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[News] Proprietary Software = Degradation of Human Rights

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Re: A balance of freedoms

,----[ Quote ]
| Something that many fail to understand is the fact that proprietary software 
| is designed to divide society. Think about how this relates to Skype. The 
| masters over Skype say, "Come use our Skype software, it is very convenient 
| and it will let you do X, Y and Z. However, you must agree to this set of 
| conditions before you are allowed to install and use Skype onto your 
| computer". Basically, the set of conditions are intended for the masters of 
| Skype to maintain complete control over their software. As a result of when 
| you choose to accept the conditions, you would also choose to give up your 
| freedom.         


Putting freedom back in software

,----[ Quote ]
| The father of the free software movement descended into a packed room at 
| Concordia Monday explaining to 125 people why freedom is just as important in 
| software as it is in the rest of life.  
| Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and lead architect 
| of the GNU Project – which developed part of the GNU/Linux operating system – 
| stressed that there is an ethical requirement to use software that is “free 
| as in freedom, not as in beer.”   



A Patent Lie

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft sang a very different tune in 1991. In a memo to his 
| senior executives, Bill Gates wrote, "If people had understood how 
| patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, 
| and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete 
| standstill today." Mr. Gates worried that "some large company will 
| patent some obvious thing" and use the patent to "take as much of 
| our profits as they want."


,----[ Quote ]
| ...Thanks to Mr. Gates, we now know that an open Internet with protocols 
| anyone can implement is communism...
| ...Mr. Gates' secret is out now--he too was a "communist;" he, too,
| recognized that software patents were harmful-until Microsoft 
| became one of these giants...


Big businesses boast of patent benefits, for small businesses

,----[ Quote ]
| A report published by an EU task force on intellectual property claims
| that small businesses benefit from a patent system, despite lacking
| almost any participation by the small business community.
| Instead, the report, titled IPR (intellectual property rights) for
| competitiveness and innovation, was written up almost entirely by
| large corporations and the patent industry.
| [...]
| The report does note objections from the likes of patentfrei.de and
| Sun Microsystems, which were recorded at some length in the report.
| But this does not appear to have impacted the conclusion of the
| report in any way
| [...]
| Jean-Pierre Laisne, of ObjectWeb, an open source software community,
| said that he found the report useless: participants were told that
| all their contributions would be recorded but at the end only
| those of Business Software Alliance and Microsoft were used.

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