License to Fail

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From the GNU Manifesto:

The case of programs today is very different from that of books a hundred years ago. The fact that the easiest way to copy a program is from one neighbor to another, the fact that a program has both source code and object code which are distinct, and the fact that a program is used rather than read and enjoyed, combine to create a situation in which a person who enforces a copyright is harming society as a whole both materially and spiritually; in which a person should not do so regardless of whether the law enables him to.

Yet, the tactics that the free software, (the the open source software) communities embraced were to licencse software. The very definition of open source software is related to the license — not the software. And this focus on legal issues generates fear in businesses, which avoid adopting open source software because of concerns and misunderstandings about the licenses.

Open Source software has grown up. We don’t need licenses. It is time to implement Richard Stallman’s original vision — software should be unlicensed; it should be in the public domain.

Photo of Robert "r0ml" Lefkowitz

Robert "r0ml" Lefkowitz

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Robert (a/k/a r0ml) Lefkowitz is a vice president of information technology at Asurion, where he is responsible for engineering the IT infrastructure. His interest in medieval history is surprisingly helpful in this role.

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