Law in the Internet Society

View   r5  >  r4  ...
SebastianBresserFirstEssay 5 - 06 Apr 2018 - Main.SebastianBresser
Line: 1 to 1
 
META TOPICPARENT name="FirstEssay"
Line: 22 to 22
 It is vital that a critical mass understands firstly, how and by whom proprietary software is used today and secondly, how different approaches to software development and licensing can restrain the detrimental effects to society. Functionally, software should be designed and/or licensed to prevent any person or entity from making a profit by making users a product or by affecting their behavior. Free and open source software (FOSS) and the derivative copyleft licensing achieve that goal. Since the beneficiaries of FOSS or copyleft licensed software are also its users there is no reason to believe that this software will ever be developed to the detriment of its users. The question of whether software will become a means to an end (e.g., human despotism) or a freedom-enabling means in itself, is closely linked to the question of whether FOSS and copyleft will prevail. Independent of whether freedom is truly achievable or solely worth pursuing, proprietary software either privately developed or developed on top of permissive open source software is self-evidently not the tool of choice to get there.
Changed:
<
<
As outlined above, the problem is visible, it is understood at least by few and feasible solutions exist today. Furthermore, it is almost undisputed that FOSS is superior to proprietary software and that copyleft licensing allows for quick and powerful improvements (the Linux kernel, for example, is base to the a popular mobile operating system that is unfortunately used to run a suite of proprietary software developed by Google). What is more, yet contrary to what data-collecting companies suggest, data collection and exploitation (yielding valuable information from monitoring traffic to predicting the spread of infectious diseases) need not be done by a single entity but can be done transparently and collectively. Block chain is one of the technologies that have rendered centralized databases redundant. Despite all this, the clear majority of people uses proprietary software in their personal and professional lives (Sometimes because they are locked-in. In these cases, mandatory APIs could help).
>
>
As outlined above, the problem is visible, it is understood at least by few and feasible solutions exist today. Furthermore, it is almost undisputed that FOSS is superior to proprietary software and that copyleft licensing allows for quick and powerful improvements (the Linux kernel, for example, is base to the a popular mobile operating system that is unfortunately used to run a suite of proprietary software developed by Google). What is more, yet contrary to what data-collecting companies suggest, data collection and exploitation (yielding valuable information from monitoring traffic to predicting the spread of infectious diseases) need not be done by a single entity but can be done transparently and collectively. Block chain is one of the technologies that have rendered centralized databases redundant. Despite all this, the clear majority of people uses proprietary software in their personal and professional lives (Sometimes because they are locked-in. In these cases, mandatory APIs could help).
 

Striving for Freedom

Changed:
<
<
The wide-spread reliance on proprietary software can be attributed to both, a lack of understanding the dangers of such software and/or indifference vis--vis the frightening consequences of an increased proliferation of such software. Albeit still wishful thinking, the ignorance will likely be overcome sooner than later. In my view, to strive for freedom, however, users of proprietary software need to be convinced of both, that they are unfree and that it is worth being free. To convince users that this is not the case, however, large proprietary software companies invest incredible financial resources in marketing and lobbying. FOSS proponents, on the other hand, seem to hope that the quality of FOSS advertises itself and copylefters allow (or, arguably, don’t actually) for proprietary software suites to be built on top. Independent of whether this is the result of lacking understanding or lacking financial resources: the quality did and will not advertise itself. It seems that if FOSS and copyleft licensing are to become the new standard, their proponents will need a serious marketing and lobbying budget to promote broad understanding and incite a striving for freedom in the age of software.
>
>
The wide-spread reliance on proprietary software can be attributed to both, a lack of understanding the dangers of such software and/or indifference vis--vis the frightening consequences of an increased proliferation of such software. Albeit still wishful thinking, the ignorance will likely be overcome sooner than later. In my view, to strive for freedom, however, users of proprietary software need to be convinced of both, that they are unfree and that it is worth being free. To convince users that this is not the case, however, large proprietary software companies invest incredible financial resources in marketing and lobbying. FOSS proponents, on the other hand, seem to hope that the quality of FOSS advertises itself and copylefters regard proprietary software suites built on top as non-derivative (or, arguably, don’t actually). Independent of whether this is the result of lacking understanding or lacking financial resources: the quality did and will not advertise itself. It seems that if FOSS and copyleft licensing are to become the new standard, their proponents will need a serious marketing and lobbying budget to promote broad understanding and incite a striving for freedom in the realm of software.
 

Revision 5r5 - 06 Apr 2018 - 18:28:43 - SebastianBresser
Revision 4r4 - 05 Apr 2018 - 19:19:41 - SebastianBresser
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM