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[News] Free Software's Relation to Human Rights Issues

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Free Software and Human Rights

,----[ Quote ]
| In the Free Software and Education conference I attended in Quito, Ecuador 
| last month, I met a most interesting person, GianMarco Schiesaro, who gave a 
| very interesting presentation, entitled: Free Software and Human Rights. I’m 
| not aware that this particular relationship has been investigated many times.   
| I’m not reproducing the whole essay, which I reproduced here, but only the 
| introduciton and the conclusions. 
| The main body of the text discusses free software as it is related to three 
| sets of rights: 
| * Software and the Right to Development
| * Software and the Right to Communication
| * Software and the Right to Education



Free Software Essay

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| Imagine a world in which computer software was free. Now, imagine a world
| where software can be modified in whatever way the user desires. This is the
| world of free software. Free software has been touted as an evil entity by
| large companies, such as Microsoft, but these companies often use lies and
| miscommunication to make free software seem like it is an evil entity trying
| to steal form people that work hard and get paid to make software. Free
| software was designed to give people freedom in choice for the software that
| they used, and freedom to do what they wanted to with it. (Glynn)


One year ago...The dignity of the developer

,----[ Quote ]
| Open-source software is not the answer to villas or poverty in the developing
| world. But it is one answer for an increasing number of people. Open source
| keeps cash in the economies where it is written, modified, or deployed. It
| allows local software economies to grow, rather than shipping pesos back to
| the US to pay for proprietary software licenses.


Free Software leader slams NZ copyright

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| “New Zealand’s law does not go as far as the DMCA in the US, but it is unjust
| nonetheless,” he says.
| “DRM is nearly always the result of a conspiracy of companies to restrict the
| technology available to the public. Such conspiracy should be a crime, and
| the executives responsible for it should be sentenced to prison.”
| Stallman’s other mission here is to promote the Free Software Movement. The
| creator of the GPL licence, under which most free software is distributed, is
| at pains to correct misunderstandings of what the term “free software” means
| and to draw a distinction between it and the open source movement.


Free software pioneer Richard Stallman on his experience in Cuba

,----[ Quote ]
| DT: I've editorialized that U.S. companies should be allowed to compete in
| Cuba. What's your position on that?
| RMS: I really don't care. From my point of view, business issues are minor in
| comparison with issues of human rights and general well-being. And I reject
| completely the assumption that the way to improve people's well-being is
| always through a market. A market is a tool, and for some things it's very
| good. It can work well in some areas of life, as long as somebody is making
| sure it doesn't go haywire. One of the things we see when businesses have too
| much power is that they corrupt those watchdogs, and we see this in the U.S.
| all the time. The U.S. government has ceased to effectively monitor the
| market to make sure it works well. Instead, it is a tool in the hands of big
| business. So instead of capitalism of a useful kind, we now have extreme
| capitalism, which is thoroughly corrupt. And the results of that are
| increasingly bad, here and everywhere else.

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