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<nettime> cramergram x2: freedom to think, fading altruism
nettime's_fork()_lift on Fri, 18 Jan 2002 18:25:50 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> cramergram x2: freedom to think, fading altruism


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Florian Cramer <cantsin {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de>
     Re: <nettime> Freedom to Think and Speak
     Re: [graham {AT} seul.org: Re: [ox-en] Threads "The Fading Altruism of 

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Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 12:53:23 +0100
From: Florian Cramer <cantsin {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Freedom to Think and Speak

Am Thu, 17.Jan.2002 um 10:52:17 -0500x schrieb nettime's roving reporter:
> 
> 
> http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/views/s_johnson_2.html
> 
> Freedom to Think and Speak
> By Seth Johnson
> 
> 
> Under Microsoft's Digital Rights Management operating system, the ability
> to use information freely will be policed at the most intricate level.

...corresponding reciprocally to the freedom of programmers to code
taken away by the DMCA and other legislative measures. The following is
an excerpt of an interview with Alan Cox, until recently the second-most
important Linux kernel developer after Linus Torvalds:

  [...]
  
  JA: 
  You still maintain the stable 2.2 kernel, the most recent release in
  that series being 2.2.20. In the changelog building up to this release
  was a controversial tag, "Security fixes. Details censored in accordance
  with the US DMCA". What prompted you to censor these fixes? Was it
  intended as a political statement, or done out of fear of possible
  prosecution?
  
  Alan Cox: 
  It was simply a matter of following the law and avoiding
  liability. The fact that American citizens are forbidden by their own
  government from hearing, or speaking the truth turns itself into a
  political statement.
     It's an unfortunate situation when the major Linux conference pretty
  much has to be in Canada because the US will not let some of the
  attendees even pass through their airspace, and many of the others fear
  to visit. I just hope that over time things will improve.
     At the moment the US, UK and much of the EEC slide slowly toward a
  police state. Innovation is hard, and innovators are generally buried in
  courts by established interests. I don't want to become a citizen of the
  new soviet union, forbidden from watching DVD's from the outside world,
  from burning flags in protest, and risking jail for offending a large
  company. People have to get involved in fighting such things. If they do
  not fight, they may well be swimming to Cuba, or serving in restaurants
  in Mexico City while trying to avoid deportation within thirty years.
     I'm working with FIPR (the foundation for information policy research)
  to do my bit. It's up to everyone else to do their bits too.
  
  JA: 
  You mention the UK moving toward a police state, as well as the US.
  Has the UK passed similar laws to the US DMCA, or the proposed SSSCA?
  
  Alan Cox: 
  The UK already has certain anti-convention laws, and the EU is
  implementing a common set at the moment. In some ways it is a lot saner
  than the DMCA (eg its a lot more explicit about reverse engineering for
  compatibility) and it doesn't seek to censor people in quite the same
  way. Nevertheless it has many of the same effects as the DMCA such as
  getting people arrested for helping the disabled read e-books.
     Could Sklyarov have happened in the UK. I think the answer is yes but as
  a civil case. Regardless of what the law says large companies can always
  play the system against the little guy.
  
  JA: 
  Since the events that occurred on September 11'th, here in the US it
  has been increasingly difficult to reason with people about the need to
  preserve our freedom and privacy. Since that time, there's been a fury
  of attempted legislation that seems to, as you say, move us toward a
  police state. Can you offer any ideas for ways we, ordinary people, can
  help prevent this from happening?
  
  Alan Cox: 
  Keep reminding people they live in a police state ?
     "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they
  have rebelled they cannot become conscious." On the whole for the US,
  I'm not the one to answer that. It is a different system and society. We
  have real trouble even telling the two US parties apart.
  
  [...]

[The full interview is available at
<http://kerneltrap.com/article.php?sid=490>, FC]

-- 
http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~cantsin/homepage/
http://www.complit.fu-berlin.de/institut/lehrpersonal/cramer.html
GnuPG/PGP public key ID 3200C7BA 

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Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 14:15:21 +0100
From: Florian Cramer <cantsin {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Subject: Re: [graham {AT} seul.org: Re: [ox-en] Threads "The Fading Altruism of 
     Open Source" on <nettime>]

Am Mon, 14.Jan.2002 um 23:51:38 +0100x schrieb jaromil:

[quoting Graham Seaman from seul.org:]

> 3. They've provided a prediction as to what should happen as the recession
> in technology hits in America - the number of people writing free software
> should go through the roof. I don't think there's going to be any such 
> event - but it should be something perfectly testable (just watch 
> freshmeat and compare the number of entries from Stefan Merten with the 
> number from Americans ;-).

In an interview on <http://kerneltrap.com/article.php?sid=459>, Matt
Dillon, a major developer of the FreeBSD operating system (and former
Linux kernel hacker), has its own answer on whether Free Software is
altruistic or not. It is, without knowing it, quite a good response to
the recent on the economy of Free Software in Nettime (and, apparently,
Oekonux):

   Matt Dillon: Well, I could say something about open-source in
   general. Specifically I would like to say something about open-source
   and making money. There are two kinds of open-source programmers
   in the world. No, make that three kinds: There is the open-source
   programmer who is still in school, the open-source programmer who has
   a real job, and the open-source programmer who tries to make a living
   out of his open-source programming.

   In many respects, each individual goes through ALL of the above
   phases. We've all been in (or are in) school, we all must eventually
   make a living, and having been somewhat disillusioned by real
   work we have all either tried or will try to make a living from
   our open-source endevours. This last item -- making a living from
   open-source, has been over-stressed by the open source community
   (mainly Linux related developers) over the last few years. Guys, if
   you haven't figured it out by now it is mostly an illusion! The hype
   made it possible. The crazy stock market made it possible, but it
   didn't last now did it? If I take a hundred people I know only two or
   three can make a living from their open-source work (and I'm not one
   of them today!).

   The open-source community has to come to terms with this. Don't let
   it get you down! I read LWN.NET (Linux Weekly News) every week and I
   see a definite trend towards mass depression as the internet craze
   settles down into something a bit more sustainable. Don't let it get
   to you! Face the issue squarely and come to terms with what it means
   for your own work. If an older generation (that's me! At 35! God I
   feel old!) can teach the younger generation of programmers/hackers
   anything it is that the character of open-source will always be with
   us, with or without wall-street, and that we open-source programmers
   do not do these things for a 5-minute spot on CNN, we do these things
   because they are cool, and interesting, and make the world a better
   place for everyone. That is our legacy. We are not an anarchy, we are
   a charity. A very *LARGE* charity I might add!


Florian

-- 
http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~cantsin/homepage/
http://www.complit.fu-berlin.de/institut/lehrpersonal/cramer.html
GnuPG/PGP public key ID 3200C7BA 

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