Monday, November 25, 2002

Boston Globe Online / Business / Free software vs. Goliaths "...Even though the free software movement has generated a host of major products - the Linux operating system, the Apache Web server, the Emacs text editing system - Moglen thinks the movement faces a struggle for survival, with scarcely a dime in its war chest. ''We're a small organization running a big revolution,'' said Moglen, ''and we have big adversaries.''
The foundation is based on the idea that software should be entirely open, with users free to study its underlying source code and modify it in any way they wish. Its enemies, in Moglen's view, are the companies that want to turn our computer software and hardware into hermetically sealed black boxes. Commercial software makers, movie makers, and music producers are desperate to prevent us from making perfect - and perfectly illegal - digital copies of their products.
Their arsenal includes software patents to prevent other free software writers from emulating useful new features, laws that forbid free software programmers from bypassing encryption software, and, perhaps someday, a chip that could stop your machine from running free software at all."
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