Softfree-review -- Mailing list for "Software Freedom: An Introduction"


About Softfree-review
English (USA)

The book, "Software Freedom: An Introduction", introduces software freedom: why and how such freedom is important, and what, in general, to do? By `software freedom', I mean the freedom of everyone to use, copy, redistribute, study, and modify software.

What needs to be done to encourage software development, to encourage businesses, to encourage sharing? What laws and practices should we establish in society?

Over the past half century, technology has advanced. We can now copy and distribute large programs more easily and cheaply. We could not do this in the past. This change in technology changes our society.

I talk about practices, but not about the details of particular laws. The difficulties we face come from false beliefs, bad laws, and obsolete institutions, which have combined to hurt our societies' response to the newly gained ease with which programs can be duplicated.

These laws and institutions weaken us, even though they attract strong support. Their perceived benefits are short term. Their long term effects bring danger. The consequences are startling, especially to those who favor restrictions of various sorts. For long term survival, we must change ongoing practices and ways of thinking within our societies.

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