Saturday, March 26, 2005

The war on copyright communists

I'm an open source software advocate. I've been a part of that movement for some time. It is more of a lifestyle and can have great benefits for our public endeavors.

Additionally, I've been a small business owner, publisher and netizen. Plus, I'm a Libertarian. Furthermore, I've been to China and expect to go again. So that mix of politics swirls around in my realm, as well as being a "free market advocate."

Now comes one of the more interesting article of the season.
Guardian Unlimited | The war on copyright communists The war on copyright communists

Bill Gates wants software patents to protect his profit, not the public

Andrew Brown, The Guardian

Bill Gates is an intelligent man who has done a great deal of good in the world. So when he gets caught out in a bare-faced lie this should matter to all of us; and last week, when he called the opponents of American intellectual property law a 'communist' movement he was encouraging a mistake that could impoverish the entire world.

He said: 'Of the world's economies, there's more that believe in intellectual property today than ever. There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don't think that those incentives should exist.'

The argument in principle that Gates makes against 'communism' starts in exactly the right place. But his vested interests lead him to drag it in the wrong direction. It is as if the Sheriff of Nottingham were to announce that it's enormously important that your property was protected from criminals - so he'll take everything you have that might be stolen and lock it up for safety in his castle.


I'm jazzed about OpenOffice.org and its 2.0 release with XML. As soon as it is avaiable, I'll be putting it onto some CDs and passing them out around town.

This brings us to another point. I need to get blank CD-Rs. They cost money. We'll need to raise some money. Not a lot, but a little. This effort should yeild fruit in many areas.

Just today I pulled up a document needed for a presentation for my wife with OpenOffice.org's software that could NOT be opened with the M$ stuff. It works well.

Open Source is ruling the world!

1 comment:

Amos the Poker Cat said...

I have long been a fan of Open Office, going back to Star Office days even. Although their chart features are a little weak.

Not sure handing out CDs to strangers will make much of a difference. Check out the Wired article on CD quality.

In periods of spare brain cycles, I think it would be amusing for a cyber version of Habit for Humanity that would hack XBox-es (a loss leader for M$) into $150 Linux desktops.

Ops, my bit torrent download of the new Dr. Who just finished. Time to watch it on my DivX player, and see if they changed anything from the early "release" a month ago.