Thursday, April 10, 2008

Free Software Reading List

Doug Johnson asks Peter:

...if you could recommend any “seminal” documents on the free culture philosophy (or however you describe someone with your POV), I’d appreciate it.

My take on this is that, while some people find Richard Stallman off-putting in various ways, and I can understand why some people wouldn't think rms is a good person to, say, keynote an ed-tech conference, I think Stallman's writing (well, I guess some of this isn't 100% his work) on the Free Software Foundation's website is your best primary source on the philosophy of the free software movement.

In particular for Doug:

Those are all short.

Also, Mako's writing has influenced my thinking quite a bit:

1 comment:

Gnuosphere said...

Thanks for this list Tom.

It should be noted that "Towards a Standard of Freedom" is outdated in its assessment of Creative Commons. For instance ---

"A new license, the CC "Sampling License" or "Recombo" license -- [...] prohibits even verbatim distribution while allowing for commercial and non-commercial sampling. Another new license allows a for a broad range of freedoms -- but only for those living in the developing world."

--- the sampling license and developing nations license have been dropped by the CC organization. This is important as it now means that every CC license allows (at the very least) noncommercial verbatim sharing. works. In my opinion, this is necessary for any work to have a legitimate shot at being seen as "free culture".