Free World Can Stand Up to Microsoft, by Tom Hull.
- The Free Music Philosophy, by Ram Samudrala.
- Record companies argue for more copyright power by saying they are the support of the musicians. This article shows how record companies really treat musicians.
- A primer on the ethics of “Intellectual property”, by Ram Samudrala.
- Is self-interest sufficient to organize a free economy? by Loyd Fueston.
- People, places, things and ideas by Kragen Sitaker
- The Libertarian Case
Against Intellectual Property Rights by Roderick T. Long
The Free Software Movement does not endorse Libertarianism, and we do not agree entirely with that article. But it is useful for refuting one specific argument that is made in favor of proprietary software.
- Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright
- Imagined Electronic Community: Representations of Virtual Community in Contemporary Business Discourse by Chris Werry.
- Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation? by Frank, Gilovich, and Regan.
- Development, Ethical Trading, and Free Software by Danny Yee.
- The Ballad of Dennis Karjala: A political comment in the form of a broadside ballad by Timothy R. Phillips.
- Shaping Collaborative ICT Development and Initiatives for Global Prosperity by Robert J. Chassell.
- Competitive Advantages of Free Software by Alexandre Oliva.
- Patent grant under the GPL by Raph Levien.
- The Concept of Copyright Fights for Internet Survival by John Markoff.
- The Real Purpose of Copyright by John N. Berry III.
- Copyrighting Fire! (Humor) by Ian Clarke.
- The Future Brings “Infirmation Technology” by Andy Oram.
- The Free Protocols Foundation is an independent public forum, dedicated to the support of patent-free protocols.
- Software Libre and Commercial Viability by Alessandro Rubini
- Information liberation by Brian Martin. We urge people to avoid using the term intellectual property and to instead speak about copyrights, patents, and/or trademarks.
- Seat Sale, a satire about copyright.
- A gallery of examples demonstrating how outrageous and absurd the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is.
- A book review of Digital Copyright.
- Piecepack is a set of boardgame pieces which everyone is free to use in creating or playing various types of games.
- Eastern Gianozia has put together a tongue-in-cheek look at Software Patents and DRM.
- Free Software and Scouting
- Patents Are an Economic Absurdity: This article adopts as a premise the popular view that free trade is desirable. We don't always agree — beyond a certain point, free trade gives businesses too much power, allowing them to intimidate democracy. But that is a different matter.
- In Defense of Napster and Against the Second Homesteading Rule
- Against Intellectual Property, Spring 2001, Journal of Libertarian Studies (PDF)
- A Comparative Ethical Assessment of Free Software Licensing Schemes by Samir Chopra and Scott Dexter
- The SIM.ONE hardware project has created free (as in freedom) computer design specifications.
- Viral Code and Vaccination, an article by Robert J. Chassell.
- Why Audio Format matters by Karl Fogel
- Not available online, but as early as 1960 Bernard Galler wrote a
letter to the editor of the Communications of the ACM (vol.3, no.4,
pp.A12-A13), saying in part (mentioning price, but clearly implying
… it is clear that what is being charged for is the development of the program, and while I am particularly unhappy that it comes from a university, I believe it is damaging to the whole profession. There isn't a 704 installation that hasn't directly benefited from the free exchange of programs made possible by the distribution facilities of SHARE. If we start to sell our programs, this will set very undesirable precedents.