Copyleft software licenses like the GNU GPL are for those of us who want to make it easy for anyone to use/improve/repurpose our work for the greater good, while making it difficult for businesses to use it to build proprietary software that exploits, divides & otherwise disrespects its users. Weak open source licenses like BSD/Apache/ MIT/etc are open, but they effectively subsidise corporate biz models using to build exploitative proprietary apps. Less cool by far.


Seen on the birdsite (but I can't find the original tweet). "Copyleft is free as in freedom. Permissive license is free as in labor."

@Steve @mike weakly licensed open source is a tool for those who think open is cool, but proprietary software is ok, too. I'm not one of those.

@lightweight @mike Re-reading... I see now that you meant "free as in labor" to mean free=gratis, not free=libre.

@lightweight @mike There are one and a half ways for labor to be free (libre). One is a union, and the other is a worker co-op. Each is one, the half is the overlap between them.

@lightweight @Steve
Right. But I've come to the belief political revolution is required because commons-based peer production (social production) can't displace proprietary products. The volunteer community has some stellar projects but with a few exceptions (Linux, git) volunteer groups can't contribute enough time and resources to supersede proprietary options.

For example, free/libre software smart phones and the Open Source Ecology project are making almost insignificant progress.

@lightweight @Steve
To be clear, I do not think volunteers and coops should give up until then. I'm just pessimistic that big progress will be made within the current political context.

@mike @lightweight It's both-and. Those of us with overlapping values need to do a lot more collaborating: the co-op movement, the free software movement, the fair-trade movement, the slow-food movement, the re-skillling movement, the maker movement, the commons movement, and so on. That's how we build a political context of our own.

@mike @Steve on this issue... the key is social good and gov't funding.The way to make #FOSS succeed requires 3 things: 1. public awareness, 2. gov't support (rather than market speculation, which powers proprietary software) and 3. gov't *mandate* for open standards compliance for all software procurement... I think those three will make all the difference.

@mike @Steve I'm working on 1. here in NZ (I've been pres of for quite a few years :) ), 2. is still elusive, but this is promising:, and 3. I've set up to make what I think is a very compelling case for the open standards mandate.

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